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Food Expo Returns to Fresno with a ‘Pressure Cooker’



A look at the California Food Expo floor at the Fresno Convention Center on Sept. 10, 2019. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Valley food entrepreneurs take ease. Just because the contest is called “Pressure Cooker” doesn’t mean you will be competing against Col. Sanders.

The Pressure Cooker Competition is the showcase event of the Made Central California food expo. Just like in “Shark Tank,” finalists will present their products to a panel of experts and a live audience.

The event will be televised locally by KSEE-24. The winner receives $10,000, with second- and third-place cash awards, as well.

Made Central California picks up where the California Food Expo (and Fresno Food Expo) left off. The last trade show event was in 2019.

“Like most industries right now, the food industry is being challenged to be more sustainable, to reduce and/or eliminate waste, and to integrate smarter technologies into everyday practices,” said Richard Caglia, president and CEO of the competition’s sponsor, Caglia Environmental.

Submission Deadline Next Month

Competitors can submit products for the New Product Showcase (deadline Aug. 19, registration here) or the Pressure Cooker event (deadline Aug. 12, registration here).

“Audiences will be able to follow the top five to six finalists in the days and weeks leading up to the event and will hear their stories and learn about their journey in the food industry,” the event says.

Organizers say entries can include food products or food technology.

Return of the Food Event

The two-day event, Aug. 31-Sept. 1, is similar to the prior Fresno Food Expo and California Food Expo. The first day will be geared toward industry professionals seeking to network with each other.

Day 2 features the trade show during the day, and public exhibits starting at 5 p.m. The events include Taste Central California, Foodie Favorite Awards, and the restaurant competition.

The original Fresno Food Expo started in 2011 and expanded in 2018 as the California Food Expo. The organization dissolved after the 2019 event, before the start of the pandemic, citing economic hardships.

Made Central California is organized by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce.

Schedule for Made Central California. (Fresno Chamber of Commerce)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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