Report on WACS European Conference 8th-9th April 2018 hosted by the BCF

by Mark Houghton, Vice-President


On Sunday 8th and Monday 9th April, the British Culinary Federation was privileged to host the World Association of Chefs Societies European Congress which was held at the Moat House Hotel, Acton Trussell, Staffordshire.

I attended for the duration, representing the BCF along with Brian Cotterill, Honorary President; Stuart McLeod, Vice-Chairman and Graham Crump, Vice President.  The Congress saw over 50 delegates attend from 17 European countries.  Arriving on Sunday, the delegates were treated to a light lunch before the day’s business began.

The Conference was chaired by the three European Continental Directors of WACS: Dragan Unic from Sweden, the Northern European Director; Miroslav Lubek from the Czech Republic, the Middle European Director and from Italy, Domenico Maggi, the Southern European Director.

The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and discussions held with regards to WACS business. Chris Koetke of the USA gave an in-depth presentation on “Feed the Planet”.  He explained how WACS are proposing a package to educational institutions to assist them teach students on sustainability and the importance on knowing about waste, water, energy and supply of food. Also, the impact poor sustainability would make on their regions and the world as a whole if we were to ignore this important issue. It is not only via educational institutions that this subject should be taught, it should be encouraged as an everyday subject within our own establishments. He also proposed that all country associations nominate a sustainability ambassador from each association to help with this. For more information see; 

Later, all national associations were encouraged by Rochelle Schaetzl from the Chefs Association of South Africa and Nestle to support the Nestle-sponsored International Chefs’ Day on October 20th 2018. It will again see chefs from around the world work together in helping to promote healthy eating amongst children. It is possible for anyone to download and receive all the marketing materials for this event along with recipes using a theme that children can identify with. Further information will be issued on the WACS website, once the fi nal details have been agreed. On Sunday evening the team at the Moat House prepared and served an excellent Conference Dinner, which was also attended by our President Peter Griffi ths, Chairman Matt Davies and Vice-President Jim Eaves.


Treacle Bread, Smoked Bacon Butter
Whipped Chicken Livers, Chicken Skin, Crispy Onions, Seed Granola
Quail Breast, Scotch Egg, Asparagus, Morel Ketchup, Truffle
Lamb Cannon, Sweetbreads, Sheep’s Curd, Wild Garlic Verde, Sprouting Broccoli, Jersey Royals
Kaffir Lime and Thai Basil Sorbet
Cookies and Milk Praline Parfait, Aerated Chocolate, Slated Macadamia Nuts, Cookie Crumble
Local Cheeses
Coffee and Petits Fours


On Monday, Day 2 of the conference, speakers were chefs from the Scandinavian associations. Uffe Nielsen of Demark gave a brief presentation on their waiters’ competition and how it has improved the cooperation between both front and back of house areas. These competitions run much the same as our own Student Cook and Serve competition and seem to be a very new idea within other European countries.

Kristine Hartviksen of Norway and the President of the Scandinavian countries, introduced the winner of the Swedish Young Chef of the Year. He spoke about how he is now getting involved with the Swedish Association and inputting ideas from a young chef’s point of view.

He also said how valuable it was for him to attend such a conference as the WACS congress. This caused much discussion amongst all delegates agreeing that there is not enough done within our associations for the young chefs. It was agreed that at the next European congress all counties attending should bring with them at least one Young Chef representative to encourage them to get involved with their own associations as well as WACS. After all, we need to grow and ensure succession planning for the future.

The conference came to a close on Monday afternoon after a wonderful Buffet Lunch. Northern European Director, Dragan Unic, thanked the British Culinary Federation and The Moat House saying that it was one of the best Congresses he has ever attended.

The BCF would like to thank all of the following companies who helped to make this event so very successful: Town & Country Fine Foods, Contacto, Essential Cuisine, CCS, Royal Crown Derby, FishCo, Freshview Foods, Harvey & Brockless, Zuidam, Sauce Fine Foods, Champagne Laurent Perrier.