News Sun, 26 Apr 2015 04:43:05 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Bidvest 3663 launches 'gluten-free made simple' guide
Bidvest 3663 has launched a new ‘gluten-free made simple’ guide and expanded its gluten-free range to encompass more than 330 products.

As part of its work to drive the gluten-free category forward, Bidvest 3663 has appointed a gluten-free strategy team across buying, marketing, new product and food development and quality assurance departments.  Its role is to ensure that the gluten-free range meets customers’ needs and that all products comply with legal requirements.


In response to heightened demand from customers for information about the gluten-free category and the needs of those with gluten-free dietary requirements, the team has collaborated with specialist suppliers and Coeliac UK to compile the ‘Gluten-Free made simple’ guide.


The 56-page guide brings all the category information in one place and has been designed to demonstrate that catering for special diets needn’t be restrictive or difficult.


Available as a digital download from the Bidvest 3663 website, the guide showcases the 330 gluten-free products across a range of categories. Among the 44 latest new additions to the gluten-free range are pizza bases and pre-wrapped chocolate brownies, along with branded Genius sliced bread, Schӓr spaghetti, Almondy Toblerone Tarte and D & Co ham and cheese panini.


Each item has been chosen for quality, taste, price and ease of use to ensure quality, choice and flexibility for chefs when designing their menus.


To help caterers ensure that their gluten-free offer meets consumers’ expectations and reflects the latest trends, the guide features recipes developed by Bidvest 3663’s dedicated gluten-free chef.


The guide also contains information and advice about coeliac disease and insights about the UK’s gluten-free market to help operators and their staff understand the needs of the consumers who eat a gluten free diet.


Catherine Hinchcliff, head of customer marketing at Bidvest 3663 said: “Although consumers with coeliac disease and those who avoid gluten as a lifestyle choice can choose from a wide range of gluten-free goods in supermarkets, many still feel overlooked when eating out of home.


“Furthermore, research performed by Schӓr found that almost half of consumers living with coeliac disease have given up eating out, after being unable to find places that can cater for their needs; therefore catering for this customer group can pay dividends for operators. Our focus has been to make it easy for chefs to develop a variety of on-trend, appetising and safe gluten-free dishes and help them to make the most of this menu opportunity.”

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:48:31 +0000
Pembroke College - allergen accredited
Pembroke College, Cambridge, has become allergen accredited.

When the allergen legislation came into effect in December, Pembroke’s catering tem set up Simply Pembroke, a range of allergen-free food in the cafeteria.


Following its launch in January, catering manager David Harwood contacted Allergen Accreditation and CEO Julian Edwards carried out a rigorous inspection of the kitchens, which confirmed that the college was compliant in all 45 of the specified areas.


Julian Edwards said: “I’m delighted to be able to hand over an accreditation certificate, which is the Michelin star of allergen management. Pembroke’s catering team have not just met the requirements.


“They have done something exceptional. I have not seen an allergen free zone anywhere else yet – you’re the first.”

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:17:27 +0000
Bristol Online Survey - Grocery Vendor Assessments 2015

We've launched the TUCO Grocery, Provisions & Chilled Foods Agreement 2015 - Supplier Vendor Assessment. These Vendor Assessment surveys are designed to capture your feedback on the level of service which you are currently getting from the suppliers which you have opted to use.

If you are using this framework then please, as the end user, spare a few minutes to complete the survey. TUCO will then discuss the results and any comments made with the suppliers during the annual contract review meeting.

To complete the survey simply click on the link provided below;


Note - this survey will close on the 30th April, so please be quick!

Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:32:58 +0000
Imperial College and UCB make it to BBQ Battle final

Karol Stankiewicz of Imperial College and Mathew Shropshall of USB's College of Food will be representing the university catering sector at this year’s British BBQ Battle live cook-off final.


Karol and Mathew are amongst six others to make it to the final to take place at Mentmore Golf & Country Club on Wednesday 20th May.


The chefs competing to win the title of BritishBBQ Battle champion 2015 are:


  • Jamie Park of Adam Handling at The Caxton
  • David Hart of Mandeville Hotel
  • Danny Lucas of Gordon Ramsey Group
  • Gareth Finney of The Albion Taverna
  • Faisal Rahman of The Chefs Eye Ltd
  • Mark Williamson of Sodexo
  • Karol Stankiewicz of Imperial College
  • Mathew Shropshall of College of Food


The finalists had to submit a description of a 3-course meal that can be prepared on a BBQ and cooked within a one hour time frame at the final event.


The finalists will be representing four different hospitality sectors: pub and bar; hotels; golf club & outdoor/event catering; and universities.


If you’re interested in attending the final and seeing the live cook-off and demonstrations by Ben Bartlett, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , visit, or follow the event on twitter: #bbqbattle.

Mon, 20 Apr 2015 10:15:40 +0000
Skills for chefs announce renowned baker

The annual Skills for Chefs conference to be held on 1st and 2nd July 2015, will host renowned baker and chef, Richard Bertinet from The Bertinet Kitchen and Bakery.


Richard's passions stems from the age of 14 when he became a baker’s apprentice in his native Brittany. Now, with over 30 years’ experience he now divides his time between teaching at his cookery school, The Bertinet Kitchen and running The Bertinet Bakery. 


The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School was opened by Richard in Bath in 2005. He aims to teach everyone, from novices to experienced cooks, understand the way food should look, feel and taste whilst encouraging individuals to enjoy and develop their own cooking style.


Richard is particularly revered, however, in the world of baking. Known for his technique of ‘working’ the dough' and strives to promote the art of baking and to show how simple it can be to create fantastic bread.


Richard’s four books on baking: Dough; Crust, Pastry and Patisserie Maison have become modern baking bibles and he attracts people from all over the world to participate in his renowned bread making classes at the school.


Skills for Chefs identifies the essential art of baking and considers it of utmost importance that the chef delegates at the conference experience and learn some of Richard’s revelatory techniques. His demonstrations will include his technique for breadmaking together with some ideas to create an attractive offer in your restaurant.


The Conference will be held in Sheffield and is designed for professionals in the culinary industry. Its aims are to showcase the talents of leading chefs, share skills and knowledge, spotlight topical and political issues and network with colleagues and supplies.


The delegate registration for the conference can be processed at



Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:35:45 +0000
TUCO growth brings new era for public sector buying

The last year has seen The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) significantly strengthen its position through on-going investment in infra-structure and skills at its Head Office in Manchester.


Directly responding to increasing levels of member engagement across its 350-plus membership, TUCO has launched a number of initiatives including international study tours, increased training and development support as well as a series of relevant and attractive member benefits.


The organisation has also made a series of significant appointments within its Head Office which has included boosting its sales and marketing teams, training and development staff, as well as procurement specialists in public sector buying in order to further its position as a leading public sector consortium that returns unique savings and benefits to its customers.


Collective spending power


Following successful penetration of primary and secondary education establishments and hospitals in 2014, TUCO is also investing in boosting membership amongst those sectors to maximise the spending power that TUCO members collectively yield, currently standing at over £130 million a year.


Speaking about the changes, Mike Haslin, TUCO Chief Operating Officer commented: “The purchasing landscape for the public sector has undergone many changes over the past twelve months, with the introduction of Universal Infant Free School Meals, the new Public Sector Procurement Guidelines and changes to Allergens rules all adding to the already complex process. The dedication and experience of our exceptional Board and team has seen TUCO adapt and seamlessly navigate these changes to help support our members and suppliers to do the same and get the very most out of all we offer.


“As a result, TUCO has gone from strength-to-strength and has allowed us to bring in further skills to add to our diverse expertise that will ensure that TUCO remains the public sector purchasing leader.”

Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:37:03 +0000
Premier releases nostalgic dessert guide
Premier Foodservice is hoping to take chefs and caterers down memory lane with new a new nostalgic recipe guide to showcase how traditional desserts can be used with innovative twists.

The Desserts through the Decades guide delivers eight costed recipes inspired by the nation’s favourite desserts, alongside a selection of vintage Premier Foods adverts.


The guide has been designed specifically to showcase Premier Foods’ traditional brands, which include McDougalls, Bird’s, Ambrosia and Angel Delight.


Sarah Gray, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, said: “Our new Desserts through the Decades guide brings an aspect of fun through a nostalgic look back at the products we all remember from our childhoods.


“Readers of this guide will also be taken on a journey through the decades with the publication of a number of our ads from the archives. 


“The guide will also provide the healthcare sector with exciting and innovative dessert options, ensuring the nutritional needs of people with special diets such as dysphagia are met.


“A number of recipes in this guide can be used by healthcare caterers to aid them when making desserts for their patients.


“All new recipes featured within the guide have been created and developed by Louise Wagstaffe, Culinary Advisor for Premier Foods. From Pineapple Upside Down cake in the 1930’s, to Lavender Cupcakes in the noughties, the recipes are ideal for creating excitement within the upsell opportunity that the dessert occasion creates. 


“The guide also provides top tips on how to make the most of the recipes with twists and tricks to provide variety which will help drive footfall among both new and existing customers.” 


Premier Foods is also running an online competition giving chefs and caterers the chance to win afternoon tea for two at The Ritz. Chefs must simply download the guide from the Premier Foodservice website, by August 31st 2015.

Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:44:46 +0000
TUCO Members score hatrick at Cost Sector Catering Awards

Members of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) across the country have been celebrating this week, after taking home a trio of accolades at the prestigious Cost Sector Catering Awards last Thursday.


The University of Manchester was the first to be called to the stage at the annual dinner, attended by over 700 industry peers and colleagues, taking home the Sustainability Award.


Swiftly following on from this, James Leeming and Ash Smith from University of Southampton were recognised for their pioneering labelling work - scooping the Innovation Award.


Finally, Rob Bean, Executive Chef at Leicester University took the much-coveted Chef Award, amid cheers from the hundreds of attendees.


The Cost Sector Catering Awards aim to showcase the talent, passion and skill of caterers operating in the cost sector and to recognise the achievements of individuals, companies and organisations making an impact on the wider Hospitality Industry.


Generally considered one of the industry's benchmarks for excellence, the Cost Sector Catering Awards are now in their 16th year and are attended by the 'great and the good' of the sector.

"University Catering has been one of the industry's 'best kept secrets' for far too long," said Julie Barker, chair of TUCO, "the work many of our members do is ground-breaking, and leads the way in areas from sustainability to nutrition.  


"It therefore gives us great pleasure to see so many of our members recognised at this distinguished event.  Alongside the three TUCO member winners, we proudly see many more on the shortlist, evidencing the significant boost in profile university catering is receiving.   We'd like to congratulate all our members on their achievements."



Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:39:53 +0000
KFF begins expansion with £750,000 depot renovation

Foodservice wholesaler, KFFhas begun its expansion plans after 18 months of growth. The first of KFF’s planned development sees a £750,000 renovation of its Witney depot, quadrupling it in size from when it was originally acquired in 2010 as a small satellite site.


This expansion will add five new delivery routes, with the potential of 20 more and has the potential to transport within a 40-mile radius of KFF’s Oxfordshire depot, opening up the M4 corridor for the company. The expansion has also increased the number of jobs to 24, three of which are management roles.


KFF has also saved 250,000 food miles and 200 tonnes of CO2 since its completion. Alongside this, KFF has also reduced its energy consumption to only 3kW and more energy efficiency procedures are set to be incorporated within the next 18 months.


Chris Beckley, managing director of KFF said: “The expansion of our Witney depot is a sign of things to come as we look to expand further north in addition to our main depot in Aylesford. As well as achieving excellent energy and resource savings, the expansion has allowed us to greatly improve our service levels to customers along the M4 corridor, and also demonstrates our commitment to that area.”


KFF is a national foodservice wholesaler to the catering industry and provides a range of chilled, ambient and frozen products, including meat, fish, bread and cheese as well as fully prepared meals and drinks.


Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:02:10 +0000
LACA and People 1st launch professional standards consultation process

One of the actions of the School Food Plan is to set up a Workforce Development Group led by the Lead Association of Catering in Education (LACA) and now the consultation process is about to begin. The hospitality skills sector body, People 1st, has been appointed to work with LACA on producing a draft of the professional standards to go out for consultation.


LACA and People 1st are now beginning the consultation process for the professional standards to ensure all options and opinions are considered.


The Workforce Development Group plans to publish the agreed standards at the LACA main event in July together with an action plan agreed by all members and partners.


Professional standards are to be developed for all staff who have a crucial role in delivering school food both back and front of house, including; head of kitchen, school cook, assistants and midday supervisors.


LACA has stated that the professional standards are not:


  • A list of duties that all staff should undertake
  • Job descriptions
  • A way of increasing the size of jobs
  • Job measurement or evaluation
  • A pay and performance system
  • Another pressure for staff.

LACA has also stated why there is a need for professional standards in school catering.


  • Staff can see HOW they are doing in relation to what they know CAN be achieved
  • Raises quality, efficiency and above all, MORALE
  • Helps to attract and retain the best into the profession
  • Shows how amazing our workforce is to the rest of the catering sector, head teachers and parents
  • Supports consistency of performance and transferability of knowledge and skills

There is currently no prescribed method for using the professional standards and LACA is asking members in this consultation to consider how the standards could be used to best advantage school catering operations.


Please click here to find the questionnaire and return completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Thursday 30th April 2015.

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:49:08 +0000