Historic chef competition International Salon Culinaire will be returning to ExCeL London on 21-23 March to put the UK’s chefs through their paces in a live competition environment.
Salon Culinaire is celebrating its 120th birthday in 2022 and has seen some of the UK’s most celebrated chefs pass through its doors.
With one week to go until the show competition begins, this year the event will once again be taking place as part of Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC), a comprehensive trade show for the food service and hospitality sector.
As an official partner for the competition, we caught up with Salon Culinaire Project Director Andrew Pantelli to learn more about this year’s series of competitions.
Hi Andrew, how does it feel to be back planning the live event for International Salon Culinaire?
It’s very exciting! The past two years have been tough for everyone in hospitality and particularly for the chefs working incredibly hard to adapt to constantly changing restrictions, so we can’t wait to reunite our community at the March 2022 event. We’ve had an incredible volume of entries already after launching this year’s competition last November, which really shows the appetite from chefs to get back out competing and challenging themselves.
How does it feel to be celebrating 120 years of International Salon Culinaire?
Ever since Montgomery Group incorporated Salon Culinaire into HRC (then Hotelympia), it’s been an incredible honour to be stewards of this historic brand, a responsibility we take incredibly seriously. The competition has an incredible level of prestige within the international hospitality industry, demonstrated during our virtual competitions in 2021 which saw a huge diversity of entries from all around the world.
We’re hugely excited for what the future holds and continue to be committed to our comprehensive judging process and to recognising truly exceptional chefs and dishes.
What’s new for this year’s event?
For 2022 we’re introducing a number of new competition categories. Chefs will be given the chance to demonstrate some of the skills they’ve acquired in lockdown with the Restaurant Meal Kit Competition, and we’re thrilled to be launching the Pub Chef of the Year award for the hugely talented cooks operating in those establishments.
This year will also see the launch of the Apprentice Challenge, recognising the importance of apprenticeships in bringing in new talent to the industry and giving apprentices a chance to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves in a live competition environment.
Why are competitions important for chefs?
Chefs are rightly focused on their kitchens, their menus, their colleagues and their customers, but it can be incredibly valuable to step out of those surroundings and test your skills, knowledge and creativity against other chefs and with unfamiliar equipment. It's also a fantastic opportunity to meet other chefs and hear about their challenges, insights and ways of working.
Not to mention, both Salon Culinaire and Hotel, Restaurant & Catering are hotbeds of innovation, fresh ideas and of new ways of working and thinking. It’s a fantastic opportunity to take a step back and soak in some inspiration from the best in the business.
Learn more about International Salon Culinaire and the over 100 live competitions, skills challenges and more at internationalsalonculinaire.co.uk.
Come and find The Burnt Chef Project at The HRC Event, stand P527