Last Friday I was fortunate enough to end my week enjoying fantastic food and wine with equally fantastic company. With no less than three clients shortlisted for a Product Excellence Award (The Caterer’s 2019 PEAs in partnership with Delaware North) I ventured out to the London Stadium (2012 Olympic Stadium and home to West Ham United F.C.) to celebrate their success.

The awards ceremony was hosted by The Caterer’s Products and Suppliers Editor and good friend of the agency, Lisa Jenkins. She said: “Whatever type of business you operate in, you rely on your suppliers to excite and engage your customers. Consumers of food and drink continually expect new entertainment, quick service and on-trend flavour sensations.” Daniel Clark, UK Operations Director for sports services at Delaware North who spoke at the beginning of the afternoon echoed this. Daniel said how personalisation remains a huge trend with McDonald’s latest innovation set to take this one step further by recognising number plates at their drive-thru sites and pre-loading customer’s previous/popular orders on screen; delivering both a speedy and uniquely personalised service.

On to the tasty part of the afternoon – and no I don’t mean the awards results – Delaware North’s Executive Head Chef Gary Foakes prepared a gorgeous three-course lunch: Butter-poached lobster arancini, thermidor cream, Parmesan; 55-degree lamb rump, braised shoulder, crisped brick pastry, pistachio dukkah, fermented carrot juice and Raspberry gel, raspberry sponge, lemon posset, white chocolate delice. Simply exquisite.

As well as the food and company, it was great to see strong foodservice product development and innovation recognised. For the list of winners, click here.

A wonderful afternoon spent celebrating the UK’s leading food, drink and equipment products. Thank you to The Caterer team for our invitation and Delaware North for hosting.