Day 1 of The Staff Canteen Live 2019 at The Professional Kitchen and Food Service Show

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen Live 2019 sponsored by Westlands, got off to a great start today at The Professional Kitchen and Food Service Show at the NEC Birmingham, where some of the UK’s most talented chefs took to the conference floor, cooking their signature dishes for a live audience.

Guests were treated to demonstrations by Michael Wignall, chef owner of the Angel Inn at Hetton; Tim Allen, chef-partner at the Michelin-starred Flitch of Bacon; Great British Menu finalist Ellis Barrie and Colin McGurran, whose Scunthorpe restaurant, Winteringham Fields, was awarded its first Michelin star in this year’s guide.

Joining them on the stage were students from UCB college, with whom they shared their culinary knowledge, talking guests through recipes and techniques of the trade.

Ellis Barrie, chef owner of The Marram Grass said he felt a duty to get involved in the event, because, he said, The Staff Canteen 'supports everyone in the industry'.

“It’s great to give a bit back,” he added.

ellis and student

Meanwhile, Tim Allen from Michelin-starred The Flitch of Bacon said The Staff Canteen is 'an industry-renowned forum of information', and said the event was a 'great platform to come and get your restaurant seen on'.

He said: “It’s important that we get more people interested and actively talking about hospitality.”

He also commended the students’ participation, and joked: “The students have been great. I don’t know who’s more nervous, me or them! We don’t come out of our kitchens very often so it’s a challenge as well, challenging yourself to come and do this kind of thing and to get the students to do it with you. It’s also the right message, that’s what we should be doing, taking these young guys and girls and getting them active and getting them comfortable in this environment, it’s a great thing!”

tim allen

Michael Wignall stressed the importance of attending events like TSC Live to promote the hospitality industry.

He said: “Even if you get one employee from it, or an idea about some piece of technology you’ve never seen before, or a food item or a producer, it’s always good to come. We’re always too busy in the kitchen to do anything, you’ve got to pull yourself away and come to things like this, not just to put your name out there but to see what everyone else is doing.”


Jonathan Harvey-Barnes from Essential Cuisine said: “Great day, good footfall around The Staff Canteen Live, great presentations and demos by the chefs which seemed to be very well received, the opportunity to do some tastings of our stocks during the demos which was great.”

“It’s been a really good day and it’s great to be associated with The Staff Canteen”


James Seymour from Westlands, the main sponsor of the Staff Canteen Live said: “It’s been incredible.”

“Really good people lots of people from start-up companies, it’s great to meet new people and everybody’s got a story to tell, we received lots of very positive feedback. It’s all about understanding who our customer base really is and making sure that we’re actually growing the right things, and hopefully our passion for what we do comes across.”

“It’s been absolutely non-stop.”

“The quality of people that we’ve been meeting this year has been very very good indeed.”

chicken wings

Tune into our social media channels tomorrow for more live videos and news from the NEC, as we are joined by James Cochran, winner of last year’s Great British Menu competition on BBC2 and owner of Restaurant 1251 in Angel, London; Rupert Rowley, who, on Monday, revealed he would be leaving Michelin-starred Fischer’s after almost 17 years to become a development chef at MSK ingredients; Alex Claridge, from The Wilderness in Birmingham and Paul Foster of Salt.

Thank you to all of our sponsors: Westlands, Essential Cuisine, Santa Maria, Pommery and EauVation.

By Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd January 2019

Day 1 of The Staff Canteen Live 2019 at The Professional Kitchen and Food Service Show