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What You Missed During NRA: Innovative Ideas: Page 2 of 7

Perfect pairings

Tasting dinners with pairings are becoming increasingly popular at events, whether its wine, beer, , cocktails, or even non-alcoholic options as guests look for fun and engaging dining experiences. 

This trend especially prevalent among those guests looking for meaningful connections. While large events have their place, the trend in 2024 leans toward smaller, more intimate gatherings. These events offer greater opportunities for networking, learning, and engagement. Think smaller and more intimate events with the focus on high-end dining experiences for smaller groups such as a six-course tasting dinner with beverage pairings. Additionally, this pairing trend also taps into the demand for interactive and immersive experiences, since they deliver a shared experience among attendees, thus strengthening connection among attendees. 

Even unique options (such as an Uni and Whiskey Pairing Dinner) are being sought out by guests looking for innovative pairing ideas.

In the case of the National Restaurant Show, the National Restaurant Association partnered with Let’s Talk Womxn to host several dinner experiences featuring various pairings. 

One of the culinary adventures was hosted at Bistronomic, the home of renowned French Chef Martial Noguier & Lulu Noguier. For the dinner experience, the restaurant (part of Chicago’s Gold Coast and James Beard Award nominee and recipient of Best New Restaurant in Chicago) partnered with Pretty Cool Ice Cream and its owner Dana Cree to create a one of a kind, cxclusive, tasting menu where each course was paired with a specialty sorbet or ice cream. 

Homemade chicken liver mousse with cornichons, dijon mustard, and baguette paired with Oloroso Sherry Ice Cream

Baby & Chioggia Beet Salad with Artisina Capriole Farm Goat Cheese, sunflower seeds, roasted hazelnuts, ginger hazelnut vinaigrette, and marigold flowers paired with Black Raspberry Sorbet

Beef Filet au Poivre with pomme puree and cognac sauce paired with Normandy Savory Camembert Ice Cream

French Kit Kat Bars with praline and Espresso & Vanilla Creme Anglaise paired with Burnt Sugar Ice Cream