International Home & Housewares Show!!

Today was a fun filled day spent at the International Home & Housewares Show at the McCormick Place Convention Center. This is actually my second year attending. It was a HUGE event where I barely saw 1/4 of everything presented. I chose to focus my time at the Gourmet Home Cooking section where I got to sample so many specialty foods, meet some Food Network Celebrities, network with some gourmet specialty food folks and learn so much.
I intended to bring my camera to the event, but the back of my badge indicated that photography wasn't allowed at the exhibits and would be confiscated. But when I got there, a few folks had their cameras and were lucky enough to get pics with some of the celebs. It wasn't until the last celeb I came across I decided to try using my cell phone. But here are pics of the things I brought home with me!

Todd English - he's established one of the best known restaurant brands in the nation and published 3 critically acclained cookbooks. I was fortunate enough to snag a free cookbook of his and have it signed!
Rocco DiSpirito - he's a celebrated chef, author and television personality. I caught him right after his signing and he offered his cookbook. I didn't take it because I didn't really want to purchase it. Instead, he signed the back of my program booklet. It wasn't until later, I realized that he was giving away his cookbook for free. Doh! (I should have taken it when he offered!)
Alton Brown - yes... I hugged this man! He's so cute in that sexy nerdy way. Rawrr. He was representing KAI/Shun Cutlery and gave away these small Japanese knives called, "Alton's Angle" and even his cartoon was on it. He wasn't able to personalize his autograph but he did do his signature cartooning with his initials.
Ted Allen - he's the emmy-winning host of Queer Eye and has appeared as a guest judge for Iron Chef America. I didn't purchase his book, but he was kind enough to sign my GOHO Cooking Theater Schedule.
Paula Deen & Michael - they are the sweetest looking couple! Paula just oozes southern charm and fun and was like everyone's grandmother. Michael was a sweetheart and I asked him to sign Paula's magazine so he could join in the autograph fun too. She also wasnt able to personalize his autograph but I'll take what I could get!
Emeril Lagasse - BAM. He was late to his cooking demo but I didn't care since I was practically on the small stage with him. I was immediately to his left up against the stage when I figured I would try sneaking a pic with my camera phone. Here's the pic and also the tea towel I got, as he was throwing them out in the crowd throughout his demonstration.
Robert Irvine - Dinner Impossible. I was looking over Mario's line of tableware when Robert Irvine is standing next to me drinking water. There was no crowd around him... just him standing around. I did a double take then asked him, "Excuse me - are you Robert Irvine from Dinner Impossible?" He was so nice that he offered me his photograph and signed it for me. I lucked out that I recognized him and didn't have to deal with crowds around him.
Mario Batali - he's a fun guy. Of course, he had to sign my program booklet, since there wasn't any literature available on his tableware and cookware. He spelled my name wrong, but it's okay. Oh, and he loves the color orange. :)
This is a pic of a great product I got to try along with a free sample- Seasoned Skewers. These skewers are intensely flavored so any food skewered onto it soaks up the flavors.
I got an awesome smelling candle from Village Candles... very good quality too!
There was so much to see and sample, it's unfortunate I wont be able to attend the next two days. Rachel Ray and Giada are said to make an appearance tomorrow. But I have quite a bit of literature to keep me busy and updated on the world of food. I had so much fun and I can't wait until the Fancy Food Show coming up in May!


  1. How fun! I'm jealous of all the great chefs you met. Glad you had a good time...I wish I would have gone!

  2. Seems like you had a great time! p.s. I wouldn't want to buy Rocco's book either!

  3. Wow, sounds like a wonderful and exciting time. I am so jealous!!! Thanks for sharing.