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FOODIE RUSTICA: NOVEMBER 2008

The Metropolitan Cooking Show Hits D.C. This Weekend

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(Nov. 7, 2008)—WASHINGTON, D.C.—Once again, it's time for the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show to be held this weekend, Nov. 8 - 9 in one very exciting and rejuvenated nation's capital. The event, which is open to the public, will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 801 Mount Vernon Place, N.W.

Started in 2005 by Denise Medved, founder of The Tiny Kitchen and author of a series of cooking and entertaining books, the MCES sets out to unite specialty-food companies, caterers, chefs, event planners and businesses that service the food industry. With events held in cities throughout the East Coast, this popular two-day event will motivate attendees to have fun "by cooking and entertaining with ease."

In September, the show was held in Norfolk, Va. and there will be events in Atlanta, Ga. and West Palm Beach, Fla. in 2009. And with celebrity chef appearances by Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay, as well as a number of cooking demonstrations, workshops and exhibits, one of the attractions of each show is the appeal by local vendors.

Jennifer Moore, founder of the Orange County, Va.-based Baking Bread LLC will be at the D.C. event with her team, after enjoying the success of attending last year. With her homemade bread and rolls, Moore is looking forward to experiencing the same jubilation from 2007, when she featured her delicious cinnamon rolls and had the chance to see Paula Deen live. Moore says MCES is a big help to her business.

"This show has allowed my products to be seen and tasted by everyone who has attended the event. The organizers also keep a list of all of the vendors attending as well as their Web site addresses so people can check out your website," Moore says. "I received a lot of traffic on my site just because of the show from potential buyers." Moore also appreciates the visibility she receives by The Tiny Kitchen's advertising and marketing efforts, which is widespread in the areas where they host shows. "This weekend's event so far has sold 12,000 tickets online alone, and doesn't include the people who will pay at the door," Moore says.

One of the attractions this year will be Giada De Laurentiis' selection of her "favorite" vendors to feature on the The Today Show. Moore's brand as a home-based, homemade bread business might be a fit for De Laurentiis, with an eggless product that stems from her grandmother's recipes.

The story goes Moore's ancestors were able to afford certain ingredients for home cooking, and for baking, eggs were not on that list. So when it came time for the Virginia-based mother of two to replicate her grandmother's recipes and carry the family legacy, she did so without the eggs. Even still, the concept stuck (pun intended).

As for hearty cinnamon rolls, Moore experimented with family and close friends before taking her product to the Web for online sales, and some local retail outlets. And it started with a dough she worked with as a child.

"I use to make cinnamon rolls with biscuit dough from scratch for breakfast, so I decided to try it with the same dough I made my rolls with. I used my husband as a guinea pig and he loved them, so I tested them out with my friends and they encouraged me to sell them," Moore says.

Baking Bread's recipes for tasty loaves offer uniqueness and a variety that can satisfy a wide range of meals and occasions. Their rosemary loaf offers the unmistakable comfort of the soothing herb, both in aroma and flavor.

"Developing the recipe for the rosemary loaf was different," explains Moore. "I use to make an olive-pepper loaf with rosemary but the problem was I had to keep it refrigerated by the orders of The Department of Agriculture. This was a hurdle as far as shelf-life and shipping. I like the taste of rosemary so I decided to just make a rosemary loaf instead. I use olive oil to make it and so far it has been a great hit.

" You can visit Baking Bread LLC this weekend at MCES in Washington D.C. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more or buy tickets, visit metrocooking.com. Look for the logo to the left. To learn more about Baking Bread LLC, visit bakingbreadllc.com.

Photos: 1. Baking Bread Cinnamon Roll 2. Gift-wrapped products .

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