Welcome to our penultimate issue of 2023 – and it’s a bumper one. Pasta and sauces go under the microscope, with the frozen sector receiving a welcome boost. We also look at the virtues of in-house creativity.
October sees the hosting of The Italian Show – pizza edition in London (Porchester Hall, 11 October 2022) where the finals of PAPA’s Pizza Chef of the Year competition will take place. The event will also feature a fine showcase of Italian food and wines to be sampled, with many producers in attendance to offer advice.
Next month sees the hosting of Casual Dining, Commercial Kitchen and lunch! in a combined ‘one stop shop’ format at ExCel, London on 14 and 15 September (turn to page 32 for a preview). We also come up to date with the PAPA Awards 2022 latest, and encourage you to book your places for the celebratory awards dinner which always offers a great networking opportunity and chance to catch up.
Just when many operators might have thought they were starting to have a proper chance to recover in the wake of the response to Covid, comes the removal, all at once it would appear, and legacy, of many of the measures, rolled out to help support businesses in the first place.
The wider hospitality sector has been enjoying a much-awaited period of re-opening in recent weeks, even though an uncertain outlook remains until staffing issues can be resolved and any ongoing effects of the response to Covid assessed, although throughout it all, pizza delivery and takeaway has continued to perform.
As our news pages suggest, there are more positive signs in the sector of re-openings, the launch of new businesses and new concepts. However, the prospect of a mixed employment and staffing situation remains in the wake of ‘lockdown’ and the lingering furlough scheme; many people from overseas having understandably also decided to return home in the intervening months.
Our features and articles cover the increasing importance of having recyclable packaging and being able to deal with food waste. This issue also marks the official launch of the industry’s prestigious PAPA Awards.
April saw the partial re-opening of hospitality with a focus on outdoor eating – one reason why pizza ovens, particularly wood-fired variants, have received greater attention in recent times.
Our features also cover pizza bases and flour, and franchising – the strong demand over the past year for delivered and take-away options now translating even more into rapid expansion for some operators. As ever, we also encourage you to make plans to enter this year’s PAPA Awards.
Our congratulations go to all this year’s winners of the Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Awards, as well as the Pizza and Pasta Chef competitions; particularly in what has proved to be a challenging year for many. Our thanks too, to all the sponsors and judges in enabling these events to take place.
It seems as though just a few weeks have passed since Eat Out to Help Out, but now there’s a second ‘lockdown’ for England in the wake of a so-called ‘fire-breaker’ lockdown for Wales, and similar restrictions in Scotland. Much of
hospitality is again under tremendous pressure, even though the takeaway and delivery sector aspect of it can continue.
The government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme proved to be successful for the sector, with calls for its extension and some operators continuing the scheme by supporting it themselves. While Covid, and the unprecedented measures taken to deal with it, have taken centre stage, the government is also turning its attention to tackling the obesity epidemic. This issue also comes up to date with the PAPA Awards 2020 latest.
The hospitality sector has been allowed to re-open this month - a reduction in the social distancing from two to one metre, a temporary VAT reduction and Eat Out to Help Out scheme just some of the latest government support measures for food businesses trying to cope with altered consumer behaviour and a damaged economy.
In the rapidly changing environment, we now all find ourselves in - where nothing seems quite as straightforward as it was before the coronavirus pandemic all but closed the restaurant world - we have endeavoured in this issue to point you in the direction of help and support, and sources of advice in these unsettling times, as well as provide our customary ‘food for thought’ in terms of product news and industry developments. Looking ahead, we’d also like to remind you about this year’s PAPA Awards.
The PAPA Awards and finals of the Pizza and Pasta Chef of the Year competitions draw close – turn to page 20 to find out more.
In this issue, we report on the recent Nantwich Cheese Festival and a visit to one of Italy’s most well known flour mills – Grandi Molini in Venice. Multi-talented Sicilian chef, Enzo Oliveri, also offers an insight into his career.
Have you thought about entering this year’s PAPA Awards? It’s your opportunity to have your achievements recognised, as well as put your business in the spotlight.
Having attended Tuttofood back in May, we give a flavour of this large and comprehensive exhibition in Milan that attracts global interest. Our features include ice cream and delivery driver safety, and Pizza My World profiles Pan’Artisan’s Tina Glen. We also hear about the Italian street food influenced concept – Wolf.
This issue marks the official launch of this year’s PAPA Awards – its thirtieth year, no less! - as well as the hotly contested Pizza and Pasta Chef of the Year competitions (all of which can help to raise the profile of your business significantly - turn to page 14 to find out more).
This issue’s features look at cheese, pizza bases and ovens. We also offer some important advice from the Metropolitan Police when it comes to delivery driver safety. Our regular ‘wood fired oven guru’, Jay Emery, also reminds us of the importance of ensuring that such a pizza oven is a DEFRA-approved one if you’re operating in an ultra-low emission zone.