Nestlé Professional recently welcomed business leaders from across the foodservice industry to a ‘Food Exploration Tour’ in the vibrant heart of Soho, London, to bring to life the latest foodie trends and inspire culinary creativity.

Leading chefs and product innovators were in attendance over the two-day tour representing high-profile names in both the Pub and QSR categories, including Whitbread, Nando's, Costa, Krispy Kreme, Greene King and Burger King.

The event, which catered to both casual dining and grab and go concepts, marked the launch of Nestlé Professional’s second edition of food and trends guide, ‘Tuck In’. As well as featuring in-depth insight and recipe ideas for chefs, the new guide reveals the latest food trends from “The art of the human touch”, “Dining out for occasion” and “Vegan and vegetarianism”, to “Challenging kitchen’s carbon footprint”, “Championing hospitality staff” and “Indulgent desserts”.

On each day of the event, Nestlé Professional provided an exciting product showcase led by its team of in-house Development Chefs. Spotlighting the latest products within its Garden Gourmet® and Maggi® ranges, as well as confectionery brands and ingredients, the showcase was an opportunity to empower guests with ideas on how to harness innovative solutions that help cater to the trends presented in its new guide.

Senior Quality & Innovation Chef at Whitbread, Paul Fletcher, said:

“Nestlé Professional’s trends have highlighted the importance of culinary innovation and our role, as chefs, to elevate existing recipes and create new menus that provide memorable experiences for customers. It was really interesting to see and taste some of its latest creations, including the Garden Gourmet vegan-style pulled chicken fillet, which replicated the juicy, fibrous texture and light aroma of real chicken.

“It was a great experience and I look forward to working closely with Nestlé Professional to ensure our bespoke menus continue to deliver fantastic dining experiences for customers up and down the country.”
To experience how food and drink outlets are catering to the new trends set out in Nestlé Professional’s guide, attendees embarked on an action-packed tour of Soho’s finest foodie destinations. Guests saw the innovative app-to-table ordering system at the bustling Arcade Food Hall and the dedication to both vegan and meat excellence at Wonderland. They then got to see the commitment to empowering adults with learning disabilities through the realm of speciality coffee at Fairshot Café.

Head of Food at Nando’s UK, Tim Molema, said:

“The Food Tour showcased perfectly how brands are innovating to create memorable experiences for customers. I was particularly impressed with Fairshot Café and its commitment to helping young adults with learning disabilities into hospitality. Championing hospitality staff is a passion of ours at Nando’s, so this experience really resonated with me.

“Although there are challenges and uncertainties surrounding cost-of-living, dining out for occasion remains a key priority for consumers. We’re actively looking at this, working closely with our partners and suppliers to ensure we’re offering the very best food experiences for people. Nestlé Professional is innovating in many areas of the OOH market, so it was a great opportunity to see first-hand the unique products they have to offer.”

Nestlé Professional’s Head of Food, Kate Alexander, joined customers on the tour to share insights from its new trends guide. As well as experiencing these trends through a practical lens at each of the seven foodie destinations, attendees were able to take home plenty of valuable ideas and inspiration to fuel more creativity in their own kitchens.

Commenting on the two-day Food Exploration Tour, Kate Alexander, said:

“The general consensus is that while consumers are feeling the pinch in today’s challenging environment, they continue to crave exciting out-of-home dining experiences. So, we were delighted to put on a special event for our partners which highlighted the latest foodie trends, as revealed in our new edition of Tuck In, to get them thinking of new, innovative culinary creations.

“Although the rising cost of cooking presents its own challenges, chefs continue to step up to the plate and create impressive solutions. At Nestlé Professional, we’re committed and excited to help them create memorable moments and menu options that keep customers coming back.”

To cap off their Food Exploration Day, guests enjoyed theatrical gastronomy at the art-deco restaurant, Park Row.

For in-depth insight and recipe ideas for chefs, as well as more information on the latest OOH foodie trends, download Nestlé Professional’s 'Tuck In’ guide: Tuck in - Tuck in: The ‘go to’ guide for food trends (