The Skills for Chefs and Skills for Service Conferences will take place in Sheffield on the 10th and 11th July, and are open to chefs and service professionals in the catering and hospitality industries. The Skills for Chefs Conference is now in its 16th year, having secured its place as a leading industry conference, and has hosted the likes of Heston Blumenthal, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Aldo Zilli, and Ken Hom. The Skills for Service Conference was established in 2012 to provide service professionals with access to the same high standard of professional development and networking.

The aims of the Skills Conferences are:

- To showcase the talents of leading chefs and service professionals

- To share skills and knowledge

- To spotlight topical and political issues

- To network with suppliers and colleagues

Conference delegates will attend multiple workshops, demonstrations, and seminars to develop skills in their chosen field. These diverse sessions will allow chefs and service professionals to develop their skills in different areas.

The Conferences will be opened with a keynote address from Andrew Bennett MBE, Executive Chef at The Park Lane, Sheraton Hotel. Following this address, the Conferences will divide and delegates will attend sessions tailored to their industry.

Skills for Chefs delegates will divide into groups and spend their time between demonstrations in the culinary theatre, and smaller workshops. On Wednesday the chefs will see demonstrations from Sat Bains, Chef Patron of Restaurant Sat Bains and winner of BBC’s Great British Menu; and Adam Simmonds, Head Chef at Danesfield House.

Workshops will be run by Michelin-starred chef James Mackenzie of The Pipe & Glass Inn (Michelin Pub of the Year 2012), and Mick Burke, senior chef lecturer at Sheffield City College. Alan Paton – Executive Head Chef at Stoke by Nayland Hotel – will also be running a master class. These workshops will allow delegates to learn from the chefs in smaller groups, and have proven very popular in the past.

Skills for Service delegates will attend sessions including a master-class from Sean Davoren, Director of Guest Services at The Savoy Hotel, who will discuss etiquette, butlering and re-defining the art of service.  Two coffee experts, Hannah Davies from the PEROS coffee team and Sean Fowler, will be relaying the process “From Coffee Farm to Coffee Cup”. Wayne Collins will close the Wednesday sessions with a master-class on cocktail making.

Thursday’s culinary theatre will have demonstrations from Eric Chavot, Executive-Chef and Owner of Brasserie Chavot, and Mark Poynton, Chef Patron of 2013 Michelin Starred restaurant Alimentum. These demonstrations are a fantastic opportunity to see top chefs in action.

The chefs will again divide into smaller groups for workshops held by three more talented chefs. These will be Sarah Hartnett, the award-winning Head Pastry Chef at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, and Will Holland, Head Chef of La Bécasse and one of the UK’s best young Michelin-starred chefs, familiar from TV appearances on Saturday Kitchen and the BBC’s Great British Menu. Adam Brown, Head Chef of Brockencote Hall will be running the remaining workshops for the day.

Thursday’s Service sessions will be opened by chef, restaurateur and founder of the 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group, Alan Murchison, who will present on developing a restaurant portfolio. Andy Hanselman is one of the UKs leading presenters of “3D Thinking” and will provide advice on the best ways to implement exceptional customer service in your business. Neil Phillips, ‘The Wine Tipster’ will be holding a champagne master class and tasting with champagne provided by Matthew Clark.

Matthew Fort, renowned restaurant critic and food writer will be giving the closing address on what makes a great restaurant experience, and opening a question and answer session to the audience.

A full social programme accompanies the Conferences to provide the opportunity to network in a more relaxed setting, while enjoying some of the best food Sheffield has to offer. Delegates are welcome to arrive from mid-afternoon on Tuesday 9th, and join fellow delegates and exhibitors for a Dingley Dell Hog Roast created by Eric Snaith, 3 AA Rosette Chef from Titchwell Manor. 

On Wednesday evening the delegates will join for ‘A Night at the Museum’, a dinner created by Andy Gabbitas, Master Chef of Great Britain at Kelham Island Museum.

The Conferences will be closed by the annual Gala Dinner, which will take place in Firth Hall in Firth Court at the University of Sheffield. Firth Court is the flagship of the University, and was where the University Charter was bestowed by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1905. The evening will begin with a champagne and canapé reception, followed by a five course dinner with specially matched fine wines, which will display the skills of leading chefs.

Alongside the Conferences, suppliers will showcase their products and services at The Exhibition. This is a fantastic opportunity to network and keep up with the latest developments in the industry.

For more information, please visit: or Alternatively, please call 0114 222 8907 to book your place


The Full Line-up 2013

Skills for Chefs Wednesday 10th July

Andrew Bennett MBE – Executive Chef, The Park Lane Sheraton Hotel

Sat Bains – Chef Patron, Restaurant Sat Bains

Adam Simmonds – Head Chef, Adam Simmonds Restaurant at Danesfield House

James Mackenzie – Head Chef and Proprietor, The Pipe and Glass Inn

Alan Paton - Executive Head Chef, Stoke by Nayland Hotel

Mick Burke – Senior Chef Lecturer, Sheffield City College


Skills for Chefs Thursday 11th July

Matthew Fort – Food Writer and Critic, Judge on BBC’s Great British Menu

Mark PoyntonChef Patron, Alimentum

Eric Chavot – Executive Chef and Owner, Brasserie Chavot

Will Holland – Head Chef, La Bécasse

Sarah Hartnett - Head Pastry Chef, Sheraton Park Lane Hotel

Adam Brown – Head Chef, Brockencote Hall



Skills for Service Wednesday 10th July

Andrew Bennett MBE - Executive Chef, The Park Lane Sheraton Hotel

Sean Davoren - Director of Guest Services, The Savoy Hotel

Hannah Davies & Sean Fowler – PEROS Coffee

Wayne Collins – Cocktail Expert, Mixxit


Skills for Service Thursday 11th July

Matthew Fort – Food Writer and Critic, Judge on BBC’s Great British Menu

Alan Murchison - Founder, The 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group

Andy Hanselman – Andy Hanselman Consulting

Neil Phillips – ‘The Wine Tipster’