FRED & Friends makes quirky, playful, family-friendly products for the table and the kitchen, and they are always one of the first places I visit at the Housewares Show. They are a friendly bunch of people, too, with well-developed senses of humor. Here are a few new things from this year — all playful and a little silly, and awfully fun for the kitchen.
I'm pacing the miles (literally miles!) of aisles in Chicago's McCormick Place today and tomorrow, scanning the thousands of products on display at the Home & Housewares Show. Nearly everyone who makes or sells something for the kitchen and the home is here this week, and while there is a lot of useless stuff on display, it's also a pleasure to check out quality products in person. Here's one great product: An update to Chicago Metallic's high-quality toaster oven bakeware line.
Here's a mini-trend I noticed while walking around at the Fancy Food show this past weekend: Tonic water! Yes, that combination of sweet, bitter, and fizzy, so beloved in our summer gin and tonics, has drawn the attention of some small-batch soda makers. Apparently there is a lot of room for improvement in tonic water. I tried three different varieties, and all were significantly better than the big brands I usually drink. One of them is even from Brooklyn!
I am at the Fancy Food show in New York City this week, wandering through miles of aisles, inspecting cheese and yogurt, gawking at the incredible variety of vinegars on display this year, and tasting a "relaxation drink" called Slow Cow. (More on that to come).
This show is the primary place for all makers of gourmet foods (sauce, oil, cheese, dairy, pastry, chocolate...) to show off their wares to potential distributors and retailers. It's quite a zoo of food, but there are some gems to be found in the packed, crowded halls.
One such gem that intrigued me is this organic ghee, made from organic, grass-fed milk in upstate New York. I love cooking with ghee, and having a local and organic source of this clarified butter is wonderful.
Two weeks ago I flew out to Chicago to see the gargantuan Home & Housewares Show for the first time. I love Chicago and the show was really interesting in that it wasn't furniture or design centered, but service centered. Everything was closer to hardware store than to home furnishings shop, and everything was PRACTICAL. After two days of trolling (I barely cracked the show), here are my top finds.
No, I don't mean caviar and chocolate covered strawberries, at least not necessarily. The Fancy Food show is a bi-annual event sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade and it just ended here in NYC.
I started going two years ago when I went to speak about food blogging. All you need to know is that it's a gigantic trade show (football fields' worth) and that I try to go each year to find a few new gems for cooking. Here are my top ten finds from this last show:
The color news from KitchenAid at the Home and Housewares show in Chicago this week is bright and bold. There are two big stories - the "new" color which was there in prototype form, and another look at the 90th anniversary model of the now-iconic stand mixer. Plus — exciting news about that retro glass bowl!
Peacock colors like this deep, rich turquoise are definitely a trend right now (as are the birds themselves). We've seen them popping up in fashion as well as home design. But trendy or not, we do love this color we saw in House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Month -- and we admire the bold choice, especially given the fact that there's no painting over it...
We've seen these lap mugs and knee mugs - clever and yet oddly impractical in their very practicality - but there was even more from Hupton, a design group from England. Click through to see the next products sure to show up at your local Urban Outfitters this year...
Normann Copenhagen designs products for the home and kitchen, including some of the most iconic popular design items of the last few years. You would probably recognize their green collapsible funnel and companion red collapsible strainer. At ICFF we saw an expansion of their Familia line of cookware into similar shapes for tabletop. To see more (especially that cute teapot) read on...