According to the U.S. Census and the selig center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, by 2009, the combined purchasing power of African Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Pacific Americans and American Indians is expected to exceed ﹩1.5 trillion – more than triple the 1990 level of ﹩456 billion.
Anyone flipping channels watching any kind of cooking show or food show can readily agree that the influence of Asian cuisine is enormous. New York City, arguably the culinary capital of the world, is a good barometer of what is to-the-minute trendy. Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian have replaced Italian, Chinese and Japanese in the ‘ethnic food’category. Numerous Southeast Asian restaurants have recently been stealing plenty of thunder. The ultra hip Kittichai (Thai) inside 60 Thompson Hotel in Soho opened with a lot of fanfare and high expectations from food critics. Vong is adored by the super cool and uber-hip. Bao 111 (Vietnamese) in the Village is now the hub of the “Sex and the city” crowd and catapulted its chef-cum-architect, Michael Huynh, to be among the best chefs in New York. Tribeca’s 66, where you’ll find squab 1’orange and lobster with yi fu noodles, is a magnet for the Hampton jet-setters. Celebrity chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alain Ducasse, and Tom Colicchio, all admitted that they take inspiration from Asian cuisines. The amazing popularity of restaurants such as Asia de Cuba, Buddakan, Sushi Samba, Blue Ginger, Spice (Soho), and Riingo reflects consumers are increasingly sophisticated, looking for creative flavorful food with international fusion flair. Spices such as lemongrass, chutney, star anise and foods such satay, shao lung bao, shitake mushroom and ceviche have all become part of the everyday vocabulary of American foodies and “chowhounds”. The mood of New York diners is definitely leaning towards something “edgier”.
Chefs all over the country are constantly looking for new ideas, new inspirations and of course, new ingredients. All Asia Food Expo, making its debut this year in New York, is the first food show of its kind in North America. Restaurateurs and gourmet food retailers have long discovered the value of incorporating Asian fares to their offerings. So if you are looking for the next big thing in the culinary world, you simply have to visit the show. You will see a wide range of exhibitors from China, Korea, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and United States Asian food manufacturers/distributors, showcasing the full range of unique foods and beverages.
Virtyally all the big names in the Aisan food sector is represented at this show, including the leader in Asian sauces, Lee Kum Kee; top Japanese brand Ajinomoto; Korean food conglomerate Rhee Brothers and Han Ah Reum; Thai food major importer; Vasinee Foods and Paleewong Trading; Mishima Foods, Nakano Foos, Senba USA, JSL Foods, Filipino Food distributors Vienor Foods and V8 Commercial; Indian food importers House of Spice and Raja Foods, to name but a few. From the exotic (kelp from SKOKA and him chee from Kimchee Pride) to the extravagant )kobe beef from SnakeRiverFarm), All Asia Food Expo promises to be an exciting event from every angle.
For those who wish to learn from experts on Asian food and beverages, All Asian Food offers a number of events and conferences, including two free keynote addresses – one delivered by Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert of Today Show fame, a conference program, and exciting culinary demonstrations by top Asian chefs such as Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall (nationally famous Korean cookbook author), and Floyd Cardoz (executive chef, Tabla, New York).