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18 Apr 2024

Industry celebrates successful 2024 edition of HRC 

Industry celebrates successful 2024 edition of HRC 

HRC, part of Food, Drink & Hospitality Week, returned to ExCeL London on 25-27 March packed with opportunities for networking, learning and discovering innovative suppliers to the hospitality sector.  

Across Food, Drink & Hospitality Week, 30,000 industry leaders across catering, hospitality, retail, and more descended on the venue for three busy days of connecting, inspiration and new product sourcing. 

With a wide range of quality suppliers across hospitality tech, foodservice, professional kitchen equipment and furniture, interiors & tableware, HRC was a must-attend event for hospitality owners and operators to source new products and services.  

Raphael Herzog, General Manager, De Vere Tortworth Court commented: “HRC was a great opportunity to meet friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry, discover a range of interesting new products and keep up to date with all the latest industry trends and talking points.” 

A vision of the future 

The Vision Stage, designed by Harp Design, played host to a wide range of discussions and debates across the three days of event. Kate Nicholls OBE, CEO of UKHospitality, broke down what the increase in National Living Wage might mean for the hospitality sector, Futurist Simon Stenning looked at foodservice trends for 2030 and beyond, and chefs from The Future Plate examined the future of African & Caribbean cuisine.  

HRC's 2024 Chef Ambassador Lisa Goodwin-Allen also took to the stage to discuss her career to date, leading the kitchen team at Northcote, appearing on show's such as Snackmasters and Great British Menu, and supporting initiatives like NHS National Chef of the Year.

Lisa Goodwin Allen

Celebrating NHS chefs 

Prue Leith cut the ribbon on The Healthcare Chefs’ Knowledge on Monday 25th March at HRC at a special launch, showcasing recipes from the book, cooked in Rational ovens and served to key stakeholders on blue tableware to emphasise the importance of food presentation, enhancing the the nutrition and appetite for patients.  

The new book, the second in a series produced by The Chefs’ Forum in partnership with Prue Leith and the NHS Food Review, catalogues everything a chef working in healthcare needs to know about hospital catering.  


Featuring 100 dishes every hospital chef should know the book also contains interviews and features with leading NHS colleagues and topic experts across the entire field of hospital food from patients and staff to visitors. 

Speaking at the event Leith, who also wrote the foreword to the new book, said: “It’s an exciting step for our NHS catering teams, providing chefs the tools and confidence to lead change.” 

Famous faces at Chef HQ 

Chef HQ, curated by Chef Publishing, saw leading chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Sally Abe, Simon Hulstone and more taking to the stage to discuss their career to date and take part in live demonstrations to inspire and educate attendees.  


A Seafood from Norway takeover saw cooking demonstrations from Simon Hulstone from Michelin-starred The Elephant and Young National Chef of the Year winner (YNCOTY) Sam Dixon from Northcote to demonstrate how seafood from Norway can be incorporated into modern UK dining menus. 

Both Sam and Simon cooked with Norwegian white fish Skrei – a seasonal cod exclusively from Norway that is a prized culinary feature for many seafood loving chefs around this time of year. Known for its firm meat and fresh flavour, Skrei is only available between January and April each year.  

The chef demos were complimented by two sharing sessions covering pertinent topics in the seafood and hospitality industry. The first, which featured Mike Warner of A Passion for Seafood Ltd and Victoria Braathen, UK director Norwegian Seafood Council, highlighted Norway and the UK’s seafood partnership, sustainable management of fisheries and the importance of consumer seafood education.

The second, which featured Michelin Restaurateur Michel Roux Jr, delved into the value of nurturing the next generation of culinary talent and the importance of responsibly sourced seafood within the hospitality sector. 

Reflecting on the Chef HQ takeover, Michel said: “This has been a fantastic day, meeting with stakeholders across the industry. I really enjoy my long-term relationship with Norwegian seafood. As a chef, it is so important to work with great produce and you can’t really get much better than Norwegian seafood.” 

Chef HQ

World Catering Technology Awards 

Winners were announced for the inaugural World Catering Technology Awards, in partnership with FoodBev, at HRC 2024. Launched to celebrate innovation in catering tech, the awards recognised brands including Hop Robotics, Olio, Franke Coffee Systems and Leanpath.  

HRC Event Manager Jo Farish, speaking onstage at the ceremony, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with FoodBev to celebrate innovation, creativity, and excellence in catering technology. In a world where culinary boundaries are constantly pushed, it’s really important  to recognise those who harness the power of science and technology to revolutionise the way we prepare, serve and enjoy food and drink. 


"The recipients of these awards have developed innovations that help address important issues - such as streamlining operations and improving customer experience while increasing sustainability. I’d like to thank all the entrants they were all of a really high standard and judging the shortlist was a truly a difficult task." 

View the winners here.  

Networking opportunities

HRC's Networking Hub, designed by Design Command, was a bustling hub of networking and industry connection at this year's event. 

The area saw sessions including 'Addressing the Skills Landscape' with UKHospitality Skills Director Sandra Kelly, a design development roundtable with Design Command CEO Clare McDonald, a lunchtime networking event with Arena and a session on the Importance of Leadership with Lorraine Wood, Director of Arena, Shereen Ritchie, CEO of buns from home, Britta Ashu, Head of Digital Marketing at Bidfood, Joanna Aunon, Director of WiHTL, and Paul Pavli, Non-Exec Director, Advisor & Strategic Consultant for the hospitality & leisure sector.

Plus, the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) hosted a Power Breakfast during which FEA CEO John Cunningham interviewed Cyrus Todiwala OBE, Chef Proprietor of Cafe Spice Namaste. 


New hospitality research 

The UK’s Largest Hospitality Salary Survey 2024, created by KAM in partnership with Access Group, Hospitality Jobs UK, Otolo, Montgomery Group and the BII, launched at HRC and revealed a decrease in salary levels across most sectors of hospitality, with the exception of hotels where average salaries have risen from £42.1k to £44.8k. 

While receiving a fair salary remains the most important benefit cited by employees, the survey reveals employees are placing more emphasis on other benefits including holiday entitlement (cited by 92% of respondents as very or quite important) training and development sessions (88%), flexible hours (83%) and mentoring (75%). The provision of ‘softer’ benefits has also risen in importance such as ‘well-being sessions’ (up 6%), discounts on eating and drinking out (up 10%) and counselling (up 9%). 

HRC returns to ExCeL London on 17-19 March as part of Food, Drink & Hospitality Week. Find out more, and subscribe to the HRC newsletter, at

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