While Hong Kong's passion for dining and outstanding hospitality is globally renowned, the organiser of Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong 2010 says industry leaders must introduce new ideas and products to ensure their businesses remain successful. 'Hong Kong's bar and restaurant environment is very competitive. Operators in the hospitality industry are always under pressure from rent increases and staff turnover, but by continuingly raising standards through adapting and introducing new ideas, they can keep their businesses moving forward,' says Stuart Bailey, general manager of Diversified Events Hong Kong. Now in its eighth year, the hospitality fair, which takes place from tomorrow until Thursday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, is more than twice the size of last year's event. Bailey says the fair will provide education and showcase top-quality products and services, aimed at helping operators to run their businesses more effectively. 'Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong 2010 is designed specifically to appeal to those directly operating and managing businesses in the hospitality industry, rather than a vast trading platform for suppliers and distributors.' The three-day event will provide a variety of attractions for executives, food and beverage (F&B) managers, wine buyers and purchasing officers from the region's most prominent F&B groups, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The line-up of comprehensive educational programmes includes seminars, classes, cocktail demonstrations, food tastings, tutored wine tastings, bartender training and various workshops. To make these attractions and the entire show as useful as possible, the organiser has assembled an advisory committee of experts to discuss prospects and suggest solutions to the challenges faced by operators. 'The competitions, seminars and workshops are not simply there to entertain; they are designed to encourage and inspire industry professionals to introduce new concepts and improve their product offerings,' Bailey says. A good example is the Hong Kong International Beer Awards, which recognise the best beers available in the city in 13 categories, including cider/perry and organic beer. Launched last year, the awards not only highlight the variety and quality of beer, but also encourage licensed traders to increase the range on offer to Hong Kong beer lovers. From hundreds of entries, an expert panel will decide on the winners, which will be on display and available for tasting at the Winners' Gallery. In addition to showcasing innovative products, ranging from tableware to furniture, Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong 2010 will also feature new attractions, including 'Exploring Food Science' by Disciples Escoffier Hong Kong, 'Gourmet Japan' and a 'Grand Barista Championship'. 'Gourmet Japan' will offer a specialised trade platform to meet the increasing demand for Japanese ingredients and food. 'With the growing demand here in Hong Kong and around the region, 'Gourmet Japan' will serve as an annual event to bring the best of Japan to the best Japanese restaurants in Asia,' Bailey says. With more than 1,300 Japanese restaurants, Hong Kong is the biggest and most concentrated Japanese F&B market outside Japan and the largest importer of Japanese food worldwide. The 'Grand Barista Championship' turns the spotlight on Hong Kong's fast-growing coffee culture and will reveal ways to improve operations by focusing on artistry and flair. The new Asian Seafood Exposition will run in conjunction with Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong 2010, allowing chefs, hospitality groups and F&B directors to speak directly to those supplying the best international seafood. 'Our partnership with the Asian Seafood Exposition not only adds another dimension to our multifaceted programme, but also provides another component to what makes Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong so attractive to industry participants,' Bailey says. He says the event is the ideal platform for those in the industry to experience new ideas at first hand. 'Trade professionals attending Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong 2010 will be able to see and experience ideas they can adapt and incorporate into their own businesses,' Bailey says. For example, this year's 'Chefs Masterclass' programme will feature top chefs from around the world demonstrating the preparation of popular dishes and explaining techniques. Hong Kong chef Vincent Thierry, whose French restaurant Caprice has three Michelin stars, will be part of the master class line-up. Meeting popular demand, there will also be more Cantonese cuisine demonstrations than in previous years. For the first time, Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong will feature a Fine Food Village, where niche suppliers of gourmet ingredients native to various parts of the world will be able to introduce food products to chefs and buyers in Asia.