Food Trends from Around the Country Come to Winterfest 2018

some say it'll help both restaurants and tourism in the metro

FARGO, N.D. — Some of the hottest new trends in the restaurant business were brought to Fargo at Winterfest 2018.

Some say it takes a little thing called magic to bring food from the farm to that plate at your favorite restaurant.

“To me that process is magical, that is works as well as it does. They don’t know all the scrambling that’s going on in the back of the kitchen to make that perfect plate come out and there’s a ton of steps and a ton of people responsible for that,” said Tracy Walvatne, with Reinhart Food Service.

It’s all because people don’t see everything behind the scenes and what it takes to get food from point A to point B.
But Winterfest 2018 allowed restaurateurs from around the Red River Valley to speak directly with food manufacturers about the changes they can make to their menus to make Fargo even more of a restaurant hub then it is now.

“We always have to be changing and evolving constantly, especially now when people are cooking more in their kitchens and are more in tune to what’s going on with the industry,” Walvatne said. “So if you’re not moving forward with your menus, sometimes you stagnate.”

More than 50 vendors from across the country including many from North Dakota and the Twin Cities showed up.

“We’re bringing those national trends right to the heart of Fargo immediately versus having to wait for it to trickle in,” Walvatne said.

“This is really nice. It kind of gives you a head start and a bunch of information that I would have had to go out and find myself. It’s all in one place so even if I don’t ever even own a bar or restaurant, I think it’s nice to have that information,” said Brennan Bonn, NDSU senior and hospitality student.

Some say it’s especially important to be exposing young minds to the industry because the number one issue with restaurants and hotels is staffing.

“That’s the future staffing of our industry. We are doing everything in our power to cultivate these people because with some success but it is very difficult right now. Staffing is the number one issue right now,” said Michael Pantaleo, with Reinhart Food Service.

NDSU students say their passion for the field has already gotten them more involved.
Now they just hope others get into hospitality because of its importance to Fargo-Moorhead.

“Travel and tourism is very important. People don’t think about it because we’re not as big as let’s say, Minneapolis, and we don’t have a really big dedicated convention center. But we do get a lot of traffic and that’s something that people need to be aware of,” Bonn said.

This is the third time Winterfest has come to Fargo, but it is the first time it was held at the Fargo Civic Center because it keeps growing every year.

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