It was a jam-packed four days at Hotelympia, which saw the coming together of chefs, industry experts, suppliers and industry enthusiasts alike. From inspiring entrepreneurial speeches and pitches at Launchpad, to watching elite-level competitions and training for chefs over at the international Salon Culinaire, it’s almost impossible to choose our highlights. So here’s a round-up of our time, and our most memorable moments.
We were incredibly excited to kick off the event with our freshly stocked stand full of our produce grown at Westlands – from our new Growing Petite range, to our speciality tomatoes. We couldn’t wait for you to come and try it!
As the headline sponsor for The Staff Canteen Live, we had prime position opposite the live demo stage. Day One saw Chef Patron Paul Ainsworth, from No. 6 in Padstow launch the show with his demo of a Pig’s head fitter, with onion, Cox’s Orange Pippin, & smoked eel – garnished with our baby watercress. We saw him captivate the crowd not only with the way he cooks but also how he talks about food.
Pictured above – Paul Ainsworth with his personalised Westlands I.O.Shen Knife
Our second day of the show brought the likes of Shaun Rankin from Ormer Mayfair and Adam Byatt, from Trinity London to the Staff Canteen Live stage. One of the best things about being opposite stage was that we got to meet all of you who came to watch the demos. We caught up with James Reading – Head Chef at Heritage Venues, and showed him our new Tender Leaf range where our Foragers’ Mix caught his eye.
We also got to meet the lovely Paige Hill who placed third in the Tabasco Pub Menu Challenge, and took Silver in the Junior Sugarcraft Class for Special Occasion Cake. Paige is pictured below with our Marketing and Product Development Manager James Seymour, picking up some Westland goodies after visiting our stall. We’re looking forward to following Paige on her journey within the industry, and we’re excited to see where she ends up!
Wednesday may be classified as ‘hump day’ but things weren’t slowing down at Hotelympia. The day brought more talented Chefs to The Staff Canteen Live stage, including husband and wife duo Mark and Shaina Froydenlund from Marcus, The Berkeley. They cooked up a storm, with Lamb, turf-smoked potatoes, Tunworth custard, and picked mushrooms and our new Tender Leaf Foragers’ mix.
Throughout the show, although we were busy at the stand, we did get the chance to go and look around to see what else was on offer. Here’s a few of our top picks:
- Borrago – is a new non-alcoholic botanical spirit and is a delicious substitute for alcoholic spirits – whether it’s being used as a base for a cocktail, or as a replacement for gin or vodka. We think it would pair perfectly with our cucamelons as a garnish, or even with some edible flowers to pair with the floral notes the drink provides.
- 3D food printer over at Procusini – Watching personalised creations come to life via a 3D printer.
- Flora tea – dried tea leaves and aromatic flowers which bloom when placed in hot water!
After a full-on week the final day had arrived. We were excited, inspired, exhausted and everything in-between!
The live demo stage saw Matt Abe from Restaurant Gordon Ramsey produce Jerome Galis asparagus, wild garlic, confit egg yolk & morels – garnished with micro chickweed and some red frills mustard leaf from our Growing Petite Leaf range.
Later, Dominic Chapman from The Beehive closed the show for The Staff Canteen Live, where he was also presented with an I.O. Shen personalised Westlands knife.
Finishing on International Women’s Day, we wanted to give a shout out to some of the lovely ladies at The Staff Canteen – pictured below. Hotelympia took this day to celebrate successes, while looking at the challenges and opportunities for women in the hospitality industry
And that’s our time at Hotelympia!
We want to thank Hotelympia and all of those who took part, visited and tweeted us! We loved meeting you all, and seeing first-hand the great work that chefs of all ages and levels are doing. From up and coming chefs, to those with a Michelin star, and companies with unusual new products; we hope you’re inspired to try a little something from Westlands in your next creation.