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Delaware North Companies Hosting Global, Regional Food and Beverage Suppliers at Trade Show in Buffalo

New Orleans Chef Paul Prudhomme to help judge chef competition at trade show Tuesday

BUFFALO, N.Y. (Nov. 15, 2010) Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality and food service founded and headquartered in Buffalo, will play host to more than 120 global, national and regional suppliers this week at its annual corporate food and beverage summit.

At the summit’s trade show, being held Tuesday afternoon at the newly renovated Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Delaware North will welcome more than 250 representatives of major food and beverage companies that supply its operations. Delaware North’s Supply Management Services Department has lined up such companies as PepsiCo, Heinz, Tyson, Constellation Brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Beam Global, Sara Lee, Hormel and Nestle.

Buffalo-area suppliers scheduled to attend include Niagara Dispensing, Upstate Farms and Tarantino Foods, part of the Pro-Act national produce network with which Delaware North is aligned across North America.

More than 300 culinary managers, chefs and executives from Delaware North’s Buffalo headquarters and its more than 150 operating locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to attend the summit. This is the second consecutive year Delaware North is holding the summit in Buffalo and the second year for the trade show, which last year was housed on one floor of the Avant building.

“The trade show was so successful last year, we quickly outgrew that space and moved it to the convention center,” said Richard Dobransky. He and Christian DeVos are the company’s vice presidents of food and beverage and co-chairmen of the Delaware North Culinary and Hospitality Council, which organizes the summit. “The summit gives our managers and chefs the opportunity to interact with each other and with suppliers to learn more about new products that we can serve our guests.”

In addition to the trade show, other programming is set for Monday through Thursday at the Embassy Suites, Kleinhans Music Hall and the Delaware North-operated Hamburg Casino at the Fairgrounds. Out-of-town attendees from Delaware North and suppliers are using many downtown hotel rooms.

“Delaware North is a global company with more than 50,000 employees around the world,” said Charles E. Moran, president and chief operating officer, Delaware North Companies. “The Delaware North Food & Beverage Summit brings together our diverse food operations and suppliers to discuss the latest innovations, products and services impacting our industry. I am certainly pleased that we are able to bring this conference to Western New York along with its positive economic benefits.”

At noon Tuesday, Erie County Executive Chris Collins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown are scheduled to join Delaware North officials in ringing the bell to open the trade show.

New this year, at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the trade show, is the Delaware North Culinary Challenge, a cooking competition featuring some of the company’s leading executive chefs. Slated to help judge is celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme, owner of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen® in New Orleans and creator of his own line of all natural herbs and spices known as Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends.

Also judging the challenge are Delaware North Companies Corporate Chef Roland Henin, a certified master chef and highly regarded culinary educator who mentored Thomas Keller; and longtime chef Vincent Carriere, a former Delaware North vice president and co-owner of Western New York’s Bijou Grille, Bijou Café and Sonoma Grille.

The chefs scheduled to compete are:

• Percy Whatley, executive chef of The Ahwahnee hotel at Yosemite National Park and regional executive chef for Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts;
• Kevin Doherty, executive chef at Boston’s TD Garden and Sportservice regional executive chef;
• James Major, executive chef at the Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field and Sportservice regional executive chef;
• Chris Matta, executive chef at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and regional executive chef for Delaware North Companies Gaming and Entertainment;
• Mark Szubeczak, executive chef at the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park and Sportservice regional executive chef; and
• Jeremy Mitchell, executive chef at the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium and Sportservice regional executive chef.

Food Network Chef and Culinary Producer Charles Granquist will moderate the competition. He and other Food Network representatives will showcase some of the menu and restaurant concepts the iconic lifestyle brand has developed for Delaware North’s airports, sports stadiums and other destinations through the partnership begun in March.

WHAT: The 2010 Delaware North Companies Food & Beverage Summit – Trade Show and Culinary Challenge.

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 16. – Trade Show noon to 5 p.m.; Culinary Challenge 1 to 3 p.m.

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin Street. Culinary Challenge set for North Exhibit Hall

Delaware North Companies is a global leader in hospitality and food service that is headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y.