Jeff Stern

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Food Fete NYC, June 2009

By Jeff Stern, 2009-07-06
I arrived in NY Saturday evening from Ecuador-no delays and no hitches. Customs went through my chocolates in Miami but they seemed more curious than anything, and after a brief inspection let me on my way. Sunday was the behemoth Fancy Food Show, which was no less than the size of 20 supermarkets in one place, with thousands of food items being displayed. I gorged on Grana Padano Parm and Prosciutto while waiting to meet people- I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze in meetings with all the people I had intended to meet, making for a very productive day.Monday was an absolutely crazy day running around getting ready for Food Fete. I had to head over across town before ten am with 100 boxes of chocolate for the press bags, which I somehow managed. But when I arrived, I found there had been some minor damage and condensation on the additional chocolates that had been shipped in from the fulfillment center. Fortunately, there was still enough good products to go around.Back across town, only to return again at 3 to set up my table, then back out across town again. I had been waiting for my suit and chef's jacket to get pressed; they weren't able to hand it over any earlier than the 5 pm deadline I had been promised, and only managed to do so because I went to the shop at 4:45 and it still wasn't ready, so they delivered it to my door at 5. I threw everything on, grabbed my stuff, and headed back out again across town to the event, which was full when I arrived, even though I made it at 5:30, when it was supposed to just begin.Here's a photo at my table shortly after I got set up. I know, I'm looking tired there.

I walked out with at least 30 press contacts, some from many of the big publications such as Food Network, Ladies Home Journal, Dessert Professional, and whom we got a mention here as one of the favorites! So in two hours, that's at least one person every four minutes.I had zero time at the event to leave my table since I was flying completely solo there. I understand there were a number of other chocolate makers; I did happen to be next to my friend Josh Gentine, founder of the Cholive, whom I met at January's Food Fete. It was nice to have a familiar face just next door.
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