The Observer restaurant critic and novelist Jay Rayner will be the headline panellist at the 2016 NRB Debate at Northern Restaurant & Bar, the North's largest hospitality exhibition. The debate will take place on 16 March at the show, which will be held at Manchester Central on 15 and 16 March.
In a session sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University, Rayner, one of the most powerful figures in food journalism, is expected to be characteristically forthright on current hospitality trends and issues. The One Show regular was recently quoted in an article in the Guardian as saying that in 2016 he would like restaurants to stop taking orders without notepads, taking away bread plates after the starters, serving butter without salt and giving the bill to the man at the table.
Commenting on the forthcoming event, he said: "I've spent years reviewing restaurants across the north of England, a part of the country that can feed you very well indeed, so it's terrific to be a part of the NRB Debate. It's true that not everything I've said over the years has been received warmly, but the arguments have always been invigorating and informing and I'm sure that will be the case at this event."
Thom Hetherington, CEO of Holden Media, organisers of the NRB Debate and Northern Restaurant & Bar, commented: "Jay is perfect to lead the debate because he is more than just a food critic. The food and drink industry is fascinated by restaurant reviewing and insights into the critical process, but Jay has also written on virtually every major topic that should concern a contemporary hospitality operator."
In addition to hosting the NRB Debate, Northern Restaurant & Bar also includes the NRB Top Fifty Awards celebrating the region's top operators and the new NRB NEDworking, the first event of its kind in the North to bring together entrepreneurs with non-executive directors (NEDs). A series of fringe events will take place under the umbrella of the exhibition, including Action Against Hunger's Too Many Critics dinner at Fazenda in Manchester.
Over 230 exhibitors are already confirmed for the exhibition and there will be more than 50 live demonstrations across four theatres as well as specialist areas for food and drink in the Market Kitchen, Craft Beer Quarter and the Spirit Room.
The NRB Debate starts at 12pm and includes a buffet lunch. Tickets are priced £55 +VAT. Book online at nrbdebate.co.uk.
Hospitality professionals can register now for free tickets to the show at www.northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk.
Photography by John Arandhara-Blackwell
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