Thousands of professionals in the hospitality and foodservice industry travelled to London earlier this month to attend Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC, formally Hotelympia), held at ExCel from March 3 to March 5.
A total of 600 exhibitors showcased their latest products across four shows: The Professional Kitchen Show, The Foodservice Show, Hospitality Tech Show and the Interiors and Tabletop Show.
HRC included conferences, tastings and trend trails with key partners. Highlights included ‘Sustainable Hospitality 2020: Food Made Good’ with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) introduced by Raymond Blanc, chef patron at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons; ‘Hospitality Uncovered… Is there really a hospitality industry skills shortage?’ in partnership with Hospitality Jobs UK; guided tours of The Professional Kitchen Show with the FEA Trend Trails; and tastings on ‘The Great British Drinks Movement’ hosted by drinks expert and TV personality Jane Parkinson.
There were also presentations, talks, panel discussions and cooking demonstrations from the UK’s top chefs and industry pioneers. One of the most well attended presentations was ‘Stars in their Eyes – Let’s talk Michelin’ by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who commented: “HRC was a great show as always, showcasing the best of the industry. Thanks for having me!”
In addition, the prestigious chef competition programme International Salon Culinaire attracted almost 1,000 chefs, who entered over 100 competitions across the three day show, with many contests across the Live Theatre and Skills Theatre over-subscribed.
International Salon Culinaire chef director Steve Munkley said: “This year’s show showed the true colours of our industry with everything that is going on in the world. We had the most tremendous support from both competitors and visitors. The entry level was over-subscribed twofold, and we managed to allow all of them to compete, with standards reaching new heights.”
For the first time, HRC partnered with ReFood (the International Salon Culinaire food waste partner) to tackle food waste from exhibitors and the International Salon Culinaire competitions in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way, by recycling food waste into renewable energy and biofertilizer.
Event manager Ronda Annesley commented: “We were delighted to see the stands of our suppliers from across the hospitality and foodservice sector buzzing with visitors, along with our biggest line-up of industry experts, chefs and influencers leading the conversations on stage.”
At next year’s event, which takes place in the same venue on March 22 and March 24, HRC will unite alongside International Food and Drink Event (IFE), IFE Manufacturing Solutions (IMS), Festival of Enterprise and The London Produce Show. Some 2,500 suppliers and 45,000 visitors are expected to attend.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge