WellnessMats Recap series of the ‘Behind the Scenes’ of the International Housewares Association Show – Chicago, IL 2012

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How to begin distilling over a week’s worth of ‘awesomeness’ in one blog post?  From industry trends, great new gadgets, delicious food, expert technique, great fun & friends (old and new!), a lot of hard work, and the esteemed company of your favorite celebrity chefs and their signature flavors — it’s like trying to cram an entire wedding cake into one pastry bag!

The Chefs:

Because we have so much fantastic content from the show and wish to share it without overwhelming everyone with a long NOVEL of a blog post, we’ve decided to give you a little bit every day for the next couple of weeks!  Everything from video we shot of Curtis Stone dancing on stage to behind-the-scenes looks at Duff Goldman, Mike Symon, Michelle Bernstein, Cat Cora, Chris Cosentino, Stephanie Izard, Ming Tsai, and Devin Alexander to name only a few! 



But let’s step back a bit – The International Housewares Association (IHA) hosts its biggest housewares show each year in Chicago, IL. It took place last month and the whole city of Chicago was buzzing as a result; we’re here to tell you, the show just keeps getting better and better! For those who do not remember, WellnessMats regularly attends this multi-tiered industry event. This show will always be near and dear to our hearts because this is where WellnessMats was officially “launched” to crowds of consumer buyers  in 2010 with our unique anti fatigue mats! We are forever grateful to all of you for supporting us then as we continue to offer not only comfort and support, but ongoing innovation and constant improvement for you! And without blowing our own horns, the WellnessMats booth (#4148) was swarming with excitement and enthusiastic patrons as we shared several new initiatives including; new additions to the PuzzlePiece Collection and – perhaps most importantly – the long-awaited debut of the Seasons Decorative Mat Covers Collection! All of the new products were very, very well received and there was a lot of buzz around the show because there seemed to be WellnessMats everywhere! From the IHA Press Room to the IHA Cooking Theater, from chefs demo’ing in sponsored booths across the show floor to the multitude of weary show attendees celebrating the WellnessMats (underfoot) right around 3 PM every day (not kidding!), there sure were a lot of people standing comfortably throughout the course of the show!

The IHA Cooking Theater:

In addition to having one of “the most active and busy booths at the entire show…” according to an undisclosed source close to the show management, WellnessMats was once again thrilled to be present in the Cooking Theater! For those who did not follow along on the WellnessMats Facebook Fan Page or follow along with the consistent stream of tweets from the show floor (@WellnessMats), the prestigious Cooking Theater showcases the culinary world’s top talent during exclusive cooking demonstrations for three days.  Such demos include the likes of Curtis Stone, Ming Tsai, Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes) and legendary Paula Deen to name only a few! For those who were following along at home, thanks for all of your support and positive feedback. Those of us “in the field” were trying desperately to keep you up to the moment with behind-the-scenes pics, an insider look backstage in the Green Room (where the talent waits to go on stage…), the insider look at some of the world’s most celebrated chefs completing their prep, action shots and tweets, and constant updates on who was happening all the time! We got great, positive feedback from all of you and we’re so glad you enjoyed all the updates!

Pre-Show Celebrity Love…

Before the show even began, we ran into the newly famous Sarah Grueneberg (Season 9 Finalist on Top Chef, runner up to Paul Qui…) who is a Texas native, but lives and works in Chicago as the ‘top chef’ for the well-established and critically acclaimed Top Chef Master finalist Tony Montuano and critically-acclaimed owner of Spiaggia Restaurant! Also found peeking around the corner was one of our favorite up-and-coming Italian chefs, Top Chef finalist, cookbook writer and all-around great guy, Fabio Viviani! Without solicitation, EACH OF THEM went on and on about how much they “loved the mats!” In addition, Michael Symon stopped by looking to pick up mats for his restaurant in Detroit, the much-celebratedRoast in the Cadillac Casino – also raving about the performance attributes of our anti-fatigue mats. Thanks, Mike – we feel exactly the same about your cooking!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we will continue to post fun pictures, videos and more!

Happy spring!

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