David Bentley (pictured), managing director at the Russell Partnership, has been appointed chairman of the Foodservice Consultants Society International, UK and Ireland (FCSI).
He succeeds Jonathan Doughty, group managing director of Coverpoint Catering Consultancy, who steps down from the role after two years.
The event also saw Doughty interview Daniel Clifford, the chef-patron at Midsummer House and Kudos creative director, which was followed by an insight into the effects of food inflation on the catering industry.
Frank Bordoni, food director at Kudos, challenged FCSI members to guess the percentage increases in the cost of potatoes, fish, chips and oil between March 2010 and 2011 (8%, 15%, 21% and 6% respectively).
He also shared some of the "back to basics" steps taken by the company to mitigate these costs without passing the effects on to its customers.
Bentley thanked Doughty for his service to the FCSI membership and said he would continue to add value to members.
He said: "With the Olympics on the horizon, it's an exciting time to be taking on the role of UK and Ireland chair.
"It's been a challenging time for the hospitality industry. Together, with the support of the whole FCSI membership, I'm looking forward to continuing the great work completed by Jonathan over the last two years, and maintaining our effort to keep standards in the industry high."
Niccola Boyd-Stevenson was appointed vice-chairman of FCSI and Gareth Sefton and Peter Pitman were both elected to join the society's executive committee to represent the professional membership. Marious Poumpouris and Mick Jary joined the executive to represent the allied membership.
By Janie Stamford
E-mail your comments to Janie Stamford here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs