It sounds like the sweaty Freudian dream of an unrepentant food addict, or maybe the opening scene of an American-flavored Willy Wonka-style fantasy: Pizza and ice cream for as far as the eye can see, and every bite of it available to eat.
Every year this dream becomes a reality on the trade-show floor of the Columbus Convention Center. Unfortunately for you (or at least most of you), you’re not invited, however. The North America Pizza & Ice Cream Show is open only to working professionals (i.e., pizzeria owners), not the general public.
Still, that accounts for some 5,000 visitors from all over the continent, and there’s a lot for them to see, smell and taste -- new ice cream flavors (gelato was big last year), wing sauce varieties, pizza dough and fancy new trends in toppings, equipment and restaurant gear, and lots of workshops and contests.
Last year I attended the show with Alive’s Chris DeVille (we shot an Alive TV video), and I could hardly believe my eyes. It really is as awesome as you imagine. Chris got a lot of mileage out of sampling the food at many of the 200-plus booths; I was trapped behind the video camera, though I got my tongue around a few slices.
At this year’s show, February 17-18, I plan to put my knowledge as Central Ohio’s No. 1 Pizza Expert to more productive use. Chris is returning as well, so check Alive TV next week for a full report.