Taste buds were left tingling as some of the most exciting and innovative food companies and suppliers in the UK converged on the annual Blue Apple supplier fair, this year held at the magnificent Shendish Manor in Hertfordshire. Each year we invite a hand-chosen selection of suppliers to demonstrate their products to our restaurant and head office staff, making sure we are always at the forefront of new food trends and tastes about to hit the market.
This year included a number of larger suppliers alongside smaller, artisan producers, featuring some delicious and spicy shawarma, home-made lemongrass ice-cream and some rather popular Sloe gin tasters! Meanwhile, the Blue Apple team invited colleagues and suppliers alike to vote for their favourite Blue Apple food photograph of the year, from images submitted by our excellent chefs. People were asked to vote for their favourite picture, based not simply on the image itself, but also the innovation, presentation and concept behind the dish.
In the evening, Blue Apple staff from across the business settled down for our annual gala evening and awards ceremony, this year styled in a seventies ‘disco inferno’ theme. The awards on offer look to recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution to the business throughout the year. The deserved winners of each category, receiving a much sought after Blue Apple prize winners plate, were as follows:
Manager of the year – Mario Grajner from Slough
Chef of the year – Milena Kamenova from west London
Unit of the year – The team of Chris Howard-Kraft, Ian Simpson and Sebastian Bezoniuk from Ipswich
Blue Apple rising star – Sarah Watson – Melton Mowbray
‘Shine’ awards for Customer Excellence – Margit Lorincz, Sara Brown, Kieran Kelly, Sarah Wade, John Greenwood, Sharon Crossley
Blue Apple Food Photograph of the Year Endang Gonzalez from Milton Keynes
Following the overwhelming success of last years supplier event, we were pleased to improve even more this year, with more award winners than ever before and some fantastic new ideas and tastes to try out, it was a great day all-round!