TV chefs to headline at WTCE’s Taste of Travel Theatre

The educational sessions at the Taste of Travel Theatre at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE®), on April 4-6 in Hamburg, will cover all aspects of the industry and are free to all registered visitors. From Michelin-starred chefs to airline representatives, the programme is designed to equip industry professionals with the advice and knowledge needed to push their businesses forward.

Opening on the first day of the show (Tuesday April 4), the Taste of Travel sessions will explore a range of topics from using social media to promote food and beverage offerings and the increased integration of technology, to how suppliers can get their products onboard.

Development chef consultant, TV presenter and founder of Posh Pasty, James Strawbridge will take to the stage on the first day of the show to demonstrate the impact and value of serving high quality meals and products onboard. His interactive session with tastings and samples will discuss which products work best for the buy-on-board market.

Next, Michelin-starred celebrity chef Mark Sargeant will step in to discuss his partnership with American Airlines. In a lively session, Mark will demonstrate dishes he has created for the airline, while treating his audience to highlights from his career – including his time working under Gordon Ramsay.

Later in the day, TV personality and celebrity chef Levi Roots will talk about the journey behind his successful Reggae Reggae range of Caribbean-inspired cooking sauces, ready meals, soft drinks and desserts, which now retail globally and are used in numerous high-profile restaurant chains.

Technology will be high on the agenda in this year’s Taste of Travel Theatre with a range of sessions exploring the increased integration of technology and how it is helping to shape the customer experience onboard.

Profiling the rise of pre-ordering and the availability of on-demand meals, Raymond Kollau, founder of airlinetrends.com, will talk about changing consumer behaviours and passenger expectations from air and rail operators with a focus on the Smartphone on-demand economy. Raymond will be joined by Jaap Roukens, Chief Executive Officer of iFleat – a downloadable app-based service that simply requires passengers to fill in their name and booking number before allowing them to pre-order restaurant food ahead of their flight.

Opening Taste of Travel on the second day, Eero Vottonen, winner of the Worldchefs Global Chef Challenge 2016, will present his range of signature dishes – created to celebrate Finnair’s centennial anniversary – with live cooking. He will be joined by Maarit Keränen, Head of In-Flight Service at Finnair, who will explain the value of working with a celebrity chef like Vottonen.

From Scandinavia to Vietnam, Chef Ms Trinh Diem Vy – one of Vietnam’s most recognized restauranteurs and chefs – will also speak on the second day of the event joined by Chef Keerthi Hapugasdeniya (Happy) to explain how partnering with restaurants can improve airline and rail customer satisfaction.

Stathis Kefallonitis and David McLain of branding.aero will explore how technology and neuroscience methods can help understand the passenger and improve the cabin experience, based on work carried out with GateGroup. The session will include a Taste of Travel first by challenging the audience to focus their senses with interactive blind tastings.

Lance Hayward of The Hayward Partnership will moderate a panel of onboard hospitality suppliers to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing brands looking to get their products onboard. Joining him will be Robin Padgett, CEO at DNATA Catering; Chika Russell, founder and CEO of Chikas Foods; and Michael Palij, CEO and Master of Wines at Wine Traders.

Speaking about his session, Hayward commented: “I hope attendees to my session leave with a better understanding of the industry and the challenges facing new brands. It’s a fantastic business and with the right advice from the right people, it can be a great venture for companies looking to move onboard. WTCE is a great way of learning about what’s happening in the industry today. I’ve attended many times over the years and it never ceases to be interesting.”

Lance will also take part in a session that will see five exhibitors introduce their new products to an expert panel at the end of the first day. Each exhibitor will be given two minutes to present their new product or service resulting in one lucky winner chosen as the panel’s favorite pitch.

Thursday will see another full day of sessions at the Theatre, kicking off with Alan Hayes, Inflight Retail and Managed Services Director for Alpha LSG, who will discuss the buyer/supplier relationship and the key to making product sales soar within the travel retail sector.

Later, Jonathon Jones, an expert grower and Managing Director of Trading at British estate Tregothnan Tea, will give an informative presentation on the merits of tea, which is growing in popularity. Tregothnan has strong links with rail, with travelers enjoying a cup of the brand’s tea from Cornwall to the Netherlands via GWR and Eurostar. Cakes will be supplied by Horizon Patisserie and Desserts, which produces a range of patisserie and cakes. Later, wine expert and supplier Andrew Brown of Ratcliffe and Brown and Patrick den Drijver of traditional Dutch cheese-maker Beemster will explore the perfect wine and cheese pairings for onboard.

To find out more and view the full programme, please visit:

http://www.worldtravelcateringexpo.com/TasteofTravel