New and exciting show features were a huge attraction this year; Business Bootcamp saw hundreds of visitors engage in thought-provoking seminars over the three days, all eager to hear from the commercial masters and gain vital knowledge to shape their businesses. The Westminster Kingsway College students impressed with their ‘tapas’ inspired menu in Lunch@TRS with over 600 covers being served and High Tea held in Lunch@TRS was a welcomed addition to the show, proving a sparkling success.
The Competition Theatre turned up the heat with its line up of exceptional talent and finalists battled it out, all eager to prove that they’re at the top of their game.
• Champagne Jacquart kicked off the contests as it put chef-and-sommelier teams through their paces to clinch the Rising Stars trophy. Eight teams went head to head to create a three-course menu, each matched to a Champagne Jacquart cuvee, demonstrating teamwork and knowledge between chefs and sommeliers. The top prize was awarded to duo chef Lindsay Mackay and sommelier Tobias Wetzler from The Carnegie Club, Skibo Castle in Scotland. Leonid Semakin and Matthew Mawtus from 1 Lombard Street, London were runners up
• The Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) and Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) awards dominated the theatre on day two. Showcasing sheer skill, passion and immense talent, the eight NCOTY finalists were tasked to create a three-course meal from a mystery basket of ingredients in only two hours. Working under enormous pressure, it was Frederick Forster, head chef, Nuovo Restaurant in London who clinched the most sought after title in the UK cheffing sphere, closely followed by Alyn Williams, chef-patron, The Westbury, London and Hayden Groves, executive chef, Avenance at Lloyd’s of London in second and third places respectively. The YNCOTY again saw eight ambitious young chefs demonstrate exceptional talent to impress the panel of judges. In the end, the top prize was awarded to Charles Smith of Marcus Wareing at The Berkley, London
• Compass Group chefs competed on the final day, to secure the Compass Junior and Senior Chef of the Year titles. Eight finalists in each group were tasked with creating a three- and four-course meal respectively to reflect the company’s culinary heritage. After months of cook-offs and tough competition in the live finals, the awards were presented to Lee Warren (Junior) and Leszek Karpinski (Senior) both from Haileybury College, Chartwells.
Centre Stage was buzzing with some of the world’s most high profile and esteemed chefs on the culinary scene today. Hosted in association with Restaurant magazine, the stage came alive as industry heavy-weights, including Michelin-starred Sat Bains, Elena Arzak, Simon Rogan, Bruno Loubet and Ashley Palmer-Watts, shared secret tips and advice, served up rousing master classes and demonstrated a feast of exceptional dishes.
Innovation and new product launches also eclipsed those of previous years and exhibitor and visitor feedback has been phenomenal. Here is just a little of what visitors and exhibitors had to say:
Ashley Palmer-Watts, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal: “For me, The Restaurant Show is the best thing. When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I used to come up from Dorset to visit The Restaurant Show; to see the chefs and others to get inspiration, to see what they were doing and how they cooked, and that was amazing! That’s really the reason for me getting involved with the Show today because it’s about inspiring these guys.”
Chris Underhill, CEO iVoucher, Business Bootcamp speaker : “The Restaurant Show is an excellent platform for launching our service beyond London. We’ve seen very large numbers of restaurateurs from all over the country who definitely see the value of acquiring and retaining customers. This show allowed us to reach this audience at a level beyond our expectations.”
Nigel Crane, Essential Cuisine: “So far, this year has surpassed our expectations. There is a wonderful buzz about the Show. The Show has a lot of interesting things to see, new concepts and new ideas in foodservice.”
Chris Galvin, Galvin Restaurants:
Tim Atkin, MW, Drinks Quarter speaker: “It’s fantastic to come to a show where you can talk about wine and food together; both through demonstrations with clients but also by talking to restaurateurs and bar owners. I have also loved the opportunity to convey my passion about wine in a theatre setting.”
William Welch, Studio William: “The Restaurant Show is an important platform to meet existing and new customers in the industry. The footfall is good and the visitors are very relevant. The Centre Stage offered lots of great chefs which is a draw to the show. We launched a new product to which we’ve had a great response and, as our brand continues to gain maturity in the market, The Restaurant Show continues to be a great platform for us.”
Ronan Sayburn, Hotel Du Vin Group: “I visit every year. You find a great combination of products, information and networking with sommeliers, bar staff, Front of House, chefs etc - everything is covered. For the hotelier and restaurateur, The Restaurant Show is the most important show to visit.”
Richard Alexander Smyth, Sales and Marketing Director, Danmade: “It was a great platform to showcase our products and illustrate how they can create a sense of theatre and excitement for any occasion in restaurants or bars.”
Summarising the success of this year’s show and reinforcing the exhibitor and visitor applauds, Rachel Quigley, Event Director, The Restaurant Show adds: “What a great three days. The Restaurant Show 2011 really captured the momentum and excitement of the restaurant and foodservice industry here in the UK. We’re all operating in a complex and challenging business environment at the moment and I felt everyone involved in the Show, from exhibitors and sponsors to visitors, our guests and the team put all their energy and focus into the event to create a fantastic buzz at Earls Court. We look forward to growing from here and are already hard at work building a truly exciting Show for 2012.”
While the 2011 Show may have drawn to a close, preparations for next year’s event are already in motion. Having cemented its reputation as the only destination where suppliers, restaurateurs and industry leaders can interact and share all that is new and innovative, The Restaurant Show team are already planning an event that builds on the success of 2011.
For information on The Restaurant Show 2012 (8th – 10th October) or to book your stand, please contact Rachel Quigley, Event Director on +44 (0) 1293 610 450 or Elizabeth Rigden, +44 (0)
Notes to Editors
For press information contact Niki Duncan at Galvanise Communications
M: 07899 730 162
T: 020 8870 6782
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Galvanise Communications is a boutique PR & Communications agency specialising in lifestyle, food and drink.