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Green wins Association of Catering Excellence Dragon's Den event

Green wins Association of Catering Excellence Dragon's Den event

Education food supply specialist Green has seen off competition from big-name rivals to win at the Association of Catering Excellence (ACE) Dragon's Den event.

BaxterStorey, Sodexo Prestige and Restaurant Associates were among the seven short-listed teams to present their ideas to the five Dragons, including Ego Restaurants chief executive James Horler, and Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive of Westbury Street Holdings (WSH).

The brief was to develop a commemorative product for the London 2012 Olympics that represents the UK but appeals to the international market. Each Dragon had £100,000 to invest, and had to allocate the money to those ideas that they felt were truly investable.

After hearing all the pitches, three finalists were invited to return for further interrogation: Adam Starkey and Julie Moore from Green Gourmet; Michael Liston and Adam Jones from Restaurant Associates; and Vivianne Richardson-Day and Sharon Gyles from Holroyd Howe Independent, part of WSH.

The unanimous winner was the Green Gourmet team with its "torch 2012 strawberry sundae", a twist on the classic British trifle.

Packaged in an Olympic torch-shaped container with a spoon handle forming the flame, the product is designed to appeal to the family market and have future sales potential in different guises.

Winner Julie Moore said: "Creating a product for a one-off event - even the Olympics - can be risky. We plan to use the Olympics to launch the brand.

"This will enable distribution channels to be created and to follow up with variations such as Torch Chocolate Brownie Sundae or Torch Banoffie Pie Sundae"

The winning team was awarded a five-day "kitchen and restaurant management in the 21st century" course at the Emirates Academy in Dubai, including all flights, transfers and travel costs, accommodation at the Emirates Academy, sponsored by the Savoy Education Trust.

The four Dragons, all captains of industry selected for their expertise were:

â- Philip Marsden, director of corporate finance at RSM Tenon
â- Jason Leek, managing director (business & industry) for Compass Group
â- Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive of (WSH)

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By Janie Stamford

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