Slide 1
previous arrow
next arrow
‘We should be proud of our Association…’

The General Assembly, a constant in the AEHT’s calendar, took place in a fine hall in the Toplice hotel on October 14th, starting at 9am. The agenda for the meeting contained the usual items, and the Assembly was chaired for the first time by the new president Alfonso Benvenuto.

Alfonso Benvenuto was flanked by his vice-presidents Neeme Rand, Adolf Steindl, Louis Robert, Michel Gaillot, Boguslawa Pienkowska, as well as by Nadine Schintgen the AEHT General Secretary, by Hans Russegger the treasurer, by John Rees Smith, interpreter and by Mariella Olivieri, assistant to the President. Alfonso Benvenuto welcomed the delegates, who attended in great numbers as in previous years, and expressed his warm thanks to the organisers of the 17th Annual Conference in Bled. He reminded the meeting that the Presidium and the Executive Board had met the previous day, in particular to discuss – already! - the preparations for the 18th Annual Conference in Antalya, Turkey. He extended a special greeting to Boskovic Dusan, director of continuing development for hotel school teachers in Montenegro, to Marco Otten of the CENET agency, and to Jean-Michel Wautelet; he also welcomed the representative of the most recent country to join the AEHT – Lithuania.

In his presidential address Alfonso Benvenuto referred to the Presidium meeting in Krakow in July; the decisions taken at that meeting had been unanimously approved the previous day, and now the minutes of the previous General Assembly, held in Copenhagen during the previous Annual Conference, were likewise unanimously approved. He also pointed out that during the first year of his presidency many contacts had been made, and reminded the meeting that ‘The AEHT works for our students to enable them to engage in exchanges and to attend seminars, and to enable staff training, particularly through the ACCOR placements, a most enriching experience.’

Moving on to the financial situation, the president underlined, without wishing to be alarmist, that ‘we must adopt a more austere policy, and increase the number of member schools. Each national representative is another AEHT president … we must adopt a policy of extending membership, and send relevant information to the Head Office.’ In conclusion Alfonso Benvenuto mentioned the AEHT shop, and in particular the launch of the ties and scarves bearing the AEHT logo. ‘We must be proud of our Association’ he declared, before handing over the floor to his vice-presidents.

Louis Robert, who had launched the Gastronomy for Peace campaign in Copenhagen, spoke of his contacts with UNESCO and of the official launch of this action which was to take place on March 20th 2005, a symbolic date as it marked the start of the war in Iraq. Detailed information will be sent out at the beginning of 2005 to the 350 member schools in 40 countries. ‘It is up to you de decide what would be the most appropriate activity to support Gastronomy for Peace’, each school was free to make its own choice.

Louis Robert went on to present the calendar for future Annual Conferences:
2005 Antalya (Turkey), 2006 Killarney (Ireland), 2007 Paris (France – 20th anniversary of the AEHT), 2008 Kuressaare (Estonia), 2009 Lido di Jesolo ( Italy), 2010 Dubrovnik ( Croatia), 2011 Iceland, 2012 Portugal, 2013 Athens (Greece). Having mentioned these dates, Louis Robert announced that the Presidium would be issuing a set of guidelines to help organisers of future Annual Conferences.

Christmas in Europe would be hosted as follows: 2004 Bad Ischl (Austria), 2005 Coimbra or Funchal or Estoril (Portugal), 2006 Orebro ( Sweden), 2007 Semmering (Austria), 2008 Château-Chinon (France).

Boguslawa Pienkowska, the vice-president responsible for teacher placements, drew attention to the high demand which it was not possible to meet entirely, especially for placements in English-speaking countries. She also announced that 48 teachers had taken advantage of these placements in units of the ACCOR Group. Boguslawa Pienkowska thanked Sibylle Schoch who handles the administration of the placements, as well as Gilles Honegger of the ACCOR Group. She then reminded delegates of the meeting scheduled for the following day with Gilles Honegger to discuss this same subject of teacher placements.

Michel Gaillot, responsible for Higher and Continuing Education, remarked that ‘where there is tourism, there is peace’. He drew attention to the small number of Higher Education sector members in the AEHT, and the low response rate from these establishments when he attempted to obtain information from them. A small conference on the subject would be organised over a week-end in Paris on January 21st and 22nd. Michel Gaillot also drew attention to the creation of a professional degree (at the A-level plus 3 years level), and to the plans for a recruitment campaign for Higher Education establishments, ‘because this is a dimension so far lacking in the AEHT’. He took the opportunity to thank the interpreters, and expressed the wish that the ‘principle of the official languages be respected’, remarking on the subject of the Opening Ceremony that ‘our Association must remain European’..

Adolf Steindl, responsible for seminars and for new member countries, began by recommending that everyone should consult the AEHT website at least once a week; he then went on to give an account of all the seminars and other culinary events organised by the various schools (see the website for details!). Adolf also emphasised the importance of exchanges; he pointed out that members can download from the website a checklist for event organisers, designed to enable them to minimise the cost of organisation.
He reminded the meeting of the dates of the various events planned for 2005 (the dates may of course be subject to change).

Calendar of Events for 2005

21st – 22nd January: Conference on Higher Education in Hotel and Tourism Studies, Paris, France
1st – 4th February: Cookery Competition on the use of medicinal herbs, Salsomaggiore, Italy
25th February – 1st March: International Gastronomy Festival on Sport and Health, Faro, Portugal
20th March: Day of Gastronomy for Peace, all participating schools
March: Seminar on English and German Kitchen Terminology, Kolobrzeg, Poland
24th and 25th March: Gastronomy Competition and 25th Anniversary Celebration, Zagreb, Croatia
End March: Seminar on Romanian Cookery (together with the Young Maître d’Hôtel competition) THR, Bucharest, Romania
1st March (finals): Seminar on chicken, Cingoli, Italy
April: Gastronomy Competition, Dubrovnik, Croatia
27th April to 1st May: International Conference in Szeged, Hungary
End September: Seminar on ‘Oil, Olives and Culture’ in Split, Croatia
October: AEHT Annual Conference, Antalya, Turkey
October: Seminar on Tokay wines, Hungary
December: Christmas in Europe in Portugal, venue to be announced.

Neeme Rand, responsible for the promotion of the AEHT in countries of the former soviet bloc, expressed in his brief speech his pleasure that the Lithuanian School of Commerce had recently joined the AEHT; he also mentioned the help given to these countries in the form of bursaries to enable their participation in the Bled conference. He also thanked Adolf Steindl for his most welcome support for his work in pursuit of his remit

After a welcome coffee break, Jana Spec addressed the meeting briefly, expressing the Bled team’s great pleasure at hosting the 17th Annual Conference. ‘We will be making every effort to ensure that you spend a few pleasurable days here in Bled’ she said, and took the opportunity to remind delegates of the two evening events, one at the Astoria hotel for a Slovenian Evening, the other at the Golf hotel for the Mayor’s reception


Treasurer Hans Russegger gave a broad outline of the accounts for 2003: while the Association had had to use some of its reserves, the situation was by no means critical. Moreover the financial statement had been closely analysed and discussed at length at meetings of the Presidium and the Executive Board. We should note that our outgoings are €140,000 and that income is €123,000. We had taken €18,000 from our reserves in order to balance the accounts, and the reserves are of the order of €100,000. The AEHT’s auditors Danielle Schnauwert and Jürgen Clausen (the latter absent) had found that everything was in order, and the accounts were unanimously adopted by the meeting. The two auditors accepted to renew their remit for a further year.

Another traditional task for the Treasurer: the arrivals, departures and exclusions to the AEHT membership list – 20 exclusions, ten resignations, 39 new members. The ‘bottom line’ is therefore positive, and that is a good sign, said the Treasurer. The new members were thus formally adopted by the meeting.

The approval of the modified AEHT statutes and house rules was a mere formality.


As befitted the occasion, the moment had come for the team from Antalya in Turkey to give a broad outline of their programme for the 18th Annual Conference, which would take place from 22nd to 27th October 2005. With the help of a computerised video presentation the participants had the opportunity to discover the beauties of Antalya for themselves – its history, its enchantment, and its exceptional accommodation capacity, since Antalya has 968 of Turkey’s total of 1760 hotels – an indication of the importance of this region! The team distributed a CD and gave a commentary on the attractions of Turkey, while another which had been distributed to delegates as they arrived described the luxurious Hotel Kremer where the next Annual Conference will take place. ‘We are very glad to present to you the Antalya School,’ said Nadire Gunes, ‘and we are going to try to make our conference as good as Bled!’ These words were loudly applauded by the delegates who had been thoroughly convinced by the presentation.

The General Assembly was drawing to its close. Alfonso Benvenuto warmly thanked the Turkish team for its presentation and for undertaking to organise the Conference next year. He also thanked the interpreters and Christiane Keller for her continued commitment to Christmas in Europe. And as there was no ‘other business’ to discuss, the meeting was declared closed at 11.50am.
12th - 17th November 2018 in Leeuwarden
13th to 18th November 2017 - in Oostend
23rd to 28th October 2016 in London
5th to 10th October 2015 in Cervia

Our Sponsors

AEHT Contact

AEHT General Secretary
Find Us from Facebook
AEHT Head Office
PO Box 71 L-9201