This week the Javits center (also known as the home of NYCC) hosted the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, offering a collection of the best bites NY has to offer. The show included everything from awards presentations to cooking demonstrations, filled with celebrity chefs and tastings. The tastings included everything from craft-gin made right here in Brooklyn, to freeze dried ‘yuzu,’ a fantastic truffle-infused Wisconsin cheese.

One of the coolest finds at the event was ASARASI Water, which is actually 100% harvested from trees. The water is collected as sugar is removed from maple-sap, the sap is used to make produced like maple syrup, and the water is collected just for you. This makes the water a bi-product of the maple-sap tapping process, creating a plant-based water free of any and all impurities. Even better, ASARASI water is mildly carbonated, offering up a pleasurable drinking experience. To top it all off, the water is bottled in 100% recyclable glass.

Brooklyn Gin caught our eye since they are a neighboring business. Brooklyn Gin is handcrafted right here in Brooklyn, NY. Brooklyn Gin has most bottles on the market beat, made using 100% fresh citrus peels and hand-cracked juniper. By hand-cutting and cracking these raw materials, the gin is allowed to take on the essential oils of each ingredient, creating a more vibrant taste than a majority of the big distillers. Those larger distillers often use frozen or dried peels, you won’t find those in Brooklyn Gin. The company also provided recipes for their signature cocktails, and all of them are as easy-to-make as they are delicious. The Bee’s Knees is a particular standout that I would recommend, made with lemon juice and honey syrup (AKA equal parts honey and warm water).

Sean’s BooYah! Wing Sauce was a crowd favorite at this year’s event. Any wing-lover will tell you that a delicious sauce is the key factor in any plate of wings, and Sean’s BooYah! is the world’s winningest wing-sauce. The sauce is made by hand in Buffalo, NY, home of the wing itself. Sean’s BooYah! Wing Sauce has won 245 national awards and each batch is bottled, or jarred, from handcrafted nano-batches made from premium artisan ingredients. Sauces range in heat-levels from “Not So Hot” all the way to “The Hammer,” and glazes come in a variety of flavors including “Stinky Bee” (made with honey garlic) and “Key West” (made with key lime, Agave, cilantro and jalapeno). Even if you’re not into wings (how dare you) these sauces can be used as tasty condiments or marinades to make your next meal extra delicious.

Sincerely Brigitte Cheese is a Wisconsin Cheese, and was a highlight of the show. Brigitte’s products begin with premium milk, brought-in from small, local Wisconsin dairy farms. The cheeses offer flavor combinations that have become known for their distinctive, bold tastes. Crowd favorites from the brand included Parsley Chives and Orange Ginger. Sincerely Brigitte products are also all gluten free and certified kosher.

Those are just a few of our favorites from the event, there were thousands of new products and services for restaurants, caterers and foodservice establishments shown at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show this year. The overall winner in the Innovative New Product Gallery was Allie’s GF Goodies, winning for their certified gluten free and certified kosher parve bakery. Their facility is free from peanuts, tree nuts, coconut and sesame, making the a dream for allergy sufferers, or the family of allergy sufferers.

The 1st place runner up didn’t go to a food product, but a food service. The award went to Catering Box for their custom food service boxes, which are used to safely and professionally transport catered food. The 2nd place runner up was another Brooklyn native, the Brooklyn Organics company. The company creates beverages including Bruce Cost Ginger Ale and Bruce Cost Ginger Beer.

The Best New Product in the Food Trends Experience award went to Gus-Grown-Up Soda, who won for their line of all-natural premium sodas and sparkling cocktail mixers. The beverages are made from real juices, natural extracts and cane sugar.

As for the Best in Show as nominated by the gathering press and media, the award went to Catering Stone for their revolutionary Catering Stones. The devices keeping food hot or cold for hours without ice, electricity or open flame, all using 100% food-safe technology.