The 27th HORECA® International Trade Fair of Hotel and Catering Equipment, the 18th GASTROFOOD Food and Drinks for Catering Trade Fair, and the 17th ENOEXPO® International Wine Trade Fair in Kraków, held on 20-22 November at the EXPO Kraków International Exhibition and Convention Centre, amply proved that they deserve their fame as the most interesting industry meeting in Poland.
404 exhibitors from 22 countries, 15,342 visitors, 40 hours of workshops, 26 hours of shows and 34 experts: these are not mere figures, but a clear sign that the trade fair has been growing in strength year by year. This year's agenda surpassed our wildest expectations, including the final round of the national run-offs of Bocuse d'Or Poland 2019 contest, the HORECA® Academy, including many meetings with experts, the Masters Kitchen, where we could watch renowned chefs in action, two workshop and training events: a Chef's Day for chefs and an F&B Day for catering managers and directors, a tasting of Cracovian głąbik, a dish celebrating its comeback within the framework of the "Tradition on the Offensive" campaign and, last but not least, a rich portfolio of showcased products, the most important part of any trade fair. One thing is clear: even the most discerning customers could easily find a topic to suit their interest. The industry is abuzz with comments that this has been the best edition of all thus far and the organizers reassure us that their plans for the upcoming months will be unveiled shortly.
Back to the roots at ENOEXPO®
The 27th HORECA® International Trade Fair of Hotel and Catering Equipment was held in parallel with the 17th ENOEXPO® International Wine Trade Fair in Kraków. This year, all eyes were set on local grape varieties. 190 exhibitors, including 30 Polish wineries, presented their portfolio, inviting customers to three days of delicious wine tastings. The most robust winery associations in Poland were in attendance. As pointed out by Nestor Kościański, President of the Lower Silesian Winery Association, some of our wine makers come here to forge trade contacts. Unfortunately, this year, I can only spend one day here, but I have already talked to several interesting clients, which I'm sure will lead to future cooperation. I believe that all the wine makers in our association have a similar impression. Mariusz Śliwiński from Misja did not hide his contentment: For me, ENOEXPO® is the best wine trade fair in Poland. I have attended many such events throughout the country, but this one is the best. It attracts the greatest number of potential customers and suppliers. Tradition is also important for me and ENOEXPO® can boast a long one.
The trade fair was also attended by the greatest wine experts: Piotr Pietras (Master Sommelier), Romana Echensperger (Master of Wine) and book writers, such as: Bartek Kieżun ("Italia do zjedzenia", "Portugalia do zjedzenia"), Marek Bieńczyk ("Wszystkie kroniki wina"), and Mariusz Kapczyński, who talked about German, Italian and Armenian wines.
HORECA® appreciated by the industry
HORECA® attracts more and more publicity every year. One would be hard-pressed to find another Polish event offering such a comprehensive mix of product exhibitions with a rich agenda of shows and trainings. The high quality of the trade fair and the effort of the organizers have been applauded by special guests, exhibitors, and visitors alike. Joanna Ślusarczyk, co-organizer of The Best Chef Awards and Food Meets Science, says that Meetings at the HORECA® trade fair are not just an opportunity to find new suppliers, but also to learn some very practical things. This educational aspect is very, very important. HORECA® gives us a chance to observe the latest trends in catering, hotels and restaurants. You can just get a lot of new information here. This is what matters the most to me. Exhibitors openly express their satisfaction. Jadwiga Widziszewska, Project Coordinator at the Technology Transfer Centre of the University of Technology in Kraków shared her impressions: We are pleasantly surprised by the number of guests, the treatment and the organization as such; this is our first time at the trade show and we can compare it to other events of this type. Wioleta Wiecheć further comments: Our decision to attend was dictated by market analysis, which indicated that this is a trade fair worth investing in. We expected a large turnout and we were not disappointed. What exhibitors value above all is direct access to clients looking for the best products and solutions for their hotels and restaurants. Bartłomiej Skolimowski, owner of a hotel company, who took part in HORECA®/GASTROFOOD/ENOEXPO® for the first time, thus summed up his experience: There are many exhibitors, so whatever you are looking for, you are bound to find it here. I am particularly impressed by the catering equipment presented at the HORECA® is a place where you can forge important contacts and decide what products to buy. I'm sure the trade fair will be of interest to anyone beginning their career in the HoReCa industry, especially if at first they lack the necessary experience. You can get some very good advice here.
Kraków bets on local products
In 2019, Kraków was designated as the European Capital of Gastronomic Culture. Marcin Filipkiewicz, the main chef at the Copernicus Hotel in Kraków, says that the first question we get from our visitors is about the regional products used in our dishes. Many guests want to learn about the history of the city not only through its sights but also its local products, to literally relish the flavour of Kraków. Miłosz Kowalski from Halicka Eatery&Bar adds that It is the duty of chefs to transmit the knowledge of our culinary heritage to new generations of cooking staff. This is our history, this is our tradition. Chefs who decided to cooperate with the organizers of HORECA® often underscored their attachment to Cracovian culinary history and hence eagerly participated in "Tradition on the Offensive", a campaign whose final round took place at HORECA®. During a meeting with the chefs, we also found out what the future held for Cracovian głąbik (a type of celery lettuce). The chefs unanimously declared that they would pick it up again and prophesied that the product stands a very good chance of becoming a permanent fixture on Cracovian menus. During the culinary shows, pickled głąbik was used to whip up, e.g. a tartar sauce, a Polish żur (sour rye soup) prepared with leftover pickle juice, and a głąbik soup of pickled stems. Raw głąbik also made an appearance in salads and rolls, as well as in chips that were served as a side dish to goose stomachs marinated in garlic sauce.
Iwona Miliszkiewicz-Bielak, Project Manager of the HORECA®/GASTROFOOD/ENOEXPO® trade fair, there are ideas galore for the upcoming editions: In the coming weeks, we will be making assessments and trying to draw conclusions to be able to surprise exhibitors and visitors again next year. We have gained many positive reviews this year which, honestly, gives us an extra injection of energy and the confidence that we know how to do a good job.