Buyers from top hotels and cruise ships along with the hospitality workers of tomorrow were among those attending the recent Local Produce Trade Show 2021.

The event is a highlight of the Business South calendar, and they work with Hampshire Fare, New Forest Marque and Cavendish Ships Stores Ltd to ensure the show is a top draw for chefs and buyers to attend.

Producers from across the Central South region took part showcasing everything from delicious cheeses and wines to chocolates, cakes and fancy biscuits.

Leigh Sara Timberlake, Business South Group CEO, said: “The show goes from strength to strength showcasing the best local produce available to our hospitality industry.

“We were pleased to include the young chefs and hotel managers of the future who joined us this year to hear more about careers in hospitality.”

More than 70 catering students attended a special session with Adam Deubel, Head Chef at The Ageas Bowl, designed to highlight the opportunities that come from a career in hospitality and touring a professional kitchen.

Finding ways to encourage young people to choose hospitality as their career path was just one of the subjects tackled by the panel of top chefs.

The panel included:

  • Paolo Belloni, Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire
  • Damian Brown, Executive Chef, The Chesil Rectory
  • Adriano Elam, Chef/Proprietor, The Crown at Arford
  • Luke Holder, Chef Director, Lime Wood Hotel
  • Luke Matthews, Executive Chef, Chewton Glen Hotel
  • Gordon Stott, Chef/Proprietor, The Purefoy Arms
  • Dave Watts, Chef/Proprietor, The Crown Inn, Upton
  • Matthew Whitfield, Head Chef, The Terrace, Montagu Arms
  • Steve Lewis, General Manager, Lainston House Hotel

Luke Holder, Chef Director at Lime Wood Hotel, said a step change was needed in the industry. It was no longer acceptable for people to work long hours for nothing, and the way forward was to focus on People, Product and Profit, he said.

Matthew Whitfield, Head Chef at The Terrace, Montagu Arms said the truth needs to be told about the industry so that students are well prepared for working in a kitchen.

Chef Patron at the Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover, Gordon Stott, has recently been named Best Chef at the Great British Pub Awards and he put his success down to championing the use of local produce in the food he makes.

During the panel discussion, he said: “We use a lot of local producers and farms to supply us.”

Mike Smales who produces the award-winning Lyburn Farm Cheese said the event allowed him to catch up with new and existing customers.

And John Acteson, Account Manager for Cavendish Ship Stores Ltd, said: “This has been an excellent way for local businesses to show not only their fantastic produce but also their passion for what they create.”