Cost Sector Awards 2007: Lucky for Some

02/05/2007 00:05
As far as the 2007 winners are concerned there was nothing unlucky about the 13th annual Cost Sector Catering Awards.

In fact, the mix of good food, good company and high achievement gave everyone who attended plenty of reason to celebrate ... Colour, glitz, music, champagne and, above all, excellent food provided just the right backdrop to the announcement of the 2007 Cost Sector Catering Award winners - the highlight of the foodservice industry calendar. More than 800 people kicked off the evening at a champagne reception that provided the perfect opportunity for networking, gossip and simply catching up with old friends and colleagues. In a slight shuffle of the awards line-up this year, organisers introduced a new award for stadia catering, a move which reflects the growing catering specialisation that this category requires with its mix of fixture list events plus non-matchday business. There was fun to be had with the 13th anniversary theme for the awards, which were launched back in 1995. The awards brochure available to everyone provided background information for the three final nominees in each category and was spiced with trivia information relating to the number 13. Did you know, for instance, that a Rear Admiral is entitled to a 13-gun salute? London Hilton Metropole head chef Nigel Frost and his team produced a menu that kicked off with a Trio of Seafood that comprised smoked salmon with caviar, quenelle of crab and truffle marinated scallop. This was followed by Vanilla-salted lamb rump with dauphinoise potatoes, carrots, runner beans and thyme jus and a dessert of warm Normandy pear tart with caramel sauce. Former Craft Guild of Chefs chairman Steve Munkley praised the food and led the toast of 'Sante du Chef'. This evening was co-hosted by Alan Dewberry, chairman of Dewberry Redpoint which publishes Cost Sector Catering, and Lucy Alexander, a presenter on Sky News. They introduced the nominees and sponsors, got the raffle under way which raised more than £9,000 for Hospitality Action and then brought the formal part of the awards to a climax with the announcement of the winners. A special feature of this year's event was the 'Green Room' where the three nominees in each category gathered just before the winner was named. Cameras relayed pictures of the anxious trio to screens around the main room while Lucy Alexander had a chance for a brief word with them before the result was announced. Live music was supplied by Gwen Dickey's Rose Royce. She was the lead singer with the Los Angeles soul/funk band when it achieved its greatest hits, including the soundtrack album Car Wash plus singles hits such as Wishing on a Star and Love Don't Live Here Any More. As ever, the awards highlight is the announcement of the Blue Ribband winner, a person the judging panel believes has made an outstanding contribution the catering industry. This year it went to head of catering in HM Prisons Alan Tuckwood for his tireless work in seeking to promote choice, ethnic dishes and menus that take account of food allergies and intolerances within tight budget constraints and for a prison system that's bursting at the seams with inmates.

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