NEXT month Glasgow’s SECC welcomes the return of ScotHot, the trade show dedicated to Scotland’s catering, tourism, hospitality and foodservice sectors.
And this year organisers have something special to celebrate.
ScotHot 2013, which takes place from March 4-6, marks the show’s 40th birthday, and to commemorate the milestone the hosts promise the three-day event will be the biggest and best yet.
As many as 8000 industry professionals are expected to converge on the banks of the Clyde to take part in a packed programme of competitions, practical workshops and networking opportunities, not to mention view countless new products and solutions on the exhibition stands.
Some of the features will be taking place for the first time.
These include the Spotlight Stage, where visitors can get the lowdown on the latest industry developments and get an insight into the trends of the future.
The stage will host a series of presentations, demonstrations and interviews with a selection of the HotScots Power 40, described as the most influential figures in the Scottish hospitality, tourism and catering industries today.
On hand to help business owners realise the full potential of their activities will be Chris Galvin, chef patron of Galvin Restaurants, which operates at Edinburgh’s revamped Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel; Beppo Buchanan-Smith, owner of the Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island; Jody Marshall of Ballathie House Hotel; Victor Brierley of Scotch training consultancy The Whisky Ambassador; and Claire Livingston, general manager of Jurys Inn Edinburgh and ScotHot Young Hotelier of the Year winner.
Tourism minister Fergus Ewing MSP will also address the conference as part of Scottish Tourism Week, which coincides with the three-day show (see pages 28 and 29).
As well as new features, the show will see the return of an old favourite.
With a history that can be traced back longer than 50 years, making it older than ScotHot itself, the Scottish Culinary Championships will form the “pinnacle” of the event’s culinary events.
Organisers expect to receive more than 400 entries for more than 50 competitions, some of which are taking place for the first time: the Scottish Restaurant Challenge and, to celebrate 40 years of ScotHot, the ScotHot Classic. Entries are being invited now for the various competitions, which also include the search for the Scottish Chef of the Year and the World Culinary Grand Prix; all competition winners will be celebrated at the ScotHot Awards Dinner at the Grand Central Hotel on the evening of Wednesday March 6.
Meanwhile, delegates can feast their eyes on some of the latest products to arrive on the market.
Exhibitors ranging from small independent companies, like Eden Delicious, to international concerns such as Heineken UK, will be displaying their wares at the Scottish Food and Drink and Source Pavilions.
Image – Chefs can enter as many as 50 different culinary competitions.
SCOTHOT is back. To make sure you catch a slice of the hospitality, catering and tourism action, get down to Glasgow’s SECC from March 4 to 6. Opening times are 9.30am to 5pm on Monday and Tuesday, and 9.30am to 4.30pm on Wednesday. Entry is free to trade visitors when registering online in advance: connect via ScotHot.com, twitter.com/ScotHot2013 or facebook.com/ScotHot.