Members’ News

December 2018

Bestway Foundation UK donates £100,000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity #

Zameer Choudrey CBE SI Pk, chief executive of Bestway Group, presented a cheque for £100,000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity), at Bestway Group’s Head Office in Park Royal on Tuesday 27 November.

The presentation was attended by representatives from GOSH Charity, and Bestway Board of Directors, including Sir Anwar Pervez OBE H Pk, Chairman Bestway Group.

The Bestway Foundation UK was established by Sir Anwar Pervez in 1987, with a philosophy to support less fortunate people through the advancement of education and relief of sickness and preservation of health.

Since 1987, Bestway Group has donated in excess of £14.8M to Bestway Foundation in the UK.  Each year the company hosts its charity race day at Ascot which is attended by suppliers, Bestway employees, trade press and members of the benefiting charity.

This year the chosen charity was GOSH Charity, which raises vital funds to support Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the 618 children and young people who arrive at GOSH from across the UK every day. For over 160 years the hospital has provided best-in-class care and pioneered new treatments and cures for childhood illnesses. The charity seeks to raise funds for the Hospital so that it can stay at the forefront of developing new and better ways to treat childhood diseases and pioneering numerous breakthroughs in paediatric care.

Tim Johnson, chief executive of GOSH Charity commented: “I would like
to thank the Bestway Foundation for their generous donation, which will help us to support the seriously ill children and young people from across the UK who are cared for at the hospital. We are very grateful for the Bestway Foundation’s ongoing support.”

Zameer Choudrey CBE SI Pk, chief executive of Bestway Group, added: “We are delighted to support the work of Great Ormond Street Hospital for the second time.   The hospital and its staff are doing a wonderful job in treating seriously ill children and providing them and their families a better future.”

Artisanal acquisition yields new rustic range for Délifrance #

Délifrance is adding a range of hand-crafted breads to its premium range, Delifrance Héritage, following its acquisition of the Heinz Bakery GmbH in Germany.

A host of new breads and rolls have been developed for the Délifrance Héritage range to meet consumer demand for a broader selection of artisan-style breads.

Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director – Northern Europe & North America, Délifrance says: “Growing interest from consumers, who are increasingly knowledgeable and experimental in their choices of styles, flours and inclusions, has made specialty bread one of the fastest moving areas in bakery. Délifrance expects hand-crafted and wellness-focused products to feature heavily throughout 2019. Drawing upon Heinz Bakery’s experience enables us to create many alternative bread varieties.”

“Our recent Beyond Breakfast & Brunch insight report revealed that bread-based menu options are the third most popular choice for breakfast and brunches out of the home, and the updated range will offer a larger range of wellbeing-focused, rustic products.”

Using tried and tested techniques, flavour combinations and high-quality ingredients, Délifrance has developed bread recipes with different flours like spelt and buckwheat, with inclusions such as chia, olives and carrot. These creations are perfect for livening up hotel bread baskets and premium sandwiches, offering more variety and interesting flavours to customers.
The Délifrance Héritage range includes:
- Mini hand-crafted rolls assortment, perfect for hotel bread baskets – three rolls including barley malt, plain and spelt & seeds recipes
- Roman rolls - made with spelt flour and topped with seeds
- Carrot and seeds roll - a crunchy carrot-based seeded roll (pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds)
- Kalamata olives loaf – indulgent recipe with hand-picked Kalamata olives
- The Oriental Half-Baguette – with quinoa, chickpeas and tomato
- The American Half-Baguette – with sweet cranberries and chia
- The Farmer Half-Baguette – with beetroot and seeds 

Délifrance's latest insight report, Beyond Breakfast and Brunch, is available on request from

Compass collaboration brings home the medals at the Culinary World Cup #

Compass Group UK & Ireland is celebrating after scooping an impressive seven silver and four bronze medals at the Culinary World Cup - EXPOGAST 2018, which is celebrated as a pioneering event of international gastronomy and culinary refinement for food professionals.

The event saw Compass Group UK & Ireland placed fifth overall in the world, the highest ranking foodservice provider, which is testament not only to the breadth of talent within the business, but demonstrates what can be achieved with team collaboration as each chef supported each other, helping Compass to cook up a winning recipe.

EXPOGAST is an intense, five-day event that brings together chefs from around the globe including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, Canada and the UK. Well over 1,500 professional chefs competed in Luxembourg at the event, which is staged every four years. Held between 24-28 November, this global culinary contest saw entries from 30 national teams and 15 junior national teams, with an overall total of 36 countries entering regional teams. This was in addition to 108 entries in the Culinary Arts Individual Programme.

The overall highlight is to combine the pure theatre, drama and entertainment that such an event brings, whilst witnessing the cream of global talent pay honour to their industry through their outstanding culinary art.

Competing were the English National Team made up of 10 chefs, coached under the leadership of Nick Vadis, culinary director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, who himself, has participated in an impressive previous six Culinary World Cups. As well as two Compass chefs, the England team also included chefs from other food service and hospitality businesses and together, came away with an impressive 12 silver medals between them – a fantastic result!

The Compass Regional Team comprised five chefs with three support chefs, and were captained by Graham Singer, Culinary Director for Compass Scotland. The overriding emphasis was one of total collaboration, with every chef playing their part in supporting their fellow colleagues.

During the course of the competition, the National Teams took part in two fiercely fought disciplines; a 110-cover hot kitchen and a cold kitchen buffet. The Regional Team who competed on the cold kitchen buffet focused on their chosen food theme of the Carnival – vibrant, colourful and celebratory!

The second element was a cold presentation buffet where both teams, along with the individual entry chefs, competed creating a range of dishes across a variety of categories. These mouth-wateringly included a variety of starter plates, tapas finger food, petit fours, a show platter and a stunning focal centrepiece constructed of intricate sugar work under the guidance of James Mullen, Compass Offshore & Remote, Pastry Chef.
Entries were judged by an esteemed panel of chefs from the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), before being opened up an enthusiastic public audience to enjoy, once the overall competition judging was complete.

Nick Vadis, culinary director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “I am extremely proud of all our chefs who either supported, or competed, in the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. To have chefs competing as individuals, plus a regional team and also the National Team England, is a credit to our business and the investment in nurturing the talent we have within the UK. They are all true ambassadors for their craft, and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their commitment, skill and dedication.”

Graham Singer, culinary director for Compass Scotland, added: “The strength and success of the Compass Culinary team at the prestigious EXPOGAST 2018 came from each and every one within the team. The shared passion, drive and commitment each gave over the whole five days was truly amazing. As individuals we can achieve but together we can achieve so much more. Everyone played their part in securing such an incredible result. I am extremely proud of what each and every one of the Compass culinary team achieved,”

Bumper year of big new business wins for Jellybean #

The year is not yet at a close, but Jellybean is celebrating not one, but ten key new business wins in 2018, cementing its continued status as the integrated agency of choice for foodservice and convenience retail brands. 
Supplier of quality nuts and dried fruit mixes to some of the UK’s largest retailers and foodservice operators, Sun Valley Nut Co., has joined handcrafted luxury chocolate makers, Gnaw, global bioscience company, Chr. Hansen  A/S Food Cultures & Enzymes, and leading pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, in choosing Jellybean to take their communications to the next level. Award-winning smoothie brand Savse is also new to the ranks, joining bespoke mobile catering unit manufacturer, G&M Leisure, ethical premium peanut butter makers, Manilife, Surrey-based sausage makers Porky Whites, the Foodservice Quality Food Awards, and an exciting soon-to-be-revealed vodka brand, launching nationwide in 2019.
As a fully integrated creative agency specialising in PR, social media, marcomms, design and digital, every department has been able to play a key role in servicing the new clients – an aspect that MD Susan Bolam takes great pride in. 
“It’s a mantra we have been preaching for many years, but the integrated approach – employing complementary elements from each discipline to maximum effect – really is the best way for a brand to gain traction and stand out from the crowd. We’re proud that this strategy, allied to our creative thinking and unrivalled understanding of the marketplace, has yet again paid dividends, resulting in an unprecedented raft of new business wins – a heady mix of exciting up-and-coming suppliers twinned with some of the most respected names in the business. We're excited to welcome them into our client stable, where they join existing clients, some of whom have been allied to the agency for over 25 years."

A foodservice specialist for over 30 years, Jellybean has recently added an already highly successful retail trade and consumer PR arm to its proposition. 

Jellybean team offer the gift of time in Christmas volunteering drive #

This season of giving, Jellybean embarked upon a festive volunteering drive – 12 Days of Giving – with each member of its 20-strong team donating time out of work to help charitable causes close to their hearts.
In total, 12 full days’ worth of time will be donated to multiple causes including The British Heart Foundation, Princess Alice Hospice, Cancer Research, DEBRA, and industry charities Hospitality Action and Springboard, alongside many more. Each Jellybean staff member (or as they are affectionately termed - bean) has earmarked a cause to support and will be giving a minimum of half a day to volunteer. Images and video diaries from the volunteering are being showcased on the agency’s Twitter channel @Jellybeanagency, every weekday between the 3rd and 18th December – making up 12 Days of Giving.  
In 2018 Jellybean has already clocked up over 150 hours of unpaid charity work as an agency, which doesn’t even include funding the creation of five new school buildings in Ethiopia with Plan UK alongside cooking, baking, biking, and wearing of various coloured items of clothing for beneficiaries including; Breast Cancer Now, Great Ormond Street, Children with Special Needs, DEBRA and Mary’s Meals.
"Christmas is the perfect time to continue the good work and launch the new initiative," says Jellybean MD Susan Bolam, who hopes the 12 Days of Giving program can be repeated across other businesses (with the help of the downloadable poster available on Jellybean’s website), thereby helping to drive internal staff engagement and benefitting those charities most in need.  
“There’s no better time than Christmas to consider others less fortunate, which is why we have decided to build on our ongoing charitable efforts and empower each bean to do their bit. We’re calling on other businesses to do the same; insight suggests allowing your workforce to volunteer is the route to greater engagement and happiness, with employees reportedly 13% happier than those who have not*.  If our efforts inspire businesses to act, they can download our very special 12 Days of Giving poster to get involved and make a difference this Christmas (or next!)”
To find out more visit their website or follow them on Twitter or Instagram @JellybeanAgency.
*Neighbourly, 2017

Smart Group appoints Jan Matthews as Chief Operating Officer #

Hospitality, catering and event management group, Smart Group, announced that it has appointed Jan Matthews to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer.
Renowned for her dynamic approach to business, Jan has enjoyed an illustrious career within the hospitality industry, including managing a team of 22,000 to deliver catering for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and still holds the position as Food and Beverage Advisor to the International Olympic Committee, travelling around the world advising on each and every Games. Jan joins Smart Group as it embarks upon an ambitious growth strategy.
Commenting on the appointment Greg Lawson, chief executive officer, Smart Group, said: “Jan and I have worked together in various guises for many years, including the London 2012 Olympic Games where we worked closely with Jan and her team as caterer for the Olympic Hospitality Centre. I am delighted that Jan is joining Smart Group’s Board of Directors; I’ve always held Jan in the highest regard and I’m looking forward to seeing our team reap the benefits of her vast experience, enthusiasm and passion for her work.”
Jan Matthews commented: “I’m very excited to take on this new challenge with Smart Group. I’ve long admired the team for their attention to detail, genuine passion for the industry and for the fact that they are incredibly innovative in their approach. I’ll be working alongside the team to ensure Greg’s ambitious vision is realised as we look to grow the individual businesses within the Group whilst driving synergies behind the scenes. Ultimately my remit is to design the processes the business needs to ensure consistent delivery, allowing us to repeat that model as we grow.
“I’m passionate about supporting talent and will be focusing a good deal of my time on helping our people fulfil their potential so that we can continue to bring new opportunities to what is a talented and dedicated team.”
Jan has been named as one of the top 100 influential women in the hospitality and travel industry and has held a number of Board-level roles, including Leading Expert for Cleaning and Waste Management on the P&G Professional Advisory Council; Chairman of hospitality networking association, Arena; and CEO of event and food strategy consultancy RP Global.
In 2012 Jan served as Head of Catering, Cleaning and Waste Management for the London Olympics, having developed the London 2012 Food Vision. Jan led the procurement and negotiation of contracts and was responsible for an annualised budget of £1.6 billion. Jan also brought a number of sponsors and suppliers to the programme, working closely with strategic sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's to ensure that both the organizing committees’ and the sponsors’ objectives were achieved within budget.

Principals by CH&CO strengthens operations team with two key appointments #

Principals by CH&CO has made two key appointments to its operations team, reflecting its strong growth.
Colin Wills and Verity Butcher have joined the team in the roles of operations director for secondary schools and operations manager for London primary schools, respectively, as the specialist state school caterer welcomed 16 new schools to its portfolio for the 2018/19 school year.
A qualified chef, Colin Wills brings extensive culinary and operational experience spanning over 30 years, with the past 12 years of his career focused on the education sector. His intrinsic understanding of the challenges of everyday kitchen life combined with his management and operational expertise enables him to create excellent relationships with catering teams and clients, to deliver outstanding food and service experiences focused on creative and innovative solutions and strong results. Colin joins Principals by CH&CO from Pabulum Catering where he was regional business manager.
Verity Butcher knows the Principals by CH&CO business inside out. An organised and efficient operator, with a background in food retail management, Verity has worked with the business for the past 12 years, working her way up through the ranks from general assistant within a school kitchen.   A qualified Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and ISO auditor, Verity is responsible for monitoring the performance of Principals’ London schools and is their main day-to-day contact. She is an excellent motivator and having worked her way up from kitchen to management, understands every part of school catering.
Peter McKenna, sales director for Principals by CH&CO, said: “We’ve had an incredible start to the 2018/19 school year with the addition of 16 schools to our portfolio.  It’s great that Colin and Verity have joined the team, their valuable contribution will uphold our reputation of delivering innovative, creative solutions and building genuine partnerships with the schools we work with to be a positive part of each school community. Their excellent operational, management and customer skills will benefit our catering teams, our clients and, most importantly, the children we feed.  Principals by CH&CO is in a period of continued growth that is seeing us expand and move into new geographical areas; Colin and Verity are the perfect candidates to support this and help maximise the opportunities.”
For the 2018/19 school year Principals by CH&CO opened in 16 new schools. The new partnerships have a total value in turnover of £7.5m for the duration of the contracts and have seen the specialist state school caterer strengthen its foothold in its homestay of Kent and break into London and Surrey. Principals by CH&CO has a strong reputation of developing unique solutions for each school it works with, growing uptake and generating interest in food in the classroom, dining hall and home. 

An industry standing ovation for CH&CO’s apprentices #

Throughout November, CH&CO’s apprentice chefs showcased their talents and the skills and confidence they have developed with the CH&CO Chefs Academy at three high-profile industry events, with outstanding results.
The up-and-coming chefs developed, created and cooked first class menus for the Craft Guild of Chefs Business Partners lunch, the Learning Curve Charity Ball and an industry awards event. At each event, and on social media, the teams received great applause and praise for their dishes from a range of industry professionals and peers.
The 18 rising stars that showed off their talents are certainly chefs to watch for the future.  They work across the diverse CH&CO business and they are: Tamas Beller, Jonaton Sanchez, Alberta Ankara, Robert Budai, Dennis Idahosa, Ayesha Mall, Jerome Bruno, Patricia Pascoe, Charmaine Roswell, Eddy Yovo, Gabriel Egbe, Alina Botosanschi, Dawn Sexton, Desire Aduko, Jonatan Sanchez, Tyrone Campbell, Peter Kostur and Lucy Hayman.
The teams of apprentice chefs worked alongside CH&CO senior chefs and mentors at the three events, including the People Development Manager (Culinary), Steve Oram; Group Food Development Director, Jim Wealands; and Director of Food, Gary McKechnie.

Steve Oram, who heads up the CH&CO Chefs Academy, applauded the professionalism of the apprentices: “All of the apprentices volunteered for these events and for many of them, taking part meant being away from home for the first time as well as pushing the boundaries of their comfort zones. They all remained professional throughout and asked for help when needed. I am very proud of them all and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing with a team of eager apprentice chefs all wanting to know when the next event is.”
Over the course of the three events, the apprentice chefs catered for 795 covers and produced a delicious range of vegan, vegetarian, traditional and, for the Learning Curve’s Charity Ball, 1920s/30s Peaky-Blinders-themed dishes. Dishes across the events included: layered saffron potato and seaweed cake, black garlic vegan mayonnaise and pickled seaweed; Telford beef, confit oxtail, swede and London honey textures with a Guinness jus and candied hazel nut and brandy mousse with a praline and cherry compote, to name just a few.

All three events catered for industry professionals, something which Oram said added an extra layer of pressure for the apprentices: “One of the toughest tasks as chefs is cooking for other chefs. So, when our apprentices were cooking for the Craft Guild of Chefs’ event, for example, we knew there was added pressure because of the audience.” 

Andrew Green, chief executive of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “The Craft Guild enjoyed our annual Business Partners lunch, once again hosted by CH&CO at Clothworkers’ Hall, where we got the chance to see, and of course taste, first-hand the excellent next generation of chefs being produced within CH&CO. With the Chef and skills shortage that we are entering it is inspiring to witness such talent being produced, their passion came out when they were describing their dishes, and, of course, showcasing to many of their peers and industry specialists in itself is no mean feat.”

Brenda McLeish, CEO of Learning Curve Group, said: “The apprentices played an important part in the success of our charity ball, seamlessly immersing themselves into the hotel kitchen to not only support their team, but be integral in serving hundreds of guests with an amazing dinner.  They certainly demonstrated the skills they have been gaining during their apprenticeship and will be important members of CH&CO’s future workforce.”

CH&CO’s Chefs Academy is inspiring the next generation of chefs. The varied apprenticeship programme includes a wide range of knowledge and skills workshops and masterclasses, chef challenges, visits to places of culinary excellence and professional kitchens to build apprentices’ experience and confidence as they gain recognised professional qualifications.

CH&CO will continue the trend of showcasing its Chefs Academy at future industry events in 2019. Investing in young and up-and-coming talent is something CH&CO believes in and sees this as a viable answer for the UK-wide chef shortage. Giving young chefs opportunities to take part in events and work across a range of venues is the perfect way to show them why hospitality is an amazing career path to take. 

CH&CO is a Disability Confident Leader #

CH&CO has achieved Disability Confident Leader status for its commitment to employing, supporting and promoting disabled people in the workplace and encouraging others to also become Disability Confident.

The Government’s Disability Confident scheme aims to help UK employers successfully employ and retain disabled people and those with health conditions, recognising their skills and giving them the opportunities to realise their aspirations.

CH&CO’s policies, procedures and culture were assessed in key areas including providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process; ensuring employees have appropriate disability equality awareness; providing a supportive environment that is inclusive and accessible for employees, clients and customers; promoting a Disability Confident culture; and encouraging suppliers and partners to be Disability Confident.
Having successfully met all criteria to the satisfaction of the external assessor and the Department of Work and Pensions, CH&CO was awarded Disability Confident Leader status.

Alison Gilbert, group director of human resources, CH&CO said: “Inclusivity and accessibility have always underpinned our recruitment and employment policies and processes and are an important part of CH&CO’s culture. It’s fantastic that this has been formally recognised with the Disability Confident Leader status.
“We employ more than 6200 people and our team is incredibly diverse. Everyone makes a valuable contribution to the business based on their individual skills. We will continue to nurture and develop our people and work with our partners, including Springboard and Foxes Academy, to recruit from the diverse and exciting talent pool and to promote dynamic careers in hospitality to all.”

Are you monitoring your main source of influence or burying your head in the sand? #

Media monitoring and social listening are paramount to brand building and reputation management. By having eyes and ears on what people are saying about you, you can make the necessary operational changes and improvements before issues escalate. In the hospitality world, the main source of consumer influence is, undoubtedly, online reviews. But are operators doing enough to manage and monitor them?

If you were to sit down all your guests and ask what influenced them in visiting your establishment, I’d be prepared to stick my neck out and say that almost all of them will mention one of the review sites.

To be fair, the statistics are very much in my favour. According to Dimensional Research, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. Guests’ faith in review sites is unwavering – 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to a BrightLocal survey. And positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more.

Right, that’s enough stats.

What I’m trying to say is that online reviews can be the defining factor in the success of your business. So, it’s crucial that you’re managing and monitoring your reviews effectively.

We’ve all seen Gordon Ramsay’s Hotel Hell / Kitchen Nightmares and wondered “How on earth have they allowed it to get to this?”. Often, the owners of the business in question have buried their heads in the sand and refused to see any of issues that are turning guests off.

Failing to monitor your online reviews effectively is tantamount to burying your head in the sand. Monitoring reviews enables you to spot trends and weaknesses in your service before potential new guests do, so that you respond and make the necessary improvements in a timely manner, before the issues start to define you.
To spot trends, however, you need actionable insights. Just like sites such as TripAdvisor aggregate reviews, you need to find a way of collecting all your reviews in one place so that you can make an accurate assessment of your performance.

Reviews now come from various sources, not just TripAdvisor – we’re increasingly seeing more reviews coming from the online booking services, such as OpenTable – so it’s important that you spread your net wide and capture as many guest experiences as possible.

The focus shouldn’t entirely be on the negative reviews and comments, either. Sometimes it can feel like a bit of a battleground trying to respond to unhappy guests, but it’s just as important to celebrate success.

Continuous improvement is crucial to ongoing success – as well as identifying any shortcomings in your service, monitoring reviews should be about recognising what you do well, so that you keep on doing it.

If you’re part of a group of hotels or restaurants, why not use online reviews to create a sense of competition? The team that comes out on top each month could be rewarded in some way, perhaps?

The review sites don’t tend to make it easy to do month-by-month analysis – it’s often difficult to say which team or branch performed the best or made the most improvement.

That’s why we’ve created The Hub. The Hub is a Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform, designed to help busy managers quickly benchmark their performance. Using a range of guest experience measures, such as social reviews, surveys and mystery guest assessments, managers can easily identify actions for team development and business improvement.

Watch a video about The Hub or get in touch on 01225 470999 or email

Bidfood launches Choose to Reuse campaign #

National initiative raises awareness of the importance of correctly reducing, reusing and recycling packaging

To mark National Recycling Week (11-18 November), Bidfood launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness in schools on how best to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic.

The pioneering initiative – ‘Choose to Reuse’ – saw teams from nine of Bidfood’s depots, as well as its industry waste partner, Mitie, run interactive awareness sessions with almost 1,000 pupils on the impact packaging, including plastic, is having on the planet and the role each of us plays in making a difference.

As part of this, pupils took part in a competition to design an innovative sculpture made from used plastic donated by each of the Bidfood depots, to act as a reminder of the importance of reusing and recycling, now and in the future.

The winner from each school was awarded a sustainable prize donated by the depot team, and all those that took part received a certificate and goodies, courtesy of Mitie. In addition, the children and teachers were given ‘hints and tips’ guides and posters to help them better implement recommendations on a daily basis.

Speaking about the initiative, Heather Angus, HR and sustainability director at Bidfood said: “We’re delighted with the success of our Choose to Reuse campaign, tackling the extremely topical issue of plastic, in line with National Recycling Week. As a business we’re keen to support and educate on the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling products, where possible.

“The campaign has enabled us to continue providing service excellence by supporting and educating our customers and local communities on this widespread issue and has identified how we can all play a part in making a positive change.”

Talking about Bidfood’s interactive session, Jacques Abdou, catering manager at St Thomas More School, said: “Society is really starting to wake up to the fact that we need to take care of our environment due to the damage plastic waste is causing; that is why our school community jumped at the opportunity to work with Bidfood to raise awareness!

“It is very forward thinking of Bidfood to organise this campaign and sculpture competition. It has been as great way to encourage the children to view plastic waste as something that needs to be tackled and to show them how it can be re-used in limitless ways.”
Earlier this year, Bidfood launched a plastic-free range of 150 products; along with this, Bidfood’s depots are taking steps to eliminate single use plastics on site wherever possible.

2019 Food Trends #

The four ‘Mega’ food trends set to influence our cuisine choices in 2019.

The political environment, concerns around sustainability and food provenance are set to fuel the major food trends of 2019, according to a new insight-driven guide from Bidfood.

In this guide, four ‘Mega Trends’ have been identified which will influence consumer choices over the coming year:

- Good For Me, Good For You: ‘The Blue Planet Effect’ has given rise to conscious consumers who are looking to not only improve their own health, but the health of the planet. All forms of waste are being cut back on and as a result, we’re beginning to make vegetables the stars of our plates and looking to foods like ‘trash fish’* and lesser-known cuts of meat for inspiration.

- Gourmet Get Together: In this time of political uncertainty consumers are keen to have shared food experiences that bring them together with their friends and family and make them feel comforted. As a result, classic dishes invoking nostalgia are being reimagined for the modern consumer.

- Awaken My Senses: With over 39 million social media users in the UK[1], consumers are seeking visual and shareable content. This trend brings to life how playfulness and creativity is impacting food. Expect bright colours and experimental flavours.

- Telling a Story: Consumers are increasingly interested in understanding the provenance of their food and the process by which it’s made. 2019 will see diners embracing seasonal produce, foraged food and artisan products which have a story behind them.

These four major trends cascade across six key international cuisines which look to dominate the food scene next year. Continuing to remain popular is American; Modern European; Asian and Middle Eastern food. Additionally, we’ll see a burst in the popularity of Afro-Caribbean cuisine, with its rich and vibrant flavours and traditional cooking methods which maximise the taste of more underused meats such as goat. What’s more, food from Great Britain will go from strength to strength as people increasingly look for alternatives to imported goods – expect to see consumers choosing dishes that feature locally sourced ingredients.

Lucy Pedrick, senior insights manager at Bidfood, commented: “It’s an interesting time for the food industry, with an incredibly turbulent year ahead for British politics, an ongoing focus on wellbeing and sustainability, as well as continued interest in global food. This melting pot of influences is reflected in the trends for next year. Our 2019 Trends Brochure not only describes each of the trend predictions, but also details the insight and inspiration behind each of them and shows how to apply them on a practical level when menu planning. The guide provides a real opportunity for catering professionals to embrace these trends, put a stamp on their menus and harness loyalty from consumers.”

To download the guide visit or call 01494 555 900 to speak to one of the team.

[1] Statista, ‘Social media usage in the United Kingdom’
*’Trash Fish’ are underutilised, normally more sustainable species of fish

Commercial Kitchen 2019 previews its exhibitor line-up for biggest show yet #

With exhibition space filling up fast for Commercial Kitchen 2019, organiser Diversified Communications UK has released its first preview of some of the big names already on board for next year’s show at the NEC Birmingham (4-5 June).
Among those recently confirmed – and new to the show for 2019 – are catering display and counter experts Victor Manufacturing (UK distributor for Duke Manufacturing's portfolio of hot holding platforms), Florigo Frying Solutions, Klipspringer, Plasma Clean, Ramco UK, Fosse Liquitrol, Medem UK, and Greener Kitchen Standards (Soil Association).
The ever-growing exhibitor list covers everything required to run, refurbish or build a commercial kitchen, including cooking equipment, refrigeration, kitchen gadgets, storage, warewashing, waste management, ventilation, fit out and design.  Returning exhibitors include: Aco Building Drainage, Aqua Cure, CCE Group, Commercial Catering Spares, Clifton Food Range, DC Warewashing & Icemaking Systems, Gamble Foodservice Solutions, ETI, MCS Technical Products, Meiko UK, Oxford Hardware, Purified Air, Regale Microwave Ovens, Retigo, Robot Coupe, Roller Grill, Space Group, Target Catering Equipment, Univent Systems, Unox UK, Valentine Equipment, Viessmann Refrigeration Systems, Wexiodisk, and more.
Many other returning suppliers have also opted to increase their stand space.  Trak/Hupfer, True Refrigeration UK, S&S Northern, Jestic Foodservice Equipment, and Kingspan are among the companies to have almost doubled their stand presence.  Altro and Synergy Grill have also gone ‘bigger’ to build on their success at the last show, which welcomed over 1,700 attendees.
Katie Tyler, Commercial Kitchen’s event manager, explains: “In just three years, Commercial Kitchen has established itself as the two days a year where the industry meets, launches innovations and does business.  What makes it truly unique is that it brings together senior equipment buyers and key decision makers from every vertical sector, from all types of kitchens – from top-end Michelin starred restaurants to pubs, bars, branded restaurant chains, cafés, schools and hospitals.  That’s also what makes it such an exciting proposition for our exhibitors.
“The 2019 show is already off to a flying start and is on track to sell-out well in advance.  We’ve received tremendous support from across the industry and it’s clear that Commercial Kitchen is seen as the key event for 2019.  We’ve had lots of interest from new suppliers looking to reach this important market and look forward to announcing further details soon.”
Your industry survey
Other announcements from the show this week include the introduction of a new industry survey aimed at foodservice industry professionals who buy or use catering equipment in their kitchens.
The results, to be released in early 2019, will provide a unique snapshot into the leading brands, must-have products, gadgets, smart tech and services available on the catering equipment market.
To take part in the survey, please visit:
Your industry show
Commercial Kitchen returns to the NEC Birmingham on 4-5 June 2019.  Show features include a free two-day seminar programme, the Innovation Challenge Awards and ceda Awards Gallery.
As in previous years, the show’s expert seminar content will cover key themes that focus specifically on the kitchen or back of house, including equipment innovations, technology, procurement, design, efficiency, and best practices.  There will also be dedicated sessions hosted by ceda and the FCSI (the show’s lead partner and partner respectively).
Visitor registration will open in January.  Top-level buyers from many of the country’s biggest foodservice operators, consultants, contract caterers, equipment distributors, and design and project houses are planning to visit again; including Bartlett Mitchell, Bourne Leisure, Burger King, Casual Dining Group, Drake and Morgan, EI Group, Fuller’s, Greene King, Kew Green Hotels, Las Iguanas, Loungers, Marston’s, Mitchells & Butlers, PizzaExpress, Pizza Hut Restaurants, Punch Taverns, Sainsbury's, SSP, Tesco, TGI Fridays, Tortilla, Virgin Trains, Whitbread, YO!, and many more.
“Commercial Kitchen is the best show out there for sourcing quality innovations,” says Paul Dickinson, director of food at Fuller’s.
For further information, please visit

Caterplus and Taylor Shaw launch new websites following Elior UK digital transformation #

Caterplus and Taylor Shaw – the education and care catering arms of Elior UK – have launched their new websites, designed to deliver more functionality and improved accessibility for education and care operators. The websites new designs makes it easier to navigate the wide ranges of services that Taylor Shaw and Caterplus provide across the care and education industry, helping any operator understand the wide range of tailored food solutions available.
Carl Morris, director of sales, marketing & corporate communications, Elior UK said: “We’re committed to making sure operators can always provide anyone with nutritionally rich and great tasting food. The new websites makes this even easier, with simpler navigation, more information and better functionality across the entire sites.
“No matter the site, everyone should have the choice of innovative and delicious food in an environment that’s perfect for them. Thanks to our refreshed websites, which give operators more information than ever before, it’s our hope that more people can enjoy exactly that.”
This project is just the start of a wider digital transformation project across Elior UK. Over the coming months, the catering and support service operator will be launching further digital redesigns and updates, making it quicker and simpler for all customers to access its services online.
Visit the new Taylor Shaw website here:
Visit the new Caterplus website here:

Elior UK gives Beyond Food apprentices a taste of Texture Modified Food #

Apprentices from Beyond Food enjoyed a masterclass in dysphagia and Texture Modified Food from Elior UK as part of their training.
Beyond Food is a charity that helps those affected by homelessness gain meaningful employment. Three apprentices joined Elior’s chef Kelly Gavriliuc and menu development manager Stefan Harris for an in depth session designed to help show how care catering can offer a rewarding career.
The day kicked off with a classroom session on dysphagia and why patients need special diets, before Kelly talked the apprentices through the different ways to make texture modified food look and taste great.
Kelly Gavriliuc says: “You eat so much with your eyes and what you feel about a dish is pre-determined in the first few seconds. Residents with dysphagia deserve the best and there are so many simple ways to create visually appealing dishes. You just need a bit of imagination.
“It’s a real passion of mine, I could do it all day long. Knowing this makes a difference to residents’ lives gives me massive satisfaction when the meals go out. When I see a smile on their face and there’s no weight loss, it’s job done. It’s been great to pass on some of that knowledge and to have inspired a new generation of chefs.”
During the day, the apprentices learned some tricks of the trade: how to make hydrating jelly desserts; the best ways to pipe and shape foods; how to make the plate look appealing and the foods as realistic as possible; and the best way to keep flavour in the dishes.
Stephen Carolan, apprentice, Beyond Food, said: “There’s a lot of care and work that goes into creating texture modified food. I never thought about cooking in a care home until today. But now I’ve seen food like this, it’s exciting and something I’d love to try.”
Simon Boyle, chef founder, Beyond Food say: “The apprentices are on a two-year training course spending their first year working in the professional kitchen at Brigade – our partner bar and kitchen in London Bridge, followed by a year on a supported work placement with one of our employer partners.
“This week has been all about getting them work ready and building their confidence. We’re keen to expose the team to different experiences and show the hospitality industry isn’t just about restaurants and hotels. Today has expanded their minds and shown how with some passion and imagination, care catering can be exciting and fulfilling. Many of the apprentices have needed a lot of support in the past, so it’s rewarding for them to work in an industry where they can give back.”
Elior has been recently been recognised for its innovative approach to Texture Modified Food by the Alzheimer’s Society in being shortlisted in the Trailblazer of the Year category at the Dementia Friendly Awards. Earlier this year, Kelly Gavriliuc won the Best Care Home Chef Mentor Award for her passionate work in the care sector developing the standards and training around Texture Modified Foods.

Elior UK saves 36 tonnes of coffee waste from going to landfill #

Elior UK, working in partnership with sustainable biofuel producer bio-bean, has saved 36 tonnes of coffee waste from going to landfill. Since their partnership began in 2016, waste coffee grounds have been collected from various Elior sites across the country. After being collected, the waste coffee is transformed into Coffee Logs for use in wood burners, stoves and open fires.
To date, Elior and bio-bean have made 11,500 logs (and counting). These logs burn 20% longer and hotter than kiln-dried wood, and recycling coffee waste generates 80% less emissions than landfill.
Charlotte Wright, CSR manager, Elior UK said: “This is just the beginning, we plan on getting more sites involved. CSR is at the heart of everything we do. We want to work with partners and like-minded businesses to effect real change – and bio-bean are definitely doing that.”
Julia Porter, national supply chain manager, bio-bean said: “Through encouraging clients to recycle their waste coffee responsibly, Elior is helping them to reduce their carbon footprint and cut down on waste disposal costs. We’ve already seen great success and look forward to an increasing cluster of Elior clients coming on board!”
To learn more, or to buy bio-bean’s eco-friendly Coffee Logs for yourself, visit

Elior and Urban Rajah spice up school meals with Indian Street Food range #

Elior UK and Ivor Peters (the TV chef and spice expert better known as the Urban Rajah) have launched their sizzling new range, Urban Rajah Indian Street Kitchen, in 120 Taylor Shaw secondary schools and colleges across the UK.

Only previously available in B&I & universities, the Urban Rajah Indian Street Kitchen range offers a unique blend of nutritious, delicious food with an original twist. Its school compliant menu has been specially adapted for different tastes, introducing pupils to diverse global street food with its Indian-inspired wraps, sliders and noodles plus some scintillating spiced sides.

The Urban Rajah said: “Indian street food is transforming perceptions of Indian cuisine in the UK, fusing the much loved essence of traditional Indian cuisine with a more modern hand-held and casual dining format. Together with Taylor Shaw, we’re going to excite people’s taste buds with modern Indian street food and give schools a taste of the Indian subcontinent. The spirit of the concept is to re-tell the story of Indian food in the UK, much like myself it’s born Britain but spiced by India!”
The specially developed Urban Rajah Indian Street Kitchen menu for education consists of:

- Buroti: Indian-style Burrito wraps packed with chicken or vegetarian options, soaked in spices and accompanied by fragrant basmati rice and chutneys. A delicious range of drinks and sides such as chilli charred sweetcorn can also be paired with the Buroti menu.

- Pav Bhaji: Much like a slider or burger, this hand-held fast food dish from Mumbai is perfect for students on the go. Served in a soft toasted brioche bun, tempting creations such as Bombay Bolognese and saag aloo tikki are crowned with a refreshing Desi Leaf Salad and warming chutney.

- Indo-Chinese: Taking two of the globe’s most popular cuisines and slamming them together to create ethnic con-fusion! The blending of these food cultures has been happening across the Indian sub-continent for some time now, as Chinese communities have grown and flourished. The result is a distinct gastronomic sub-culture. It’s hard working food for hard working students, created by chefs on street corners, food bazaars and canteens.

After the success of the launch into Taylor Shaw schools and colleges, the new menu will also be phased into Edwards & Blake education sites. Visit to learn more about the Urban Rajah concept.

Nisbets and MOB Kitchen have created the MOB Box for students #

Nisbets has collaborated with MOB Kitchen to create a box of catering essentials. The MOB Box provides students and young adults with all of the fundamental tools to begin their culinary journey in the kitchen.
MOB Kitchen is an online recipe platform that produces delicious and healthy recipes that feed four for less than £10. To complement its offering, MOB Kitchen worked together with Nisbets to produce a box of equipment that can be used to prepare and serve a meal for four people. The MOB Box is a single, sleek black box, which contains essentials needed to set up in a student’s first kitchen. The MOB Box offers a complete solution and provides the key products to support the recipes that MOB Kitchen provides.
Mark Conron, global head of customer communications at Nisbets said: “MOB Kitchen provides a resource that encourages young people across the country into the kitchen and to start making delicious, healthy food at an affordable price. We are delighted to support the initiative; it’s important to give young people the tools and the knowledge to get them started in the kitchen and encourage them to create nutritious meals. Hopefully this will help people to discover a passion for cooking they may not have realised they had before.”

Nisbets and HMS Prince of Wales promote careers in catering #

On Wednesday 28 November, Nisbets and HMS Prince of Wales hosted a special drinks reception to celebrate the recently established relationship between HMS Prince of Wales and Nisbets which was established as part of HMS Prince of Wales affiliation with the city of Bristol. The intention was to attract young talent to careers within the catering and hospitality industry.
Held at the National Catering Equipment Centre, guests included students from nearby colleges and representatives from local businesses. By joining with the UK’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, Nisbets held the event to address the workforce skills shortage facing the catering industry by promoting the opportunities available within the Royal Navy Catering Services cadre.
Both HMS Prince of Wales and Nisbets have strong connections to the city of Bristol and are keen to celebrate their relationship with the city and promote the job opportunities they offer residents. Nisbets has over 2,000 colleagues globally, with 1,200 colleagues based in its headquarters in Avonmouth and within HMS Prince of Wales and its crew, and the intention will be for the Ship and Nisbets to maintain links with the city throughout its 50 years of active service.
Both organisations are aware of the unfortunate skills shortage facing the hospitality and catering sector and how it will affect the armed forces, so the event focused on planning for the future. The evening showcased the great talents of Executive Chefs currently working on board HMS Prince of Wales to demonstrate that it is a world class and unique environment to work within. Attendees were also asked to share their thoughts and ideas on how to attract new talent into the industry.
Klaus Goeldenbot, group CEO at Nisbets commented, “We are hugely pleased with the number of people who attended and it was especially exciting to have so many students come along from local colleges. The event was exceptionally well organised to encourage young people to consider careers within the catering cadre of the Royal Navy and I believe the students who attended will have gained a real insight into the options available to them. 
“At a time when the hospitality industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, it is really important for us to champion career pathways within the sector. There is an untapped pool of young home-grown talent and, where traditionally hospitality roles may have been overlooked, it is our job to highlight the compelling opportunities, passion and fulfilment that our industry presents.”
Spokesman, WO1 Kevin Shenton (head of the ships catering services department) onboard HMS Prince of Wales said: “The event was a fantastic way to show our appreciation to the local community and to really demonstrate and explain to young Bristolians what it’s like to work on one of the world’s largest aircraft carriers. By using the facilities at the National Catering Equipment Centre, we were certainly able to let our chefs demonstrate their talent and let their passion shine through.
“Although the city of Portsmouth will be home to HMS Prince of Wales for the duration of her time in service; the affiliation with the city of Bristol will also remain for this period and we are keen to continue to build links with the city and its residents as well as create job opportunities. Careers within the Royal Navy can be really rewarding and there are so many different positions on offer, so we are really pleased to be able to focus on the catering and hospitality roles at this event and hopefully, inspire a new generation of chefs within the armed forces.”

WSH announces appointment of People and Talent Director #

WSH, the parent company of leading hospitality brands including BaxterStorey, Benugo, Searcys and Caterlink, has appointed Maria Stanford as People and Talent Director.

Maria will join the company in January 2019, leading HR teams across the entire WSH portfolio. She joins WSH following a successful career in Human Resources, including 11 years at luxury retailer, Selfridges Group. During her tenure, Maria held senior HR roles in the businesses and became the first Group HR Director working across all 4 brands in Europe and Canada.

In addition to her previous roles at Selfridges, Maria has held senior positions at organisations including Marks & Spencer and Pret A Manger, as well as providing consultancy work for the likes of wagamama, PizzaExpress, Chanel and Fenwick.

Alastair Storey, chairman and CEO at WSH, said: “Maria brings with her a wealth of experience of successfully leading teams at a number of coveted businesses.

“We have seen a 35% increase in our teams, with employee numbers growing by more than 6,000 since 2014. These people are at the very heart of WSH and Maria’s passion for driving career development makes her ideally placed to lead our committed, growing workforce.”

Maria commented: “WSH continues to grow at an exciting pace. It is more critical than ever to make sure people remain at the heart of all the businesses as we grow. I look forward to working with the teams across all brands to develop and drive forward initiatives to ensure continued success within this diverse business.”

Brussels based Barista crowned winner at national championships #

Cathy Naert has been crowned winner of the BaxterStorey Barista Championships 2018, which showcases exceptional talent from across the UK and Europe.
Following two months of hard-fought regional heats across England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brussels, 16 semi-finalists took to the stage in Shoreditch on Thursday 22 November. By lunchtime, the judges had chosen the six finalists who spent the afternoon demonstrating their creative flair and in-depth coffee knowledge through their signature drink. After an intense afternoon, Cathy, based at AXA, Belgium, was announced as the winner.
Cathy took inspiration from the tastes of summer, with a signature drink infusion of strawberry coulis and mint, with a dollop of almond cream on top.  The sprig of mint is rolled between hands before drinking, so the aroma of mint is infused in the tasting.
Jana Slamova, BaxterStorey Barista Academy manager and head trainer, said: “This year’s competitors pulled out all the stops, making the final decision as hard as possible for the expert judges.
“The competition offers an opportunity for our baristas to be recognised for their passion and highlights the incredible talent within our business. We hope our training opportunities continue to inspire, and arms them with the skills and confidence they need to produce quality coffee for our clients across our many locations.”

Cathy said: “I’ve only been a barista for six months, and the other competitors are amazing, I can’t believe I’ve won. My drink was inspired by my favourite summer flavours. It’s been such a life experience, I’d tell any barista to enter as it’s so worth it”.
Scott Taylor, head of coffee at BaxterStorey said of the finalists: “It was a fierce competition. This year saw finalists being told to change their coffee brand ahead of the final heat. Watching them choose their new flavours with just one hour’s preparation, is credit to the talent and passion of each barista. Cathy’s presentation and signature drink was outstanding and the flavours really came together”.
As the 2018 Barista Champion, Cathy will be given a tour of the Matthew Algie roastery in Glasgow; tickets to attend the World of Coffee show 2019 in Berlin and will be entered into the SCA’s 2019 UK Barista Championship.
BaxterStorey also launched its first coffee festival in conjunction with the competition. The festival was an opportunity to explore the latest trends and creations from across the coffee industry and saw a range of suppliers exhibit their products. Exhibitors included We Are Tea which showcased its cold brew tea, Union Coffee whose roasters demonstrated the company’s sensory and flavour tests with amazing single origin filter coffee and Matthew Algie which brought the brand’s Hasslachers single origin Cacao and espresso warehouse with the latest coffee gadgets available for purchasing.

Hospitality specialist makes new appointment in the South West #

BaxterStorey, has appointed Mack Allan as regional managing director for the South West and Wales as it seeks to strengthen its presence in the growing region. BaxterStorey already has a significant client base in the area, including Burgess Salmon, ONS and Nationwide.  
Since taking on his new role, Mack has already overseen the opening of the company’s new regional office, based in Bristol - a fantastic hub for Mack and his growing team, as they develop a stronger presence in the region from which to support clients.  
Beginning his career as a chef in the armed forces, Mack progressed into management at British Aerospace Filton and landed his first Operations Manager role covering the wider Bristol area. Mack joined BaxterStorey in 2000 and has progressed through various leadership roles in Reading, London and Scotland. Mack’s last role was Regional Director for Scotland where he was responsible for supporting his clients and extensive team whilst developing new opportunities for the business. He now returns to the area where his career first took off.  
Mack said: “The South West and Wales is a strong growth area and we have some fantastic clients here. My role is to nurture these relationships and set us up for the next stage in our growth across this thriving region. 
“Contract catering has moved on so much since I joined the industry and it is now recognised that businesses like BaxterStorey take pride in providing their clients with high quality, fresh, local and seasonal ingredients.   
“I’m excited about returning to the area and I’m really looking forward to renewing some old acquaintances.” 
John Bennett, co-chief executive at BaxterStorey, said: We’re delighted to appoint Mack as regional managing director with his wealth of experience and strong knowledge of the local area”.   

BaxterStorey’s Sam Ross makes BBC 100 Women 2018 most influential list #

A catering assistant with Down’s syndrome who works for BaxterStorey at its contract at City of Glasgow College has been included in the BBC 100 Women 2018 list of the most inspiring and influential women around the world this year. 
Thirty-year-old Sam Ross, who has worked for BaxterStorey at the city site since 2016, has been included on the list of leaders, trailblazers and everyday heroes, ranging from 15-94 in age. 
Other women to appear on the list alongside Ross include Frances Arnold, American chemical engineer and Nobel Laureate, Chelsea Clinton, vicechair of the Clinton Foundation in the US, and Chinese musician and songwriter G.E.M., who uses her influence to support charities and organisations dedicated to music, education and poverty. 
Ross is an ambassador for Down’s Syndrome Scotland and has appeared in advertisements promoting her home city of Glasgow. 
Earlier this year, Ross spoke at the World Down’s Syndrome conference in Glasgow, where she gave an insight into her independent life. She travelled to Chennai in India in 2015 to inspire young adults with the condition, and, since then, has given awareness talks at the City of Chambers, the Gallery or Modern Art, King Tuts venue and Tube stations. 
Ross commented: “When my Dad told me I'd been selected in the top 100 inspirational women, I couldn't believe it. It's been amazing. So many people are coming up me and I've even been contacted by someone from Australia who got in touch to congratulate me. I'm so excited I'm famous!”  
Allison Miller, operations manager added: “We are so proud of Sam and what she has achieved. Sam had been working at the college for ten years when joined us through via tupe, and is a big character known by many across the college. She is a much-loved member of the team; a real conscientious worker and we couldn’t be prouder of her making the BBC 100 Women 2018 list.” 
Tom Lowe, head of people operations said: “At BaxterStorey we believe in treating all people equally and we truly embrace diversity. We offer a wide range of employment opportunities for any individual and we have some fantastic people with learning disabilities working for us and on placements with us. We work in partnership with the college and sit on the Board of the College inclusion team, which was recently recognised with the Glasgow Diversity and Inclusion Award”.   
According to the Down’s Syndrome Association, there are approximately 40,000 people in the UK with the condition. The association’s website explains: “People with the syndrome will have a learning disability. The learning disability affects a person’s ability to learn, it does not mean they cannot learn.” 
BaxterStorey have held the contract at City of Glasgow College since 2016 and cater for approximately 15,000 students and 3,000 lecturers from the main campus, on a daily basis.  
Paul Little, principal and chief executive at City of Glasgow College, said: “Sam is a valuable, well liked and popular member of Team City and her college family is very proud of her. She has rightly been included in the BBC 100 Women because of her contribution to the lives of other people with learning disabilities which has been recognised by the Scottish Parliament in a motion congratulating her on the word she has carried out in raising awareness of Down’s Syndrome.” 

Pure Salmon appoints Bray Leino and Speed for international trade launch #

The creative communications Agency Bray Leino and PR firm Speed, have been appointed as retained agencies by Pure Salmon, a new land-based salmon farming company developed by 8F Asset Management.  Bray Leino and Speed will promote the company’s industry profile within international seafood, business and foodservice trade media, particularly in the area of environmental issues and social responsibility.
Pure Salmon’s mission is to help solve the global fish shortage by becoming the leader in high quality, clean, sustainable and fresh land-based Atlantic salmon farming.  The initial focus will be on communicating the international launch of the Pure Salmon brand as a socially responsible choice for consumer health, the environment and the economy.
Bray Leino and Speed were selected from a competitive shortlist. They have highly-relevant experience in the seafood industry, having represented the Norwegian Seafood Council (now Seafood from Norway) for seven years. They both have extensive food and drink sector expertise, delivering innovative campaigns for brands like Nestlé Professional, Heinz and Bonne Maman.
With offices in Devon, Bristol and London, Bray Leino and Speed have a long history of partnership and collaboration and are part of the mission marketing group, one the UK’s leading and most respected Agency Groups. Bray Leino will help develop and deliver a global brand strategy while Speed oversees Pure Salmon’s international, national and trade media relations and spearheads a range of initiatives from news announcements and feature articles, to opinion pieces and endorsements from NGOs and chefs. 
Martin Fothergill, co-founder at 8F, said: “We are delighted to be working with Bray Leino and Speed. It is an exciting time in the global development of land-based Atlantic salmon farming and with their extensive industry knowledge and expertise, we see both agencies as the best partners to share our story.”
Kate Cox, CEO at Bray Leino, said: “We have extensive expertise in this category and we are well aware of the challenges facing the industry. So, this is an exciting opportunity to help build a brand that’s aiming to tackle sustainability and environmental issues head on.”
Cat Jennings, director of food & hospitality at Speed, said: “Our specific sector knowledge puts us in an excellent position to be involved in promoting Pure Salmon’s vision and offering. We are passionate about Pure Salmon’s commitment to producing a local sustainable solution to salmon production with global scope. We have extensive experience of working with sustainable brands within food and hospitality and look forward to sharing that expertise.” 

CESA salutes foodservice industry heroes #

Orders of Merit announced at Conference 2018
Where would the foodservice industry be without the committed individuals who work tirelessly for their organisations and trade associations?  The key ones you can always rely on, who go the extra mile, the ones you turn to when the chips are down. 
At the CESA Conference 2018 the Association announced 19 winners of the Foodservice Industry Order of Merit, which recognised the selfless work of these people.  They represent a wide range of organisations, including trade associations, guilds and charities.  What they all have in common is their absolute dedication to their cause.  
Glenn Roberts, the outgoing chair of CESA, presented the awards during the Conference session on November 15th.  “Without their hard work our industry would be far poorer and weaker,” he said. “Their contribution and commitment is beyond value and we salute them.”
The complete list of Order of Merit 2018 recipients is:
Anthony Pender, British Institute of Innkeepers
John Williams, Academy of Culinary Arts
Andrew Crook, National Federation of Fish Friers (pictured)
Bob Fox, NCASS
Stuart McLeod, British Culinary Federation
Andy Kemp, Arena
Keith Breasley, ASSIST
Andrew Bennett, Craft Guild of Chefs
Stewart McKenzie, Hospital Caterers Association
William Baxter, Hospitality Action
Robin Sheppard, Institute of Hospitality
Michael Hales, LACA
Neel Radia, NACC
Matthew White, TUCO
Nick Varney, UK Hospitality
Don Hodgson (Master), Worshipful Company of Cooks
Howard Porter, BEAMA
Mark Kendall, CEDA
Julian Edwards, FSCI
The CESA Conference 2018, in association with Cedabond, ENSE and the FCSI, took place on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th November, at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park. 

Kitchenology: CESA zone showcases the latest foodservice technology #

Plus training, education and the Foodservice Knowledge resource

Stand 448, the Professional Kitchen Show, NEC Birmingham, January 22-23 2019
The impact of digital technology on commercial kitchens is gathering pace and the Professional Kitchen Show’s Kitchenology Zone, which is supported by CESA, will spotlight the very latest advances.  Centre stage will be a Smart Kitchen, where visitors will be able to walk through a complete kitchen showcasing some of the latest models, including connected warewashers, refrigerators and cooking appliances. 
“Equipment that’s connected via the internet is already proving its worth in terms of improved efficiencies, lower running costs, less down time and much-enhanced ‘first time fix’ rates,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “The Kitchenology Zone Smart Kitchen is the place to see how it all works together.” 
CESA will also be promoting its training and education programme for 2019.   The CFSP accreditation (Certified Food Service Professional) has become internationally recognised for giving an holistic understanding of how foodservice businesses work.  However, it’s only a part of the programme that CESA is developing.  For 2019 courses range from Principles of Foodservice, a short introduction for new starters to the industry, to a comprehensive Networking and Connectivity module aimed at maintenance staff and service engineers.  
A major part of CESA’s remit is to help foodservice operators get answers to their equipment questions.  Visitors to the stand will be able to find out about the Foodservice Knowledge resource.  CESA has created specialist committees, covering everything from refrigeration to warewashing, and part of their function is to provide a pool of specialist knowledge and advice on their area of expertise, which anyone in the industry can access, via CESA. 

Leagues of chefs making the switch as Essential Cuisine Stock Swap scheme continues #

The Essential Cuisine Stock Exchange is still open for business, having already seen an unprecedented number of chefs swap their existing product for full size pots^ of its class-leading powdered stocks range.  
From holding live swap-shop events at trade shows, to face-to-face demos in kitchens across the UK, the British producer, and its dedicated chef brigade, have been busily working to turn the tables on competitor products, with the pledge that once kitchens experience the Essential difference, they won’t ever go back.
So far, almost 50 kitchens from across hospitality have applied to receive full size samples, chefs can join the army of converts today by signing up at: or tweeting #ECStockExchange to @essentialcuisin.

Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, senior business development chef for Essential Cuisine, comments: “We’re delighted by the initial response to our Stock Exchange as more and more kitchens begin to see the raft of benefits that our stock range offers. This is very much the beginning, however; we’re determined to show even more kitchens what they’ve been missing out on – helping them switch to a stock that truly gives them more.”  
With a scratch-made taste and performance that chefs from all walks of life love, the Essential Cuisine range has, for the past 23 years, built an impressive reputation for reliability and consistency. Much of its 12-strong range of stocks are free from declarable allergens*, while all are low in salt and high in yield with an unmatched versatility, meaning they can be used at almost any point in the cooking process.
Perfect for rubs, marinades, pané, blending, poaching, dusting and braising as well as giving existing stockpots a flavoursome boost, Essential Cuisine pots are packed with the potential to do more.    
^Full size samples are only open to bona fide caterers and available while stocks last, visit the website for full T’s and C’s.
*These products do not contain declarable allergens under the EU regulation 1169/2011 (Annex II).

Christmas comes early as Essential Cuisine unveils charity advent calendar giveaway #

The season of giving came early for Essential Cuisine, with the British supplier of stocks and sauces offering up a festive feast of exclusive prizes each day in November, from product hampers and development days, to chef goodies, shopping vouchers as well as a brand-new iPad!
Essential Cuisine’s advent calendar launched on the company’s Twitter – @essentialcuisin – on November 1st and ran throughout the month. Open to working kitchens across hospitality, landing one of the exclusive prizes couldn’t be easier – entrants simply needed to keep the Essential feed in their daily timeline, click on that day’s door and correctly identify the food pictured.
For every entry, Essential Cuisine donated 50p to industry charity Hospitality Action, helping the benevolent organisation continue to offer vital assistance to those who have worked, or are currently working, in the industry and find themselves in crisis.
Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, senior business development chef for Essential Cuisine, comments: “Christmas is such a hectic time of year for chefs and working kitchens that we wanted to bring the festivities forward, giving them the opportunity to scoop some truly exclusive prizes in time for the big day. At this time of year, especially, our thoughts go out to those less fortunate, which is why for every entry we donated 50p to Hospitality Action, helping them to continue their incredibly important work in supporting people in crisis.”    

Essential Cuisine achieves fourth consecutive BRC ‘AA’ rating #

The British manufacturer of stocks and sauces, Essential Cuisine, is celebrating a fourth consecutive ‘AA’ rating from the British Retail Consortium (BRC.)

The news, says Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, senior business development chef for Essential Cuisine, will give working kitchens further peace of mind that they are in partnership with a supplier that holds quality and food safety in the very highest regard.

“The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is globally recognised and provides a well-established framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality.

“Chefs have so much to worry about as it is, that they need suppliers they can trust, offering not just a class-leading product but a quality and consistency that they can pass onto customers with zero compromise. We’re delighted to yet again prove our worth as the stock and sauce supplier of choice for kitchens across hospitality.”

With a scratch-made taste and performance that chefs from all walks of life love, the Essential Cuisine range has built an impressive reputation for reliability and consistency and an unmatched versatility.

Sodexo wins ‘Partnership of the Year’ at prestigious HSJ Awards #

Sodexo has won Partnership of the Year at the 2018 HSJ Awards for its collaboration with University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.

The HSJ Awards celebrated the outstanding contributions of staff and organisations to the healthcare sector. Sodexo’s award recognised the partnership between Sodexo and the estates and facilities team at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM).
Sodexo has provided facilities management at the Trust since 2012, when it was known as University Hospital of North Staffordshire, it merged with the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in 2014.
The newly-created UHNM NHS Trust serves around three million people across Staffordshire and North Wales, and is now one of the largest hospital trusts in the country with a large private finance initiative (PFI) contract and a complex mix of in-house and outsourced estates and facilities services.
Working in partnership with the UHNM’s in-house estates and facilities team, the 1,000-strong Sodexo team is responsible for the soft FM services throughout the PFI and retained estate and hard FM services to the PFI. These partnership efforts have contributed to over £5m to the UHNM’s cost improvement plan.
The Trust has also been commended by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for innovative practice in estates and facilities.
Stuart Winters, CEO for Sodexo Healthcare in the UK and Ireland said, “The teams at both Sodexo and UHNM Trust have worked tirelessly to make the most out of their collaborative efforts. This recognition is a fantastic achievement for both Sodexo and the Trust and reflects what can be achieved for patient’s quality of life when you work together.”
Neal Gisborne, Divisional Director for Sodexo Healthcare commented, “We are all over the moon with the announcement. This award truly recognises the Sodexo estates and facilities team’s commitment and dedicated approach to their work. The team have made a significant contribution through their collaborative approach with the Trust.”

Sodexo – bringing people together #

THE catering and events company behind some of the UK’s most prestigious and best loved venues is heralding 2019 by putting the focus firmly on people.
Sodexo, which partners sports stadia, galleries, museums and tourist attractions across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, has announced a new initiative which will run initially from January to March 2019.
And its aim is Bringing People Together, by offering them a wide range of incentives to meet up for social, leisure or corporate events.
Among the incentives on offer at venues as diverse as IWM London, Scotland’s Hampden Park Stadium and Belfast’s National Football Stadium Windsor Park, are tailored event packages and complimentary lunch upgrades, while others, such as Aberdeen Football Club, are offering discounts on winter weddings.
The Crystal, London’s most sustainable events venue, is offering one free place for every 10 delegates booked for meetings at the venue and Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club’s Amex Stadium is laying on a porridge breakfast, soup and sandwich lunch and lounge hire for the reduced rate of just £29.99 exc VAT per person.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is offering a variety of perks, from half price room hire throughout January to a £25 Burns Supper deal, while complimentary breakfasts are on offer at corporate events for 40 delegates or more.
While two Bury St Edmunds’ venues; The Apex and the Grade I listed Athenaeum, Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park and historic Knebworth, Hertfordshire are offering bookers a choice of perks, such as complimentary breakfasts and break out spaces.
The Bringing People Together initiative is a direct response to studies that show the real advantages face to face contact can have on emotional wellbeing, team bonding and professional productivity.
Sodexo will also explore the benefits of Bringing People Together through a series of interesting blog posts on topics such as ‘food as a tool for bonding,’ ‘meetings and mindfulness: how working with others can affect mental health,’ and ‘modern day banqueting.’
Natasha Carr, venue and events marketing manager at Sodexo, said: “Digital technology advances certainly make it is easier than ever to communicate with friends and colleagues – but nothing quite equals face to face interaction.
“By encouraging people to come together, in some of the most interesting and memorable venues in the UK, we are helping them build better and stronger relationships with their clients, colleagues and friends.
“Spending productive time with like minded people who have a common purpose – whether that’s celebrating a special occasion, learning to work as team or attending a meeting or conference – brings benefits that last long after the event itself is over.”
For further information about the venues participating in Sodexo’s Bringing People Together campaign, call its central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, email Venues& or visit

Sodexo strengthens UK education business with Alliance in Partnership acquisition #

Sodexo announced the acquisition of the Alliance in Partnership (AiP) group of companies, a specialist education caterer which includes The Contract Dining Company and Class Catering Services.   

Established in 1998, AiP has grown considerably over the last few years through organic growth and acquisitions. The company has stayed true to its ethos of supplying high quality, locally sourced and seasonal meals at competitive prices, a focus shared by Sodexo.

AiP will continue to operate independently with managing director Paul Rogers continuing to lead the business and its 1,500 employees from its Birmingham head office.

Food and the dining experience at school is incredibly important with lunch times providing an important break in a busy day for students. By joining forces Sodexo and AiP will combine their resources and expertise to deliver innovative food concepts which help improve health and learning outcomes for students across the UK.

Paul Rogers will join a newly formed operational board which, with Sodexo’s managing director for government schools, Matt Garner, will oversee the development of Sodexo and AiP’s business in this sector. The new board will include executives from both Sodexo and AiP and will report into Sodexo’s CEO for schools and universities, Andrew Wilkinson.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO schools and universities, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to welcome the talented and dynamic AiP team to Sodexo. The AiP impressive client base of 418 schools will strongly complement our existing schools’ business. The education sector presents a huge growth area for us and we have been looking to expand our presence in it for some time. Whilst we have been growing our own business organically, acquiring a company already well-established in the sector enables us to develop our scale, infrastructure and visibility.”

Paul Rogers, managing director for AiP said: “We are thrilled to be joining Sodexo. We share a similar ethos and we have a common heritage which is to serve healthy, nutritious food in a fun and welcoming environment. By joining forces with Sodexo, we believe that we can take our business to the next level and give the company and our people significant opportunities to grow.”

Sodexo stars recognised #

Sodexo celebrated its star colleagues at its annual awards ceremony, held at the Principal Hotel, Manchester.

Nearly 500 Sodexo’ people gathered together to recognise those excelling in their roles, demonstrating the company’s values day in, day out. 

Winners for each of Sodexo’s business areas were announced along with the national winners for the 16 categories which range from chef of the year, rising star, employee engagement to star employee and Sodexo’s prestigious Alan Tilley award.

The 2018 ceremony was hosted by Sodexo Ambassador, Matt Dawson and Sodexo brand and communications director Melanie Duffett, with entertainment from gospel choir, Sing Out. 

The prestigious Alan Tilley award, which is a tribute to a former Sodexo colleague who epitomised loyalty and dedication to service, went to Jackie Reed, who has been with Sodexo for almost 40 years and currently works as head of design in Sodexo’s service operations team.

Alan Sallis was named National Chef of the Year. Alan is an executive chef at a leading London university and was recognised for leading by example, delivering excellence in food and supporting the development of colleagues and young chefs. 
Reflecting Sodexo’s wide-ranging services, the coveted Star Employee of the Year award went to a prison custody officer (PCO) at HMP Forest Bank who has delivered over and above what her role requires, and has contributed to residents’ resettlement in the community, ensuring that they are supported in all areas where they may struggle and need that extra support.

Sean Haley, regional chair, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “Investing in our people is crucial to our success and recognising and rewarding the exceptional talent we have in this business is very important to us. 

“Our annual Star Awards is all about our people, celebrating the exceptional talent in our business who form the beating heart of our business.

“We continue to focus on providing the high quality of service our clients expect from us. And that’s what makes us different.”

Nestlé Professional launches limited edition designer coffee tins #

The new NESCAFÉ Azera By Design range is created in exclusive partnership with the University of Creative Arts

NESCAFÉ Azera has partnered with graphic design students from the University of Creative Arts to produce a collection of new limited edition designs on their inspirational ‘sqround’ tins.

The first two designs in the NESCAFÉ Azera By Design range, launch this October, and are perfect for the workplace having both been inspired by the theme of unexpected urban adventures. The designs, entitled ‘Rush Hour’ and ‘Urban Walk’, both feature images relating to the urban landscape. Inside the tin customers are treated to the usual premium barista style instant coffee synonymous with the NESCAFÉ Azera brand.

Dan Balnave, category manager at Nestlé Professional® explains the background to the latest innovation, “We want to ensure every coffee break in an office is a quality moment. Our new tins ensure you can give your office an inspiring coffee break. That moment away from your desk could be the spark of your next big idea.

“These tins are designed to be different, showing how inspiration can come from anywhere when you’re brave enough to look at your environment through a new lens.

“Since launching the world’s first instant coffee in 1938, NESCAFÉ has always remained at the forefront of innovation.   At Nestlé Professional we not only strive to make products better, but to find ways of sparking creativity amongst our customers too.”

Entries opened for Nestle Professional Toque d’Or 2019 #

Registration opened for the prestigious 2019 Nestle Professional Toque d’Or competition for students and apprentice chefs at commis level in the UK.

Now in its 31st year, the Toque d’Or competition is one of the UK’s most influential training and development programmes, bridging the gap between the theories of the classroom, work-based learning and the exciting reality of the industry. It’s free to enter and aims to inspire the next generation of talented young chefs to develop their skills, knowledge and experience, and to make more possible for themselves and the whole industry. Winning prizes this year will include a once in a lifetime gastronomic trip to Europe.

The competition itself has evolved significantly since its inauguration in line with the changing needs of the UK foodservice industry and education. This year, with research stating nearly half (44%) of consumers consider the sustainability of ingredients to be important when eating out[1], a key competition focus is on sustainability and vegetarianism. The competition will centre around menu items that posses excellent sustainability credentials and link into health and wellbeing; indeed, research shows two-thirds (62%) of consumers who eat and drink out, proactively try to lead a healthy lifestyle[2].

The competition has so far worked with 8,000 contestants, including Jamie Oliver, and highly-regarded supporters such as Anton Mosimann and former judge James Martin. Since 2016 it has not only been open to students but also apprentices at commis level, with 233 having entered so far. Well known judges this year include James Tanner from the Kentish Hare and the Barbican Kitchen, Simon Hulstone from The Elephant and Nestle Professional Consultant Chef Andrej Prokes.

Katya Simmons, managing director, Nestlé Professional UK&I said: “Our aim is to provide the future stars of our industries with new skills, enhancing their learning and career. We see Toque d’Or as so much more than just a competition; we are focussed on motivating and inspiring potential talent and opening their minds to the opportunities within our industry. It’s about giving them a taste of their future.”  

John Howarth, Toque d’Or 2018 Apprentice finalist, added: “I've done a few cooking competitions before, but I've never been involved in one so fundamentally focused on the participants’ development. Every part of the competition gave us an opportunity to develop not just as chefs but also as individuals with a love of food and an opinion." 

[1] UKHospitality & CGA Future Shock Report - Issue4 2018
[2] UKHospitality & CGA Future Shock Report - Issue4 2018

New report reveals team working is the key to business success #

Nine in ten managers believe team working is key to business success and can help boost employee morale according to a new report from Nestlé Professional. 
The report, ‘Make Work Work: Why team working is the key to business success’, offers an in-depth look at the importance of team as a contributor to workplace happiness and success, and includes practical advice from businesses on how to get the most from a team and how to adopt a positive work environment.
Key findings from the independent research with 2,000 managers and workers, conducted in collaboration with 3GEM, reveals 90 percent of managers consider feeling part of a team to be an important factor in employee happiness. 
80 percent of managers also say it would benefit employee effectiveness if there were more opportunities for workers to spend time as a team. The report was commissioned to mark the launch of the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Majesto coffee machine – designed to bring people together, it offers over 40 different drinks to suit all preferences.
The research reveals eight in ten employees say a strong bond with colleagues is fundamental to happiness at work. The same number say taking coffee breaks with colleagues helps to strengthen office relationships. That sense of belonging is also a key factor to workplace productivity with six in ten office workers saying they work harder when they feel part of a team.
Positive work relationships also encourage staff retention with nearly two thirds of workers saying they would stay in a job longer because of their great colleagues and team.  
The survey also found that:
- Flexible working is cited as the top factor by employees for making them happier at work and the key attribute manager’s believe employees are looking for from an employer of choice
- Half of office workers say getting away from their desk helps them to feel more creative in the workplace
- 40 percent of workers say a nice work environment and office layout would make them happier at work
- Half of office workers say taking a break helps them to refocus and recharge

Steve Norris, sales director and workplace channel lead at Nestlé Professional explained how the report will help businesses to recognise the importance of a happy team as a key element to business success: “The research shows that a happy and cohesive team is a key factor to business success, particularly when it comes to productivity, staff retention and boosting employee morale.

“The survey also recognises the importance of taking a break to help strengthen office relationships and employee effectiveness. It’s with this in mind that we are launching the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Majesto coffee machine – designed to bring teams together it offers a variety of drinks for all preferences.

90 percent of managers recognise the importance of catering to a diverse range of personalities in the workplace for business success. With over 40 different drinks to choose from, the Majesto offers a coffee to suit everyone and enables the whole team to connect over a personalised, quality and convenient coffee.
Building on the notion that the best work happens when we consider different opinions, Nestlé Professional appreciates that workers also have different ideas as to what makes a great coffee. Bringing coffee shop-style favourites into the workplace – from frothy lattes to smooth americanos – there is a taste for everyone. As our research proves it has never been harder to get the team together, even if you’re a small business. Expertly crafted for the workplace, with the Majesto you’re one step closer to really making work work.

To download a copy of the Nestlé Professional report Make Work Work: Why team working is the key to business success visit

Salon Culinaire: the UK’s most prestigious chef competition is coming to Birmingham #

Incredible chefs, inspirational ingredients, and healthy competition combine for culinary greatness: the evolution of the much-loved Salon Culinaire. Taking place at The Foodservice Show and The Professional Kitchen Show, (NEC Birmingham, 22-23 January), Salon Culinaire Birmingham promises to be the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition in 2019.
Salon Culinaire is an investment by event organiser Fresh Montgomery in the country’s most exciting new chefs. It delivers a platform for up-and-coming talent to show off their skills to a room full of peers and an engaged audience at the show and on social media. It truly has something for everyone whether they are a novice or a seasoned competitor.
The Live Theatre
The Live Theatre, sponsored by Compass Group, is a contemporary, expertly designed theatre space with 8x adjacent work stations. All fully equipped with professional kitchen equipment, the stations are set in a semi-amphitheatre style to let chefs keep a close eye on the competition and give the audience a great view of all the action. The space will feature back-to-back hot live classes throughout the two days of the event. Chef Director Steve Munkley, Executive Chef at The Royal Garden Hotel and Vice President of The Craft Guild of Chefs, is curating the programme of challenging and exciting competitions, all requiring skills, techniques and ingredients prominent in today’s modern-day professional kitchen.
Competitions include:
- The Association of Pastry Chef’s Dessert of the Year
- The British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef Challenge
- Tilda Young Chef of the Year
- The DOLMIO® & UNCLE BEN’S® Foodservice Student Catering Challenge
- Nutella Challenge
- The Sodexo Chef of the Year – Grand Final  
- The Major Series Final 2019 in association with The Craft Guild of Chefs
- Open senior and junior competitions in Fish, Chicken, Pasta and Lamb 

Salon Display
Sure to be one of the most eye-catching elements of the event, the Salon Display, sponsored by Compass Group, will be a showcase of static culinary creations and incredible skill from seniors, juniors and even teams.
One highlight is the dedicated sugar-craft section, which will feature its own programme of competitions, including showpieces, floral sugar-craft arrangements, wedding cakes, novelty cakes and more. If you have a keen eye for the most Instagrammable food in the country, this isn’t one to miss.
Nick Vadis, culinary director, Compass Group, says: “The Salon Culinaire has provided our chefs with an opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of talent and skills being developed within our business. It’s excellent to see our chefs come away with an array of awards, and I’m always extremely proud of every chef that takes part in the competition.”
The Skills Theatre
The Skills Theatre is dedicated to chefs at the start of their careers. Through a range of cold live competitions, young chefs will get to practise some of the essential skills that will become crucial as they progress through their career.
New to the Skills Theatre are ‘Masterclasses’; expert sessions that are a must-attend for any new chef. The classes will take place each day, led by Ruth Hansom, Winner of TV’s Million Pound Menu and the first female winner of Young National Chef of the Year, and Leo Kattou, from Simpson’s Restaurant, BCF Chef of the Year finalist and of MasterChef fame.
Student, trainee or apprentice chefs undergoing a recognised catering qualification are all welcome, but entries close on 30th November 2018. So, visit the website today to apply.
The Public Sector Culinary Showcase
One part of the busy schedule is the Public Sector Culinary Showcase, sponsored by PS100. Chefs and cooks representing several different areas of the public sector will be given one hour to produce a main course and dessert using the same ingredients. Importantly, these key ingredients will reflect both the budgets and nutritional guidelines they work with each day in their sector. Sectors covered include schools (LACA), universities (TUCO), hospitals (HCA) and care homes (NACC), with more to be announced shortly.
The result is a thorough look at the culinary skill and innovation currently in the public sector, and an informative session on the strict criteria chefs and cooks have to work with today.
Danny Leung, head chef at Lexington Catering, says that attending Salon Culinaire is always “a rubber stamped date in the diary”. So, get it into your diary today.
For more information about Salon Culinaire Birmingham and the full programme of competitions, visit  

Registration opens for the biggest event of the year: The Professional Kitchen Show and The Foodservice Show #

Registration is now open for The Professional Kitchen Show and The Foodservice Show. The two shows are co-located at the NEC Birmingham on 22-23 January, and both boast experiential features, engaging speakers and the most influential and innovative suppliers from around the country.
Over 8,000 key senior buyers and 200 exhibitors will fill the NEC Birmingham over the two-day event. Suppliers already confirmed across the two shows include Smeg, MEIKO, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd, Essential Cuisine, Rational, O’Donohue’s Bakery, Synergy Grill, Bowlander Ingredients and more.
The ‘experiential features’ on show across the event are unlike any seen at foodservice and hospitality shows before. At the heart of The Professional Kitchen Show is the Kitchenology smart kitchen. Kitchenology will bring attendees into the kitchen of the future, showcasing the most innovative products and smart technology with a focus around business efficiencies and sustainability.
Meanwhile in The Foodservice Show, head chefs, catering professionals, and food and beverage managers can head to The Covered Market to see what’s new, hear growers’ stories and taste some of the finest fresh ingredients the UK has to offer. And everyone can see ingredients used in the most impressive ways imaginable at Salon Culinaire – the UK’s most prestigious chef competition. Ruth Hansom, winner of TV’s Million Pound Menu and the first female winner of Young National Chef of the Year, and Leo Kattou, from Simpson’s Restaurant, BCF Chef of the Year finalist and of MasterChef fame, will be leading expert ‘Masterclasses’ across The Skills Theatre, an area dedicated to chefs at the start of their careers looking to learn from some of the very best .
Alongside these features is The Staff Canteen Live. The stage will be filled with culinary greats and the hottest new chefs on the scene, including:
- Tim Allen (Chef and Owner at The Flitch of Bacon)
- Danny Parker (Head Chef at Jesmond House and Great British Menu star)
- Paul Foster (Chef and Owner at Salt and recent Michelin star winner)
- Rupert Rowley (Head Chef at Fischers Baslow Hall and Michelin star winner)
- James Cochran (Head Chef at 1251 and Great British Menu winner)
- Ellis Barrie (Chef and Co-Owner at The Marram Grass and Great British Menu star)
- Colin McGurran (Chef and Owner at Winteringham Fields and Michelin star winner) 

The event doesn’t just feature great chefs, it’s full of inspirational speakers to match. Talks will cover the most important topics in foodservice today, including staff retention, the impact of Brexit, the rise of street food, sustainability and zero waste, and a whole lot more.
Rakesh Nair, group development chef at The Cinnamon Collection, will feature in a vital talk about staff retention in the hospitality industry. He said: “I’m looking forward to joining the panel discussion on staff and training at The Foodservice Show. With factors such as Brexit and tighter immigration laws in India making it even harder to employ staff in hospitality, it’s vital that we have these conversations and look at new ways to solve the staffing shortage.
“We’ve already launched a Chef de Partie training programme at The Cinnamon Collection, so hopefully we’ll meet some of our chefs of the future!”
From exceptional equipment, to the most inspirational ingredients and innovative suppliers, the event promises to be a highlight of the calendar.
Registration is now open, so visit to guarantee your spot.

From sustainable solutions to global packaging trends: Reserve your ticket for Pro2Pac 2019 #

Visitor registration for Pro2Pac, the complete processing & packaging event for the food & drink industry, is now live! Taking place 18 – 20 March 2019 at ExCeL London the event will reveal the best of manufacturing innovation, packaging solutions and printing & labelling products.
Especially designed for food & drink businesses looking to be inspired by new concepts, innovative solutions & designs, Pro2Pac will feature 120 suppliers including names such as Tetra Pak, Adpak Machinery Systems, Ilpra Systems UK and Ravenwood Packaging.
International representation for 2019 so far includes suppliers and solutions providers from Turkey, China, Russia, Sweden, Poland, India and Germany.
The event will offer a full schedule of free-to-attend added value attractions such as seminars, networking opportunities and workshops. An impressive array of experts will lead debates on key issues such as sustainability, plastics, global packaging trends and Brexit on the Outside the Box Stage.
While awards including the Pro2Pac Student Design Challenge, jointly co-ordinated by the event organisers Fresh Montgomery and the Packaging Collective, as well as The Pro2Pac Excellence Awards will shine a light on the future of packaging innovation. 
Taking place alongside IFE (The International Food & Drink Event), Pro2Pac is the meeting place for everyone in the food & drink supply chain - an influential biennial gathering of producers, manufacturers, technologists and design specialists.
Benjamin Punchard, global packaging insights director, Mintel explains: “A great chance to see packaging innovation at Pro2Pac and then experience that packaging at IFE! Engaging stands and a great speaker programme.”
To register for your free entrance ticket to Pro2Pac, co-located with IFE, and for more information visit

35% of food & drink businesses impacted by plant-based trend #

According to new research from IFE
Plant-based food and veganism, the free-from movement and booze-free beverages have been identified as the top three trends which impacted food & drink businesses in 2018[1], according to new research by The International Food & Drink Event (IFE).
The research, which surveyed members of the UK’s leading and largest food & drink event network, also revealed that plant-based eating, sustainable packaging, gut-friendly foods and sugar-free are the most prominent trends businesses are looking to leverage in 2019[2] – demonstrating the influence consumers’ growing interest in health & wellbeing is having on the sector.
Buyers with an appetite for the latest food & drink trends, will be able to tap into the most up-to-date innovations and insights at IFE 2019 – taking place at ExCeL London 17-20 March.
Prominent experts from the food & drink industry, including leading plant-based influencers, will take to the Talking Trends stage throughout the four-day event to share their experiences, opinions and predictions. The impressive line-up includes Maria Antidormi, Insight Consultant at Anima Insight; Al Overton, Senior Buyer at Planet Organic; Derek Sarno, Director of Plant-Based Food Innovation at Tesco; and James Hacon, Managing Director of Think Hospitality.
Taking the exploration of up-and-coming food & drink trends to the next level and providing a Taste of Tomorrow, is the Tasting Trends area. New to IFE 2019, the multi-sensory experience will take visitors on a culinary journey as they see, smell and taste the food & drink that will be shaping the future of the industry.
While plant-based food remains the hottest topic, other trends on the menu include those that promote good gut health (fermented foods), food with good fats (Omega 3), foods that relieve stress (vitamised juices), the new stronger spicy flavours coming through in snacks and confectionery, and a closer look at why the proportion of Brits drinking alcohol is at its lowest.
To delve even deeper into the trends shaping the industry’s future, back by popular demand are the Trend Trails. Designed to help visitors navigate their way around the event one key insight at a time, the Trends Trails will visit some of the most progressive brands in the plant-based, food to go, private label, circular brands and global innovations movements.
Speaking about this year’s trends line up, Soraya Gadelrab, event director for IFE, said: “We have brought together a truly fantastic line-up of experts for next year’s event, to offer buyers the most up-to-date intel on the changing food & drink landscape and provide inspiration, ideas and tools to help businesses tap into upcoming trends. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to grow their business in 2019 and beyond.”
The food & drink industry’s biggest event of the year, IFE 2019 has garnered interest from some of the sector’s leading brands, with exhibitors including Cheatless protein bars, Eaten Alive fermented foods, Evoca Drinks premium soft drinks, Gato & Co plant-based indulgent treats and Meet The Jackfruit health supplements, to name but a few.
The biennial event provides both British and international suppliers with the rare opportunity to meet and connect with top retail, wholesale & distribution, import & export and foodservice & hospitality buyers all under one roof. With 1,350 innovative, global and cutting-edge food & drink manufacturers attending from 111 countries, IFE 2019 is one of the only places to experience the best of the what the food & drink industry has to offer across the globe.
Co-located with Pro2Pac, the complete processing & packaging event for the food & drink industry, the joint festival will provide a comprehensive snapshot of the food & drink industry, making it a calendar highlight for all forward-thinking companies.
For more information on IFE 2019 and to register for free, please visit:

[1] Survey of 216 members of the IFE network, December 2018
[2] Survey of 216 members of the IFE network, December 2018