Big names line up for city conference

Fred Sirieix - Skills for Service conference
Fred Sirieix - Skills for Service conference

SERVICE supremo Fred Sirieix will be bringing his golden touch to the inaugural Skills for Service Conference, being launched in Sheffield in July.

Fred – general manager of Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows in the Park Lane Hilton – became a familiar face after starring in Michel Roux’s 2011 BBC2 series Service.

He will be the keynote speaker at July’s conference, organised in parallel with the Skills for Chefs event, which has been masterminded for the last 14 years by David McKown of Sheffield University.

“The time was right to drive up standards in front-of-house and the TV show was the spark,” says David.

“It means we can now boast two major industry events in our city.”

Others appearing at the event include the World’s Greatest Sommelier 2010, Gerard Basset; top maître d’ Esher Williams; ex-hotel inspector Gordon Cartwright; and Bar Wizards Neil Lowrey and Neil Garner.Another big name who will address both conferences is due to be announced in May.

“This should get the Sheffield industry buzzing!” says David. “I hope restaurateurs will come along – and invest in their staff too, by booking them into the conference.”

The 15th annual Skills for Chefs conference will feature Michelin-starred names including Alan Murchison, Kenny Atkinson and Steve Smith, as well as Sheffield’s own Mick Burke and Dr Paul Thomas, a world renowned expert on truffles.

Both events take place over Monday and Tuesday, July 9-10. Bookings are now open at

Lesley Draper