Members’ News

February 2017

Premier Foods search for 2017 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year #

Premier Foods announced the launch of its 2017 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition.

Premier Foods is on the lookout for a school caterer to lead an enthusiastic team of young, innovative bakers to crown its new champions. The winning team will be rewarded with £1,000 worth of kitchen equipment for their school giving both staff and pupils something to celebrate.

Caterers should register their interest now to avoid missing out on this exciting opportunity by simply visiting the Premier Foods foodservice website to submit their details and register by Friday 17 March. The teams will receive a McDougalls toolkit which includes product samples, an application form and recipe inspiration to get them started.

Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods comments: “After being blown away by the creativity we have seen over the last two years, we are extremely excited to be launching this competition. We are passionate about helping to inspire children to cook through the McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year and last year’s theme of using local ingredients was so popular, we are bringing it back. Spaldwick Community Primary School used eggs which were laid by local chickens, and strawberries grown nearby to make their winning profiteroles. They certainly set the bar high and we look forward to seeing what this year’s teams will be baking.”

To be in with a chance of winning, caterers must put together a team of up to three 7 to 11 year olds. Teams should create one savoury and one sweet recipe, which includes at least one local ingredient  and a McDougalls flour based mix product in each. The recipes will then be judged by an expert panel including representatives from LACA, the Craft Guild of Chefs and Premier Foods, at LACA – The Main Event, where the winners will be presented with a cheque of £1,000 towards kitchen equipment for their school.

Alison Leaver, higher level teaching assistant from last year’s winning school, Spaldwick Community Primary School, comments: “We were absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted for the final and to have won the competition was just the icing on the cake (or the chocolate on the profiteroles!) The experience was invaluable for the children and created real buzz at our school. The prize of £1,000 of kitchen equipment has benefitted the entire school and means we can offer more opportunities to get children interested and excited about cooking.”

If you are looking for a baking challenge for your school that teaches children new skills and encourages team work, then register your interest now at

Hoshizaki Gram UK unveils the latest Green Paper findings #

A lot can change in two years and with the speed at which the UK foodservice industry evolves it is not surprising that the market can often magnify the scale of these changes.

The fast casual sector has exploded, naturally fast food chain Leon increased its number of sites by 50 percent in the last 12 months expanding from 22 to 44 outlets. The introduction of Universal Infant Free School Meals as well as the EU FIC regulations on food labeling arrived in late 2014, while 2016 saw the launch of the EU Ecodesign Directive.

Employing 4.49million people, the foodservice industry is the UK’s fourth largest employer and is responsible for using 20,600million kWh of energy per year, resulting in a burgeoning carbon footprint impact and a big effect on the environment and our communities.

Back in 2008, Gram UK commissioned a unique piece of research – the first research of its kind – which analysed the industry’s attitudes towards sustainability. Eight years on the latest edition of the Gram Green Paper – still the only independent report in the market – examines whether industry attitudes towards sustainability are keeping pace with this fast moving sector or whether positive steps towards sustainability have stalled. The Gram Green Paper offers a comprehensive overview of the behaviours and approaches to sustainability and green practices of 800 respondents across eight foodservice sectors.

The 2016 edition of the Green Paper revealed 55 percent of respondents considered their business to be green. The paper also illustrates a shift in industry views as there now seems to be a greater understanding that managing effective energy use has the greatest impact on energy bills. Some of the eight channels, which includes: pubs, hotels, care homes, hospitals, restaurants. workplaces, schools and universities, show a decline in their willingness to become ‘greener’ down to just 68 percent, compared to 78 percent in 2014, perhaps this is because they perceive themselves to be doing everything they can to be green; alternatively the easier actions such as recycling may have already been implemented so the next steps such as monitoring energy use are harder to action and can have an initial set up cost.

Whilst care homes appear to be the channel that has made the biggest leap forward in terms to their attitudes towards sustainability, this is perhaps explained by the idea that they are late adopters and only now understanding the benefits of being sustainable.

Gram’s 2016 Green Paper was launched at Gram’s annual Go Green Summit alongside exciting talks by some if the industry’s biggest experts including Mark Linehan, Keith Warren from CESA, Mike Hanson from BaxterStorey, Richard Webber from Cambridge Direction, Stuart Wray from the HCA, Julie Barker from TUCO, Roger Denton from the NACC, Clephane Compton from Sustainable Consulting, Kirsty Barker from Leon and celebrity eco chef Tom Hunt. The launch also saw the premier of the animated Gram Green Paper video which
showcases the research highlights as well as topical industry information.

To download the full Gram Green Paper visit or view the Gram Green Paper highlights video on the Gram YouTube channel 

Casual Dining previews its 2017 exhibitors #

Casual Dining released its initial exhibitor list for 2017.  The UK’s multi-award winning trade event for casual dining restaurant and pub operators will now feature over 200 exhibiting companies when it returns to the Business Design Centre in London on 22-23 February.

The exhibitor list, now available online at, offers an exclusive first look at some of the companies – from big brand names to emerging start-ups – who will be helping to shape the future of the casual dining sector over the next twelve months.

Building on the success of Casual Dining 2016, which enjoyed a significant 22% increase in attendees, exhibition space has been selling at an unprecedented rate.  With just under three months until doors open, it’s now almost entirely sold out.  That’s even with the addition of a 20% increase in stands, to expand the show into a new area on its Upper Feature Level.

Confirmed exhibitors include Heinz, Lamb Western, Reynolds, Moy Park Foodservice, McCain Foodservice, DiSotto Foods, Nestle Professional, New York Bakery, Pan’Artisan, KFF, JJ Foodservice, Pipers Crisp Co, Whitby Seafoods, Tilda, Friesland Campina UK, Europastry, Venice Bakery, Pidy, Roberts Bakery, JDM Food Group, Lincoln & York, UCC Coffee UK, and Nestle Professional.

Rational, Nelson Catering Equipment, rexmartins, Unox UK, Advance Catering Equipment, Robot Coupe, Agricoat NatureSeal, London Workwear Rental, Comtrex, Collins Booking System, Text Local, Givex, Kavis, SAI Global, Memberoo, and Bookatable, will be presenting their latest equipment, technology and services.

As for beer, wine, ciders, spirits, cocktails, mixers, and soft drinks – Casual Dining 2017 offers visiting pub, bar, and restaurant buyers its biggest choice yet.

Morgenrot, Budweiser Budvar UK, Global Brands, World Beers and The Wine Ed Company are just some of the big name brands preparing to exhibit.

Staibano, East London Liquor Company, 10 Degrees C and Pinkster Gin will be making their debut in the show’s Artisan Spirits Lounge – joining returning exhibitors Sipsmith Independent Spirits and Harry Brompton's Alcoholic Ice Tea.

New craft beers and ciders can be sampled in the popular Craft Beer & Cider Pavilion, featuring Thistly Cross Cider, Wobblegate Juice & Cider, West Side Drinks, Celtic Marches Beverages, and Glebe Farm Foods.

While Nestle Waters UK, Britvic Soft Drinks, Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Fentimans, Cawston Press, Karma Cola, Pip Organic, Jools Drinks, Double Dutch and Free Spirit will be offering a taste of differentiation in the premium soft drinks category.

The full exhibitor list is available at

“Casual Dining is a fantastic blend of established suppliers bringing their new products to market alongside an abundance of innovations from a fine collection of start-up entrepreneurs,” says Rob Pitcher, divisional director restaurants at Mitchells and Butlers.

“Casual Dining is great for catching up with my key suppliers, all under one roof, coupled with some great newcomers with challenging ideas and innovation – what’s not to like!” says Mark Rush, head of food innovation at Revolution Bars Group.

“A visit to Casual Dining gives a unique opportunity to discover products and trends completely relevant to our sector.  It’s a great show!” says Alexander Salussolia, MD of Glendola Leisure Group.

Casual Dining will return to the Business Design Centre, in Islington, London, on 22-23 February 2017.  For more information and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit and use priority code CD30.

The countdown to IFE 2017 begins! #

The UK’s largest and most innovative food and drink event is bringing the world’s best produce to London. The International Food & Drink Event 2017 (IFE 2017) runs from 19 to 22 March at ExCeL London, and offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover a world of culinary innovation. Bursting with vibrant, new products from more than 1,350 global food & drink manufacturers and trend-led talks from industry experts, visiting buyers are certain to leave motivated, educated and inspired.

Products as diverse as date nectar, tree water, BBQ jams and even the latest botanical food trend - kola nuts - will make IFE 2017 the place to be for the latest menu inspiration and new shelf fillers. Buyers can satisfy their sweet tooth with a visit to BeLoVeD at stand N1626 to sample date nectar – a 100% date based healthier alternative to honey or syrup, which not only tastes great, but offers both enhanced fibre and potassium content.  For a thirst quenching experience head the Dalston stand -N2142- for a hand-mashed cola made from an infusion of citrus juices, spices and kola nuts – the fruit of the African kola tree.

Visiting IFE 2017 will ensure you stay one step ahead, as suppliers from across the globe showcase their latest food innovations. From Barracudos’ protein water (stand N2420), to gluten free innovations from US based company Acai Roots (stand N2423), there’s something for every taste.

Buyers looking to build on the ever-popular burger and BBQ trend should pay a visit to Ross & Ross to sample its new BBQ habanero & pineapple or sweet chilli & lime jams. Sure to give any gourmet burger a great tasting kick of flavour, Ross & Ross is just one exhibitor aiming to capitalise on the increasing consumer trend towards both menu personalisation and a wider range of side plate condiments.

For those interested in learning more about the wider trends impacting the industry, IFE’s ever-popular seminar and debate programme will be enhanced for 2017, with the introduction of several new speaker stages including the Talking Trends stage.  This will be filled with inspirational talks on the latest UK and international NPD and food trends. Complementing this will be The Big Picture theatre hosting IFE 2017’s keynote speakers, giving insight on a range of hard hitting industry issues such as Brexit, the sugar debate and millennial consumers.

Completing the line up is The Staff Canteen Live, The World Food Innovation Awards presented by FoodBev Media and two dedicated networking hubs ensuring that there really is something for everyone at the event.

Event director, Soraya Gadelrab commented: “With 100 days to go, we’re all getting very excited. We have a fantastic, ever-expanding, line-up of global food & drink suppliers making plans for their product launches. We are confident that our 2017 event will give both buyers and suppliers alike the chance to be inspired and take away new ideas and products for their businesses. We look forward to welcoming you through the doors of ExCeL on 19 March 2017”.

Register now via the IFE website for your free entrance badge and avoid paying the £25 on-the-door charge.

Sodexo partners with Adam Handling for London business #

Sodexo has appointed dynamic celebrity chef Adam Handling as a consultant to support the continued development of its Corporate Services business in London.

The critically-acclaimed chef, 27, will work with Sodexo Corporate Services to introduce the very latest modern British cuisine and fine dining into client sites in the capital, creating signature dishes and delivering master skills classes for Sodexo chefs.

Sodexo’s Corporate Services segment delivers integrated services to leading organisations around the world. In the UK & Ireland, the segment employs over 10,000 people working in a range of corporate environments including prestigious head office locations, research and design centres, manufacturing sites and laboratories.

Handling’s culinary journey started at Gleneagles where he was the first ever trainee chef. His astronomical career from there includes winning Scottish Young Chef of the Year 2011, Scottish Chef of the Year 2015 and Newcomer Restaurant of the Year in the Food and Travel Reader Awards 2015. Adam was also awarded the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year in 2014, and was the youngest person to be tipped by the Caterer magazine as one of the ’30 under 30 to watch’ in the 2013 Acorn Awards.

In September 2014, Adam opened ‘Adam Handling at Caxton' in Caxton Street SW1, and was subsequently awarded three rosettes from the AA. His first independent venture ‘The Frog, E1’ showcases young talent, from Adam and his team’s exceptional and innovative cooking to art work displayed by young artists to up-and-coming DJs on weekends.

Handling will be among the judges at next month’s Sodexo Chef of the Year final at The Hospitality Show in Birmingham before starting his role in February.

Marlies Hoogeboom, Sodexo Corporate Services client relationship director for banking and professional services, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Adam and excited to see what his expertise will bring our food offer in London. Adam will be supporting us with signature dishes, client entertainment and master skills classes for our highly-talented chefs, which will enhance our delivery of fine dining. In addition, we are looking to work with Adam to support his passion for local business and small- to medium-sized enterprise within the food industry.

“Adam’s unique style, creative approach and outstanding skill are exactly what the market demands and I really believe that we can work together to create something truly compelling for our clients and consumers.”

Adam Handling said: “I am delighted to be working with Sodexo, who share my belief in the importance of supporting local businesses and providing the highest quality ingredients and services. I am very much looking forward to working together and helping them to continue producing cutting edge, delicious food, and fantastic experiences for their clients.

“The vision behind my restaurant ‘The Frog, E1’ was to create a relaxed restaurant to enjoy superb food. I want the quality and creativity of my menu to speak for itself and I do this by combining the best possible produce with unusual cooking techniques. The foundations of the restaurant are rooted in supporting and nurturing other young and creative talent. From the food producers and chefs we work with, to exhibiting young artists work on the walls and the up-and-coming DJs who perform on the weekends and the young winemakers and craft breweries we work with – every aspect of The Frog is about supporting innovation and creativity and that’s something I hope to bring to my partnership with Sodexo in the menus and events we’ll be working together on to bring unique experiences to their clients.”

First class graduates from Sodexo IFM Academy #

Sodexo has seen the first five employees graduate from its British Institute of Facilities Management-accredited training programme.

The Sodexo IFM Academy achieved recognition from BIFM two years ago, and was seen as a step in Sodexo’s development as a recognised BIFM centre of excellence in integrated facilities management. More than half of Sodexo’s UK and Ireland activity is made up of IFM business.

The first five graduates, from Sodexo Corporate Services and Sodexo Healthcare, now have a BIFM level 4 qualification, giving them an insight into the FM marketplace and the skills and knowledge to manage and operate IFM contracts.

A further 80 employees are enrolled into the Sodexo IFM Academy, with more expected to graduate next year. 

Andrew Wilkinson, Sodexo Corporate Services marketing director, said: “As the FM industry becomes increasingly professionalised and the marketplace moves towards a delivery model of strategic partnerships, the Sodexo IFM Academy is central to providing both meaningful development to employees and a platform to compete.

“We’re incredibly proud of our first graduates from the Sodexo IFM Academy, who have worked hard to earn a BIFM level 4 qualification. By training our employees to such a high standard we look to benefit clients by bringing them a solid understanding of an industry that is constantly evolving and responding to trends in technology and practice.”

Linda Hausmanis, acting CEO of BIFM, said: “The Sodexo IFM Academy demonstrates a true partnership between BIFM and industry. We have worked closely with Sodexo’s learning and development team to put in place the framework and process that will train and develop their teams towards the achievement of an internationally recognised professional qualification aligned  to the FM Professional Standards. It evidences the value that employers place on upskilling staff with BIFM accredited qualifications and the FM professional standards that underpin them.

“I extend my congratulations to the individuals from this first cohort of graduates, and look forwarding to recognising the achievements of many more individuals currently enrolled in BIFM accredited programmes through the IFM Academy over the coming months and years ahead.” 

Eat happy, eat healthy, 'Eatwell' in 2017 #

Protein Power, Vegetable Spaghetti or Avocado!  Food trends come and go but regardless of the trend, Huhtamaki have it covered with the ‘Eatwell’ range of food and drink containers.  Available in an extensive range of sizes, the ‘Eatwell’ range is perfect for food and drink on the go at any time of the day or night.

Whilst New Year’s Resolutions may fade, eating food on-the-go is a trend that is here to stay, with 73% of consumers buying every week*.  This trend has created more diversity in food offering on the high street and more innovative ways of delivering choice to consumers, for example, allowing them to build their own food pots. This concept of customisation or personalisation allows consumers to build a meal with exactly the food they want and can be tailored for any meal.  For breakfast on-the-go, offer porridge with different toppings such as fruit, nuts or honey.  At lunch time, rice or pasta can be customised with different vegetables, meat or tofu and a choice of sauce.  The ‘Eatwell’ range is well placed to help food operators capitalise on the current trends and cater to lifestyle conscious consumers.  The simplicity of grabbing a container of their choice (small or larger) and filling it with hot or cold food, putting on a lid to protect the contents from spillage and food to go with ‘Eatwell’ is a one stop shop for food operators looking to present their food in a quality, bright and good looking container.

Made in the UK at Huhtamaki’s Gosport factory, the ‘Eatwell’ range is available in plain white and the colourful ‘Enjoy’ design.  It is suitable for hot and cold food, and is available in a choice of sizes.  The ‘Enjoy’ design gives a vibrant pop of colour to takeaway food sales and features the ‘smile’ logo, which is guaranteed to add cheer to your customer service!

The new food containers, like the rest of the ‘Eatwell’ range, are recyclable and fully compliant with the EU Timber Regulation No. 995/2010.  The ‘Eatwell’ range is also made with 100% PEFC certified paperboard, so you can rest assured that you are buying with confidence from the industry’s leading supplier of disposable paper products to the UK high street!

*Huhtamaki commissioned independent consumer research into food to go consumption within the UK.  According to the research, almost three quarters of consumers (73%) buy food to go at least once a week.  

Catermasters and Host announce over £27m of new and retained business for 2016 #

Catermasters and Host, CH&Co Group’s businesses specialising in business & industry workplace catering and healthcare, close 2016 in a strong position of growth, having secured more than £27m in new and retained business.

The new deals equated to £12.5m in turnover over the duration of the contracts.  And, almost £15m is attributed to re-tender success and the retention of existing clients, as well as organic growth through the expansion of contracts to include additional client sites. 

The diverse range of new and retained clients includes, amongst others, Barbon Insurance Group, XPO Logistics, and one of the largest employers in Corby.

Across the portfolio, Catermasters and Host will deliver quality, innovative catering concepts and solutions, supported by impeccable service, for the restaurants, delis and coffee bars it operates, and create the engaging and memorable food experiences they are known and respected for.

Tony Carr, managing director for Catermasters and Host, comments: “2016 has been a great year. We’re thrilled to have added new clients to our portfolio and to have retained and developed existing contracts. The fact that clients are keen to work with us and expand our partnerships is testament to our chefs’ culinary skills, the great client relationships our teams enjoy, and to the focussed service delivered daily.

“The feedback we’ve received has been fantastic.  Clients, old and new, are impressed by our creativity and innovative concepts, the enthusiasm of the teams, and our ability to challenge the norm. A common theme is that we successfully understand our clients’ requirements and cultures and that’s vital in helping us deliver services that reflect their own values and vision, and the demographic and needs of their employees and customers. We look forward to building on these successes into 2017.”

Brexit, BIM, Bouncebackability… and talking to the potwasher #

The CESA Conference 2016, in association with Cedabond, ENSE, and the FCSI UK & Ireland

A pre-Conference straw poll told Evan Davis that delegates were ‘overwhelmingly optimistic’ about the economic future, despite Brexit and Trump.  “Let’s see if we can beat that out of you,” he said.  For him, the big post-referendum economic story was the slump in investment for growth – but what’s happening now may be bigger than Brexit: we may be seeing the end of globalization.  Meanwhile, the prospect of trade tariffs means we will have to get more competitive.  However, as London suffers, with its financial role moving to Europe, the economy may be rebalanced as Northern manufacturers flourish thanks to the weaker value of Sterling. 

Former Conservative MEP and political advisor Malcom Harbour exhorted CESA and the whole foodservice industry to talk to government.  If business is more forceful with its requirements for immigration, it will make it easier for Theresa May to cut a deal with Europe, even if it means upsetting the Brexiteers.  For Oliver Bretz of Euclid Law, it’s not if we will trigger Article 50, it’s when, “But we can’t have a discussion until government tells us the alternatives.” 

What end users say are their biggest problems, and what suppliers THINK are end users’ biggest problems, are quite different.  “We need to be a hell of a lot better at listening to end users,” said Doug Fryett, consultant, presenting the ‘Mind The Gap Too’ research. 

The ‘Sticking to the Specification’ panel agreed it’s not just about knowing what questions to ask operators, but also who to ask.  The customer’s financial controller, specifier and equipment operator may each have different problems.  “How many suppliers talk to the potwasher?” Andy Jones, former chair of the Hospital Caterers Association, wondered. 

Technology is having a powerful impact on caterers – including BIM, which is gathering pace and is reducing the cost of builds, as well as helping manage buildings, both during and after construction. 

After presentations on the new CESABIM and EFECMBIM databases, and the new CESA website, Matt Dawson’s entertaining keynote address gave real insight into teamwork.  The conference curtain was brought down as Johnny Wilkinson’s drop goal won the 2003 World Cup once again.

Awards and Announcements:
- Mick Shaddock, recently retired managing director of Victor Manufacturing and a former CESA chair, received the Outstanding Contribution to the Catering Industry Award.
-Glenn Roberts CFSP took over as CESA chair from Simon Frost CFSP.
- Winterhalter’s UC Excellence iPlus undercounter warewasher won the FCSI Sustainable Catering Equipment Award, judges calling it ‘a compact, integrated solution providing a direct water saving.’  Hubbard Systems was highly commended for the Scotsman Prodigy nugget ice machine, as was Foster Refrigerator for the +Stayclear condenser.

Sodexo enters private student accommodation sector #

Student Living by Sodexo has announced its appointment by Kier, the leading property and construction group, to oversee the booking and management of Oxford House, Keir’s first direct let property in Newcastle.

This is Student Living by Sodexo’s first project with Kier in the private student accommodation sector where Student Living will be responsible for marketing, booking and rent collection as well as student services, facilities management and waste management. 

To coincide with the launch of Oxford House and to showcase other university properties in the Sodexo portfolio, a new website has been developed which will allow students to research and book properties online.

Steve Hawkins European director for Student Living by Sodexo said; “Our partnership with Kier is an exciting new phase for the Student Living brand. We will continue to look at opportunities to work with developers and investors to increase our presence in the private student letting market in both the UK and Europe”  

Tom Gilman, managing director of Kier Property North added; “Sodexo’s reputation and experience in managing both integrated facilities and student services was a key factor in our decision making process.” “This is our third student accommodation project, having completed schemes in Salford and Glasgow.  We see Newcastle, and in particular this site, as a key location for our student accommodation portfolio to successfully grow and offer the students of today the opportunity to live in a modern, affordable and exciting environment. This development further increases Kier’s property exposure and investment in Newcastle and the north-east.”

Located in the heart of Newcastle, and within walking distance of Newcastle and Northumbria universities, Oxford House will be completed in time for the September 2017 intake of students. The accommodation comprises of three buildings incorporating a mix of studios and cluster flats with shared social and kitchen space. In addition, the development will provide a vibrant communal hub consisting of a dedicated study area, movie room, social space, games area, bike storage and courtyard.

Student Living by Sodexo was first launched in the UK at the end of 2013 to bring together the extensive portfolio of student living services that Sodexo offers to support investors and developers entering the private student accommodation sector. These services include marketing, booking, lettings and finance management as well as student services such as pastoral care, through to facilities management, waste management, catering and retail services.

Over the last three years, Student Living by Sodexo has steadily built its portfolio of the number of student beds it manages in the UK to almost 10,000, with the ambition to grow this to 20,000 beds by 2020 across the UK and Europe. 

Hoshizaki announces UK director #

Hoshizaki UK appoints Steve Loughton as UK director.

As Hoshizaki and Gram UK will operate under the integrated Hoshizaki business name from the 1st January, Steve is set to take the reins of the combined organisation from exiting MD Glenn Roberts.

After nearly four years as managing director at Jestic Foodservice Equipment, Hoshizaki UK is delighted to welcome Steve to head up its UK head office. Bringing more than 40 years of foodservice sales and distributor experience to the team, the company will benefit from Steve’s industry background, bringing a fresh approach to the innovative and evolving Hoshizaki UK business.

With a proven record of driving profit growth, Steve has extensive knowledge of the EMEA and North American markets, and is ready to embrace the challenge of growing Hoshizaki’s presence both in the UK and Europe. 

Steve Loughton commented, “I am thrilled to be joining Hoshizaki UK. I’m fortunate to be entering the business at a time of exciting change and ambitious growth as Hoshizaki UK and Gram UK come together under the operating corporate umbrella of Hoshizaki UK. Change is dynamic for the whole team, and I am ready to lead the business and drive it forward, sharing our exceptional category knowledge with customers.

Glenn Roberts has adeptly created a very successful business in the UK, driving both an unrivalled reputation for quality innovations and customer service, as well as ensuring Gram is regarded as leading the way in energy efficiency within the professional refrigeration category. He leaves the business in a strong position and one, which I intend to further nurture along with the core values Glenn has set”. 

Gram’s commercial director Paul Anderson will also take up a new role in January as Hoshizaki UK’s director of sales. Having worked with Gram for more than six years, Hoshizaki UK is looking forward to maximising Paul’s unrivalled knowledge as a key member of the senior team. In this new role Paul will continue to build the business’ distributor relationships and will head up the sales team as it continues to achieve business growth.

Paul Anderson commented, “The latter part of 2016 has seen a lot of change within the Hoshizaki and Gram teams in preparation for the integration of the brands from the beginning of January. I look forward to working closely with Steve as the business expands and we continue to build our reputation for bringing truly innovative products to market. It’s a genuinely positive move for the business and a great time to be part of an evolving journey. I would also like to wish Glenn all the best in his new role”.

Glenn Roberts, stepped down as MD in December after 14 years with the business. A popular and well-regarded figure across the foodservice industry, Glenn has also stepped up to CESA chair from vice chair in November, before taking up his position as Professional Sales Director at BRITA UK in the new year.

Glenn Roberts commented, “It was a difficult decision to leave Hoshizaki Gram, but I am excited for the new challenge. The last 14 years have seen some remarkable changes and impressive technological advances, many of which I am proud to say have been industry ‘firsts’ from Gram. I am privileged to have been able to work with the whole team, and witness the success and restructuring of the sales and marketing functions under the single Hoshizaki UK business unit. It is an exciting time for the refrigeration category as manufacturers strive towards a more sustainable future for the whole industry. I am confident that Hoshizaki UK will continue to be pioneers and I would like to wish the whole team – including Steve Loughton – the very best for the future.”  

Fresh Montgomery and Montgomery Asia launch new on-trade event in Singapore #

Fresh Montgomery, the international food and drink event specialists, and its sister company, Montgomery Asia, are launching a new trade event aimed at the hospitality sector in Southeast Asia. Restaurant, Pub & Bar Asia (RPB Asia) will take place at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre from 18-20 July 2017.

Speaking about the launch, Christopher McCuin, Montgomery’s group business development director, commented: “In recent years the on-trade sector has enjoyed significant growth throughout the entire region, with Singapore in particular catching the eye when it comes to fine dining experiences and award-winning bars.”

Singapore currently boasts four of the top ten bars across all of Asia, but the Southeast Asian region as a whole is fast gaining a reputation for excellence, design and creativity. McCuin continued: “Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore all feature in Asia’s top 50 restaurants this year, and the pub and bar sector is also gaining strength, especially with the rising interest in artisan spirits and craft beer.  The time is right to bring the entire trade community together for an event where owners, managers, sommeliers, baristas, mixologists, chefs and their staff can explore the very best that a dedicated live event can offer.”

For its first outing in July 2017, RPB Asia will run alongside Montgomery Asia’s Speciality & Fine Food Asia event which presents the very best in premium and artisan, fine food products to the trade. Organising the two events side by side at Suntec will bring an even greater relevance for visitors who will be able to explore both trade shows at the same time.

Montgomery Asia are already in discussion with a number of top trade associations throughout the region and expect to announce partnerships over the coming weeks.

North West Young Chef 2017 launches with revised format to inspire even tougher competition #

The North West Young Chef competition, Essential Cuisine’s search for the region’s finest young cooks, has undergone a radical format change, brought about by the surge in gifted chefs from the area and the growing recognition of the region’s importance to the talent pipeline.    

Entries are now open to the contest, now in its fifteenth year, which invites young chefs from across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria and Shropshire, to compete for the coveted title.

Chefs can enter by following this link:

In previous years each region had its own local cook-off from which a single representative was chosen to compete in a grand finale. The format will now comprise just two semi-finals, held at Warrington College (Wednesday 5 April) and Kendal College (Tuesday 11 April), respectively, with chefs from multiple regions squaring off in dual high pressure cook-offs.   

Two talented chefs – one winner and one runner-up – from each semi will be sent through on merit, with judges choosing two further wildcard picks to compete in a six person final, held at Manchester College in May 2017.

Alongside the title and £500 prize money, the win also brings with it an automatic seed into the semi-finals of The Craft Guild of Chef’s Young National Chef of the Year competition.

This year, three (two previous and one current) North West Young Chef winners cooked their way into the Young National Chef of the Year Competition, making up almost two thirds of the field and demonstrating the weight of talent in the region.

Essential Cuisine senior business development chef and NWYC judge, Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, comments: “The changes will add a new, even more vibrant dimension to an already tough competition, and reflects of the breadth of talent we have been lucky to have experienced in the past few years. Such is the spread of skill coming through, we wanted to bring everyone together to compete in two showcase semi-finals, rather than separating them into local heats. This has two important outcomes: firstly we get to see more talented chefs square off in one place at one time – while the competitors have more opportunities to benchmark themselves and their skills.  Secondly, the heightened spectacle will give these young chefs an even better idea of what it’s like to exist in the bright spotlight of competitive cooking – the rewards, the nerves, the new surroundings and the spectacular food.”

Essential Cuisine’s North West Young Chef competition calls on chefs, aged 23 or under, to produce a restaurant quality, three-course meal for two with an emphasis on the very best of local and seasonal produce.

Premier Foods joins pioneering Food for Life Supplier Scheme #

Premier Foods is pleased to announce that it has joined the Soil Association’s prestigious Food for Life Supplier Scheme. This means caterers awarded The Food for Life Catering Mark, or looking to achieve the Mark, can purchase some of the UK’s biggest brand names, including McDougalls, Paxo and Ambrosia, with the knowledge and reassurance that they meet Food for Life Catering Mark entry level criteria.

Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods commented: “We’re always looking at ways we can best meet the needs of our customers. With more steps being taken by foodservice operators towards achieving a sustainable supply chain, and increasing demand from caterers for socially responsible suppliers, we’re proud that we can offer a number of products within our foodservice portfolio to help meet this need and add real value for customers.”

The Catering Mark demonstrates best practise in the industry. Caterers with the bronze Mark have been recognised for serving fresh food that meets nutritional guidelines and helps make healthy eating easier. At bronze award level, the Catering Mark addresses many key concerns and provides assurance to consumers that meals are traceable, healthy, made from fresh ingredients and are free from trans fats and undesirable additives. Caterers who choose to source more certified, higher welfare or sustainable products, or local and seasonal products, can achieve additional points, helping them progress to Silver and Gold award levels.

Premier Foods encourages wholesalers to get baking for charity #

Following the past two years’ success with its McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition in primary schools, Premier Foods is delighted to announce that it is extending the excitement of the competition with the launch of the first ever McDougalls Wholesaler Baking Team of the Year competition. Backed by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) and the Craft Guild of Chefs, this competition is a chance for Foodservice wholesale and Cash and Carry teams to showcase their baking talents whilst giving back to charitable causes.

Open to the entire wholesale industry now, Premier Foods is on the lookout for an enthusiastic and competitive team to crown its first wholesaler champion. Those who register will receive a McDougalls toolkit which includes recipe inspiration to get them started.

The first round of judging will be paper based. Teams, consisting of no more than three amateur bakers and one qualified chef, will then be shortlisted to a final group of three teams who will compete in an exciting live final at St Albans on 27 June. The winning team will be rewarded with a £500 donation to a charity of their choice. Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods comments: “The talent that the school teams have shown us over the past few years has been outstanding and we are thrilled to be extending our McDougalls competition to the wholesale and cash and carry channel, all with the aim of raising money for charity.

“We are excited to see what wholesaler teams will bring to the table in terms of creativity and professionalism, and are looking forward to seeing teams embracing their competitive spirit. This competition is open to all levels so this is your chance to discover those hidden talents within your teams, from marketing and telesales teams to warehouse operatives. We would encourage everyone to get involved and show the industry what you are made of!” concludes Robb.

To be in with a chance of winning £500 for their charity, wholesalers must recruit a team of up to four people, including a maximum of one chef. Teams should create one savoury and one sweet recipe, which includes at least one local ingredient  and a McDougalls Flour Based Mix product in each. Wholesalers can register their interest via the Premier Foods foodservice website, and are able to enter as many teams as they like .

The recipes will then be judged by an expert panel including Andrew Green, representing Craft Guild of Chefs; James Bielby from the FWD; and Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods, before three successful teams are picked to compete in the live final at St Albans on 27 June. This is an opportunity for wholesalers to showcase their skills to the industry in front of an elite judging panel.

If you are looking for a baking challenge with a twist to engage your employees then register your interest now at

Chartwells scores top marks with Brunel University London #

Chartwells, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s specialist provider of catering to the education sector, has been awarded the biggest single site foodservice contract that has come to the higher education market in recent years, following a competitive tender process.

Valued at £60m, Chartwells will deliver an innovative and ambitious food offer that will enhance the student experience at Brunel University London. In a further commitment, Chartwells is investing £2m over the life of the contract that will transform the student experience, including the creation of a central student hub and cinema zone.

The seven year contract, will see Chartwells run all the foodservice operations on the campus including; restaurants, cafes, Students’ Union, hospitality and conferencing, as well as working with various brand partners.

In total, Chartwells will run 16 outlets which will provide food and drink for the 14,000 students and staff who work, study and live at the site. A 150 strong Chartwells team will oversee operations from May 2017 onwards.

Understanding the significance of the University’s heritage, named after the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Chartwells will introduce a series of bespoke brands such as BRU (coffee offer) and 1966 (the year the University was founded).

John Carlin, managing director, Higher Education & Further Education, Chartwells explains; “Winning the biggest single site foodservices contract our sector has seen in years is a fantastic achievement for us and one that reflects our innovative approach and commitment to exceeding the expectations of our clients. Brunel University London has a wonderful history which we wanted to pay tribute to, so we have come up with a number of ideas to bring it alive through our foodservice offer.

“We are looking forward to working with the University on a shared ambition to transform the campus and create something really special.”

Ali Milani, president of the Union of Brunel Students commented; “I am incredibly excited about the opportunities that Chartwells can provide to our students on campus. The variety and value of food offers is an integral part of student life and their experience. We look forward to working in close partnership with Chartwells and Brunel University London to provide the very best service to our members.”

Tracy Strachan, director of commercial services at Brunel University London added; “We appointed Chartwells as they demonstrated outstanding creativity and innovation and the understanding of the partnership in their offer, as well as an understanding of our student population and campus. We believe that having an excellent and varied food offer is essential to ensuring we are delivering a great campus experience and will complement our ambitious development plans for the University and its community.”  

Lusso secures £3m contract with AECOM #

Lusso, the specialist City caterer and part of CH&Co Group, has added the US-based multinational engineering firm, AECOM, to its client portfolio, continuing its successful period of growth.

The new three-year contract, worth approximately £3million in turnover, will see Lusso provide quality catering, hospitality and concierge services for 1,200 AECOM employees at its new London head office in Aldgate Tower.

Lusso will bring its expertise, Food Philosophy – the ethos that focuses on seasonality, sustainability, provenance and partnering with small local suppliers, and quality food and service offer to a variety of areas, including concierge, staff café, tea point consumables, and refreshments for an extensive hospitality and events service.

Following an in-depth tender process, Lusso beat stiff competition to secure the contract.  The team stood out for its innovative catering and service proficiency and solutions, and for clearly demonstrating that it understood AECOM culturally. AECOM was also impressed by Lusso’s strength in concierge services, and by the site visits that showcased the company’s approach in action.

Paul Hurren, managing director for Lusso, said: “AECOM is a fantastic addition to the Lusso portfolio and I congratulate the team on an exemplary tender process. As well as presenting a quality proposition of delicious, sustainable food and excellent service that understood and matched AECOM’s requirements, we showed that we understood them on a cultural level too. This combination is a great foundation for building a strong client relationship.

“It’s been an incredible year of growth for Lusso but delivering the very best for our clients remains at the heart of what we do.  We look forward to forging an exciting, progressive partnership with AECOM, and to bringing quality, innovative solutions to its employees.”

Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2017 announces finalists #

Brands including Pho, Las Iguanas, wagamama, ASK Italian, Burger & Lobster, Carluccio's, GBK, MEATliquor, Nando’s, Pizza Express, Revolution, Giggling Squid, and La Tasca, have made the shortlists for this year’s Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards.

They’re among 67 casual dining pub and restaurant operators nominated for awards across 14 categories, which cover everything from new concepts, menu innovation and employee engagement to marketing and design, as well as recognising the outstanding brands of the year.  Due to popular demand and a long waiting list of attendees and sponsors in 2016, these important awards are now moving to a new, bigger venue – Marriot London Grosvenor Square – on the evening of 22 February 2017, following the first day of next month’s Casual Dining show.

Casual Dining’s group event director, Chris Brazier, says: “The casual dining market is thriving, thanks in large part to the fantastic innovations and dedication of operators and the incredible dining experience they offer.  The Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards is a fantastic way to celebrate their achievements and reward those companies who are making a real difference to the growth of this sector.  The calibre of entries has been incredible, congratulations and good luck to all our shortlisted finalists.”

Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2017 finalists include:

Trailblazer of the Year
The winner is decided upon by the judging panel and announced on the night.

New Casual Dining Concept of the Year 
Blackberry Grove, Liverpool
• Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse, Westfield Stratford City
• Oliver Maki, London
• Trade Union, London

Casual Dining Community Award
• The Breakfast Club
• Las Iguanas
• Pasta Remoli

Casual Dining Marketing Campaign
• The Alchemist – The Alchemist that stole Christmas
• Brasserie Blanc – Food for Thought 2016
• Cabana - #RoadtoRio
• Koh Thai Tapas – 2016 Marketing Campaign
• Las Iguanas – Summer 2016 Championsheeps Family Dining Campaign
• Marston's – Tastes of the World
• Pho – Snapchat campaign
• Thaikhun – Kids Campaign

Best Designed Independent Casual Dining Restaurant
• Absurd Bird, Spitalfields, (designed by DesignLSM)
• Casita Andina, London (designed by Martin Morales & Cantor Masters)
• Chit Chaat Chai, London (designed by Avocado Sweets Design Studio)
• Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden (designed by DesignLSM)
• inamo, London, (designed by Philip Watts Design)
• MillWorks, Cambridge (designed by Loci Interiors)
• Mustard, Brook Green, London (designed by DesignLSM)
• The Vincent Café & Cocktail Bar, Liverpool (designed by DesignLSM)

Best Designed Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant
• ASK Italian, Gloucester Road, London (designed by Gundry & Ducker)
• Brasserie Blanc, Southbank, London (designed by Blacksheep Design Studio)
• Burger & Lobster, W Hotel, Leicester Square (designed by DesignLSM)
• Carluccio's, Spital Square, London (designed by Fusion by Design)
• Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Bolton (designed by Moreno: Masey Architects & Interiors)
• MEATliquor, Boxpark, Croydon (designed by Shed)
• Nandos, Loughborough (designed by Moreno: Masey Architects & Interiors)
• Pizza Express, Glossop (designed by Quadrant Design)
• Red’s True Barbecue, Newcastle (designed by DesignLSM)
• Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery, Coventry (designed by Mitchells & Butler)
• Thaikhun, Guildford (designed by JMDA Design)

Best Designed Casual Dining Pub or Bar
• The Arbor House, Ipswich (designed in-house)
• The Club House, Liverpool (designed by Paul Danson Imagineering)
• Galvin HOP, Spitalfields (designed by DesignLSM)
• The Iron Duke, Wellington Somerset, (designed by KD Paine & Associates)
• The Rose & Crown, Orpington (designed by Whiting & Hammond)
• The Sheep on Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold (designed by Brakspear)

Independent Casual Dining Pub of the Year
• The Arbor House, Ipswich
• The Augustus John, Fordingbridge
• Cartwheel Inn, Whitsbury
• Hatton Arms, Hatton
• The Malt House, London

Independent Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year
• Artisan, Manchester
• inamo, London
• Jack & Alice, Gerrards Cross
• KuPP, London & Exeter
• Lupita Central, London
• Pasta Remoli, London
• Pizza Pilgrims, London
• Rub Smokehouse & Bars, various locations
• Serrano & Manchego, Edinburgh
• Whyte & Brown, London

Small Casual Dining Employer of the Year
• Jack & Alice
• Pasta Remoli
• Whyte & Brown

Large Casual Dining Employer of the Year
• Dishoom
• MEATliquor
• The New World Trading Company
• Peach Pub Company
• Pizza Pilgrims
• Revolution Bars Group

Menu Innovation Award
• ASK Italian
• Casita Andina
• Cosy Club
• KuPP
• La Tasca
• Las Iguanas
• Marston's
• The Nicholas Culpeper Pub & Dining (TRG)
• Oliver Maki, London
• Pasta Remoli

Multiple Casual Dining Pub Brand of the Year
• The Botanist (New World Trading)
• Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars
• The Draft House
• ETM Group
• Harvester
• Marston's
• Revolution Bars Group
• Seafood Pub Company
• White Brasserie Company (Brasserie Bar Co)
• Whiting & Hammond

Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year
• ASK Italian
• Brasserie Blanc
• The Breakfast Club
• Cosy Club
• Gourmet Burger Kitchen
• Giggling Squid
• Koh Thai Tapas
• Nandos
• Pizza Express
• Wagamama

The impressive judging panel includes Karen Forrester, CEO of TGI Friday’s UK; Keith Bird, commercial director of GBK; Jane Holbrook, chief operating officer of wagamama; industry pioneer Ian Neill; Garry Duncan operations director of Nando’s UK & Ireland; Kate Nicholls, chief executive of The ALMR; Mark Fox, CEO of Bill’s; Scott Collins, co-founder & M.D of Meat Liquor;; Lizzie Barber, head of marketing at Cabana; Brian Whiting, owner of Whiting & Hammond Joycelyn Neve, managing director of Seafood Pub Co; Paul Charity, MD of Propel; Peter Martin, vice chairman of CGA Peach;; Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons; Mark McCulloch, founder and CEO of WE ARE Spectacular; Lorraine Wood, director of Arena; Tony Reynolds, managing director of Reynolds; David Worthington, chairman of Holmes & Marchant Design Group; Afroditi Krassa, founder of AfroditiKrassa; Tina Norden, project director at Conran and Partners; and Chris Brazier, group event director of Casual Dining.

Britain’s Best Brigades returns to crown a definitive sector champion #

Essential Cuisine’s search for the UK’s hardest working, hardest cooking chef teams returned in January, with a new format that will uncover and reward the best brigade from eight dedicated sectors.  

The Stock People are calling on kitchens across the UK to proudly represent their place in the industry. With a much simplified entry process, the eight categories up for grabs are: Healthcare, Restaurants, Hotels, Business & Industry, Schools, Universities and Colleges, Event Caterers and Pubs.

All teams have to do is go to:, and leave a few details about the personalities, passion and plates of food that make their kitchen operations stand out. All paper entries will be judged by a highly respected panel of chefs with multi-sector experience.

Eight outstanding representatives – one per sector – will then be chosen to bring their entries to life in the form of a 60-second video. The final eight videos will then be put to a public vote to decide which team should be crowned Britain’s best.

Alongside the coveted title, a prize of £1000 cash towards a team knees-up plus a bespoke menu development masterclass with a leading UK chef are up for grabs. New for 2017, teams will be able to nominate a charity which will receive 50p for every vote registered.

The seven runners-up will each receive £300.

Nigel Crane, managing director for Essential Cuisine, said: “As chefs ourselves we understand that team work is integral for kitchens to thrive. Entering this competition is the chance for often unsung, always hardworking teams that live and breathe the job, to get the acclaim they deserve.

“The change in the format serves to reinforce this notion: that no matter the sector, every chef takes pride and great cooking can be found in every corner of this fantastic industry. Put simply, Best Brigades is for everyone. In 2017 we’re calling on kitchens across the sectors to sign up.”  

In 2016’s competition, the brigade at Hilton Manchester Deansgate walked away with the spoils after almost 1300 people took to the internet to have their say. The brigade were rewarded with the kudos, £1000 and a masterclass from celebrated chef, Aiden Byrne.

All the 2016 finalist videos and a video of the masterclass can be viewed on Essential Cuisine’s dedicated YouTube channel:

If you think your chef team is Britain’s best, enter now at 

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland launches new Grand Crü developed with Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland is launching its new seasonal Grand Crü specialty coffee for the out of home market. Grand Crü Composition No.2, developed in conjunction with Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn, launches in February 2017.

Ronan Sayburn and UCC Coffee head of coffee quality and Q grader Gayan Munaweera have personally overseen the delicate blending process, using their combined knowledge to create a unique composition and an extraordinary coffee. The coffees selected for Grand Crü are chosen for their unique character. Each coffee has achieved an industry recognised SCAA International Quality Score of 80+, which denotes true speciality status of the green coffee.

Ronan Sayburn explains: “Wine and coffee are very similar. Their flavour begins at source from the terroir, varietal, altitude and climate, as well as the way it’s cultivated and processed. Gayan and I share similar passion and skills when it comes to tasting and identifying flavours and it’s been great working together again on this new blend. Being involved with UCC Coffee has really opened my eyes to the importance of coffee choices on the menu and getting the recipe right. When you’re out for a meal, coffee is the last impression before you go home – get this right and customers will leave happy.”

Gayan Munaweera, head of coffee quality and Q-Grader, UCC Coffee says: “When crafting the blend we consider the individual attributes of each coffee and how these characteristics work to achieve a harmony of complementary texture, acidity and flavour. Composition No.2 is a blend of four components: Ethiopia Wenago, Ethiopian Konjo-Limu, Guatemala Hacienda Carmona and Sumatra Mandheling Tingkem with a complexity of flavour coming from its refined, premium taste. It’s truly a unique blend.”

Composition No.2 is the second blend developed by Ronan Sayburn with UCC Coffee having partnered in 2016.

Available from February 2017 in 10x500g packs.

Terry Waldron joins Board of CH&Co Group #

CH&Co Group has appointed Terry Waldron to its Board of Directors in the role of group relationships director. 

Her core responsibilities in this new role will include building key client relationships and leading the strategic direction of business development.

Waldron has joined from Barclays Group plc where she has worked for the past ten years, latterly as Global Facilities Director. She has a respected reputation for forging strong client relationships and driving standards and services to meet and exceed the needs of clients. She also has expertise in delivering complex FM deals through partnerships and maximising value for clients and users.

In addition, Waldron is committed to and known for engaging with employees to develop dynamic, talented and diverse teams.

Giving back to the community, Waldron works to improve employment opportunities for London talent as a Trustee of the East London Business Alliance (ELBA) – a charity that connects businesses and communities across the capital to create positive change and tackle the issues that determine social mobility.  She also chairs its Employment and Skills Board and is a Director of London Works. 

Bill Toner, chief executive of CH&Co Group, commented, “We’re absolutely delighted that Terry has joined the Group as we embark on the next phase of our growth and development.  With a really strong background in hotels, contract catering, sales and strategic facilities management, Terry has the perfect skillset to help us drive this business forward.   Her experience of our industry from both an operator’s and client’s perspective is very valuable to the Group and we’re looking forward to working with her on a number of exciting new projects.”

Commenting on her new role, Waldron added, “It’s been fascinating to watch the emergence and rapid growth of this new group of companies and it’s very exciting to now be playing a part in that.  I’m delighted to be working with a great team of enthusiastic professionals that are focused on quality food and service with the clients and customers at the heart of it all.  It’s a great time to be joining CH&Co Group and I look forward to continuing to deliver for our clients and developing this strong, service-driven business.”

Lord Deben highlights ‘remarkable opportunity for innovation’ for Foodservice Packaging Industry #

Speaking at the Foodservice Packaging Association’s annual Environment Seminar, The Rt Hon Lord Deben said that the industry has a remarkable opportunity for innovation but must take action to avoid government being tempted to make the wrong decisions.  He said that there is increased demand from the public for less packaging, more effective packaging, more recyclable and reusable packaging and these pressures will not ease anytime soon.

He added that governments are always looking for easy wins on topics that the public approves of and getting tough on litter and packaging are high on the agenda.  It is vital that the foodservice packaging sector recognises this and drives a common agenda and provides workable solutions to these problems - or government may be tempted to take action. He urged the industry to concentrate on what is perceived to matter in terms of public opinion, which is not necessarily what actually matters most to people in the industry.

Lord Deben advised delegates to make sure their arguments are clear and to use the structures of communication available to them, including briefing local MPs.  Building trust and gaining a reputation for integrity are essential components to success. 

Mike Childs, from Friends of the Earth, added to this argument. He recognised that the industry has made progress and is continuing to make progress but said that the momentum must be kept up in order to achieve real results in 2017.   Paul Rhodes, from Greggs, also stressed that the industry must press ahead to make real changes as fast as possible. 

Speakers from Costa, McDonald’s, the Co-op and Simply Cups outlined the progress they are making and the initiatives they have put in place to increase the recycling of paper cups. However delegates and speakers agreed that the issue is complex, especially in terms of cup collection once the consumer has left the retailer’s premises.  They also agreed the issues are not confined to paper cups and that the industry must address all types of packaging, the paper cup is merely an icon for the industry in this context.   Professor Rob Holdway told the meeting not to under-estimate the power of the passion consumers have when they are angry about something - like packaging.

During debate, chaired by Mark Pawsey MP, a number of delegates and speakers agreed that more communication is needed around the necessary nature of food packaging and the role of packaging in preserving and protecting food and preventing even greater food waste. 

Executive director of the Foodservice Packaging Association, Martin Kersh commented: “This was an excellent day of debate and information sharing and we are delighted to have had such high profile speakers address our seminar this year.  We are particularly delighted that Friends of the Earth, Eunomia and the ESA took the time to come and talk to us, creating valuable dialogue with organisations that don’t necessarily share our views.   More than 150 delegates enjoyed a day packed with information and insight that they can take away and act on. 2017 is set to be very exciting and challenging year for our industry.” 

CFSP awards at The Great Hospitality Show 2017 #

Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA, presented awards to the latest group of CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional) alumni during The Great Hospitality Show 2017. 

“There are now well over 400 CFSP-accredited foodservice executives in the UK,” he said.  “The programme is gathering momentum and is raising the professionalism of the industry – not only in this country, but also abroad.  CFSP-accreditation gives credibility as well as knowledge, to both the individual and their organisation.” 

The six CFSP alumni in the picture are, from left, Scott Williams of Hobart UK, Helen Eccles of Catering Partnership Ltd, Alan Tilley of Duke Manufacturing, Paul Gilmore of Mechline Developments, Lloyd Newman of LF Spare Parts, and Richard Brown of Glenn Dimplex Professional Appliances.  Glenn Roberts is on the far right. 

The next CFSP course will be on June 1st and 2nd in Luton. 

Wembley Stadium team take Best in Class during Essential Cuisine Teamwork Challenge #

The winning trio in Essential Cuisine’s Teamwork in the Kitchen challenge have been revealed after a tense cook-off held on Salon Culinaire’s Live Theatre at the Great Hospitality Show.

The team from Wembley Stadium overseen by contract caterers, Delaware North, chefs Jedd Tucker (31), Andrew D'Amery (25) and Ben Crocker (26), cooked their way to a silver medal and a ‘Best in Class’ commendation, collaborating on a sumptuous three-course menu with a dessert hailed by judges as ‘outstanding’. 

Putting seasonal British produce at the forefront of their cooking, and featuring at least one Essential Cuisine product in two of the three courses, the winning menu had a starter of Pan Seared Cornish Scallops, a main of Treacle Glazed Duck Breast and a dessert of Bitter Chocolate Fondant.

Essential Cuisine business development manager and Salon Culinaire judge, Gary Kilminster, said: “Congratulations to the team from Delaware North – we were absolutely blown away by their innovative food and the way in which they supported each other through the competition.  The standard from each team was fantastic which only serves to make their victory all the more remarkable. We loved seeing the many versatile ways in which chefs used our products and the competition was the perfect demonstration of just how integral teamwork is when the heat of service is on.” 

Compass launches Corporate Responsibility Report – outlining commitments for a sustainable future #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has released its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report, representing the programme of activity which will guide the company to a sustainable future and create a positive social impact. The Report maps out how Compass will harness change, responding to new consumer needs and in doing so create value for the business, its clients and its people. 

Divided into four pillars; sourcing, people, environment and health, the Report outlines key commitments and initiatives in these areas to achieve a clear set of goals.

Responsible sourcing is at the core of Compass Group’s activity and is fundamental to the success of the business. Under this pillar Compass has;
• Identified several categories including milk, fish, beef and sugar, as well as uniforms and paper, where responsible buying practices can make a significant positive impact.
• Committed to the use of 100% cage free eggs by 2025.
• Ensured all tea, coffee and hot chocolate is ethically sourced by the end of the decade.

With approximately 60,000 colleagues, people are the foundation of Compass, made clear through the company’s investment in a number of programmes.
• Named in National Apprenticeship Services Top 100 employers, in March 2016 Compass Group UK & Ireland committed more investment to its apprenticeship programmes by aiming to deliver 1,500 apprenticeship starts by the end of 2017.
• In April 2016 Compass also launched its industry-leading ‘Women in Food’ programme, with a target to have female chefs form 50% of its chef workforce by 2020.

The Report outlines Compass’ commitment to the environment through cutting down on food waste, contributing to the effort to combat climate change and working towards a lower carbon future. The company has;
• Set out an ambitious target to reduce food waste by 10% against its 2016 level by 2020, teaming up with Winnow to use “smart scales” to track food waste in kitchens.
• Partnered with FareShare to send surplus food products which are still within date and fit for consumption to the charity to be turned into meals for those less fortunate.
Incorporated within the Report is Compass’ 2020 Health Strategy which;
• Details the aim to remove 40 million calories from the company’s meals between 2016 and 2020.
• Ensures every restaurant offers a balanced meal option of less than 500 calories per day and includes one of the recommended five a day.
• Compass is also shortly due to launch its new health website to inform consumers on a range of health and wellbeing topics.

Dennis Hogan, managing director, Compass Group UK & Ireland commented: “Our corporate responsibility programme guides our business and we’re committed to playing our part in creating a sustainable future and making a positive social impact.

“While we’ve already accomplished a great deal, we recognise there’s still more we can undertake to ensure we’re a truly sustainable business. I’m confident we’ll succeed with the support of our colleagues, our consumers and our partners.”

Compass has invested significantly in its corporate responsibility programme and in 2016 appointed a new Head of Corporate Responsibility, Duncan Gray, who will oversee the implementation of the commitments outlined in the Report. 

Duncan Gray, head of corporate responsibility commented: “Our Corporate Responsibility Report is a marker in the sand, outlining key commitments for our business over the coming years. The content of this Report is the culmination of the hard work which has taken place in our organisation to be an ethical and transparent business. I’m confident that as our business continues to grow, so will our list of CR achievements.”

Eton College chef wins Sodexo Chef of the Year #

David Hussey from Sodexo Education won the grand finale of the Sodexo Chef of the Year 2017 at the Great Hospitality Show,NEC Birmingham.

Eton College executive head chef Hussey was crowned Sodexo Chef of the year after a competitive 90-minute cook off against the seven other top chefs from across Sodexo UK & Ireland’s business for the coveted accolade. 

David Mulcahy, craft development director for Sodexo, presented David Hussey with his gold medal alongside the first prize, which includes a culinary trip to Norway courtesy of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The nine-strong judging line up included Daniel Galmiche (two Michelin starred chef), Russell Bateman (Colettes, The Grove) and Derry Clarke (L’Ecrivan).
Runner up Neil Yule from Sodexo Corporate Services (also Gold) and third-placed David Humprheys from Sodexo Healthcare (silver) will join David on a UK culinary trip to Cumbria and visit world renowned two Michelin starred L’Enclume restaurant, courtesy of Leathams.

David Hussey is based at the Sodexo Education contract with Eton College, Windsor, in Berkshire, where he is responsible for a team of fifteen, eleven of those being chefs providing the hospitality for all students and fine dining for Eton College.

David and his commis chef James Bourn prepared a starter of duck breast with Brussels sprout, pomegranate, garam masala and tamarind, duck heart ‘popcorn’; a main of trout, fennel, cauliflower with lentil dhal, pickled fennel salad and finger lime; and a white chocolate, ginger and cardamom tart with caramelised white chocolate ice cream, orange compote and poppy seed tuile.

The Sodexo Chef of the Year final is sponsored by Churchill China, Unilever Food Solutions and Leathams, as well as Barry Callebaut and the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Sodexo Chef of the Year final – results
• 1st place (Gold) David Hussey, Eton College, Schools
• 2nd place (Gold) Neil Yule, GlaxoSmithKline, Corporate Services
• 3rd place (Silver) David Humphreys, Tillery Valley Foods, Healthcare
• Bronze - Andy Clarkson, Aliwal Barracks, Defence, Government Services
• Bronze - Mathew Shipley, Ascot Racecourse, Sports & Leisure
• Bronze - Brett Butler, University of Nottingham, Universities
• Bronze - Glen Yorke, Police Scotland, Government Services
• Bronze - David Fountain, PayPal Dundalk, Corporate Services Ireland

Daniel Galmiche, ambassador for the Norwegian Seafood Council and consultant for the Gore Hotel, said: “I was very impressed by the extraordinary standards from all the chefs today. The talent exhibited was the epitome of hard work and dedication. It is good to see the investment Sodexo have put into their chefs, and how much support they offer for the development of young chefs out there as well.”

David Mulcahy, craft development director for Sodexo, and the competition organiser, said: “The Sodexo Chef of the Year competition has become the most sought after accolade for chefs right across Sodexo in the UK and Ireland. This year’s final was no exception where the eight competitors took to the stage at NEC Birmingham for the final showdown. Each did themselves proud with a fantastic display of creativity and excellent skills producing three stunning dishes for judges.

“A team of highly experienced judges were on hand to dissect and evaluate the dishes coming to a final decision after a great deal of discussion.

“Congratulations to David after a tremendous effort on the day he took the title and will be rewarded with some exciting prizes including a culinary trip to Norway and a visit to L’Enclume for a gastronomic experience.

“As part of the Sodexo training academy, competition at this level is a tremendous way to motivate and develop our talented chef community and I am delighted with the support and efforts from all involved.”

Sodexo Chef of the Year judges
• Russell Bateman, Colettes
• Olivier Geyer, Leathams
• Daniel Galmiche, chef consultant
• Derry Clarke, L’Ecrivan
• Mark Hill, The House of Commons
• Julie Sharp, Barry Callebaut
• Lloyd Walker, 2016 Sodexo Chef of the Year
• Nick Wort, The House of Commons
• Andy Waters, Waters Restaurant

Inspired panto supports Springboard, ‘Oh yes it did!’ #

Following two performances Springderella was a resounding success at Kings Place.

Springderella creatively adapted the classic fairy-tale of Cinderella, with an enthusiastic and energetic cast delivering excellent performances on 19/20 January 2017. The cast of Springderella thoroughly deserved their rounds of applause, as did all those who worked behind the scenes on the hugely entertaining spectacle.

Leading hospitality figures took to the stage with ease and confidence at Kings Place. The ugliest of sisters combined with the most terrible Stepmother to the crowd’s delight, while the saucy Fairy Godmother ensured that Springderella was brought together with Prince Charming. The performance featured shameless product placement, all in support of Springboard, and cameos from Cyrus Todiwala, Keri Moss, Ben Purton and Ruth Hansom.

Anne Pierce, CEO of Springboard, said: “Taking on this new approach to charity fundraising was an enjoyable challenge. Everyone involved showed incredible dedication, from the cast to everyone behind the scenes. Kings Place and Green & Fortune helped ensure a seamless evening, and in the end Springderella found her true love.”

Donnacadh O’Briain directed the production, alongside a team that included Roxy Joy Cook, Stuart Hopps, Chris Young, Susan Burns and Greg Howe. Peter Hancock not only performed, but also helped to write the script. Springboard’s staff also supported every aspect of Springderella.

Chris Penn, founder of Steel BMB, who came up with the idea of a pantomime and performed as the Stepmother, said: “It was an incredible experience where people from all sides of a diverse industry came together and worked in hilarious harmony towards one common goal, which ultimately supported a fantastic charity. You cannot ask for much better than that. I just hope that the audience enjoyed it as much as we did. Bring on next year!”

David Armitage, creative director of We Are Boo, took on the role of Buttons. Following the performance, he said: “Wow - what a totally amazing experience. I've met some great people and had so much fun. Hopefully this can become an annual industry event - next stop the Palladium!”

All the funds raised will contribute towards Springboard’s range of programmes.

The Cast:
• Springderella: Anne Britton (Night 1) & Charlotte Horler (Night 2)
• Buttons: David Armitage
• Fairy Godmother: Bob Silk
• Prince Charming: Josh Light
• Stepmother: Chris Penn
• Baron Hardup: Gary King
• Ugly Sisters: David Cowdery & Bala McAlinn (Night 1), Andrew McKenzie & Jonathan Raggett (Night 2)
• Dandini: JJ Goodman (Night 1) & Lorraine Wood (Night 2)
• The King: Bruce A J McLauchlan
• The Prime Minister: Helen Flint (Night 1) & Stephanie Wybourn (Night 2)
• The Mice: Natasha Rashed & Kieron Botting (Night 1), Rebekah Chaplin & David Noble (Night 2)
• Court Herald: Peter Hancock
• Minister: Diana Spellman
• Footman: Ron Hickey
• Narrator: Anne Pierce
• Singers: Will Torrent & Alison Taffs
• Jasmine/Jack’s Mum: Becky Lown
• Jack: Pete Willis
• Aladdin & Jack’s Cow: Zachary da Rocha
• The Giant: Matthew Wright (Night 1) & Georgie Raggett (Night 2)

Springderella was sponsored by Green & Fortune, Kings Place, Casna Group, Jascots, Premier Foods, College Hill Press, Bidvest Foodservice, Collins Kings & Associates, London Cocktail Club, PSL Food, Stalbridge Linen, Winterhalter, Bonasystems, Carthweel Recruitment, James Hallam Insurance and Umbrella Training.

View images here!

IFE 2017 Teams up with two of the Biggest Industry Associations to Challenge Attitudes Towards Frozen Food #

With so much to see and do at IFE 2017 (The International Food & Drink Event), visiting buyers will really welcome the chance to “chill out” at the Ice Café…

British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), Craft Guild of Chefs (CGC) and the organisers of IFE, Fresh Montgomery, have collaborated to create a pop-up Ice Café at the event aimed to showcase how fantastic frozen food can be.

Sponsored by Bidvest, the pop-up café will challenge perceptions of frozen food across both the foodservice and retail markets. The interactive Ice Café will serve great tasting meals daily between 11:30am and 3:00pm at stand 2750, located opposite BFFF’s Lounge in the Grocery section.

Between the 19 to 22 March, some of the CGC’s top chefs will cook-up a range of authentic bowl food recipes including stroganoff, honey and lime prawn stir fry and cod loin served on a bed of ratatouille.

Chefs Lee Maycock, national chairman of CGC, Jason Gordon and Steve Walpole will create inspired dishes using quality frozen ingredients. The audience can sample the freshly prepared meals while the chefs encourage discussion about how caterers, chefs and retailers can create tasty, nutrient rich and sustainable cuisine from frozen.

Event director, Soraya Gadelrab commented: “We are proud to be collaborating with these two well respected associations in the food and drink industry to bring the Ice Café to IFE. The Ice Café is very topical as the increasing pace of consumer lifestyles means convenience is more important than ever. Frozen as a category can play a key role in many areas, but above all we want to demonstrate that it tastes great!

Overall, the purpose of IFE’s first pop-up is to help raise awareness of the advantages of cooking with frozen produce including budget, flavour and ease of use without compromising on menu quality. Frozen ingredients also play an important role in effective management of food waste, which is a critical issue to the whole industry. Visitors can find out more on reducing food waste at Waste Works, the UK’s only waste and sustainability event for the food industry which will be co-located with IFE 2017. We’re looking forward to opening the doors to the Ice Café at 11:30am on the 19 March at ExCeL London and hope to see you there.”

Clearing up the FOG #

Following restaurant’s £5,495 fine, CESA offers advice on FOG solutions

Severn Trent Water’s successful prosecution of Café Saffron in Codsall has highlighted the issue of fats, oil and grease (FOG) – and underlined the need for the catering industry to deal with it.  The restaurant was fined £5,495 for creating a blockage in the sewer system, as a result of not dealing with FOG from its kitchen.  Severn Water described it as a landmark case and it could easily lead to more prosecutions. 

Café Saffron has agreed to fit a grease trap.  However, CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, points out that there is no ‘one system fits all’ solution. 

“A combination of bio remediation, grease removal units and grease traps maximises the opportunity to eliminate the problem of FOG entering the sewers,” says Keith Warren, director of CESA.  

“One aspect that is often overlooked in dealing with FOG is the profit potential,” he adds.  “The ‘harvest’ from grease traps and grease recovery units can be used for anaerobic digestion and biogas production.”  

A recent FOG Forum workshop agreed that the industry should be encouraged to see FOG as a resource. For example, some foodservice operators use cooking oils and waste from grease traps to power their own trucks. 

There are other benefits of taking untreated FOG out of the drain – a major one being that it removes a source of nutrient for algae growing in the sewers, which can be a huge problem.  Meanwhile, FOG is potentially a rich source of phosphorus, which is needed in compost to promote food growth – and according to the World Health Organisation, we will run out of phosphorus in the next 20 years. 

CESA, CEDA and the FCSI are part of a group preparing a white paper report on FOG Management on behalf of the FOG Forum.  It will provide an overview of the issues, legislative requirements, design reviews, operational assessments and the solutions. 

Wake up and smell the coffee! #

Bidvest Foodservice energises beverage market with exclusive Black + White Coffee Co. range

Bidvest Foodservice is launching Black + White Coffee Co., a coffee label designed to fulfil consumers’ caffeine cravings that is exclusive to its customers.

In the UK, consumers drink 2.2 billion cups of coffee a year out of home and this is forecast to grow by 11% by 2020 (i). Over 80% of us visit a coffee shop at least once a week, pushing the demand for good-quality coffee ever higher (ii).

However, good coffee is no longer limited to coffee shops. Consumers today know their flat whites from their lattes, and expect a great coffee offering wherever they are, so for foodservice outlets, being able to offer a wide range of options is key. Delicious, artisan-quality coffee doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to provide. The aim behind Black + White Coffee Co. is to enable foodservice outlets to deliver the very best coffee experience to their customers at a reasonable price.

The range is carefully selected using the finest beans for a full-bodied and smooth finish.  There are four different blends*, including Fairtrade and single origin options, as well as both dark and medium roasts, and three filter coffee choices available.

Holly Marrero Easson, brand controller at Bidvest Foodservice, says: “The UK has increasingly become a nation of coffee lovers and consumers simply expect a great cup of coffee, anytime, anywhere. According to research by Allegra UK, how a cup of coffee tastes is the number one factor that influences return visits – sitting above loyalty cards at number two or value for money at number three. 

“That’s why quality of taste is at the heart of the Black + White Coffee Co. range – we want to enable our customers to stay ahead of the competition with unrivalled product quality. We wanted to bring something different to the market that is great quality but also at a great price; for example, we have introduced a brand new premium Costa Rican Medium Roast to the range, which is 100% Arabica.”

Packaging is important too. Not only is the packaging designed to ensure the fantastic coffee beans stay fresh and at their best, the contemporary style looks great when stacked on display shelves behind baristas. Alongside the new, premium Black + White Coffee Co. range, Bidvest Foodservice also provides a range of toppings, milk and milk alternatives, syrups and sweeteners, to offer a truly personalised coffee experience.

A full complement of support materials are available for foodservice outlets that choose to carry the Black + White Coffee Co. brand, including branded cups, loyalty cards, posters, swing signs and menus, as well as a full range of catering equipment to suit.

Black + White Coffee Co. can be ordered now via the Bidvest Foodservice website or local depots.

Tea time?

And, with exciting innovation in the tea category, Bidvest Foodservice is also launching The Little Book of Tea.  Filled with insights, products, serving suggestions and recipes to support customers on how they can provide the perfect tea experience.

To fulfil the demand for a broader range of hot beverages on menus, from new flavours such as green, matcha and chia tea to classics such as English breakfast …it’s time to take tea seriously.

*The full range of products are:
• Costa Rican Medium Roast (100% Arabica, whole bean)
• Dark Roast (Arabica and Robusta mix, whole bean)
• Medium Roast (whole bean)
• Fairtrade Medium Roast (whole bean)
• Medium Roast Filter Coffee
• Medium Roast Decaffeinated Filter Coffee
• Fairtrade Medium Roast Filter Coffee

i Allegra UK Retail Coffee Shop Market – Strategic Analysis, December 2015
ii  Allegra UK Retail Coffee Shop Market – Strategic Analysis, December 2015

Glasgow feels the heat as hot chef line-up is announced #

Eight of Scotland’s Michelin-starred and award-winning chefs, including the reigning MasterChef: The Professionals winner, will descend upon Glasgow in March to showcase their celebrated expertise at ScotHot 2017.

Today, three of the eight headlining chefs have come together to announce the official line-up for ScotHot’s brand new stage, Staff Canteen Live: Gary Maclean (MasterChef: The Professionals winner), Brian Grigor (Michelin-starred Chef at The Balmoral’s Number One Restaurant); and Stuart Ralston (Chef Proprietor of Aizle).

The stage will allow visitors to watch these professionals at work; demonstrating their complex skills and techniques in everything from Michelin-starred cookery to French patisserie.

ScotHot is Scotland’s leading trade show for food, drink, hospitality and tourism industries. The bi-annual event takes place on 15/16 March 2017 in Glasgow’s SECC.

Mark Morris, MD of The Staff Canteen, said: "We are really excited to be part of ScotHot, the industry’s leading trade show. Scotland’s fish, shellfish, game, lamb and beef is renowned around the world. The nation also has some of the best chefs in the UK so we want to showcase them, their skills and the fantastic produce, on our live stage.”

Having both Gary and the students from Glasgow City College on the stage is an added bonus to what promises to be an amazing two days.”

Also taking to the stage are: Adam Handling, Scottish Chef of the Year 2016; Geoffrey Smeddle, award-winning Chef of The Peat Inn; Graeme Cheevers, head chef at Martin Wishart Loch Lomond; William Curley, renowned chocolatier; and Ruth Hinks, UK World Chocolate Master.

As well as welcoming over 150 exhibitors, ScotHot will host a number of stages that showcase and challenge Scotland’s best chefs and mixologists. Alongside this, experts in the field will be put under the spotlight to disclose trade secrets, highlight hot trends and decipher industry myths, making ScotHot the place to be to network, trade and learn.

Toby Wand, managing director of Fresh Montgomery, said: “The industry’s appetite for ScotHot just continues to grow year on year. Each show we like to bring something different for our visitors, so this year we’re thrilled to welcome Staff Canteen Live stage. The line-up of chefs we have is second to none, and with experts in both sweet and savoury cookery, we are pleased to say there is something there for all paletes. ’

With a heritage dating back over 40 years, ScotHot now takes place as part of Scottish Tourism Week’s ‘Signature Events’ programme. This includes the Scottish Tourism Industry Conference; Scottish Tourism Week Dinner with a Difference and the ‘Oscars’ of the Scottish tourism industry, the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Essential Cuisine donates £8,000 to first-ever national Adopt a School Week #

Essential Cuisine donated £8,000 from sales of its Premier Veal Jus to the Adopt a School Trust, the national charity of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, as it marks its first-ever awareness week (6-10 February 2017). The long-standing supporter of the Trust called on others in the industry to follow suit and donate time and resource to help deliver food education where it matters the most. 

The British producer of stocks, gravies, glace, jus, demi-glace and sweet sauce bases, has for many years been involved with the Adopt a School programme, encouraging its brigade of development chefs to adopt school sites in their local area and welcoming local schools to its Cheshire HQ for interactive tasting sessions.

Each Essential Cuisine chef marked the inaugural week by delivering a programme of inspirational and fun cookery workshops and classes in schools throughout the UK.

The aim of the donation and the reason for the company’s heavy involvement through the years is, says Nigel Crane, managing director of Essential Cuisine, so the Trust can continue to help youngsters to make better informed food choices, while improving basic kitchen skills.

“It has never been more critical for school children to develop a better understanding of food and nutrition. Engaging with them at a grass-roots level is not only vital in helping them understand the importance of their individual well-being but is also key to ensuring a steady stream of talent for the hospitality industry in the years to come.

“Adopt a School is a charity very close to our hearts and we’re delighted to continue our support, donating both money and time to the cause. I call upon anyone interested in safeguarding the health of the next generation, and that of the hospitality industry, to stand up and be counted. Please get involved with the trust and do everything you can to support it.

Chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, adds: “What a magnificent demonstration of support to emphasise the importance of teaching children about food and getting them interested in cooking from an early age.  We are so grateful to Essential Cuisine and all those who have helped us to make a difference.”

Essential Cuisine’s donation comes by way of a December 2016 promotion where by a purchase of an exclusive pack of its class leading Premier Veal Jus resulted in an instant donation of 25p per unit.

Compass Group UK & Ireland signs new catering partnership with Bupa Cromwell Hospital #

Compass Group UK &Ireland has signed a new contract to deliver catering services to Bupa Cromwell Hospital through Medirest Signature.

This specialist brand is designed to provide tailor made support and catering services to patients, visitors and employees in the private healthcare market.

The five-year contract will see 62 Medirest Signature employees working at the hospital delivering premium services including a 24-hour patient dining offer.
Additional Medirest Signature services include a 24-hour Butler Service for patients in the four VIP Suites.  

Patients, visitors and employees will also be able to choose from a wide range of healthy food and drink options from various international cuisines, to represent the hospital’s international patient base, at the new Wellspring Restaurant. 

Hot and cold beverages will also be available from Caffé Dallucci, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s specialist café/deli offer which prides itself on “Fresh Food, Great Coffee and Good Company” and self-service micro-market, 24, will also be launched at the site.

Steven Cenci, managing director of Healthcare at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “We are excited to have signed a new contract with the prestigious Bupa Cromwell Hospital through our Medirest Signature brand. Through the new partnership we aim to deliver a premium service with a bespoke approach to meet the requirements of patients, employees and visitors. We’re looking forward to building our working relationship with the hospital.”

Bupa Cromwell Hospital is an internationally renowned private hospital offering treatment for both children and adults. It has established a reputation for innovation and is continually investing in the world’s most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies. 

The force is strong in the winner of CESA’s student quiz #

Sam Quigley of St Albans awarded £100 of Amazon vouchers

In a sign that the force is awakening in the new generation of foodservice workers, the winner of the Student Quiz run by CESA at the 2017 Great Hospitality Show is Star Wars fan Sam Quigley. Currently studying Hospitality & Catering at Oaklands College in St Albans, Sam is also working at Sopwell House as part of his course.

The quiz is designed to test student’s knowledge of catering equipment and includes questions related to best practices for safety in the kitchen, how to maximise efficiency as well as more general questions about the industry as a whole.

The prize was £100 worth of vouchers for a shop of his choice. Sam, who was surprised but delighted to win, chose Amazon vouchers.

Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA, said “We had a great response to this quiz, and it is encouraging to know that there is such a wealth of intelligent and knowledgeable young people looking to make their careers in the industry. Congratulations to Sam, we hope he enjoys his prize.”

Premier Foods makes a cool move in foodservic with new Ambrosia Frozen Custard #

Ambrosia will be introducing the first branded frozen custard in a new 100ml format to the foodservice channel, helping operators to capitalise on the popularity of the American ice cream trend. British ice cream trends closely emulate those of the US*; last year the US trend for frozen custard took the UK foodservice market by storm. Its growing popularity created the perfect opportunity to launch the first branded frozen custard into the market from Ambrosia, a brand that consumers love and trust for its quality and taste.

As consumers are looking to introduce treats and rewards into their busy lives, the new tubs are perfect as a treat on the go for the travel and leisure industries and workplace catering outlets that want to take advantage of the ‘afternoon treat’ occasion. The new on the go tub format comes complete with a spoon for maximum convenience and is consistent with the original great-tasting Ambrosia Frozen Custard that consumers have come to know and love this year, following the successful launch of larger 850ml tubs in retail. Made from fresh West Country milk and cream with a delectably smooth and silky texture, the range will consist of two delicious flavours including Vanilla and Vanilla with Chunky Fudge.

Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, comments: “Consumers are becoming more adventurous in their tastes and are searching for different products inspired by international trends. With this in mind, we are delighted to be bringing the first branded frozen custard to the foodservice channel, giving operators an opportunity to capitalise on the growing American trend through a trusted brand. Ambrosia is known for providing people with a ‘Taste of Happy’, and we aim to celebrate the role the brand has in brightening the everyday with our frozen custard.”

*Mintel, August 2016

Almost half of consumers wouldn't return to a pub that serves poor quality coffee #

New report from UCC Coffee UK & Ireland reveals the coffee opportunity for pubs and bars

New research by UCC Coffee UK & Ireland has highlighted a significant opportunity for pubs to increase trade through an improved coffee offer. With consumers rating the quality of coffee as average - just three out of five - the findings reinforce the demand for better coffee in non-specialist outlets.

The survey of 750 consumers by Allegra World Coffee Portal, on behalf of the total coffee solution supplier, also reveals that  almost half (44%) of consumers would be put off returning to a pub that serves poor quality coffee. Conversely 41% would buy more coffee more often in pubs if the quality was better.

The report reaffirms that coffee is the on-trend drink of today with more than a third (33%) of consumers buying coffee out of home at least four times per week and almost two-thirds of consumers willing to pay £2.99 for a great cup of coffee.

Other key findings include:
• More than a quarter (28%) of consumers state that, if it opened earlier, they would visit a pub or bar for their morning coffee, rather than a high-street coffee shop
• Almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers believe that a high-quality cup of coffee at the end of a meal makes the difference between a good quality experience and a truly great one
• Almost a third of diners (31%) often order coffee instead of a dessert when eating out
• Almost half (44%) of consumers eat out at least once a week

Phil Smith, head of category & insight, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “Lots of pub operators are doing coffee well but there’s still significant room for improvement across the market. For pubs and bars keen to diversify, grow and retain their customer base, or to set themselves apart from the competition, high-quality coffee is the key. For pubs with a strong food offer, coffee quality significantly impacts on customer satisfaction. It’s an integral part of eating out, with three quarters of diners valuing coffee quality as an important part of the overall experience .

“The results from our research clearly show that consumers are willing to drink more coffee in pubs and bars – in turn, operators must be willing to give coffee the same attention as they do their alcohol or food offers.”

Anthony Pender, chairman of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), says: “Coffee is the on-trend drink of today – of that there can be no doubt. More than a third of consumers buy coffee out of home at least four times per week . This isn’t a fad – coffee is here to stay. For pub and bar operators looking to invest in their future, their business, and grow their customer base, coffee is a revenue generator like no other. The findings in this report highlight key opportunities that operators should pay attention to if they are going to take advantage of this revenue stream.”

The report launched at Pub 17, Olympia, London, and is available to download from

CH&Co Group’s Head of Food, Health, Safety and Environment appointed to FSA advisory committee #

Emma Hill, Head of Food, Health, Safety and Environment at CH&Co Group, has been appointed to the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), as an expert representing the commercial catering sector.

The ACMSF provides the FSA and Government with independent, expert advice on the microbiological safety of food, and assesses the risk to humans of microorganisms which are used, or occur, in or on food.

Emma will bring her practical experience in commercial catering to the development of advice for the FSA on a range of microbiological food safety issues. Her appointment to the committee for a two-year term was confirmed following an intensive panel interview process and approval by the FSA and Government Ministers.
Emma Hill said of her appointment to the ACMSF: “It’s a real honour to be appointed to the ACMSF.  The committee tackles incredibly interesting, complex matters and I look forward to offering my expertise to shape risk assessment advice that is practical for commercial catering environments and upholds best practice. I’m also relishing the opportunity to learn from the other experts on the committee and continue to broaden my knowledge, which I will share with my colleagues at CH&Co Group.”

Caroline Fry, deputy CEO for CH&Co Group, said: “Food safety has to be a priority in any catering business. We’re very proactive in this area and committed to upholding the highest of standards.  Emma’s appointment to the ACMSF will benefit our business and our clients as it will keep us abreast of potential issues and enable us to provide the best service and solutions possible.  Her food safety knowledge and expertise is fantastic and her contribution will be invaluable in ensuring recommended food safety policy is viable and can be effectively achieved in commercial settings.”

Essential Cuisine set to sweeten menus with new Crème Anglaise #

Essential Cuisine is set to impress with the launch of its first ever sweet product, Crème Anglaise – created following months of research and developed to allow chefs to embrace their creativity.

The venture into the dessert market marks an innovative new direction for the brand famed for its high-quality stocks, jus and glaces, and is the result of the company’s close work with a number of operators during 2016 in order to understand chefs’ key requirements in improving their dessert offering.

Nigel Crane, managing director, Essential Cuisine, says: “We have been working on our Crème Anglaise for some time now and couldn’t be happier with the end result. Desserts are a hugely profitable sector for pubs and restaurants and Crème Anglaise has been purposefully developed to help chefs premiumise their offering and tap into this ever-popular sector.

“The versatility of Crème Anglaise is its real forte – chefs whose creativity may have been limited due to time constraints will be able to develop a whole host of high-quality desserts from just one base product.”

Chefs need only visit the Essential Cuisine website to get inspired and access a number of recipes which demonstrate the versatility of Crème Anglaise. Not simply a sweet sauce, it can be used in a manner of ways to create standout desserts. Use it to prepare a classic Crème Pâtissière – a fantastic base for sweet soufflés and pastries, add double cream for a Crème Brulee, or for an extra special custard try adding a splash of your favourite liqueur. 

Compass Group UK & Ireland launches first in-house food to go range #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has launched its first bespoke chilled food to go range, ‘Chop Chop’, which includes sandwiches, salads, snack pots, paninis, toasties and fruit pots.

The range was developed by Compass’ in-house food development and nutrition team in partnership with, high profile Chefs, as well as supplier Adelie. Currently being launched across the business, Chop Chop will be available in hospitals, universities and retail outlets. The range includes around 150 items and will be delivered to over 700 UK sites, with expected sales growth of 10% year on year.

The range includes a selection of delicious sandwiches with classics like Egg and Cress and BLT sitting alongside more adventurous flavours like Chicken and Artichoke or Goat’s cheese and mixed pepper on Spianata bread. Several new suppliers have been enlisted to ensure the best quality of ingredients, such as the use of thicker bread and bacon that has reduced salt for an authentic smoky flavour.

Simon Parton, head of food & beverage innovation, Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented: “In creating Chop Chop we have applied all of our passion and expertise in food to our chilled food to go offer. We have been totally focused on finding the finest ingredients and innovative new breads to create some truly delicious food.”

Louise Pilkington, marketing director, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Our new food to go range is based on extensive research into the food to go market and consumer needs. As lunchbreaks continue to get shorter sandwiches are seen as a quick and healthy option, so it was important to us to create a high quality range which can make lunchtime something to look forward to.”

Nicky Martin, head of nutrition, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “By offering a selection of healthier options we’re providing our consumers with choice. All items in this range with a green logo on the packaging are under 350 calories and not high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt, plus we also have a healthy meal deal option which is 500 calories or less and includes fruit and water.”

The development of Chop Chop uses many insights from Compass’ ‘Eating Out of Home’ survey, which estimates that the grab and go market is now worth £20.1bn in the UK and has grown by 6% in the last 12 months alone. The research showed that the traditional lunch hour has shrunk to around 35 minutes, and that ‘Sandwiches are King’. The new brand brings a delicious range of food to go to Compass customers across the country.