Members’ News

July 2019

Essential Cuisine on board as Culinary Ability Awards goes for gold #

Essential Cuisine has signed up to become two-year lead sponsor for The Culinary Ability Awards, as the not for profit organisation, dedicated to championing people with disabilities in working kitchens, embarks on a journey towards competing in the 2020 IKA Culinary Olympics.

A proud patron of The Culinary Ability Awards for over a decade, Essential Cuisine is yet again throwing its support behind the organisation as it prepares for its greatest challenge.

Held during Stuttgart’s Intergastra trade event, the Culinary Olympics invites over 2,000 chefs from more than 50 nations to cook for medals and glory. The Culinary Ability Awards is only part way to its monetary goal, the achievement of which will see it able to fly a team out for the duration of the five-day event.

Now, the British supplier of quality stocks and sauces is sounding a rallying cry to the industry to follow its lead, donate, and help get The Culinary Ability Awards to Germany in February 2020. 

Senior business development chef at Essential Cuisine, Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, comments: “The Culinary Ability Awards was founded on a mission to encourage people with disabilities to have their talent, dedication and abilities recognised; it’s a message of inclusivity that we very much share; an ethos that has driven our long partnership. We’re proud to support them on their journey to competing at the Culinary Olympics and are calling on the industry to join us in helping them achieve their goal.”

Culinary Ability Awards founder and chef, Chris Sandford, adds: “It’s only now when we face the biggest cooking challenge of our careers that I fully understand and appreciate the support of our sponsors: the trust and commitment that they show truly gives us the leverage to compete on a world stage. The Culinary Ability Awards has become a movement of likeminded people committed to the term ‘social responsibility’; we encourage our industry to follow Essential Cuisine’s example and support us on our epic journey to the Culinary Olympics!”

Companies wishing to get involved can donate direct to the Culinary Ability Awards here:

BaxterStorey recognised with Hospitality Assured Award #

BaxterStorey has been awarded Team of the Year, at the Hospitality Assured Annual Awards in conjunction with the Institute of Hospitality. 
The winners were announced at a prestigious event on Monday 10th June, hosted at the Waldorf Hilton, London. 
The Hospitality Assured award finalists and winners represent the highest quality levels of service, operations and management within the sector. The Team of the Year Award celebrates the achievements of the organisations team, rewarding those that have applied the standard for innovation, whilst demonstrating their commitment to excellence, collaboration and making a difference.  
The Award follows BaxterStorey’s recent Hospitality Assured score of 83.2%, ranking them amongst the highest scoring organisations in the sector. 
BaxterStorey were praised for their innovative approach to training and development through their award-winning academies and bespoke range of over 500 training programmes. Since its launch in 2013, over 500 chefs have graduated from BaxterStorey’s Chef Academy. The Graduate Programme, now in its eighth year receives over 500 applications from hospitality graduates every year. 
BaxterStorey’s commitment to acting sustainably and reducing their environmental footprint was also recognised, including BaxterStorey winning Sustainable Business of the Year at the Edie 2018 Sustainability Leaders Awards and Best Waste Management Project Award at Footprint Waste2Zero Awards. 

Noel Mahony, co-chief executive at BaxterStorey, said: “We are delighted to receive this industry accolade and are immensely proud of our teams’ hard work and passion for their craft. Training and development are the foundation of our business, and it is the energy and enthusiasm of our well-trained people that allows us to keep pushing the boundaries of service excellence. We are delighted their efforts have been recognised and praised”.

BaxterStorey celebrates success of Chef Academy Graduates #

On Monday 15 June at 30 Euston Square, BaxterStorey celebrated the success and achievements of its 2019 Chef Academy graduates. Thirty-four talented chefs from BaxterStorey, Searcys and Holroyd Howe completed the award-winning Chef Academy. The Academy represents one of many programmes run by BaxterStorey that demonstrates its commitment and innovative approach to training and development. 

Since its launch in 2003 with the aim of enabling chefs to progress to more senior positions within BaxterStorey, the Academy has seen more than 450 students graduate from its courses, providing them with specialist qualifications including NVQ2, NVQ3 and a BSC in Culinary Arts.  

The four-tiered programme consists of inspiring and challenging courses, designed to develop future chefs and apprentices to excel within the kitchen. Open to all chefs within the business, the academy develops their leadership techniques, kitchen finance skills, culinary talent, creative thinking, communication skills and nutrition. Each course offers a wide array of opportunities including masterclasses, bread-making workshops and visiting food markets and fisheries, following farm to fork processes. 

BaxterStorey chairman Alastair Storey commented: “Our business is founded on a commitment to training and development. The Chef Academy is testament to this, with 450 chefs graduating over 16 years. The energy and excitement amongst the graduates this evening represents the spirit of BaxterStorey, and the pride we have in delivering service excellence to all our clients, customers, suppliers and colleagues.  

"We are lucky to be part of a thriving hospitality industry – one which the UK economy relies on. Nurturing talent and celebrating successes, is how we will continue to grow both the business and the industry. Our graduate chefs are ambassadors to our business, and I am proud to celebrate such a motivated and talented group of people”.  

Alongside a Champagne reception and certificate presentations, special awards were given to individual chefs praised for their outstanding achievements, including Best in Class Trainee, Best in Class Trainer, Most Improved Chef and Spirit of the Academy.    

Chef Academy graduate and winner of the Spirit of the Academy Award, Francesco La Luna said: “The Chef Academy has accelerated my career as a chef, by developing my confidence in the kitchen and culinary knowledge. I joined BaxterStorey as a kitchen porter in 2015 and have worked my way up the ranks to Sous Chef. I have been fortunate enough to complete both Level 2 and 3 of the Academy; I love how varied the programme is.  

“My favourite trip was to Brixham fish market. Being Italian, it allowed me to discover a bit more of England and the food supply here. My confidence in the kitchen has grown so much since joining the Academy - I’ve gone from being a chef to leading my team in the kitchen”. 

Belvoir Fruit Farms raise a glass to success #

Nestled in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir in the heart of the English countryside, Belvoir Fruit Farms have been making the country’s finest elderflower cordials and pressés for 35 years.
Still a family owned and run business they remain true to their original recipes and roots, with their whole range being hand made on the farm and using only the finest natural ingredients with no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colourings or flavourings.
MD Peverel Manners recalls how it all started in the family kitchen, where, as a young boy he and his sisters would help their mother, Lady Mary Manners, infuse the blossoms they had picked from wild elderflower trees around the family farm.
“Originally, we just made it for ourselves, family and friends.  But it became so popular that people would beg, steal and borrow to get hold of a bottle,” remembers Pev.  “At the time our ‘pick your own’ fruit farm wasn’t doing terribly well and so my father decided we should try our hand at selling the cordial, initially through delicatessens and farm shops, making us the first company to go into commercial production of elderflower cordial in the UK.”
From just 500 bottles in 1984, the business has blossomed, today they sell around 2 million bottles of Elderflower Cordial a year!  Belvoir’s products are now sold in most of the major supermarkets in the UK as well as through farm shops, delis, restaurants, cafes and hotels.  Export is becoming increasingly important for the Belvoir business and their drinks can be found in a growing number of countries across Europe and around the world.  While elderflower remains the bulk of the business, the Belvoir range now includes 14 cordials, 19 pressés, including organic and non-organic versions, and ‘Lights’ containing 30% less sugar, and now a new craft mixer range.
The recipe for the elderflower cordial is still the same as the one Pev’s mother used to make.  It was given to her by her friend Lady Astor of Cliveden and it’s rumoured that it was a firm favourite amongst the 50s and 60s socialites frequenting Cliveden.
“It’s a clean, fresh drink, but with the complexity of wine,” says Pev. “People want traditional products that ring with today’s zeitgeist, something that’s natural but which tastes great too.” 
“The secret of a really good elderflower cordial is to use masses of flowers that have been picked in the sunshine when they are warm and heavy with yellow pollen, then get them into the vat within three hours.  As a student, I used to do the flower picking with a bunch of friends. We’d get covered in pollen - I remember my father’s grey hair would turn yellow from it.” 
The picking season is just a short five to six weeks, starting at the end of May (depending on the weather) and running through June.
Pev’s father, Lord John, would pack boxes of hand-made cordial into the boot of his car and set off to visit local delicatessens and farm shops to cut a deal!  He made an unlikely salesman in his country tweeds and battered Mercedes complete with the family dog and wheat literally growing in the rear seats!
Today Pev remains completely hands-on in the family business.  Following an impressive career in international marketing, he joined Belvoir Fruit Farms full time in 1992 and soon after, together with his father, took the decision to close the fruit farm and Pick Your Own business to focus exclusively on the burgeoning drinks company.
Production has long since moved out of the family kitchen and down to the fruit farm, where a state- of-the-art bottling line was installed in 2015.  But the elderflower products are all still hand-made, with the elderflowers infused in a huge vat (purchased from an old cheese farm) and all the fruit being hand pressed. 
Today the volume of elderflower required to keep up with demand for the product means that harvest becomes a real community affair.  For the short harvest period, Belvoir calls on the people living around the area to help with picking the elderflowers, not just from the company’s own orchards (the only ones in the UK) but from the wild elderflowers growing around the countryside.  As Pev puts it: “Locals collect the harvest and bring bags of flowers to us at the end of the day.  It’s a very British, bucolic summer scene.” 
Pev says: “Every bottle of Belvoir elderflower cordial contains about eight elderflowers and each summer we make enough bottles of elderflower cordial and pressé to last the year – that’s a lot of elderflowers!”   Experienced pickers can harvest up to 45 kilos of elderflowers a day and 50-60 tonnes of elderflowers are what Belvoir need to make enough Cordial to keep up with demand.
Although Belvoir drinks are now a fridge essential in many households, the brand name is usually mispronounced by people not familiar with the castle, from which the company takes its name.  In 1066 Robert de Todeni, standard bearer to William the Conqueror, named the original fortress ‘bel voir’, French for beautiful view.  However, following the Norman Conquest, the ruling classes changed, and Norman French was introduced.  The local Anglo Saxons obviously did not speak Norman French and as a result the pronunciation of Belvoir became anglicised and changed to ‘beaver’.  Other settlements such as Beauchamp ‘beecham’ and Beaulieu ‘bweley’ were also anglicised.
But whatever way you pronounce it, Pev is just happy that consumers continue to enjoy the 100% natural taste of his product and is proud to be celebrating 35 successful years this year (2019). 

Sip & Dip with Belvoir Fruit Farms #

Belvoir Fruit Farms is taking the plunge this summer and investing £2.5 million into its Sip & Dip Summer campaign.  The Sip & Dip Pool Parties that happened earlier in July were aimed at promoting their family of drinks to key consumers. They are being supported by an on-pack promotion with £500,000 worth of prizes to be won which runs until the end of August.  The promotion runs across key products in all 250ml, 500ml and 750ml formats and includes national and local advertising, key instore-features and trade incentives.

The Sip & Dip events that happened earlier in July (6thand 13th) saw Belvoir take over two stylish lido venues in London, Park Road Pools in Crouch End and Brockwell Lido in Herne Hill where they created a Summer Pool Party vibe complete with headline DJs Lauren Laverne (pictured), Alice Levine, Kate Nash and All Saints Melanie Blatt.
The major part of Belvoir’s Summer campaign will be the on-pack promotion to win a ‘Sip & Dip’ experience at home which will run on approximately 3 million bottles, across Belvoir’s best-selling Cordials and Sparkling Pressé lines, with over £500,000 worth of prizes to be won.
The Cordials and 750ml bottles that are sold more in grocery will carry a neck collar with a code that must be inputted on the Belvoir website to see if you’ve won.  The 250ml bottles, more popular in the on trade and food service, come with the promotion details incorporated into the bottle label.  There are over 3,000 kits to be won, rated gold, silver and bronze, to help the winner create a fantastic ‘Sip & Dip’ experience at home.  The great prizes include inflatable hot tubs, paddling pools, branded Belvoir beach towels, branded beach balls, picnic plates and glasses, family cool bags, ice buckets and of course a selection of Belvoir drinks.
The promotion went live from 20 May and runs through June, July and August.
Pev Manners, MD for Belvoir Fruit Farms says: “The Sip & Dip events are a really exciting and major investment for the business, and we think they perfectly convey our strapline of ‘Made for Good Times’.  Our drinks are served at social occasions be that with family, friends or just when enjoying some well-earned ‘me time’ and we want our Sip & Dip events to create some new Good Times our consumers will remember.  If they didn’t join us at the Lidos, they have a chance to create some Good Times of their own at home by winning one of our Sip & Dip kits via the on-pack promotion.
“It’s a joined up piece of activity supported by above the line advertising, social media and PR which we hope our consumers will love and which will drive sales for our trade customers to appreciate.”

Food and drink specialist William Murray announces consumer arm following new hire and business wins #

William Murray PR & Marketing has launched a new consumer arm following a recent hire and client wins.

The new department is being headed up by account directors Emma Hawley and Sarah Harding, who will lead and drive business growth in this sector, with clients such as award-winning pub and inn The Crown and Garter and Italian gelato specialists Gelatorino.

With strong media and industry contacts and considerable experience in hospitality, they previously worked together at hospitality PR agency Roche Communications for five years launching the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard in 2016 and working with an extensive range of restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels including Nobu, Grand Union Bars, ETM Group, Carluccio’s, The Cinnamon Collection, Flemings Mayfair and Balans Soho Society. 

Recently appointed Sarah Harding brings a diverse skillset to the agency, with previous experience as a journalist at The Mirror and The Sunday Times Ireland, in-house marketing director at Livelyhood Venues, and PR roles at Host & Co and Roche Communications. Joining the agency in September 2018, Emma Hawley has extensive consumer PR experience from Neil Reading PR and Roche Communications.

Anita Murray, CEO, William Murray said: “As an agency, we're entering an exciting phase of growth, and thrilled to have an experienced consumer team with strong media and industry contacts to build our success.

“We’ve grown a long-standing reputation as the experts in foodservice, launched our social listening service Delve Insights, and have added another string to our bow with a robust team of consumer specialists. These key offerings strengthen our position as a creative, strategic agency, adding value to each client relationship.”

The award-winning agency, which was founded over thirty years ago, counts the likes of Good Hemp, Kraft Heinz, Elior UK, Quorn, Santa Maria, UCC Coffee, Gelatorino, Crown and Garter, Honesty Bakery and BRITA Vivreau among its clients.

Sodexo scores a perfect 10… #

The events and catering team at some of the UK’s leading sports venues scooped a record 10 awards at a prestigious ceremony.
Sodexo teams triumphed in a number of categories at The Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards 2019, which recognise the effort and dedication of those working in matchday, catering and hospitality and conference and events, at every football and rugby stadium across the UK.
The awards were presented at a ceremony at the Etihad Stadium – home of Manchester City FC - on Thursday 20 June and three Sodexo venues walked off with top awards on the night.
St James’ Park – home to Newcastle United FC – won silver in the Matchday Hospitality Award for a Large Stadium, with Brighton’s Amex Stadium also scooping silver in the Matchday Hospitality Award for a Medium Stadium.
The Amex just lost out to Swansea City which scooped gold – in the same week it was announced that Sodexo had won the contract to be Swansea’s new catering and events partner, and Sodexo are very much looking forward to working with an award winning team.
Swansea FC also saw off the competition to win the big award of the night, The Overall Matchday Hospitality Award.
Elsewhere, the Sodexo teams at Brighton’s Amex Stadium and Scotland’s Hampden Park shared the award for Best Digital Enquiry category, while the Amex was also awarded silver for Matchday Hospitality for a Medium Stadium and Operations Team of the Year.
The Sodexo team, at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park, was also successful, winning bronze in the new-for-2019 category, Non-Matchday Sales Team of the Year Award.
Two of Newcastle’s team also scooped individual awards with operations manager Gemma Nugent winning silver and commercial manager Clare Appleby winning bronze in the Shining Star Award, which recognises those employees who continuously shine in their roles.
There was also success for Sodexo at Everton’s Goodison Park, which was awarded silver in the Chef Team of the Year Award. for which chefs have to impress Salon Culinare judges by preparing, cooking and presenting a fine dining three-course meal.
David Trotter, divisional director Scotland and NI at Sodexo, said the company was delighted so many of its teams had achieved award recognition at the event.
 “These awards are recognised across the industry and for so many venues to have triumphed in so many categories is excellent,” he said.
“Our catering and events teams are dedicated to delivering unparalleled service across the board and these awards reflect that.”

Emerald Headingley Stadium and Sodexo to serve up first-class experience in £100m partnership #

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) and Leeds Cricket, Football and Athletics (LCF&A) has awarded a 15 year contract to Sodexo worth over £100m in total turnover.

The contract will see Sodexo build on its eight-year partnership with YCCC and LCF&A to provide world class hospitality and public catering at the Emerald Headingley Stadium- home of Yorkshire Cricket and Leeds Rhinos.

A full-time team of 14 and more than 1,000 temporary staff will provide catering and hospitality services for all matches at the stadium including Super League, this summer’s Ashes series, the ICC Cricket World Cup and the new competition “The Hundred” from 2020.

Emerald Headingley Stadium has completed a £40m refurbishment and now offers some of the best venue facilities in the UK including the new Emerald Suite comprising a 450 person lounge overlooking both the cricket and rugby pitches. The new corporate boxes, the Director’s Lounge and the Emerald Suite have all benefitted from a high specification fit out.

Sodexo has also won the contract for non-match day sales to help drive additional revenue for the stadium, drawing on its expertise in the sports and leisure sector.

Andy Dawson, YCCC’s commercial director, said: “It is our ambition to provide a best in-class experience for our members, spectators and corporate guests and to achieve this we need to offer variety of food options which offer excellent value for money. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with Sodexo and with their skilled team on board and Emerald Headingley Stadium Event’s award-winning chefs in place; we will deliver a memorable food experience for all.”
Rob Oates, Leeds Rhinos commercial director said: “We are delighted with the new partnership with Sodexo. Over the last eight years we have developed a great working partnership, so to extend this further is fantastic news and will enable us to go to the next level of hospitality and events. Sodexo is a company with huge expertise and reach and have great people working in the organisation and that’s what we bought into. We are thrilled with the new facilities which are truly world class, anyone who has seen them will, I’m sure, consider them to be first choice when booking hospitality or events.”

Nick Byrom, Sodexo sports & leisure business development director, said: “We are thrilled to announce our long term partnership with the iconic Emerald Headingley Stadium. Sodexo will significantly invest in the public and executive facilities at the ground to improve speed of service and further enhance the customer experience. Sodexo will also be a major sponsor of Yorkshire Cricket and Leeds Rhinos until 2034 to demonstrate our long term investment strategy in sport.”

Chris Bray, CEO, Sports & Leisure for Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Emerald Headingley Stadium.  It is one of the leading sporting and events venues in the UK we are looking forward to working closely with YCCC and LCF&A to deliver memorable catering and event experiences whilst working with local suppliers and supporting the local community.”

Independents by Sodexo wins £4.25m five year contract for The King’s School, Worcester #

Independents by Sodexo has been awarded a five-year contract to manage the catering and cleaning services at The King’s School, Worcester.

The King’s School, Worcester, was founded in 1541 and currently has more than 1,400 pupils aged two to 18. 

The new £4.25m contract will see Independents by Sodexo introduce a wide range of dishes with a focus on fresh, nutritious and seasonal food from 1 September 2019.

A 29-strong cleaning services team will use market-leading, environmentally friendly and innovative cleaning solutions around the schedule of The King’s School.

Jeremy Alderton, managing director for Independents by Sodexo, said: “We are thrilled to be entering into this partnership with The King’s School and are looking forward to helping create the best, safe and clean environment which will help the pupils to learn.

“We know that young people want variety in their food but are also conscious about sustainability and provenance. Our highly skilled chefs will be creating a selection of dishes using sustainably sourced ingredients that will not only interest and excite the pupils, but will also power performance to help them get the most out of school.”

Helen Jackson, bursar at The King’s School, said: “We were really impressed with the way the Independents by Sodexo team engaged with us throughout the tender process. They took the time to understand the ethos of the school and what we are looking for from our catering and cleaning services.

“Independents by Sodexo have an impressive track record of taking an innovative approach to providing healthy school meals, and we are looking forward to working with the team to develop menus that will nourish and excite the pupils.”

Brand new healthy eating focused café launched at Birmingham Children’s Hospital #

Matt Dawson, former England rugby player and Sodexo Ambassador, was at Birmingham Children’s Hospital for the opening of Crussh, a new fit food and juice bar.

The new Crussh outlet, the first of the healthy eating chain’s to open outside of London and within a hospital, has opened its doors as part of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust extending its 10-year partnership with Sodexo, a leading global services company.
A full range of freshly pressed fruit & vegetable juices, real fruit smoothies, breakfast bagels, hot lunch, sourdough toasties and salads will be prepared daily and served alongside organic & Fairtrade coffee.
The Crussh brand is well-known in London, having first opened its doors in 1998 and is focused on improving wellbeing through its healthy food and drink options.
Matt Dawson has been a Sodexo ambassador since 2010 to help raise awareness of health and wellbeing issues with Sodexo’s employees and customers.
Matt Dawson said: “A healthy diet is so important to all parts of life, but especially when recovering. Making sure you have the right nutrition when recuperating can make a major difference and I am so pleased that the children, young people and staff here at Birmingham Children’s Hospital will be able to access the food they need to help recover.”
Stuart Winters, CEO of Healthcare, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “Our ambition for the future with Birmingham Children’s Hospital was to have a clear emphasis on healthy food, and we will be able to achieve this through the introduction of leading brand and innovator, Crussh. Their food and drink offer meets CQUIN guidelines and is a clear demonstration of our commitment to providing healthy, nutritious food.

“Food plays such a key part in the healing process so it is fantastic that we can bring the wealth of knowledge in healthy eating and nutrition through Crussh to the benefit of all the children, young people, their families and staff across Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Parkview Clinic.”
Dr Chris Chiswell, consultant in Public Health Medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, added: “We know that providing our staff, patients and visitors with nutritious and healthy food options is important. Eating well and maintaining good levels of hydration contributes hugely to overall well-being and the new catering offer being provided by Sodexo is hugely exciting.

“Work continues on improving not only the food and drink options on offer, but also the facilities our children, families and colleagues experience. Feedback so far has been very positive.

“Along with changes to our outlets across the hospital, in-patient catering has also been also been improved with 95 per cent of all food enjoyed by children and young people prepared freshly on-site.”
Shane Kavanagh, CEO of Crussh said, “We couldn’t be more excited about opening at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Positively impacting people’s health and wellbeing is what drives everything we do, and being able to work with Sodexo on the operation at Birmingham children’s hospital has been very rewarding so far. We hope people enjoy our food and drink and we look forward to being part of the hospital’s community”

AAK Foodservice adds Chicken and Turkey Hot Dogs to Uncle John’s range #

AAK Foodservice has introduced chicken and turkey hot dogs to its Uncle John’s brand of premium, authentically produced hot dogs.
Made from 80 per cent poultry with herbs and spices, the 80g sausages are traditionally beechwood smoked for an authentic hot dog flavour, and have been developed to meet growing demand for poultry products.
With 89% of UK adults caring about the healthiness of the food they eat, according to research from MCA, many are opting for lean, high-protein white meats such as chicken and turkey. In fact, according to Kantar, UK consumers now eat more poultry each year than red meat.
Uncle John’s Chicken and Turkey Hot Dogs are also Halal certified to help caterers and outlets create menus that are suitable for a wide range of customers, particularly within cost-sector catering where food choices may be more limited.
Sarah Moor, brand manager for Uncle John’s at AAK Foodservice, said the chicken and turkey hot dogs were the latest addition to Uncle John’s Complete Hot Dog Experience, which offers a variety of types and sizes of premium hot dogs along with a range of complementary sauces and marketing support.
She said: “We’re continuously working with customers to develop the products that make it simple for them to make the most of current and emerging food trends.
“Our new chicken and turkey hot dogs are the latest addition to our hot dog range, and, like our premium pork hot dogs, are pre-cooked and ready to be eaten hot or served cold straight from the pack.”
Uncle John’s Chicken and Turkey Hot Dogs are produced and packed in Germany, with no MSG or artificial colourings or flavour enhancers, and with a salt content of 1.4g, making them a good choice for schools and other cost-sector catering outlets. They are available in cases of 10 packs of 8 x 80g hot dogs.

Bring exciting flavour fusions to your menu with new Garlic & Herb Whirl #

Whirl, the liquid butter substitute from AAK Foodservice, has expanded its range with the introduction of a new Garlic & Herb version. Convenient, versatile and infused with authentic flavour, it provides a quick and easy way for caterers to deliver a rich taste to dishes across their menu.
Inspired by butter, Garlic & Herb Whirl is a blend of rapeseed and certified sustainable palm oil, infused with garlic and herbs. It can be used in a wide variety of applications, in a broad range of dishes. From shallow frying, grilling and baking, to simple glazing and sauces, it is a ready-made solution to add a burst of flavour – saving time and money on making an infused oil or garlic butter from scratch.
Garlic & Herb Whirl is suitable for vegans and has gained accreditation from The Vegan Society. It is also suitable for vegetarians and those following a gluten-free diet, making it an ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
Olivia Shuttleworth, brand manager for Whirl, comments: “With uncertainty over butter prices, Whirl has been created to provide pubs, restaurants, casual dining outlets and QSRs with a valuable, cost-effective ingredient to help maintain net margins. Using Garlic & Herb Whirl can help caterers reduce costs by up to 30 per cent.”
“It’s also incredibly versatile and, as the herbs are in suspension in the bottle, they don’t settle at the bottom, meaning you’ll get plenty of flavour with every pour. Brush it on dough to create tasty garlic bread, add it to a frying pan to sear scallops or prawns, or stir it into a basic white sauce to create a creamy garlic dish. With summer coming up and barbecue season almost upon us, use Garlic & Herb Whirl to glaze skewers of chicken and vegetables, steak or seabass before grilling to add flavour.”
Like original Whirl, Garlic & Herb Whirl is 65% lower in saturated fats, and higher in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats than butter – making it a healthier alternative for health-conscious customers and diners.
Garlic & Herb Whirl is available in 1L bottles. Once open, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
To find out how you can incorporate Garlic & Herb Whirl into your menu items, visit and choose Garlic & Herb on the dropdown menu on the right-hand side.

Penny Tomlinson wins Meat Management Excellence Award at the 2019 Meat Management Industry Awards #

The 2019 Meat Management Industry Awards winners were announced during a glittering dinner in Birmingham, attended by 400 guests and Fairfax Meadow's managing director Penny Tomlinson won the Meat Management Excellence Award following an incredible year for the business.

The awards, which take place annually, recognise creativity, innovation and excellence right across the UK's meat industry and included everyone from meat manufacturers, supermarkets, industry suppliers, trade organisations, trainers, catering butchers and independent retailers.

The Meat Management Excellence Award, along with another 19 awards, were given to companies, associations, products and personalities that struck a chord with both readers and judges.

"I'm delighted to accept this award, which is a testament to the resilience of our team right across the UK who have supported every decision we've made in the last 12 months" said Tomlinson, who has been at Fairfax Meadow since 2002.

Through making the right capital investments in equipment and facilities, we've been able to upscale and help a number of customers who have needed a consistent, quality and high volume line of supply on very short deadlines. This has led to us growing our business in a very tumultuous year for the industry."

Meat Management editor, Pam Brook said: “Many congratulations to all our worthy winners and finalists. Also a huge thank you to our readers who cast their votes and our judging panels who tasted their way through an enormous number of excellent products.” 

In the last twelve months alone, Fairfax Meadow has relocated it's facilities from Kentish Town to Enfield to support the launch of a new Fairfax London operation, created a new values set that is driving leadership and staff engagement at all levels, launched new websites and secured a number of high profile supply contracts in the food service space.

Jaldi! Jaldi! Elior and Urban Rajah announce new range disrupting grab-and-go eating #

Elior UK and Ivor Peters (the TV chef and spice expert better known as the Urban Rajah) are redefining food to go with their new range, Jaldi! Jaldi! Translated as “Quickly! Quickly!”, the range was created as a grab-and-go lunchtime solution with a twist.

The aromatic range meets consumer demand for quick lunch bites for busy schedules, but goes one step further to offer something unique, colourful and new to satisfy consumers’ taste buds.

Options include ‘naaninis’ (Urban Rajah’s spin on the Italian panini) with spicy, savoury filling options, ‘salad shakers’ such as chicken tikka peach sabzi and vegan Calicut jackfruit salad, and aubergine rollups perfect for lower carb diets. Signature sweet treats include the sumptuous cardamom and date chocolate brownie and blueberry vanilla lassi (yoghurt drink).

The Urban Rajah said: “When life’s a tad hectic there’s no room for sacrificing on nutrition and flavour. ‘grab-and-go’ food was perhaps invented in the Indian subcontinent where over 1 billion people move to the pace of industrial progress and demand tasty food...quickly.

“Whilst life might be a little less crowded than a Karachi bus or New Delhi Station our need is no different, which is why we created the Jaldi! Jaldi! menu. There's something for everyone - salads bejewelled with the colours of an Asian rainbow, soft, comforting Naanini, sweet treats and cooling drinks. Move over ‘grab-and-go’, make way for Jaldi! Jaldi!”
The Jaldi! Jaldi! menu consists of:
- Salad shakers: roast aloo ghobi salad, chicken tikka peach sabzi, Calicut jackfruit salad, mango mackerel salad
- Naanini: methi aloo, baingan chaat salad, reshmi chicken chaat
- Aubergine rollups: pink paneer rollup, Tamil falafel rollup
- Sweet treats: blueberry kheer, cardamom and date chocolate brownies, misti doi and fig jam
- Chutneys and dressings: lemon and mint dressing, lime and chilli dressing, tamarind and cumin chutney
- Drinks: blueberry vanilla lassi, espresso caramel lassi 

Visit to learn more about the Urban Rajah concept.

The rise of technology will transform future senior living, says new Caterplus report #

The future of senior living is being transformed by technology, according to a new report from Elior UK’s care subsidiary Caterplus. Findings reveal that the ageing population expects technology to integrate with and improve lifestyles, offering a personalised service for leisure activities, medical needs, eating and drinking, and overall wellbeing.

A strong 66% of the ageing population expect the rise of technology in care provisions to make life easier, and over 97% expect internet facilities as part of their care provision. Many expect technology to provide medical support, as 74% want to oversee their own care profile and preferences using a mobile or tablet app.

The Future of Care: How the Nation Wants to Age provides an insight into what care provisions and retirement communities of the future will look like. How culinary, environmental, health and cultural offerings within care will change over the next twenty years.

Drawing upon findings from Caterplus’ UK-wide study of over 3,000 respondents aged between 45 and 75, the report listens to the nation’s priorities for later life living. It also acts as a guide for care providers, offering wide-ranging insights and constructive recommendations to meet the needs of this diverse group and create the ideal later life provision of the future.

Paul Burstow, former Minister of State for Care Home Services, has supported and contributed to the report. He said: “By listening to people in later life we can make a difference now... Care providers and policymakers would do well to take on board the insights and challenges in this report, to improve future care for generations to come.”

Robin Givens, managing director contracts at Elior UK said: “Over 50s account for more than a third of the population and half of consumer expenditure. They hold 80% of all personal wealth and control around 70% of all disposable income – so hold considerable influence as a group.

We created this report to give the entire care industry – be it caterers, care providers, architects or builders – a clearer direction as to what we should be doing to create a future care provision that is truly fit for purpose for this diverse group.”

Investigating key areas of the ageing process, such as choosing a care provision, communication, and health and wellbeing, other standout findings include:

- 69% of people would book on to activities and classes using technology or apps
- 71% expect to see a café, restaurant or bar that can be visited outside of meal times
- 80% say ‘freedom of life’ is the most important factor affecting their choice of care provision
- 88% expect care provisions to be equipped for them to move in with their partner
- 84% want their chosen care provision to resemble a home but offer the services of a hotel 

Elior UK scores five year catering partnership with Warrington Wolves RFC #

On 1 June, Elior UK began a five-year catering contract with Warrington Wolves Rugby Football Club at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. With the scope of work spanning matchday hospitality, matchday retail and conference and banqueting, Elior is a fully integrated partner in the Warrington Wolves team, serving up to 15,000 fans each matchday.

Offering decades of experience within sports and stadia, Elior secured the contract by its best in class approach to matchday hospitality, strategic plans to grow non-matchday business and significant investment in the retail offer. Elior’s impressive proposal for retail has the Wire fan matchday experience at its heart.  Planned for the start of the 2020 season, the kiosks and bars will have a new look and feel that embraces both the club and food from the region, with creative menu concepts, digital signage and cashless payment options. 

Speaking on behalf of Elior UK, Kenny Finlayson, managing director, says: “We’re delighted to be supporting Warrington Wolves RFC as their catering partner, growing our businesses together at this fantastic venue. The customer experience starts as soon as a fan steps into the stadium, and we aim to deliver a fantastic matchday experience at every touchpoint in that journey.”

“Not only are we representing the best of Cheshire’s local produce, we are introducing an exciting range of high street inspired offers, that we know fans and visitors to the stadium will love.”

Geoff Durbin, chief commercial officer, Warrington Wolves RFC said: “We were impressed with Elior’s track record and award-winning reputation in sports and stadia. This – coupled with a plan that not only encompassed exciting, creative food and dining concepts, but considered the entire hospitality experience – captured our attention. We’re looking forward to building our success with Elior over the next five years.”

Leading the way in sports and stadia contract catering, Elior has won a number of prestigious awards in recent years. These include Stadia of the Year, Sports & Leisure Catering Awards 2017, Elior UK Star Site 2016, Best Specialist Entertainment Venue Awards, Best Bar None 2016, National Champion, Best Bar None 2016.

24 new chefs graduate from fifth Elior Chef School #

Twenty four new Elior colleagues have graduated as chefs from the fifth Elior Chef School programme, designed to tackle the industry chef shortage and nurture talent within Elior.
For the first time the graduates - who come on day release from other parts of the business such as the Front of House General Assistants team and kitchen porters - also had the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship as part of the programme.
The chefs have spent the last year getting to grips with the basics of the kitchen in monthly sessions that included time perfecting sauces, starters, mains and desserts, as well as study trips to Brixham Fish Market and a micro herb garden.
Matt Jennings, learning and development business partner, Elior UK, says: “It’s been a really comprehensive learning experience for these future chefs. While food plays a central role in Chef School, we also train them on service and the business basics needed in the kitchen. It doesn’t end today at graduation – there’s a comprehensive development programme and we’re committed to helping the graduates meet their career aspirations.
“Over the last five years, we’ve put around 77 colleagues through the Chef School programme and it’s a pleasure to say that around two-thirds of those have now taken up full time chef positions.”
To celebrate their graduation, the chefs showed off their skills and cooked up a feast for Elior clients and guests.
The lunch menu included: crab tortellini with seafood bisque and micro garlic chive; brined roasted on the crown chicken breast and stuffed leg on wilted kale with cocotte potato, butternut squash and heritage carrots finished with chicken jus; and a full table of desserts.

MBE awarded to Bidfood group sales and marketing director #

Dr Andrew Kemp FIH, long-serving group sales and marketing director at Bidfood, has been graciously awarded an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list, announced on Saturday 8 June. The award was bestowed in recognition of his outstanding services to the foodservice and hospitality industry.
Andy is a well-known face in the sector who, over the last 40 years, has shown an insatiable appetite for making positive change, using his platform to tirelessly collaborate and work alongside industry bodies and charities. His enthusiasm, energy and passion for the sector has been channelled into a variety of notable causes and initiatives.
Particularly close to his heart has been fighting for the protection of Universal Infant Free School Meals, along with his work on holiday hunger, advocating and ensuring a better future for children across the UK. Andy has also contributed immensely to research on the dangers of antibiotics and hormones in food, shaping understanding and driving innovation in the area.
Above all, Andy has been instrumental in mobilising the hospitality and foodservice sector to protect the future of the industry, striving to keep it an exciting, rewarding and attractive place to work. His contributions have gone far from unnoticed, with him previously being awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of West London (UWL) in 2017 for a lifetime contribution to the UK and international food industry.

On being recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2019 Andy said: “I am both proud and delighted to be a recipient of this prestigious award. It’s a great honour to work in such an incredible industry alongside many influential and wonderful people.

“The hospitality industry is extremely close to my heart and it’s been a privilege to use my position in the sector to work alongside such fantastic industry bodies and charities, such as Springboard UK; Hospitality Action; UKHospitality; The One and All Foundation; Arena; Clink; LACA; Chaine des Rottiseurs; FPA; University of West London and The Institute of Hospitality.

“Having the opportunity to nurture these relationships and sit on some of the sector’s most influential boards has been tremendously beneficial for making positive change.

“I’m receiving this award not only on behalf of Bidfood, but on behalf of all of these partners who have offered me a lifetime of support. Thank you, to everyone who has helped me along this journey.”

Woodlands Primary School crowned winner of the 2019 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year Competition #

Premier Foods is thrilled to announce that pupils from Woodlands Primary School have been awarded the accolade of the 2019 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year The winning team from Formby, Liverpool cooked its way to first place with its Woodlands Garden, impressing judges with the incredible presentation and attention to detail, achieving the highest score ever in the five year history of the competition. Grace (aged 10), Amy (aged 10) and Laura (aged 8), supported by their school caterer, Holly Charnock, used rhubarb and raspberries from their own school garden, honey from a local bee hive and eggs from the caterer’s pet chickens in their dish, adhering brilliantly to the locally sourced ingredients competition theme. The final took place at LACA: The Main Event on Thursday 11 July, with five shortlisted schools cooking in front of a live audience.

Sarah Robb, foodservice channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, comments: “Every year we are absolutely blown away by the standard of food the pupils produce and this year was no exception. Every dish was so well thought through, presented beautifully and had delicious local ingredients incorporated into the recipe. We want to say a huge thank you to all those who attended the final, it was a brilliant day. The dish from Woodlands Primary School was nothing like I have ever seen before, the imagination behind the edible garden was outstanding, from candy floss trees to cupcake plant pots and coconut grass, it was amazing and tasted phenomenal.

“As the day progressed you could see each child grow in confidence, boosted by a mindfulness workshop, in partnership with Mind Birmingham, ahead of the competition to help calm any final nerves.  It’s wonderful to see them relax into it and enjoy the journey together as a team, that is why we do this every year. A huge congratulations to everyone involved.” 

The judges – Andrew Green, representing the Craft Guild of Chefs; Carol Harwood, representing LACA; Mark Rigby, Executive Chef at Premier Foods and brand new guest judge, Professor Tanya Byron - had the tough challenge of choosing one overall winner from the outstanding finalists in attendance. The judges scored Woodlands Primary School highly on the taste and presentation of the dish as well as the teamwork and enthusiasm they displayed throughout the day, with two of the four judges awarding full mcrks, resulting in the highest total score ever. The school was awarded £1,000 worth of kitchen equipment, a prize which was presented to them by Michael Hales, Chair of LACA, encouraging the pupils to continue their passion for sourcing ingredients and using it to make tasty dishes.

Holly Charnock, school Caterer from Woodlands Primary School, commented: “I want to say a huge thank you to all the team for such an enjoyable day yesterday, winning the competition really was a dream come true for all of us. I think it has only just hit me that it really did happen!

“It has been a once in a lifetime experience for the pupils and to see the growth in their confidence and cookery skills over the past few months has made all the hard work so worthwhile. The pupils are still so excited they want to wear their hats, aprons and medals to tell the whole school about their winning moment. They worked so well as a team and were so happy to simply be there and be able to take part in the final, let alone winning. To know we have achieved the highest score in the history of the competition really is the cherry on top of the cake. I urge any school thinking of entering to do so, it’s a fabulous opportunity which helps the children develop in both a social and academic way, I feel so proud to have been part of the journey.”

UCC Coffee rebuilds Dartford with improved production facilities #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland has announced plans for its new and improved production facilities at its Dartford roastery, following a fire in October 2018.

The rebuild of Dartford is a key initiative for 2019, with planning permission secured to rebuild and improve long-term production and operations on site, as the total coffee solution futureproofs its business, and continues to deliver outstanding coffee and service to its customers. 

The rebuild, which is expected to complete in August 2020, will not only increase production and improve product flow, but will offer teams a new and improved, modern space including a new break out area, changing facilities, and increased office space. A new coffee bag machine will also be installed alongside its state-of-the-art roasters to increase capacity of its key retail lines. The rebuild follows a £2.5m investment to the roastery in 2015, further cementing its commitment to its customers.

Elaine Swift, regional director (North), UCC Coffee Europe comments: “After a challenging few months in Dartford following the fire, we’re pleased to share further progress as we invest and rebuild for a stronger future. We’re back on our feet and our plans will not only improve our roastery operations, but our office space too. We’re investing in to the rebuild to not only futureproof our business but to increase our capacity. This recovery would not have been possible without the support of our European roasteries, customers and team.”

Following the fire, UCC Coffee’s roasteries across Europe supported the UK business through its disaster recovery process to ensure disruption was minimised for its customers. In April, UCC Coffee also announced a move to a new regional European structure.

Orang Utan coffee announces new line up and re-design #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, has announced a new line up and a striking new design for its Orang Utan Coffee brand, which supports conservation of the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan with every pack sold.
The updated range includes a new roast Canopy Climb – a 100% single origin arabica coffee with a light, smooth taste - and the introduction of new formats including coffee bags, Nespresso-compatible capsules, and larger out of home packs of its existing coffee, which has been renamed Dark Forest. A striking new design for Orang Utan Coffee has also been introduced to further reinforce its sustainable approach to coffee and to ensure it stands out on shelf.
Through the Orang Utan Coffee brand, UCC Coffee aims to provide long-term support for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme – which protects orangutans and their rainforest habitat - and for the coffee farmers in the Gayo Highlands region of Northern Sumatra. Orang Utan Coffee donates €0.50 for each kilogram of green bean coffee to its farmers, with a further €0.50 going to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.
The full Orang Utan Coffee range and availability:
- 200g Dark Forest Fresh Ground Coffee (available now)
- 200g Dark Forest Beans (available now)
- 500g Dark Forest Coffee Beans (available June 2019)
- 200g Canopy Climb Fresh Ground Coffee (available June 2019)
- 200g Canopy Climb Beans (available June 2019)
- 10 x Dark Forest Coffee Bags (Coming soon)
- 10 x Dark Forest Nespresso Compatible Capsules (Coming soon) 
Dan McGrath, marketing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “Year on year, consumers are increasingly interested in sustainable and responsibly sourced products, and Orang Utan Coffee offers delicious variety that can be enjoyed anywhere. Not only is there an inspirational story behind the brand that resonates with consumers but the coffees rate very highly in flavour and quality. The coffees have been specifically made to improve an operator’s coffee offering, both in final product and in sustainability credentials, making it easy for customers and stockists to do their bit.
He continues: “The re-brand and line extensions have come at an exciting time as we invest significantly into innovation and continue our commitment to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. We’re thrilled to offer more variety, convenience, and a 100% free-from palm oil product range – it’s a coffee that does good with every sip.”

UCC Coffee launches Grand Crü Composition No.6 with master sommellier Ronan Sayburn #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, has launched its latest iteration of its seasonal Grand Crü coffee: Composition No.6.
Ronan Sayburn, master sommelier, has once again collaborated with Gayan Munaweera, UCC Coffee’s head of coffee quality and Q grader to source this season’s finest coffees. Using their combined knowledge to create a unique composition and an extraordinary coffee, they have developed a delicious, complex blend, perfect for the premium out-of-home market. Grand Crü Composition No.6, will be available from June directly from UCC Coffee UK & Ireland.
Composition No.6 is a blend of four components offering a unique and delicate blend of Ethiopia washed (15%), Ethiopia Natural (30%), Guatemala (25%) and Costa Rica (30%), delivering a velvety, silk-like body with notes of creamy butterscotch, cacao and dark cherries.
A truly specialty coffee, each component boasts an industry recognised SCAA International Quality Score of over 80, giving the blend an incredible flavour worthy of the Grand Crü name. The washed Ethiopian beans offer an elegant, delicious and complex flavour, whereas the naturally processed beans deliver an enchantingly fruity undertone - when paired with Costa Rican and Guatemalan Arabica beans – regions both renowned for high quality coffee - the blend delivers an unrivalled and unique flavour in every sip.
Gayan Munaweera, head of coffee quality and Q grader at UCC Coffee UK & Ireland says: “Ronan and I share a passion for identifying unique flavours and it has been great working together again on this blend. For our sixth seasonal Grand Crü blend, we’re taking drinkers to central America and across to the horn of Africa. Renowned for its floral quality of bean, Ethiopia delivers a complex cup, and when combined with Arabica beans from Guatemala and Costa Rica it carries sumptuous flavours of creamy butterscotch, cacao and dark cherries - with a complexity of flavour coming from its refined, premium taste. It’s truly a unique blend.”
Ronan Sayburn comments: “Much like how regions play a major role in the taste of wine, the same can be said with coffee, and Grand Crü is made for operators who treat their coffee as they do their wine. Our Composition No.6 is totally unrivalled in flavour and quality, combining the very best coffees from these regions to deliver a truly premium and memorable experience. Refreshing this composition every six months ensures customers only receive the best of best - it’s an exceptional blend.”
Grand Crü Composition No.6 is available now in 10x500g packs.

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland's roastery achieves highest BRC rating #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland has been upgraded to a Grade AA rating in its latest British Retail Consortium audit – the highest possible rating.
The roastery, based in Dartford, Kent, achieved the rating following a rigorous two-day inspection. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the leading trade association for UK retailing, and its standards are recognised internationally as marks of quality. The grade ‘AA’ rating is awarded to sites with exceptional site standards.
Elaine Swift, regional director (North), UCC Coffee Europe commented: “This is a significant achievement for our Dartford Coffee Roastery and validates not only our systems and procedures, but also our culture of continuous improvement. It’s been a challenging few months following the fire so it’s important our customers can continue to have confidence in our service and products, as well as achieving the highest-grade accreditation from the British Retail Consortium as further endorsement of our capabilities and commitment.”
In June 2019, UCC Coffee announced plans for its new and improved production facilities at its Dartford roastery. The rebuild, which is expected to complete in August 2020, will not only increase production and improve product flow, but will offer teams a new and improved, modern space and a great new facility for our visiting customers. The rebuild follows a £2.5m investment to the roastery in 2015, and planned investment in 2020 to increase production capacity further cementing its commitment to its customers.

Despite Brexit uncertainty, UK foodservice equipment industry remains optimistic #

Nearly 80% of businesses expect to grow this year, says CESA Outlook survey
Despite continuing uncertainty caused by Brexit, the foodservice equipment industry is optimistic about economic growth over the next 12 months, according to the latest CESA business survey.   Most companies also reported that sales were up, compared to the previous 12 months.  Interestingly, the most important drivers for growth over the next 12 months are seen to be increased sales to new and existing customers and product innovation – while expanding into new geographical areas, a big focus for Brexit campaigners, is at the very bottom of the list.   
The results of the survey, which took place at the end of Q1 2019, are published in CESA Outlook.  This new publication is a reengineering of the CESA Business Barometer.  “We worked with consultants and business experts to make sure that the content and structure of the questions would give us the most accurate insight into the market,” says Adam Lawrence, marketing manager of CESA. 
Of the respondents, 39% were UK manufacturers, 39% were distributors of products manufactured outside of the UK, 8% were service companies and the remainder included businesses such as equipment resellers. 
The results show that while optimism is strong, the biggest threat is a weakening economic environment and a lack of growth in the economy.  The second biggest business concern is uncertainty over the UK’s role in Europe.  Meanwhile the skills shortage is a continuing worry, with retaining the best people and the lack of appropriately trained staff both featuring as major concerns. 
“Although it wasn’t mentioned in the research questions, Brexit looms large over the answers,” says Lawrence.  “It’s causing business uncertainty and weakening the economy.  However, the survey underlines that the foodservice equipment industry is tackling the challenges through a variety of innovations, such as developing new products and technologies, exploring new markets and investigating new ways to reach their established customer bases.  It’s hugely encouraging that nearly 80% of businesses expect to increase sales over the next 12 months.” 
CESA Outlook is available to download for free from the CESA News page at

What did trade associations ever do for us? CESA is glad you asked… #

Association Week, June 17-21 2019, spotlights UK professional associations’ work
What have trade associations ever done for us?  CESA aimed to underline the answer during Associations Week, June 17-21 2019.  The event, organised by the Institute of Associations Leadership (IAL), is designed to shine a spotlight on the work of professional associations and to celebrate the people, both employees and volunteers, who make the associations work.  
“The association sector is one of the UK’s great unsung stories and we have a mission to change that through Associations Week,” says Catherine Whitmore, executive director of the IAL. 
Keith Warren is director of CESA and is in no doubt of the value the Association delivers to members and to the foodservice industry at large.  “I’m proud of the passion of the CESA team and the hard work they do,” he says.  “From training initiatives like CFSP to briefing government ministers and lobbying legislators, from negotiating grants for UK companies to helping promote our members’ products into new markets around the world, we are involved in a huge range of activities that help the foodservice equipment industry to generate business.” 
Some of the areas CESA is planning to highlight for Associations Week are:
Training: the CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional) training initiative, which is run by CESA, aims to raise professionalism throughout the industry.  On the back of the success of CFSP, CESA recently launched its Principles of Food Service (PFS) training scheme, which is aimed at newcomers to the industry. 
Influence: CESA’s expertise is highly respected – so much so that the Association regularly meets with government ministers and EU legislators to brief them about key areas, such as equipment standards, or lobby them on issues such as Brexit. 
Leadership: CESA has taken the industry lead in a variety of key matters, including sustainability, BIM and the Connected Kitchen.  In the past few months alone CESA has published guides on areas as diverse as Reducing Food Waste, Ecodesign, and Decommissioned Equipment.  The Association is regularly called on for advice – for example, it helped draft Zero Waste Scotland’s Guide to Managing Food Waste and British Water’s FOG (Fats, Oil and Grease) best practice guide. 
The bigger picture: CESA is highly respected member of EFCEM, the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers.  The Association is directly involved in the work of setting equipment standards in the EU. 
Information: through its various technical and specialist committees, CESA is able to call on a huge wealth of expertise.  The Association offers direct access to this expertise and is thus a source of relevant information and data that can’t be found simply by searching on the internet.
Events: CESA organises some of the foodservice equipment industry’s most popular and valuable annual events, including the CESA Conference and the Light Equipment and Tableware Forum, as well as a variety of special one-offs covering technical and topical areas. 

CESA welcomes 200th member #

Association reaches ‘significant milestone’ as Northern Catering Equipment joins
“A significant milestone.”  That’s how John Whitehouse, chair of CESA, describes the Association welcoming its 200th member. 
CESA celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2018.  Back in 1938, when it started as the Catering Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, it had just 12 members.  Today nearly all major catering equipment manufacturers and suppliers who operate in the UK are members, with Northern Catering Equipment (NCE) claiming the headline as number 200. 
“On the one hand, representing such a large percentage of the market is a big responsibility – at the same time, the numbers underline the value that our members place on being part of the CESA family,” says John.  “Our team works very hard to ensure they get what they pay for – information, involvement and influence.” 
To mark the 200-member milestone, CESA had a special award made, which was presented to Northern Catering Equipment.  Muhammad Romanowicz, service director at NCE, says, “CESA’s industry expertise is of great value – their support and assistance with industry regulations is very important to us.  Plus, their reputation in the catering industry means becoming a member underlines our credibility with our customers.”
In fact, 2019 is turning into a very good year for CESA, with the Association being a shortlisted finalist for two Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards. They are the Social Media Award, in recognition of the highly successful awareness strategy implemented by the Association, and the Best Event Award, for the CESA Light Equipment and Tableware Forum. 

Do you see the CE Mark? #

Alarm bells ring over safety of imported foodservice equipment

Nick Oryino, CESA technical consultant:
The CE Mark: it’s so ubiquitous it’s almost become invisible.  And that’s an issue, since on some catering equipment it IS invisible – because it’s not there.  There’s a worrying trend in the foodservice equipment industry involving importing equipment from the Far East that doesn’t have the CE Mark.  Safety has to be at the top of every distributor’s and foodservice operator’s agenda – using equipment that doesn’t have the CE Mark should set alarm bells ringing, because it is, quite simply, dangerous.  That’s why the CE Mark is mandatory. 
One issue is that distributors and their customers don’t necessarily understand what the CE Mark is and what it represents.  All commercial catering equipment sold in the EU must comply with all relevant safety Directives.  If it does, it can carry the CE Mark.  If it doesn’t comply, then it can’t carry the CE Mark and can’t be sold in the European Union. 
In all there are some 21 Directives that cover various aspects of catering equipment safety.  They include the obvious, such as the Low Voltage Directive (making sure equipment won’t electrocute anyone), the Machinery Safety Directive (ensuring it won’t cut off bits of the body) and the Gas Appliance Regulation (it won’t blow you, or anyone else, up).  Then there are slightly less obvious ones, like the Electro Magnetic Compatibility Directive, which is about equipment not damaging other appliances, and the Materials in Contact with Food Directive, which aims to ensure the appliance or product won’t transfer contaminants to food it touches. 
Manufacturers have to identify which directives apply to their equipment – they often get it checked by a third party (gas equipment HAS to be verified by a third party).   Once they are certain everything is in order, they draft a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) following which they can self-declare and put the CE Mark on the equipment. 
Of course, the key to all this is what happens if something goes wrong?  If the equipment has a CE Mark, then the manufacturer will be held liable and will have to show they had done everything possible to make the appliance safe and that they have the required technical files to demonstrate that this is the case (hence the DoC). 
However, if a distributor or operator installs and appliance that doesn’t have a CE Mark, and someone gets hurt, then they will be held liable. 
So why is this an issue now?  It’s increasingly easy to buy products direct from outside the EU.  You’d think most buyers of commercial equipment would be put off by the potential for issues with spare parts and service – but a cheap price can be a sore temptation.  What they may not realise is that they are compromising the safety not only of their staff but also their customers. 

Enforcing compliance of the CE Mark is a huge issue that CESA is lobbying the UK and EU legislators over.  For now it’s vital to remember that, if you don’t see the CE Mark on an appliance, it’s not legal, it could be dangerous and if you install it you will be liable if things go wrong.  The answer? Don’t touch it, not even with an insulated glove. 

Compass secures double at Craft Guild of Chefs Awards! #

Compass Group UK & Ireland celebrated a successful evening at the glittering Craft Guild of Chefs Awards ceremony, held on Thursday 6 June at the London Hilton, Park Lane.

Recognised as the equivalent of The Oscars for the chef industry, the Awards highlighted the UK’s most outstanding chefs across all sectors of the industry.  

Two chefs from across the business were recognised with top accolades; Ryan Hopper, from ESS Defence took home the Public Sector Chef Award while James Larkins, Chartwells, Oxford University won the Contract Catering Chef Award.

Tom Parry, Levy, Jockey Club Catering; Graham Singer, Culinary Director Scotland and Thomas Pill, Farnham Castle, The Venues Collection were also very worthy finalists at this year’s awards.

Nick Vadis, culinary director Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented on the double accolade for Compass: “The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards are extremely prestigious within our industry so to have two winners from Compass really is an exceptional achievement, especially given that contract catering and the public sector are paramount to our business.
We always strive to be the very best and having five finalists, two of which went on to win, proves that we’re continuing to excel and deliver fantastic food and service to both our clients and their customers.”

Ryan Hopper, winner of the Public Sector Chef Award enthused: “It was a real honour to be a finalist for this award, so it’s great to come away with the win. Helping develop so many chefs across the sites is very rewarding in itself, but it’s always nice to be acknowledged and it doesn’t get much better than by the Craft Guild of Chefs.”

James Larkins, Contract Catering Chef Award winner said: “The sense of achievement to be recognised by the Craft Guild is overwhelming and I’d like to thank all my senior colleagues, in particular Nick Vadis, for their support. This award is particularly special, and I dedicate it to my team, who I’m incredibly proud of, I couldn’t have won it without them. As a team, we’ve built up this contract from a blank canvas into the strong proposition it is today.”

Established in 1965 as a Guild of the Cookery and Food Association, the Craft Guild of Chefs has developed into the leading Chefs’ Association in the UK and has many members worldwide. The annual event, now in its 25th year, recognises the greatest culinary talent across the industry whether they work in a village pub, fine dining restaurant, university kitchen, contract catering, officers’ mess or develop products for national retailers.  

Cheese toastie sales inspire competition for autumnal toastie #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has seen a hugely successful launch of its Classic Toastie Range across the business. To date, it has sold a staggering 90,000 cheese toasties since the beginning of the year - in line with the continued demand for food-to-go, which is set to reach a value of £21.2bn in 2019, a growth of 3% on 2018[1].

The UK’s largest food service provider surveyed over 2,000 consumers asking them what they wanted to see more of as part of their food offer in the workplace. Findings showed that alongside healthier choices, such as salad bars and soup, toasties were also one of the most requested options. This newfound popularity inspired Compass to run its inaugural Toast Off competition, which culminated with a live cooking final at the Innovation Centre at Chertsey Headquarters.

The competition was launched company-wide to encourage employees to ‘get creative in the kitchen’ and come up with a brand new toastie recipe that could be included on the company’s Autumn menus. Each chef was tasked to include seasonal ingredients accompanied by an inspirational story behind their recipe.

Five finalists competed on the day, but Jim White, Eurest head chef at Thermo Fisher, part of the Eurest estate, created the winning dish which was aptly named ‘Autumn Crackle’ and inspired by the vivid colours, sounds and smells of the season. Bursting with flavours of crispy bacon, smashed apple chutney, smoked cheddar and fresh spinach and tomato, the winning toastie was a taste sensation. Chris Garside, managing director, Compass UK & Ireland presented Jim with a specially crafted wooden Toast Off trophy and £150 worth of vouchers.

Liz Forte, marketing director business and industry, HEFE, Compass UK & Ireland said: “We’ve spent a lot of time getting to know what consumers want in the Workplace, developing an insight-led menu solution. We’ve analysed huge amounts of data which has enabled us to create the flexible, relevant offers across our menus that customers have asked us for.

“The Toast Off event brought this to life and captured everyone’s imagination, we’ve seen some real creativity in the recipes and it’s great to see first-hand the amazingly talented chefs that we have right across our business.”

Jim White, Eurest head chef, Thermo Fisher commented: “I’m delighted to lift the Toast Off trophy for a genuine team effort. Our inspiration came from the crackle of fallen leaves on your Autumn walk, the smell of bonfires in the air, the spice of chutney made from those fallen apples all topped off with spinach and tomatoes for crispness and of course, the colour of Autumn right there in your hand. Our prize will be spent on a well-deserved team meal out, although I doubt any of us will be ordering a toastie that night!”

Competition was so stiff that it was decided that the four finalists’ creations would also make an appearance on menus as guest sandwiches for limited periods during the season. These recipes were: Mexican Meatball Meltdown, Hunter’s Chicken, New Yorker and Italian Stallion.

[1] MCA White Paper: A Focus on Food To Go In Action, 2nd May 2019

Compass appoints new managing director for B&I #

Compass Group UK & Ireland is pleased to announce the appointment of Morag Freathy as managing director for Business & Industry.

Previously Morag held the role of managing director for Eurest, a market leader in workplace catering– where she showed great leadership and results, growing top line sales. Morag has previously worked at top brands such as The Prezzo Group, Pizza Hut and Whitbread Restaurants’, bringing a consumer-focused approach to the B&I sector at Compass.  

Commenting on her priorities, Morag says: “Workplace culture is changing and with it comes the need for greater flexibility and innovation. Now more than ever, our offer needs to be able to compete with the high street as we see our consumers moving away from the traditional hot lunch and enjoying a grab and go option, often from outside the building. This challenge drives us to think more dynamically and my focus for our B&I business will be on ensuring we do just this, harnessing the skills and knowledge of our excellent teams to deliver the very best food and experience for our valued clients and consumers. I’m looking forward to sharing our stories in the coming months.”

Chris Garside, managing director Compass Group UK & Ireland says: “It’s great to welcome Morag to the Executive Leadership team at this important time for the B&I business. Workplace catering is changing at a rapid pace and Morag’s consumer experience and focus will help us to consistently deliver what our customers want – great tasting food at reasonable prices, with the very best service.”

No summer holidays for Chartwells! #

Chartwells is gearing up for the summer holidays where it will continue to deliver its impactful Holiday Provision Programme across the country. Over the summer, Chartwells aims to support over 500 children, parents and volunteers across nearly 30 workshops, in five different cities in the UK.

As part of this programme, Chartwells will be offering nutrition and cooking education with the aim of teaching children and families about the importance of food and how to cook healthy, basic dishes from scratch. In addition, nutritionists will visit lunch clubs and provide resources such as ‘cooking healthily on a budget’, Change4Life materials, Chartwells’ bespoke recipe packs and the Public Health Eatwell Guide.

In areas of need, Chartwells will also donate packaged ambient food, loose fruit and vegetables, packaged frozen food, bakery items and packaged meat, fish, eggs and dairy produce to Holiday Provision clubs during the school holidays.

Chartwells began their Holiday Provision journey in February 2018 by supporting local voluntary organisations and partnering with charities such as the Mayor’s Fund for London (Kitchen Social), Brakes (Meals and More), Transforming Lives for Good (TLG), Edinburgh City Council and the Norfolk Food Bank to deliver nutrition workshops and educational resources to families attending the holiday clubs.

Up to three million children in the UK are at risk of going hungry during the school holidays[1] and Chartwells nutritionists work closely with their public health teams, and local charitable organisations to identify the area’s most in need of holiday provision support.

Richard Taylor, managing director, Chartwells comments: “We work hard to ensure that children are receiving both nutritious and delicious food as well as food education during term time. We also recognise the importance of continuing to educate both children and their caregivers about food and nutrition during school holidays, ensuring children remain fuelled and receive the nutrition they require. By teaming up with charities and clients, we are pleased to be able to deliver this education and meal support over the six weeks break to many children across the country. I am so proud of my team and their passion to go above and beyond.”

Throughout 2018 Chartwells’ nutrition and education teams supported nearly 1,000 children, parents and volunteers across four partnerships, in five different cities in the UK. This year, Chartwells has continued their valuable work throughout the school holidays, with a focus on local and sustainable support.

Recent holiday provision activity saw Chartwells partnering with Youth First, a community benefit society, in South East London, where they delivered five cook and eat workshops to 60 young people between the ages of 4 and 19 years over the Easter holidays. Sessions were developed with three themes in mind: Driving excitement around vegetable consumption; teaching young people to ‘batch cook’; and cooking healthily on a budget. One child commented “I’ve never eaten and liked so many vegetables before!” With another adding “‘I never knew how to cut an onion, I really like cooking!”

Additionally, in St Helens, Merseyside our Chartwells nutritionists teamed up with Transforming Lives for Good (TLG), a Christian charity that supports churches to bring hope and a future to struggling children through their ‘Make Lunch’ events. Over the two visits, Chartwells delivered four workshops to more than 180 club attendees. These included: learning to make Super Snacks from Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen’s Fit Food Module – simple nutritious delicious snacks without the need for cooking and using the Smoothie Bike – where children and parents were able to make their own smoothies and take fruit and vegetables home with them to continue the fun.

Beryl, TLG coordinator & volunteer spoke of the partnership: “We can’t thank Chartwells enough for being part of our ‘Make Lunch’ events over the Easter Holidays. They did such a fantastic job and all the children, their parents and volunteers loved having them around.”

[1] Feeding Britain Report

McDonald’s commitment to higher farm animal welfare and the environment #

Deborah Hodson, commercial manager, RSPCA Assured:

On route to visiting an RSPCA Assured hen farm in Nottingham a couple of weeks ago, I stopped off at McDonald’s to grab some breakfast.  I was really impressed by a smart restaurant, with a diverse menu offering lots of choice.  After much deliberation I opted for a pork Sausage & Egg McMuffin, and it didn’t disappoint - it was delicious.  And to top it off, all the products in the McMuffin were RSPCA Assured.
Our logo was proudly displayed on the packaging clearly highlighting their commitment to higher farm animal welfare.
Well done McDonald’s!
But not only are they committed to improving farm animal welfare, they are also looking at ways to improve the environment.  One way they are doing this is by being smarter with deliveries.
Did you know that more than half of the biodiesel running their delivery trucks and lorries comes from used cooking oil?
Once they’ve cooked your meals, they don’t waste the oil.  Their entire UK delivery fleet runs on biodiesel with almost half coming from their used cooking oil.  It’s even made at a plant powered by some of their food waste.  Using this biodiesel creates
6,900 fewer tonnes of CO2 than lower sulphur diesel.
And they are trying to drive fewer miles.  The trucks that deliver their food and packaging also take away their used cooking oil, cardboard and kitchen food waste. It make good sense all round and saves them 5,000 trips a year.
Well done again McDonald’s!

Less Waste Guide from valued member of RSPCA Assured scheme #

 L J Fairburn’s are a highly proactive and dynamic egg producer.  They are active members of the RSPCA Assured, higher welfare farm assurance scheme.  As a multi- award winning family farm business that has been around for over 60 years they produce over 17 million eggs a week!!
They hate to see good eggs go to waste and have a few tips they’d like to pass on to alleviate the wastage of eggs that are just too good to go...

Cracking ideas to reduce egg waste

The UK wastes a shocking 720 million eggs each year – with 29 percent of the British public stating they throw away eggs because they’re past their best before date. According to the recent Too Good to Go report, only 23 per cent of Britons are aware of how to test an egg for freshness. However, eggs can remain fresh long after the best before date shown on the packaging. Here at Fairburn’s, we’ve decided to make an egg guide, to help you understand when an egg is still ok to eat, and the many ways to preserve them.
The freshness test: All you need is a bowl of cold water. Place the egg in the water: if it sinks to the bottom, it is still fresh – despite what its best before date might show – and if the egg floats, it is no longer fresh. Always add the shell and the box to the compost bin.

Using up leftover eggs
If you’re worried about your egg wastage, here are some easy ways to reuse and preserve:
1.  Pickling Eggs: Hard-boil your eggs until cooked, then peel off the shell and place them in a sterilised jar containing a vinegar and salt solution, along with some herbs and spices of your choice. This quick and easy solution may preserve your eggs for up to four months.

2.  Freezing Eggs:  Yes, believe it or not, it is possible freeze eggs! However, always make sure you only freeze fresh eggs. Break the eggs out of their shells into a container before freezing. It is best to freeze the yolks and the egg whites separately as frozen yolks can become gelatinous. When freezing yolks, add half a teaspoon of salt or sugar (depending on what you're going to use them for later) to stop them going sticky. Use frozen eggs within 3 months and make sure they are fully thawed before using for frying, scrambling and poaching.

3.  Using egg shells:  Egg shells are incredibly versatile and can be used in numerous ways, such as an ingredient in a face mask and as a plant fertiliser. If ground down into a fine powder, they can even be added to food for some extra calcium!

4.  Store in the fridge and place point down:  This easy method of storage can increase the lifespan of your egg considerably. When eggs are kept point down, the tiny air bubble in the egg has less chance of rupturing, meaning your egg will stay fresher for longer.

5.  Use as pet food:  Eggs can be a fantastic source of protein for your pets. Just boil your soon-to-be out of date eggs and mix in with your pet’s food.

Check out our amazing egg recipes for some inspiring ideas to use up eggs and reduce wastage today!

Britvic invests in independent customers with brand new features for sensational drinks programme #

- Britvic is transforming its Sensational Drinks programme into a one stop shop to help independent operators save time, reduce cost and build sales
- Independent outlets will be able to use the site to help drive sales with ranging advice, recipe inspiration and promotional material, and can also help grow their business with access to free sample packs and marketing advice
- The new-look hub will help busy operators with practical hints & tips and easily accessible support and guidance 

Sensational Drinks, the free business support trade programme from Britvic, is re-launching this month with a new look digital platform designed to help independent operators save time, reduce costs and build sales with exciting brand new features.
The Sensational Drinks programme was originally set up to support licensees with information ahead of the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Since then, the platform has evolved to offer further advice, point of sale material and recipe inspiration to equip operators with a wealth of information. The new-look website will help deliver a wider range of practical tools, advice and digestible content for busy operators.
Designed by customers and championed by Britvic, the unique platform offers independent operators a range of great support in one place, with new features rolling out across the summer including:
- Promotional support and free case offers throughout the year
- Free sample taster packs across Britvic’s most iconic brands with a ‘try before you buy’ principle
- Marketing advice articles for pubs and bars across a range of different topics including how to use social media effectively, and getting your venue summer ready
- Menuology advice to ensure operators are getting the most out of their food and drink menus
- Best practice guidance for building the perfect food and drink range, plus, food and drink pairing tools and the latest trends
- New inspirational drinks recipes and recipe videos from leading mixologists
- Food & Drink menu maker tool which will go live later in 2019 

Florence Brain, channel operations director, out of home, at Britvic, comments: "Having spent significant time with independent customers, we know that it’s not always easy to get access to the right support, tools and insight that will help them to stay ahead of the competition. With the Sensational Drinks platform we aim to make it a lot easier for them to get in contact with Britvic and directly gain access to the support they need, across all product categories, instantly and in one place. We are looking to continually evolve the site for independent customers by bringing new exclusive support, promotion, advice and services to help grow and develop their business.”
The Sensational Drinks website will continue to offer licensees the chance to order a wide range of support materials to help them to sell Britvic brands. Additionally operators will also be able to get their hands on one of four specially selected sample taster packs at, enabling them to try a range of Britvic products carefully chosen to match their particular style of outlet.

CH&CO recognised for its Social Impact & Diversity #

It was a great night for CH&CO at the Footprint Awards 2019.  The caterer was awarded the Social Impact & Diversity Award for championing inclusivity, giving back to the community and facilitating employment opportunities within our industry.

Earlier this year, CH&CO achieved Disability Confident Leader status for its commitment to employing, supporting and promoting disabled people in the workplace and encouraging others to also become Disability Confident. It was its work to achieve and maintain this status and its ongoing support of disability awareness that led to winning this fantastic award.

CH&CO has, for example, a close relationship with Foxes Academy, the only specialist catering college and training hotel for young adults with learning disabilities. Foxes Academy gives them opportunities, skills, knowledge and confidence to find sustainable employment in the hospitality sector and to live independently.  To date, it's hosted work placements for students at its sites, delivered its World Class Customer Service Training to the teachers and hosted a group of students on its training roadshows.

Terry Waldron, COO, CH&CO, said: “We’re thrilled and incredibly proud to have won this award. Inclusivity and accessibility are important to our business and culture. We support talented young people of all abilities to go into the world with skills, confidence and a hunger to succeed.  Our Disability Confident Leader status, together with this award, gives us a strong platform to inspire other hospitality and catering companies, becoming a catalyst for change.”

CH&CO's Liam Hatcher is named an Acorn Award Winner 2019! #

Congratulations to Liam Hatcher, CH&CO's Senior Regional Trainer, who has been named a 2019 Acorn Award winner.

For 33 years, the annual Acorn Awards, which are run by The Caterer, have recognised and celebrated 30 of the industry’s most talented stars aged under 30. Liam became a member of this exclusive club thanks to his exceptional career achievements and contribution to the industry to date.

At a special awards lunch on Monday 17 June, Lisa Jenkins, the products and supplier editor for The Caterer, read the following citation that gives a snapshot of Liam’s success to date:

“Liam Hatcher is a senior regional trainer for CH&CO and started his career in hospitality supervising the £15,000 a day “turnover restaurant at Leeds Castle in Kent. In 2014, he joined CH&CO as conference & banqueting manager, responsible for £230,000 turnover. By 2017, he’d moved over into a regional trainer role for the them and combining his operational and people skills to enhance customer service earned a promotion to senior regional trainer in early 2018. Liam is now responsible for training and HR across 60% of the business and his company-wide bespoke training programme, World Class Customer Service Skills, has been certified as an industry-recognised qualification. Liam is a Springboard ambassador, supports The Prince’s Trust and delivers training at Foxes Academy the catering and training hotel for young adults with learning disabilities.”

Terry Waldron, COO of CH&CO and an Acorn Award alumnus herself, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Liam and he absolutely deserves this award. He has achieved so much so early in his career thanks to his flair, hard work, ambition and determination to push boundaries and always do better. Hospitality runs through his blood and he’s a great example to us all. Liam has a very bright future ahead of him.

“Inspiring and nurturing emerging talent is important for everyone and CH&CO is proud to partner The Caterer as sponsor of these uplifting awards. We met 30 brilliant future leaders of hospitality at the Acorn Award Winners’ weekend. They are a dynamic bunch and I’m confident that our wonderful industry is in very safe hands.”

As part of the Acorn Awards 2019 celebrations, Liam took part in a fun winners’ weekend at Coworth Park Hotel, that saw the Acorns class of 2019 bond over activities including team building exercises and a special dinner.

Read more about the Acorn Award 2019 winners here

CH&CO Independent makes its mark at City Kids School Food Awards #

CH&CO Independent’s schools made a real impact at the inaugural City Kids School Food Awards, with six awards in total.

The awards recognise and celebrate the great work of schools and their kitchen teams and continue the conversation around healthy eating. They spotlight schools that are providing catering excellence and thinking beyond meat and potatoes.

The judges made their decision based on first-hand experience of the food in the schools and the knowledge and flair of the school catering teams. Congratulations to the following CH&CO Independent teams and individuals who wowed the judges with their fantastic menus, hard work, knowledge, enthusiasm and unwavering dedication to the wellbeing of children:

School Dinner Hero – Highly Commended: Mike Worters, development chef at Fulham Prep
Best Vegetarian Menu – Highly Commended: Fulham Prep
Best School Menu – Highly Commended: Fulham Prep
Best School Menu Secondary – Winner: Lambrook School
Best School Menu Primary – Runner-up: Falcons Pre-Preparatory School
Best School Menu Primary – Highly Commended: Fulham Prep

Deborah Homshaw, Managing Director of CH&CO Independent, said: “Congratulations to all our teams on their success in City Kids School Food Awards. They work incredibly hard to make food and mealtimes fun and inspire a lifelong love of good food, pushing boundaries and creating dining experiences that children want to enjoy. The physical and emotional wellbeing of the children in our schools is incredibly important to us and this recognition is testament to the delicious and uplifting experiences our team create. I’m very proud of them.”

Principals by CH&CO is a proud sponsor of Young Cooks! #

Eating well is an important life skill and one that every child has a right to learn. Principals by CH&CO celebrates good food and gives children the opportunity and confidence to see, smell, taste, feel and get hands on with different ingredients. That’s why it jumped at the chance of sponsoring the Young Cooks competition.

Young Cooks is organised by the children’s educational charity Inspire Schools, which operates in Kent as the KM Charity Team. The exciting cookery competition is designed to inspire children aged 6-19, from London, Kent and Sussex, to get creative in the kitchen.

With three categories to choose from, Primary School, Secondary School and Family, the MasterChef-style event encourages children and families to embrace the joy of cooking, whilst learning important life skills such as healthy eating, budgeting, lifestyle choices and seasonal, local produce.

There are cash prizes for the winners of each category, and a top prize of £200 for the overall champion.

Peter McKenna, sales director for Principals by CH&CO, took part in the official launch of the competition at Chequers Kitchen Cookery School in Deal. He went head to head with fellow judges in a challenge to create the best bacon, maple and spring onion scones. Head chef Pieter Van Zyl put them through their paces giving a taste of what’s in store for Young Cooks finalists.

Peter said: “Young Cooks is a fantastic competition and we’re thrilled to be a sponsor. Our mission in all the schools that we work with is to make food fun for everyone, whilst teaching important life skills and the importance of nutritious food and cooking. It doesn’t get much more fun than getting stuck in and letting your creativity run wild in the kitchen! I certainly enjoyed baking with fellow judges at the launch. As the Garden of England, Kent is blessed with an abundance of delicious produce throughout the year, so the children should have plenty of inspiration.

“In our schools we encourage families to cook together through family cookery workshops, so it’s great to see that Young Cooks celebrates this too. I urge all schools, youth groups, parents, grandparents and guardians to get involved and encourage children and families to experience the joy and benefits that cooking, and cooking together, can bring. I wish everyone entering the very best of luck.”

Entrants are required to cook one or two dishes – depending on competition category – and upload a photograph and recipe details to the Young Cooks website. The simple online entry form is to be completed before midnight on 7 November. Parents, guardians or teachers can assist in completing the online form.

Finalists will be invited to cook their signature dishes at a MasterChef-style cook-off which will be held at East Kent College in November.

Any entries received by September 1 will go into a prize draw to win a pair of Eurostar tickets.

For more details, to request free promotional leaflets, or to enter, visit or contact Hannah Hawksworth at or on 0844 264 0291.