Commercial Kitchen, which returns to the NEC Birmingham on 5-6 June, has announced its first raft of new speakers and panel sessions.

Reflecting the show’s strong industry support, Commercial Kitchen has more than doubled its association partners for 2018, with many of them also set to host dedicated Keynote sessions that focus specifically on the kitchen or back of house.

Returning associations include: ceda (the show’s lead partner); The Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) (partner); and Hospital Catering Association (HCA).   New association supporters include: UKHospitality; The Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association (PAPA); The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association/Café Life Association; British Institute of Innkeeping (BII); National Association of Care Catering (NACC); and Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

“ceda is delighted to be involved at the highest level with Commercial Kitchen, returning as Lead Partner for 2018.  As the UK’s only show dedicated to the commercial kitchen industry, it provides a great opportunity for ceda Partners to showcase their equipment to ceda members and end-users, who are looking for the latest innovations in professional catering equipment in one place.  We strongly encourage all our members to visit,” says Adam Mason, director general of ceda.

The show’s exclusive big name panel sessions will cover everything from the smallest to the biggest kitchens, including equipment innovations, technology, procurement, design, efficiency, sustainability, and best practices.

Keynote highlights include:

Big questions for kitchen houses (hosted by ceda)

Clare Nicholls, editor of Catering Insight, will lead a panel of some the country’s most influential kitchen project experts giving their take on recent design developments.  Panelists include ceda chairman Mark Kendall, director of Inox Equip; Anna McNamara, MD of Catering Equipment Solutions (Peterborough); Jack Sharkey, owner & MD of Vision Commercial Kitchens; and ceda’s southern region chair Cathy Wilcox, MD of Wilcox Burchmore.

ceda’s Award Winning Kitchen Design panel, also led by Ms Nicholls, unites this year’s ceda Grand Prix Award winners of Best Small, Best Medium and Best Large Projects to discuss their cutting edge commercial kitchen design and execution.  The panelists will be announced after the awards on 27 April.

As in previous years, visitors will also be able to view (and be inspired by) all the shortlisted entries from the 2018 awards in the ceda Awards Gallery (located near the show’s entrance).

Big questions for consultants (hosted by FCSI)

Managing food waste, shrinking commercial kitchen footprints and working with an increasingly younger, more diversified operator base – are just some of the topics that Michael Jones, editor of FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant Magazine, will be covering in this exclusive session.  Julian Edwards, chairman of FCSI (UK&I) and owner of Food Service Allergen Management, and Matthew Merritt-Harrison FCSI, managing partner of Merritt–Harrison Catering Consultancy, are among the panelists already confirmed.

“The FCSI is delighted yet again to be a Partner on Commercial Kitchen and foresees the 2018 event to be a true celebration of the best equipment and innovation available to food business operators in and out of the UK!” says Mr Edwards.

Hospitality in the UK – reasons to be cheerful (hosted by UKHospitality)

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the newly formed UKHospitality, will chair a panel of leading operators discussing the growth potential for the hospitality industry and, in turn, commercial kitchens in the UK.  Panelists will be sharing their success stories and reflecting on the many opportunities ahead.

“The kitchen is at the heart of many vibrant and exciting hospitality businesses and venues across the UK.  We are delighted to support Commercial Kitchen and are looking forward to a great event,” says Ms Nicholls.

Compact Kitchens – being innovative in smaller spaces (hosted by the BSA and Café Life Association)

Martyn Clover, head of food at Tortilla – the UK’s largest fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, and Tyron Stephens-Smith, creative & project director at TAG UKltd, will be among the panelists discussing the considerations and best practices when it comes to operating innovative, efficient and ergonomic kitchens in smaller spaces.

“Brilliant, innovative, sustainable equipment is really important to Tortilla, so Commercial Kitchen is the best place to source and test the things that make our kitchens work even better,” says Mr Clover.

“We are pleased to support Commercial Kitchen,” says Jim Winship, director of BSA & Café Life Association.  “Having the right equipment is vital for food-to-go businesses, where the speed and efficiency of service are so critical to success.”

The Perfect Pizza Kitchen Panel (hosted by PAPA)

What does it take to turn a good kitchen into the perfect pizza and Italian restaurant kitchen?  Jane Treasure, food & beverage director at PizzaExpress, Tom Mullin, executive chef at Pizza Pilgrims, Marco Fuso, founder of London International Pizza School, and TAG UKltd’s creative and project director Tyron Stephens-Smith, will be sharing their thoughts on the absolute must haves, in terms of equipment and design, to deliver a show stopping offer for customers.

Building Better Kitchens in Hospitals (hosted by HCA)

Public Sector hospitality is under increased pressure to be adaptable in today’s foodservice industry.  Juggling growing expectations, cost restrictions, nutritional care et al while keeping up with today’s catering technology and equipment to meet the highest of standards, is incredibly challenging for healthcare catering providers.  ‘Building better kitchens in hospitals’ would seem to be the answer…

The HCA’s national chair Stewart McKenzie will be joined in this session by representatives from the NACC (Roger Denton, national secretary) and ceda (Mark Kendall, chairman).  Together, they’ll address some of the key challenges for 2018 and beyond, and share their vision of how to take the Public Sector forward.  The panel will be chaired by Phil Shelley (immediate past chair of the HCA) and will also feature NHS hospital trusts consultant Andy Jones, chair of PS100.

“Expanding the knowledge of healthcare caterers is essential if we are to broaden our experiences and provide exemplar services.  As the only UK show solely dedicated to catering equipment and services I strongly encourage all our members to attend this not to be missed event,” says Mr Shelley.

“Suppliers to the care sector are incredibly important.  The support they offer care caterers and chefs through innovation, insight and advice is most valuable.  Commercial Kitchen is a must-attend event – I urge all our members to visit the show, talk to the exhibitors, listen to the speakers and join in the debates,” says Neel Radia, national chairman of NACC.

Commenting on the phenomenal industry support the show has inspired, event manager Katie Tyler says: “Our association partners represent tens of thousands of professionals working across the hospitality and foodservice industry.  We’re delighted with their support and together they’ve been helping us to develop an even stronger event for 2018.  We look forward to welcoming their members and partners to Commercial Kitchen for two days of unrivalled product launches, innovation, free education and networking.”

“Having a show dedicated to the commercial equipment market, showcasing suppliers’ new products and innovations, is great.  Even more so that it’s centrally located, which means more of my staff, including designers, estimators and my technical project sales team, can attend – allowing them to keep abreast of new developments,” says Jack Sharkey MSc, MD of Vision Commercial Kitchens.

Free trade registration

Commercial Kitchen – the UK’s only dedicated trade show for the catering equipment and services industry – returns to the NEC Birmingham on 5-6 June 2018.  Show features include a free two-day seminar programme, the Innovation Challenge Awards, and ceda Awards Gallery.

For further information, and to register for a free trade pass, please visit (direct link:



Media enquiries:
Please apply for a press pass here:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
e: [email protected]

Nina Jones, Marketing Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645146
e: [email protected]

Exhibitor enquiries to:
Katie Tyler, Event Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645155
e: [email protected]

Chris Brazier, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645123
e: [email protected]



Show images (more high res images available on request):

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth.  Diversified UK’s food portfolio includes Commercial Kitchen; lunch!; Casual Dining; Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe; GO! Organic Festival (new for 2018); Natural and Organic Awards; and Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden (co–located with Natural Products Scandinavia).  For more information, visit:

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications.  As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology.  Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business.  For more information, visit:

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