>> March is a busy old month for the catering fraternity. The calendar is positively packed with key dates for you to take advantage of – St David’s Day, Mother’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and Good Friday all take place in the next few weeks, along with British Pie Week and National School Breakfast Week.
As always our Food for Thought page provides culinary inspiration, and our News from Country Range on page 8 this month details the deliciously decadent desserts on offer to treat mums on March 11.
The much-anticipated final of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge takes place on March 7, and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of the finalist's lots of luck as they compete in front of a live exhibition audience at Hotelympia. History shows that our finalists go on to do great things – our Five Ways contributor, Sean Comiskey (page 32), was a 2016 finalist and recently landed a coveted job at Outlaw at the Capital.
Veganism is enjoying a huge surge in popularity and is one of the biggest food trends for 2018, and our Category Focus examines how you can revamp your menus to include enticing dishes for people following plant-based diets.
TUCO regional chair and head of catering at Manchester Metropolitan University Jacqui McPeake highlights the dangers facing students with food allergies on page 13, along with advice for caterers on how to deal with them. As the mother of a food allergy suffering teen, I’m fully aware of the anxiety young people endure at the prospect of heading off into the ‘big wide world’ without their parents to help manage their life-threatening condition.
Catering for older people in the care sector presents very different challenges and our Melting Pot this issue specifically addresses this area with lots of helpful advice and recipe ideas.
Keep creating a stir!
SIU EDITOR Janine Nelson