The 2017 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show drew hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando this week for an expansive educational program, cooking demonstrations and other happenings.

The 2017 Torch Award went to Michelle Bernstein, Chef and Owner of Crumb on Parchment and Michelle Bernstein Catering, who then wowed the crowd with a Mexican Style Shrimp Ceviche Churrasco “Kalbi” with Jicama Slaw.

Chefs like Art Smith, a James Beard Award Winner who was formerly the personal chef for Oprah and Florida governors Bob Graham and Jeb Bush (and now the force behind several well-known restaurants, including Walt Disney World’s Homecomin’), MasterChef contestant Jeff Philbin and Cutthroat Kitchen contestant Elliott Farmer were on hand to keep the grub coming.

The 2017 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, is a once-a-year opportunity for the members of the industry to meet, learn, network, source and purchase. For more visit

Tom Loughran, Event Director  for The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show presented Carol Dover, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, with the 2017 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Beacon Award, which recognizes a woman leader who has truly served as a Beacon to the industry through their leadership, contributions and inspiration.

Over 400 exhibiting companies showcased new food products and beverages, new equipment and technology and much more throughout the robust show floor.

Salvador Soberanis, Executive Chef, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort was named the champ of the Rapid Fire Challenge: Key Lime Edition by moderator Darren Denington, Service with Style. Salvador competed against E.J. Morris, APPCA, Personal Chef in the face off of their key lime recipes.

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