The Restaurant Show - the trade show aimed exclusively at the UK restaurant industry - is set to return to London's Earls Court 2 next month. Celebrating its 21st birthday, the three-day show promises members of the hospitality industry all they need to inspire and help them to succeed in the business, including chef demonstrations, topical debate and access to suppliers galore. If you need persuading to go to, here are BigHospitality's top five reasons to clear the diary and celebrate the show's coming of age.
1 - Chef Showcase
The Centre Stage will play host to 20 of the UK's top chefs over the course of the show who, every hour on the hour, will be sharing their talents and showcasing their skills through workshops and demonstrations. Confirmed names promising to show how to create some of their signature dishes include Michael Caines, Richard Corrigan, Philip Howard and Knorr Chef of the Year 2008 Simon Hulstone. On Monday October 12, Ferran Adria, the mastermind behind the World's Best Restaurant El Bulli, will be making a rare appearance in the UK to speak to Restaurant magazine editor Paul Wootton for a live interview at the Business Briefing Theatre.
See the timetable here
2 - Inspirational Debate
Want to know how restuarant critics go about rating their dining experiences, or how successful operators pushed their businesses to the next level?, then the Business Briefing Theatre will be the place to go. Restaurant critics Charles Campion, Peter Harden and Bill Knott will be joined by Tom Aikens, Rowley Leigh and Claire Bosi in Monday's debate entitled When the pen is mightier than the fork – the impact of a review on a restaurant with others set to debate some of the industry's hottest topics including Clapham House Group's David Page, Arbutus chef Anthony Demetre and the British Hospitality Association's chief executive Bob Cotton.
See the timetable here
3 - Suppliers and Sommeliers
This year's show introduces The Harpers Wine Seller - an area where sommeliers, wine buyers and suppliers can come together to discuss the latest wines or learn more about them. Tutored tastings will be held in the area throughout the show while visitors will also be able to taste their way through those available at the table-top tasting. As well as wine, there will be hundreds of food and drink products on display and on trial in the Central Food and Drink Market and all the latest equipment in the CEDA Catering Equipment Village.
4 - Hot Competition
See the heat turned up over in the Competition Theatre as some of the industry's top talent competes for the chance to win recognition among their peers. Supported by the Craft Guild of Chefs this year two new competitions come to the show - the Gastropub Challenge and the Indian Restaurant Challenge. In both competitions four chefs from different restaurants will have to create a two-course meal from a mystery basket of ingredients that will be presented by their restaurant's waiting staff to a judging panel that will award marks on food and service. Contract caterer Compass also returns this year to run its hotly contested Junior and Senior Chef of the Year culinary competition.
5 - Eat on-site
Last year we had to choose between two fantastic on-site restaurants - run by Cyrus Todiwala and Pascal Proyart - for lunch. This year, there may be just one restaurant, but the dilemma is no easier solved, because there are three chefs running it. On Monday Todiwala is back serving up his trademark Indian cuisine while the focus will be Italian with Giorgio Locatelli on Tuesday. Richard Hughes, chef-proprietor of The Lavender House, completes the line up on Wednesday with his modern interpretation of ‘old-style’ classic cookery. All three chefs will be joined in the kitchen by Westminster Kingsway College students.
Be sure to log on to BigHospitality.co.uk from October 12 to 14 for all the latest news, chef interviews and much more as it unfolds at the show, and be sure to visit our stand at the show to see the site updated live and for the chance to win tickets to the 2010 San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards.