Foodservice professionals intrigued by the variety of “throwdowns” now on TV will get their chance to beat top chefs themselves at the 99th annual conference of the International Hotel Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) November 8th through 11th at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan.
Following a full day of conference and networking activities on Saturday, Nov. 8, IHMRS will feature three full days of exhibits from Sunday, Nov. 9, through Tuesday, Nov. 11. The market will present 650 exhibitors and attract more than 16,000 industry professionals.
But the highlight will be two “throwdowns” one for culinary experts and the other for college students.
The “throwdown” for professionals will be held, Monday, November 10th.
Culinary school students will get their chance at the “College Bowl” Tuesday, November 11th.
Sponsored by BCA Global, a national non-profit organization providing culinary, foodservice, hospitality and networking skills to people of color within the industry, the College Bowl will present the same challenges – unknown ingredients used to make a premier meal within set time limits – as the professional chefs' event.
“Our mission is to consistently build a broader platform for diversity within the culinary and hospitality industries,” notes BCA co-chair Alex Askew. “We want to endow our participants with awareness, exposure and educational opportunities. The true value of our work is the investment we make in young people who aspire to become professionals in the fields of their choice.”
IHMRS' “throwdowns” will follow the format shown on The Food Network. Chefs will each be given the same unusual set of ingredients to create a dish and then a jury of professional award-winning culinary professionals will decide whose dishes are best.
The college competitors will follow the same procedure as the professionals, except they'll be in teams. Competitors do not get a recipe to follow. Rather, they are told the mandatory ingredients which must be included in each dish, and each single professional chef and college team try to outwit the others with a sensational meal.
The College Bowl will start with three teams for the first throwdown. The winner of the first round will then move on to the second throwdown, competing against a new set of teams. Finally, the winner of this segment moves on to the “Ultimate Throwdown,” as does the winner of the first round, against another set of teams, and a champion is crowned.
Each college challenge will be limited to 30-45 minutes of preparation and plating time, and judging will take place for 15 minutes.
“You'll be competing against other BCA members with the opportunity to move onto the next round and compete for the top prize,” says Joelle Mahoney, College Bowl originator.
Schools who typically compete include Johnson & Wales, Kingsboro Community College, Monroe College, CIA, City College of Technology, Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts, The Culinary Education (ICE – NYC) and the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute – NYC). All culinary schools in the tri-state region are invited to compete, as well.
IHMRS is sponsored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA); the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. (HANYC); and the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association (NYSH&TA), and is managed by Hospitality Media Group (HMG).