I International Conference: Balanced Diet – Balance Life

Before setting up the foundation, Excellence in the Home, as we were previously known, organised its first International Conference. It saw the coming together of experts in the fields of sociology, nutrition, economics and marketing, and practitioners in the hospitality and care industries. Debates were held on the topics of diet and personal well-being and unhealthy lifestyle trends challenged.

About the Conference

EiH2006 London saw the coming together of experts in the fields of sociology, nutrition, economics and marketing, and practitioners in the hospitality and care industries. Debate on the topic of diet and personal well-being were identified and trends challenged.

May 14-15, 2006 | Royal Garden Hotel, London W8 4PT


Bryan K. Sanderson, CBE | Conference Chairman & BUPA

Bryan Sanderson graduated from the London School of Economics where he gained a BSc in Economics. He has been awarded a CBE, holds Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Sunderland and York and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers. Following his studies Bryan did two years voluntary service with the UN in Peru, following which he joined BP. He held a number of positions, including Senior Representative for South East Asia and China, based in Singapore before being appointed a managing director of BP and CEO of BP Chemicals. Following his retirement from BP in 2000, Bryan held the post of Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council for four years and is now Chairman of BUPA and Standard Chartered Bank; he is also the non-executive Chairman of the Sunderland Area Regeneration Company, a non-executive director of Sunderland football club and Durham County Cricket Club, serves on the Board of the Foundation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and is the UK representative on the Commonwealth Business Council.

Plenary Sessions

Prof. Thomas Hibb | Dean of the Honors College & Professor of Ethics & Culture at Baylor University, Texas, USA

Thomas Hibbs read Philosophy at the University of Dallas and the University of Notre Dame. He went on to lecture Philosophy at Boston College. Thomas has written 2 scholarly books on Aquinas including Dialectic and Narrative in Aquinas, an interpretation Summa Contra Gentiles, and has also written a book on popular culture entitled ‘Shows about Nothing’. Hibbs has written on film, culture and higher education in books and culture, his works are reviewed in Christianity Today, New Atlantis, The Dallas Morning News, National Review and The Weekly Standard and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Prof. Dr. Phil Kirsten Schlegel-Matthies | University of Paderborn

Vice President of International Federation of Home Economics, FG Nutrition and Consumer Education, Faculty of Natural Sciences Department of Sport & Health, University of Paderborn, Germany Prof. Dr. Phil. Kirsten Schlegel-Matthies is a graduate in Social History and German Literature from the University of Münster. She wrote her Thesis on the History of Housework and the Ideal of the German.

Prof. Sophia Aguirre | The Catholic University of America

Dr. Aguirre is an Ordinary Professor of Economics at the Busch School of Business and Economics of The Catholic University of America. She is the founder of the Integral Economic Development Programs at this School. She specializes in international finance and integral economic development. She has researched and published in the areas of exchange rates and economic integration, as well as on theories of population, human and social capital and family as it relates to integral economic development. Dr. Aguirre has lectured at both the national and international level. Since ICPD ’94, she has actively participated in UN Conferences. She testified in front of Congresses and Parliaments on issues related to population, family and health both nationally and internationally.  She has also advised several governments on women’s education, family policy, and health.  She was a presidential appointee to the US Advisory Commission on Foreign Diplomacy.

Prudence Margaret Leith OBE | Chef & Writer

Prue Leith studied at Cape Town University, the Sorbonne, Paris and Cordon Bleu London. Prue has gained much experience in the food/hospitality sector having acted as a Board member for Safeway plc, Whitbread plc, Halifax plc and British Rail. She has been Chairman of The Royal Society of Arts and the British Restaurateurs Association. She is currently on the board of Woolworths and several smaller companies, and chairs the British Food Trust, Focus on Food and the Hoxton Apprentice, a not for a profit training restaurant company. Her experience within the media and broadcasting include writing regular columns for the Daily Mail, Sunday Express, Mirror and the Guardian as well as twelve cookery books and three novels, and appearing on the Best of British (BBC 2) and Tricks of the Trade (BBC 1). She has eleven Honory Degrees or Fellowships, has won Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year, Glenfiddich Trade Journalist of the Year and Corning, Food Journalist of the Year.

Panel Discussions

Panel 1: Training for Excellence. Examples of Best Practice

  • Supporting body: Lakefield, Professional Training for the Hospitality Industry, UK

The hospitality industry, focusing on the same basic skills as excellence in the home, is suffering a severe skills shortage despite many training opportunities at all levels. Although management-level university courses work well, the training of operative-level staff is less satisfactory, and new training models are continually being studied. The training centres presented in this workshop are already praised by the industry for ‘turning out work-ready staff’. Lakefield (Britain), Kenvale College of Tourism & Hospitality Management (Australia) and Altaviana (Spain) offer successful models for both operative and management training. In Switzerland’s unusual and successful system, apprentices start training in the home and progress to the hospitality industry if they wish.

This workshop highlights these models’ success factors : person-centred training combining expert practitioner role models, short industrial placements and unique Personal and Professional Development modules. This system enables people to balance study with hard work and leisure, and then apply these skills in the workplace to achieve a balanced diet – balanced life.

Chairman: Marjory Clark  Panelists: Mia Nahm, Sara Verdaguer, Elvira Schwelger


Panel 2: Care of the Home as a Life Skill

  • Supporting body: IFAP, Institut de Formation a l’assistance au personnes, France

Basic care for the home focuses on providing food and shelter. We require a balanced diet of three meals a day to ensure physical well-being. Similarly the entire home environment is essential for nourishing the human spirit. A home that fosters positive relationships and enhances personal development, allowing each person necessary rest and refreshment becomes a healthy refuge from the demands of daily life. The skills for organizing and managing a home can be taught in the family, in school and in business settings. The family is the first and most natural place to learn the manual skills for caring for a household. The fact that schools and businesses also foster the development of home management skills highlights the importance of housework not only within the family but for society at large. This workshop will deal with the theoretical and practical importance of manual work in the home , the importance of a balanced diet and the overarching value of this work.

Chairman: Valeria Casanova  Panelists: Mary Hunt, Elisabeth Andras and Anita Cormarc


Panel 3: Sociological Views of the Professionalization of the Culinary Field: Service as a Professional Identity

  • Supporting body: Lexington College , USA

Sociology’s insights concern individual behaviour in the context of their social environment. This approach can illuminate our understanding of social behaviour around food, eating, cooking and dietary lifestyles. What and how we eat by whom and how it is prepared, tells us about who we are as a society and what we value. This sociology workshop will feature research on the professional approach to caring for individuals, especially from the viewpoint of foodservice and the culinary profession. The workshop will consider broad topics, including the professionalization of the culinary field, service as a professional identity, and women’s role in this field.

Chairman: Marta Elvira  Panelists: Chef Candace Wallace, Jesús Contreras, Michele Grottola


Panel 4: Communication, Culture & Hospitality

  • Supporting body: Kenvale College of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Australia

Food is a common need of all human beings. Throughout history, each culture has expressed its individuality through food. Food brings people together as they share with others what is valuable and intimate to them: family and friends. Through food by getting together around the family table, people learn social behaviour, respect for others and ways of communicating and understanding others. These qualities learnt in the family can be transferred to the industry, when caring for people. Hotels, hospitals and other hospitality enterprises should be an extension of the family home, taking into account individual differences based on cultural norms.

Chairman: Isabella Conde  Panelists: Emma-Kate Simons, Peter Tudehope and Dr. Asad Mohsin


Panel 5: Food, Health and Family

  • Supporting body: Universidad de Navarra

An adequate diet and life style are important factors to get a high level of health in the population. It is important to educate people from childhood to adopt optimal nutrition habits. Excellence in the Home includes the knowledge of the keys to get the optimum diet to every member of the family. The panel will deal with the benefits of healthy eating from early years to old age.

Chairman: Mark Blackwell  Panelists: Iciar Astiasarán, Alfredo Martínez Hernández, Martina Feulner


Panel 6: Advertising Food: Challenges & Trends

  • Supporting body: ACNielsen UK

Advertisers recognise that all products, including food, possess values which go beyond the material ones, and try to establish links between personal values and particular foods or eating habits. They have to find new ways of selling products in a time-starved, throw-away society, targeting groups who are especially sensitive to certain specific messages: shortage of time; revival of traditional tastes; healthy foods, etc.

However, recently, advertising finds itself being challenged by its recipients, the consumers. They ask:

– How can advertising contribute to building up healthy eating habits which lead to a more balanced life?

– What values or associations are most frequently found in today’s food advertising?

– Are people aware of these links, and do they accept or reject them?

Chairman: Charo Sádaba  Panelists: Suzanne Edmond, Leticia Ruiz de Ojeda, John B. Neary, Louise Boitoult