The March meeting was held at Bidfood in Wakefield and was hosted by Lynsey Hawkins, who represented the company.
Applications for Membership were received from Stella Smith (formerly with Bidvest, now with Dunster’s Farm), Nigel Senior (Stephens Catering Equipment), Diane Snowden (Aunt Bessie’s, Hull), and Neil Godden (Smilde Food Group Ltd). We welcome all applications for Membership, but particularly for Full Membership, from hospital caterers. Currently, we have our full allocation of Associate Members, so are only accepting Patrons.
Once again, we are holding a joint Catering Exhibition and Cookery Competition at Cedar Court, Wakefield, with our friends in LACA. This will be held during the week commencing 29 October. Details will be sent out to all HCA Members, with more information published in this magazine nearer the time.
As is usual at Branch Meetings we discussed a wide variety of topics. These included a review of Hotelympia from a suppliers’ view, the newly launched Nutritional Analysis Module from Inhouse Manager, BioDegradable packaging from Dunster’s Farm, Punjab Kitchen’s new range of allergen-free and vegan meals and their introduction of healthy eating curries, and Falcon Foodservice’s range of Lainox Combination Ovens.
With the Branch finances healthy – mainly owing to our share of the profits from the Doncaster Exhibition – we were able to accept all five applications for sponsored places at this year’s Leadership & Development Forum. All who attended will be expected to give their opinions of the event at the next Branch Meeting, which will be held at the Seabrook Crisps Factory in Bradford and hosted by Lucy Dickinson from the company.
Finally, Paul Drabble from Lynfield Mount Hospital, Bradford, entered the ‘Chef of the Year’ event organised by the National Association of Care Catering. Paul had to produce a balanced two-course meal costing no more than £2.30. He produced a Spinach and Paneer Curry, followed by a sugar-free Yorkshire Rhubarb Crumble and Custard. He was the only NHS Chef there, and was Highly Commended for his main course. Well done Paul.