Heston Blumenthal among hospitality industry figures named Olympic Torchbearers

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Olympic games, Summer olympic games

Heston Blumenthal will be representing the hospitality industry as an Olympic Torchbearer along with Tom Aikens and Angela Burns, Best Western deputy chair
Heston Blumenthal will be representing the hospitality industry as an Olympic Torchbearer along with Tom Aikens and Angela Burns, Best Western deputy chair
Heston Blumenthal, Tom Aikens and Angela Burns, deputy chair of Best Western hotels, have all been named as Olympic Torchbearers for the relay of the torch containing the Olympic Flame as the hospitality industry continues to discuss London 2012 with less than 120 days to go.

The Olympic Flame will come within 10 miles of 95 per cent of the population during the 70-day Olympic Torch Relay which kicks off on 19 May.

Eight thousand Torchbearers are to be used for the trip across 1,019 UK communities and Angela Burns, deputy chair of Best Western, is among the 7,300 people that have already been confirmed. 

Speaking to BigHospitality, Burns said she was nominated by a member of the staff at the Best Western Premier Moor Hall Hotel for her quarter of a century service to the scouting organisation. "I am absolutely delighted, I am a huge sports fan and I have got tickets to go to the Olympics so this is just the icing on the cake for me," she said

Aikens and Blumenthal

Chef Tom Aikens took to Twitter​ to reveal he had been chosen to carry the torch for a short part of the journey while The Fat Duck's Heston Blumenthal confirmed to BigHospitality he would also be taking part in the relay.

Aikens, who famously completed a number of marathons in the Sahara Desert in 2010, told BigHospitality he was looking forward to the opportunity and not concerned about the distance he would have to run.

"I am yes very, very excited and honoured about carrying the torch. I am not sure of the exact route through Kensington and Chelsea, but either way very proud to be involved. I am in training for the London Marathon, the distance is only a single mile, so I think that I shall get around OK," he said.

A spokesperson for Blumenthal confirmed the celebrity chef, and owner of the former top restaurant in The World's 50 Best Restaurants​ list, would be running a section of the relay in Slough on 10 July and was very excited about the prospect.

Olympics impact

With less than 120 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Games, Transport for London (TfL) has announced it has published a final Code of Practice for businesses including those in the hospitality sector, who will be using out of hours deliveries during the Olympics. The code is designed to provide businesses with guidance on how to minimise noise from night-time deliveries.

TfL, along with London Councils, has confirmed it is sympathetic to companies needing to make or receive after-hours deliveries but London Boroughs reserve the right to continue to enforce against businesses that are inconsiderate, especially if noise complaints are made.

At the beginning of the year Mark Evers, TfL's director of London 2012 games transport, told BigHospitality help was available for hospitality businesses worried about the Olympics impact​ but they also needed to help themselves.

On 20 March Jan Matthews, head of catering, cleaning and waste services for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), presented the annual Arena Savoy lecture. Delivering a presentation entitled 'Catering for the 2012 Games: Myths, Legends and Legacies', Matthews told the audience the Food Vision strategy for the Olympics would provide a great legacy for the industry in terms of sustainability and inspiring people.

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