- NEWS & CHAT
The Association of Catering Excellence held its annual Wine Dinner at Goldsmithsâ€™ Hall on Thursday 18th February. For the first time, the event was a black tie affair and a record 200 guests from the catering industry enjoyed the magnificent surroundings of one of Londonâ€™s oldest livery halls, often used in film sets as a substitute for Buckingham Palace due to its grandeur.
The evening started with the introduction of ACEâ€™s new patrons, Wendy Bartlett MBE, CEO bartlett mitchell, and Chris Bray, CEO Sports & Leisure, Sodexo UK & Ireland. Wendy has been a member of ACE for a long time and said: â€œACE is not pretentious â€“ itâ€™s very friendly and it allows a mixed balance so that everyone in the organisation is welcome. I believe itâ€™s unique to our sector.â€
Chris Bray added: Although Sodexo have been involved in ACE for many years, I just became a member last year. Itâ€™s fantastic to see so many people and such an array of talent in one room. Iâ€™m looking forward to getting involved and seeing what we can do.â€The theme of the evening was celebrating up and coming talent in the industry, a mission that ACEâ€™s chair, Paul Hurren is keen to support:
â€œOne of my aims is to give the next generation of caterers the opportunity to shine. I strongly believe it shouldnâ€™t just be industry leaders attending events like this. We invited some very special young and talented guests to this dinner such as The Craft Guild of Chefsâ€™ Apprentice Chef of the Year 2015, Ben Garnett-Sinclair and Gold Service Scholarship 2015 winner Daniele Quattromini from Lusso. People like Ben and Daniele are some of our future industry leaders and itâ€™s important we recognise this and involve them now.
By inviting them as our guests itâ€™s a simple way of saying thank you to them for the contribution they are making to our industry and putting contract catering in the spotlight.â€
Guests were treated to a sumptuous 4 course menu provided by Chester Boyd, part of CH&CO, with accompanying wines provided by wine sponsor, Ellis Wines. Business Development Manager, Richard Yates explains: â€œI have personally been involved with ACE for many years and found it to be of enormous value. Ellis Wines is a family run business that was established in 1822. We are relatively new to the contract catering sector, and are keen to show what we can do. Having our own bonded warehouse and distribution facility means we can be highly flexible and responsive. ACE events provide a great opportunity to introduce our services and make some excellent contacts.â€
The lobster was provided by Bidvest, and the fillet of beef and ox cheeks were provided by British Premium Meats, long-time supporters of ACE events. Mark Hutchinson observes: â€œOur ACE membership fees are more than made up for in the friends and contacts we make at the events. Theyâ€™re friendly, not too formal and we always enjoy the opportunity to spend an evening together as a team.â€ The raffle raised Â£2,500 which was presented to ACEâ€™s charity Beyond Food Foundation which gives homeless people an opportunity to learn skills for work in the catering industry. Prizes were kindly provided by Catering Design Group and included dinner for 2 at Osteria, Barbican; cocktails and tapas at H10 Sky Bar, Waterloo; family day at Attingham Park (National Trust) and a case of 6 bottles of Laurent Perrier champagne.
The next ACE event is the Quiz Night on Tuesday 12th April at Lloyds London.