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The traditional General Assembly of AEHT members took place in the ‘Platinum’ room with delegates from 130 schools in 30 countries in attendance. The delegates were welcomed by AEHT president Louis Robert flanked by the members of his Presidium.


The members of the Presidium

This was a fairly routine general assembly, with the adoption of the minutes of the 2006 general assembly in Killarney and the president’s report on the year 2006/2007 which had seen the vice-presidents take on a variety of responsibilities: Klaus Enengl, vice-president and treasurer, took over from Hans Russegger, Alfonso Benvenuto has responsibility for higher education, Neeme Rand for the promotion of the AEHT and for the website, Bogusława Pienkowska for the ACCOR placements, Ana Paula Pais for the organisation of seminars, Louis Robert for fixed events, i.e. the Annual Conference and Christmas in Europe; in this connection he thanked Christiane Keller aka "Mother Christmas" for her commitment to this splendid AEHT signature event. He mentioned the Budapest Festival of Springtime in Gastronomy – like a miniature Annual Conference – and the Festival of Sport and Health in Portugal. In relation to the Annual Conference, Louis Robert also mentioned that there were always minor problems with the competitions but that with the help of the Competitions Committee these problems were generally smoothed over. He emphasised the importance of the meeting held between members of the Competitions Committee and the conference organisers six months in advance of the event.
Mentioning the ‘council of elders’ already touched on in 2006 and intended for former presidents and vice-presidents, he explained that we had not yet been able to set up this council because of a lack of participants. He thanked Michel Gaillot for his presence and announced that the council would be officially launched at the Executive Board meeting in Kuressaare next March. It was also timely to make preparations to celebrate the 20th anniversary in 2008, the AEHT having been founded in 1988 by J.P. Bernard et Martin Bruder in Strasbourg.


A view of the participants at the general assembly

Speaking about the ACCOR placements, Bogusława Pienkowska provided some statistics, and pointed out that as in previous years there had been problems with some teachers. ‘If there is a problem, we need to be informed. The teacher must become part of the hotel team because the placements are not tourism, but professional training events,’ she said, before handing over to Frédérique Poggi from the ACCOR group for a dynamic video presentation of the group’s activities. She also pointed out that there were more offers than takers; this led to a dialogue with the audience, in which Gilles Honegger, Ms Poggi’s predecessor, spoke of life-long learning and the advantage for culinary arts teachers of using the Lenôtre or Bocuse training centres. Louis Robert emphasised that it was up to us to motivate our teachers to undertake training placements. It was clear that there was considerable room for expansion in this area since 69 hotels had agreed to take teachers on placement whereas only 25 teachers had taken advantage of the scheme (as at October 1st 2007).

Frédérique Poggi

Louis Robert also passed round a petition for a Bulgarian school whose teachers are striking for increased investment and better working conditions.

Ana Paula Pais, responsible for seminars, took us through the various events, past and future, among them, in November, the 15th Eurocup international young barman competition.
For 2008 there will be an international festival in Faro, Portugal, in April events in Turkey and Sweden, in May in Italy, in June in Madeira, in November in WIT and in December in Italy. Ana Paula Pais requested all seminar organisers to let her have their dates in good time to avoid clashes, to keep costs to a minimum, to find an opportunity to promote the AEHT and finally to provide information to be put up on the website after the event.

Alfonso Benvenuto, responsible for higher education, announced that he was seeking to set up partnerships with schools offering higher education programmes with a view to creating with them for example an AEHT higher education section, especially for the areas of culinary arts, front office, restaurant service and bar. He also expressed the hope that the Leonardo project would be accepted; and announced that shortly a video would be published on the subject of management, first in Italian, then later in French and English.

Klaus Enengl, in his role as treasurer, gave a brief commentary on the financial information projected onto the screen: this related to the 2006 accounts which showed a surplus of €19,035.78 from an income of €146,820.80. The 2008 budget forecast includes a sum of €10,000 to set up the council of elders, and shows a reduction of €10,000 in the subsidy paid by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which is reduced from €30,000 to €20,000. The treasurer took the opportunity of thanking the Luxembourg government and Norbert Richartz, our accountant, then went on to read to report from the two auditors, Jürgen Klausen and Danièle Snauwaert, neither of whom had been able to be present but both of whom were willing to continue in their role for the 2007 financial year. Klaus Enengl expressed his regret that many annual subscriptions had not yet been paid, though was pleased that he had no exclusions to announce. Six schools had resigned, though on the other hand the AEHT had received 37 new membership applications from schools and professional members. Moreover, membership requests from Georgia and Armenia were currently being considered. The treasurer’s report was adopted by acclamation at the president’s request.

Neeme Rand, vice-president responsible for the website, provided his audience with a wealth of explanations illustrated with graphs and diagrams. It is clear that the website is being visited increasingly frequently and is becoming an everyday tool for AEHT members. The president is particularly pleased with this development which he sees as an indication of a growing interest and a powerful information source for all. He took the opportunity to thank Nadine Schintgen, our general secretary, and John Rees Smith, the AEHT’s perennial translator; he also proposed an honorary membership for Danièle Snauwaert. The audience loudly applauded the Jesolo team who had so well organised the 20th Annual Conference.

Finally, Neeme Rand, also director of the Kuressaare school, showed a video to illustrate the next Annual Conference, the 21st, which would take place from 14th to 19th October 2008. He gave a description of the setting and emphasised the warm welcome in store in Estonia. Christmas in Europe 2007 would take place in Semmering in Austria from 1st to 4th December. Jürgen Kürner, director of the Semmering school, took the floor briefly to give some information: 18 schools from 14 countries would be taking part. Christmas in Europe 2008 would take place in Château-Chinon, in 2009 in Poznan, in 2010 in Sofia.

Under ‘other business’, Mauro Zardetto presented "Art movie", a new model of European culinary arts for discovering typical Italian dishes. This was a very technical conclusion to a highly serious morning’s work.


Mauro Zardetto
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

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