Food agenda: National Pastry Championship

This week's food agenda highlight celebrates dessert in all its glory. The National Pastry Championship takes place in Arizona, where US teams will compete for the chance to represent their country at the World Pastry Championships next year. Entries include a sugar showpiece and plated desserts.

Thailand International Restaurant and Bar 2011
July 7 - 9
Bangkok, Thailand

More than 10,000 trade professionals from Thailand and across Asia are expected to descend on Bangkok for their second annual trade show. Though in its infancy, the expo is meant to respond to Thailand's growing restaurant sector and the rise of that country's affluent middle class, modern lifestyle and tourism. Thailand has more than 5,000 hotels and 58,000 restaurants, of which Japanese cuisine is in popular demand.

National Pastry Championship/Pastry Forum
July 8-9
Phoenix, AZ, USA

The National Pastry Championship takes place July 8 - 9. US teams will have 13 hours to create a pastry themed around this year's theme, their favorite book. The winning team will represent the US at next year's World Pastry Team Championship. Throughout the contest, teams must create showstoppers that include one sugar showpiece, one chocolate showpiece, and 12 identical plated desserts. At the last international competition, Team Japan took home the coveted prize.

Summer Fancy Food Show
July 10 -12
Washington, DC, USA

As the largest specialty food and beverage event, the Fancy Food Show features 180,000 gourmet items ranging from confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic and natural products. Winners of the 39th annual Sofi Awards Competition, which recognizes the most outstanding foods of the year, will also be announced during the three-day show by celebrity and Iron Chef Cat Cora. More than 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries and 24,000 attendees are expected.

July 10 - 13
Sydney, Australia

One of the longest running trade shows in Australasia, Foodpro has been bringing 8,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors together since the 1960s. The last time they held an expo, however, was in 2008. Concurrent with FoodPro, the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Incorporated or AIFST will hold their 44th annual AIFST convention, where delegates will be able to meet key players in food manufacturing and allied industries. The theme for this year's convention is "Tackling Tomorrow Today,"which will address issues like sustainability, health and safety, nutrition and safety.

American Culinary Federation National Convention
July 22 - 26
Gaylord, TX, USA

Chefs, students and industry professionals converge at this expo to learn the latest culinary trends and cooking techniques with educational seminars, demonstrations and workshops. Seminars range from charcuterie, chocolate, tandoori cooking to plating and baking. Alton Brown also stops by to give a workshop on "the most powerful chemical agent" in the kitchen. Young, aspiring chefs will also get to showcase their chops at the Student Chef of the Year Competition.

All-Star Cochon
July 24
Las Vegas

For the porcine lover, All-Star Cochon brings together 10 of the country's leading chefs, four-star butchers and 14 heritage breed pigs to showcase pork in all its glory. The chefs will work together to prepare a "snout-to-tail" menu from pigs sourced in their local markets and then flown to Las Vegas. Chefs will be represented by restaurants like French Laundry, Del Posts in New York, Coppa in Boston, and Michael Mina. Guests will also get side by side butchery demonstrations, charcuterie and wine tastings, as well as craft brews and specially paired artisan cocktails. Tickets start at $150. VIP tickets that include a private tasting of reserve wines, artisan cheese, oysters and caviar, are $200.

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