A 30th anniversary to remember

 As another year of The Restaurant Show comes to an end, we take a look over the three action-packed days at some of the highlights which blended together to make an unforgettable show. From the 400+ exhibitors who made the journey to Olympia London, to the thousands of visitors, impressive speakers, and prestigious competitions, the 30th anniversary show will be remembered and re-lived for years to come.

WORLD-CLASS SPEAKERS

 The Stage was occupied with endless talent and expertise over The Restaurant Show’s three days and captivated the heart of the audience with tales of tenacity, topical debates and interviews with some of the world’s top culinary names. 

Renowned industry chefs took to the sofas to discuss their journey to stardom. Tom Kerridge was one of the highlights of the show who spoke of his new restaurant venture in the City of London:

“We are now three weeks in and I can’t thank Kerridge’s Bar and Grill enough for giving me the opportunity to be a real chef again.”

Tom was joined by many other recognisable names including Midsummer House Chef Patron, Daniel Clifford, Ruth Hansom, Executive Chef of Hansom Lambert and Neil Ranking, Owner of Temper Restaurants.

Mauro Colagreco, two Michelin Star Chef Patron of Mirazur restaurant, named third best restaurant in the world by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, also held a fascinating session on the final day showcasing Jaen Extra Virgin Olive Oils. He created a chocolate dessert with piquant flavours that evoke Jaen’s natural beauty and explains why Jaen produces a fifth of the world’s olive oil. 

The Stage also hosted Ryan Chetiyawardana from Dandelyan, recently voted The World’s Best Bar in the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards. Ryan demonstrated how cocktails and high-end cuisine is in fact, a match made in heaven.

GOING THE EXTRA MILE

Eight months after the Craft Guild of Chefs began its hunt for the most talented chefs in the UK, Kuba Winkowski, head chef from The Feathered Nest Inn was crowned the new The National Chef of the Year on day two of the show.

Chair of judges for The National Chef of the Year and executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Gary Jones said:

“Kuba was frustrated after last year, not because he didn’t win but because he wanted to be better. He’s gone away and thought about what he could achieve with real determination, ambition and competitive spirit. He’s sharper and fitter than he’s ever been so he could be the best chef possible and he absolutely deserved to win today.”

Second place was claimed by George Blogg, head chef at Gravetye Manor, with Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle taking the final podium place.

 Henry Wadsworth, chef de partie from Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons was also announced as The Young National Chef of the Year winner whilst Aaron Middleton, sous chef from Hide Above and Conner Farrer, chef de partie from The Ritz in London took second and third place.

During the winner’s ceremony there was the announcement of an extremely special award named the ‘Extra Mile’, dedicated to Matt Campbell who entered The Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Chef of the Year competition but sadly passed away whilst running the London Marathon earlier in the year.

Each year a chef will be recognised and awarded the Extra Mile for their dedication to taking on the role of being an ambassador for the hospitality industry. This year, second place winner George Blogg took home the award.

The Restaurant Show also played host to the Copa Jerez, Kikkoman Masters, and Compass Chef of the Year competitions. Alan Bednarski stole the show for Copa Jerez and will now compete in the international final, whilst Fergus Wilford claimed first place in the Kikkoman Masters competition.

The Compass Senior Chef of the Year was awarded to Daniel Lines, whilst Maximilian Judges-Briggs was crowned Junior Chef of the Year. Sophie White also grabbed top spot for Apprentice Chef of the Year.

MORE THAN JUST AN EXHIBITOR STAND

 Amongst the 400+ exhibitors who used The Restaurant Show as a platform to demonstrate what makes them different to competitors was a huge variety of food, drink, services, furnishings and equipment suppliers.

Filling the room with mouth-watering smells throughout the show were the many cooking demonstrations and tasting sessions. From macaroon making with Rational and duck cooking demonstrations with SousVide through to over 1000 shots of Chambord, the tastings and live cooking demos played an integral part of the three days.

In addition to the variety of food and drink on offer, there were product launches, equipment demos and a whole load of interior inspiration. Amongst many exhibitors who returned for 2018 was Lockhart Catering Equipment who revealed the product awards as part of the Catering Equipment Expo.

The awards were broken down into the products most suitable for starters, mains, buffet, desserts and drinks. Starters was claimed by Crème Jouet Bowls, buffet was awarded to Churchill Lotus, Steelite Craft Liquorice took home first place for main course whilst Artisan Trevorne stole desserts, and Arcoroc Hiball Cans was awarded drinks winner.

Barsys Automated Cocktail Maker was also a popular attraction at the show. The revolutionary intelligent cocktail machine delighted visitors with over 2000+ readymade cocktail recipes at the click of a button. Barsys spent the show demonstrating how they are changing mixology as we know it.

 SUSTAINABILITY AT THE HEART

Not forgetting the Great New Idea Award, which recognises outstanding innovations each year, claimed by Bottle Glass to Sand whose unique reduction system in dealing with non-returnable bottle waste was brilliantly deserving for its dedication to the environment.

Keeping with the theme of sustainability were the all-important National Chef of the Year judges’ and competitor jackets worn throughout the show. Continental Chef Supplies provided the jackets which were part of the Chefs Against Plastic Waste (CAPW) campaign and made from plastic bottles fished from the UK coastline.

Douglas McMaster who took to the stage on the final day with his partner Ryan Cheti aka Mr Lyan also shared his inspirational and ethical journey to setting up his restaurant, Silo Brighton. Douglas explained that in building the restaurant his focus was quite simply to not have a bin. He told how every decision he made, including the location, was directly related to his zero-waste policy and desire to innovate the food industry whilst demonstrating respect to the way food is generated.

Wrapping up the three sustainable days was City Harvest London whose fantastic work collecting all of the leftover food from the show was able to be donated to many organisations providing meals to vulnerable people around London. This includes homeless shelters, soup kitchens, after school programmess, centres for veterans, and organisations that assist people with alcohol or drug addictions.

BACK AGAIN NEXT YEAR 

Exhibitors and visitors alike are now returning home with valuable insight into some of the latest trends, industry statistics and inspiration, as well as lots of new connections. Many exhibitors have already booked their spots for next year.

Sales and Marketing Director of Zonal, Clive Consterdine, explains why the show is a must-attend event: “To innovate you’ve got to be aware of what’s going on and that’s even more important because from one year to another, things are changing at a terrific pace, so I think being at a show like this gives you that opportunity.”

The Restaurant Show featuring Bar & Pub and Catering Equipment Expo returns to Olympia London next year on 30th September - 2nd October. Make sure you are keeping up-to-date with all the latest news on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by following @restaurantshow (#TRS2018).