Members’ News

February 2019

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland to support coffee growing communities with new Grand Café Project Waterfall blend #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland doubles down on its support of industry charity Project Waterfall, with the launch of its Grand Café Project Waterfall blend.

The latest addition to the popular range of certified coffees will further support Project Waterfall’s mission to deliver access to fresh water and sanitation to coffee growing communities. The coffee is sourced from areas in Ethiopia and Uganda currently benefitting from Project Waterfall efforts. Recent projects will provide:

- Clean water to 5,100 people
- Toilets and water points in six schools
- Health clubs and community management committees in six schools

- Two 100m³ reservoirs
- Clean water to 10,662
- 20 water points in schools and public spaces 

Rebecca Hodgson, brand partnerships manager, Project Waterfall says: “Without the continued support of the UK coffee industry, we wouldn’t have achieved half of what we have done for the world’s coffee growing communities. We couldn’t be more grateful for UCC Coffee’s continued support, and for its new dedicated Project Waterfall coffee. This blend will allow us to go even further in providing sustainable clean water and sanitation solutions where they’re needed most.”

Elaine Swift, managing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland adds: “Having sat on the board of trustees at the Allegra Foundation since 2009, I’ve been able to see first-hand the great work Project Waterfall does in improving the lives of not just coffee growers, but their entire communities. From educating local people on safe water practices, to providing clean water and sanitation to local schools, I couldn’t think of a better cause for the latest addition to our most popular, and ethically driven, Grand Café range.”

Grand Café Project Waterfall will be available to buy direct from UCC Coffee UK & Ireland in 10x500g packs.

​Britvic plc (“Britvic”) Q1 Trading Statement to 22 December 2018 #

“First quarter in line with expectations”

Trading in the first quarter was in line with our expectations and we are confident of making further progress in 2019. Reported revenue increased 4.5% to £352.4m and organic constant currency revenue, excluding the soft drink levies, increased 1.5% to £337.3m.
Simon Litherland, Chief Executive, commented: “We have delivered a solid start to the new financial year, with performance in line with our expectations. Given the resilience of our business, the strength of our portfolio and exciting marketing and innovation plans, we are confident of making further progress in 2019.”

Good food on campus: Jamie Oliver opens at RGU #

Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University (RGU) became the first university campus to open a Jamie Oliver Deli, giving students new, tasty, nutritious options.

Robert Gordon University has a global reputation in health studies and life sciences, and puts a focus on providing healthy dining options. Now, in partnership with Aramark Northern Europe and the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, the university has opened the world’s first on-campus Jamie’s Deli.

Over 17,000 students and staff at RGU will be able to enjoy a range of Jamie Oliver’s food, including breakfast, lunch and snacks. The emphasis is on healthy, balanced food made with local and sustainably sourced ingredients.

Throughout the day, students will be able to enjoy a varied menu, from warming porridge with a choice of toppings to homemade pizza, fresh salads, baguettes, wraps and comforting seasonal soups.
Vicki Nairn, vice principal for corporate operations at Robert Gordon University, said: “RGU is the first university in the UK to embrace the Jamie’s Deli concept as one of its choices for catering on campus, which provide innovative, delicious and nutritious food for our campus community. We are committed to promoting positive wellbeing for staff and students at RGU and see promoting balanced and healthy nutrition as a key part of our programme for student health. I’m delighted that the university has chosen to partner with Jamie Oliver and Aramark, as part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that the RGU campus in Aberdeen continues to build on and enhance the student and staff experience.”
Jamie Oliver said: “I’m really excited to see this new site come to life. We’re bringing wholesome and delicious food to hard-working RGU students – and helping them find healthy food while juggling lecture timetables, deadlines and exams. I’m looking forward to growing with Aramark Northern Europe and continuing to give busy people a helping hand to eat well in the workplace or at uni.”
Frank Gleeson, president at Aramark Northern Europe said: “Our mission is to deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives. Obesity is a significant problem throughout many western countries and we are determined to help young people in particular eat more healthily so that they form good eating habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. It is very significant and a tribute to the commitment of RGU in creating a healthy campus, and is the first university to secure Jamie’s Deli.
Lawrence Shirazian, managing director Aramark Food Services UK also commented "We are always looking at ways to make healthy eating on campus a simple and easy choice. We are delighted with the positive response from students and staff alike, and we look forward to serving the campus community at Robert Gordon University.”
In 2018 Aramark Northern Europe and Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group entered a 10-year partnership to bring healthier eating to workplaces and universities in the UK and Ireland. Together, they opened the first in-company Jamie Oliver restaurant at J.P. Morgan in Dublin in December.

Elior UK’s thriving corporate social responsibility culture detailed in new report #

Elior released a report detailing its thriving corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme and initiatives. With the company’s deep-rooted ‘produce good, do good’ culture actively adopted by staff, Corporate Social Responsibility at Elior UK proves the company’s commitment to social good through its adoption of Elior Group’s ‘Positive Foodprint Plan’.
Charlotte Wright, CSR manager at Elior UK said: “The importance of external collaborations in CSR with suppliers, clients and partners is essential. But CSR is something else as well. It is a journey in which colleagues can take a personal stake. In just about every programme and initiative, our progress and outcomes are improved by the enthusiasm of our people.”
Elior recently won the FSM Corporate Social Responsibility Award for championing a diverse mix of initiatives. Below are just a few detailed in the report.
Green Planet 
A WASTE2ZERO and Footprint Awards Runner Up, Elior is committed to reducing its environmental footprint, working towards 0 food waste in creative ways.
- Over 25 tonnes of used coffee grounds have been recycled into 15,000 bio-bean coffee logs to heat homes
- Nearly 130,000 litres of cooking oil has been recycled across the business 
- Alternative plant-based Vegware packaging is now used across the business, saving 88 tonnes of carbon 
- Elior’s reporting tool helps its sites to analyse and adjust menus, providing a leaner framework and creating less food waste 

Healthy Diet
Elior has developed different menu concepts and programmes to encourage nutritious diets and healthy lifestyles.
- The ‘You & Life’ programme educates customers, clients and staff about health, nutrition and wellbeing via food, and is continuously updated to reflect the latest government guidance
- Menu concept ‘Vita Mojo’ enables customers to personalise meals with ‘build your own’ options which can be tailored to suit individual nutritional goals
- Menu concept 'Elements’, has been launched to emphasise ‘star’ ingredients, focusing on freshness and raw natural foods 

Customer feedback has revealed a 93% customer satisfaction rate across the business.
Sustainable Ingredients
Sourcing sustainable ingredients ensures high food standards and support for local economies.
- Food For Life Served Here endorses Elior for its commitment to good food and improving food standards with compliant ingredients
- Elior has a strict fish sourcing policy to preserve biodiversity. It follows the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide, which ensures that ‘At Risk’ and ‘Endangered’ species never appear on Elior menus
- Purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables from e-foods provides a local supply to each Elior site, meaning low food miles and support for local suppliers and economies
- Elior holds a Dragons’ Den style forum encouraging small businesses to pitch for their products to be sold at the company’s sites 

Championing employees      
A believer that happy employees make for a successful workplace, Elior has various workplace schemes to encourage staff innovation and ensure proper safety and support.
- Elior's ‘Principles of Leadership’ training course offers 93,000 hours of training to colleagues each year and has held over 290 training events in 2018
- To date, 7819 colleagues have completed allergens training, 2822 have completed food safety and H&S Level two, and 522 colleagues have been nominated for the latest Elior Awards for Excellence
- Inspired by award winning chefs, Elior created the Aspiring Executive Chefs Programme in conjunction with Sheffield University
- ‘The Bold Idea’ was introduced to commend ideas and innovation from any Elior employee, with one winner per quarter 
The internal staff support scheme also encourages employees to share the causes most important to them and devote time to helping them.
The Royal Foundation’s mental health charity Heads Together has partnered with Elior, with over £20,000 raised by Elior employees and their events. Elior staff have also worked with the Marine Conservation Society, the Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s community kitchen.
To download the full report and see more of Elior’s CSR initiatives, click here:

Caterplus launches new food and beverage concept promoting flexibility, wellbeing and community within retirement care #

Caterplus, the specialist care catering arm of Elior UK, has launched an innovative new set of menus, providing improved choice and flexibility for retirement village customers and their guests.

Identifying the opportunity to expand its offering in the middle market, within retirement villages and extra care providers, Elior created a revised menu catering for home owners residents and guests of different ages, mobility and dietary requirements. Bespoke orders, all day grazing, traditional family dining, delivery and takeaway options are all now available with the new menu.

Putting fresh, local food front and center, health and wellbeing was a key priority when creating the revised menu. Cultural and religious needs have also been considered, with different vegetarian, halal and healthy options featuring across the Bistro menus. What’s more, celebration and theme days such as Chinese New Year, ‘Virtual Cruises’ to Italy and beyond, and National Promotions such as Hydration Week have also been introduced to encourage variety, fun dining and community.

Wilson Barrie, managing director, Caterplus said: “The quality of food and service in retirement villages and extra care providers matters greatly, so we’ve designed an offering to rival the high street. Thanks to valuable input from residents during menu creation, we’re confident these new menu innovations appeal to a wide range of customer tastes and nutritional needs and are excited to hear how home owners and residents across our sites are enjoying these new, creative menus.”

Joana Jardim, Caterplus dietitian said: “As we get older, our bodies have different needs, so certain nutrients become especially important for good health. That’s where my role as a dietitian comes into play, where I support Caterplus and Elior colleagues to deliver a food service that meets our specific client nutritional requirements.”

New features of the Caterplus offering include:
- Premium barista coffee with Arte café, serving teas, coffees and cakes to rival the high street
- ‘The perfect roast’ offer designed for Sunday carvery - the perfect way to spend time with friends and family
- ‘Home Comforts’ selection of favourite nostalgic and classic dishes. From delicious, traditional British roasts served with seasonal vegetables and Yorkshire pudding, to everyone’s Friday favourite of fish ‘n’ chips. Not forgetting dishes such as a hearty slow-cooked beef stew and dumplings or the ever-popular toad in the hole with mashed potatoes and rich gravy.
- Cake and impulse, including handcrafted traybakes, cookies, and shortbread
- Bistro / Restaurant Menu, incorporating starters, mains, desserts, sides and sharing platters. Creating a ‘smaller restaurant experience’, this menu offers everything from traditional bistro style favourites such as Winter Beef Stew with Root Vegetables and Pearl Barley, to high street offers such as Char-Grilled Cheese and Bacon Burger with Fries and Onion Rings.
- New Grab & Go range including wraps, toasties, sandwiches & paninis
- Weekly themes such as fish & chips night and curry night
Themed events throughout the year, such as Afternoon Tea Week, St George’s Day and Cornish Pasty Week
- All day grazing options such as Mediterranean Veg & Feta Salad and Chunky Bean and Chorizo soup 

With a new suite of branding, point of sale and operational tools, the Caterplus offering will work alongside current interiors and brands due to its simplicity and flexibility.

Visit to learn more about the Caterplus menu concept.

Jessica-May Gardiner announced as Elior’s UK Young Chef of the Year in rising star cook-off #

Elior UK announced Jessica-May Gardiner as the winner of its first ever Young Chef of the Year Competition, after an intense culinary competition for chefs aged 23 and younger on 16 January. Hosted at Unilever’s UK Headquarters, a total of three finalists from various Elior businesses around the country took to the stage to showcase their creativity, versatility and technical skills.

With employee development at the heart of Elior, The Young Chef of the Year award was created to nurture and celebrate budding chef talent within the diverse areas of the business.

Guided by their mentors at Elior, Jessica-May Gardiner, Mihai Alexandru and Jeremy Deas participated in series of challenges to compete for the coveted title. These included a fish filleting skills test using sustainable fish, a plated main course (cooking their own recipe using the fish), and an authentic oriental main course including one unusual oriental ingredient which the competitors researched and discussed with the judges. 

Jessica-May set herself apart with her signature dishes of Chalk Stream trout with pomegranate molasses and mixed beets, and vegan Char Sui pulled jackfruit with sticky rice, vegetables and pan fried yardlong beans, displaying excellent creativity and precision. Mentored by support chef Matt Fay, Jessica-May is currently chef de partie at Waters Corporation, headquartered in Wilmslow.

Aside from taking home the coveted Young Chef of the Year trophy, she will be joining executive chef John Williams MBE at The Ritz for a day and will attend the Elior Awards of Excellence as a guest of honour on Wednesday 20 March.

Peter Joyner, food development director at Elior said: “Junior chefs are the future of our industry so competitions like this are a great opportunity for them to grow, learn and improve. There's also a real skills shortage in the industry, so encouraging and motivating young people is essential. Although competitions demand a lot of time, energy and dedication, competing can take chefs all over the world. It’s about finding someone with that passion and dedication to take it that step further and go the extra mile to achieve.

“Congratulations to Jessica and our other finalists - I hope they all go away from today with the buzz of competing, desperate to succeed. The world really is their oyster.”

Elior stays ahead of the curve with Filipino flavours for 2019 Winter/Spring menu #

Introducing fresh tastes for Winter/Spring 2019, Elior has launched a range of vibrant global dishes for its original menu concept, Global Flavours. In the latest menu refresh, Elior’s development team is serving up the new ‘Filipino Flavour’ range and revisiting popular Mexican flavours with ‘Mucho Mexicano Enchiladas’.

Mark Crowe, strategic development manager, at Elior said: “We're bringing a taste of Filipino food to the UK, introducing customers about new ingredients and flavour combinations. Filipino cuisine is a hidden jewel of Asia that hasn’t yet been widely adopted across the UK, and we want to change that. These sweet, hot and sour flavours are a highlight of this year’s menu and definitely pack a punch. We’re excited to see how customers enjoy iconic tastes such as banana ketchup (an absolute must for Filipino cuisine) and beef adobo. We're also bringing back fresh, ever-popular tastes of Mexico such as oven-baked tostadas and vegan-friendly jackfruit enchiladas.”

Staying ahead of the game, Elior’s development team creates new menus to introduce different, up-and-coming global cuisines into mainstream food culture. The Global Flavours range celebrates diverse tastes and ingredients from around the world, previously featuring Korean tacos, Turkish pide and Venezuelan arepas.

Global Flavours Winter/Spring 2019 menu
‘Filipino Flavour’
- Mains include: glazed Filipino BBQ pork, beef adobo, aubergine omelette with spicy veggie mince, and sweet & sour chicken Filipino style
- Sides include: pancit vegetable noodles, java rice, egg fried rice and vegetable empanadas
- Salads include: onion, ginger and tomato salad, cucumber & pineapple salad, and Filipino style beans with okra & green beans
- Dips and sauces include: banana ketchup, chilli vinegar, sweet chilli & carrot dipping sauce

‘Mucho Mexicano Enchiladas’
- Enchiladas include: pork & chorizo, chilli chicken, and roasted squash, jackfruit & pineapple
- Sides include: Mexican rice, Yucatan rice, re-fried peas, Mexican dusted sweet potato fries, broken tostados with guacamole, re-fried beans, and char-grilled sweetcorn
- Dips and sauces include: pico de gallo salsa, sweetcorn & pepper aioli, sour cream

These colourful dishes are available across a range of Elior sites including universities, B&I and hospitality venues. 

Good coffee more important than cleanliness, survey reveals #

Good coffee (33%) ranked higher than cleanliness (31%) in a new survey of what visitors to bed & breakfasts and guesthouses in the UK want to see when they're staying away*.
The recent survey by Nestlé Professional also revealed that a good cup of coffee is nearly as important to bed & breakfast guests as a quiet night's sleep*. In fact, a third of respondents (33%) said good coffee was among the most important things, just 2% less than those who nominated a restful sleep*.
A good coffee ranked far higher than a television (13%) and good pillows (5%), the survey also showed*.
“The great British public just can't get enough coffee, with 95 million cups being consumed every day in the UK**,” said Nestlé Professional’s Lynn Little, channel lead for Hotels. “This means overnight guests have high standards when it comes to in-room refreshments.”
To help guesthouse managers and owners find the right solution, Nestlé Professional has launched a new online scoring tool.
The B&B Coffee Scorer asks a series of questions before providing an overall rating of the current experience bed & breakfasts are offering, as well as making recommendations to improve guest satisfaction.
“For those who own or run a bed & breakfast or guest house, the aim is to give their visitors a fantastic, memorable stay – and coffee can play a big part in that,” continued Lynn Little.
“Our research shows that offering branded coffee such as Nescafé could help to boost guest ratings. In fact, 85 per cent of the people we spoke to said having access to branded coffee in the comfort of their own room would be a prominent contributor to a great guest experience; and nine in ten said being offered a good cup of coffee would turn an average stay into a great one*.”
For more information about the Nestlé Professional B&B Coffee Scorer and to claim your free samples, visit

* NESCAFÉ® in association with 3GEM, survey of 120 people who have stayed at a B&B or guest house in the last 12 months, October 2018
** Research from the British Coffee Association, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), April 2018

Toque d’Or announces National Heats shortlist #

Entrants showcase sustainability credentials
The results are in: Nestlé Professional has revealed the 24 college teams and 48 apprentices which have been shortlisted to compete in the National Heats of Toque d’Or 2019 on 4-12 March. With over 400 registrations, this year’s competition has received record levels of interest.   
Amongst the teams to land coveted spots are Newcastle College, University of Derby and Coleg Llandrillo. In the apprentice chef category, successful applicants include Emily Page at The Cross Keys Stow, Charlie Mariner at Goodwood and Ben Simmonds-Grant at Emily Jackson House.
As part of the entry process, every apprentice and college team was asked to create a vegetarian dish and produce a two-minute video presenting it to the judges. The challenge was central to this year’s competition focus: Sustainable Futures. Tapping into key areas of concern for hospitality professionals, Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or 2019 will seek to explore the core issues of sustainable food, sustainable careers in foodservice and the sustainable future of the entire industry.
Mick Burke, chair of judges at Toque d’Or 2019 and Fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, said: “The standard of entries this year has been excellent; we are now looking forward to motivating and inspiring the finalists at the heats and opening their minds to the opportunities within our industry.”
Speaking about Sustainable Futures, Katya Simmons, managing director, Nestlé Professional UK&I, added: “We are particularly excited and passionate about this year’s focus on sustainability and the valuable role it plays across the foodservice sector. Toque d’Or is so much more than just a competition; it’s a stimulating framework to nurture the culinary talent of tomorrow.” 
Now in its 31st year, Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or is one of the UK’s most influential industry competitions, bridging the gap between the theories of the classroom, work-based learning and the exciting reality of the industry. Winning prizes this year will include a once in a lifetime gastronomic trip to Europe.
The competition has so far worked with 8,000 contestants, as well as highly-regarded supporters such as Anton Mosimann and former judge James Martin. 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.
For a full list of the entrants through to the National Heats of Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or and more information on the competition visit:

Principals by CH&CO spreads festive cheer with a Christmas community pop-up at a Margate primary school #

Principals by CH&CO, in partnership with Northdown Primary School, Margate, hosted a Christmas pop-up restaurant for the school and local community during the festive period.

Pupils of the school and their families, plus members of the wider community, were invited to come along and share a delicious lunch with friends and neighbours and enjoy some seasonal fun.

Principals by CH&CO, the catering partner for Northdown Primary School, provided lunch and its on-site team and people from the wider business gave their time voluntarily to prepare and serve hot and wholesome food.  Guests enjoyed a delicious menu featuring sausage and mash with onion gravy, salad, or homemade soup and freshly-baked bread, followed by a traditional dessert of apple crumble and custard. Tea, coffee and cakes was also available.

Guests enjoyed the tasty lunch in the school hall, which, along with the tables, was decorated in keeping with the season. Local businesses kindly supported the Christmas pop-up restaurant by donating decorations and gifts for the event.

Peter McKenna, the sales director for Principals by CH&CO, said: “The team at Northdown Primary School was very excited to be hosting the Christmas pop-up restaurant. We’ve worked with the school for 12 years and in this time, we’ve become part of the school community. Our involvement and contribution to the school goes beyond serving nutritious, tasty lunches during term time, we’re committed to sharing the joy and benefits of good food and mealtimes with pupils and parents beyond the classroom. So, when the team was asked to give up their time to help bring this great initiative to life, they jumped at the chance!

“Food is a wonderful way to bring communities together, and what better time of year than at Christmas. It was fantastic see the pupils and their families sharing a wholesome lunch and enjoying the festivities. It’s great that we were also able to include members of the wider community, it was a truly magical and uplifting event.”

Sheila Todd, the head teacher at Northdown Primary School, said: “The Christmas pop-up restaurant was a fantastic way to bring the school and local community together and spread a little festive cheer. It’s was a joyous event for everyone.

“It’s been great to work with our catering partner, Principals by CH&CO, on this event. They’ve played a big part in bringing this to life and been very generous in providing and creating the delicious lunch and giving their time on the day. I’d also like to thank all the local businesses that contributed by donating decorations and gifts.”

Harrogate Convention Centre collaborates with CH&CO in new catering and hospitality partnership #

CH&CO has entered an exciting partnership with Harrogate Convention Centre. The independent caterer has been awarded the catering and hospitality contract for the diverse conference, exhibition, event and entertainment venue.

The new deal, which is worth £10 million in turnover over the duration of the contract, strengthens CH&CO’s foothold in the conference and exhibition venue market and brings a fresh, dynamic approach to food and drink experiences at the unique location.

CH&CO is responsible for the entire food and drink offer across the diverse site, including: event hospitality for conferences through to galas and parties; four grab-and-go style retail outlets across the exhibition halls; four bars (three in The Royal Hall and one in the auditorium); and a fleet of interlocking and interchangeable mobile units to extend the overall scalability of the operation and provide additional food and drink support when needed.

CH&CO stood out in the competitive tender process for its forward-thinking approach that redefines catering and hospitality at Harrogate Convention Centre and pushes boundaries to help shape its future. The new proposition is more innovative and flexible for the centre’s clients, creates a more effective and efficient use of all the spaces, recognises the unique heritage of the site and its role in the community, and supports local suppliers.

Tailored and thoughtfully-developed food and drink experiences will adapt to the multi-purpose use of the site, with menus and service style changing with every event to reflect visitor demographic, event style and programme. This approach ensures the convention centre’s clients benefit from a bespoke catering solution that meets their requirements and enhances the visitor experience. All food will be freshly prepared from scratch on site, using quality, seasonal ingredients that champion local suppliers.

Recognising the high visitor numbers, an investment has also been made in redesigning the food and drink spaces to maximise customer flow, reduce queue times and increase sales.

The partnership will see the launch of the new brand Matcham’s, which is unique to Harrogate Convention Centre’s cafés and bars and celebrates the site’s history.

For the first time, Harrogate Convention Centre plans to extend its food and drink offer to Harrogate’s residents and visitors. The café in the King’s Suite will be redesigned to feature an efficient internal- and external-facing counter that will serve quality Barista coffee, hot and cold drinks and a variety of fresh food and snack items to visitors within the centre and the public in a street-facing café.

Harrogate Convention Centre director, Simon Kent said: “The team at CH&CO has impressed us with its commitment to Harrogate and to developing our business alongside their own.

“They have taken up the running of the full catering offer at the Convention Centre. It’s a major undertaking which encompasses everything from awards dinners and banquets to providing tea and coffee during breaks in events.

“CH&CO has a diverse portfolio and we are their biggest site in the convention and exhibition venue market. They have a hugely talented team and the company’s ethos is recognising that each client, event and location has different needs. Their ability to tailor catering to very different occasions will be a real strength considering the diverse calendar events we hold here.”

Dean Lindsay, managing director for CH&CO, said: “We’re very excited to be working with the Harrogate Convention Centre. The new partnership strengthens our position in the conference and exhibition venue market, with the Harrogate Convention Centre becoming our flagship venue in this arena.  The convention centre is a unique and inspiring site that combines modern, flexible event spaces with a wonderful history and it’s important that this is reflected in the catering and hospitality offer. The new direction that we’re taking celebrates the site’s heritage and the town of Harrogate, whilst offering innovative, tailored solutions that maximise efficiencies and sales opportunities. We’re also creating uplifting food and drink experiences for the centre’s clients and visitors and it’s great that this will also extend to Harrogate’s residents and visitors. We look forward to working with Harrogate Convention Centre and being part of its evolution. The vast support that we will bring from within the CH&CO business – from culinary, nutritional and customer service training expertise to marketing, procurement and IT support – will ensure the food and drink offer continues to innovate, excite and deliver.”

French’s and Frank’s RedHot offering chefs once-in-a-lifetime trip to Barbecue World Championships #

French’s and Frank’s RedHot are offering UK chefs the tantalising chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Memphis this May, to experience the world’s most prestigious grilling event; the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.  
Held annually on the banks of the Mississippi river in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, the four-day event (15th-18th May) is a mecca for budding grill heads, pit masters and barbecue cook-out connoisseurs. As America’s number one hot sauce and mustard brands[1], the iconic duo of French’s and Frank’s RedHot are already woven into the fabric of US barbecue culture. That’s why, this May, the pair want to offer UK chefs a true taste of deep south hospitality and whisk them and a friend off to the home of barbecue.
The competition is open to all bona fide UK chefs, caterers and F&B managers, and getting involved couldn’t be easier. Entrants simply need to visit: and leave a few details. From there, one lucky winner will be pulled out of a well-worn baseball cap, with ten runners up each receiving an exclusive branded BBQ barrel drum.
Chris Cannon, commercial controller at McCormick (UK) Flavour Solutions comments: “It’s fair to say that no one does barbecue like the US, and in the deep south, it’s less a cooking style and more a dedicated subculture, with the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest at its heart.
“There’s a reason why some 70,000 passionate people make an annual pilgrimage to Tom Lee Park and we think that’s an experience well worth sharing. It’s also the place where you get to see some of the latest barbecue trends, techniques and flavours, so I urge any chef curious to learn from the best and gain some insider information before anyone else, to enter the competition today! Hopefully we’ll see you in Memphis!”
Sites looking to sample America’s number one hot sauce and mustard brands, French’s and Frank’s RedHot, and view inspirational recipe ideas, should visit:
[1]Nielsen - Latest 52 weeks ending 9/16/2017

New head of catering to drive growth at Bestway Wholesale #

Bestway Wholesale, the foodservice distributor which owns BB Foodservice, Bestway and Batleys depots, has appointed David Livingstone as head of catering in a bid to drive further growth in the catering market.

Livingstone, who steps up to the role from his current position as regional operations manager and project manager of the Bestway depot hubs project, joined Bestway when it bought Batleys in 2005, bringing more than 15 years’ experience to the senior leadership team. David’s remit will now include managing the Bestway Wholesale delivered and collect catering propositions.

Dawood Pervez, managing director, Bestway Wholesale said: “We’re committed to ensuring we always deliver the best service to our customers and provide great products at even better prices. David’s appointment brings an increased focus on catering to our team, to help us progress even further in delivering what catering customers need.”

Livingstone said: "I’m very excited to be taking up my new role as head of catering. The market has huge potential and appetite for growth, and I’m looking forward to putting plans into action, ensuring that potential is fully realised for Bestway Wholesale within catering.”
The appointment is the latest in a series of changes Bestway Wholesale has made to its evolving senior leadership team, following the recent appointment of Dawood Pervez to managing director.

Meanwhile Tony Holmes assumes a new role of retail director overseeing symbol, multiple accounts, and pet; assuming responsibility for new business development in addition, as James Hall announced his retirement from Bestway Wholesale from June 2019.

BB Foodservice launches full service app and refreshed website for customers #

BB Foodservice, the delivered foodservice arm of Bestway Wholesale, has launched its first full service app and a refreshed website to make ordering quicker and easier for customers.
The new app will allow delivered catering customers to:
- Start their order on a phone, tablet or computer and finish it on another device, anywhere, at any time. The customer’s basket is reflected on the app and website in real time as they build their order
- Create lists of their favourite products based on recipes and meal types and order faster from these lists at the touch of a button
- When using the website, find out where their order is, and get live delivery updates
- Get live updates if any of the products they ordered are unavailable when the order is picked, and see recommended substitutions 

Salih Sheikh, head of marketing, Bestway Wholesale said: “We’re excited to unveil the new BB Foodservice app and refreshed website, which is the culmination of 12 months research and development. Catering is an area of our business we have a strategy to expand, and we know that a chef wants to spend his time in the kitchen, not on the computer placing orders. That’s why this new app has been designed to enable caterers to place their order on the phone, to save lists based on recipes for easy re-ordering and to browse our full product range.
“We listened to caterers, understanding what they do  (and don’t)  want when it comes to online ordering. We wanted to offer an online experience that wasn’t just in line with other foodservice providers, but that rivaled market leading apps such as Amazon – it’s a part of our strategy to utilise digital to improve the shopping experience and service to customers.”
“All a customer has to do now is download the app and sign up online with their existing customer number and they will be ready to order – it’s ready to use now and it’s just what the industry ordered!”
As well as easy access to the latest products and seasonal offers, additional features include the latest barcode scanning technology for ease of search, and the ability for customers to manage payments and calculate margins based on cost per portion, all in one place.
The BB Foodservice app is available to catering customers, listing specialist catering food products, licensed products and non-food products for use back-of-house. Once ordered on the website or app, all of these products can be delivered in one delivery, straight to the caterers door.
The website refresh has been completed by The Creative Team and is designed to provide a significantly-improved user experience and seamless integration across the Bestway Wholesale digital landscape. The site refresh is intended to be the first step on a journey focused on raising the quality of digital channels across the wholesale sector, with Bestway Wholesale driving improvements as the industry leader. The new app is built by RNF and will allow Bestway to communicate with app users via rich push notifications (e.g. images and videos) and place relevant supplier messages within the app to alert customers to special deals and new products.

Rob Mannion, managing director at RNF, said: “The new apps are yet another example of how Bestway Wholesale is leading the way with mobile technology. The ability to communicate with customers via our platform BEAM has proven highly successful for them - optimising sales and creating new income streams - and it’s great to see them taking advantage of it for other divisions.”

The app can be downloaded on Apple devices at and
Android devices at
The refreshed site is live now too

BaxterStorey receives highest-ever score from Hospitality Assured #

BaxterStorey has been awarded its highest Hospitality Assured score to date. The leading foodservice provider received 83.2%, ranking it among the highest-scoring organisations in the sector. The industry average is 73.1%.  
Hospitality Assured is the quality standard created by the Institute of Hospitality and assesses nine key areas of business from customer research and business planning to service delivery and using customer feedback to improve services. It is the only standard within the hospitality sector that focuses on the customer experience and continuous improvement. 
Organisations achieving the Hospitality Assured standard are required to illustrate that they are embodying outstanding performance and that in offering a service they make every effort to meet and exceed customer expectations. The standard scrutinises excellence in every aspect of service and business delivery. 
In addition to observing working practices, service and team interaction, the assessors interviewed   76 BaxterStorey team members. The assessors visited 10 London sites operated by BaxterStorey, and programmes such as the Chef, Barista and Service academies were among initiatives, alongside the Graduate Programme, identified as providing teams, with the ability to provide an exceptional level of service. 
Max Lawrence FIH, director of finance and administration at Hospitality Assured, said: “BaxterStorey has taken part in the Hospitality Assured assessment for 16 years and its improved results each year highlight just how serious the business is about service excellence and the ongoing development of its team members.” 
Alastair Storey, chairman of BaxterStorey, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that our teams’ hard work and commitment to their craft has resulted in BaxterStorey being awarded its highest score ever. As a business, we are dedicated to cultivating talent within the organisation and are extremely proud to see our training programmes commended in this way. Service excellence runs through every aspect of our business and we are delighted that our talented teams are recognised for their efforts.” 
Earlier this year, BaxterStorey unveiled a dedicated Barista Academy training centre at its London office, and in February, it launched the Service Academy, an in-house programme to inspire team members to deliver service on a par with five-star hotels.  
BaxterStorey provides hospitality services for a wide range of customers at over 700 locations through restaurants, café bars, deli operations and executive dining rooms, employing more than 8,500 people. 

BaxterStorey Launches Its First Vegan Outlet in Scotland #

BaxterStorey launches its first vegan outlet in Scotland at University of Stirling.  
BaxterStorey has launched its first vegan outlet in Scotland at University of Stirling to meet the rapidly growing demand for plant-based alternatives. 
With over 14,000 students enrolled at the university, a number set to increase in coming years, the outlet was designed solely by BaxterStorey. 
The new vegan hot spot features an entirely plant-based menu and a multitude of café staples, including vegan carrot cake and vegan sausage rolls. The deli bar showcases authentic sandwiches: The Reuben with maple glazed tofu and veggirella and the popular BLT with vegan bacon.  
The outlet boasts soup alternatives, such as cauliflower minestrone and curried yellow pea, and contemporary snacks including Perkier snack bars and lentil and hummus crisps are available. Minor Figures cold brew and banana split Rebel Kitchen dairy free mylk coffee are also on offer. 
With students becoming increasingly aware of the impact left on the planet with many moving towards sustainable diets, the outlet promotes Grounds to Ground, an initiative encouraging customers to feed their garden with recycled coffee grounds, which acts as fertiliser. 
With the outlet recording an increase of 237.5% in like for like sales compared to the same period last year, there are ambitions to expand the dedicated vegan outlet to other universities in the area. 
BaxterStorey managing director, Jeremy Wood commented: “We’re delighted to be working with the University of Stirling to provide an exciting new vegan outlet for its students. BaxterStorey prides itself on being a sustainable business and with the growing trend for more plant-based options, we’re proud to be able to introduce a range of beverages and snacks, which benefits both the environment, as well as the health and wellbeing of our customers”. 
General manager, Alan Ratcliffe said: “With around 7% of the UK population now moving towards plant-based foods, we wanted to support this lifestyle choice at the University of Stirling. V-Go! has quickly caught the attention of students and staff alike and is proving to be an excellent addition to our campus offer. It’s been great to have the support of such a forward-thinking team and client to deliver this exciting new concept”. 
Paula Jimenez, a 21-year-old sports science student at University of Stirling said: “The vegan café is fantastic, we’ve been waiting for a long time for an entirely vegan food place.  The wide variety of lunch options means I can eat on campus and not have to go to the high street. I basically just used to eat sandwiches all day so I’m so happy. The vegan carrot cake is a definite favourite!” 

Casual Dining unveils its biggest ever Keynote line-up #

Dishoom, Hawksmoor, wagamama, M&B, Oakman Inns, PizzaExpress, Fuller’s & Loungers confirmed
2019 is already set to be a record year for Casual Dining show, as it announces its free Keynote line-up featuring some of the biggest names from the nation’s best casual dining operators.
Visitors to the show, taking place at the new venue of London ExCeL on 27-28 February, will benefit from expert insights from 50 speakers appearing in 25 free business seminars across two dedicated keynote theatres (sponsored by Yumpingo).
The addition of a second theatre ensures there’s even more great content from over 25 new show speakers.  Among them are CEOs, founders, and senior directors from Dishoom (Shamil Thakrar), Carluccio’s (Mark Jones), Hawksmoor (Will Beckett), Mowgli Street Food (Nisha Katona), Jamie’s Italian (Ed Loftus), Pizza Pilgrims (Thom Elliot), The Alchemist Bars & Restaurants (Simon Potts), MEATliquor (Scott Collins), PizzaExpress (Jane Treasure), BrewDog (David McDowall), Swingers (Matt Grech-Smith), Albion & East (Sarah Weir), Blacklock (Gordon Ker), Harcourt Inns (James McCulloch), Flight Club (Steve Moore), and Social Entertainment Ventures (Toby Harris).
Also making their debut are: head marketeers from wagamama (Andre Johnstone), Mitchells & Butlers (Anna-Marie Mason), Bill’s Restaurants (Lesley McIlroy), Revolution Bars Group (Kate Eastwood), and Las Iguanas (Lucy Harwood); operations directors from The Ivy Collection (Baton Berisha), YO! (Jo Childs), Browns Brasserie & Bar (Dave Lewis), and Pizza Pilgrims (Gavin Smith); plus wagamama’s executive chef Steven Mangleshot.
As previously confirmed, the CEOs of UKHospitality, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, Casual Dining Group, The New World Trading Co (NWTC), and Oakman Inns will also be giving their take on the challenges and opportunities of competing in this dynamic market.
For full details and timings, please visit
“Casual Dining has already established itself as the destination show for restaurant, pub and bar operators.  It’s the only UK event that annually attracts so many leading innovators, influencers, trailblazers and decision makers from across the sector together in one place at one time.  And, this incredible free Keynote line-up, makes it even more unmissable,” says event manager Eva Ellis.
"In these turbulent times, it’s more important than ever that our great industry gets together.  I’m very happy to be speaking at our industry trade show, Casual Dining.  See you at ExCeL," says Dishoom’s Shamil Thakrar.
Speaker highlights (Keynotes & panellists) include:
- Steve Richards, CEO of The Casual Dining Group
- Jon Knight, CEO of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group
- Mark Jones, CEO of Carluccio’s
- Jens Hofma, CEO of Pizza Hut Restaurants UK
- Shamil Thakrar, co-founder of Dishoom
- Nisha Katona, CEO & founder of Mowgli Street Food Restaurants
- Will Beckett, founder of Hawksmoor
- Chris Hill, CEO of The New World Trading Co
- David McDowall, CEO – Retail at BrewDog
- Peter Borg Neal, CEO of Oakman Inns
- Scott Collins, co-founder & MD of MEATliquor
- Gordon Ker, founder of Blacklock
- Steve Moore, CEO & co-founder of Flight Club
- Brian Whiting, owner of Whiting & Hammond
- Matt Grech-Smith, co–founder of Swingers
- Toby Harris, CEO of Social Entertainment Ventures
- Paul Merrett, chef director at The Jolly Fine Pub Group
- Kate Nicholls, chief executive, UKHospitality
- Tim Foster, co-owner & head of being awesome at Yummy Pubs Co
- Thom Elliot, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims
- Simon Potts, MD of The Alchemist Bars & Restaurants
- Jo Fleet, MD of Flat Iron
- Sarah Weir, MD of Albion & East
- James McCulloch, director of Harcourt Inns
- Jane Treasure, food & beverage director at PizzaExpress
- Paul Dickinson, director of food at Fuller’s
- Ed Loftus, group F&B director at Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group
- Glenn Evans, head of food development at Las Iguanas, La Tasca & La Vina
- Antony Bennett, head of food at Loungers
- Steven Mangleshot, executive chef at wagamama
- Chris Knights, group exec chef at Young’s Pubs
- Baton Berisha, director of operations at The Ivy Collection
- Jo Childs, people & operations director at YO! Sushi
- Dave Lewis, operations director at Browns Brasserie & Bar
- Gavin Smith, operations director at Pizza Pilgrims
- Brian Trollip, operations director at Dishoom
- Anna-Marie Mason, director of brand marketing at Mitchells & Butlers
- Andre Johnstone, UK marketing director at wagamama
- Lucy Harwood, brand & marketing director at Las Iguanas
- Kate Eastwood, sales & marketing director at Revolution Bars Group
- Lesley McIlroy, head of marketing at Bill’s Restaurants
- Mark McCulloch, founder & CEO of WE ARE Spectacular
- Jay Morjaria, chef & food consultant, and winner of the BBC’s My Million Pound Menu
- Peter Martin, director of CM&Co and VP of CGA
- Fiona Speakman & Chris Jeffrey, client directors at CGA
- Simon Stenning, founder of
- Peter Backman, principal of Peter Backman Foodservice
- Mark Stretton, MD of Fleet Street Communications 

Free advance trade registration
Casual Dining will take place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 27-28 February 2019.
The pre-registered visitor list, to date, also includes key decision makers from AccorHotels UK & Ireland, Admiral Taverns, Aramark, Azzurri Group, BaxterStorey, Be At One, Bourne Leisure Group, Brewhouse and Kitchen, Center Parcs, Daniel Thwaites, Domino's Pizza Group, Ei Publican Partnerships, Elior UK, Glendola Leisure, Greene King, Hall & Woodhouse, Hollywood Bowl Group, ISS Facility Services, Prezzo, Punch Taverns, Roadchef, Sodexo, Star Pubs & Bars, TGI Fridays UK, The Restaurant Group, Tortilla, Warner Leisure Hotels, Whitbread, and many more.  Over 5,000 attendees are expected.
To register for a free trade ticket, please visit and use priority code CD80.

Commercial Kitchen show launches 30 under 30 initiative #

Industry’s leading show to recognise rising stars of the sector
Commercial Kitchen has announced the launch of ‘30 under 30’ – an exciting new initiative to recognise and celebrate the rising stars and future leaders of the sector that are already authorising and influencing major kitchen decisions.
Given the breadth of the show’s appeal and the many verticals it serves, Commercial Kitchen’s 30 under 30 is open to all end-user operators working for everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to local pubs and bars, from national casual dining chains to fast food outlets, leisure venues, contract caterers and more.
Nominees (eg development chefs, operations managers and foodservice equipment buyers) must be aged 30 or under, as at 4 June 2019, when Commercial Kitchen returns to the NEC Birmingham.
The initiative is backed by ceda and the Foodservice Equipment Journal, who will form part of the judging panel along with leading operators and the show’s association and media partners.
The 30 young professionals who make the final 30 under 30 list will be invited to an exclusive networking event taking place at this year’s show.
“This industry is full of so many young, talented and ambitious individuals, driving innovation at every level,” says Katie Tyler, event manager of Commercial Kitchen.  “We’re absolutely thrilled to offer a new generation of influencers and leaders the platform to come together and learn from one another at their annual industry event.”
To nominate (self-nominations are also accepted), please visit
Commercial Kitchen 2019: Visitor registration now open
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.
For further information and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit and quote priority code CK12

Foodbuy partners with Scanmarket in three-year deal #

Foodbuy has partnered with Scanmarket, a global strategic sourcing platform in a three-year deal.

The partnership reflects Foodbuy’s ongoing commitment to delivering additional levels of innovation and transparency around its procurement processes with Scanmarket being used for issuing requests for information, running eAuctions, storing contract information and managing project workflows.

Ian Murphy, managing director of Foodbuy said: “We’re excited about our strategic partnership with Scanmarket. We think they’re a real disruptor in the strategic sourcing market and have been impressed with the levels of innovation we can pass on to our clients. We chose Scanmarket because they’re excellent at simplifying complex processes and they have great customer service.”

“Scanmarket’s ability to integrate with our own in-house eProcurement platform means we have a more transparent, streamlined system which will benefit both our clients and our suppliers, through increased clarity on decision making and the timelines behind our sourcing programmes. The implementation of the system has been seamless and we’ve received some great bespoke support” - he added.

Dan Gianfreda, director of sales & marketing for Scanmarket said: “We are delighted to partner with Foodbuy. They are a progressive procurement business handling lots of growth. We’re looking forward to supporting them in driving real, measurable results and delivering sustainable value.”

Compass celebrates an impressive medal haul at Salon Culinaire in Birmingham #

Compass Group UK & Ireland is celebrating the amazing achievements of its chefs at Salon Culinaire, where they scooped a raft of medals. 

Taking place alongside The Foodservice Show and The Professional Kitchen Show at the NEC, Birmingham on 22-23 January, Salon Culinaire is the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition in 2019, showcasing the amazing skills and talent within the industry.

Over 20 chefs from across Compass came together to showcase their talents and skills, giving an insight into the exceptional standards and quality of food that is served daily across the business. This year saw an uplift in new Compass chefs entering for the first time, giving a greater representation from across the group including chefs from Eurest, ESS, Levy Leisure, Chartwells and Restaurant Associates (RA).

Between them, the chefs scooped over 20 awards, including 1 Gold, 4 Silver, 7 Bronze, 4 Merit Awards plus 4 ‘Best in Class Awards’ and an incredible ‘Best in Show Overall’.  

Award highlights
- Neil Mulhearn, head chef, Eurest won Gold ‘Best in Class’ for the Main Course Plate category. Neil produced three different individual main course plates of his choice, and had to consider the balance and composition of the dish whilst using the appropriate cuts and cooking methods when presenting. The judging panel were impressed with Neil’s stunning mains which comprised a pistachio stuffed neck of lamb, a corn stuffed chicken and a superb cod loin.
- Neil was also recognised with a special award for ‘Best Overall Exhibit Larder’ category across the entire show.
- James Larkins, group executive chef, Chartwells took home double silver and a ‘Best in Class’ award, whilst Simon Coulter, head chef, ESS and Adam Lestrelle, head chef, Levy Leisure, took home Bronze medals in the ‘Main Course Plate’ category for their respective dishes. 
- Simon Coulter, head chef, ESS also scooped a Bronze ‘Best in Class’ in the Starter Plates category with Phil Henson, sous chef, ESS taking a Merit in the same category.
- Agata Switali, apprentice commis chef, Eurest won a Silver in the live skills theatre whilst Tarisa Reid, chef de partie, RA London won Silver ‘Best in Class’ award in the Oriental Dish category with her sesame seared scallops, shitake & edamame soba noodles with demi dashi sauce, stir fried green vegetables, miso glazed aubergine and squid ink cracker.

Nick Vadis, culinary director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Events like Salon Culinaire offer an amazing environment for our chefs to cook in, enabling them to showcase their culinary expertise, techniques and talent whilst competing against much respected peers. Whether chefs are new to competitions or a seasoned professional, learnings from such events are invaluable and encourage our chefs to hone and refine their skills within their own kitchens. I am really proud of all our chefs who competed, and did a great job of demonstrating the breadth and depth of culinary skills and talent that we have within the Compass family.”   

Neil Mulhearn, head chef, Eurest added: “It’s always a great honour to be able to compete against the best chefs in the industry and I’m thrilled on all counts. Two medals plus the recognition of Best in Class and Best in Show - I’m truly elated! As a chef you acknowledge that you cannot do this alone and I couldn’t have asked for a stronger support base in Jamie Gibbs, Nick Vadis and the rest of this amazingly, talented Compass team who have all been there for me and for each other. This is pure teamwork at its very best!”

Tarisa Reid, chef de partie, RA London enthused: "Asian food is one of my favourites to cook. I knew my dish was rich in flavour and had a good chance of winning if I completed everything as I had practiced. I was very nervous at the start with everyone watching, but I soon got into my comfort zone and absolutely loved every minute of it! It goes without saying that I’m now really looking forward to my next competition."

Inspirational Appointment strengthens Compass Barista Academy Programme #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has joined forces with rising coffee star Sonali Taylor, who takes up the position of Coffee Education and Training Manager.

Sonali, with her passion for all things coffee and extensive experience as an accredited Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) trainer in Barista Skills and Brewing will drive the Compass Barista Academy programme forward. She will help build on an already impressive coffee offering with ambitious growth plans for new Compass café formats and in-house coffee brands, Peak Street and Crackle & Hum.
Steve Lovegrove, head of business excellence – central marketing, Compass UK & Ireland said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Sonali has joined the team, it’s a bit of a coup securing her services with her wealth of experience and infectious enthusiasm for the coffee industry.

“It’s an exciting time for the Barista Academy and training is a priority for 2019. We want to deliver our customers great tasting coffee served by knowledgeable, experienced and friendly baristas, and we have no doubt Sonali will be fundamental in helping us achieve this goal.”

As well as mentoring the Master Barista group, Sonali will be developing new Compass barista training modules and running motivational engagement days. Sonali will also be putting together a team of coffee experts to compete in high-profile competitions such as the UK Barista Championships, Brewers Cup and Cup Tasters. 
Sonali Tailor, coffee education and training manager – central marketing, Compass added: “Compass offers a unique proposition through its Master Barista Programme. Through the collaboration of suppliers, sponsors and the SCA this industry leading programme provides our baristas with the very best training available. The company matches my hunger and commitment to strive for continued improvement and growth. Compass is really leading the way, and I’m genuinely excited to be on board as we continue to raise the bar ever higher together.”
Sonali has already been involved in launching an enticing ‘Matcha Smackdown’ competition – in conjunction with SCA and Teapigs – which challenges Compass baristas to showcase their skills to win some great prizes.
The final will be held at the Compass Innovation Centre, Chertsey in March, a site which has recently been accredited as a Premier Training Campus by the SCA. This accreditation ensures the highest standards of coffee education within the industry, so it will be a double celebration and something that Compass is extremely proud to have achieved recognition for.

McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition returns for its fifth year with new focus launched for 2019 #

Premier Foods brought back its McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition for the fifth year running, and is focusing on how cookery skills can help build children’s overall confidence. 

Judges returning include – Carol Harwood, representing LACA; Andrew Green, representing the Craft Guild of Chefs; and Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods. After the recipe competition closes on Friday 17 May, the judges will whittle down the entries and invite five shortlisted teams to the live final at LACA – The Main Event on Thursday 11 July 2019. 

Schools looking to bake their way to the top spot should recruit a team of up to three enthusiastic 7-11 year olds and register online. The winning team will take home the jackpot of £1,000 worth of equipment for their school kitchen, whilst each of the four runners up will win £250 worth of equipment. The competition theme will continue to focus on local produce, encouraging schools to source ingredients within a 30 mile radius of their school for their McDougalls recipes – helping children learn more about where their food comes from.

Mark Taylor, customer controller at Premier Foods, comments: “All the team here at Premier Foods look forward to the McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition every year, it really is one of the highlights in the calendar. It has proved such an important tool for teaching children cookery skills, the importance of local ingredients and above all, has proved a real confidence booster for them. We have had many teachers and parents commenting to us after the competition, to let us know how far the children have come during the process, we’ve noticed it too and it’s so great to see at the live final each year.”

Nic Hastie, school chef at St Martin and St Mary’s C of E Primary School, 2018 winner, comments: “Since winning the competition it has given both myself and the children a real confidence boost. It has really taught the children that if you work hard you can achieve your goals. When I look back to the beginning of the process, when we first started practicing for the competition and how they have come out of their shell since taking part and winning, it is incredible. The £1,000 prize money which we received as a result of our victory has been used to set up a weekly after school cookery club, it has paid for chef coats for the children and the equipment we need in order to make it a success. We launched this just after the October half term, opening it up to years three to six and we’ve already had over 40 sign ups. We’re really hoping it will encourage the children to start baking more at home too with their families.”

Schools up for the baking challenge can register their interest at and will receive a McDougalls toolkit within seven days which will include product samples, an application form and recipe inspiration. Teams will be asked to create either a sweet or savoury recipe, which includes one local ingredient[1] and one McDougalls Flour Based Mix for submission.

Key Dates to remember
- Registration closes: 5 April 2019
- Recipes to be submitted: 17 May 2019
- Live final at LACA – The Main Event: 11 July 2019

[1] Ingredients must be sourced from within a 30 mile radius of the school’s address and can include fruit and vegetables grown, or locally made produce such as cheese or eggs

CESA launches Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment #

Save it or sell it, don’t just scrap it! Specialist industry insight into best practice for reusing second hand catering appliances
The foodservice industry is throwing away tens of thousands of working appliances, every year.  Now CESA is taking a stand and has published a Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment to try to tackle the issue.  Many appliances enter the waste stream for the materials to be recycled, but this should be the last resort. 
“Scrapping perfectly serviceable equipment undermines the foodservice industry’s sustainability aspirations and credibility,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “It’s also a waste of money – the value of this unnecessarily scrapped equipment on the second hand market, is tens of £millions per year.  WEEE (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) is designed to recycle components from equipment that is no longer working.  Sadly it doesn’t protect serviceable equipment from being scrapped too early.” 
CESA has published the guide to provide industry insight into the facts and show how to tackle the problem.  The CESA Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment is available to download for free from the Info Hub, which is accessed via the information tab on the home page at
“We’re not suggesting that operators shouldn’t buy new equipment to replace old – often changing menus, refurbishment or upgrades mean that old appliances simply aren’t up to the job,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “However, scrapping isn’t the only answer.  Reconditioning equipment is not just greener, it can also be a major weapon in the campaign to stop misguided caterers who still buy domestic appliances because they are cheaper, despite the health and safety risks.  A supply of second hand equipment will encourage them to step up to commercial standards, since it will be more affordable.”  
The guide also points out that arranging responsible reuse raises great CSR and PR opportunities.  “Obviously it will help with any company’s sustainability targets,” says Whitehouse.  “However, there’s also the option of using the income or the equipment itself to help low budget organisations – such as charities, social enterprises, new business start-ups or projects in third world countries. 
“In terms of sustainability, the refurbishment of second hand equipment makes a real contribution to the circular economy.” 
The guide notes that the main reason for the industry’s ‘scrap it’ mentality is a lack of knowledge about the other options available – which the guide seeks to address, with the parting advice: save it or sell it, don’t just scrap it! 

Latest CFSP graduates honoured at PKS 2019 #

CESA confirms plans to expand training initiative
The recent Professional Kitchen Show saw the latest cohort of CFSP graduates receive their awards at a ceremony held on the CESA stand.  John Whitehouse, chair of CESA, praised their hard efforts, which have brought the total number of foodservice professionals who have attained CFSP accreditation in the UK up to 557. 
CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional) is run by CESA and is accredited by the University of West London.  Its objective is to support, develop and increase levels of knowledge within the industry by giving foodservice professionals a complete understanding of how catering businesses and commercial kitchens work.
George Wicks of Commercial Catering Spares was one of the latest graduates.  “The advantages are you get a big overview of everything,” he says.  “You get to see how everyone else works – it’s a real eye opener.”
Lawrence Hughes of Falcon Foodservice Equipment also picked up his award.  “CFSP gives a really good understanding of the whole industry,” he says.  “I would absolutely recommend it.  The rest of our sales team will be going through it, as well as our marketing team and some of our senior managers.” 
Before handing out the awards, Whitehouse confirmed that CESA is continuing to expand the CFSP portfolio.  This follows the recent launches of CFSP Enhance, which updates graduates with the latest research and legislation, and PFS (Principles of Food Service), which is an introductory course for newcomers to the foodservice industry. 
“CFSP and its sister initiatives are raising the professionalism and skills of the industry, at a time when we are faced with a huge skills shortage,” he said.  “The very positive reaction from graduates shows that it delivers in terms of personal development, too.” 
The next CFSP seminar and exam will be held on the 20 and 21 June at SMEG UK in Abingdon. For information on CFSP courses, and on CFSP Enhance seminars, visit or contact CESA. 

What’s trending and what’s next? #

CESA’s 2019 LET Forum delivers the inside scoop on tableware, barware and kitchen gear
What colours will fire next summer’s tables?  What shape of wine glass, what finish of flat ware? What’s the next trend?  Will copper be keeping its presentation-ware crown going into 2020?  And what gadgets, gear and kitchen contraptions will creative chefs be wielding?  The answers will be found at the 2019 Light Equipment and Tableware (LET) Forum, organised by CESA and held at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire, on March 19 and 20.  Given the popularity of last year’s event, anyone wanting places should reserve them as soon as possible.  
The Forum is the annual event where dealers and operators can see, touch and discuss the latest trends in tableware and light equipment, and where manufacturers and suppliers go to launch their new concepts and creations.  It’s a showcase of innovation, which is why it attracts many of the biggest and most dynamic dealer companies.  This year the list of delegates includes Global GSE, Parsley in Time, Brakes, Lockhart and Alliance, who will be getting the inside scoop from suppliers including Elia International, I Grunwerg, FEM and Creative Retail Display. 
Delegate places for the LET Forum include the one and half days of the event, overnight accommodation at Whittlebury Hall, including the use of the hotel spa and facilities, and a seat at the LET awards dinner on the night of Tuesday 19 March.  The Forum is free to attend but numbers are limited, so dealers who are interested should contact CESA as soon as possible to reserve their place.  Alternatively they can book here.
After the 2018 Forum Tina Carter of Brakes Catering Equipment said, “I love coming to the Forum, it’s great for new ideas.  It gets better year on year.”  Meanwhile 2018 was the first Forum for Parsley in Time’s Andrea Shearn-Wood.  “It’s good to meet so many suppliers at once,” she said.  “Unlike big exhibitions, the Forum is personal. You don’t get interrupted when you’re talking business. I hope more suppliers do it.” 
The 2019 LET Forum starts at 8.30am on 19 March and finishes at lunchtime on 20 March.  Whittlebury Hall is set in beautiful rolling countryside near Towcester. 

Entries open for North West Young Chef 2019 #

Essential Cuisine is calling on head and mentor chefs from across the north west of England to unleash the young talent bubbling under in their kitchens, as the 2019 hunt for North West Young Chef of the Year begins.    

The prestigious competition, held in association with Sous Vide Tools and CHR Equipment, invites young chefs, aged 24 or under, from across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria and Shropshire, to produce a sumptuous three-course meal for two featuring local and seasonal produce.
Passionate chairman of the judges, Brian Mellor is keen that the competition continues its long tradition of uncovering talented young chefs, while helping build the confidence and skill of every competitor.
“Since its inception the competition has gone from strength to strength; the levels of skill, innovation, and sheer professionalism shown by the young chefs is so encouraging. Every year it’s great to see often very modest or shy young people come alive in the kitchen and thrive under the pressure of competitive cooking. I can’t wait to see what our 2019 crop will bring to the table.”
The competition format comprises two semi-finals, held at Blackpool and the Fylde College (Thursday 28 March) and Warrington College (Wednesday 3 April). Two skilled chefs – one winner and one runner-up – from each semi will be sent through to compete in a final, held on 15 May at Cheshire College South and West.
From there, one outright winner will receive the coveted title, plus a seed into the semi-finals of the Young National Chef of the Year, £500 in cash and a weekend for two at Cheshire’s The Mere Golf Resort & Spa.
Judges include Essential Cuisine’s Senior Development Chef Jonathan Harvey- Barnes, plus BBC Great British Menu stars, Craig Sherrington, chef proprietor at Cumbria’s Virginia House and Ellis Barrie, chef and co-owner, the Marram Grass, Anglesey.
2018 saw Carden Park’s Cyril Gabriel cook his way to the title. On the win, he said: “The whole experience of the competition has enabled me to progress in my career as a professional chef, I have grown in confidence, not only behind the stove but as a person on the whole. Thanks to the organisers and judges for giving us the opportunity to showcase our talents and most of all our passion for the industry.”
Young chefs seeking to emulate Cyril’s success and that of 15 other young winners throughout the competition’s history, can enter today by visiting:
The North West Young Chef of the Year Competition is also supported by The Staff Canteen, Villeroy & Boch, Robinson’s Brewery, Oliver Harvey, Robert Welch, RD Wines, The Mere Golf Resort and Spa and Lake District Life & Lancashire Life.

Essential Cuisine brand refresh offers timely chance to put chef team centre stage #

Essential Cuisine has unveiled a refreshed brand identity for2019, including new strapline; our passion, your creation – a tribute not only to the affiliation of the company and the industry it loves to serve, but also the passionate people and class-leading products that have defined the brand for the past 24 years. 
Though the tagline of ‘The Stock People’ is to be phased out from the new year, the chef-led philosophy, its iconic blue branding and range of stocks, jus, glace, gravy and dessert products remain core to the business.
Essential Cuisine founder, chef Nigel Crane stepped away from the company, following last year’s acquisition by leading European producer of savoury ingredients, Solina, but left as his legacy a passionate 12-strong team of chefs – with specialisms across the board – sharing over half a million hours in working kitchens.
As the brand and business evolves, the time is now right, says managing director, Adam Jones, to bring the entire Essential Cuisine brigade and their iconic chef blues to the fore. 
“Nigel built this company – and its reputation – from the floorboards up, creating many of the products we still sell to this day and recruiting along the way, a band of industry specialists; head chefs, group development chefs, chef lecturers, food technologists and National Culinary Team members to name but a few. These passionate people are already well known to our customers, but in evolving our brand language, we want to champion the depth of expertise we have in our ranks, something none of our competitors can call upon, bringing our chefs front and centre of the brand and marketing mix as we build for the future.
“We’re delighted with the brand refresh, reflecting, as it does, our renewed outlook. ‘Our passion. Your creation’ perfectly sums up the dual focus of the company – the partnerships we forge with wholesalers, chefs, charities, associations and end users. If we’re successful, so are they; that interdependence is so important.
“It’s very much an evolution, however, as almost all the elements that make and have made this company such a runaway success story remain intact – the incredible products, the chef-led ethos, the sheer weight of expertise and of course the industry that we love to serve. To Essential Cuisine all the ingredients matter.”
The new look was unveiled for the very first time at The Foodservice Show (22-23 January 2019, NEC Birmingham).
New elements include a new stand design, new website with full chef team biographies, alongside new sales and marketing materials and much more.

Essential Cuisine goes gluten-free across entire range #

Essential Cuisine has removed the gluten content from its entire 50-strong range of products, recognising the marked growth in coeliac diners and those actively choosing a gluten-free lifestyle.
To celebrate the landmark move, the British manufacturer of stocks, sauces, gravies, jus, glaces and ready-to-use sauces, has created a gluten-free recipe book. Gloriously Gluten-Free is available to download now and showcases just some of the Essential Cuisine chef team’s best loved gluten-free recipes, created using its class-leading range.  
From Classic Fish Pies to authentic Pork Cochinita Tacos, there’s a range of recipes to suit all levels of culinary expertise. Also included are handy hints and tips from the Essential brigade to help chefs give dishes a personal twist.
Essential Cuisine senior development chef Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, comments: “The growth in coeliac diners and those choosing to live a gluten-free lifestyle has exploded in recent years with one in 100 now identifying as coeliac*.  As chefs, we know that it’s a subject that working kitchens take incredibly seriously. In a recent survey by the Change Group^, almost nine out of 10 chefs (89%) said they were taking food intolerances into account when planning menus and at 94%, gluten was the allergen given the most consideration.

“Kitchens are time pressured places, which is why many of them turn to high quality pre-made stocks as the perfect base of countless menu items. Stocks with no declarable allergens** provide much needed consistency and peace of mind for chefs, which is why we’ve moved to make our range entirely gluten-free. It’s one less thing for working kitchens to worry over. The new recipe book has been lovingly created to help chefs across all sectors craft great tasting, gluten-free food that absolutely everyone can enjoy.” 
Gloriously Gluten-Free is available to download now, simply visit:
*Coeliac Awareness
^The Change Group 2018
** These products do not contain declarable allergens under the EU regulation 1169/2011 (Annex II).

IFE 2019 ambassadors unveiled #

The UK’s largest food & drink event collaborates with industry insiders to deliver invaluable insight for buyers and suppliers

To celebrate its 21st edition, The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) 2019 has announced it is collaborating with six industry experts to help build the best and most insightful IFE for buyers and producers alike.

The ‘ambassadors’ will work with organiser, Fresh Montgomery, to identify trends, build insights and share industry knowledge, which will shape the event and ensure visitors – whether chefs, distributors or buyers – are given an unrivalled experience in 2019.

The IFE 2019 ambassadors are:
- Christopher Faulkner, Founder & Director, The Food Service Expert
- Sandra Sullivan MBE, Director, The Food & Drink Exporters Association
- Tony Kitous, Founder & Creative Director, The Comptoir Group 
- Milena Lazarevska, Head of Origination, Future Brands, Sainsbury's
- Kate Houssaye, Quality Manager, New York Bakery Company Ltd.
- Sarah Whiddett, Head of Insight & Customer Experience, Bidfood 

Soraya Gadelrab, event director for IFE, said: “We are proud that IFE has become firmly established on the food & drink industry calendar and to welcome 27,000 industry figures from 111 countries to our biennial event. However, we are acutely aware that we can’t be complacent and must continue to work hard to make sure buyers and suppliers feel it is a valuable experience and worth taking precious time out of their diary to attend.

“We’re working closely with our ambassadors – who collectively bring over 100 years’ worth of industry experience to the table – to develop our strongest event yet.”

Tony Kitous, said: “With my background growing up in Algeria and then making London my home and the place where I began my journey of restaurant-owner, I’m passionate about events which bring industry figures together from both Britain and internationally. I’m proud to be a part of IFE 2019 and am looking forward to helping create a genuinely inspiring and innovative event.”

IFE 2019 is returning to ExCeL London 17–20 March 2019. A must-attend event, IFE 2019 will provide visitors with the chance to discover emerging trends; meet with thousands of international, future-focused producers and brands; and hear inspiring and thought-provoking talks from key figures across the food & drink industry.

Co-located with Pro2Pac, the complete processing & packaging event for the food & drink industry, the joint festival is sure to be a calendar highlight for all forward-thinking companies.

For more information on IFE 2019 and to register for free, please visit:

Meet the Pro2Pac Ambassadors #

The complete processing & packaging event for the food & drink industry collaborates with thought leaders to deliver invaluable insight for attendee

To ensure continual relevant innovation, Pro2Pac 2019 has announced a collaboration with five industry experts to support the creation of forward-thinking content, products and solutions being showcased at the biennial event.

The ‘ambassadors’ will work with organiser, Fresh Montgomery, to identify trends, build insights and share industry knowledge, which will shape the event and ensure visitors – whether Quality or Packaging Managers, Technologists or Engineers – are given an unrivalled experience.

The Pro2Pac 2019 ambassadors are:
- Natalia Agathou, Business Advice Manager, Advance London
- David Harding-Brown, Packaging, Branding & Sustainability Consultant
- Philip Chadwick, Editor, Packaging News
- Sanjay Patel, Founding Partner, The Packaging Collective
- Ian Crosby, Business Development Director, March Foods

Charlotte Brown, event manager for Pro2Pac, said: “We are proud that Pro2Pac is seen as a thought-leading event within the food & drink processing & packaging sector. However, we are deeply aware that we must continue to drive innovation to make sure suppliers, solutions providers, packaging managers and engineers alike feel it is an invaluable experience both in 2019 and onwards.

“We’re working closely with our ambassadors to strive for relevant developments to ensure the event continues to develop and evolve appropriately.”

Natalia Agathou, said: “Pro2Pac is a strong networking event that bridges the gap between the food and packaging industry. As a visitor, apart from the delicacies you get to try while browsing around, you get to witness the latest sector trends and explore new innovations.”

Pro2Pac 2019 is returning to ExCeL London 18–20 March 2019. 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.

For more information on Pro2Pac 2019 and to register to attend for free, please visit:

Co-located shows, The Foodservice Show and The Professional Kitchen Show, deliver exceptional first exhibition #

Last month saw the launch of Fresh Montgomery’s newly branded co-located shows, The Foodservice Show and The Professional Kitchen Show to a phenomenal response by exhibitors and attendees alike.

Thousands of Hospitality and Foodservice professionals descended onto the Birmingham NEC to experience all the latest and greatest in product and technology innovation from more than 200 exhibitors, as well as engaging talks and demos by the very best in the industry. This also coincided with the launch of the HRC Buyers Club – an initiative connecting buyers with UK suppliers, giving them the opportunity to pre-schedule meetings ahead of the show in return for being hosted overnight and invited to exclusive networking events.

The Covered Market was unveiled for the very first time to a great reception. The new feature celebrated small, artisanal suppliers displaying a wide range of fresh and delicious baked goods, dairy, fish, butchery, vegetables, herbs, spices and pulses.  

The Spotlight Stage attracted vast crowds keen to tackle topics ranging from the future of street food and staffing challenges through to 2019 consumer trends and the gap in the soft drinks market. Speakers included industry experts Rakesh Nair, The Cinnamon Collection Group development chef, Jan Matthews, COO, Smart Group, Glynn Purnell, head chef and proprietor, Purnell’s and Lee DeSanges, Baked In Brick owner.

Innovation was a big focus at Kitchenology (in association with CESA) showcasing inventive products and smart technology with a focus around business efficiencies and sustainability. Meanwhile the UK’s most prestigious chef competition, Salon Culinaire was a star attraction (full winners list can be found here) as was The Skills Theatre masterclasses hosted 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.  As if this wasn’t jam-packed enough, The Staff Canteen Live stage created a buzz with show-stopping demos by some of the UK’s top chefs including Ellis Barrie (Marram Grass) and James Cochran (1251).

Many exhibitors launched a host of new products set to hit the wider market soon.

Ross Carter, portfolio director at event organiser Fresh Montgomery said, “We’re pleased to hear that exhibitors thought the event was well paced, diverse in visitors, and a good source of quality, marketable leads. Year-on-year we strive to add more value for our exhibitors and visitors, so to achieve a balance between engaging sessions and valuable insight. We are extremely pleased with the shows outcome and very much look forward to building on this next year.”
See what some of our exhibitors had to say:
Neat Nutrition – Charlie Turner, sales and marketing director: ‘We were so impressed with the quality of people at the show. We managed to get face-to-face time with contacts we’ve struggled to get hold of. The show has also opened up new avenues for us to explore that we hadn’t even considered. We came in with one business objective, and left with another entirely!’
Santa Maria – Habee Folami, marketing executive: ‘It’s been a great show, we’ve had some amazing new chef sign ups and we’ve sold out of all of our stock! We’ve had some interesting conversations with potential new sales leads looking for large quantities, so fingers crossed they come through!’  
Dawn Foods – Radina Simeonova, marketing manager: ‘Our stand has been really busy across both days and we have picked up some promising leads. We’re looking forward to exploring the next steps with these business opportunities. It’s been a great way to showcase our latest products.’
Rubis - Simon Davies, head of sales: ‘It’s been a positive couple of days for us. This is the first time we’ve done a show and we’ve had some great leads from some very interesting sectors. The quality of contacts has been brilliant.’
Eat Pierogi – Allyson Purcell, marketing: ‘The show has gone very well for us. The organisers have introduced us to lots of great contacts which has been very useful. This is the first show we’ve done – the stand looks great and we’ll definitely continue to exhibit here.’

2019 set to be the year of innovation #

With hundreds of new food & drink products to launch at IFE 2019
Many new and exciting products are set to launch during the 21st International Food & Drink Event (IFE) 2019, taking place at ExCeL London on 17-20 March. From next generation water to vegan friendly snacks and the latest product launches featuring global influences, the biennial event is a must-attend for buyers and suppliers looking to explore a taste of tomorrow.
The event will feature 1,350 exhibitors and promises to be a celebration of global and cutting-edge food & drink manufacturers; many of whom will be showcasing the latest innovations and setting the next big trends in the industry.
Here is just a selection of exciting product announcements expected at the event:
Jelley’s Distilleries
First time exhibitors, Jelley’s Distilleries, will be launching its new Pomegranate & Rosemary Vodka and Grain/Straight Vodka. Using premium, organically-grown grain, Jelley’s lovingly distils its award-winning vodka to maximise the natural flavours of the English countryside. Visitors can expect to sample the new products and learn how to create tantalising cocktails via live mixology demonstrations at stand N2277.
EauLab is a hot new challenger brand aiming to disrupt and re-shape the bottled water category. With its Intelligent Drinks Systems™, EauLab extracts and utilises the botanical power of plant-based ingredients to offer a more natural, truer, purer way to drink water. This next generation water also comes in recyclable aluminium cans to help reduce the amount of plastic entering the ocean.
Native Snacks
This new line of savoury, popped lotus seeds is a pioneering snack which is entering the rapidly growing health and nutrition sector. Native Snacks is launching at IFE 2019 with a mission to create new and exciting plant-based snacks from around the world. Three flavours of the vegan friendly alternatives to crisps and popcorn will be available to try on stand N2652 – Jalapeño & Kaffir Lime, Pink Salt & Black Pepper and Cheesy flavour. The brand’s ambition is to develop healthy snack products that have a long-lasting social impact and is working in partnership with the Bihar Development Foundation to donate a percentage of its sales to support health camps in Bihar, India.
This authentic and innovative Moroccan food brand will be using IFE 2019 as a platform to launch to the market. Amboora will showcase a range of North African tagine cooking sauces with flavours including Moroccan Preserved Lemon Tagine Sauce, Moroccan Fragrant Tagine Sauce, Moroccan Shakshuka Sauce and Moroccan Fish Tagine Sauce. Visitors will be able to taste the sauces and watch mouth-watering demonstrations on stand N2670.
The Cornish artisan confectioner will be launching its newest snack bar – an all butter bar of crumbly caramel, sea salt fudge enrobed in Belgian milk chocolate. The Buttermilk bars will be available across the UK, making them the perfect on-the-go treat. Focusing on sustainable packaging, the bars are wrapped in a compostable cellulose wrapper which decomposes within weeks. Other new products include caramelised cacao nib Easter eggs and chocolate covered caramel sea salt fudge, all available to taste on stand N2964.
Attendees are encouraged to register to attend now to start planning their trip to IFE 2019, where they will discover emerging trends; meet with thousands of international, future-focused brands; and hear inspiring and thought-provoking talks from key figures across the food & drink industry.
For more information on IFE 2019 and to register for free, please visit:

Sodexo awarded £4m a year contract with Scottish Fire and Rescue #

Sodexo has been awarded £4 million a year soft services contract with Scottish Fire and Rescue (SFRS).

The four-year contract will see Sodexo deliver a range of services including catering, cleaning, security and waste services.

The agreement covers the full SFRS estate - 420 locations – including wholetime and retained duty system firestations, offices and support locations, ensuring a consistent level of service across Scotland.

Sodexo will support the Service to achieve its transformation strategy by allowing it’s 8,000-strong service personnel to focus on improving the safety and wellbeing of the communities they serve.

Under the new contract, any staff that chose to do so will transfer their employment to Sodexo under a transfer of undertakings.

Paul Anstey, CEO, defence and government services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and look forward to helping Scottish Fire and Rescue concentrate on their key priority of keeping their communities safe.

“This new contract strengthens our position as a trusted partner in the delivery of FM services to the public sector and in particular in Scotland where we already hold a number of prestigious government contracts including the Scottish Parliament”

Sarah O’Donnell is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s director of financial and contractual services.  She said: “We are absolutely committed to providing the best value service for the people of Scotland.

“This contract will enable us to do exactly that, ensuring a consistent level of service across all SFRS properties and allowing us to concentrate on our core roles and responsibilities as we work to continue protecting Scotland’s communities from harm.”

APPG Chair for school food samples Sodexo’s new Food & Co offer #

Sodexo welcomed the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for school food, Sharon Hodgson to Ridgeway Primary Academy in South Shields on Friday 11 January to see its new Food & Co school meals offer. Ms Hodgson is MP for Washington & Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Public Health.

Food & Co. by Sodexo is an exciting new approach to school catering, Sodexo’s marketing manager for schools Rosemary Molinari led the development of the new offer. Rosemary is a public health practitioner and founding member of APPG for school food. The new offer was created following 12 months of research and using market insights and was first rolled out to schools in January 2018.

Sodexo’s contract with Ridgeway Primary Academy began in September 2018. A vital element of the new offer is using pupil-led insight and in July 2018 the team met with a group of children from years 5 and 6 to ask them to help design the dining hall for the new academic year.

The pupils helped decide the colour scheme and look of the dining hall choosing from a selection of ideas and colours provided by Sodexo.  The hall was then transformed over the summer to create a new bespoke dining hall for the school.

The new menu will be regularly reviewed by a group of five children from years 5 and 6 who represent their fellow pupils and have become Sodexo’s Agents of Change. These Agents will taste the new dishes, and gather feedback from their fellow pupils. They will then work with Paula Lumsden the school catering manager and her team to make sure the new menu meets their needs whilst learning about what goes on in the kitchen in creating and preparing the meals.

Sharon Hodgson, MP commented: “It was a pleasure to meet the pupils at Ridgeway Primary Academy, together with the team at Sodexo they have created a vibrant school meal offer which the children love.
 It is so important to engage children from a young age in the importance of eating a balanced meal every day, and Sodexo is doing this in an enjoyable and collaborative way with the school and the children.”

Food & Co was developed as a result of research with pupils from aged 7 up to 16 years which sought to find out what food they like to eat, as well as why and how they want to eat it. 

The research revealed that pupils have a more sophisticated palate than ever before, they have a strong understanding of restaurant brands and want to eat in a relaxed, informal environment that allows them time and space to connect with friends. 

Sodexo’s new Food & Co school meals offer is a four-week menu cycle using ‘Five Foodie Days’ based on the following:
- Planet Earth Day: a celebration of plant-based foods to encourage pupils to try interesting vegetables.
- Street Food Day: dishes inspired by high-street trends and served in our hot-box to increase the fun-factor and create a more grown-up dining experience.
- World Food Day: exploring new foods and tastes from across the globe.
- Originals Day: classic and familiar dishes that pupils love to eat.
- Favourite Friday: popular foods for the end of the week.

Matt Garner, managing director, government schools at Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have been able to show Sharon Hodgson our new offer at Ridgeway.  The pupils and the team at Ridgeway have been fantastic and really helped us create a school dining service that is appealing and fun and we look forward to continuing to work with the school and its Agents.”

Director of Ridgeway Primary Academy, Michael McCarthy added, “It was great that the school’s leadership and pupils were able to have input into the new design for the dining hall and in what dishes are on the menu. This has certainly helped with school meal uptake.

 “We needed to find ways to interest children more in their food and to involve them in decisions surrounding what they were eating. Sodexo’s innovative ‘Agents for Change’ approach has led us to redesign our dining hall in line with our pupils’ views and needs, and has helped us rethink the way that we provide nutritious and balanced meals.”

Sodexo was awarded the eight-year, £11.2m contract with Tyne Coast College Group earlier last year.  Building on its six-year relationship with South Tyneside College, one of the institutions in the newly formed group, Sodexo’s new contract includes the delivery of catering and student accommodation services at six sites in North and South Shields.

In addition to Ridgeway Primary Academy, Sodexo is delivering services to South Tyneside College, South Shields Marine School and Queen Alexandria Campus.

Sodexo unveils a packed 2019 diary #

Sodexo, has unveiled its plans for 2019 – with high profile events and venues once again at the forefront.
Not only is the company the catering partner at more than 50 iconic sports stadia, museums and visitor attractions, but it is also the official hospitality provider at some of the most glittering events in the social calendar.
And it has confirmed that it will once again be catering at The Open, at Royal Portrush, Henley Royal Regatta, Royal Ascot, RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and the Burghley Horse Trials.
As always, food is at the heart of Sodexo’s plans for the year ahead, starting with a series of new food and drink menus at venues such as IWM London, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy and the Wallace Collection, operated by its London subsidiary, Peyton & Byrne.
In February, Sodexo’s Glass Room restaurant at Victoria Embankment is partnering with luxury chocolatier Charbonnel & Walker to offer diners an extra special Valentine’s surprise, while, in March, the company will announce details of its Christmas packages at venues as diverse as Newcastle’s St James’ Park, Everton’s Goodison Park stadium and Scotland’s Royal Botanic Garden.
May will bring a new addition to Sodexo’s portfolio in the form of a spectacular new conference suite at Yorkshire’s Emerald Headingley Stadium, following a major, £40m redevelopment.
While, among the highlights of the summer season will be Jardin Blanc - a special collaboration between Sodexo and Raymond Blanc resulting in an exquisite pop-up restaurant at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
From French chefs to French cuisine and, in the autumn, the launch of a continental menu at The National Café, in homage to the blockbuster Credit Suisse exhibition, Gaugin Portraits, being held at The National Gallery.
As always, Sodexo will round off the year with parties and Hogmanay celebrations across the UK and, to honour the advent of 2020, the theme is set to be the Roaring 20s – a tribute to the golden era of jazz, flappers and the cocktail hour.
“We are hugely fortunate to be partnered with some of the most special and unique venues and events in the UK,” said Sodexo venue and events marketing manager, Natasha Carr, “and 2019 looks set to be extra special in terms of opportunities.
“So, whether businesses are bringing people together for work, pleasure, or a combination of both, we are confident we can make their event an occasion to remember.”

Sodexo Ireland appoints new head of corporate services division #

Sodexo has appointed Julie Ennis as managing director of Corporate Services, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Julie joins the company from Bank of Ireland, where she was the Head of its Mobile Sales Force for three years. 

In her new role, Julie will be responsible for the management and strategic growth of Sodexo’s corporate services offering in Ireland and Northern Ireland, reporting into David Bailey, CEO of Corporate Services for the UK and Ireland. Within the corporate sector in Ireland, Sodexo works with clients in finance, pharma, technology and FMCG, including Ervia, Gas Networks Ireland, Bord Bia, Central Bank, PayPal, Dell and Microsoft.

Margot Slattery, who held a dual role as head of corporate services and country president, is moving into the latter position on a full-time basis, reflecting the growth of Sodexo’s operations in Ireland. Representing Ireland on Sodexo’s UK and Ireland regional leadership committee, she oversees all its divisions here, which includes corporate, education, healthcare and government services, linking in with the Irish executive team. Margot also sits on the Board of Sodexo Ireland and will continue to steer its growth across both the public and private sector here.

Julie Ennis has held numerous senior roles in sales, product development, strategy and operations at the Bank of Ireland Group since 1998. She was a Group Sponsor of Bank of Ireland’s Be At Your Best’ employee wellbeing programme and a committee member of its LGBT and Gender Balance networks. She is an MBA graduate of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and a National Council member of the Executive Institute.

Margot Slattery, country president, Sodexo Ireland said, “I am delighted to welcome Julie Ennis to the senior management team in Ireland. Her appointment is key to our growth strategy for corporate services in Ireland and Northern Ireland and her track record in change management, corporate social responsibility and diversity and inclusion speaks for itself.”

Jellybean tops B2B Marketing’s Agencies League Table 2019 for foodservice #

The latest B2B Marketing Agencies League Table is out, and Jellybean is officially the highest-ranking integrated foodservice agency featured. Coming in at 57th overall, 33rd Integrated B2B agency and in the top 25 agencies with less than 50 employees.

Based on gross income the benchmarking report reflects the top players in the market, Jellybean’s founder and CEO, Fiona Rickard says: “Jellybean prides itself on being a small, fiercely independent agency that is agile, strategic, creative and pragmatic and one that lives, eats and breathes the niche sectors in which we operate. This ranking is particularly impressive when you consider our size and specialism. The key to our success? Quite simply it’s our people that make Jellybean and I am hugely proud of my amazing team.”

The food and drink specialist agency, known for its foodservice expertise and more recently retail, convenience and consumer prowess, boasts an impressive 31-year track record, working with food and drink brands big and small.

With the B2B Marketing Report also highlighting the rise of the ‘cagency’ (consultancy + agency) Fiona continues: “Jellybean has been exactly this since day one. Offering insight and consultancy to clients to help them unlock the potential of their food and drink brands, whether it be in the out of home, retail, convenience or consumer market.”

The latest league table success is a result of Jellybean celebrating eleven key new business wins last year, cementing its continued status as the integrated agency of choice for food and drink brands. 

Managing director at Jellybean, Susan Bolam adds: “It’s fantastic for Jellybean to be recognised by such a well-respected agencies league table. 2018 was a phenomenal year, and 2019 is proving to be no different with some very exciting projects with our fabulous clients, as well as the launch of ‘Jellypad’ – our new platform and service for challenger brands wanting to take-off in the food and drink market.”

Bidfood launches ‘Talking Food’ podcast series to explore key 2019 trends #

‘Talking Food’, a new bitesize podcast, is being launched by Bidfood. The ten-part series will look at a range of topics pertinent to the foodservice and hospitality industry which are set to influence 2019’s top food and drink trends and the nation’s favourite cuisines for the year ahead.

Hosted by Bidfood’s head of insight and customer experience, Sarah Whiddett, the first series of Talking Food sees the company’s team of experts explore trends at a macroscopic level, reflecting on how societal changes have influenced what consumers are choosing to eat and drink.

The podcast also explores global cuisines, which are becoming more commonplace on UK menus, including Afro-Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Modern European. Each episode of the series brings to life how operators – from restaurants and pubs, to schools and care homes – can harness these trends and use them to shape their menus.

Commenting on the podcast series, Sarah said: “It’s been great fun creating Bidfood’s first ever podcast. We’ve intentionally kept each of the episodes as short and digestible as possible so that anyone and everyone can find time to listen. As well as exploring some of the bigger influences feeding into 2019’s food and drink trends, the podcasts give helpful advice for those wanting to weave some of this year’s trend influences into their menus.”

Available to download now for free, subscribe to Bidfood’s Talking Food on the Apple podcast app by searching, ‘Talking Food with Bidfood’.

- Apple link:
- Spotify link:
- Soundcloud link:
- Stitcher link:

Fairfax Meadow opens a brand new facility in Enfield #

Catering butcher, Fairfax Meadow, has opened a brand new facility in Enfield as part of its strategy to focus on the London market.

The Fairfax London site features a state of the art maturation room, complete with a Himalayan Salt Wall as well as a butchery training kitchen.

The Enfield premises has replaced the old Kentish Town site and follows the opening of their new facility in Milton Keynes.

Fairfax Meadow managing director Penny Tomlinson said: “We are delighted to open Fairfax London, our site dedicated to serve the London hospitality industry. The new facility is a significant step for Fairfax Meadow. It is the next stage of our planned £2m investment that ensures we continue to lead the industry in product quality and service.”

Sales director Chris Gadd added: “Our 45-year heritage comes from our solid reputation in the London market. Our team understands what it takes to meet the unique demands of hospitality businesses in London. Our Enfield site will allow us to offer more to customers, including greater handling capacity; a development suite; butchery training kitchen for chefs as well as accompanying meeting space. We will, of course, continue to offer our award-winning burgers and sausages as well as our specialist banqueting service.”