The Big Hospitality Show 2013
Visitors to this year’s The Big Hospitality Show, were left with plenty to chew over as organisers attempted to provide everyone with at least one insight or good idea to take away to their own business from each of the show’s various elements.
With over 350 exhibitors and a line-up of speakers and mentors from the BBC’s ‘The Restaurant’, Grand Union Bars, Pret a Manger, Farrow & Ball and the Great British Menu among others, the Big Hospitality Show, held in January at Birmingham’s NEC, has become the bi-annual trade event for showcasing the cutting edge of food and drink, catering equipment, interior design, tableware and technology. It also hosts the international culinary competition Salon Culinaire.
Said the show’s Toby Wand: “The show focuses on the business of hospitality. Each of its elements will give visitors at least one good idea to take back to their business whether it’s finding a new product to solve a problem, meeting a valuable contact or learning some valuable insight direct from a business mentor.
Of the exhibitors, more than 100 formed the Catering Equipment Hub to provide a comprehensive overview of the commercial kitchen product market. As part of it, new launches in the equipment arena were demonstrated at the Innovation Zone at its heartland.
The latest in furniture, soft furnishings and tableware featured in the Interiors section where the focus was front of house. It had its own Design Inspiration Stage with a programme covering trends across all sectors from boutique hotels to bar design. Said its curator Stirling Johnson: “Competition for each consumer pound is so fierce nowadays that great design can really set your offering apart from the rest.”
There were also live culinary theatre classes. Besides the Salon Culinaire competition, there was a soup and sauce challenge, heats of Nestle Toque d’Or 2013 and masterclasses on seasonal menu and classical fish dishes.