The Restaurant Show 2016
Following its move to Olympia last year The Restaurant Show is now firmly established as one of the major industry events in the calendar and now includes the Pub & Bar Show and Conscious Hospitality Show and of course the National Chef of the Year competition. I visited the show today to see what is new in hospitality, to do some networking and also get a day out of the office. Hosting the event at Olympia definitely provides more space and there were lots of exhibits in all categories from the latest equipment, Epos systems, tableware, craft beers, charcuterie from Argentina and much much more.
The National Chef of the Year and Young National Chef of the Year are both now very well established and respected competitions and the standard gets higher every year.
Congratulations to this year’s winners the lovely Ruth Hansom from the Ritz and James Devine from Eipic. The live stage featured dems from James Whetlor, Cabrito Goat Meat and Farm Africa and Nuno Mendes and Patrick Powell from Chiltern Firehouse and the International Wine Challenge showcased over 800 wines and sake new to the UK.
Investment, creativity and innovation in hospitality have never been as strong as they are today and leading the way this year were definitely the Craft Beer movement.
These urban micro breweries have totally transformed their market sector creating individual stylish new products that add a gourmet level to the real ale movement and outshine your regular pint by miles. London Beer Factory, Jaw Brew, Long Arm Brewing Co and Wimbledon Brewery to name a few.
On the other hand coffee, which has enjoyed a fabulous renaissance and upgrade over the past few years, now seems to have gone too far. Cold Brew, Nitro Coffee, Total dissolvable solids….yeah do we really need all this?
Tea has been left behind so I am predicting that this will be the next big thing. Bone Daddies Shakfuyu Matcha ice-cream has become one of the most instagrammed dishes in London and with this leading the way more has to follow.
One I was delighted to see and taste today was Flora Teas hand tied green teas which are both delicious and beautiful. Drink more Tea!
However the overwhelming feeling on leaving the show today was the amount of time and money spent creating clever, mass produced, visually appealing, ready made food and chef products that real chefs just don’t need, 18 types of Mozzarella, pretty white Chinese feather mushrooms that look great in the punnet raw but have no flavour, texture or presence when cooked. So no culinary value whatsoever. Oh yes and my personal favourite this year Yumpingo (great name too)
menu analytics the instant feedback app…most of us can’t handle a bad Tripadvisor review….no thank you.