This year’s hospitality trade show promises a packed programme of events with competitions, education, hot debates and demonstrations
HOSPITALITY trade show ScotHot returns next month bringing more than 200 exhibitors and a full schedule of events to the SECC Glasgow.
Taking place on March 4 and 5, this year’s exhibition forms part of Scottish Tourism Week’s Signature Programme (see page 30) and is expected to attract over 8000 Scottish hoteliers, restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, drinks buyers, proprietors and operators.
Some of the highlights of the ScotHot 2015 programme include the 30th Scottish Culinary Championships, the UK Barista Championships as well as the New Product Awards.
Challenging chefs to create food ‘sculptures’, demonstrate skills such as vegetable preparation, sushi, and crab dressing, and compete in a live cook-off against each other on the ScotHot main stage, this year’s Scottish Culinary Championships will extend over both days of the trade show, pitting chefs against one another in a bid to win the title.
This year’s championships have been broadened and will include new elements such as The Risotto Challenge, aimed at younger chefs, as well as a dessert competition.
The Scottish Culinary Championships also includes the Scottish Junior Chef of the Year and Federation of Chefs Scotland Scottish Chef of the Year competitions.
For coffee connoisseurs and industry professionals alike, the UK Barista Championship offers the chance to witness 20 competitors go head to head for the chance to win a place in the World Barista Championships this April. The competition will test baristas on their coffee knowledge, presentation, preparation and all-round barista ability.
This year also sees the return of the ScotHot New Product Awards, which aim to recognise the best products and services in the hospitality industry today. Judged by an independent panel of experts, the awards aim to recognise “all round excellence” in products launched in the year leading up to the show.
The awards will recognise innovative and high-quality products amongst the exhibitors, with short-listed products receiving gold, silver or bronze accolades at an awards ceremony held during the exhibition.
Competitions aren’t the only major events at ScotHot 2015.
The trade show’s Spotlight Stage has a full schedule of events, kicking off on March 4 with a number of live presentations, demonstrations and debates featuring hoteliers, restaurateurs and industry experts.
On day two of ScotHot (March 5), the Scottish Tourism Alliance takes control of The Spotlight Stage offering a range of talks and workshops, which form part of the Scottish Tourism Week Conference.
Trade show guests will also have the opportunity to take advantage of free business advice from The Buell Group at the Buell Business Advice Clinic.
Other ScotHot highlights include the Liquid Academy Theatre, which will be hosted by Glasgow-based training firm LA Group.
The liquid academy will include talks and interactive seminars on both spirits and mixed drinks.
ScotHot 2015 attendees will also have the opportunity to visit the CESA Innovation Zone – an exhibition showcasing the latest developments in catering equipment in Scotland.
Soraya Gadelrab, event director for ScotHot, said this year’s trade show will be “the place to meet for the Scottish food, drink, hospitality and tourism industries in Scotland”.
“It’s the only place where suppliers have the opportunity to showcase what new products and services they are bringing to market to the great and the good of the industry and do real business on the show floor,” said Gadelrab.
“It’s also a fantastic place to network with colleagues, listen to informative discussions and seminars in The Spotlight Stage and see Scotland’s most prestigious chefs as well as the chefs of the future compete in the Scottish Culinary Championships.
“Exciting additions for this year are the finals of the UK Barista Championships which will return to the show and our brand new Drinks Live theatre celebrating the Scottish bar industry.
“There really is something for everyone so make sure you don’t miss out.”
Fergus Ewing, minister for business, energy and tourism, will open this year’s exhibition. Ewing said the Scottish tourism sector had enjoyed a successful 2014, highlighting events such as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, and suggested that 2015, the Year of Food & Drink, presents “a chance to build on the success [of 2014]”.
“[This year] we will celebrate Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce with Scots and visitors alike and ScotHot provides the perfect platform to do this,” he said.
• UK Barista Championship
• New Product Awards
• Buell Business Advice Clinic
• Liquid Academy Live
• CESA Innovation Zone
• Over 200 exhibitors
• 30th Scottish Culinary Championships, with categories including: Scottish Chef of the Year, Scottish Junior Chef of the Year, Brakes Student Team Challenge, Japanese Sushi Competition, Junior Risotto Challenge and Scottish Contract Catering Chef of the Year.