A Mecca for the Millennium

Thursday 29th January 1998 00:00

Set to be the largest and most comprehensive hospitality exhibition the UK has ever seen, and with more exhibitors than ever before, Hotelympia '98 - taking place at Earls Court 1 & 2 from 9 to 13 February - will deliver everything the industry will need forthe millennium - just in time for key decisions.

Demonstrating Government support for the event, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, the Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, will open Hotelympia on 9 February, while the minister of state for film and tourism, the Rt Hon Tom Clark CBE MP, will be the guest of honour at the inaugural dinner that evening.

The brand new Hotelympia '98 Web site (http://www.hotelympia.com) now provides an immediate virtual visit with up-to-the-minute information on features, social events, exhibitors, accommodation and travel - at the touch of a button.

And as well as almost 800 exhibitors in six clearly identified sectors (food; drink; catering equipment; furniture, furnishings, tableware, hotel amenities and uniforms; hospitality premises; and health and leisure), there is a host of features to experience:

La Parade des Chefs

Sponsored by British Meat, this is the exhibition's working restaurant, where visitors can watch chefs hard at work in glass-walled kitchens supplied byElectrolux, Wolf, Zanussi, and the Ali Group. Tickets are £25 for a three-course lunch and are available from 10.30am each day. Watch out for the Home Nations tournament on Tuesday 10 February, and the International Hotel & Restaurant Challenge on Thursday 12.

The Chefs' Associations Challenge Dinner

This will be held on Tuesday 10 February, when four of the top league teams will take to the competitive floor to create a three-course dinner for 300 guests.For tickets, £35 including wine, ring 0181-910 7710.

Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres

Sponsored by British Potato and Maggi, Le Salon sees almost 1,500 chefs competing in more than 80 classes. These include the pre-Olympic challenge by national teams from Malta, Cyprus, Finland and Ireland, sponsored by Knorr and accredited by the World Association of Cooks Societies; the Master Chefs Grand Prix; the Rioja Game Chef of the Year; and the National Chef of the Year.

Field '98

This is a brand new feature for Hotelympia. The Armed Forces will be holding their own tri-services culinary competition under canvas to show how troops are fed in the field. Visitors can join the ranks and enjoy a three-course lunch for just £12.50. The feature is sponsored by Booker Foodservice, Camden Furniture, Melform and PKL.

Business Breakfasts

Organised in association with Arena, these feature Garry Hawkes of Gardner Merchant, Edward Murray of the Chelsea Village hotel, and Lisa Barnard of Harpers - The Wine and Spirit Weekly. They take place in the VIP lounge in the West Brompton Conference Centre from 8am on Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, and Thursday 12 February respectively. Tickets are £15 each and can be booked on 01753 663305.

The halls at Earls Court will be buzzing. There will be almost 800 exhibitors in six sectors... more than 300 product launches, from state-of-the-art equipment to designs for the future and the latest trends in food and drink... the New Product Awards for the most innovative ideas... chef demonstrations and sampling... expert advice in the Wine Tasting Theatre in association with the Association of Wine Educators and Harpers - The Wine and Spirit Weekly... celebrity chefs' signature dishes in the Food Demonstration Theatre, part-sponsored by Total Gas... international food and equipment pavilions from Scotland, Germany and Spain... breathtaking works of art in the Display Salon, sponsored by Maggi... the Mega Merlot wine-tasting experience... and the Theme Wodka Bar to rest those weary feet.


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