Catering Insight returns to ask dealers the big questions at Commercial Kitchen

Catering Insight editor Clare Nicholls has hosted panel debates every year at Commercial Kitchen.

At this year’s Commercial Kitchen trade show, Clare Nicholls, editor of Catering Insight, will once again lead a panel of some the country’s most influential kitchen project experts, this time giving their take on recent design developments. 

Catering Insight has backed the exhibition since its inception in 2016, with Nicholls hosting key debates in the onsite theatre at the show’s theatre in the Birmingham NEC each year.

This year the event takes place on 5-6 June, and at 12.30pm on Tuesday 5th, Nicholls will be chairing a discussion entitled ‘Big questions for kitchen houses’.

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Brought to Commercial Kitchen thanks to CEDA, the debate’s panellists include CEDA chairman and director of Inox Equip, Mark Kendall; Anna McNamara, MD of Catering Equipment Solutions (Peterborough); Jack Sharkey, owner and MD of Vision Commercial Kitchens; and CEDA’s southern region chair Cathy Wilcox, MD of Wilcox Burchmore.

Sharkey said: “Having a show dedicated to the commercial equipment market, showcasing suppliers’ new products and innovations, is great. Even more so that it’s centrally located, which means more of my staff, including designers, estimators and my technical project sales team, can attend – allowing them to keep abreast of new developments.”

Subsequently, at 2pm on the same day, Nicholls will follow up by leading CEDA’s Award Winning Kitchen Design panel, which will unite this year’s CEDA Grand Prix Award winners of Best Small, Best Medium and Best Large Projects to discuss their cutting edge commercial kitchen design and execution. The panellists will be announced after the awards on 27 April.

Nicholls commented: “Commercial Kitchen is an essential show for the UK catering equipment community, and I am excited to once again be able to host these key debates that dealers really shouldn’t miss.

“With the sector changing so rapidly, the Commercial Kitchen seminar programme provides an indispensable forum to discuss how a cross section of the industry can keep up with the latest developments.”

As in previous years, visitors will also be able to view (and be inspired by) all the shortlisted entries from the 2018 awards in the CEDA Awards Gallery, located near the show’s entrance.

CEDA director general Adam Mason added: “CEDA is delighted to be involved at the highest level with Commercial Kitchen, returning as lead partner for 2018.

“As the UK’s only show dedicated to the commercial kitchen industry, it provides a great opportunity for CEDA partners to showcase their equipment to CEDA members and end users, who are looking for the latest innovations in professional catering equipment in one place. We strongly encourage all our members to visit.”

The event has more than doubled its association partners this year, with returning bodies CEDA, FCSI and the Hospital Catering Association (HCA) being joined by UKHospitality; The Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association (PAPA); The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association/Café Life Association; British Institute of Innkeeping (BII); National Association of Care Catering (NACC); and Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

Many of the associations are also set to host dedicated keynote sessions that focus specifically on the kitchen or back of house.

The FCSI will be bringing a ‘Big questions for consultants’ discussion to the show’s theatre, covering managing food waste, shrinking commercial kitchen footprints and working with an increasingly younger, more diversified operator base. Chaired by Michael Jones, editor of FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant Magazine, the debate will feature panellists including Julian Edwards, chairman of FCSI (UK&I) and owner of Food Service Allergen Management, and Matthew Merritt-Harrison FCSI, managing partner of Merritt-Harrison Catering Consultancy.

While Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the newly formed UKHospitality, will chair a panel of leading operators discussing the growth potential for the hospitality industry and, in turn, commercial kitchens in the UK.

Hosted by the BSA and Café Life Association, a ‘Compact Kitchens’ discussion will include Tyron Stephens-Smith, creative and project director at TAG UK and Martyn Clover, head of food at fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, Tortilla. They will debate the considerations and best practices when it comes to operating innovative, efficient and ergonomic kitchens in smaller spaces.

Stephens-Smith will also be involved in the Perfect Pizza Kitchen Panel, hosted by PAPA, along with Jane Treasure, food and beverage director at PizzaExpress, Tom Mullin, executive chef at Pizza Pilgrims and Marco Fuso, founder of London International Pizza School. These panellists will debate the must haves, in terms of equipment and design, to turn a good kitchen into the perfect pizza and Italian restaurant kitchen.

Furthermore, the HCA will host a panel entitled ‘Building Better Kitchens in Hospitals’. The HCA’s national chair Stewart McKenzie will be joined in this session by representatives from the NACC (Roger Denton, national secretary) and CEDA (Mark Kendall, chairman). The panel will be chaired by Phil Shelley (immediate past chair of the HCA) and will also feature NHS hospital trusts consultant Andy Jones, chair of PS100.

Other theatre sessions include an exclusive headline keynote interview with Alasdair Murdoch, CEO of Burger King UK, on the opening day of the show.

While Paul Dickinson, director of food at Fuller, Smith & Turner, will head up a panel discussion on pub kitchens and is also appearing in the ‘Solid Fuel Panel’ session – examining the benefits and considerations of cooking with solid fuel. He’ll be joined in the latter by Nick Howe, MD of Court Catering Equipment, Neil Rankin, owner of BBQ-meat restaurant temper, and James Douglas, co-founder and director at Red’s True Barbecue.

Event manager Katie Tyler said: “Our association partners represent tens of thousands of professionals working across the hospitality and foodservice industry. We’re delighted with their support and together they’ve been helping us to develop an even stronger event for 2018. We look forward to welcoming their members and partners to Commercial Kitchen for 2 days of unrivalled product launches, innovation, free education and networking.”

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