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Event review: Sirha 2019 – the biggest ever show

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The biannual trade show attracted more than 200,000 visitors to Lyon this week

This week Sirha 2019 took place in Lyon, France. From 26-30 January, professionals from the global foodservice industry gathered at the French culinary capital city’s Euroexpo to discover new trends and innovation while doing business.

One of the global foodservice industry’s must-attend foodservice shows, the biannual show attracts a large crowd of visitors from across the world. Before the event, director Marie Odile Fondeur announced that a record crowd of 3,000 exhibitors and more than 200,000 visitors, among them 25,000 international chefs, were expected.

For the 2019 edition, show organisers added 10,000 sqm floor space to the event, which sprawled across the seven halls of the exhibition centre.

Sirha showcases every conceivable aspect of foodservice, from kitchen equipment to catering and food products. Every hall of the Euroexpo was a hub of innovation as companies launched new products and unveiled techniques and innovation.

A broad scope

Much of the space was dedicated to commercial kitchen equipment, taking up large parts of hall space – the focus on demonstrating the innovation that goes on in the sector, making connections and striking up business.

The focus on Alto-Shaam’s stand was on the manufacturer’s new multi-function Vector oven ranges. For Thierry Molla, the company’s sales director in France, this year was his seventh visit to Sirha. “This is the best show in France, in the culinary capital of Lyon,” he said. “It covers everything, equipment, bakery, pastry, food products. We had some great conversations with operators, consultants and some end users too.”

Stephan Radosevic, the sales director of refrigeration company Ake, meanwhile was here for the first time. “We have had a great experience; we had conversations with dealers, operators and used the opportunity to look out for potential dealers too,” he said. “This is a very big show and it is different to other exhibitions we visit because it is so broad in its scope.”

Sirha also played host to more than 20 competitions, including the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie for pastry chefs, won by Malaysia, and the International Catering Cup, while the World Cuisine Summit gathered chefs, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders to share ideas.

Scandinavia top of the Bocuse d’Or tree

The Bocuse d’Or professional cooking competition, running for the first time since the founder chef Paul Bocuse passed away, took place among the usual scenes of excitement and emotion.

The 2019 edition of the competition was a triumph for Scandinavia as Denmark, with chef Kenneth Toft-Hansen at the helm, returned to top spot for the first time after eight years, while Sweden won silver and Scandinavian neighbours Norway was awarded the bronze medal.

The Denmark coach Rasmus Kofoed – the only chef to have won bronze, silver and gold as a competitor – now completes the clean sweep of also winning the competiton as coach of his national team.

This year’s Bocuse d’Or competition represented a fitting tribute to Monsieur Bocuse as someone who changed the chef profession and played a key part in creating the fraternity we see today. His son Jérôme Bocuse who is now the president of the competition said “today was the best tribute to his legacy”.

Tina Nielsen