A two-day event dedicated to gastronomy and catering
The trends, the issues that concern the catering industry as well as the new culinary habits that have emerged in recent years were some of the topics that dominated the Gastronomy Workshop, held by the Chef’s Club of Greece as part of the exhibition.
Monday February 13 – Post show
The role of online marketing in the promotion of catering businesses and the creation of new markets was at the center of the discussion between Ioannis Protopapadakis (Marketing and Customer Service expert, professor and author of the book ”Practices of Marketing in Catering”) and Georgia Bambarakou (Founder of All-Restaurants). During the day, Gastronomy Consultant Kyriakos Melas referred to the fact that modern gastronomy and healthy eating are two concepts that can be combined and that in recent years we see an increasing trend towards this lifestyle, which confirms to us that the wellness and gastronomy will be connected even more in the future.
How do they envision the position of Greek traditional cuisine in the restaurants of 2023, what are the trends and techniques that will prevail, were presented by Ilias Mamalakis (taster and researcher), Tasos Tolis (award-winning ex. Chef), Georgia Kofina (Author and gastronomy researcher), cooking instructor at school of tourism professions). Then, Dina Nikolaou (ex. Chef and restaurant owner), Vangelis Boulis (ex. Chef) and Ioannis Balomenos (ex. Chef) spoke about the ways Greek restaurants abroad are the best ambassadors of both Greek cuisine and Greek products.
The second day of the event closed with the panel of: Nikos Christoforou (President of Chefs Club of Dodecanese & Cyclades), Tasos Andriotis (President of Chefs Club of Corfu), Spyros Murmouris (General Secretary of Chefs Club of the Ionian Islands), Tasos Protopsaltis (President of the Chefs Club of Greece ) who referred to the great importance of connection of gastrotourism with local production, which will improve the overall experience for tourists.
Sunday, February 12 – Post show
The first day of the event started with a very interesting panel with Mr. Ioannis Hatzitheodosiou (President of the Athens Chamber of Commerce), Ioannis Daveronis (General Secretary of the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurants & Related Professions), Hector Ioannou (General Secretary of the estates & catering Owners’ Association), Panagiotis Bourtsouklis (Ex chef and owner of the 5* hotel Nymfasia Resort and the restaurant Kokkina pitharia). During the discussion there was extensive reference to how inflation has affected the industry and how restaurants are trying to deal with the cost factor without losing customers. The price hikes, the energy crisis and the proposals on how they can be dealt with by professionals in the sector were in the spotlight.
Afterwards, Mr. Ioannis Smarnakis (President of the Panhellenic Union of Food Technologists) and Kiki Domzaridou (Chemist, MSc in Food Chemistry & Technology, MBA) analyzed the new production model for the production of safe food as well as the new requirements that have emerged regarding this process both in the Greek market and abroad.
Along the way, the connection between gastronomy and tourism dominated the discussion between: Giorgos Pelecanakis (President of the Panhellenic Federation of Hotel Managers), Magda Peistki (Head of Learning & Development INSETE), Manolis Tsakalakis (Secretary General of the Panhellenic Federation of Hotel Managers), Miltos Karoumbas (Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy), Dimitris Vassiliou (BSc, MEng, Partner Authentic Greece, Project Manager “LOCAL & NAMED”), Dimitriou M. Kalaitzidakis (Director of Operations, Grecotel Hotels & Resorts, CEO – We do local). Through the discussion, everyone agreed that Greece can play a leading role in culinary tourism on a global level and that everyone’s goal in order to do this should be the formation of a culinary identity with a more up-to-date and modern character.
Tasos Zisopoulos, Manolis Charos, Tasos Protopsaltis with participants in the conference
D. Vasileiou, I. Hatjitheodosiou, I. Daveronis, E. Ioannou, P. Bourtzouklis
The very important issue that the entrepreneurs of the HoReCa industry are really facing, especially in the last two years, which is the lack of human resources in catering and tourism, had a leading role in the discussions. The causes as well as the ways to deal with this problem were presented by Tassos Zisopoulos (President of the Federation of Chefs of Greece), Ilias Mandros (President of the Federation of Professionals, Artisans, Merchants of Athens), Pavlos Dimelis (Vice President of the Union of Restaurants and Related professions), Andreas Kalambalikis (Member Board of Athens Chamber), Hector Ioannou (Secretary General of the Association of Estate Owners & Catering Owners), Grigori Dovino (Permanent Placement Director of ADECCO).
The day ended with the panel on veganism and plant based foods. Drs. Anna Papageorgiou (PhD, Clinical Dietitian-Nutritionist, Medical School, University of Athens, Department of Physical Education & Sports, Department of Health Promotion Programs “EUROSTIA”), Iosif Alexandridis (Nutritionist & NHW Manager Garden Gourmet Nestle), Krysta Paramythi (Vegan blogger – Co-founder of Vegan Life NGO), Panagiotis Voukelatos (ex. Chef) analyzed the myths and truths surrounding vegan and plant based foods as well as the tendency for more and more restaurants to include these products in their menu.