IFE 2017 preview: top chefs join food and drink expo line-up

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

IFE 2017 preview: top chefs to cook at food and drink expo

Related tags: Innovation, Food and drink

Top UK chefs including Lee Westcott, Matt Worswick, James Golding, Mark Poynton, Paul Ainsworth and Tom Brown are among the line-up for this year’s International Food & Drink Event (IFE 2017), which runs from 19-22 March.

The chefs will be participating in cooking demonstrations during the four-day exhibition, being held at ExCeL in London, as part of The Staff Canteen Live kitchen theatre. The dedicated area will focus on giving attendees practical advice, details of on-trend ingredient combinations and top trade tips.

As well as hosting popular chef demos, this year’s IFE will focus on global product innovation and future food trends. Following the explosion in healthy eating trends across the industry over the past few years, it will again feature a section dedicated entirely to health and wellbeing.

“IFE 2017 is in prime position to identify the healthiest forthcoming trends of 2017,” says event director Soraya Gadelrab.

“Consumers are turning to flexitarian diets, encouraged by major supermarket retailers who are trying to make meat free alternatives more accessible. We’re also seeing alternative proteins gaining traction with consumers as the industry continues to position them in progressively appealing ways as the market evolves.

“At IFE 2017, you can discover all the emerging health trends that will lead the way for the year ahead. It’s the ideal place to discover the newest innovations that will be driving growth in this market.”


New features

New to this year’s event are two additional speaker stages – the Talking Trends stage and the Big Picture theatre.

Hosted by Saturday Kitchen​ wine critic, Jane Parkinson, the Talking Trends stage will see the likes of Simon Clark, head of catering, and Andy Jones, chair of the Hospital Caterers Association, discuss food as a cure on Sunday 19 March.

British food writer, historian and industry expert Bee Wilson will be shedding light on the good fats vs bad fats debate on Wednesday 22 March.

The Big Picture theatre will tackle the hard-hitting issues facing the industry. The theatre’s line-up will include Ben Carter, UK marketing director of Just Eat, who will be bringing to life the ever-evolving face of out-of-home dining on Monday 20 March.

Jane Milton, food industry expert, Richard Hall, chairman at Zenith Global, and Tim Rycroft, director of corporate affairs at the Food & Drink Federation, will come together to discuss the sugar debate on Tuesday 21 March

Each day of the exhibition, attendees will be able to visit the Ice Café, run in association with British Frozen Food Federation and Craft Guild of Chefs. Here chefs will demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of using frozen produce. 

Menus will consist of bowl food options prepared live in the café area, with buyers from across the food and drink industry able to sample the dishes.

See the Talking Trends timetable here

See the Big Picture timetable here

See the Ice Café timetable and menu here

Also new for this year, IFE 2017 is introducing a ‘trend trail’, which lets buyers walk a dedicated path throughout the event allowing them to discover the latest products and suppliers across a range of categories.

This year’s IFE will feature nine easy-to-navigate sections and more than 1,350 exhibitors across categories including bakery, cheese & dairy, drinks, Great British & Irish food, ingredients and meat & seafood.

For the full list of show sections click here

As well as new products from exhibiting suppliers, IFE 2017 will reward innovation in the World Innovation Food Awards, hosted by FoodBev Media.

The awards, which celebrate excellence across the global food and drink industry, comprise 24 categories covering food innovation, packaging, manufacturing, ingredients, waste and sustainability. The winners will be announced at the Big Picture theatre on Monday 20 March.

IFE 2017 is co-located with Waste-Works, the UK’s only waste and sustainability event for the food industry, and Pro2Pac, the UK’s only food and drink packaging event.

The exhibition runs from 19 to 22 March at ExCel in London. Register now via the IFE website​ for your free entrance badge and to save paying the £25 on-the-door charge.

Related topics: Business


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