Event catering and debating given a platform at The Restaurant Show 2012

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

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The Restaurant Show's new features for this year include the ECats competition and a street food focus
The Restaurant Show's new features for this year include the ECats competition and a street food focus
A competition for event caterers and the debating of hot industry topics are two of the features of this year's Restaurant Show, which opens at Earl's Court 2 in less than two weeks. 

The Event Caterers Team Challenge (ECats), a brand new competition launched by William Reed Business Media and in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs (CGC), will be held in the show's Competition Theatre and will see eight teams from private event caterers compete in the final on Monday 8 October. 

For the final, teams will be given an event brief by way of a commercial pitch presentation and will be asked to show their creative and operational solution to a panel of judges within at set a time limit. 


The competition was launched to showcase and reward top event caterers who rarely get the chance to show off their talents.

"Chefs in this sector can all too often be overlooked as they don’t have a restaurant or hotel to showcase their talents," said CGC vice president Steve Munkley. 

"The chefs have all been set a brief based on a real outside catering event making the competition the perfect platform for them to show those across the industry just what they can really do.”

ECats is one of five competitions being run at this year's Restaurant Show. On Tuesday 9 October, finalists in the National Young Chef of the Year 2012 and National Chef of the Year 2012 competitions will battle it out for the chance to win titles in their respective contests. 

The Wednesday of the show will make way for the Junior and Senior Compass Chef of the Year competitions. 


The final schedule for the hot industry topics up for debate at the Business Bootcamp have been confirmed today. 

Highlights include a discussion on the popularity of street food with British Street Food Awards​ founder Richard Johnson, EatSt founder Petra Barran and MeatLiquor co-owner Scott Collins and one on the power of guides and awards with Elizabeth Carter of The Good Food Guide​ and Tom Kerridge of the Hand and Flowers. 

BigHospitality will be hosting a session on Wednesday 10 October where we'll be asking The Hospitality Guild's Suzy Jackson, Gary Hunter of Westminster Kingsway College, Marcus Weedon of Carluccio's and chef Ben Spalding for their views on how we can nurture the talent of the future and ensure we find the right candidates for the right jobs. 

Other panel debates include​: 

  • How to engage your staff with Phil Halpin from Gordon Ramsay, Robert Holland from The Wolseley and Martin Williams from Gaucho (Monday 8 October, 11.30am)
  • Making sense of a digital world with panellists from Google, Twitter, Fishbowl and OpenTable (Tuesday 9 October 1.45pm)
  • How to make your professional kitchen sustainable with Mike Mellor from Space Catering and Mark Linehan from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (Wednesday 10 October 2.30pm)

For more details about what to expect at this year's Restaurant Show visit the website​.

BigHospitality will be at the Business Lounge throughout the event, providing live updates from the show,  carrying out filmed interviews with top chefs and more, so please stop by and say hello to our team. 

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