This week we attended the 14th annual Skills for Chefs Conference held in the brand new state-of-the-art catering wing at Sheffield College.
The two day conference included Master Classes and presentations from Guest Chefs:
Tom Kitchin, Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Mick Burke, Aiden Byrne, John Jackaman on Day One, and Steve Smith, Bryn Williams, Lisa Allen, Rupert Rowley and Michael Wignall on the second day.
It was great to see all the demonstrations but was particularly impressed with Rupert Rowley's Cannelloni crab dish.
All in all what a fantastic conference.
The conference ended with a 5 course meal at the Gala Dinner. It was great to see our friends at Sheffield College, Mick Burke, Len Unwin and David McKown. What a spectacular evening we had, great food, company and let's not forget the wine.
Gram were pleased to sponsor the NACC Care Cook of the Year final this week which was held at Unilever's Knorr Kitchen in Leatherhead. There were six finalists competing for this year's crown, and the standard was exceptionally high. Each finalist had to reproduce their winning menus from the regional heats held earlier in the year.
It was a great event and a justified reward for the winner Malcolm Shipton from Wren Hall Nursing Home who was representing the Midlands Regions. A huge congratulations to Malcolm and the Midlands region who have triumphed to victory for the 2nd year running.
Well done to all the finalists that were competing it was great to see such an exceptional level of care home catering.
Café Spice Namaste Crowned Green Champion of the Year
Our competition to find the most environmentally conscious restaurant in the UK has now closed and we are thrilled to announce that Café Spice Namaste has been crowned our Green Champion of the Year!
To make the important decision, we appointed an independent judging panel, formed of representatives from Eat Out, Foodservice Footprint and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, who were all impressed with the high standard of entries. The panel chose Café Spice Namaste as overall winner because of the great lengths proprietor Cyrus Todiwala has gone to in putting sustainability at the top of his agenda for the restaurant. Cyrus walks away from the competition with £5,000 worth of our ETL listed equipment.
Due to the high level of entries, the judges couldn’t decide on just one runner up, and so named two. Both the Green Dragon in Lavington, Wiltshire, and Ruddyglow Park Country Hose in Sutherland Scotland, were both thrilled to receive a highly sought after copy of Rene Redzepi's book 'Noma, Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine', the restaurant recently crowned winner of the 2011 World’s Best Restaurant award. A big well done to the Green Dragon and Ruddyglow Park.
We would like to thank everyone that took the time to enter the competition, which goes hand in hand with the publication of our Restaurant and Pub edition of the Gram Green Paper which takes all of the insight, findings and results from the landmark 2010 issue of our Green Paper, and draws conclusions and results that are specifically relevant to the restaurant and pub sectors. If you haven’t had a look already, download it here.
A night of chocolate with the IOH
On Wednesday this week I made my regular trip to the Institute of Hospitality’s Midlands meeting, chaired by Robert Croft.
I always try to attend these meetings where possible, and for this particular meeting held at New College in Nottingham there was an extra incentive - the subject was Chocolate!
Elliot Richardson gave an informative and inspiring masterclass in the art of the Chocolatier, we even managed to have a go ourselves...!
The 16 people that attended the event, which unsurprisingly sold out in an impressive two days, made fondants, hollow shells and all manner of chocolatey treats. I have long been a supporter of the work done by the Institute of Hospitality, and for the inexpensive cost of attending the events (usually around £18-30 per meeting), it really does provide an insightful and interesting occasion to network with some industry bods. If you’re not a member, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you have a look at the events and opportunities they provide for their members, and the great work that they do in the industry.
Please do check out their website
Calling All Sustainable Restaurants
Calling all sustainable restaurants!
Our competition to find the most environmentally conscious restaurant in the UK has now officially been launched! The lucky winner will not only receive a free item of Gram equipment up to the value of £5,000 (so long as it is listed on the Energy Technology List of course), but also, there is a very special and highly sought after copy of Rene Redzepi's book 'Noma, Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine', signed by the man himself, for the individual who entered the winning restaurant.
The launch of this competition goes hand in hand with the publication of our Restaurant edition of the Gram Green Paper. This new publication takes all of the insight, findings and results from the landmark 2010 issue of our Green Paper, and draws conclusions and results that are specifically relevant to the restaurant sector.
We continually strive to provide our customers and end-users with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed, responsible choices in the day to running of their establishments, particularly when looking at refrigeration solutions.
With that in mind, to obtain your copy of the Restaurant edition of the Green Paper, please
To enter your Restaurant into the competition, click here
Then watch this space...
Over the last month or so we have been beavering away on taking our Go Green with Gram strategy to the next level...
We have been proud to lead the way in energy efficiency market research over the last three years, firstly with the Green Paper 2008, and then with the second edition published last year. What we are about to launch takes that level of informative statistical analysis, but drives right down into individual foodservice sectors.
Starting in March, with the Restaurants, Gram will begin rolling out individual sector specific Green Papers. Providing a unique opportunity to look into the state of energy efficiency, environmental awareness and general attitudes to the green cause, not just within foodservice, but specific to the Restaurant sector.
In addition, we will begin the hunt for a 'Green Champion' within the Restaurant sector. There will be more on this to come later, but safe to say it's a good idea to keep reading Eat Out Magazine, for the opportunity to win this prestigious accolade and some fantastic prizes.
The show was a brilliant success!
We have just returned from the Hospitality show and I am glad to have the chance to finally put my feet up, 3 days at a show really takes it out of you!
Our stands were part of the CESA innovation zone, which attracted thousands of visitors from across the foodservice and hospitality sectors. The show was a brilliant success, the stands were constantly busy throughout the 3 days and we were really pleased to have come away with lots of good contacts.
On Wednesday 26th, we sponsored the Institute of Hospitality’s breakfast seminar which was held at the Hilton. A big thanks to Robert Croft and Philippe Rossiter for a great event!
We were also proud to be sponsors of the Gram Master Class at the Salon Culinaire – the world-class culinary competition. Congratulations must go to Tomas Kourek from the Compass Group Culinary Team who was crowned winner of the competition – well done Tomas!
Keep your eyes peeled
2011 is going to be a busy year for us, and we kick off by launching our brand new blog. Each month, we aim to keep you up to date with some of the new initiatives we are working on, which all go some way towards equipping operators with the information they need to make the right choices. Whether launching new energy-efficient products, or unveiling the 2010 Gram Green Paper sector editions, stay tuned and read it all here first.
January is a busy time for us, as we will be unveiling two brand new products at the Hospitality show later this month. Keep your eyes peeled - we will be revealing all next week!