The CEO of Burger King’s UK business is poised to shed some light on what the future of its kitchens might look like when he stands up in front of the industry at the forthcoming Commercial Kitchen show.
Alasdair Murdoch, who joined the US fast-food giant from Gourmet Burger Kitchen, has been confirmed as the headline keynote speaker for this year’s show, which takes place on June 5-6 at the Birmingham NEC.
Mr Murdoch is a past visitor to Commercial Kitchen and, having previously attended the show for its focus on kitchen trends and ideas, will use the platform to share his own views on the industry.
His keynote presents a timely opportunity to hear more about his plans for Burger King and the future of their kitchens given that he only recently joined the newly-formed Burger King brand in the UK. He is also expected to reflect on his time working for other major brands in the market, including Pizza Hut and Pizza Express.
Mr Murdoch is among a sting of leading industry names that are set to speak at the show. Paul Dickinson, director of food at Fuller, Smith & Turner, will lead a panel discussion on pub kitchens and is also appearing in a Solid Fuel Panel session, alongside Neil Rankin, owner of BBQ-meat restaurant temper, and James Douglas, co-founder and director at Red’s True Barbecue. They will examine the benefits and considerations of cooking with solid fuel.
“Commercial kitchens are a minefield at the best of times, so it’s great to be able to get in front of those in the know, all in one place at the same time,” says Mr Douglas. “Sense checking all that’s new in the market and being able to compare product innovations directly with the companies that are producing the stuff saves time, headache and removes so much risk.”
Previously confirmed speakers and panellists include Kate Nicholls, chief executive at the newly formed UKHospitality, Jane Treasure, F&B director at PizzaExpress, and Martyn Clover, head of food at Tortilla.
Panel sessions will cover subjects as diverse as smart connected kitchens, pizza kitchens, compact kitchens, sustainable kitchens and hospital kitchens. Many of discussions will also feature ceda members alongside operators to share their experiences of creating kitchens of this type.
Other new names for 2018, include executive chefs Tom Mullin (Pizza Pilgrims), David Siddall (Arena Birmingham, Amadeus), Ben Ternent (Opus), Peter Woods (The Hurlingham Club), and Dean Wilson-Hartles (TRG Concessions).
They’ll be appearing together for the first time in the show’s Executive Chef Panel on day one to reveal exclusive insights into the inner workings of their kitchens. Visitors can expect lively debate as they discuss everything from essential equipment to kitchen kit wish-lists and future trends.
For Mr Wilson-Hartles, Commercial Kitchen is all about innovation and what’s coming up to make the chefs’ life a better place, especially in how it can save time and energy on cooking. “Keeping ahead of the game is key,” he says, “don’t just wait for the next trend to come around, get out there and sniff it out,” he said.
Mr Ternent, executive chef and director of Birmingham’s Opus restaurant, meanwhile, will close the show on the second show with an inside look at the booming Birmingham restaurant scene. His session will also feature Paul Taylor, executive chef at Hilton Birmingham Metropole.