Urban Expositions Announces Torch Awards and 2015 Recipients


torch-awardUrban Expositions, producers of the Family of Foodservice Events and the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum proudly present the 2015 TORCH AWARDS.   Three times per year, in conjunction with their regional events – Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, and International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York – they will recognize an individual or group of individuals whose achievements have enhanced and brought innovation to the restaurant and foodservice community.

“The awards are named to echo the definition of torch – referring to a valuable quality, principal or cause that needs to be protected or maintained.  When reviewing nominees, we strive to honor leaders and dynamic individuals who have propelled our industry forward as well as serve as leaders in education and the sharing of knowledge,” outlined Ferdinand Metz, CMC, Chairman of the event education programs which bear his name, and President Emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America.  “The sharing of knowledge and ideas is instrumental in preserving the culinary arts and ultimately leads to more creativity and innovation”.

The winners of the inaugural awards will be presented at the Los Angeles and Orlando events:

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Chefs and Owners of Border Grill & Truck will receive the TORCH Award at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo – August 24, 2015 – Los Angeles Convention Center at 1:00 pm in the Culinary Demonstration Theater on the Show floor.

Their first restaurants, City Café and then CITY, featured a menu of groundbreaking, eclectic, and adventurous dishes from all over the world, and that tradition continued at Ciudad with dishes from around the globe containing a seductive Latin flair. At CITY, Ciudad, and now at Border Grill, Mary Sue and Susan are unusually approachable, winning over a broad clientele not only with their cooking, but also with their warmth and casual interaction.  They swap recipes, answer cooking questions, and get guests to try something different. Natural teachers, they make the world of Mexican ingredients and authentic dishes completely fun and accessible.

Norman Van Aken, Chef and Founder of NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lake will receive the TORCH Award at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show –October 7, 2015 – Orange County Convention Center at 1:00 pm in the Culinary Demonstration Theater on the Show floor.

Norman Van Aken has been described as ‘legendary, visionary and a trailblazer’ as well as ‘the culinary Titan of Florida.’ He is “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.  He is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.”  He has published five cookbooks, and his radio show, “A Word on Food,” appears twice a week on NPR station WLRN. 

“These awards recognize commendable professionals who trail blaze a leadership role in the restaurant and foodservice industry, along with the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum; for providing exemplary innovation; and initiating improvement and education by engaging the industry”, said Ron Mathews, Vice President for the Urban Expositions Family of Foodservice Events.  “The awards honor individuals whose professional accomplishments drive the industry forward”.


posted by Andrea Gonzalez 8/3/15

Print Friendly, PDF & Email