• Paula LeDuc, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Emeryville, California. Catered the kick-off party celebrating Chez Panisse’s 40th anniversary in Berkeley, Calif.; serves as exclusive caterer for events at San Francisco’s local-food mecca, the Ferry Building Marketplace; and has catered several events in Oprah Winfrey’s home.
• Carla Ruben, Creative Edge Parties, New York. Trusted by organizations like Target, the Museum of Modern Art, and Bravo to dream up creative menus. In 2011, Rubin launched the Creative Edge Culinary Council, a global exchange program that brings guest chefs to cook in New York, while sending its own chefs to other cities to learn new techniques.
• Roy Choi, Kogi BBQ, Los Angeles. Pioneer of the food truck movement that changed the landscape of event catering.
• Robert Gilbert, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando. Changed the food culture at Walt Disney World by focusing on fresh, well-balanced offerings, with much of the ingredients coming from Epcot’s Land Pavilion or local farms; also known for innovative presentation styles, such as rolling steampunk-style serving carts crafted from recycled metal and for creating 100 satellite kitchens inside Epcot’s World Show Place for a culinary challenge for 3,000 guests.
• Wendy Pashman, Entertaining Company, Chicago. Extends creativity beyond catered menu items to include innovative tabletop design and “delivery systems” like rolling snack carts and beverages served out of backpacks.
• Frank McClelland, New France LLC, Boston. Prepares modern New England-French cuisine with an emphasis on artisanal and local ingredients—often grown on his farm in Essex—for his acclaimed catering company and group of restaurants.
• Marc Thuet, Thuet Inc., Toronto. Turned heads at art party Power Ball 13, where he roasted a 900-pound bull on a spit.
“The event industry is constantly in flux, with a steady stream of new food trends and ideas,” said Chad Kaydo, editor in chief of BizBash. “We wanted to recognize the people who stay ahead of the curve and move the industry forward.”
The article, “The 66 Most Innovative People,” is featured in BizBash’s March/April 2012 issue, revealed March 14. The story also goes live on BizBash.com on March 14. Photography and video interview footage is available.
BizBash’s “Innovation Issue” also names the 10 most innovative brands that are using events as a crucial part of their marketing mix, including Coca-Cola, Target, and Red Bull.
Founded in 2000, BizBash is the leading trade media for the event industry. Through its magazine, Web site, email newsletters, and trade shows, BizBash inspires effective events and meetings by sharing the latest ideas and strategies, providing essential tools and resources, and fostering community. BizBash serves the following markets: Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami/South Florida, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Washington.
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