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Food personality talks with Valley food pros on locally-sourced menus

Courtesy of Fresno Food Expo

Simon addresses Central California restaurateurs and chefs Tuesday while in Fresno.


Food writer, cook, Food Network TV personality, Simon Majumdar, joined the San Joaquin Valley food community of restaurateurs and chefs Tuesday to lead a discussion on spotlighting the region’s thriving food industry.

Participating restaurateurs and chefs, including those of Madera, heard how restaurants from around the globe are embracing the “locally-sourced” food trend and how they can benefit from this trend with their prime location to some of the largest varieties of both fresh and produced food in the nation.

“As restaurants increase locally-crafted cuisine, more conversations will occur regarding the region’s rich food and agricultural region,” stated Majumdar. “This food movement will help expand the region’s position as the ‘Food Capital of the World’ beyond farming and production – to a prideful food community and destination for the world to admire and savor.”

Majumdar reviewed the concepts of hyper local sourcing (a term used when restaurants serve primarily locally-sourced food on their menu), the advantages of food communities and how to build them and table side presentations. He also added his thoughts on natural wines and the rediscovery of brandy.

Among some of the locally-sourced food benefits discussed included: local foods are fresher, taste better, support local economies and foster relationships with other businesses, and they allow restaurant chefs to expand their menu creativity with seasonal varieties. With the national restaurant industry projected to make an estimated $798.7 billion in sales in 2017, partnerships between the foodservice industry and the Fresno Food Expo is essential, he said.

More than 35 restaurateurs and chefs from throughout the Valley were in attendance including: Colton Social House, The Gastro Grill and Trelio in Clovis; Limon, The Annex Kitchen, Max’s Bistro, Pardini’s and Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Fresno; The Range in Lodi; The Vineyard Restaurant in Madera; Bella Luna Bistro in Merced; Erna’s Elderberry House in Oakhurst; School House Restaurant in Sanger; La Piazza Ristorante in Tulare; and Tazzaria in Visalia.

“It would be great to see restaurants throughout the Valley work together to ‘celebrate food’ by elevating the use of locally-sourced fresh and produced products on their menus,” said Vinnie DeAngelo, Head Chef of the Bella Luna Bistro. “This is exactly what ‘foodies’ are looking for and this kind of movement will encourage others to become more familiar with the benefits of locally-produced ingredients.”

“While the Expo is highly focused on connecting Central California’s food and beverage companies with retail and foodservice buyers, in the past few years, we have also started putting a spotlight on our region’s chefs and restaurateurs,” said David Nalchajian, General Manager of the Fresno Food Expo. “They are a critical component to the Expo’s mission of creating a regional identity centered around the celebration of food production because they serve as a catalyst in stimulating regional pride by elevating locally-sourced food into their daily businesses, and celebrating the variety of foods that make us the ‘Food Capital of the World’.”

Through its expanded exhibitor platform, the Fresno Food Expo aims to foster business growth opportunities year-round for participating Central California food and beverage companies by offering numerous business-to-business occasions to help fine-tune and inspire this important industry whose growth will serve to expand economic opportunities.

The 2017 Fresno Food Expo will take place July 26-27. The agenda includes exhibitor-hosted site tours; featured keynote speaker, Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru; returning Food Writer and Food Network Personality, Simon Majumdar; followed by the Expo’s opening reception, Pairings, on July 26. The business-to-business tradeshow portion will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. followed by Expolicious, the Expo’s public evening celebration from 5 – 8 p.m.

Registration is open for buyers and exhibitors. More than 150 exhibitors and 950 key pre-qualified international and domestic buyers are expected to participate.

Tickets to Expolicious are available for $50 and can be purchased at any Ticketmaster Box Office (fees apply), online at or at Cumulus Broadcasting for $40 while supplies last. For discount ticket information, be sure to “Like” the Fresno Food Expo page on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram and Twitter. For information on the Fresno Food Expo, visit

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