Ireland’s largest foodservice and hospitality event, CATEX, returns to the RDS, Dublin from Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd February, and with upwards of 11,000 visitors expected to attend, it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated foodservice events of the year.
With a new look, extended layout and a host of new exhibitors, including OpenTable, it promises to serve up a show packed full of solutions for your business.
According to visitors, identifying new products is the number one reason for visiting CATEX and this year, there’s set to be a record number of new products and services from 200 plus exhibitors. Long-standing show exhibitors have continued to support the event, and they’ll sit alongside a host of new exhibitors. Leading names exhibiting include: Bunzl, Bewleys Ltd, BD Foods, Calor, Henderson Foodservice Ltd, Hugh Jordan, Lynas Foodservice and Stephen’s Catering Equipment.
Accounting for over 20% of the exhibitor list, new names are a welcome addition to the show and attending for the first time are OpenTable, BWG Foods, Aluline Group, Ash and Ro, Cordelia Foods, Elavon, Gecko Catering Equipment, JMC Packaging Ltd, Plassey Food and Sauceworks, to name but a few.
As such an important event for restaurateurs, hoteliers, chefs, café owners and all of those in the food, drink and hospitality sectors, you can expect plenty of innovative discussions and debates on a range of topics across the three days.
Chef Network brings chefs together to collaborate, share knowledge, and learn from each other and the Chef Network Hub will be a social space where chefs can meet and connect, as well as a working space where chefs will exchange ideas on the future of their industry; everything from sustainability, to how chefs are trained, the skills needed to run a food business, and food trends.
The schedule in the Chef Network Hub will feature a variety of formats including panel discussions and informal ‘round table’ discussion, soapbox sessions, where all chefs can have their say, and Chef-to-Chef interviews and Q&A sessions. Themes include: Food on the Edge: The Future of Food; A Better Kitchen Workplace: Nurturing Talent for the Future and The Business of the Food Business: the reality of running a restaurant.
Some of the participating chefs who will feature in the Chef Network Hub include: JP McMahon, Aniar Restaurant & Eat Galway group; Stephen Holland, Lough Erne Resort; Niall Hill, The Butler’s Pantry; Mark Anderson, Gather & Gather, Ross Lewis, Chapter One Restaurant and Wade Murphy, 1826 Adare.
The Pop-Up Restaurant, in association with the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) and Bunzl CDS (Catering Design Solutions) will have some of the hottest seats at the event this year, playing host to a different restaurant each day, seating 90 people.
Day One: The Exchequer, headed up by head chef Andrew Gaughan
Day Two: Coppinger Row, led by head chef Edward Daly
Day Three: Eala Bhan, with head chef Marcin Szczodrowski
With eight teams from Ireland’s highly competitive contract catering industry going head to head, the Contract Caterers Culinary Challenge is not to be missed. Sodexo took home the crown at CATEX 2015, and this year, teams will be required to create a three-course meal for selected guests and an independent judging panel, with two hours to prepare and six covers to serve.
Euro-Toques Ireland returns to ‘The Kitchen’ once again this year. Euro-Toques is creating a dedicated space for chefs to gain new knowledge and share ideas through presentations, panel discussions and demos on culinary trends such as fermentation. Confirmed speakers to the stage include: Ed Cooney, Executive Chef at The Merrion; Maurice McGeehan, Executive Chef at Airbnb; Jess Murphy, Chef-Patron Kai; Kwanghi Chan, Baxter Story; Niall McKenna, Chef and Owner James Street South and Graham Neville, Head Chef, Restaurant FortyOne. There’ll also be masterclasses focusing on techniques such as curing and cooking with tea, and exciting culinary innovations from master chefs including Derry Clarke and Sunil Ghai
CATEX is the national centre for local excellence in the industry and nurtures Ireland’s talent of the future through world-class competitions and expert demonstrations. Over the three days of the show, it will be hosting the Irish Barista Championships, organised by SCAE Ireland, which includes the World Barista Championships finals and the Cup Tasters Competition. Current Irish Barista Champion, Natalia Piotrowska, will be defending her title as she competes against Ireland’s best baristas, all vying for a chance to represent Ireland at the World Barista Championships.
The Bartenders Association’s Irish Cocktail Championships will also see Ireland’s leading mixologists putting their skills to the test during the high-octane cocktail challenges.
Almost 1,000 chefs will descend on CATEX to take part in the Panel Of Chef’s of Ireland’s Chef Ireland Culinary Competitions 2017. In the Hot Kitchen, almost 20 category competitions will be taking place, alongside a variety of Cold Display Salon competitions. In addition, there’s the highly sought-after Chef of the Year competitions, which are awarded based on the combined results from the Hot Kitchen and Cold Display Salon competitions.
With all of this and more under one roof at the RDS, the buzz of this year’s event is already under way! For more information, visit: www.catexexhibition.com and be sure to stop by stand K40 to see the OpenTable team.
Photo credit EventHous