Members’ News

June 2019

Kraft Heinz supports young ‘Hospitality Heroes’ in foodservice industry competition #

Kraft Heinz has announced the launch of 57 Hospitality Heroes – Growing a Better World, a new competition run in partnership with Arena.  The competition recognises foodservice and hospitality industry professionals under 30 who go above and beyond their job role, giving something back to the industry in their spare time. Individuals are nominated, rewarded and recognised by their peers.

Claire Traynor, head of foodservice UK, said: “We created 57 Hospitality Heroes to celebrate the exceptional ‘extracurricular’ contributions being made by young people across the foodservice and hospitality industry. The initiative marks Kraft Heinz 150th anniversary and aligns perfectly with our vision - to be the best food company, growing a better world.  We believe “growing a better world” means working to improve our planet, its people and the communities where we work and live.”  

Individuals working within the foodservice and hospitality industry can nominate others who work in the industry who will be aged under 30 on Tuesday 1 October 2019. The competition is free to enter.  

Entries are welcome from all types of businesses within the foodservice and hospitality industry including food manufacturing, wholesalers, contract caterers, pub, hotel restaurant operators, PR, recruitment and catering equipment.

Lorraine Wood, director, Arena said: “At Arena we want to encourage younger members to enjoy the benefits of networking, so it makes perfect sense to join forces with Kraft Heinz on this exciting initiative. 

“If you have someone in your business or in the industry you know who has gone ‘the extra mile’ outside of their day to day role we want to hear from you.”

In a nod to the famous Heinz 57 advertising campaign, judges will announce a shortlist of 57 Hospitality Heroes who will be invited to a drink’s reception at Kraft Heinz offices in The Shard on 19 July 2019. From these 57, three finalists will be chosen by an independent judging panel and invited to the Arena Autumn event in September 2019, where the winner will be announced.

The winner will be invited to sit on the Arena Board for 12 months and receive tickets to Arena networking events throughout the year. Each finalist’s initiative will also receive a donation on their behalf.

Do you know a Hospitality Hero? Enter them here . The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Friday 21 June 2019.

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland raise £4000 over UK Coffee Week #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland has raised £4000 for Project Waterfall during UK Coffee Week - the equivalent to providing 155 people with clean water in coffee growing communities.
Employees got behind the cause and organised a variety of fundraising activities, including a silent auction to win a trip to Switzerland, which raised over £500, and a company-wide raffle raising over £1,085.
Elaine Swift, regional director (North), UCC Coffee comments: “As a continuation of support for our chosen charity, we’re proud to have raised a fantastic amount for Project Waterfall. You can’t make great coffee without clean water, and yet countries that grow our coffee often do not have access to clean drinking water, which is why it’s so important we get behind this initiative. I want to say a big thank you to our teams and customers for their generous donations, UK Coffee Week is all about celebrating coffee and having fun, and we look forward to continuing towards our goal of raising £100,000 for Project Waterfall.”
Project Waterfall is an initiative developed by the Allegra Foundation, designed to bring clean water, sanitation, and education to coffee-growing communities across the world. So far, the project has raised over £1million and brought clean water to over 34,000 people, across seven countries. This year, the project continues to support the ongoing work in the rural Jabi Tehnan district of Ethiopia through funds raised from UK Coffee Week 2019.

Tapping into the next generation #

New report reveals what Generation Z thinks about the pub of today and what they want from the pub of the future
Gen Z wants much more than booze, latest research from Nescafé Azera has revealed.
In its new Nitro-Generation report looking at the future of pubs, more than three quarters (78%) of Gen Zers told Nescafé Azera that the on-trade needs to make itself more inviting to customers who don’t drink alcohol*. According to the research, a third want seasonal and interesting non-alcoholic drinks*, and one in five are looking for iced or speciality coffee*.
While there is positive news that three quarters of Gen Z (77%) visit their favourite watering hole more than once per month (compared to 66% of Gen X)*, concerningly a third (33%) believe that pubs are becoming outdated*.
It’s therefore not surprising that a significant majority (85%) of Gen Zers said they are looking for more from their local, with over half saying they would be more likely to visit if it offered live music (56%) or quizzes (52%)*. Karaoke (31%) and video games (22%) were also popular*.
It is this changing attitude towards pubs and the ‘drinking experience’ which has inspired the launch of the Nescafé Azera Nitro-Generation report.
Lynn Little, channel lead at Nestlé Professional, said: “The pub industry has been hit hard in recent years, trying to retain regular customers and stay afloat. As such, we wanted to provide the on-trade with a deeper understanding of what the next generation of customer wants from its local.
“For pubs to stay in business it’s important to evolve  by meeting changing demands –  that’s the key focus of the Nescafé Azera Nitro-Generation report. With expert industry insight and feedback from Gen Z, it’s a priceless tool to any publican”.
The full report, Nescafé Azera ‘Nitro-Generation: Inspiring the pub of the future’ includes an in-depth look at what the new generation of pub-goers (Generation Z) are looking for from their local with further survey results as well as expert insight and advice from hospitality expert Joy Zarine and British Institute of Innkeeping’s Molly Davis. Furthermore, YouTube and Instagram personalities Katie Pix and XAmeliaX provide invaluable insights direct from the pub goers of the future.
Confirming that 43% of Gen Z are more likely to order coffee in a pub if it offers cold coffee options*, the release of the report also coincides with the promotion of Nescafé Azera Nitro coffee to the on-trade.
Nescafé Azera premium iced coffee comes in two formats to suit different out of home needs.  The Nescafé Azera Nitro cans are infused with nitrogen for a smooth taste and perfect pour.  And exclusive to out of home, a Cold Brew black coffee is ready to serve over ice or nitrogen-infused through an on-tap solution.  All options are ideal for quick cocktail creations or straight serves.
To download a copy of the Nescafé Azera Nitro-Generation report:

* 3GEM in collaboration with NESCAFÉ AZERA (December 2018). ‘Nitro-Generation: Inspiring the Next Generation of Pub’ survey of 500 Generation Z and 500 Generation X consumers

New Report Reveals Eight in Ten Chefs Suffer from Poor Mental Health #

Nestlé Professional’s CHEF released new report exploring mental health in professional kitchens and what can be done to reduce stress
In a recent independent survey of UK chefs, CHEF has found that eight in ten of those working in professional kitchens (81%) have experienced poor mental health during their careers*. Furthermore, almost half (48%) believe that not enough is being done to support their mental wellbeing in the workplace*.
The hospitality industry is an exciting, ever-evolving place to work, but with this comes a fast pace and pressure. There is increasing acknowledgement that more needs to be done to open-up conversations around mental health, and as such, CHEF has commissioned an extensive report to gain a better understanding of how chefs are affected and what can be done to improve the kitchen environment and lower stress levels*.
The research shows that the top factors currently contributing to stress are staff shortages (58%), lack of time (43%) and limited budgets (42%)*. The lack of daylight was also cited, with 41% saying it negatively impacted on their wellbeing*.
Not only is stress having an impact on the mental wellbeing of those in professional kitchens, CHEF’s research has also revealed it’s having a negative impact on wider business operations, with almost three-quarters (73%) of chefs admitted to calling in sick due to stress*.
CHEF has collaborated with Renée Clarke, workplace wellbeing expert from The Work Well Hub to assess the current situation and what can be done to alleviate the issue in a new report, ‘At Boiling Point: Addressing mental wellbeing in professional kitchens’. Renée provides invaluable insight and advice for creating a workplace environment that will encourage creativity and reduce stress.
The report also includes commentary from industry experts such as UKHospitality; mental health campaigns, Time to Change and Pilot Light; The Craft Guild of Chefs; Unite and fine dining restaurant, Cin Cin – a prime example of a business prioritising employee wellbeing and creativity above all else.
The research identified creativity as a key factor in reducing stress levels and increasing employee satisfaction with almost nine in ten chefs (87%) in agreement that more freedom to be creative in the kitchen would significantly improve their stress levels*. However, the vast majority (85%) stated that their creativity is being stifled by other pressures in the kitchen*.
Andrej Prokes, consultant Chef at Nestlé Professional said: “Being a chef is, I think, one of the most intensely satisfying jobs there is, but it comes at a price. As you’d expect, working at pace in a busy kitchen comes with its challenges, especially when you are putting your heart and soul into creating the perfect dish. However, that price should not be the mental health of chefs and too often these days, it is.
“CHEF’s survey results clearly demonstrate that mental health is a significant issue affecting chefs across the UK and with the support of industry experts, professionals and campaigners, this report goes a long way to understanding the causes and what more can be done to raise awareness, improve communication across the industry and probably most significantly, reduce stress levels leading to mental health issues. For me, it’s a must-read for anyone running or working in a professional kitchen”.
Trade charity, Hospitality Action, whose work offers a crucial lifeline to those who work in the hospitality industry have welcomed the report, with their Chief Executive, Mark Lewis commenting: “The most recent survey results from Nestlé Professional add to the growing body of evidence that there is still much to do to with regards to mental wellbeing in the kitchen.”, he added, “We applaud anything that can be done to raise awareness of and destigmatise an issue that costs too many lives in our industry.”
To download a copy of the CHEF report, At Boiling Point: Addressing mental wellbeing in professional kitchens visit:

Nestlé Professional’s innovative CHEF Signature range has been developed to offer cooking tools that act as an ally to chefs, providing a time saving solution that takes the strain off chefs, allowing them to unleash their creative signature touch, without having to lessen the high standards of craftsmanship they are renowned for.

Consistent in quality, Nestlé Professional’s CHEF Signature range allows chefs to concentrate on doing what they do best – explore more and create more, meaning they can keep one-step ahead of the demands of a busy kitchen and their mental wellbeing.

Elior’s colourful new menu concepts offer a fresh taste of Greece and the Deep South this summer #

Elior UK has launched two new Spring/Summer menus for its original menu concept, Global Flavours, inspired by different cooking techniques and spices from around the world. In the latest menu refresh, Elior’s development team launches ‘Flavours from the Deep South’ and ‘Taste of Greece’, introducing refreshing, diverse and colourful dishes that pack a punch. 

Mark Crowe, head of menu management, at Elior UK said: “The development team was keen to create two very different cuisines that introduce time-tested flavours and cooking techniques from around the globe.

“In Greece, gyros are one of the most popular street foods, with marinated meat cut from a rotating spit. We’re excited to offer a glimpse of Greek food with our flatbreads, colourful and zesty salads and more. We also wanted to showcase the traditional method of cooking in the Deep South – coating food (traditionally fish and chicken) in a Cajun seasoning and searing in a skillet until it is ‘blackened’ on both sides. We hope customers enjoy these adventurous Summer Flavours as much as we’ve enjoyed creating them!”

Elior’s development team continues to create 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 Filipino street food, Mexican enchiladas and Venezuelan arepas.
Global Flavours Spring/Summer 2019 menu
‘Taste of Greece’

- Gyro flatbread options include: gyro chicken strips, pork souvlaki strips, halloumi cheese slices, fried seasoned aubergine and boiled eggs – all served with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and olives
- Extra flatbread salad inclusions: orange and dill marinated spinach, lentil and cabbage salad, Greek village salad, beetroot, cabbage and pomegranate salad
- Sauces and toppings include: dill and cucumber tzaziki, tahini garlic sauce, dried mint and oregano seasoning, chilli kebab sauce, chilli flake oil
- Sides include: lemon, oregano, cumin and garlic roast potatoes, skin-on fries with Greek seasoning
- Desserts include: filo pastry baklava 

'Flavours from the Deep South’
- Mains include: blackened chicken, pork, catfish or vegetable steaks served with vegetable jambalaya rice
- Sides include: cornbread, collard greens, corn and bean succotash,  Southern-style slaw, hush puppies
- Dips and sauces include: hot sauce, watermelon and peach salsa

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

May 2019 Pan’Artisan Introduces Aglio Pebble Tear And Share Bread #

Pan’Artisan extends its range further with the introduction of a new variety of its hand-made, artisan Aglio Pebble Tear And Share Bread.

The new addition perfectly addresses the increasing consumer demand for sharing platters and accompaniments, as the preference for more sociable and relaxed eating environments prevail, especially in the casual dining sector.

David Jones, sales & marketing director, Pan’Artisan Ltd;  “To compliment our existing Tear and Share Garlic Bread we have developed a new variant which is packed with flavour due to the delicious Italian herbs that are incorporated throughout the light and fluffy dough, plus a generous topping of fine quality, aromatic garlic butter that seeps into the bread on baking for a moist and flavourful menu choice, resulting in a truly Italian taste and delicious eating experience.”

The irregular round shape provides a rustic ‘homemade’ appearance whilst delivering a choice of portion sizes, suitable for both children and adults.

The bread is 7” in size, is quick to serve and easy to prepare; simply remove the paper liner, keep it in its baking case, place on a baking sheet and into a preheated oven 190-200oC for 8 to 10 minutes to allow the garlic topping to melt into the bread.  Bake until golden brown, then serve.  Available in packs of 12 per case, 90 cases to a pallet.

Robinsons launches refreshing on-pack promotion ahead of Wimbledon #

Britvic is helping foodservice operators drive sales this summer with a new on-pack promotion across its Robinsons Refresh’d range. With promotional packs rolling out now until mid-June, shoppers will have the chance to win exciting Wimbledon experiences – from branded towels to VIP tickets to a tennis match during the tournament. Celebrating the brand’s 84 year association with Wimbledon, Robinsons is also running a £3m campaign over the summer months, which includes radio and social media activations.
Running across all three flavours in the range – Raspberry and Apple, Orange and Passionfruit, and Apple and Kiwi – shoppers need to scan the QR code on-pack for the chance to win. They will then be asked to answer one question and those supplying the correct answer will be added to the weekly prize draw. 
Rachel Phillips, OOH commercial director at Britvic, comments: “Robinsons Refresh’d is perfectly placed to help drive summer sales, and it’s important for operators to remember that although Wimbledon is based in London – the tournament is watched and celebrated across the country. That means our on-pack promotion for shoppers to win Wimbledon themed prizes will drive brand awareness during a key seasonal peak for soft drinks. With Robinsons Refresh’d made with real fruit and naturally sourced  ingredients, it’s ideal for operators to stock as part of their on the go offering – whether they are catering for busy commuters, office workers or families.”
The on-pack promotion will be on standard and price-marked 500ml bottles, with prize draws running until the end of July.

Britvic Interim Results - 28 Weeks - Ended 14 April 2019 #

Britvic announced its Interim Results for the 28 weeks ended 14 April 2019:
Britvic has delivered another strong performance in the first half of the year.  Organic revenue increased 1.9% to £769.2m, organic adjusted EBIT increased 5.0% to £83.7m and adjusted EPS increased 5.2% to 22.3p and the interim dividend increased 5.1%.
This builds on Britvic’s track record of 13 consecutive YoY halves of growing adjusted EBIT.
In GB, the Soft Drinks Industry Levy accelerated the consumer trend towards low and no sugar. This has been a key area of focus and innovation for a number of years, and Britvic’s portfolio of brands is well positioned to realise the opportunity this presents. Significantly, all its low or no-sugar variants were in growth during the period.
The highlights from the first half are as follows:
GB Stills

- The three main brands, Robinsons, J20 and Fruit Shoot, grew revenue in the first half
- Robinsons’s premiumisation strategy saw the brand again take market share, with consumers responding well to the launches of the Creations and Cordials ranges
GB Carbs
- Pepsi MAX has continued to gain more value share than any other cola variant, while low/no sugar variants 7UP free, R Whites and Purdey’s were also in growth
- Tango was in strong growth ahead of a major relaunch which will include refreshed branding, sugar-free flavours and multi-channel advertising campaign
Looking ahead, the company remains confident of continuing to make further progress and achieving market expectations for the full year.

Tango launches £1.2m marketing campaign to support its sugar-free range #

Britvic has rolled out a brand-new marketing campaign to support its sugar-free Tango range. Titled ‘Sticky situation? Time to Tango’, the £1.2m campaign aims to portray humorous, awkward situations to drive awareness and relevance within the 16 – 24 year-old market and ultimately help drive further sales for outlets.
The two creatives, one for TV and the other for cinema, will see the first introduction of the Tanguru, played by Funny Women Champion, Thanyia Moore. Summoned by the crack of a ring pull, the Tanguru bursts into awkward moments, freezing time to offer Tango drinkers advice on how they can ‘style out’ their situation. The iconic brand will leverage the distinctly British personality and irreverent humour that people have come to know and love, with the addition of a modern makeover designed to resonate with younger audiences.
Rachel Astbury-Phillips, OOH commercial director at Britvic, comments: “As consumer tastes shift, it’s important that we remain ahead of the curve. The next generation is increasingly attracted to health-conscious products which don’t compromise on flavour or the brand DNA which customers have come to trust. The Tanguru TV campaign, alongside our new sugar-free options, hit the mark by offering consumers the flexibility to make choices which suit their lifestyle. With the brand back on TV this summer, Tango will be front of mind for consumers, creating a fantastic sales opportunity for operators.”
With sugar free options growing at a volume of +8% year on year[1], the new offering presents a great opportunity to drive sales by expanding their range in this area and adapting to changing customer demands.
The TV campaign, which aired from 23 May, will run over a period of four weeks and will be bolstered by sampling, digital and in-store activation campaigns. All new sugar free flavours - Strawberry & Watermelon, Tropical and Orange - are available in all pack formats including price-marked packs.

[1] Nielsen Scantrack, Total Coverage, Volume % Chg vs. YA, 52w/e 16.02.19, Sugar Free as defined by Soft Drinks Industry Levy

Ultimate Experience to host first events in new West London venue, Exhibition #

Ultimate Experience, the London seasonal venue and event specialist, will open the inaugural season of events at Exhibition, the new West London venue opening for winter 2019.  The events and venue management business, which is part of CH&CO, will be the first company to host events at Exhibition from this November.
Formerly the Dimco building, a Grade II listed Victorian structure originally built as a London Underground power station and later used as a bus depot, Exhibition is a purpose-built event destination offering over 3,000sqm of event space over two levels.
With exclusive use for six weeks, clients of Ultimate Experience will be the first to step foot into the impressive venue when the heritage building opens its doors to the public for the first time in its history following its restoration. Ultimate Experience’s creativity and expertise will produce and enhance the impressive space ready for a season of award ceremonies, charity fundraisers, brand events, Christmas parties and private receptions.
Ultimate Experience will be joined by its sister companies, Create Food by CH&CO, who will deliver exceptional catering and service for the events across the busy season,and Full Circle, who will provide full production and furniture as well as clients entertainment requirements.
Bradley Thompson, MD of Broadwick Live & Venues, said: “Exhibition represents an important moment in the evolution of Westfield London, creating a unique entertainment hub and enhancing the area’s cultural kudos. Ultimate Experience provides amazing experiences for some of the UK's most high-profile brands and corporate clients and we are extremely happy to partner with them on the first run of events in the venue.”
Carly Mitchell, managing director of Ultimate Experience, said: “To be the very first events business to work in Exhibition is a fantastic and exciting opportunity.  We’ve been looking for a new venue for a few years and nothing we considered quite fitted our requirements.  We know this is the right time to launch Exhibition to our clients and we believe this flexible and inspiring space is the perfect addition to our portfolio of event venues.” 
Ultimate Experience’s impressive venue portfolio gives clients access to some of London’s most in demand venue spaces across two busy events seasons (summer and winter), including City Central at the HAC, The Pavilion at the Tower of London, Old Billingsgate, and now Exhibition.
Exhibition London is a collaborative venture between Broadwick Venues and the team behind the Westfield shopping franchise, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The venue is located next to Westfield London in Shepherd's Bush.
The capacity is 350-750 for a seated lunch/dinner and up to 1,400 for a reception.

CH&CO and Kew Gardens launch new al-fresco dining experience #

Following an ambitious two-year redevelopment, CH&CO Destinations and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have opened a new dining experience for visitors to the world-famous botanic gardens, the Pavilion Bar and Grill. 

Located on the site of the old Pavilion Restaurant, this exciting new eatery offers visitors an all year-round immersive dining experience.

Situated near the Temperate House and the Great Pagoda, the contemporary restaurant building offers expansive views of the surrounding gardens, allowing diners to enjoy the beautiful landscape in all seasons.  It boasts a vast outdoor area with the original ornamental vines incorporated into a new planted landscape created by Kew’s horticulturists. The leafy terrace offers an al fresco dining experience for over 300 visitors. The interior, which seats 80 people, is designed around natural materials and muted tones to create a modern yet relaxed atmosphere, bringing the outside in.

The seasonal menu focuses on authentic food grilled on charcoal, alongside an array of enticing sides. With the Josper charcoal grill at centre stage, customers can watch as their chosen dishes are freshly prepared by CH&CO’s chefs in the open kitchen. Guests order their food and drinks at the bar and thanks to a state-of-the-art table location system, food is delivered quickly and accurately.

Meat sourced from English farms features on the menu, along with selected Kew herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, chives, mint and peppermint, grown in the Pavilion Bar & Grill’s own herb garden.

Dishes include spatchcock chicken with a choice of marinades, including jerk, Kew herb of the day & lemon or Piri Piri; orange & BBQ pork belly ribs; whole bream from the Cornish day boats, with garlic, chilli and Kew rosemary; and roasted halloumi and vegetable stack with Romesco sauce.

The new restaurant is also a welcoming destination for families.  The menu includes treats for children, including macaroni cheese and Josper BBQ chicken wings, and a family sharing board of BBQ & orange pork belly ribs, spatchcock chicken, Brisket & skin on chips.  The vegetarian option features grilled asparagus, field mushrooms, grilled spring vegetable skewers with smoked vegan cheese & vegan tzatziki, roast vegan halloumi & vegetable stack and Romesco sauce.

Lighter options are also available, such as the salt-baked salmon from Cornish day boats, with pearl barley, chickpea & rocket with a cumin, coriander and yoghurt dressing.

For those looking to relax over a drink, a fine selection of cocktails, wines and beers is available from the main and the outdoor bar.  The William cocktail (named after the botanist William Coys) is a refreshing combination of Kew Orangery Triple Sec, Kew English sparkling wine by the Bolney Estate, tonic and strawberry purée, while Eden fuses Kew Organic Gin, elderflower presse, lemon, tonic and cloudy apple juice. Eden can also be enjoyed as a non-alcoholic cocktail using Seedlip non-alcoholic Gin. Botanically-inspired ales brewed in the neighbouring award-winning Kew Brewery also feature on the drinks menu.

Richard Barley, director of horticulture, learning and operations at Kew Gardens says: “We are thrilled to have opened the new Pavilion Bar and Grill at Kew. Delicious, fresh and seasonal food served in a setting so close to nature it will bring a truly unique dining experience to visitors.”

Simon Finnigan, CH&CO’s General Manager at the Pavilion Bar and Grill, says: “It’s exciting to have opened the doors of the Pavilion Bar and Grill to Kew’s visitors and to see our vision become a reality. It’s been great to work in partnership with our client at Kew Gardens to create a restaurant that’s so much more than a place to eat. It’s part of the Kew Gardens experience. The impressive, open design coupled with the theatre of the Josper Grill and cooked-to-order flavoursome dishes creates an uplifting outdoor dining experience that can be enjoyed by everyone, all year round.”

William Murray expands its offering into new areas within food and drink #

William Murray, the specialist food and drink agency, has announced staff promotions as it expands into new areas within food and drink.
William Murray PR & Marketing has promoted Fiona Hamilton from group account director to associate director as the agency expands its offering.
Hamilton will continue to oversee business to business clients, as well as driving new focus areas for the agency, including data driven insights and food tech. 

William Murray CEO Anita Murray said: "Everywhere you look technology is impacting the food and drink industry and we’re already working with a number of clients, so it makes sense to evolve our offering in this area by targeting emerging brands as well as established players.”

Founded over 30 years ago, the agency counts the likes of Délifrance, Elior, Quorn, Santa Maria, Bestway and BRITA VIVREAU among its clients.

Hamilton said: “It’s an exciting time for William Murray. The agency recently launched its social listening insight tool called Delve which I will be developing to give more food and drink operators the competitive edge”.
William Murray has also announced the promotion of Anna Berry from junior account manager to account manager. Berry will continue to drive chef engagement programmes for clients including Quorn and Santa Maria.

The Foodservice Forum 2019 announces all-star speaker programme #

The one-day seminar, organised by The London Produce Show and conference, will chart the transformation of Uk foodservice through technology and trends
The London Produce Show and Conference has unveiled another top-level programme studded with star speakers for the fourth annual edition of its dedicated event for the UK foodservice industry, The Foodservice Forum 2019, which takes place on Wednesday June 5, 2019, at The Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel in London.
A first-rate line-up of market-leading foodservice, hospitality, catering and fresh produce industry specialists are now confirmed to take part as speakers and panelists to uncover the ways in which technology and trends are truly transforming the foodservice industry in the UK.
Moderated by Jason Danciger, a Paris-trained chef, restaurateur and the UK managing director of the Hana Group, The Foodservice Forum 2019 presents an interactive and engaging platform dedicated to the UK’s diverse and thriving foodservice industry, and the potential to make fresh produce more prominent on plates.
This year’s conference sessions will address the eating out market in focus; the impact of modern technology on customers and operators; the power of plant-based eating, veganism and vegetarianism; the next star product in fresh produce; and how the supply chain can work better together.
By understanding how all of these factors are set to shape the business over the next decade, attendees will go away fully prepared to ensure they remain relevant and competitive in the thriving foodservice market.
Jim Prevor, CEO and editor-in-chief at Produce Business and Phoenix Media Network, explains: “Our Foodservice Forum adds another level of value to The London Produce Show and Conference, and appeals to culinary heavy hitters and major UK and international foodservice companies.
“Attendees of The Foodservice Forum will participate in seminars, discussion panels and ideation sessions – all with a view to improving the performance of fresh produce in the foodservice and catering arenas.”
Sponsored by Reynolds, one of the UK’s leading produce suppliers to the foodservice sector, The Foodservice Forum is the prelude event to The London Produce Show and Conference (LPS). It attracts major UK and international buyers, chefs, operators, suppliers and influencers from across the foodservice, catering, hospitality and fresh produce sectors.
Programme Highlights
The Foodservice Forum 2019 programme boasts a diverse range of high-profile experts representing the spectrum of the industry, including:
* Bill Collison, Founder – Bill’s
* Jason Danciger, UK Managing Director – Hana Group
* Simon Stenning, Founder & Strategic Advisor –
* Nick Popovici, Co-founder and CEO – Vita Mojo
* Sarah Wassermann, Head of Development – Mildreds
* Antony Bennett, Head of Food – Loungers
* Diane Camp, Development Chef – Reynolds
* Aggie Morrell, Head of Food – POD
* Nick Vadis, Culinary Director – Compass Group UK & Ireland
* Matt Jones, Senior Buyer – Reynolds
* Peter Taylor, General Manager – Westlands Wow
* Darren Deadman, Chef Director – Searcys
* Freddy May, Founder – Cookly Bookly
* Brian Rajasinghe, Business Development Director – MTJ London 

The event on June 5, 2019, will begin with Simon Stenning, founder & strategic advisor,, setting the scene by providing expert insight into the latest trends on the UK eating out and drinking market.
Having recently authored ‘The Future of Foodservice 2025-2030’ report, and with over 30 years’ experience in the foodservice and hospitality industry, Simon will focus on the key factors and mega trends that will shape the industry over the next 11 years, such as the influence of technology.
Following Stenning’s introduction, event host Jason Danciger will conduct a special Question & Answer session with Bill Collison, a former grower and the founder of the UK’s hugely popular casual dining chain Bill’s.
Collison with share his views on why the Bill’s restaurant chain continues to remain relevant, and the important emphasis the business is placing on revitalising and revolutionising the use of fresh produce in its menus, as the chain promotes more vegetable-based options.
Next, the impact of technology on foodservice both now and in the future will be addressed via a series of short, sharp presentations from a range of market operators on their use of new technologies, including: Vita Mojo, Gescom and Cookly Bookly.
After the networking lunch, Bill Collison will return to the stage to discuss the UK’s growing desire to eat more plants, thanks to the rise of veganism, vegetarianism and plant-based eating, together with Sarah Wassermann, head of development at Mildreds; Antony Bennett, head of food at Loungers; Diane Camp, development chef for Reynolds; and Aggie Morrell, head of food at POD.
To continue the theme of consumer enthusiasm for new flavours, suppliers of unusual fruits and vegetables will take to the stage to showcase the unique characteristics of their weird and wonderful offerings. Brian Rajasinghe, business development director of MTJ London, and Peter Taylor, general manager of Westlands Wow, will showcase jackfruit and lesser-well-known herbs respectively.
An interactive panel discussion involving major contract caterers and fresh fruit and veg producers will complete the day by looking at how the supply chain can work better together, including what foodservice operators need from produce suppliers, and vice versa. The session will feature Nick Vadis, culinary director of Compass Group UK & Ireland; Matt Jones, a senior buyer at Reynolds; Darren Deadman, chef director at Searcys; and Peter Taylor, general manager of Westlands Wow.
The London Produce Show and Conference will continue to explore the role of fresh produce in foodservice, in addition to the latest cooking techniques, on the day after The Foodservice Forum in the Chef Demonstration Kitchen, which runs alongside the trade exhibition on Thursday 6 June.

Sodexo at UCL saves 1,000 meals that are Too Good To Go to waste! #

The Sodexo team at UCL is leading the fight against food waste by teaming up with the Too Good To Go app.

The team, which runs Food Federation at UCL, signed up to the app in October 2018 and have already saved over 1,000 unsold meals from being incinerated for fuel.

Neil Whittle, Sodexo’s contract director at UCL, said; “We are committed to reducing food waste and are always looking for innovative ways we can make our meals go further.

“When we heard about the Too Good To Go app, we were really keen to give it a go. We always have a variety of meals on offer in the refectory at UCL, which means there is inevitably some left over once the lunchtime service comes to an end.

The Too Good to Go app allows customers to purchase unsold meals, that would otherwise go to waste, at a discounted price.

Following the lunchtime service, up to 10 meals are made available to purchase through the app. Customers buy the meal through the app then collect it from the UCL refectory between 2.30pm and 3pm, before the team starts preparing for the evening service.

Neil adds; “The unsold meals we make available include vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, which can come from any of our counters in the refectory, so the food we sell via the app is always varied. One day it might be a lasagne and salad, the next it might be a tofu stir fry. And if we have fruit pots or yoghurts that are at their use by date, we will include those free of charge.

“We have had really positive reviews so far and are delighted to have reached the 1,000 meals milestone. None of us want to see perfectly good food go to waste, so we are pleased to be able to sell more meals via Too Good To Go. It also sends a positive message to our clients that we take our commitments to reduce food waste seriously.”

The Too Good To Go app is now being trialled at a number of other Sodexo sites, including Coventry University, Birkbeck, the Sutton Bonington campus at the University of Nottingham, and City, University of London. Collectively, over 1,500 meals have been saved.  

Ana Svab, corporate responsibility manager at Sodexo, said: “As part of our Better Tomorrow 2025 commitment, Sodexo has signed up to the UN goal to reduce food waste, and we also have our own target of halving food waste by 2030. The Too Good To Go app is an easy way to reduce the amount of food that is fit for consumption being disposed of unnecessarily.

“It is really exciting to see that the Sodexo team at UCL is already having such success with the app, and we will be considering how we can make this available to our other clients.”

Jamie Crummie, Too Good To Go co-founder said: “We’re pleased to see that our partnership with Sodexo has got off to such a great start, with UCL leading the way in reducing food waste across the Sodexo UK university sites.

“The meals saved across all the sites so far have meant that over 3,000 kg of food waste-related greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented, benefiting the environment as much as avoiding 120 hours driving in a car. We’re excited to watch our partnership grow even more and see our environmental impact as we do.”

Sodexo appoints new health and wellbeing manager to help improve pupil performance #

Independents by Sodexo has established itself at the forefront of the health and wellbeing agenda in school catering with the appointment of a dedicated Health and Wellbeing Manager. 

Paul Quinn, who has a Masters in Applied Human Nutrition, brings a wealth of knowledge on the science behind food to Sodexo’s culinary team, which provides fresh food from scratch to more than 80 of the UK and Ireland's top independent schools.
The newly created role will see Paul educating staff and pupils about the impact their food choices can have on their academic and sporting performance.

Paul Quinn, health and wellbeing manager, said: “Food plays such a key part in all of our lives, but is especially important for young people.

“I am very passionate about the impact nutrition has on health, and I am looking forward to engaging with our pupils to get them interested in the science behind their food.”

Paul will also be working with the Independents by Sodexo culinary team to develop carefully crafted menus that will help power pupils’ academic and sporting performance.

Jeremy Alderton, managing director for Independents by Sodexo, said: “We have created this dedicated role because the health and wellbeing of pupils is at the heart of everything we do.

“It is clear that Paul shares our passion, and his background in nutrition will help us educate pupils into adopting a diet comprising of food which sharpens the mind and energises and rejuvenates the body.

“We look forward to working with schools and their pupils to create menus that nourish pupils and which, importantly, they are excited to eat.”

Summer time with Sodexo #

Dinner with dinosaurs, sailing the Thames and exploring the great outdoors are just some of the great ways in which businesses can engage their teams this summer.
From June through to September Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, catering and events partner at 50 of the UKs most unique museums, sports stadia and visitor attractions, is celebrating summertime with a series of seasonal offers.
And the aim of the new Summer Time with PV&E initiative is to mix business with pleasure and encourage engagement and networking by bringing people together for interactive events such as garden parties, team building sports days and post meeting drinks receptions in some of the UK’s most beautiful and interesting settings.
Setting the tone for summer is Hertfordshire’s historic Knebworth House and Barns, which is throwing open its extensive grounds for everything from corporate garden parties to fairground fun days – with a vast array of catering ideas, including hog roasts, barbecues and street food stalls.
The capital, too, will be displayed in all its glory as venues with the best views in London – quite literally – push the boat out for corporate clients.
River Room is one of London’s most stylish floating event spaces – with an ever-changing backdrop of London’s most famous sights – and its outdoor upper deck can be exclusively hired for an alfresco summer party with food stations, live entertainment and giant games.
Further downriver is London’s The Crystal, one of the world’s most sustainable buildings where an outdoor terrace overlooking the waterfront at Royal Victoria Dock is the perfect spot from which to enjoy Champagne and canapés at the close of a meeting as the sun goes down.
Outdoor oases can be found at the heart of the city, too, at venues such as IWM London, where an outdoor terrace overlooks parkland, while greenery of a different kind is under the spotlight – and floodlights - at Brighton’s Amex Stadium and Aberdeen’s Pittodrie Stadium.
Both grounds are offering corporate fans a menu of seasonal summer produce in light and airy rooms overlooking the hallowed turf, while, at Bury St Edmunds, the Grade II-listed Athenaeum is packing a punch with a picnic lunch in the nearby Abbey Gardens for corporate clients.
Further north, Newcastle’s Great North Museum:Hancock is hosting The Natural History Museum’s famous diplodocus, Dippy, as part of a national tour and businesses can join the dinosaur for drinks or dinner during the summer months.
While, north of the border, The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which boasts 70 acres of landscaped gardens, is offering the perfect outdoor dining experience.
On the John Hope Gateway’s decked terrace, an all-weather kitchen has been installed, where a team of chefs can create a wide range of dishes using home-grown salad, herbs and vegetables cultivated by the Botanic’s own, in-house gardener.
“In virtually every part of the country there are unique, fascinating venues that really come into their own in the summer months and are ideal settings for bringing people together,” said Natasha Carr, marketing manager, at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events.
“So, this summer we have gone all out to put together packages that showcase their versatility for everything from sophisticated drinks parties to It’s a Knockout-style team building tournaments - all with significant wow factor.”
Sodexo is also the hospitality partner for some of the biggest occasions in the summer social calendar, from Royal Ascot and Henley Royal Regatta to RHS Chelsea Flower Show which will once again feature the beautiful Jardin Blanc garden by Raymond Blanc.
For full details of the summer offers at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events venues, call the central enquiry hub on 0845 6055 699, email Venues& or visit

Sodexo extends 10-year partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital for five more years #

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has chosen to extend its partnership with Sodexo, a leading global services company, for a new five-year patient dining and retail services contract at its Children’s Hospital.

Sodexo will be building on its previous 10-year contract with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, with the addition of the Parkview Clinic, a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) inpatient facility.

The £11m contract will see Sodexo invest in the food, eating and retail facilities across the hospital and Parkview, with a new 120-seat staff and visitor restaurant, the first Crussh outlet outside of London and the refitted Conservatory Café, all collectively staffed by Sodexo’s 50-strong team.

The menus will see 95% of the food served cooked fresh on site, with regular tasting sessions by children at the onsite school, to give feedback on menu design and to further educate the pupils on the importance and benefits of good nutrition.

Stuart Winters, CEO of healthcare, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “Extending our 10-year partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital was a clear opportunity to review and overhaul patient dining and retail provision. Our new menus will offer improved and tailored choices with a clear focus on fresh food and locally sourced produce. These have been designed to ensure that we give the right nutrition to children and young people to help them heal and recover, and play a part in the Children’s Hospital staff continuing to deliver the best possible care.

Marion Harris, chief nurse at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “As an NHS organisation, we have a responsibility to ensure we are serving the right kind of food to our children and young people, because we know that good nutrition is a vital part of their recovery.

“For our staff, it’s just as important for them to have access to a variety of healthy, nutritious and tasty food while they’re at work for their own physical and mental health and wellbeing.

“We’re pleased to continue our work with Sodexo and we’re excited to see the improvements and benefits that this new contract will bring to our staff, children, young people and families.”

Sweet success: Bidfood smashes PHE sugar reduction targets #

Bidfood has been working hard to continue in its commitments to reducing sugar from a number of own brand products. Now finishing its second phase of reformulations, the foodservice provider has so far achieved an average of 25% sugar reduction across some of its bestselling cakes and 20% across pie fillings.
Last year, Bidfood revealed a 23% sugar reduction within its ice cream range and has continued to exceed the targets set by Public Health England’s (PHE), of 20% sugar reduction by 2020.
Some of Bidfood’s most popular cakes such as the pre-cut Everyday Favourites black forest gateau have been reformulated to reduce sugar by as much as 30%, this has been done by increasing the real fruit content and refreshing the flavour profile.
The initiative comes in support of The Childhood Obesity Plan and the Government’s fight against childhood sugar consumption, initially targeting the nine categories that make the largest contributions, including ice creams, cakes and biscuits.
In the pipeline for the next phase of reformulation are some of the top selling cookie doughs pucks, brownies, cheesecakes and tarts which will kick off from June to September 2019.
Laura Manning, bakery and desserts category manager, said: “Within the bakery and desserts category, consumers generally won’t choose a low sugar option. It is therefore important to reformulate the current offering to improve the nutritional value without impacting the taste. In order to ensure that the recipes are equally delicious we have been working with suppliers who are implementing innovative techniques and ingredients to add sweetness without the sugar.
“At Bidfood, any product alterations are rigorously tested in order to ensure taste and texture aren’t negatively impacted. The feedback we have had so far has been overwhelmingly positive, suggesting that the intended flavours actually come out stronger when the sugar is reduced.”

2019 Launch: Bisto Care Chef of the Year, in association with the Country Range Group #

Following the success of last year’s launch, Premier Foodservice will be sponsoring the Care Chef of the Year competition with its Bisto brand, in conjunction with the Country Range Group. For the second year running, five finalists will be battling it out for the chance to win £1,000 worth of vouchers for their care home as well as a £250 John Lewis voucher to enjoy for themselves.

The competition, which is now open for entries, will require each participant to create a main dish featuring at least one Bisto product and a dessert using a Country Range product, both of these must not exceed a total budget of £2.25 per portion.

Sarah Robb,  channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, comments, “We’re so excited to be continuing on our partnership with the Country Range Group. The Bisto Care Chef competition is the perfect setting to highlight the high culinary standards which are executed in care homes up and down the country. The pressure of providing a tasty and nutritious meal within budget is no easy task, but the contestants make it look effortless. I have no fear that the entries we receive will do care caterers across the UK justice and I wish everyone the very best of luck with the process.”

The entry process couldn’t be easier with a simple two-step mechanic in place. Care caterers must first develop their two recipes, ensuring both product and budget parameters have been adhered to. They must then download and complete an entry form from the Premier Foodservice website, submitting the recipes along with photos of their creations. These will need to be sent via email to or by post to Sarah Robb, Premier Foods, Premier House, Griffiths Way, St Albans, Herts, AL1 2RE.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on the 2 August, with a live final taking place at Premier Foods’ head office on the 11 September. Do you think you could be crowned the 2019 Bisto Care Chef of the Year? Enter now for your chance to show us you have what it takes.

McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year 2019’ shortlist unveiled #

Premier Foods announced the five shortlisted schools for its McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition. Coming out on top in the preliminary judging, a huge well done goes to the following schools: Ryhill Junior Infant and Nursery School, St Martin and St Mary C of E School, Cherry Burton School, Woodlands Primary School and Kingstone Academy Trust. The shortlisted schools will compete in a live final held at catering exhibition LACA (Lead Association for Catering in Education) ‘The Main Event’ in Birmingham on Thursday 11 July.

Competition judges include: Carol Harwood, attending on behalf of LACA; Andrew Green, director of operations at the Craft Guild of Chefs; and Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods. This year will also see the addition of a brand new guest judge, Professor Tanya Byron, a chartered clinical psychologist, who has appeared in two of her own TV shows and been a national columnist. Tanya will bring her expertise in confidence to this element of the competition. This comes after feedback in previous years has shown that the competition is great for building children’s confidence. Together, they will be putting the teams through their culinary paces, marking entries on taste, presentation and teamwork.

Premier Foods is excited to introduce a new element to this year’s competition, in the form of a partnership with Birmingham Mind, the mental health charity, who will be on hand in the lead up and on the day of the competition. On Wednesday 10 July a charity representative will be leading a one hour session with school caterers, running exercises on how best to deal with children’s confidence in the kitchen. On the day of the final, before the live bake off, all pupils from the shortlisted schools will also be taking part in a one hour workshop, which will involve resilience training to help relax the pupils and ensure they feel comfortable, confident and excited for the final ahead.

Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods comments: “This year is an incredibly exciting year for the McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year Competition, not only is it our fifth year running but we also have a whole host of exciting new elements for 2019. First off, we are looking forward to welcoming a brand new guest judge, Tanya Byron, who will be joining the panel, I’m confident with all of the judges’ combined expertise we’re going to have our best year of judging yet.

“On top of this, we will also be working with Birmingham Mind, the mental health charity. This is such an important element to us as we have seen a clear link off the back of the competition between cooking and pupils’ confidence increasing, so we really believe this will help enhance this further. Mental health is a really key topic right now and it’s essential it’s taken seriously in the school environment.

“I want to finish by saying a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to register and enter, as well as a massive congratulations to all the shortlisted schools. As always it was so tough choosing the final five, we were blown away by the standard and we can’t wait to see all the incredible dishes come to life in our exciting live bake off at LACA. What an incredible way to celebrate the fifth anniversary.”

The McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition helps school caterers to encourage teams of up to three children, between the ages of 7 and 11, to develop an interest in cooking skills by baking either one sweet or one savoury recipe, including a product from the McDougalls Flours or Flour Based Mix range. Continuing with the successful theme of ‘local produce’, teams were also required to include an ingredient that had been sourced within a 30 mile radius of their school, a great way to encourage children to learn about food sourcing and provenance, and to cook with local ingredients. The five finalists will compete for the chance to win the jackpot of £1,000 worth of kitchen equipment for their school. All runners up will also receive £250 worth of kitchen equipment.

Caterers can register for the Birmingham Mind workshop on Wednesday 10 July at

Mission Foods appoints The Hub as foodservice trade communications agency #

The Hub announced it has been appointed by the world’s largest producer of tortilla products, Mission Foods to drive its core UK trade communications strategy.

With an unrivalled product portfolio including tortilla chips, wraps and other speciality flatbreads, Mission Foodservice works in more than 100 countries, supplying a quarter of all tortillas sold globally.
Through the partnership, The Hub will support Mission Foodservice to bring the message of its authentic and versatile product portfolio directly to UK foodservice operators. With strong relationships across a wide selection of industry channels, The Hub’s unique and experienced position is a perfect fit for Mission’s unrivalled and industry-leading range.
Rebecca Riches, founder and MD of The Hub, commented: “We are thrilled to be working with a brand as strong as Mission Foodservice and to support the company in strengthening its position across the UK foodservice market. It is always exciting to work with a brand that offers a range of great quality products, that are aligned with so many current consumer dining trends as there is so much that can be done.
“Our specialist experience and unrivalled industry knowledge means we are well positioned to support Mission Foodservice to build a robust trade communications platform from which to promote its fantastic product portfolio and unique category understanding.”
Louise Pike, Mission Foods UK marketing & innovation director, explains: “We wanted a knowledgeable partner to bolster our marketing and brand visibility in the UK foodservice sector. We have great confidence in The Hub’s experience and approach to channel marketing as well as the strong industry relationships they bring to our business.  Our globally established brand has a diverse range of best in class products perfectly suited to the UK catering industry and we are excited to harness The Hub’s insight–driven strategic thinking to really drive the future of Mission Foodservice.”

EMW Chairman steps down #

Ian Morris has announced he will be stepping down as chairman of EMW in September this year. Ian has been chairman for 14 years and is a founder of the firm – the “M” of “EMW”. He will still be fully involved in the firm’s future and will also be working alongside the London, Gatwick and Milton Keynes principals on the continued development of all three offices. The role of chairman will be taken up by Nick Lloyd who is a principal in the corporate team.

Ian says: “It’s been my utmost pleasure to be chairman for the last 14 years and I’m so proud of what EMW has become. All great things come to an end and it was important to me to step down as chairman whilst somewhere near the top of my game. I wish Nick the very best in his new role, being chairman of EMW is a great privilege and I know that Nick understands this”.

Nick joined the firm in 2000 and has been a member of the operational board since 2008. Nick undertakes a broad range of corporate finance activities: acquisitions and disposals; investments; acting for management teams; and restructuring work and has a reputation for an insightful approach with a real focus on the commercial outcome of legal decisions. He sits on the boards of client companies and is a trustee of the Parks Trust.

Commenting on his upcoming role Nick said: “Ian has been a superb chairman for the last 14 years, driving profound changes in that time. With Ian’s continued support and input, I am determined that EMW will continue to flourish, to be different, to take on new challenges and to grow into an even better business to work with and for.”

Compass celebrates Gold Awards at RoSPA! #

Compass Group UK & Ireland is celebrating after four of its sectors were recognised with gold awards at the annual RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Health and Safety Awards 2019.

Each sector was awarded for its approach to the management of occupational health and safety in the prestigious annual scheme run by the accident prevention charity, RoSPA. The official awards ceremony is to be held at Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

The majority of awards are non-competitive and mark achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Gold medals, President’s Awards, orders of distinction and the Patron’s Award are presented to organisations sustaining the high standards of the gold level over consecutive years.

The gold awards have been achieved for a staggering 10th consecutive year for Compass’ ESS, defence business and Chartwells, its education business. The healthcare division received a Gold Award for the 9th successive year, Instore division for the 8th and Levy UK scored gold for a 4th year in a row. 

The scheme, which is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas, considers entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement. The award scheme is now in its 63rd year.

Mark Armstrong, HSE & technical services director at Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “It is such a huge achievement for our four sectors who entered the awards to have come away with gold.  I am particularly proud of ESS and Chartwells being awarded the President’s Award for 10 consecutive gold awards, which demonstrates a sustained commitment to safety.  Health and safety is our number one priority and these awards recognise the great work of our HSE teams to ensure we have robust practices and procedures in place to keep our employees, customers and clients safe.”

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of qualifications, awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards have become the key fixture in the health and safety calendar with new sponsors and new awards this year including the Leisure Safety Awards, the Safe@Work Safe@Home Award and the Inspiration Awards. Highly-respected, with almost 2,000 entrants every year, RoSPA award winners benefit from the wide-ranging rewards of improved sector reputation."

International day of action targets global food waste challenge! #

Roughly one-third of the food produced globally is either lost or wasted every year, and in the UK alone the foodservice sector throws away one million tonnes of food; 75% of which could have been eaten in some form.[1] Compass Group marked Stop Food Waste Day, an international day of action in the fight against food waste, in partnership with high-profile international clients such as Google and HSBC, as well as local charities and community groups. For example, here in the UK, Compass has teamed up with Fareshare, online food redistribution charities; Plan Zheroes, Olio and Too Good to Go, as well as local charities and community groups.

Launched by Compass Group USA in 2017, Stop Food Waste Day is an annual event to raise awareness of the issue of food waste and encourage the industry, from farm to fork, to reduce the amount of food thrown away. Compass is working across 50 countries with its suppliers, employees and customers to deliver meaningful solutions to address this global problem.

Compass clients and country teams come together to focus on reducing food surplus, help in building partnerships with charitable organisations for the collection and donation of excess food to local communities, partnerships with activists and influencers and marketing materials to raise awareness of ways to save at home.

In the UK, other activities include:
- Partnering with WRAP to provide a range of tasty leftover food recipes at our main head offices;
- Weekly 5-minute briefings to help on-site teams to take action in the lead up to Stop Food Waste Day;
- Poster and social media campaign using the hashtag #stopfoodwasteday to drive interest

Compass' commitment to reducing waste includes its agreement to adopt the principles of Target, Measure and Act within its own operations and it has invited suppliers to do the same, all whilst engaging with consumers to help reduce their food waste also. Compass is a signatory of WRAP Courtauld 2025, a 10-year voluntary agreement that brings together organisations from across the food supply chain, working towards collective targets for 2025 (vs 2015).

As one of the 90 early adopters, Compass has committed to the ambitious milestones laid out in a new ground-breaking industry Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to halve UK food waste by 2030, developed by both the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), the world leaders in helping organisations achieve greater resource efficiency. To achieve its ambitious targets, in 2014 Compass partnered with technology company, Winnow whose ‘smart scales’ technology enables commercial kitchens to measure and better manage food waste across more than 250 Compass sites in the UK. Since 2015, HSBC has reduced its food waste by 60% - which represents 650 tonnes of food waste avoided. Following a successful deployment in the UK, Compass plans to roll out food waste management systems across further units globally in 2019, helping clients to track progress on reducing food waste.

Dominic Blakemore, chief executive, Compass Group, said: “Food waste is a serious problem for the world today, and as the global leader in food service, we are determined to play our part in driving change.  Working with our suppliers, partners, clients and consumers across the 50 countries we operate in, we are focused on educating our teams and our customers on how they can play their part in cutting food waste, today and every day.”

Compass’ other achievements in 2018 in the UK include:
- Compass’ UK distribution centers donated nearly 10 tonnes of surplus food to FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste[2]
- 3,500 tonnes of food waste were sent for anaerobic digestion, where it is broken down to create biogas and nutrient-rich fertiliser[3]

[2] Compass Group’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2018, page 15
[3] Compass Group’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2018, page 15

Rapport celebrates International Receptionists’ Day 2019 #

Rapport proudly championed International Receptionists' Day which is celebrated on the second Wednesday in May each year and in 2019 fell on Wednesday 8 May.
Multi award-winning guest services provider, Rapport was pleased to continue as lead sponsor and organised a range of activities and initiatives open to all, including receptionists working in hotels, healthcare as well as  the corporate sector.
Receptionists’ Day was first launched in 1991 in the US to celebrate the role of professional receptionists. The purpose of International Receptionists’ Day is to:
- Recognise the importance of the receptionist’s role. The receptionist creates that all important first impression and is integral to the guest experience.
- Promote pride and professionalism amongst receptionists for the essential role they hold within an organisation.
- Give receptionists an opportunity to share stories and link up with other colleagues. Each year the initiative grows and is celebrated by companies across the globe. 

Various initiatives were hosted with some great prizes on offer. These include a competition to create a piece of artwork which describes the work of a Receptionist, as well as a Reception themed Poetry Challenge.
At Rapport, all the directors and head office managers embraced going ‘back to the front’, working as receptionists for the day alongside reception teams across the UK and Ireland, USA and Hong Kong.
This year, to tie in with International Receptionists' Day the inaugural Corporate Receptionist of the Year was awarded at a special event on the 8 May. 
Greg Mace, managing director of Rapport said: “International Receptionists’ Day is the perfect way to celebrate the work of dedicated receptionists all over the world and we’re delighted to be leading the way. Supporting this initiative is an opportunity for us to celebrate the great work receptionists do and to raise their profile within our operations. We hope that every single receptionist who takes part will feel proud – they are truly exceptional people.”                    

Compass proudly celebrates Young Leader of The Year win at British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2019! #

The winners of the 2019 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the world’s largest celebration of military veterans in business, were recently revealed at a special ceremony in London and nearly £50,000 was raised and donated to military charities. The landmark event gathered business leaders, veterans, top employers and current serving officers to promote the significant value that ex-military personnel add to the UK economy.

Camilla Howard, currently pperations director, in the ESS Defence South West region won Young Leader of The Year, following on from her 11 years of service in the Royal Air Force. The judges were impressed by Camilla’s ability to have carved out a buoyant commercial career at such a young age. Camilla has transferred her military-gained leadership skills into building her teams to help them reach their individual potential and her military experience also ensures she excels under pressure.

Camilla comments: “It was a fantastic evening to be amongst so many ex-military personnel and sit alongside ex-military peers from ESS and Compass Group who were also nominees in the Employer of the Year category. Everyone has to leave the military at some stage and it is always a bit daunting. I was very lucky to have found Compass Group UK&I just over three years ago and joined the Defence sector of ESS as an Operations Manager. It was a brilliant surprise to win this award and I love the fact that I am still in the ‘young leader’ category being (but only just!) the right side of 40!”

The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards celebrates the accomplishments of veterans across the UK workforce. The awards highlight the military skills and values that have enabled business success and recognise organisations that support the transition of servicemen and women into second careers.

The finalists were whittled down from over 400 nominations with the winners decided by a judging panel of military veterans headed up by Admiral Sir George Zambellas, former First Sea Lord and now chairman of several companies. Other judges include the CEOs of aerospace giant Lockheed Martin (UK), pathology service provider Viapath, governing body GB Snowsport and recruitment firm Staffline Group, as well as senior leaders from EY, PwC, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Cisco and Royal Mail among others.

Mark Webster, managing director ESS Defence, Government Services, Offshore & Remote added: “It’s great to see Camilla being recognised for her work with us at ESS, she has contributed greatly to our team. In line with our signature of the Armed Forces Covenant, we strongly believe in ensuring those who serve or have served our country, should get the treatment and recognition they deserve. We are immensely proud of the work we do across Compass, to provide opportunities for colleagues who are part of the armed forces community and we recognise what an asset they can be to our business.”

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord between 2013-2016 and Head Judge for the Awards, said: "I congratulate all those ex-forces men and women who, after many years focused on military delivery, have turned their hands so successfully to the business battlefield! Many of the skills needed are identical: leadership, fortitude, commitment and attention to detail. Some are new, especially in commerce and sales. But the ethos and values of ex-forces people always shine through, and I'm proud to support them."

BB Foodservice offers top tips for operators to raise their game during Ramadan #

BB Foodservice – the delivered foodservice arm of Bestway Wholesale – offered top tips for savvy operators to help them capitalise during Ramadan (5 May to 4 June 2019).

An increasingly affluent and diverse group of consumers, Muslims in Britain are contributing £31 billion to the economy each year, with a spending power of £21 billion1. With the Ramadan economy worth over £200 million there is a clear growing demand for specific Ramadan offerings from operators, with 78% of British Muslims saying they would be interested in retailers or brands who provided tailored Ramadan offerings to them[1].

Salih Sheikh, head of marketing and digital, BB Foodservice said: “The holy month of Ramadan presents restaurants, cafes and takeaway services with a massive opportunity to increase footfall and revenue. It's now very common for Muslim families and friends to want to eat out and enjoy Iftar (the evening meal when Muslims traditionally break their fast each day) in a restaurant or cafe, so if operators can tap into the norms and traditions around Ramadan and create offerings to meet this demand, they may not only see increased profits during May and June, but gain new and loyal customers for the rest of the year.”

BB Foodservice has put together five top tips that operators can use to welcome more Muslim customers during Ramadan.

BB Foodservice’s top five tips
- Serve an Iftar menu: Whatever cuisine you specialise in, serve a flexible, nutritious and thirst-quenching menu that offers healthy carbohydrates, natural sugars, vitamins and protein. A day of fasting also means no drinking, so provide hydration not only with your drinks, but via food such as salads and vegetables. Make sure you also have halal meat available.  
- Serve dates: Show your respect for tradition by beginning the evening meal with an offering of dates
- Offer plenty of water: Surprisingly, Ramadan is a period known for weight gain. Water not only hydrates customers after a day of fasting, it can also help to avoid weight gain. Why not help to make the moment of breaking fast more special by offering a range of more innovative soft drinks and flavoured water options?
- Join the month of giving: In the lead up to Eid ul-Fitr (the three-day celebration marking the end of Ramadan), Muslims buy gifts for family and friends, and also donate to charity over the month. Why not offer small gifts or menu items that include charitable donations to mark the tradition?
- Get involved with local events: See what’s happening in your local area and how your business can get involved with local events and festivals throughout Ramadan 

[1]  The Great British Ramadan, Ogilvy Noor          

CESA publishes apprenticeship guide #

Step by step advice designed to encourage employers to take advantage of the programme
CESA has published an Apprenticeship Guide for employers.  The Guide covers the catering equipment apprenticeship for service and installation engineers, and gives employers step by step direction on setting up an apprenticeship programme. 
“The Guide is designed to encourage employers who are considering setting up an apprenticeship programme,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “The skills shortage is a huge issue for our industry, nowhere more so than in equipment servicing: we simply have to grow our workforce of skilled service and installation engineers.  Apprenticeship programmes will help attract the newcomers we need into the industry.” 
The catering equipment apprenticeship for service and installation engineers is based on the EAL Level 3 NVQ extended diploma.  This comprises several mandatory units but also offers optional units, allowing the employer to tailor the apprenticeship to their business’s requirements. 
The Guide offers comprehensive advice, covering areas as diverse as setting up a programme, workplace requirements, the minimum wage and how to use the apprenticeship levy.  It also gives links to other resources for more information about specific items. 
“There are so many benefits for businesses to setting up an apprenticeship programme,” says John.  “86% of employers with apprenticeship schemes say apprentices help to develop relevant skills for the organisation, and to fill the skills gap.  They also say apprentices improve staff retention and staff morale. Plus there is funding available up to £9,000 per apprentice.” 
The CESA Apprenticeship Guide is available to download at from the Info Hub, which is accessed via the Information tab on the home page.   

Growing a foodservice equipment business in 2019 #

CFSP Enhance course gives insight and a 12-month plan
How do you grow a foodservice equipment business in the current economic climate?  That’s the focus of the latest CFSP Enhance course which takes place on 25 June 2019 at First Choice Group’s training facility, Cannock, Staffordshire.  The course, “Commercial mastery - securing profitable business growth in the catering equipment sector,” will cover a wide range of topics, including the dynamics of disruption, emerging models, changing behaviours and the digital future.  It will also translate the learning into an individual 12-month plan for each attendee. 
This latest CFSP Enhance course is only open to those with CFSP accreditation and, given the complexity and intensity of the day, is limited to twelve attendees.  It will be run by two of the industry’s best known and respected instructors, Steve Loughton of Cupola Consulting and Martyn Drake of Binley Drake Consulting. 
The day is highly interactive, combining education, group work and one-to-one support in a clear and practical fashion.  “This is very much a real-world, action-oriented course,” says Steve Loughton.  “The foodservice equipment marketplace is in a period of extraordinary turbulence and change.  The course is designed to help senior and mid-level management understand the business environment and to develop and implement their own strategies for success. 
“In a changing economic landscape, we’ll consider the new opportunities that are emerging for more profitable business growth,” he adds.  “For example, how the accelerating shift to digital presents new ways to develop stronger relationships with customers.” 
The CFSP Enhance course runs from 9am to 5pm and costs £495 plus VAT. It is part of CESA’s CFSP training initiative.  For more information contact Jocelyn Carr of CESA,
To book the course visit

CESA hosts Host Milan grants #

Ten TAP grants of £1500 each are available to exhibiting UK catering equipment companies

UK catering equipment companies exhibiting at Host Milan this year may be eligible for a grant to help meet costs.  The grants have been secured by CESA from the Department of International Trade, using funding through the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP).  
There are ten grants available, each of £1500.  Companies applying must meet the terms and conditions and submit their application to CESA.  To be eligible, the company should either be an SME or a business that has less than 250 employees and an annual turnover from £83,000 to £5,000,000. 
The next Host Milan show runs from 18 to 22 October 2019.  Widely regarded as one of the world’s most important catering equipment exhibitions, Host regularly attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe.  Steve Goodliff, chair of CESA’s Export Group, says, “Host gets bigger and better each time, with more exhibitors seeing more visitors and generating more business.  Any company that’s aiming to export to Europe and beyond should take a good hard look at exhibiting there.” 
CESA is a DIT Trade Challenge Partner, meaning that it has met the stringent criteria for the support and delivery services that it offers.  Part of CESA’s remit is to help UK foodservice equipment companies looking to develop overseas business.  At Host, in addition to facilitating with the TAP grant applications, CESA can offer advice and support in all sorts of other areas – from finding accommodation and exhibition supplies companies to networking with VIP visitors.
Adande Refrigeration attended Host in 2017 with a TAP grant, and will be going again in 2019.  Chief executive Nigel Bell says, “As a small, private UK company it is essential to be able to showcase our patented technology in global markets. Trade shows in Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia give us access to the markets, but cost is an issue. The TAP grants, together with the support from CESA, have allowed us to exhibit.” 
From April 2019 all companies receiving a TAP grant will be expected to report any export wins achieved from attendance at the event. The aim is to help the DIT show how grants support business success. The information is confidential and will not be shared in a way that identifies the business individually. CESA will be in contact with any companies receiving TAP funding for Host to ask for their export-win data, immediately following the exhibition, then again after six months and one year.
For more information contact Jocelyn Carr at CESA,  TAP application forms and support information are available to download from the news archive (, which is accessed via the information tab on the CESA homepage ( 

Reducing your food waste with CESA #

CESA has launched a guide to help foodservice operators reduce their food waste
CESA has released a guide about how to reduce food waste. Aimed at foodservice operators, distributors and consultants, it contains a comprehensive summary of the legislation surrounding this vital area. It also details the best ways for operators in all sectors to comply with requirements, and shows steps they can take to improve overall efficiency.
Sustainability and climate change are becoming increasingly important issues to confront. They require action at every level. Reducing food waste is one of the most pressing issues, and the guide explains the current landscape with regards to how policies and initiatives, like the Courtauld Commitment, are affecting the drive towards a zero waste economy.
Many businesses are not aware of the true costs of food waste, from the cost of uneaten food to those incurred by its collection and disposal. The guide covers every step of the food’s life cycle within a modern catering environment and offers advice on how to optimise your process in order to reduce waste as much as possible, from menu design, storage and preparation to portioning, and how to handle unpreventable waste.
It includes information about best practice for site evaluations, as well as guides to the available equipment solutions. Also covered is information about the importance of correct installation and maintenance of new equipment, and also how to ensure your staff are fully trained in any new procedures these initiatives require.
These changes can seem overwhelming, which is why the guide also includes case studies, setting out what needs to be done for a diverse range of businesses, from small cafes to large industrial caterers. The case studies also demonstrate the real reduction in costs these businesses have seen since implementing new waste disposal protocols, showing the concrete benefits they have gained.
The guide is available to download now from the Info Hub on CESA’s website, which can be accessed via the information tab on the home page.

BaxterStorey recognised at national industry awards #

The BaxterStorey catering team at University of Stirling has been recognised with the Education Award at this year’s Cost Sector Catering Awards, at a prestigious black-tie Awards held in London. 
The award recognises the innovative measures to deliver nutritional, well-balanced meals to those within the education sector. 
The catering team launched BaxterStorey’s first Scotland-based vegan outlet earlier this year to meet the rapidly growing demand for plant-based alternatives. The judges were impressed by the innovative menu of the vegan hotspot, including the ever-popular vegan sausage roll and maple glazed tofu and beetroot hummus sandwiches.  
The team was commended for its dedication to encourage students to become increasingly aware of the impact left on the planet, as many move towards sustainable diets. The outlet also promotes Grounds to Ground, an initiative encouraging customers to feed their gardens with recycled coffee grounds, which act as fertiliser. 
Regional managing director at BaxterStorey, Jeremy Wood, commented: “Sustainability is of great importance to us and I am incredibly proud of the whole team, who have worked closely with our client at University of Stirling to create a nutritious, varied and innovative food and beverage offering. This award is a real testimony to the team’s passion and dedication.” 
General manager at University of Stirling, Alan Ratcliffe said: “With more students choosing plant-based foods, we wanted to support this lifestyle choice at the University. The vegan outlet has quickly caught the attention of students and staff alike and is proving to be a popular addition to our catering offer. I’m incredibly proud of the team and it is great to see its hard work recognised by the industry”.  

Rising Hospitality Stars Celebrated at BaxterStorey Graduation #

For the third consecutive year, hospitality provider BaxterStorey has seen nineteen graduates complete its award-winning nine-month graduate training programme, with all securing managerial roles across the business.  

Nineteen talented individuals aged between 22 and 25 graduated from the nine-month programme which consists of modules exposing them to the varying departments across the hospitality business including HR, finance, management and nutrition, restaurant and kitchen experience and support offices.  

Mentored by their senior operations teams and the learning and development team, graduates worked on projects including new business mobilisations, running food festivals, supplier visits and food concept launches. 

Since its inception in 2011, BaxterStorey has taken 110 graduates through the programme. The Graduate Programme receives over 500 applications each year and helps university graduates enter the industry, with ‘hands in the flour’ based experiences, to develop them into confident, experienced and creative managers. 
An event held at social enterprise The Brigade Bar + Restaurant in London Bridge on Monday 20th May, saw the graduates recognised with a presentation evening hosted by BaxterStorey. 

John Bennett, BaxterStorey co-chief executive said: “Training is the foundation of our business and we see the value in promoting opportunities to attract young talent into the hospitality sector.  We are incredibly proud of all our graduates that have achieved success through this year’s programme, demonstrating their enthusiasm and dedication to this industry”. 

Graduate Matthew Bolam commented: “I joined BaxterStorey with an open mind not knowing much about contract catering, but I can honestly say I have had the most enjoyable nine months. I’ve met great people, made friends for life and had a large support network, from my operations team and mentor Stephanie Cadogan. I’ve joined the team at Brigade as Bar and Deputy Manager and have a job I love waking up to. I recommend the programme to anyone with a passion for great food and great service.” 

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 – Essential Cuisine chefs open up #

Despite its vastly improving reputation, the pressures of the working kitchen can sometimes be overwhelming. In 2017, Unite, the country’s biggest union, conducted a survey of professional chefs in London and the impact of their jobs on their wellbeing.  Almost half regularly worked between 48 and 60 hours a week while 78% said they’d had an accident or a near miss through fatigue. More than a quarter were drinking to get through their shift, a figure which doubled to 56% when it came to taking painkillers. Fifty one percent of respondents said they suffered from depression due to overwork.
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, three members of the Essential Cuisine chef team share their personal experiences of battling with mental health issues whilst working in professional kitchens. They do so anonymously and in the hope that in hearing their stories, it will encourage others to come forward and seek help, safe in the knowledge that they are not alone.      
Research suggests that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime*; which is why Essential Cuisine will be donating £1,400 to industry charity Hospitality Action, helping it continue to offer vital support to those experiencing mental health issues.   
“I make sure that whatever my thoughts, I know it’s perfectly acceptable to reach out whenever I need to.”

“Just over a decade ago I was working in a hotel kitchen; we were understaffed and overworked, and I patently wasn’t taking care of myself, not eating or drinking enough.
“I didn’t realise at the time quite the effect this was having on me until one day I passed out at the wheel of my car and hit a lamppost head on at 60mph.
“The crash left me with life changing injuries which over a period of years I would come to recover from. The hospital staff – doctors, nurses and physios – did a fantastic job preparing me to overcome the physically injuries. I was less well prepared for the mental toll it would take.
“In the space of 10 seconds I’d gone from a hardworking, independent person who had practically lived in kitchens from the age of 16, to someone who couldn’t get dressed on their own. I also knew I was never going to be fully fit enough to return full time to the job I loved.
“In the long months that followed, I was in and out of hospital, spending a vast amount of time on my own. I had a very loving girlfriend (who is now my wife) and family around to help with the physical day to day stuff, but no one to turn to and talk about how I was feeling, how I wasn’t understanding the emotions I was having. I went from being me to a person I simply didn’t recognise.
“Over time I became more distant, even giving up on my physio. Worst of all I was hiding how I was really feeling. With no one around to talk to who had been through something similar or had the skills to help me, I wanted to tell my family and friends, but the fear of them not understanding, the fear of me piling more burden onto them, the fear of not being a ‘man’ and being weak, was too overwhelming.  
“In the end I realised how much I needed help. I went to see my GP, who diagnosed PTSD. Counselling soon followed – a place where I could truly open up and share my experiences. It was one of the best and smartest things I could have done; it made me see everything in a new light, helped me come to terms what had happened and face down the feelings I was having.

“The coping techniques I learnt from that experience were truly immense. The process changed my way of thinking and changed my life to the extent where I stand today much better equipped to deal with anything life now has to throw at me.

“One quote that stands out to me, and something I would like to pass on to anyone who is in a similar position is ‘its ok not to be ok’.

“Because the more we normalise these feelings, the more people will come to share their experiences.  

“Whenever I think about the crash and what happened after, I always refer back to that saying and make sure that whatever my thoughts, I know it’s perfectly acceptable to reach out whenever I need to.”

“Talking to people around you is so vitally important and ensures you never feel alone.”

“I was going through some tough personal times in my younger days and ended up working all the kitchen hours I could take as a coping mechanism. The culture meant I was out most nights of the week drinking heavily. Alcohol became a crutch – I thought it was helping block it all out when, actually, it was the opposite.

“It was a move to a different job and reaching out to a good chef friend that helped me break that cycle. His advice led me to seek professional help to talk and work through my problems. I kicked the booze for 12 months and it straightened me out. 

“I have seen many friends go down the same path and it’s still a big issue in the industry as is substance abuse in general. 

“Talking to people around you is so vitally important and ensures you never feel alone. You can bet that at some point they will also have had a similar experience, or know of someone who has and can help you to work things through. No one needs to be alone with their thoughts.”

“Sometimes it just needs a whinge and a moan – someone to listen.”
"I’ve worked in some tough kitchens. I did it for 20 years and understand better than most the macho mentality that really prevails in these places. In this environment it’s all about who’s worked longer, harder, who’s pulled the most days in a row, who’s got the most blisters and cuts, the wounds of war worn like a badge of honour.

"Many are willing to excuse these behaviours citing the old “it’s not bullying it’s character building…” but I’ve seen first-hand the impact it can have on chefs. I have lost friends and colleagues to drink, drugs and depression.

"I was lucky to have friends and family around me who cared. Sometimes it just needs a whinge and a moan – someone to listen.

"It’s not a weakness to talk about how you are feeling, nor is it ever wrong to ask for help if you feel it’s needed. It’s a team effort. Look after your team."


Art School chef “Kuks” his way to North West Young Chef Crown #

A 21-year-old senior chef de partie from The Art School, Liverpool has been crowned as the best young chef in the region, cooking his way to the coveted title of North West Young Chef of the Year 2019.   
Edwin Kuk has been described by judges as having a phenomenal work ethic and was praised for having set himself a huge challenge to execute detailed dishes containing numerous components. 
Edwin won judges over with a mix of skill and calmness under pressure to see off the advances of five other highly touted young chefs in a tense final held yesterday at Cheshire College – South and West.
Jan Vrancken, 21 of The Cartford Inn, Preston was awarded runner-up.
The competition calls on young chefs to create a three-course menu for two with seasonality at its heart. Edwin’s winning three-course menu consisted of: New season Formby asparagus with free range poached egg and a classic hollandaise, a main course of Assiette of Goonsnargh cornfed chicken with pan roasted breast, glazed wing and a confit leg pithivier accompanied with new season baby vegetables, morelles and chicken jus and a Hooton strawberry tart with crème diplomat, elderflower jelly, brandy snap and granola.  
On the win Edwin said: “Words can’t explain it – I’m so happy, I’ve not stopped smiling. In the semi-final, I prepared a souffle with ice-cream, but I knew it was risky – it’s a dish dependent on temperature and equipment so I changed my dessert for the final and it paid off.
I want to say thanks to my mentor Paul Askew, my colleague and fellow finalist Bethan and the whole brigade at the Art School.
Next is to win the Nationals! I have faith I can do the North West proud.”
The finalists in full
- Edwin Kuk, 21, Senior Chef de Partie, The Art School, Liverpool
- Jan Vrancken, 21, Chef de Partie, The Cartford Inn, Preston
- Bethan Disley-Jones, 17, Apprentice Pastry Chef, The Art School, Liverpool
- Adam Green, 21, Commis Chef, Twelve Restaurant and Lounge Bar, Lancashire
- Sean Anthony-Noonan, 24, Head Chef, Griffin Inn, Eccleston
- Oliver Fitton-Thomas, 22, Sous Chef, The Ryebeck Hotel, Bowness-on-Windermere 

Alongside the coveted title, Edwin scoops an automatic seed into the prestigious Young National Chef of the Year semi-final, plus £500, a weekend for two at Cheshire’s The Mere Golf Resort & Spa, and £100 Fazenda gift voucher
Executive judge, Brian Mellor had this to say: “It’s been a tough competition, the hardest we’ve judged by far, but it was Edwin’s passion, incredible skills and perfect execution that stood out. That fierce determination and talent is incredible to witness – we can’t wait to see it again from Edwin come the national semi-finals.”
The 2019 judging team includes Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, senior development chef from Essential Cuisine, Steven Doherty of the English Lakes Culinary Academy, Matt Davies of the British Culinary Federation plus BBC Great British Menu stars, Craig Sherrington, and Ellis Barrie, chef and co-owner, The Marram Grass, Anglesey.
With thanks to our headline sponsors – Essential Cuisine, CHR and Sousvide.
Also supporting the competition and the young chefs are industry supporters, Lancashire Life, The Staff Canteen, Robinsons Brewery, Robert Welch, Oliver Harvey, Villeroy and Boch, RD Wines, The Mere, and Fazenda

Essential Cuisine helping put diners in the mood with new wellbeing and productivity-boosting recipe guide #

It’s a company arguably more famous for colder weather classics, but this summer Essential Cuisine is unveiling a chef-focused, productivity-boosting recipe guide, packed with vibrant ingredients that not only offer a timely flavour lift, but could help brighten the moods of diners too.
Available to download now, the Summer Superfoods recipe book sees the company’s talented team of development chefs take some of its best-known products including its Premier Jus, Asian bases, and Glace ranges, and use them to create a whole host of inspirational spring and summer-inspired recipes. From Smoked Duck, Heritage Carrot, Orange & Wild Rice Salad with a Hazelnut & Pomegranate Dressing, to Tofu Poké, Jerk Fish and a One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Brown Rice Salad, chefs will be spoilt for choice in their endeavours to provide healthy, nutritious meals.
The recipe book includes a foreword by highly respected nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker, on how a poor diet can affect individuals and their families, employers and wider society, recognising that people are happier and more productive if they feel and eat healthily. Dr Schenker also offers up her expert view on the value of ingredients used in each recipe, giving working kitchens the confidence that, when employed, these recipes can help vastly improve the wellness of diners.    
Senior business development chef at Essential Cuisine, Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, who was one of the chef team, instrumental in bringing the recipe book to life, commented: “Essential Cuisine may be more famous for autumn and winter inspiration than spring and summer, but hopefully this new guide goes a long way to proving the sheer versatility of some of our best loved products. There are certain sectors – B&I, Education – where using food to boost productivity is a real science. We’re here to say that, with some 87% of UK diners stating that the healthiness of their food is important to them*, these recipes can be used in any sector, their simplicity, freshness and vibrancy playing into the hands of chefs and working kitchens across hospitality.”   
The company is calling on chefs to share their superfood creations with them on social media. Kitchens can tweet @essentialcuisine using #ECSummerSuperfoods or follow on Instagram @chef.essential.
*MCA Top of Mind 2019

Check the mental health of your organisation with WellBeing.Direct #

Critiquie's WellBeing.Direct provides a free mental health check for business.

A simple and effective approach to assist organisations with good mental health, it gives employees an outlet that is quick, easy and engaging, where they can choose to voice concerns anonymously or actively request assistance.

With WellBeing.Direct, an organisation can support good mental health in the workplace using intelligent data to pro-actively help employees and subsequently the business. The 'Insight' portal gives instant graphical results, captures trends, and alerts the organisation.

For the organisation:
- Demonstrate you take mental health seriously
- Demonstrate investment in staff / students
- Reduce absence
- Increase retention
- See trends
- Build stronger relationships

For staff:
- Make it easier to voice concerns
- Make it easier to ask for help
- Provide avenues for assistance

Any Device… Any Time
WellBeing.Direct is accessible on any web enabled device. No software, hardware or integration for the organisation and no app, no download, no login for employees.

Contact info@WellBeing.Direct to get your free organisation ‘mental health check’