By Morgan Wolfe
Last week, a group of our food science friends and colleagues took the amazing opportunity to travel to San Francisco, California to visit the Winter Fancy Food Show. This three-day event welcomed 30,000+ industry professionals, tastemakers, and guests to network, learn and of course, eat! Our Kansas State University food science group got to venture through 80,000+ specialty food and beverage vendors, plus an additional 1,400+ exhibitors from around the world.
The Fancy Food Show is operated by the Specialty Food Association (SFA), a membership-based trade association that currently represents 3,500+ businesses that works to “Shape the Future of Food.” The SFA members are highly involved in specialty food trade and own and conduct the Summer and Winter Fancy Food Shows.
Nine students from the food science club attended the trip to San Francisco last week: Christine Rock, Karen Magana-Moran, Alicia Walker, Amanda Winegard, Conrad Kabus, Jentry Scherer, Kayla Daniel, Xinwei Xu, Bennett Uhl, and program assistant, Elsa Croft. The students agreed they all absorbed a lot of knowledge at the show and said it was a great event. The event made for a great place to network and build connections for future employment.
They learned so much within the short three days they were there, including how to really taste olive oil. A vendor gave the group a quick taste class while they visited the show. Additionally, the group learned about different types of wines and tasted endless amounts of food and beverage – a very filling experience!
Our food science students spent four hours each day at the show then spent their afternoons as tourists exploring the city. They visited The Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, China Town, Ghiradelli Square, and The Three Sisters. They dined at Boudin’s, Z&Y Restaurant, and La Taqueria, a traditional Mexican joint with amazing burritos. Though their exploration was extensive, one of their favorite memories of all was watching the sea lions play on the pier.
“I thought the trip to San Francisco was excellent,” Amanda Winegard said. “It was very neat to see all the latest food trends from around the world. It is a trip I would recommend to go on.”
“This trip really opened my eyes to the diversity and importance of food science,” Alicia Walker mentioned.
Needless to say, the trip was time and money well spent. Food science students, take advantage of all the opportunities you get while studying in college; the experience will last a lifetime! If you weren’t able to attend the Winter Fancy Food Show last week, but still want to go, you can look forward to the upcoming Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City beginning on June 30.