Hotelympia 2008 enjoyed another successful five days at ExCeL last week, from the sound of the starting gun at the Hotelympia 10K Run with 750 runners pounding the streets to Canary Wharf, through to the crowning of the UK Barista Champion on the Thursday afternoon.
Co-located events Careers in Hospitality and Hostec-Europe enjoyed significantly improved visitor numbers on previous years, with exhibitors from all three events reporting a ‘fantastic' show.
Mat Baker, country director at P&G Professional was "blown away with how busy Hotelympia was", while Steve Loughton, commercial Ddrector at Enodis UK Food Service was "delighted with both the quantity and quality of the visitors".
Industry charities were also celebrating the success of the event. The Hotelympia 10K raised over £35,000 for Springboard with the support of its sponsors AGA, Bunzl, Coca-Cola, Heinz Foodservice, SoloCup Europe and The Craft Guild of Chefs. Elsewhere the diners at Hotelympia's unique fine-dining restaurant La Parade des Chefs raised over £1,500 for Hospitality Action, and was widely thought of as the best yet by diners, visitors and competitors.
"It's great that the show has attracted the best and has celebrated the return of some key brands, but it's also great that the industry is giving something back to its two key charities," said Toby Wand, group exhibition director.
New educational attractions at the show such as the Sustainable Futures Theatre, Cost Sector Catering Live and the Tea & Sandwich Pavilion were fully attended for nearly every session, whilst the Design Link programme was standing room only with its impressive programme of speakers including Luke Johnson and Raymond Blanc.
Salon Culinaire, the prestigious culinary championship was a theatre of blood, sweat and tears, as teams of top chefs from the industry went head to head to be crowned best in their class. A full list of results can be found at www.hotelympia.com. Teams that deserve special recognition for achieving gold include Southampton FC who triumphed in the Major International Football Culinary Challenge; Stephen Mather of Sydney Sussex College at Cambridge University who prevailed in the TUCO University Chef Challenge; and Steven Wylie of Eton College who took gold in the Sodexho Chef of the Year. The Nestle Toque d'Or Competition also made a triumphant return to the show in its 20th year.