HEADLINES THIS WEEK:
– WING YIP STAGES ORIENTAL COOKERY YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR 2015 COMPETITION
– JUSTIN BIRCHALL TAKES OVER AS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BIRCHALL FOODSERVICE
– BIDVEST 3663 SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH PIZZA EXPRESS
– HANCOCKS BOOSTED BY 13% SALES INCREASE IN 2014
WING YIP REWARDS YOUNG CHEF WITH TRIP TO HONG KONG
Wing Yip hosted its third ever Oriental Cookery Young Chef of the Year competition at the University College Birmingham earlier this week, to unearth the next up-and-coming chef with a passion for Pan Asian flavours.
Gemma Field, from Selly Oak, Birmingham, won the coveted title and has been rewarded with an exclusive trip to Hong Kong, where she will sample culinary delights and work in Michelin-starred restaurants.
The Wing Yip-sponsored event, which was contested by 15 finalists during a 105 minute ‘cook-off’, featured Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell and 2013 Masterchef finalist Larkin Cen as guest judges.
Head judge and president of the British Culinary Federation Peter Griffiths said: “This competition has shown great diversity and is different to other competitions on the circuit. The calibre of the entries has been very high, so selecting our winner was difficult.”
Wing Yip, chairman of Wing Yip, added: “The increasing popularity of Pan Asian cuisine in the UK is extremely exciting. We launched this competition in recognition of that growing interest and to identify young talent and encourage them to carry the tradition forward and preserve the legacy of this glorious cuisine.”
Tel: Wing Yip 0121-327 6618
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY – BIRCHALL APPOINTS NEW MD
Justin Birchall has become managing director of Birchall Foodservice, which recently moved to new premises on Burnley Bridge Business Park (Cash & Carry Management: January).
He takes over from his father Colin, who has assumed the title of executive chairman.
Colin Birchall said: “Following the successful development of the new premises and the associated operational organisation, both of which were overseen by Justin, his appointment as managing director is both timely and appropriate.
“These changes will ensure that the company is well positioned to continue its growth in both turnover and profitability in the future.”
Family-owned Birchall Foodservice has depots in Burnley, Wrexham, Durham, Sheffield and Stafford. Established in 1939, it is a founder member of Country Range Group.
Tel: Birchall Foodservice (01282) 429446
PIZZA EXPRESS EXTENDS BIDVEST 3663 CONTRACT
3663 Catering Equipment, part of Bidvest 3663, has gained a further contract to supply products including premium table-top and back-of-house goods, bar ware, cooking appliances, crockery, cleaning materials and and uniforms to all Pizza Express restaurants in the UK and China.
The three-year deal was awarded by the chain’s owner, China-based venture capitalist Hony Capital, which acquired the business from UK Gondola Group last year.
The wholesaler’s equipment arm has been supplying Pizza Express with non-foods for five years.
The new contract, which starts in July and runs until the end of 2018, covers more than 430 sites in the UK and 22 in China. Around 20 more openings are planned in the UK over the coming year.
Director of the equipment concern is Paul Knight, who was appointed recently to develop and align Bidvest 3663’s non-food and catering equipment categories.
Tel: Bidvest 3663 (0370) 3663 000
TAKEOVER CONTRIBUTES TO HANCOCKS’ SALES RISE
Confectionery C&C/wholesaler Hancocks last year increased turnover by 13.4% to £129 million, while customer numbers grew by more than 5,000 at the 20 branches.
Chief executive Mark Watson attributes the upward movement largely to the purchase last year of JTS International, a confectionery wholesaler based in the West Midlands.
“Additionally, our e-commerce venture has seen remarkable growth across the year, with annual sales up more than 60%. And some of our cash & carries have had outstanding performances, in particular Croydon, which serves a key geographic area around the south of London.”
This month the Loughborough-based specialist unveils its 21th branch – in Rochester, Kent. The 14,000 sq ft unit is close to a Booker C&C.
Three years ago the confectionery business was acquired for £50 million by H2 Equity Partners.
Tel: Hancocks C&C (01509) 216644