I spent a week in Orlando at the beginning of February. Yes, much of that week was spent on a trade-show floor, but compared with wintering in Chicago, I wasn’t going to complain.

And there wasn’t much reason to complain! Between the parties and the booth visits, there wasn’t much time to think. Much of our team — editorial, sales and marketing — was at the NAFEM Show, and we went from booth to booth, waving to familiar faces and meeting new people by the hour.

Over and over, we met folks who are making things happen behind the scenes in the restaurant industry: The designer of the lights for a major taco chain’s new prototype. A bar designer and consultant who has strong feelings about how to best design a bar focused on craft cocktails. A manufacturer of Autodoner machines who quietly knows where to find the best gyros in any city (and I’ll never betray that confidence, so don’t ask). All of them had the passion for work and the spirit of hospitality that serve as the restaurant industry’s overarching hallmark.

And if you’re looking for valuable intel, check out Designers Dish!, our annual feature that clues you in on the hottest trends as well as what’s driving restaurant design right now. It’s essential reading.

Also essential is this month’s other feature, 10 Kitchen Design Best Practices. Contributing Editor Donna Boss details the essential ingredients to understanding the fundamentals of kitchen design. If you’re looking for even more information on that topic, be sure to save the date for our free webcast, Kitchen Design Best Practices, on April 25, 2017, moderated by Joe Carbonara, editorial director of rd+d and its sister publication, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies. See rddmag.com/webcasts for more information.

Design is very much on my mind as I wrap this issue and gear up to head to the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York in March. I hope to visit some of the great restaurants we’ve featured recently, scope out a couple of prospects for future issues and meet as many folks in this community as I can.

I hope to see you there,

Rebecca Kilbreath, Editor in Chief
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