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Tales from the 2013 Southwest Food Expo: Edible Spoons, Pizza, Food Trucks, Cheese & Disney-designed LED Lights


The title pretty much sums up the cool things I spotted, sampled, sniffed or snarfed at this weekend’s Southwest Food Expo, the largest regional showcase of restaurant products, services and equipment in the nation. While chefs and vendors mingled, I moseyed around to see what’s new and what’s next.

Here are a few of the highlights that you’ll probably be seeing on tables around town:

Green plates and cutlery seem to be the rage. Green stuff like these plates -- made naturally shed palm leaves -- were on display everywhere.

Green plates and cutlery seem to be the rage. Green stuff like these plates — made naturally shed palm leaves — were on display everywhere.

Leafware makes this cutlery from naturally shed palm leaves, so they're green.

Leafware makes this cutlery from naturally shed palm leaves, so they’re green.

I'd never tasted a gluten free pizza dough that I liked until this one, from Smart Flour foods. The Smart Flour rep says you can buy their frozen pizzas at Central Market ($5) or pizzas built on their gluten-free crusts at Pie Five, Fireside Pies, Coal Vines and Campisi's

I’d never tasted a gluten free pizza dough that I liked until this one, from Smart Flour foods. The Smart Flour rep says you can buy their frozen pizzas and untopped crusts at Central Market or pizzas built on their gluten-free crusts at Pie Five, Fireside Pies, Coal Vines and Campisi’s

Smart Flour is a really good gluten-free baking substitute  made from sorghum, amaranth and teff. So good, even Nothin' Bundt Cakes uses the product in their vanilla bundt cakes.

Smart Flour is a really good gluten-free baking substitute made from sorghum, amaranth and teff. So good, even Nothin’ Bundt Cakes uses the product in their vanilla bundt cakes.

Of course, Dallas pizza oven maker Renato was there. You can buy one of Renato's wood-fired ovens for your home for as little as $2500.

Of course, Dallas pizza oven maker Renato Ovens was there. You can buy one of Renato’s wood-fired ovens for your home for as little as $2500.

Hmmm. DIdn't see John Tesar or Omar Flores or Marc Cassel or even Jon Alexis near this display of fresh seafood, so I steered clear, too.

Hmmm. DIdn’t see John Tesar or Omar Flores or Marc Cassel or even Jon Alexis near this display of fresh seafood, so I steered clear, too.

My favorite chocolate was representing: El Rey, from Venezuela. Sander Wolfe, were you there, too?

My favorite chocolate was representing: El Rey, from Venezuela. Sander Wolfe, were you there, too?

Food Network ex-starlet Paula Deen would hate this dark chocolate from El Rey, but she's racist.

Food Network ex-starlet Paula Deen would hate this dark chocolate from El Rey, but she’s racist.

Cool wine dispensing systems on display from Global Dispense

Cool wine dispensing systems on display from Global Dispense

Global Dispense makes a line of super sleek alcoholic beverage dispensing systems.

Global Dispense makes a line of super sleek alcoholic beverage dispensing systems.

Christina LaBarba (fresh point) and Paula Lambert (the Mozzarella Company) were the two best things at the Expo

Christina LaBarba (fresh point) and Paula Lambert (the Mozzarella Company) were the two best things at the Expo

Edible spoons like these tasted like whole wheat crackers but come in dozens of flavors. These will be popular at big outdoor food festivals

Edible spoons like these tasted like whole wheat crackers but come in dozens of flavors. These will be popular at big outdoor food festivals

Food trucks are taking over.

Food trucks are taking over.

Elsie the Cow was either in a food coma or heavily sedated.

Elsie the Cow was either in a food coma or heavily sedated.

More food trucks

More food trucks

Disney needed candles for Pirates of the Caribbean whose flames had a lifelike flicker but didn't have a real fire. Now they license this super-realistic flickering candle technology to Luminara for their battery -operated LED candles. These are really, really cool and look exactly like real flames.

Disney needed candles for Pirates of the Caribbean whose flames had a lifelike flicker but didn’t have a real fire. Now they license this super-realistic flickering candle technology to Luminara for their battery -operated LED candles. These are really, really cool and look exactly like real flames.

Notable only for its absence, Hudson Valley Foie Gras was notably absent.

Notable only for its absence, Hudson Valley Foie Gras was notably absent.

 

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