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2011 Metropolitan Cooking And Entertainment Show (PHOTOS)

Olive Oil

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 11/07/11 01:53 PM ET Updated: 11/07/11 03:23 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Can a person ever own too many bottles of olive oil? Not according to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, a popular trade expo that set up camp in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center over the weekend.

The show, run by Annandale residents Bill and Denise Medved, this year lured more than 300 exhibitors, many wearing brightly colored, corporate-looking polo shirts, electronic headsets and plenty of smiles. They and myriad free samples attracted countless droves of would-be foodies, all toting complimentary green bags quickly filled with swag: A gazillion types of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, jam, and spice mixes -- a virtual cornucopia of wholesale condiments.

But where was the actual food? Aside from cooking demonstrations led by celebrity headliners like Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis and Guy Fieri, there was little to be found.

Maybe that's not a problem for most people? The D.C. event, which was first held in 2006, is wildly successful. It's one of three similar shows run by the Medveds (the others are in Houston and Atlanta) that altogether gross $3.2 million and produce a net profit in the $300,000 range according to The Washington Post.

At any rate, we spent a good portion of our weekend wandering the show's aisles. See what we found in the below gallery.

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Paula Deen, one of the event's several celebrity speakers, was exactly like we'd imagined her: The culinary equivalent of Jeff Foxworthy.

RELATED VIDEO: Scenes From The 2010 Metropolitan Cooking And Entertainment Show

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