Taste of Travel sessions

Onboard Hospitality is delighted to be working with the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) team again this year to pull together an exciting programme of lively and inspiring sessions at the Taste of Travel Theatre.

Over the full three days (April 4-6 2017), the theatre will see no less than four celebrity or Michelin-star chefs in action, including Levi Roots, Mark Sargeant, Eero Vottonen and Trinh Diem Vy, as well as expert insights on new technologies to tackle allergy challenges; how to get your product on board; improve your onboard product; meeting the demands of the pre-order trend; and understanding your passengers through neuroscience.

All sessions are free to attend with fantastic food samples up for grabs as well as plenty of interactive discussion and inspirational ideas. The Onboard Hospitality team will be based beside the Theatre on Stand 1G99. For more information or to register to attend the event: worldtravelcateringexpo.com

Timetable of events

Click on any any session here to discover more.

Tuesday April 4

10:30 – Adding quality to buy on board
11:30 – Dining Michelin-style with American Airlines
13:30 – Put some music in your food!
14:30 – Tapping into the pre-order and on-demand meals trends
15:30 – New Arrivals – New Product Pitches

Wednesday April 5

10:30 – Finnish flavours Eero surprises
11:30 – What’s on your plate? Introducing a ‘technology’ for caterers, airlines and passengers that communicates exactly what is being served
13:30 – Vietnam’s leading chef takes us outside the industry for inspiration
14:30 – Sensory food tasting
15:30 – Workshop – getting your product onboard

Thursday April 6
10:30 – Onboard shopping
11:30 – Time for tea and cakes
13:30 – New Arrivals – First Time Exhibitor Pitches
14:30 – Wine and cheese – what works together

Tuesday April 4

10:30: Adding quality to buy on board

James Strawbridge, development chef consultant, TV presenter and founder of Posh Pasty, talks about and demonstrates the impact and value of serving high quality meals and products on board. This session will discuss and explore which products work best for the buy on board market, giving provenance to the ingredients while discussing how James designs food for development briefs. This will be an interactive session with tastings and sampling.

James lives in Cornwall where he runs the Posh Pasty Company producing award-winning gourmet pasties using the finest Cornish ingredients. His TV debut was in the BBC2 series It’s Not Easy Being Green which followed his family as they attempted to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Following this, James featured in the BBC2 series Paradise or Bust (2008) when he managed an eco tourism project on an island in Fiji.

James co-wrote Practical-Self Sufficiency: The Complete Guide to Sustainable Living with his dad in 2010 and was also employed as an Eco-consultant for the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a major tourist attraction in Cornwall.

Recently James has presented two popular ITV series of The Hungry Sailor featuring a coastal journey with his father aboard a wooden pilot cutter to explore the food of Britain’s coastal towns! Living in Cornwall has inspired James to spend lots of time cooking outdoors and ITV’s Saturday Farm, saw him cooking up delicious seasonal meals on rocket stoves, open fires, BBQs and DIY smokers. When not cooking, filming or crimping pasties James can be found out at sea relaxing in his wooden sailing boat or competitively gig-rowing for his local club.

11:30: Dining Michelin-style with American Airlines

English Michelin star chef, Mark Sargeant, is working with American Airlines as part of their celebrity chef partnership programme. In this lively session Mark will re-create dishes served onboard American Airlines’ First Class and give an insight into his amazing career which earned him a Michelin star award at the age of 28 while working alongside Gordon Ramsay. Expect to taste some special samples.

Growing up in the Kent countryside, Mark discovered at a young age that cooking, and cooking well, was something that came naturally. Mark won Young Chef of the Year in 1996 and went on to work with Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine and then on to open Restaurant Gordon Ramsay as sous chef during which time the restaurant won its 3 Michelin Stars.His talent and dedication were rewarded with the appointment of Head Chef at the new Gordon Ramsay at Claridges in 2001 where he gained a Michelin Star and was awarded the title of Chef of the Year in 2002.

Mark published a cookbook ‘My Kind of Cooking’ and has presented ITV’s Saturday Cookbook. He regularly appears on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, ITVs This Morning and Food Network UK shows. Mark was delighted to have been chosen to create exclusive menus for Royal Ascot 2012 and is going to head up the food at the London Salon Priveé.

He has two restaurants and a pub in Kent and his newest restaurant is The Wife of Bath.

Mark has recently partnered with American Airlines designing First Class menus on flights from Heathrow to the Unites States.

12:30 – 13:00: Food sampling & networking

13:30: Put some music in your food!

Levi Roots talks about his ventures while popularising the spicy flavours of his Jamaican heritage. His Reggae Reggae range of Caribbean inspired cooking sauces, ready meals, soft drinks and desserts are now seen world-wide. This is all about making Caribbean food more accessible and how spicy flavours work in the air. Expect some tasty sampling and some great Reggae!

Levi Roots was born in Jamaica. When his parents emigrated to the UK, he stayed with his grandmother who taught him how to cook and encouraged his passion for both food and music.

In the UK, Levi built a career in the reggae music industry performing with artists like James Brown and Maxi Priest. In 1998 he even received a MOBO nomination for his album “Free your mind”.

Levi maintained his love of food and developed his Reggae Reggae jerk chicken sauce recipe which he sold every year at the Notting Hill Carnival.

To develop the sauce as a business Levi needed investment so in 2006 he applied to Dragons’ Den and he appeared in an episode which aired in Feb 2007. Levi secured investment of £50,000 from Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh which funded the national launch of the sauce. He also received the massive publicity that goes with a TV audience of circa five million viewers.

Following the success of the sauce, the business has developed from a single spicy BBQ sauce to a major food brand based on the recipes, flavours, music, colour and lifestyle of the Caribbean.The brand is supported by Levi’s reputation as a musician/celebrity chef and his image as the ultimate “dragon slayer”.

14:30: Tapping into the pre-order and on-demand meals trends

Trends expert and founder of Airline Trends, Raymond Kollau will examine changing consumer behaviour and expectations in the wider world with particular reference to the Smartphone on-demand economy. Raymond will provide an overview of how airlines and airports can tap into the pre-order and on-demand trends by showing a large number of recent initiatives. He will be joined by Jaap Roukens, founder and CEO of iFleat, a new company that aims to select dishes from the best restaurants in town and have these served to passengers up in the air.

Raymond is the founder of market research agency airlinetrends.com, which monitors the global aviation industry for product and service innovations launched by airlines in response to consumer behaviour. Based in the Netherlands.

Jaap is the founder and chief executive office of iFLEAT. He has a distinguished career in the catering and hospitality including founder and chief executive officer of Supplair; chief marketing officer and board member of gategroup and chief product officer and member of the Executive Board of Do&Co

15:30: New Arrivals – new product pitches

Five exhibitors will have a chance to present their new products in a quick-fire pitch in front of an expert panel (Lance Hayward, George Banks and Jeremy Clark) who will award their favourite pitch.

Wednesday April 5

10:30: Finnish flavours Eero surprises

This session welcomes Finnish Chef of the Year and Bocuse d’Or finalist, Eero Vottonen to present a range of signature breakfast dishes for Finnair in celebration of the airline’s centenary. Local sourcing and Scandinavian heritage will come to the fore while Maarit Keränen, Head of In-Flight Service at Finnair, explains the value of working with a celebrity chef. This session will feature live cookery with plenty to sample.

In celebration of flying for 100 years, Finnair has invited executive chef Eero Votteonen to create its Signature menu for Business Class long haul flights out of Helskinki.

Eero was Finland’s candidate for the highly prestigious 2017 Bocuse d’Or competition which is arguably the biggest culinary competition in the world, bringing 24 chefs from different countries to compete on the international stage. During his career he has worked with numerous skilled chefs in top restaurants in Finland, including Chez Dominique, Luomo, G.W. Sundmans and Olo. His food philosophy is simple – taste always comes first.

11:30: What’s on your plate? Introducing a ‘technology’ for caterers, airlines and passengers that communicates exactly what is being served

It is now a requirement for all pre-packaged food to have food information visible via accurate labelling, but what are the practicalities of this when onboard a flight? This session considers how this new legislation could affect onboard catering and how technology could help with its compliance.

With many sufferers of allergies or intolerances apprehensive about eating on board due to the obvious risks related to the lack of medical resources and confinement this is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. Kafoodle, an award winning menu management system, believes that passengers should be able to choose their meals just like they can choose their movies- with confidence. Kafoodle provides businesses with a wealth of information regarding the ingredients and recipes that they provide to their diners. This includes both allergen information and nutritional data. Founder of Kafoodle, Kim Antoniou, will be discussing how operators can manage their ingredients and dishes in a safe environment, not only in the kitchen but also on board a flight as well.

Kim’s background is in the development and delivery of proprietary large scale online and mobile software systems, primarily for the construction industry. In 2014, after hearing about the changes in the law around food labelling, Kim decided to completely change tack and devote all of her resources and energy into developing a very simple to use system designed to help food and drink businesses manage their menus and compliance, then to use that information to provide ‘allergy free’ menus to diners via a mobile app. Kim has spent the last 30 years married to a severe allergy sufferer Ron (who nearly died back in 2013 from an attack in a restaurant as a direct result of some wrong information from the waiting staff around the ingredients in a dish) so you can see how the opportunity to do something about the situation would appeal to her. Having had some previous experience in the development of a mobile frameworks for the hospitality industry Kim teamed up with long term friend and hospitality expert Tarryn Gore and together they set about scoping and designing Kafoodle.

Kim Antoniou has recently been named as a finalist in the innovator category of the seventh annual FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards.

12:30 – 13:00: Food sampling and networking

13:30: Vietnam’s leading chef takes us outside the industry for inspiration

Chef Ms Trinh Diem Vy is one of Vietnam’s most recognised restaurateurs and chefs whose family recipes have garnered recognition throughout the country. Truly impassioned by food, her Hoi An restaurants and Cooking School are famous both in Vietnam and abroad. In this session presented with Chef Keerthi Hapugadeniya (Chef Happy), Chef Vy will demonstrate how teaming up with restaurants can improve airline and rail customer satisfaction. Join us to taste Chef Vy’s delicious creations.

Ms Vy is one of Vietnam’s most recognised restauranteurs and chefs. Truly impassioned by food, her Hoi An restaurants and Cooking School, are famous both in Vietnam and abroad. She is based in Hoi An.

Chef happy K is a high-profile, international celebrity chef whose company is one of the leading service providers to the airline industry. He is also founder and ceo of APOT.Asia. He is based in Melbourne, Australia.

14:30: Sensory food tasting

Stathis Kefallonitis and David McLain of branding.aero in partnership with GateGroup bring a new twist to food tasting using neuroscience methods to understand the passenger and improve the cabin experience. This session will encourage the audience to focus their senses with interactive blind-tastings.

Stathis is the founder and president of branding.aero, LLC, an aviation brand experience consultancy. Leveraging a unique blend of creative insight and business strategy, Stathis has directed projects with air transport regulators, catering and onboard hospitality providers, numerous airlines and airports. He has also been active in facilitating workshops and presentations at APEX, IFSA, WTCE and Aircraft Interiors EXPO events.

He is a regular contributor to air transport trade and business publications and is also a professor of consumer behaviour and marketing in New York.

Stathis completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Airline Brand Experience Management at the University of the Arts London, UK. He holds a Ph.D in Aviation Marketing Management from Cranfield University, UK and a Masters in Design Futures from Goldsmiths – University of London specializing in airline corporate identity design.

David is chief technology officer at branding.aero and an expert in decision making, business strategy and technology entrepreneurship. David studies how decisions are affected by technology and concerns about personal safety and health. David has had extensive experience working in the technology industry and at small, start-up laboratories. Besides his active role in consulting, he is a professor of business in New York. David holds engineering degrees from Iowa State University and MIT, a medical masters from the University of Iowa, and a doctorate in business from the University of Wisconsin, USA.


15:30: Workshop – getting your product onboard

Lance Hayward of The Hayward Partnership and his expert panel including Robin Padgett, head of catering at DNATA, Chika the founder of Chika’s Foods and Michael Palij Master of Wines of Wine Traders discuss the opportunities, barriers and best processes for suppliers wanting to get their product onboard. Followed by an open debate with the audience discussing brand, communication, procurement, trend monitoring, innovation and lots more.

Lance is the md and founder of The Hayward Partnership – providing management consultancy and interim management services to the travel catering and retail sector. With over 30 years of industry experience his previous roles included national accounts management, general management of small, medium and large scale flight catering operations, business development director, sales and commercial director, and strategy and integration director. A past winner of the ITCA Gold and Silver Mercury awards for innovation with concepts that changed the face of buy-on-board and charter catering. His focus is now helping small, medium and large organisations to succeed. Since its launch in June 2014, The Hayward Partnership has helped IAG, IFS, BoxPro, Deluxe, Ireland Craft Beers, Wine Traders, Chikas Foods, Gastro Culinary Innovation, and Estechoc.


Thursday April 6

10:30: Onboard shopping

Alan Hayes, inflight retail and managed services director for Alpha LSG, discusses an alternative view of the buyer/supplier relationship and key considerations you should follow in really making your product’s sales soar. An educational session for those in, or wanting to join, the travel retail sector. Practical advice followed by an open debate discussing the “sales jigsaw” that contributes to the most effective buyer/supplier relationships.

11:30: Time for tea and cakes

Learn all about tea. An illustrated talk about this increasingly popular aromatic beverage by Jonathon Jones, an expert grower, of Trading at Tregothnan Tea, a British estate formed in 1334 which has been growing tea in the UK since 1999. Tregothnan has a strong connection with railways and now you can travel from Cornwall all the way to France, Belgium and soon the Netherlands with a cup of their tea via GWR and Eurostar. The company also works closely with Belmond British Pullman and is exploring the possibility of taking tea to China by train.

Cakes kindly supplied by Horizon Patisserie and Desserts, producers of a wide range of patisserie, cakes and monoportions.

12:30 – 13:00: Food sampling and networking

13:30: New Arrivals – First Time Exhibitor Pitches:
Five short-listed exhibitors will have a chance to present their new products in a quick-fire pitch in front of an expert panel led by Jeremy Clark who will award their favourite pitch.

14:30: Wine and cheese – what works together

Wine and cheese has always been a favourite combination – but what wines really work when it comes to pairing with top class Dutch Gouda cheeses? Wine expert and supplier, Andrew Brown of Ratcliffe and Brown gets his taste receptors and olfactory buds working as he and Patrick den Drijver of traditional Dutch cheese-maker, Beemster decide what works best. Learn while you taste in this educational and enjoyable session for airline and rail caterers and supplies.

For more information or to register to attend the event: worldtravelcateringexpo.com