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August 2016: Welcome
Where have the last three months gone? Although they seem to have flown by, we’ve packed a lot in.
The National Chef of the Year semi-finals have come and gone and we have our 10 finalists ready for the Restaurant Show on 4 October, along with the line-up of talented young chefs in the junior competition. The sponsors’ lunch took place at Grocers’ Hall in the City of London, where we had a very educational talk on the history of the Worshipful Company of Grocers, followed by great food and wine prepared by Stephen Reid and his team.
Shortly after the nation decided to vote leave in the EU Referendum, the Nestlé Professional Toque d’ Or awards lunch at the Dorchester became something of a political platform to share your thoughts and opinions with your table guests. That said, the focus of the event was not distracted from the achievements of the team from University College Birmingham who were the 2016 winners.
Last month I had the pleasure of presenting Clare Smyth with her Chef Award at the Cateys. What a great evening that was, a real who’s who of industry greats with more than 1,200 guests attending the awards dinner at the Grosvenor.
From London is was straight to Sheffield for the annual Skills for Chefs Conference then back to London to judge the British Turkey Awards again; seems a little odd to be eating several roast turkeys in the middle of July!
Had a great committee meeting in back in June at Taste of London, with a Champagne reception followed by copious amounts of food and drink from some fantastic restaurants on site at Regent’s Park.
Our July committee meeting was hosted by Aryzta, one of our business partners, near Covent Garden with great hospitality in an equally great location. We are now busy looking at venues for our November business partners’ lunch, also at an interesting business partnership trip in September.
Talking of business partners, we would welcome as many possible to attend our upcoming Universal Cookery and Food Festival in September as it’s a unique opportunity to network with hundreds of chefs in a very rare and relaxed environment at Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire.
We are fast approaching holiday season so if you are getting away, have a great break.