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HTA lines up top speakers for Catering Conference

Published: 23 April 2015
Charles Campion, food critic and MasterChef judge, and Sarah Dunning, chief executive of the Westmorland Family, have been announced as the keynote speakers at the June conference.
Mr Campion, who will speak on day one of the conference, spent 15 years in the advertising industry, beforebuying a ruined mansion in Buxton, Derbyshire with a view to turning it into a luxury hotel and restaurant, taking on the role of head chef himself. As interest rates doubled and the recession bit home, the enterprise failed and Mr Campoin reinvented himself as a food writer and has written about food and restaurants in the London Evening Standard for nearly 20 years.
He has appeared on Food and Drink on BBC2, Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef, Celebrity MasterChef, Professional MasterChef, and the BBC's One Show. He was also co-host of a major series on Sky - "The Greatest Dishes of the World".

Mr Campion will give an insight into what makes a great garden centre catering outlet and how to make your establishment stand out from the competition. He will share anecdotes and 'his rules to dine by', helping you to understand better how to give your customers the best experience.

Sarah Dunning, chief executive of The Westmorland Family, will be the second keynote speaker on day two, alongside Valentine Warner.

Ms Dunning started running the family business in 2005, after several years of working in the City for NM Rothschild and as a headhunter. Primarily Ms Dunning sees herself as the champion of The Westmorland Families values, ensuring that they are the compass for everything that the business undertakes. She loves food and constantly strives to strengthen the business' food approach through its homemade food and its relationship with its many artisan and local producers.

Ms Dunning will talk about the challenges they have been through in moving from one site to two and how they have approached sourcing local suppliers, their values and principals and how these differentiate them from other motorway service stations. Sarah will cover how they appeal to both locals and passers-by.

The two-day HTA conference, complete with conference dinner and exhibition, will take place June 9-10 at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. Sponsored by Vision Commercial Kitchens, the Catering Conference will cover hot topics that impact garden centre catering and will take place in both conference and workshop format. For more information, visit


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