On Thursday 20th July nearly 200 of our team members took to the floors of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in Savoy Place, London for our seasonal Chef & Chat event.
This is an opportunity for chefs, managers, kitchen and front of house teams, directors and members of our wider family to come together and be inspired by new ideas and marketing campaigns, to meet suppliers and learn new skills. We were delighted to welcome teams from CH&Co Group for the first time since our merger.
After an introduction from Director of Food Gary McKechnie and Group Director of Operations Derick Martin, everyone took a tour around the impressive IET which recently underwent a £30m refurbishment and where H+J caters to Members, guests and venue visitors.
In rooms overlooking Embankment Gardens and the River Thames, we enjoyed diverse demos and talk topics such as:
- Sous vide and plating – with top tips and creative ideas
- Waste Not – our campaign to reduce food waste in our business
- Foraging – with fascinating wild food expert Miles Irving
- Making marketing live – how to increase footfall and customer engagement
- Disposable and branding ideas – showcasing new products
- An introduction to MyVerve, Harbour & Jones’ new online portal for our teams
The tour ended in the supplier-packed Maxwell Library where we met suppliers, tasted new products and discovered more about the remarkable businesses where we buy our ingredients.
As a finale we held our regular Mac knife challenge where chefs and non-chefs are timed slicing a cucumber (and not their fingers!). The runners up were Neil Price from Principals, Alex Temple from XL Catlin, and Nitin Sharma from HRP (CH&Co Group) and the winner by a sliver was Julian Moore from 41Portland Place. The knife prizes were kindly donated by CCS.
With post-drinks supplied by Corney & Barrow and Hill Prospect/Peroni, the networking went on until dusk with those involved toasting and celebrating the huge success of the event.
A great big ‘thank you’ to all those involved and especially to our wonderful suppliers.