I went to my first “press event” on Saturday. When I found out that I had a chance to go see the Soda Stream exhibit, I jumped at the chance – I was hoping for free samples of soda. So, I texted my mom. “I got a press invite to a kitchen gadget show from Soda Stream. You in?” I got a “sure” and then about an hour later “Wait, you mean the International Home & Housewares show?” Apparently it was kind of a huge international event. And I made it inside as press.
Celebrity guests that were there: Jillian Michaels, the Voltaggio brothers, Cat Cora, Bakerella, Ruhlman, Ming Tsai, Curtis Stone – and those are just the ones I know about. I don’t know if you have ever been to McCormick Place in Chicago – but that place is crazy huge. So big that there is usally multiple shows at once. This time it was 1 show in 3 ginormous buildings. Apparently we did about 5 miles of walking in one afternoon at the show.
But you don’t care about the walking, or the fact that this is the place to be for buyers, manufacturers and countless others. I even ran into Erin Swing from The Sensitive Epicure at a scale manufacturer (I turned around because someone was talking about needing scales for allergen friendly baking and it was a cool moment of recognizing/meeting someone from twitter).
Now for the good stuff. Kitchen appliances and gadgets. There was a plethora of cool things to look at and learn about. And lots of people who couldn’t tell me how their product worked with alternative ingredients (except the Italian sales guy for a super cool pasta extruder that would look amazing in my dream kitchen and he gave me product info – also in Italian).
First, the SodaStream Event & Exhibit
The whole reason that I went to the Interntional Home & Housewares show was because of SodaStream. They invited a couple of Chicago blogging groups to come and see their
booth massive exhibit, complete with a cage filled with what would be the amount of bottles consumed by a family of 4 in 5 years. It was some crazy number over 10,000. Bottles and cans. That is some crazy talk. And their silly marketing ploy worked. I am going out and buying myself one of their nifty machines this week.
Oh, and that is where I met the fabulous Jillian Michaels. Be jealous, she is awesome.
Fun new kitchen accessories
The collage image above is a highlight of just a few of the cool new items that I got to check out while I was at the show, but because no photos are allowed of products, I have borrowed them all from the respective manufacturers.
- A grain mill for my KitchenAid. The wonderful woman at their
booth2 story show room told me that even my 30-year old Old Faithful could power it. And you know what that means. I can make my own rice flour. And quinoa flour. And Buckwheat flour. Oh yes. Yes. Yes.
- A Soda Stream. No, this is not the latest and greatest fancypants model, but this is the model I will be buying this week! I will share recipes for soda syrups as soon as I start experimenting. Ooo, and then I can buy some of these syrup from Jo Snow.
- Weight-to-volume converting scale. For those of you who aren’t sure that you can make the leap from American style baking. This is for you. They worked with the folks at King Arthur Flour to make sure that the conversions were accurate. Super cool.
- A wipped-cream maker from ISI that you can also use to infuse flavor into oil, potatoes and booze. I am asking their PR person to send me one to try.
- Also from ISI, the twist & sparkle. Add carbonation to anything
- A hidden suprise cupcake tin from Chicago Metallic. Finally, the hidden, baked in centers won’t all be at the bottom!
Ok, some of these aren’t necessities. All but the scale are luxuries. But lovely ones. I already bought myself a Soda Stream and am looking to add some more of these fun kitchen toys to my arsenal.