News (297)

A survey of food-service professionals reveals that sustainability concerns are changing the way the industry operates, with menus and kitchens reflecting more on the longevity of the industry and a desire to protect its future. 

The report commissioned by Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or® reveals that 40% of food-service professionals see sustainable eating becoming mainstream as one of the biggest and most exciting opportunities for the industry in the future*.

The trend is reflected behind the scenes, with eight in ten (85%) food-service professionals saying kitchens are already becoming more sustainable*, while encouragingly nearly three quarters (72%) of food-service veterans believe there is good emphasis on sustainability when training new chefs*.

Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or’s® research shows sustainability is central to the trends set to have the biggest impact on the future of food-service. In fact, over a third of respondents listed grow your own, and alternative food sources such as plant-based ingredients, as the trends that will shape the future of the industry*.

A pressing concern for the future of the UK food-service industry, however, is the skills gap. Nearly a third (30%) of food-service professionals agree the war for talent is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry right now*.

One solution could be to raise the profile of successful chefs, as the research from Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or® confirms that some 41% of food-service professionals believe the industry needs to shine more of a light on positive role models to attract people into a long-term career*.

The survey results are announced as Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or® launches its Sustainable Futures campaign, to raise awareness around the future of the UK food-service industry, covering menu and operational sustainability as well as protecting long-term careers in food-service.

Speaking about Sustainable Futures, Katya Simmons, Managing Director, Nestlé Professional® UK&I, said: “For us at Nestlé Professional, sustainability covers everything from food sourcing through to talent sourcing. It is an exciting time for food-service as sustainability initiatives are gathering pace.

“Our survey also shows food-service veterans believe rewarding career opportunities, innovation and creativity are exciting prospects for young talent*, so it’s important the industry works together to celebrate its creativity and attract fresh talent.”

Now in its 31st year, Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or® is one of the UK’s most influential industry competitions, bridging the gap between the theories of the classroom, work-based learning and the exciting reality of the industry. The Grand Finals will be held in London from 1st – 4th May and will see six college teams and six apprentices battle it out to win the coveted winning title. Over the four days, the finalists will compete in a series of challenges designed to stretch their knowledge in sustainability, wine, front of house and back of house, all the while working alongside high profile industry experts and chefs, including Simon Hulstone and James Tanner. The finals are a life-changing experience for their careers and will culminate in a glamorous awards ceremony at The Dorchester on Friday 14th June.


For more information about Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or® 2019 and to register your interest in next year’s competition visit:

Twitter: #toquedor2019, @NestleToquedor

YouTube: Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or

  • A newly developed programme delivered by Hubbub and funded by Starbucks will help communities resource collection of paper cup waste
  • Applications open for grants ranging between £50,000 and £100,000
  • Grants awarded by an independent panel including The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management  

Environmental charity, Hubbub, has announced the launch of The Cup Fund, to kickstart paper cup recycling programmes in locations across the U.K. The Cup Fund will support at least 10 large-scale recycling programmes, offering grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 based on the specific needs of each application to develop long term infrastructure and ensure cups are collected and sent for recycling. 

The ability to recycle paper cups has increased over the last two years and there is now enough capacity in the U.K. to recycle all paper cups used. However, because cups have a plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, they need to be collected separately from other paper goods. As a result, specific cup recycling points are needed as well as clear communication to help the public recycle easily.

The Cup Fund invites applications from a range of organisations wanting to increase infrastructure but lacking funding, including local authorities, recycling companies, property owners and social enterprises to come forward.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub, said: “We know that local authorities and building managers are committed to achieving their recycling targets but with increased strain on their budgets, investing in infrastructure is difficult. The launch of The Cup Fund with Starbucks means we will be able to collect cups in significant volumes in areas where there may not have been any drop off points before. We’re looking for ambitious, large-scale projects that will transform cup recycling in high footfall areas.”

The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks, who introduced a 5p charge on paper cups in 2018, to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups and avoid the charge. Starbucks ensures all proceeds are donated to Hubbub to carry out environmental projects that increase recycling as well as behaviour change studies to understand more about consumer behaviour, including the barriers that stop more people using a reusable cup.  

The instore charge has seen reusable cup use increase from 1.8% nationwide to over 5% of all hot drinks sold. Instore cup recycling is also offered in over 350 Starbucks stores across Britain, in a scheme that means any brand of cup can be brought back to be recycled.

Winning schemes will be selected by an independent panel consisting of experts in recycling and infrastructure, including The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). As well as financial funding, Hubbub will provide ongoing guidance and advice to the winning programmes to help them deliver infrastructure with a long-term benefit. Applicants can apply for The Cup Fund at are open until 24 May 2019. 

Jaz Rabadia MBE, UK senior manager of energy and sustainability, said: “Being part of The Cup Fund with Hubbub is a significant step for us in how we are trying to reduce the impact of paper cups taken outside of our stores. For us it’s about three things when it comes to cups - getting more customers to bring in a reusable cup when they visit us, recycling those that are used and also looking at alternative materials to plastic that future cups could be made from, and we’ll be  trialling those in London next year.”

The Institute of Hospitality Awards celebrate the very best in people development and reward those organisations that are using creative and inspiring methods to attract and retain engaged and enthusiastic teams.

There are four award categories and nominations are now open here.

The four award categories are as follows:

Graduate Scheme Of The Year
This award is open to all establishments across the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. It recognises those establishments that can show evidence of an engaging Graduate Scheme.

Student Placement Scheme Of The Year
This award is open to all establishments across the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. It recognises those establishments that can show evidence of an inspirational Student Placement Scheme.

Talent Development Team Of The Year
This award is open to HR teams from all sectors of the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. It recognises teams who can show evidence of outstanding talent development in terms of supporting individual professionals at all levels and has a positive impact on the company as a whole.

Outstanding Contribution to The Industry
This award is open to any individual across the industry, including non-members of the Institute of Hospitality. Nominees for this prestigious award can only be made by Fellows of the Institute of Hospitality. This is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry.

  • Closing Date 13 May 2019
  • Judging date 15 May 2019
  • Finalists announced 17 May 2019
  • Annual Dinner & Awards 10 June 2019

The winners will be revealed during the spectacular Institute of Hospitality Annual Dinner & Awards on the evening of 10 June at the Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London.

Edge Hill University has appointed top Lancashire chef, Tom Wells, to lead a refreshed and rejuvenated catering offer for the 12,000 students and 2,000 staff on campus.   

The focus of Tom’s role is delivering high standards within the university catering service and driving excellent customer service. He’ll also be raising the profile of the commercial hospitality opportunities to the wider business and local community.    

A former student at Runshaw College and originally from the Parbold, Tom’s formative catering career includes work as sous chef in luxury hotels in the French Alps and Austria. He ran his own outside catering company before spending nearly a decade as the dining driving force in the re-launch of two local gastro-pubs where he demonstrated culinary expertise and strategic direction as Head Chef across the two locations.     

“This is a perfect position - blending my skills and experience in fine dining and event hospitality to deliver something fresh and progressive at the University,” said Tom. “I’ll be looking to drive new markets, updating our menus to reflect the tastes, needs and budgets of our diverse range of customers. But this is more than just feeding students and staff – alongside physical health and nutrition we will be focussing on encouraging social inclusion and the mental health benefits of good food options.”      

The chef’s appointment as Kitchen Manager reflects the ambition and vision of the multi-award-winning Facilities Management Team, strengthening its reputation within the university sector and the local community as a location for quality and value for money. This enhanced role is at the forefront of the University’s commitment to delivering highly professional and sustainable catering services. It follows a recent customer insights programme which is shaping increased diversity in the food offering.   

 “We’re delighted and excited by Tom’s appointment,” said Helen Connolly, Edge Hill’s Commercial Services Manager. “He brings vision, energy and flair and is bursting with fresh and innovative ideas to enhance and drive a diverse, first-class service providing healthy food options and promoting nutrition and wellbeing across our catering services.”  

A few weeks into his role, Tom is looking to develop more vegan, vegetarian and allergy conscious offerings and expand the international flavours on offer – all which will be underpinned by a commitment to provide a range of nutritious meals which are good value. He’s also keen that the work at the campus isn’t seen in isolation and is looking to strengthen links with regional suppliers, businesses and local communities, showcasing what’s on offer at Edge Hill.

Since 2004, the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland have been recognising the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland.

All categories are open to any post-16 education establishment – including colleges, universities and learning and skills institutions. Specific categories are also aimed at student applications and 3rd party applications (companies working with institutions).

With new and refreshed categories, making the Awards more relevant to you, and a simpler and quicker application process, make this year the year that you apply.

Stage 1 closes at noon on 5 June 2019

Visit  or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Anaphylaxis (pronounced ana-fill-ax-is) is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. The Anaphylaxis Campaign is the only UK charity operating solely for the growing numbers of people at risk from severe allergic reactions. Severe symptoms such as swollen airways, acute asthma or becoming unconscious usually develop suddenly, often within minutes after being exposed to an allergy trigger such as a particular food. A fatality can occur within a short time of contact with an allergen. 

The Anaphylaxis Camapign is running a University Campaign throughout 2019 to raise awareness with colleges and universities to the challenges students with severe allergy face in respect of;

  • Meeting their own health needs and carrying 2 Adrenaline Auto-Injectors (AAI’s)
  • Eating at university events,
  • Eating out in their university town
  • Living in shared university accommodation

The Anaphylaxis Camapign have identified that 16-24-year olds are in a high-risk group when it comes to managing their allergies. Having had parents to support them manage their allergies they now face having to do this alone. Students are often reluctant to share information about their allergies, they often resist carrying their AAI’s and may experiment with foods they are allergic to. Freshers week and social events often places additional pressures for the severely allergic student.

The University campaign will focus on working with companies who support students in a university setting i.e. The University Catering Organisation (TUCO), Association for Student Residential Accommodation (ASRA) to raise awareness of the issues and risks students face when living and studying in a university setting.

A group of Sports Management Students are fund raising for the Anaphylaxis Campaign as part of their university studies. We hope to be able to show case their efforts to other universities across the country.

As Easter approaches, we share some Easter tips to help allergic students enjoy the festivities.

Please feel free to download our ‘Allergy Awareness at Easter’ poster.


If you are not familiar with severe allergy or Anaphylaxis why not try our free AllergyWise course? To register for free click on the link below

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has launched registration for its seventh annual BNF Healthy Eating Week, taking place 10 – 14 June 2019. BNF Healthy Eating Week comprises five health challenges, which TUCO members are encouraged to complete: Have breakfast, Have 5 A DAY, Drink plenty, Get active, and – new for 2019 – Sleep well. 

BNF Healthy Eating Week aims to increase knowledge about healthy eating and wellbeing, physical activity, food provenance and cooking, by providing schools and workplaces with activities and informative resources to support the five daily challenges.

This year’s latest focus is on sleep, and resources will highlight that getting enough good quality sleep is a key element of healthy lifestyles. Where a poor night’s sleep can make you feel grumpy and irritable, regular lack of sleep can have a negative impact on our dietary choices including higher intakes of calories and fat. The BNF’s recent Task Force report, released in February 2019, highlighted that both lack of sleep, and poor quality and interrupted sleep, may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Sleep is also involved in maintaining skills such as communicating well, memory and creative thinking.

Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education at the BNF said: “BNF Healthy Eating Week provides the perfect opportunity for schools, universities and businesses to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and truly focus on their health and wellbeing. Each year we introduce a new challenge, and with emerging research linking poor sleep quality to less healthy food choices and increased risk of obesity, we felt it was important to address this issue. BNF Healthy Eating Week registrants will receive a variety of resources containing information on our selected health and wellbeing themes, as well as some fun, educational activities to engage employees and students throughout the Week.”

BNF Healthy Eating Week is a valuable education initiative for teachers and young people - 4,600 schools and nurseries registered for last year’s event and more interest than ever was received from adults keen to be involved. Over 1,400 workplaces and universities participated, demonstrating the Week’s importance for informing adults about health and wellbeing too.

Ballam continued: “Promoting health is not only beneficial to employees, but to employers too – more and more workplaces are engaging with this concept every year. Approximately 131 million working days are lost to sickness absence, with 200,000 attributed to insufficient sleep in the UK each year. We hope that BNF Healthy Eating Week will help draw attention to some of these everyday health challenges and, in turn, help us along the path to resolving them too.”

For more information about BNF Healthy Eating Week 2019 and to register your nursery, school, college, university or workplace, please visit: or

Over 100 ratings for 45 different species in Marine Conservation Society guide remain Fish to Avoid. 

The UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says it is disappointed that not one single UK fishery has moved off its Good Fish Guide ‘Fish to Avoid’ list in its most recent ratings update.

As well as no fisheries of UK interest moving off its Avoid list, MCS says none moved on to its green rated, Best Choice, list either. Over 100 ratings for 45 different species of fish that are caught within the UK’s exclusive economic zone are red-rated by the charity on its Good Fish Guide (

The charity says this is hugely disappointing with Brexit, in whatever form, just around the corner, as without strong post-Brexit fisheries management more fisheries could find themselves being red-rated and moved onto the Fish to Avoid list.

Samuel Stone, MCS Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture, says Brexit will be the catalyst to either reignite improvements or result in a further decline in the health of UK fisheries: “Whilst there have certainly been improvements in fisheries management over the last decade and subsequent improvements in the health of many fish stocks, progress has now stalled. We are looking to the UK and the Devolved Administrations to put the long-term health of our seas and coastal communities first, by ensuring the new Fisheries Bill and other pieces of legislation are ambitious and will deliver sustainable fisheries.”

"Whilst the Fisheries Bill currently making its way through UK parliament has some good overarching ambition, we are extremely concerned that without key amendments to set fishing limits at sustainable levels, the UK's post-Brexit fisheries legislation will fall well short of delivering world leading fisheries, and could pave the way for further delays in recovering several depleted fish stocks"

But it’s not all bad news. Some of the larger fisheries for targeted species like coley (saithe), sprat, hake, plaice and haddock are doing fairly well with green and yellow ratings. However, there is a long way to go for several shellfish fisheries for scallop and whelks, as well as many other smaller fisheries for red mullet, grey mullet, cod, whiting, seabass, shark, skate and rays, most of which are either red or amber rated on the Good Fish Guide. Despite being smaller, these fisheries are often extremely important for coastal communities and have a vital role to play in their environment and need to be better managed.

MCS seafood ratings at a glance -

1 Dark Green – Indicates the most sustainably caught or farmed fish (Best choice)

2 Light Green – Indicates sustainably caught or responsibly farmed fish (Best choice)

3 Yellow – Indicates fish which are an ok choice, but require some improvements (Think)

4 Orange – Indicates fish which are some way from being sustainably caught or farmed and require significant improvements (Think)

5 Red – Indicates fish from the most unsustainable fisheries or farming systems (Fish to avoid)

Samuel Stone said: “We hope to see only green rated, sustainable UK fisheries in the future, but until that’s the case, choosing the most sustainable seafood continues to be a minefield and further evidence that visiting the Good Fish Guide website, downloading the app or getting the paper pocket guide, is a must for people choosing seafood.” The MCS Good Fish Guide Fish is available at as an app on iPhone or android, and paper credit card-sized version.

Tuesday, 02 April 2019 09:29

TUCO Competitions: winners announced!

Written by

The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) announced winners of its annual skills competitions. Held at the University of Warwick on 26th-27th March, more than 100 competitors battled it out to win gold at the prestigious event.

Matt White, Chair of TUCO said: “Our annual skills competitions have evolved year on year. The talent and skills shown by all competitors was fantastic. I was delighted to see the support. The atmosphere across all competitions was great. It’s exciting to see competitors deliver extraordinary breadth and range of hospitality skills. Congratulations to all of the winners.”

TUCO Competitions gives opportunity for college and university caterers to showcase their range of talents and skills, giving delegates a chance to see them live in action. Whether it be during the live cookery competitions or live on stage creating unique beverages.

Competitions included Barista and bar skills challenges, a chef’s challenge, cook & serve challenge, Salon Culinaire, and new for 2019, a photography challenge and grab & go competition.

Philippa Page from University of Kent, gold award winner of the new photography challenge said, “It’s the first this year so I don’t know what to expect”. Participating in the competition, she said she’d be thinking about, “Composition. Trying to capture the essence of the TUCO competitions and the chefs.”

The first day of competitions saw the Barista competitors battle it out in the Barista skills competition. Each competitor had to produce and present their specialty coffee to a row of four judges. Gold was awarded to Flavia Zago from Imperial College London.

Flavia Zago said, “I love being a part of the TUCO Competitions. The preparations are hard but when we are here everything is amazing, and you just want to do it again and again.”

In the same arena as the Barista competitions saw the bar skills competitions. Winner of last year’s bar skills competition, Jack Wallis from Royal Holloway, University of London returned to the TUCO Competitions to judge this competition. He said, “I loved it last ye

We’re not just looking for the flavours or what it looks like, we’re really interested in the techniques they’re using. It’s nice to hear a background story about the reasons why the cocktails are done the way they are.”ar. As nerve-racking as it was to be up on-stage, it was good fun. And to come back and be on the other side of the stage is really nice, interesting and a bit different.

This year, TUCO introduced a new and exciting twist to its bar skills competition. A crowd-pleasing, timed challenge whereby all bar skills competitors lined up to create as many gin and tonics in one minute as possible. Sophie Knights from University of Sheffield was awarded gold in the overall bar skills competition.

Many of the hot cookery competitions took place in the live theatre, where there were a range of cooking competitions including chefs challenge, salon culinaire, cook & serve challenge and the new, grab & go challenge.

Peter Griffiths, head of the chef’s panel of judges said: “The judges are looking for the flavour of the food and the presentation because we eat with our eyes as well. And the way that the chefs work in the kitchen. We look for the overall balance throughout the courses. So that the starter, main and sweet work together. And that they harmonise with flavours and make it a pleasant experience for the customer.

TUCO Competitions are fantastic. I’ve been involved with this for more than 20 years and they’ve always excited me. I’m proud to be involved. I’ve seen it evolve and I’ve seen the standards increase year on year. Long may it continue.”

Gold winners for the chefs and service competitions included Karol Zelek, Ross Wilson and Liga Boyd from the University of Edinburgh for the cook & serve challenge; Mark Donovan and Douglas Shewan from University of Aberdeen for the chefs challenge, and Kim Barnish from Keele University who won gold in the new grab & go challenge. 

Richard Bakaity from Royal Holloway University, competitor in this year’s chefs challenge said, “I really appreciate these events. Before I worked in a university, I was never given the opportunity to compete against chefs across the UK. Last year, we won the cook & serve challenge. Our prize was to attend TUCO’s study tour to Rotterdam. That was amazing! We learned and experienced a lot.

I think it’s absolutely fantastic that this organisation exists because it gives a chance for university caterers to continue to grow. I think it’s great that we are able to build for our future through events like this.”

This year, the salon culinaire had eight classes including classes such as cookie challenge, novelty decorated cake and restaurant plated dessert. Best in class gold winners included Jackie Rowlands from University of Chester for her novelty decorated cake, Rob Eddington from Oxford Said Business School for his tray bake, and Hannah Argyle from University of York for the cookie challenge.

TUCO Competitions award winners 2019:    

  • Bar skills competition, best signature drink: Tonii D'astoldo, University of Reading
  • Bar skills competition: Sophie Knights, University of Sheffield
  • Photography challenge: Philippa Page, University of Kent     
  • Grab & go challenge: Kim Barnish, Keele University
  • Barista skills: Flavia Zago, Imperial College London
  • Cook & serve challenge: Karol Zelek, Ross Wilson and Liga Boyd, University of Edinburgh
  • Chefs challenge: Mark Donovan and Douglas Shewan, University of Aberdeen
  • Salon culinaire, best in salon: Rob Eddington, Oxford Said Business School
  • Salon culinaire afternoon tea: Rob Eddington, Oxford Said Business School        
  • Salon culinaire coffee shop style sponge cake: Douglas Shewan, University of Aberdeen          
  • Salon culinaire cookie challenge: Hannah Argyle, University of York            
  • Salon culinaire decorative exhibit: Rachel Meikle, University of Edinburgh             
  • Salon culinaire novelty decorated cake: Jackie Rowlands, University of Chester   
  • Salon culinaire restaurant plated dessert: Rob Hattersley, University of Sheffield
  • Salon culinaire tray bake: Rob Eddington, Oxford Said Business School

The British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG) is the representative body for higher education finance staff in the United Kingdom. Their members are the Directors of Finance and Chief Financial Officers of almost all UK higher education institutions. HEPA is the network for procurement professionals in the HE sector, of whom more than 85% report to the Finance Director.

HEPA aims to:

• Work to enhance individual competencies, knowledge and skills in procurement practices by providing face to face courses, e-learning, regional networking, competency frameworks, and much more

• Provide leadership development programmes and learning opportunities

• Develop and maintain an online repository of resources and information covering areas such as best practice, benchmarking, templates, and news

• Provide procurement support beyond finance and procurement teams, including for procurement colleagues in HR, estates, IT, research teams and those with purchasing authority in academic departments.

We are looking for a procurement professional committed to collaborative working for the benefit of universities, their staff, students and commercial clients. The successful applicant will be prepared to understand the diverse HEPA membership, the pressures on the higher education sector and have ideas to help members be excellent business partners.

A lively imagination and flexible intellect will be accompanied by a can-do attitude, discretion and tact, and a diplomatic but robust approach to challenges.

The post is full-time. PHES offers a flexible working environment and generous salary and benefits but applicants should make their salary expectations clear when applying. A job share arrangement would be considered for the right candidates.

Find out more here.

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