Last month saw catering equipment manufacturer Welbilt embark on a study tour across the pond in partnership with University Hospitality Seminars.
Bringing together 13 delegates from UK universities, as well as suppliers and chefs, the trip provided insight into upcoming food and beverage trends, from locations such as the University of South Florida in Tampa, a back of house tour of a Royal Caribbean cruise liner and a vegan food trek in Miami.
The University of South Florida tour provided an opportunity for delegates to understand the catalyst for current US trends, some of which could potentially find their way to the UK in the coming months. There are 25 food outlets across the campus in Tampa which serve over 4m meals per year, in an array of different cuisines.
Delegates were also given a technology-inspired workshop within the Welbilt HQ which demonstrated how such food trends could be accessible when using its Merrychef, Convotherm, Garland and Frymaster brands.
During the workshop, delegates were given live cooking demonstrations inspired by the menu items at the University of South Florida which highlighted how these different dishes could be produced when using the equipment.
Other tour activities included discovering sustainable fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and a back of house glimpse on the world’s largest cruise liner, The Symphony of the Seas.
Attendee Stuart Kennedy, head chef at Lancaster University commented: “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have learned so much during the week I spent with Welbilt on the Study Tour. It was an inspirational experience!
“It has provided me with a much greater understanding of the Welbilt culinary portfolio, such as the fantastic Merrychef, Convotherm and Frymaster brands, and an insight into their creation and use. It was great to be able to see first-hand and in such a remarkable location how they can assist with my cooking needs back at the University of Lancaster.”
Host of the trip, Andy Daniels, culinary lead and brand specialist at Welbilt, added: “It was a fantastic study tour and demonstrated how inspiring and innovative university catering can be.
“This vibrant and progressive sector is at the forefront of introducing new food trends to the market so for the delegates, it was a great opportunity to not only see this first hand, but to discuss and bounce-ideas off of one another whilst in the very heart of such cutting-edge outlets.
“We were delighted to host this trip in partnership with University Hospitality Seminars and demonstrate how together, both Welbilt and universities can diversify food offerings within UK universities.”