New show hailed a roaring success

Media release: 13 August 2018

New show hailed a roaring success

Food & Hospitality Queensland made its debut in Brisbane last week, with the industry-only expo inundated by visitors keen to see the latest products and suppliers for their business.

Exhibition Director Tim Collett believes the show’s success reflects the industry’s growth and appetite for new products and services. “We knew Brisbane was ready for a show, but I was blown away by the level of interest,” he admits.

Collett says buyers turned out in great numbers over the two days, and he was thrilled with the response to the special events; the Aged Care Catering Summit, Queensland Chef of the Year and the Brisbane Café School.

Held 5-6 August at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Food & Hospitality Queensland featured over 140 exhibitors with the latest food, drink and equipment ideas.

At the centre of the show, the Queensland Chef of the Year saw 27 professional chefs competing over the two days against the clock and each other. Brisbane’s Marcus Hillier from Factory 51 took the prestigious title, in a closely-fought Grand Final with Mathew Lee from Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Norbert Marczinek from Gold Coast’s Beachside Pavilion and Ungki Lee from The Pier, Hope Island.

Hillier won $2,500, amazing prizes from gold sponsors Unox and Australian Pork and silver sponsor Robot Coupe, plus a trip to Melbourne to compete in the Australian titles next year at Foodservice Australia.

“Chefs are the heroes of our industry and it was fitting to feature this competition at the heart of the show,” says Collett. “It was so pleasing to see the connections being made between chefs from all over Queensland at this elite event.”

The Aged Care Catering Summit on Monday 6 August was incredibly well received, with delegates from aged care facilities and home care providers keen to find out more about the future of dining in this booming market.

Proudly sponsored by RATIONAL Australia and hosted by Mary Atkins, the Summit included speakers such as Aveo Group’s National Food Services Manager John Casey, Cherie Hugo from The Lantern Project, Lynn James, CEO of the Maggie Beer Foundation, Jo Cleary from Dining Experience Specialists and Tibor Paller from Tibor’s Kitchen.

Lunch and food-to-go was the focus at the Brisbane Café School, with free workshops throughout the two days sponsored by Freedom Foods and Norco. Highlights included espresso masterclasses with Neli Coffee, Beautiful Breakfast Bowls with Bowl&Spoon, Pizza Innovation with award-winning pizza chef Simon Best and a pork butchering demonstration by Murray Valley Pork’s Brendan Tuck.

On the exhibition floor, visitors could try out the latest kitchen equipment from the likes of Unox, Moffat, Comcater, Robot Coupe, JL Lennard and Stoddart, and taste hundreds of food and beverage products for the hospitality and retail industries.

Iconic Brisbane supplier Hospitality Superstore had a strong presence at the show with demonstrations and workshops on both days. “This was a fabulous event for the Brisbane market,” says Sales Director Dane Nicholson.

“We were really excited to be involved and showcase our leading brands including Moffat, Skope, Tomkin, HSS Finance and Xtracted Expresso. We met a lot of our current customers and hundreds of new ones.”

Boutique Sunshine Coast producer Maleny Cuisine exhibited as part of the dynamic Specialty Producers Pavilion and found it a real boost for the brand. “This has been a very successful couple of days for us,” says owner William Nicholls. “We have pages of leads from serious buyers who are genuinely wanting our products.”

Grant Allwood from Pac Food was also very happy. “We were pleasantly surprised by the large number of leads,” he says. “Having the Aged Care Catering Summit at the show also brought the buyers from this growing sector.”

Tim Collett and his team are looking forward to bringing Food & Hospitality Queensland back to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from 4-5 August 2019, with many stands already booked.

“Queensland deserves its own food and hospitality industry event,” says Collett. “The growth here is so evident – particularly in Brisbane – in all the new buildings, new restaurants, new coffee shops and new developments. This really is a city on the move.”

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Kirsty Hunt

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