THE 10th Hospitality Week, to be held at Birmingham's NEC from 25 to 28 January, is set to be one of the biggest shows yet, with about 400 companies exhibiting, 159 for the first time.
Covering every aspect of the catering industry, this year's show, run by Reed Hospitality Exhibitions, has a number of new areas. They include a section dedicated to hospitality premises and facilities management and its associated technology, along with health, leisure and entertainment.
As part of the health section, Reed Exhibitions, in conjunction with Fitness Express, has created the Hospitality Health Club in Hall 19. It will include demonstrations of the latest gym equipment, and will give visitors the chance to talk about new facilities and learn how to improve profitability in their own establishments.
The masterclass seminars, also in Hall 19, will include a number of sessions dedicated to technology. Solutions to technologicalproblems will be on display in the Premises and Facilities Management section.
Hall 19 is also the showcase for interior design, furniture, furnishings, tableware and accessories, including the GS Hospitality Design Awards, with the winning entries on view on the gallery stand. Established designs and the latest developments in catering equipment will also be featured.
The latest food and drink products are always big attractions at Hospitality Week. As well as new food product launches, there will be the culinary showcases such as the Heart of England Salon Culinaire chef competition with its Live Theatre, sponsored by Knorr.
In the Display Salon almost 80 classes will be held, including the Nestlé Masterchefs Grand Prix, the new Student Chef Challenge and the Gategourmet Masterclass for airline catering. A timetable for all the classes will be available daily.
The glass-fronted competition restaurant La Parade des Chefs, sponsored by British Meat, will allow all visitors to watch meals being prepared by chefs from all areas of the UK catering industry. Two teams of six chefs will be competing on each day of the exhibition and will be required to prepare, cook and present a three-course plated meal (including a British meat-based main course) for 75 covers in the restaurant. Equipment will be supplied by Hobart. Six teams from La Parade des Chefs will go on to compete for the Open Team Prix Challenge, which requires them to prepare a buffet that will be on show in the display salon.
And a new format has been introduced for the 1999 Nestlé Toque d'Or student chef competition taking place at Hospitality Week. Twenty-eight teams of three, selected from a paper judging, compete live on the Nestlé stand. Students will be required to create a name and a theme for an eating venue, and an appropriate menu.