Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine, Vendor Trade Show Highlight Company’s Food and Beverage Summit
Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality and food service, is set to welcome hundreds of its food and beverage professionals from across the United States and from locations as far away as Australia along with vendor representatives  to Buffalo, N.Y., this week for the company’s annual food and beverage summit.

More than 700 people – nearly 600 traveling from outside of the region – are scheduled to attend the Delaware North Companies Food & Beverage Summit, which is being held in Buffalo for the fifth consecutive year. Delaware North was founded nearly 100 years ago and is headquartered in Buffalo.
About 330 food and beverage industry representatives will be promoting 150 companies and their latest products at a trade show for Delaware North chefs, managers and corporate professionals from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Among the food and beverage companies that will have booths at the trade show are Tyson Foods, Rich Products, General Mills, Cargill, Heinz, Pro-Act and PepsiCo.

Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine, host of the Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible,” will address summit attendees at 9 a.m. Thursday at the convention center ballroom. Irvine, a native of England, has cooked on several continents, has appeared on “Next Iron Chef” and once worked in the kitchens of the White House.
The summit will also include the Delaware North Culinary Challenge, a competition among chefs and front-of-the-house management staff in teams representing Delaware North’s sports hospitality, travel hospitality, parks and resorts, and gaming and entertainment divisions. The competition, at the summit’s opening reception at 6 p.m. today at the convention center, will feature each team preparing two personal plates and a beverage pairing that incorporate products from the suppliers in attendance.
Other highlights include the summit dinner Wednesday evening at Statler City and Culinary Institute of America training sessions for Delaware North chefs at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.

Including the annual summit, Delaware North generates about 6,000 room nights in Buffalo hotels each year thanks to regular visits by its employees from other locations for meetings and training sessions, as well as by business representatives.
Jeremy Jacobs Jr., principal of Delaware North, initiated the first annual companywide culinary gathering in 2002 and drove its expansion into a full-fledged trade show and conference. In 2003 Jacobs also created the Delaware North Culinary & Hospitality Council, which organizes the summit and whose mission is to consolidate and advance the company’s culinary and hospitality objectives across all of its divisions.

The first several Delaware North food and beverage summits were focused on chef development and were held at culinary schools such as the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone in St. Helena, Calif. Since then the company has held separate chef development meetings and instituted other culinary training opportunities while requiring all chefs to obtain certification from the American Culinary Federation.

Delaware North manages food service – including the operation of restaurants, concessions and premium dining – in sports stadiums, entertainment venues, national parks, resort hotels and airports in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, beginning in 2014.
About Robert Irvine
Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. Irvine brings his experience to Food Network as host of “Restaurant:
Impossible” and has been previously seen on “Dinner: Impossible,” “Worst Cooks in America,” and “The Next Iron Chef.”
Going into its fifth season, “Restaurant: Impossible” continues its successful run as one of the network’s most popular shows, where Irvine attempts to save America’s most desperate restaurants from impending failure in just two days with only $10,000. Over the course of the extreme mission, Irvine assesses all of the restaurant’s facets and then overhauls their weakest spots with updates to menus, retraining staff and implementing aesthetic changes with the help of
his design team before hitting the streets to tell the community about the improved restaurant.
A native of England, Irvine joined the British Royal Navy at the age of 15, and his skills in the kitchen soon came to the attention of his superiors. As part of his service for the Royal Navy, Irvine was selected to work on board the Royal Yacht Britannia where the Royal Family and their entourages regularly dined. During his time training U.S. Navy chefs as part of a guest chef program, Irvine worked in the White House kitchens and his creations were served to high-ranking government officials. During his career, he has also had the opportunity to serve 6,000 servicemen and women on a U.S. aircraft carrier and plan the menu for a celebrity-studded after-party at the Academy Awards. Irvine is the author of two cookbooks, “Mission: Cook!” (Harper Collins, 2007) and “Impossible to Easy” (Harper Collins, 2010).
About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the largest and most admired privately held hospitality companies in the world. Founded and owned by the Jacobs family for nearly 100 years, it is a global leader in hospitality and food service. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of TD Garden. Delaware North Companies has revenue exceeding $2.6 billion annually and 55,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com. 


Glen White
Director-Corp. Comm
Email: GAWhite@delawarenorth.com
Phone: 716-858-5753
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