Joe & Seph’s, purveyors of gourmet popcorn, is to launch two brand new flavours, just in time for Christmas.⠀ ⠀ Adam, Jackie and Joseph Sopher, the family behind the popcorn brand, have been hard at work in their London kitchen with their team of pastry chefs, creating the latest additions to their alcoholic Cocktail Range - Irish Coffee Liqueur with White Chocolate Caramel and Espresso Martini.⠀ ⠀ Irish Coffee Liqueur with White Chocolate Caramel is made using Joseph’s secret, smooth Caramel Sauce, which is then infused with 5% Irish Whisky and Coffee, and the finest Belgian White Chocolate.⠀ ⠀ Inspired by the classic cocktail, Espresso Martini, Joe & Seph’s infuse their signature Caramel Sauce with Coffee Liqueur, Vodka, and a wicked shot of Espresso for a warming winter kick. The new flavours will join their 50 strong range of gourmet popcorn which includes festive favourites such as Mince Pie, Brandy Butter & Mint Chocolate.⠀ ⠀ Director Adam Sopher (pictured) said, ‘As the countdown to Christmas begins, we are really excited to add these two new flavours to our indulgent Cocktail Collection. After experimenting with many different recipes, we think we’ve finally hit upon the perfect winter warmers, just in time for the festive season! We think they’re the ideal Christmas treat too, perfect for stocking fillers or Christmas hampers!’
Nando’s Group Holdings has posted its financial results for the year ending 26 February 2017, showing a turnover rise of 13.9% to £847,914,000 compared with £744,167,000 in the year before.⠀ Nando’s saw a pre-tax loss of £12,923,000 compared with a profit of £19,118,000 the previous year, partly due to a significant increase in capital expenditure (the money spent to buy, maintain, or improve fixed assets), to £151.4m (2016: £107.3m).⠀ ⠀ Revenue stood at £847.9m (2016: £744.2m), an increase of £103.7m, which was driven by organic growth in key markets, which include the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, along with increased sales associated with new restaurants and franchise acquisitions.⠀ ⠀ Gross profit under review was £194.8m, which represents a margin of 23.0% (2016: 25.4%) and reflects investment in employees – the number of which grew to 16,625 compared with 14,430 the previous year – and growing international footprint. Operating profit for the period was £46.7m (2016: £65.9m), reflecting higher administrative costs as we grow our global business.⠀ ⠀ Group capital investment for the period rose to £151.4m (2016: £107.3m), in line with its strategy to invest in extending our global restaurant footprint and refurbishing existing restaurants, technology and systems. Financing costs therefore increased to £68.4m (2016: £47.7m).⠀ ⠀ Nando’s opened 47 new restaurants taking the total to 908, of which 241 are run on a franchised basis. During the period the company opened its first franchise restaurant in Saudi Arabia. It also acquired an increased stake in its Singaporean and Malaysian businesses, taking ownership from 30% in each to 49%.⠀ ⠀ During the period, the company disposed of its subsidiary, Gourmet Burger Kitchen Retail and its related subsidiaries.
Warm Cabecou Goat Cheese, Roasted Peaches, Truffle Mascarpone, Manuka Honey Caviar, Hazelnuts. #lexingtongrill #waldorfastoriarak #warak #tasteofwaldorf #tasteofhilton #chefsoffice #chefsplateform #chefstalk #thechefsoffice #waldorfastoria #lexingtongrillrak #chefslife #foodforthesoul #food #foodporn #cheese #sogoood #chef #cheftalks
Sainsbury’s has unveiled its latest innovative partnership – the supermarket is launching its first in-store Zizzi pizza counter, serving up the brand’s freshly-made, restaurant-quality hot pizzas to go. ⠀ ⠀ The move is part of Sainsbury’s commitment to offer customers a distinct and differentiated choice of quality food for every occasion and follows the successful introduction of Sushi Gourmet counters, Patisserie Valerie products and a Crussh counter to its stores over the last year. ⠀ ⠀ The Sainsbury’s Balham store will be the first to offer shoppers the Italian brand’s pizzas to takeaway, with Zizzi chefs firing up the revolving, stone base pizza oven from Thursday 7th December. The counter will offer a selection of Zizzi’s hand-stretched, stone-baked Rustica pizzas, including vegan options and topping customisation, alongside garlic breads. They will also feature a “Pizza of the Month” special. ⠀ ⠀ Sainsbury’s customers will be able to order the premium pizzas either in store or via Click & Collect on the Zizzi website, paying for the products quickly and easily from a dedicated takeaway check out at the store’s hot food counter. Ready to eat Zizzi pizza from the Sainsbury’s Balham store will also be available to Deliveroo users via the Deliveroo platform. The food delivery market, which includes delivery brands such as Deliveroo as well as traditional takeaways, is expected to increase by 10 per cent a year to £53bn by 2020. ⠀ ⠀ In November, Sainsbury’s also became the first UK supermarket to trial a hot own brand pizza pre-ordering service in three stores – Redhill, Cambridge Eddington and Bradford. ⠀ ⠀ Balham shoppers will be able to bring the pizzeria experience to the comfort of their home, with the added convenience of being able to pick up their favourite grocery products for the perfect meal in at the same time. When asked, Zizzi customers said they’d choose a bottle of Pinot Grigio, bagged salad and a dessert to dine on alongside their freshly prepared pizza.
This December, street food favourites, Other Side Fried, will be opening at the hotly-anticipated Peckham Levels, a creative and cultural destination launching across seven empty floors of a multi-storey car park. ⠀ ⠀ Launching on the 6th level and offering one of the best views over London, Other Side Fried will be joining the seven street food traders, a café and bars that are all set to launch within this month - open 7 days a week (12-11pm)! ⠀ ⠀ Specially for their new site, co-founders Matt and Tommy have created brand new dishes such as The O.S.F. (fried chicken topped with brown butter mayo, parmesan, garlic and lettuce) as well as the vegetarian Celeriac (fried celeriac, cheese and chive sauce served with a fried egg, pickles and lettuce), that will join their signature burgers - the Buffalo (fried chicken with a mixture of hot sauce and ranch dressing, topped with pickles and lettuce) and Honey Butter (smoked honey butter, bacon, pickles and lettuce). ⠀ ⠀ All dishes have the option of delicious sides including Fries with Cajun rosemary salt; Dirty Fries with toppings of bacon, parmesan, hot sauce and ranch dressing; Smoked mash doused in dredge gravy and crispy onions; and Chicken strips with a kiev mayo. ⠀ ⠀ Other Side Fried was originally born from the back of a converted British ambulance, still used at Kerb today, alongside permanent sites at Pop Brixton and Dirty South in Lewisham.
Inspired by the relaxed breakfasts of the Middle East, Villa Mama’s will launch their weekend brunch menu this December, available from 8am until 11am every Saturday and Sunday. ⠀ ⠀ Chef Founder, Roaya Saleh, has created a morning menu reflecting her Bahraini heritage, travels and culinary traditions from across the Khaleej, Persia and beyond. ⠀ ⠀ The menu includes ‘Khubus’, a Tandoor-cooked flatbread, served with meyhawa, a Bahraini speciality of fermented sardine sauce, or za’atar and du-ah and ‘Gers Tabay’, a sweet Bahraini date crêpe. ⠀ ⠀ Larger plates include ‘Balaleet’, sweet saffron and rose water vermicelli topped with scrambled eggs and ‘Ch’bood Deyay’, chicken livers sautéed with masala & vine leaves, all served with khubus. To share between two, ‘Mezzeh’ comprises of fresh labneh, seasonal jam, honey, halloumi, olives, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and khubus. ⠀ ⠀ Traditional Arabic or Turkish blend coffees are on offer to start the morning, alongside an array of traditional Bahraini teas including masala, chamomile and a blossoming flowering sweet osmanthus. The bar team will be serving up freshly squeezed juices, and for those who prefer an added punch, Bloody Marys and Mimosas will also be available. ⠀ ⠀ Saleh said, “Breakfast is such treasured meal of the day in Bahrain, as the weather is usually cooler and more relaxed. During my childhood, I used to love loading my khubus with all the toppings, and dunking it straight in the honey when my mum wasn’t looking. Washing this down with a masala tea is the perfect start to the day.” ⠀ ⠀ The dining room seats 50 and traditional Bahraini café style benches line the pavement for alfresco diners. A reclaimed shop counter from Paris is laden with Raoya’s homemade jams, spices and hand-woven Bahraini baskets for guests to purchase.
With Christmas fast approaching and two thirds of UK households choosing to have roast turkey for their Christmas dinner, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is offering tips on how you can safely prepare turkey at home.⠀ ⠀ Dr Kevin Hargin, Head, Foodborne Disease Control at the Food Standards Agency, said: “I know that Christmas can be a stressful time of year for some people, especially when cooking for a crowd. Which is why this year we have put together the ‘Let’s talk turkey’ guide, which offers some helpful tips on how to store, prepare and cook your turkey, and safely handle leftovers to ensure that you keep your loved ones safe from food poisoning this Christmas.”⠀ ⠀ Top turkey tips⠀ When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.⠀ ⠀ Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as much as 4 days.⠀ ⠀ Don’t wash raw turkey; it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.⠀ ⠀ To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.⠀ ⠀ Whether you cooked your turkey from frozen or fresh, your turkey leftovers can be used to make a new meal (such as a turkey curry). This new meal can then be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.
As part of Kudos' ongoing commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, they have recently implemented an initiative that will see far fewer paper cups used on site at the RAF Museum, Cosford, which includes its Refuel Cafe. ⠀ ⠀ Instead, china mugs have been introduced to significantly reduce the amount of disposable cups being handed out and sent to landfill. ⠀ ⠀ The mugs that will be used going forwards have been designed to look like well-worn enamel tin mugs, which is very much in keeping with themes in both the café and the exhibits throughout the museum. ⠀ ⠀ Kudos Operations Director, Nigel Hutson said, 'In the period 17.11.16 to 16.11.17, we have used 91,000 disposable cups and 34,000 plastic lids at the museum - the majority of which ended up in landfill sites. Taking the conscious decision to opt for a greener material to serve beverages in will almost certainly see this figure drop to virtually no disposable cups used on site. ⠀ ⠀ 'We are thrilled the RAF Museum, Cosford shares our environmentally centred approach to providing food and drink. Alongside our locally sourced ingredients that go into recipes for the health conscious consumer, the new china mugs will help to maintain a level of excellence that is of paramount importance.' ⠀ ⠀ As this becomes a larger issue worldwide, Kudos are very aware of the positive impact these essential changes can have on the environment and are looking to implement this same initiative at other appropriate venues we operate at. ⠀ ⠀ As a catering business, Kudos is also proud to have held its ISO 14001 environmental management accreditation since 2008. ⠀ ⠀ RAF Museum Director of Finance & Resources, Marguerite Jenkin said, “We fully support Kudos’s decision to introduce the new enamel mugs in the Museum’s Refuel Restaurant, as a move towards becoming more environmentally friendly. This falls in line with our own aim to reduce waste and increase recycling on site. ⠀ ⠀ 'We hope visitors will appreciate the move away from paper cups and if they are visiting in the run up to Christmas we recommend trying one of the new festive coffees.”
The Jockey Club and Jockey Club Catering are launching an exclusive new sporting hospitality experience at Cheltenham Racecourse. Theatre@ The Festival, a Pan Asian Theatre restaurant, will be available to racegoers attending The Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday 13 March – Friday 16 March 2018. ⠀ ⠀ The exclusive menu delivers a fusion of tastes, with flavours from across Asia embraced and delivered via the farms of The Cotswolds. Specially created by Tom Parry, Jockey Club Catering executive head chef at Cheltenham Racecourse, the package includes an individual bento box which contains a starter, main course and dessert. ⠀ ⠀ Phil Roberts, Cheltenham’s general manager for Jockey Club Catering, commented: “We wanted to create a new world-class hospitality experience that encompassed the latest food and drink trends that were catching our eye. Our chefs have spent the past year creating a brand new dining experience fit for the sport of kings and The Theatre@ The Festival offers guests a race day menu like no other.” ⠀ ⠀ Lee Moulson, Regional Head of Sales for South West at The Jockey Club, said, “We wanted to introduce another course facing restaurant for our racegoers over The Festival. The menu was put together by our food and drink team who have done a lot of research into pan Asian food and we are confident the menu is what our racegoers will enjoy. We are delighted to add this to our portfolio of hospitality options at The Festival.”
Brighton-based Purezza, the UK’s first vegan pizzeria, is set to open its second outlet in London’s Camden in February next year.⠀ ⠀ Purezza – meaning ‘purity’ – opened its Brighton site in 2015 and is now seeking funding for a roll out across the country.⠀ ⠀ The 100-cover Camden pizzeria will be spread over two floors and will offer an entirely vegan menu, with wholegrain sourdough pizzas, pastas, burgers, raw dishes, and gluten-free food.⠀ ⠀ Pizzas include Popeye – marinated spinach leaves, portobello mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, topped with ricotta-style cheese, and Couch Potato – white base with smoked mozzarella, roasted potatoes, Sicilian fried aubergine, pea pancetta & basil.⠀ ⠀ The company stated, ‘Purezza has reverse engineered a number of animal-based foods including vegan meat and cheese in its lab in order to recreate them with plant-based ingredients.’⠀ ⠀ The brand offers a range of artisan cheeses, including its famous houseblend rice mozzarella as standard for pizzas. There’s also ‘meats’ such as pancetta, mince, and burger patties created with plant proteins.⠀ ⠀ The drinks menu serves up craft beer, cocktails, wine, soft drinks, smoothies and a range of coffee beverages.
SSP Group PLC, a leading operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has agreed to acquire part of the Stockheim group, a travel concessions business based in Germany.⠀ ⠀ The business operates 25 food and beverage outlets in airports and railway stations, including at Düsseldorf and Cologne, and had sales in 2016 of approximately €30m. The acquisition of these outlets will further strengthen SSP's presence in travel locations across Germany, and is expected to complete in early 2018.⠀ ⠀ Commenting on the deal, Oliver Dörschuck, CEO of SSP Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France said, 'We are delighted to have acquired Stockheim. The business has some great brands operating in some key locations across Germany.'
Sticks’n’Sushi, the Danish restaurant group known for its menu offering traditional sushi alongside grilled yakitori skewers, has announced that its fifth restaurant in London, and seventh in the UK, will open in Victoria on Friday 8 December.⠀ The two-storey site in Sir Simon Milton Square will have two open-plan dining areas, on the ground and first floors, with the upper floor set under a canopy of arches reminiscent of monastic cloisters.⠀ ⠀ Presented in their unique ‘Photo Album’ style, Sticks’n’Sushi Victoria’s menu will naturally offer a wide variety of the eponymous dishes, from nigiri and yakitori which can be ordered by the single piece to deluxe sharing sets for two or more, as well as maki rolls, greens, salads and chirashi bowls.⠀ ⠀ True to Sticks’n’Sushi’s ethos of being ‘a sushi restaurant even for those who don’t like fish’, many meat dishes are available, including an indulgent Wagyu beef tartare, as well as vegetarian choices for every course – sticks, sushi and beyond.⠀ ⠀ A private dining room seating sixteen will welcome larger groups and special events, while the bar will provide anyone wishing to stop by simply for a coffee or a cocktail with a welcoming space in which to do so, without having to eat – unless of course they wish to!⠀ ⠀ Group COO Andreas Karlsson said, “For thousands of people every day, whether coming from near or very far, Victoria is their gateway to London – a city we have come to love as much as our home city of Copenhagen. We would be happy to think that before they start discovering London, they will first stop here for a taste of Tokyo, via Copenhagen – experiencing the world without even leaving SW1.’⠀ ⠀ Founded in a Copenhagen basement in 1994 by half-Danish, half-Japanese brothers Jens and Kim Rahbek and Thor Andersen, Sticks’n’Sushi has grown to include twelve restaurants in and around the Danish capital.⠀ ⠀ The first London restaurant, in Wimbledon, opened in 2012 and has since been joined by sites in Covent Garden, Greenwich, Canary Wharf and now, Victoria. Outside London, Cambridge and most recently Oxford followed, and in 2017 the first Sticks’n’Sushi in Germany opened in Berlin.
On 7 December, Stax Diner, the first child of the Feed Your Soul family, will be celebrating its relaunch by giving away free cheeseburgers to the first 200 lucky customers. ⠀ ⠀ With a menu created by founder Bea Vo and famed for the American home-style dishes, Stax will be serving up their classic cheeseburger to those quick off the mark on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Kingly Court restaurant in London's W1. ⠀ ⠀ Taking inspiration from the burger shacks of the American deep south, Stax’s cheeseburger, the messiest in town, is made with a 28-day aged beef patty topped with grilled onion, tomato, lettuce, mayo and a choice of cheeses, all assembled in a Martin’s potato bun. Kicking off from 12 noon, hungry Londoners will be able to get their hands on one of the two hundred free cheeseburgers to enjoy alongside Stax’s Must-Have sides of spicy Cajun fries, popcorn shrimp, crispy onion rings and the all new macaroni cheese bites. ⠀ ⠀ The Stax refurb will see the restaurant refreshed for the coming festive period where the new space will house walls adorned with an assortment of old-school American posters paying homage to the idols from the restaurant’s namesake Stax record label of the 60s and 70s. In keeping with the music theme, the restaurant will be dotted with recycled vintage instruments including a repurposed drum kit transformed into the main light feature. ⠀ ⠀ Founder Vo said, ‘Stax is all about good vibes and enjoying some home-style American cooking with friends. The team have been working hard behind the scenes to open the doors again and what better way to celebrate than our cheeseburger giveaway!’ ⠀ ⠀ 200 free cheeseburgers will be available when purchasing one side and one drink from opening at 12 noon on Thursday the 7th of December.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has welcomed the Government’s announcement to establish the Food and Drink Sector Council and the opportunity to engage more closely with the leadership of the whole sector to achieve better regulation for the 21st century.⠀ ⠀ The Council will be a new partnership between government and the whole food chain, working with industry leaders from agriculture, food and drink manufacturing, retail, hospitality and logistics. It is part of the Government?s Industrial Strategy which was published this week.⠀ ⠀ The FSA Chairman, Heather Hancock (pictured) said, ?We are already working to modernise the way we regulate all food businesses, which will ensure we have a system that is robust, sustainable and fit for the 21st century.⠀ ⠀ ‘This programme of work, Regulating Our Future, is engaging with businesses and local authorities to ensure the new model for regulation will continue to protect consumers while reducing the burden on businesses that are doing the right thing.⠀ ⠀ ‘We look forward to working with the new Council to deliver these reforms, in the interests of consumers here, and reinforcing our reputation for safe, trustworthy food in international markets.
London’s premium hospitality group rhubarb today announced that it will open two restaurants and an extraordinary event space at Hudson Yards, a new neighbourhood rising on Manhattan’s West Side. This will be the first international location for the London hospitality group. Both venues will open in 2019.⠀ ⠀ The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards will house a new 5,800 square foot restaurant concept by rhubarb on the fifth level, and the team will create a 10,000 square foot bar, restaurant and events space on the top of 30 Hudson Yards, the neighbourhood’s tallest tower.⠀ ⠀ The bar, restaurant and event space will offer breath-taking views, occupying the top two levels of the 1,296 feet tall tower, which will also house the highest outdoor observation deck in the city.⠀ ⠀ P.B. Jacobse, CEO of rhubarb, commented, “We are incredibly excited to be opening our first restaurants outside the UK at Hudson Yards, New York.⠀ ⠀ 'We have been looking to open in New York for several years now and the Hudson Yards development is incomparable – their commitment to a fully collaborative approach with all of their partners, from retail to food and beverage means this will be the ultimate, united experience.⠀ ⠀ 'Once completed, Hudson Yards will be regarded as the most iconic development of today’s generation, re-defining the culinary scene in New York and we simply had to be a part of it.”⠀ ⠀ Kenneth Himmel, President and CEO of Related Urban, said, “P.B. and rhubarb have created some of the most memorable, innovative and creative culinary events in the UK from the Royal Boxes and Jockey Club at the Royal Ascot racecourse to the Saatchi Gallery, Royal Albert Hall and Sky Garden at the “Walkie Talkie” building.⠀ ⠀ 'We are thrilled to welcome them to Hudson Yards where they will bring both a dedicated restaurant concept to the fifth floor as well as a bar, restaurant and events facility, to what is sure to be one of the most iconic locations in New York, the top of 30 Hudson Yards.
Drinks giant, Diageo has announced that the most traditional of crafts has achieved a new first with a female apprentice taking up the coppersmith’s hammer and torch.⠀ ⠀ Rebecca Weir, 18, from Alloa has been recruited by Diageo Abercrombie as a first year Modern Apprentice and is believed to be the first female recruit into the coppersmith trade in Scotland.⠀ ⠀ She is part of the latest apprentice intake at Diageo Abercrombie alongside 16-year-old Calum McTaggart from the famous whisky island of Islay, and Steven Key, who at 34 is a mature apprentice recruit.⠀ ⠀ For centuries coppersmiths have used the same tried and tested methods to make the famous stills which are at the heart of Scotch whisky distillation.⠀ ⠀ The apprentices will learn how to hand-beat copper sheets and weld them into whisky stills, as well as being trained in state-of-the-art computer aided design techniques, mastering a blend of strength, skill and patience.⠀ ⠀ Rebecca, who hopes to have a bright future in the traditionally male-dominated field, gained the coveted spot on the Abercrombie apprenticeship programme following an impressive interview.⠀ ⠀ She said, “My guidance teacher told me about the apprenticeship opportunities with Diageo. I thought it sounded like a really interesting route and I knew I had to go for it. I wasn’t put off by gender stereotypes – I don’t think that should stop anyone from doing what they want to do. It’s really exciting to be part of something which is so important to the whisky industry. I can’t wait to get stuck in and learn more about the essential skills needed to build and preserve the stills which produce some of the world’s most-loved Scotch whisky.”⠀ ⠀ Rebecca joins a vanguard of female distillers, engineers, blenders and brand ambassadors at Diageo, hoping to inspire other women to join the industry. At Diageo in Scotland, a quarter of all its apprentices are female; 17% of the malt distilling workforce is female and 40% are in management roles, reflecting the company’s focus on diversity in its workforce.
Elior UK has seen site sales double at one of its sites after introducing Vita Mojo to the staff restaurant. Like in the chain’s three high street sites, customers can use the Vita Mojo app, website, or in-restaurant iPads to order a meal that’s tailor-made to suit their nutritional and dietary needs.⠀ ⠀ As well as choosing how much protein, carbohydrate, or fat they’d like in their meal, customers can also decide how much of each ingredient they get, and avoid ingredients they don’t want in their dish.⠀ ⠀ Carl Morris, director of marketing & corporate communications at Elior UK, said, “Elior firmly believes that every customer is unique. And catering for that individuality is a big part of providing exceptional customer experiences – whether customers are making that choice for the sake of their health and wellbeing, to support fitness goals, or because of personally-held beliefs.⠀ ⠀ ‘As well as personalisation, the use of technology to enhance customer experiences is high on our agenda, so we’re delighted the trial has been such a success.”⠀ ⠀ Keith McNeill, the site’s general manager, said, “We’re absolutely thrilled. It’s made ordering easier, reduced queues, and given customers the power to order something that’s just for them. And the customer feedback has been incredible too. My favourites so far include ‘super easy’, ‘absolutely delicious’, and ‘bloody groundbreaking’ – which is pretty good in my book!”⠀ ⠀ The cashless restaurant chain – which counts Elior UK among its investors – launched in March 2016, and has just opened a flagship third restaurant and training facility in the City of London.
SSP, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, has announced a global partnership with Gordon Ramsay in an exclusive deal to operate a premium grab and go concept for airports worldwide.⠀ ⠀ The new concept will be called Gordon Ramsay Plane Food To Go and will represent a significant innovation in the grab and go category in travel.⠀ ⠀ Mark Angela, chief commercial officer for SSP said; “Gordon Ramsay has some iconic dishes for which he is known across the world and we’re very excited to be working closely with his team to make sure these become an integral part of the Gordon Ramsay Plane Food To Go customer experience.⠀ ⠀ “Gordon pioneered the idea of quality take-on-board meals with his Plane Food picnics eight years ago. He’s got lots of ideas about creating high quality, healthy food to take on the plane in easy to eat formats, and together we’re going to take that to the next level.⠀ ⠀ “Our customers will have a unique opportunity to experience stand out dishes, all given the Gordon Ramsay Plane Food To Go twist as the team re-create them specifically for the grab & go market. Gordon Ramsay Plane Food To Go will give customers travelling through airports around the globe a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience interesting and innovative dishes with a twist from within his extensive portfolio.”⠀ ⠀ Gordon Ramsay said “I’m excited to be partnering with SSP to develop and bring my global vision of Plane Food To Go to the busy traveller. Plane Food To Go is a truly revolutionary concept that will roll out worldwide and build upon the massive success of the original Plane Food dining experience from London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. As someone who is always in a different airport terminal every week, I know first-hand how much Plane Food To Go will enhance every on-the go travellers dining experience”.
Just Eat delivered much more than just a tasty takeaway as employees from around the world gathered in London’s docklands to set the Guinness World Record title for the largest human image of a pizza. 810 employees attempted the title – smashing the 250 participant target.⠀ ⠀ Employees from the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Brazil and Mexico took part in the attempt.⠀ ⠀ Pizza consistently tops the list as one of the most popular menu items ordered by Just Eat customers around the world. Just Eat partners with around 19,000 pizza-serving restaurants across the globe. In the UK, Margarita pizzas are the clear favourite, followed by Pepperoni, Chicken, Meat Feast and BBQ.⠀ ⠀ From humble beginnings in a Danish basement in 2001, Just Eat has grown from an ambitious crew of 15, to a passionate team of more than 2,500 on a mission to create the world’s greatest food community – bringing together over 19.6 million customers with 78,700 restaurant partners in 12 markets and serving over 100 cuisine types – everything from pizza to sushi, burgers to burritos.⠀ ⠀ Lisa Hillier, Chief People Officer at Just Eat, said, “Coming together to create the world’s Largest human image of a pizza was a great way to recognise what we can achieve as a global team. It’s not every day you see a Marketing Assistant from Mexico dressed as a mushroom standing next to a Territory Manager from Italy dressed as a basil leaf. We had a lot of fun and are thrilled that our global team has now been recognised as an official Guinness World Records record breaker.”⠀ ⠀ Anna Orford, Official Guinness World Records Adjudicator, said, ‘Perched on top of a cherry picker, I had the best seat in the house as I witnessed 810 participants from Just Eat work together to become Guinness World Record title holders for the Largest human image of a pizza. The participants showed great co-ordination, as they braved the cold in their coloured hoodies to form the pizza ingredients and toppings. The mushrooms were my favourite!’
Vinoteca, the London based group of wine bars, restaurants and wine shops, has collaborated with The Beak Brewery and Burgundy winemaker Mark Haisma to create a limited-edition farmhouse-style beer, named Rodney and The Horse Meets The Beak.⠀ ⠀ Aged in a single oak Viognier barrel, the new beer will be the latest addition to their very own Rodney and The Horse portfolio, which currently includes a single vineyard Riesling and Shiraz from the Clare Valley in South Australia. The beer will be available on the drinks list at each Vinoteca and a surprise bar snack will be thrown in, which pairs fantastically with the beer.⠀ ⠀ The man behind The Beak Brewery is Daniel Tapper who travels the country creating seasonal, unpasteurised & food-centric beers in collaboration with some of Britain’s best artisan producers. He calls the authentic ‘saison’ style farmhouse beer he brewed for Vinoteca ‘a beer for wine lovers’, made using ale yeast from the French-Belgian border, and designed, developed and tested in a 100-litre nano-brewery.⠀ ⠀ Tapper aged the beer for three months in a 300-litre oak barrel, donated by award-winning winemaker Mark Haisma after having used it to age his incredible Viognier white wine. It’s an unfiltered beer which then underwent a further six weeks of bottle conditioning.⠀ ⠀ What is produced is an authentic ‘biere de garde’ – a French, farmhouse-style beer famed for its deep burnished gold colour, spicy flavours, refreshing acidity and complex aromas.⠀ ⠀ With a quirky label designed by East London artist Peter Dobbin, the team at Vinoteca are incredibly proud of their first venture into beer – a deep yet refreshing one-of-a-kind saison with subtle characters of cider, oak, elderflower and apricot.
CGA has just announced the winners of the 2017 Hero Awards, the leading annual prizes for outstanding operators and individuals in the out-of-home eating and drinking sector.⠀ ⠀ The winners received their Awards at a dinner last night, following CGA’s 2017 Peach 2020 Conference in London. Joining this 14-strong group of winners are three celebrated individuals: Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers and Casual Dining Group’s Steve Richards, who both received prestigious Industry Icon Awards; and Imbiba’s John Connell, who received the Special Award.⠀ ⠀ Multiple winners at CGA’s Hero Awards include Living Ventures, whose CEO Jeremy Roberts is honoured with the Industry Leader Award, while its bar and restaurant brand The Alchemist picks up the Award for Best Drinks Offer. The New World Trading Co, sold by Living Ventures to Graphite Capital in 2016, receives the Best Entrepreneurial Company Award.⠀ ⠀ Another double winner at the Awards is Wagamama, which takes home the Awards for both Best Company (50 sites plus) and Most Admired Company or Brand following a year of sustained sales growth and new openings.⠀ ⠀ Other well-established operators scooping prizes include Power Brand Award winner Nando’s, Brand XP Award winner Wahaca and Consumer Choice Award winner Côte. Winner of the Best Quality Award is Miller & Carter, while Pho receives the Evolutionary Brand Award.⠀ ⠀ Among newer brands, Dishoom is named Best Concept and Flat Iron takes the Breakthrough Brand Award. Two new City-based concepts complete the list of winners: crazy golf bar venture Swingers, named Newcomer of the Year; and restaurant, hotel and club operation The Ned, which receives the Best Destination Opening Award.⠀ ⠀ CGA vice president Peter Martin said, “We are thrilled to celebrate the success of so many outstanding brands and individuals at this year’s CGA Hero Awards. These winners are the best-in-class champions of our industry, and we can all take inspiration from their achievements.
This December, D&D’s German Gymnasium cafe and bar in London’s King’s Cross is set to transform its terrace into a magical world of fairy tales in partnership with German airline, Lufthansa, and drinks partners, Monkey 47 gin and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.⠀ ⠀ Taking flight on 6th December and running until the end of February 2017, the outdoor space will bring a charming and magical atmosphere to London’s Kings Cross.⠀ ⠀ Drawing inspiration from the mystical stories told by German story tellers, the Brothers Grimm, The World of Tales terrace will be adorned with winter foliage, twinkling lights, warming throws and decorative details evoking nostalgic visions of eight of their most beloved tales – including Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, The Golden Goose, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel.⠀ ⠀ These eight tales will also be put in motion through German Gymnasium’s own edition of the original 1812 folklore book – recreated in the form of a cocktail list to celebrate its legacy and popularity around the world.⠀ ⠀ Curated with some of the finest ingredients, the menu will feature bold and flavoursome serves such as Little Red Riding Hood, served in a wolf-adorned cup and made from Monkey 47 Gin, Lillet Blanc, Byrrh and Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale, alongside smoother options such as the Cinderella, served with hand carved ice and made with Lillet Rouge, Rinomato bitter infused coffee beans and Fever-Tree Smoky Ginger Ale.⠀ ⠀ Those looking for an alternative winter warmer can opt for the likes of the Grimm’s Potion, a hot gin and tonic made from Monkey 47 Gin, Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic, apple juice and blueberries.⠀ ⠀ Adding to the experience, Executive Chef Bjoern Wassmuth’s menu will focus on popular German winter classics such as Roasted fresh chestnuts and a selection of Germany’s favourite sausages, including Currywurst and Bratwurst turned into hot dogs. In addition, those looking to indulge further in the festivities can also opt for more luxurious options such as oyster and caviar dishes.
London catering firm, Payne & Gunter has retained its position as an accredited catering supplier for the Natural History Museum.⠀ ⠀ The appointment continues Payne & Gunter’s longstanding relationship with one of London’s most popular museums, and will see its team of expert chefs eligible to cater for all events at the Grade-I listed venue.⠀ ⠀ Combining sustainable produce and the latest food trends is at the heart of Payne & Gunter’s menus, which feature distinct seasonal dishes fit for any occasion and celebration. With event spaces at the venue ranging from the grand Hintze Hall, to more intimate rooms, Payne & Gunter will continue to deliver catering concepts inspired by the museum’s iconic status.⠀ ⠀ Following a summer refurbishment, the museum welcomed the arrival of ‘Hope’, a 25.2 metre-long blue whale skeleton, and a symbol of humanity’s power to shape a sustainable future, making it the standout centre-piece at any gala dinner or reception.⠀ ⠀ Payne & Gunter recently created bespoke menus at a museum event for 800 people, across the Hintze Hall and Fossil Way. Main dishes included hot smoked trout served with crab beignet on toasted waffle, chive crème fraiche, caviar capers and dehydrated basil oil. Wellington of slow cooked rib wrapped in brioche dough. These were followed by mini dessert pots of spicy apple and pear crumble with blackberry cream, red velvet and Oreo trifle, and lemon posset with shortbread biscuit.⠀ ⠀ In addition to this, signature menus from Payne & Gunter’s Chef partnerships, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and culinary star Dipna Anand, will also be available throughout the season.⠀ ⠀ Bethan James, operations director at Payne & Gunter, commented, “We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of event catering and setting the standard for what can be achieved in hospitality. Where better to showcase our creative adventure and classic prowess than at one of the UK’s favourite venues, the Natural History Museum; we’re looking forward to continuing to develop exclusive menus and hosting truly memorable events at this special venue.”
For the entire month of November, Kudos is creating a selection of seasonal apple based dishes, that are on trend, across all fifteen of its retail sites.⠀ ⠀ Kudos prides itself on supporting local businesses by selecting fresh produce from suppliers within a 30-mile radius of each venue.⠀ ⠀ Penshurst Place, the ancestral home of the Sidney family, boasts its very own apple orchard and will be using freshly picked local apples within their recipes. Other Kudos locations will also be cooking up a storm with regionally-sourced ingredients to produce recipes that include a delicious apple pie, an exquisite apple salad, and a mouth-watering pork pie with apple sauce.⠀ ⠀ This month’s choice of featured ingredient comes at the perfect time, as Kudos will also be hosting two days of vegan cooking at all its retail sites on 15th and 24th November to celebrate World Vegan Month.⠀ ⠀ The UK vegan lifestyle has grown by 360% in the last decade, which illustrates that making informed decisions regarding eating habits and being offered a wide range of wellbeing food options as well as favourite treats are both becoming increasingly important for consumers.⠀ ⠀ Kudos Food Director, David Cavalier, said, ‘With 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world, we felt this was the perfect food for our November ‘Featured Ingredient’ initiative. We are passionate about creating healthy meal options and so using apples within our recipes enabled us to produce hearty food choices, perfect for the health-conscious consumer.⠀ ⠀ “I don’t think we are alone in thinking vegan food is on a massive incline and it’s vital that we stay ahead of the game and ensure we are offering really innovative and unique vegan dishes.”⠀ ⠀ Crown-owned Kudos is a boutique business within the catering industry. The company ethos revolves around creating spectacular culinary delights using only the best locally sourced ingredients.
Just Eat has welcomed the announcement that the CMA has unconditionally cleared the company’s acquisition of Hungryhouse. Just Eat expects the transaction to complete on 31 January 2018.⠀ ⠀ This decision was expected given the favourable provisional findings published by the CMA in October and we are pleased that the CMA has been able to swiftly conclude its review of the transaction.⠀ ⠀ Andrew Griffith, Interim Chairman of Just Eat, said, ‘’The combination with Hungryhouse will enable us to bring benefits to even more independent restaurants, while improving the service and breadth of choice that we offer consumers.⠀ ⠀ ‘We are therefore pleased with the CMA’s decision and look forward to bringing Hungryhouse into the Just Eat family.⠀ ⠀ ‘I would like to thank all the Just Eat team for their hard work in concluding the process with the CMA over the past year”.
Rocket Food, the family-run catering company specialising in luxury events and bespoke catering contracts, last night catered for a star studded line up at the opening party of the highly anticipated Ferrari: Under the Skin exhibition at the Design Museum in Kensington, which opens to the public next Tuesday, 21 November.⠀ ⠀ Guests served included Idris Elba, Jodie Kidd, Peter Mandelson, Sarah-Jane Crawford, Nathan Sykes, Mark-Francis Vandelli, Paul Sculfor, Example, Zara Martin, and Cameron Edwards (Sigma) accompanied by Montana Brown, and Nick Mason (Pink Floyd Drummer)⠀ ⠀ As guests danced to tunes spun by DJ Carly Foxx courtesy of Young Guns, Rocket Food served an array of celebratory canapés including: Butternut squash and sage tortellini with shaved parmesan, sea bass crudo, cherry tomato and avocado, Rosemary spiedini of seared scallop and pancetta, Morel and truffle arancini and pavé of beef fillet served with a béarnaise sauce.⠀ ⠀ Rocket Food’s show stopping food station included half wheel of parmesan, whole prosciutto Modena, Coppa di Parma, Salame Felino, olives, chargrilled artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes, grilled mixed peppers, Marcona almonds and grissini.⠀ ⠀ Rocket Food specialises in creatively interpreting bespoke and often niche food and drink experience briefs for clients, Rocket Foods boasts accreditation at 46 of London’s most exciting venues, including; the British Museum, the Design Museum, the V&A and Kensington Palace and the Natural History Museum, who this autumn, renewed their accreditation with Rocket Food.⠀ ⠀ Founded in 2000 by brother and sister duo, Caroline Hall (née Symonds), a former private chef for Formula 1 and Michael Symonds, a highly experienced events manager for Searcys, Rocket Food was born from the desire to be more creative, innovative and inspirational when catering for corporate and private clients. Setting Rocket apart from its competitors is its heritage, its drive to deliver creativity without compromising quality and strong family values.
Aspiring chefs have until Sunday 10th December to enter the Tilda Chef Team of the Year competition which returns to Salon Culinaire at Hotelympia 2018.⠀ ⠀ Celebrating talented chef pairings, the competition will see ten pairs of chefs battle it out to become Tilda Chef Team of the Year and win an exciting two-day trip to the Po Valley in Italy. Teams can enter online now via the Hotelympia website: https://buff.ly/2ilGb6p.⠀ ⠀ Run in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs, this competition is for teams of two chefs, who will be given 45 minutes to prepare, cook and present a main course dish and dessert using Tilda’s speciality rice as the base ingredient in both recipes. Teams can choose between Tilda Basmati & Wild or Fragrant Jasmine for the main course and Arborio for the dessert.⠀ ⠀ Craig Dillon, Head of Foodservice, Tilda UK, says: “The wealth of talent on display at Salon Culinaire never ceases to amaze me and I’m certain that 2018 will be no different. The versatility of rice means chefs can use it in a whole manner of ways and I am looking forward to seeing how the chefs incorporate it into their dishes this year.⠀ ⠀ In addition to the fantastic culinary trip to Italy, the winning pair will also receive the Tilda Chef Team of the Year trophy, plus the top three teams will get a glimpse into the stringent standards that are taken to remove any broken grains at Tilda’s rice mill in Rainham. Salon Culinaire medals, commemorative plates and framed certificates will also be awarded.
The Michelin-starred restaurant at grade I-listed hotel, Gravetye Manor, will undergo significant developments that include a new structure and extension.⠀ ⠀ Both the hotel, and restaurant under Head Chef George Blogg, will close on 2nd January for a period of four months, reopening in early May 2018.⠀ ⠀ The project under the direction of architect Sir Charles Knowles, in collaboration with interior designer Claire Nelson – recent projects include Elystan Street and The Ledbury – will allow the restaurant to seamlessly integrate with, and complement, the stunning Grade II-listed, 35-acre gardens, via floor to ceiling glass walls that offer uninterrupted views of the hotel’s unique vista.⠀ ⠀ Banquette and free-standing seating, all positioned with considered views of the garden, will feature next to bespoke artwork following the natural theme.⠀ ⠀ Owner, Elizabeth Hosking, commented, “We are excited to see the new restaurant at Gravetye Manor finally come to fruition.⠀ ⠀ ‘By marrying contemporary design with a historic building and showcasing the beauty of our iconic gardens, the new space will bring the outside in and offer the perfect stage for George’s Modern British food, that puts the spotlight on seasonal, homegrown produce from the Manor’s 1.5 acre Victorian walled kitchen garden.”
The Capital Pub Company has launched the Nomad Gin Bar at the reopening of the Crabtree in Fulham.⠀ ⠀ The Nomad Gin Bar serves up 54 London dry and flavoured gins from Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Netherlands, Germany and Spain.⠀ ⠀ Gin lovers can select their own garnish and Fever-Tree mixer to complete the beverage. Customers can purchase gin vouchers from the bar for £20, which will get them four gins at the Nomad Gin Bar.⠀ ⠀ Over the next few weeks the Nomad Gin Bar will be travelling to the below pubs for a limited time:⠀ ⠀ Old Dairy, Couch Hill⠀ Tulse Hill Hotel, Tulse Hill⠀ Morgan Arms, Bow⠀ The Vine, Kentish Town
Brand new research from Britvic has revealed that almost half of consumers (45%) are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas, as figures show that over a fifth (21%) plan to drink less alcohol.⠀ ⠀ With 37% also planning to spend more on soft drinks at Christmas than previous years, increasing to over half (56%) of consumers aged 16-24, seasonal soft drinks sales are set to soar this Christmas and Britvic is advising retailers to be prepared and stock up now.⠀ ⠀ The research, conducted by Censuswide UK, also indicates that of those consumers planning to reduce their alcohol consumption this Christmas, 39% now drink less alcohol all year round, increasing to 41% in those aged 25-34 and to 46% in those aged 55+.⠀ ⠀ While there is clearly a seasonal sales opportunity that retailers need to be prepared for, with figures showing a big decline in alcohol consumption all year round, it’s also important to stock a dynamic range of soft drinks throughout the year to cater for this growing interest in soft drinks.⠀ ⠀ Interestingly, figures revealed that for over half (54%) of those that will be indulging in alcohol this Christmas, the tipple of choice will be spirits. With over three in five (63%) of spirits drinkers using mixers, being fully stocked with great tasting soft drinks ideal for mixing, like Pepsi MAX and R White’s Lemonade, will be key to capitalising on this seasonal sales opportunity for retailers.⠀ ⠀ The results also showed that almost a quarter (21%) of consumers don’t think there are enough premium soft drinks to choose from. This increases to 27% amongst younger consumers aged 25-34 and highlights a major gap in the market that retailers can fill by stocking premium ranges, such as Purdey’s and J2O Spritz, in the chiller.⠀ ⠀ Trystan Farnworth, Commercial Director, Convenience & Impulse at Britvic, commented, “It’s clear from our research that there’s going to be a real shift towards moderate drinking this Christmas and as a result, there is likely to be a high demand for soft drinks throughout the season.
Kudos’ latest on-the-job training recruit, Nicole Rance – Sous Chef at Central Hall Westminster – has completed an invaluable and insightful two day stint at Midsummer House.⠀ ⠀ Daniel Clifford (pictured left) is Chef Patron of Midsummer House in Cambridge which holds two Michelin stars & five AA Rosettes and he also plays an important development role as Creative Director of Kudos. He said, ‘As part of our School of Know How learning and development programme, our leading chefs receive first-hand experience of working in one of the best restaurants in the UK.⠀ ⠀ ‘Our chefs get to work alongside Daniel and his team with the goal of igniting their creative minds to deliver the extraordinary. They quickly gain an insight in to ‘Michelin life’ and understand what it takes to win two Michelin stars and what details they can instil in their teams at their units.’⠀ ⠀ Midsummer House has seen many chefs pass through the kitchen during the years and progressing to gain their own Michelin stars, including Mark Poynton, Tim Allen, Matt Gillan, and Lawrence Yates. As a result, Kudos felt this was the perfect place for Nicole to undertake her staff development programme.⠀ ⠀ Rance said, ‘I had watched Daniel Clifford on ‘The Great British Menu’ before but I never thought I’d get the opportunity to work at a Michelin-starred restaurant, let alone this one!’⠀ ⠀ In terms of knowledge sharing, Rance was able to pick up many skills and tricks of the trade. She said, ‘During my first day at Midsummer House, I was able to learn the different sections in the kitchen and thoroughly enjoyed watching different elements of service; from lunches to dinners. Teamwork really is essential, with every individual needing to complete their element of the dish in unison. It was impressive watching so many chefs come together.’⠀ ⠀ ‘I was put through my paces but I feel as though I’ve learnt some new skills to bring back and pass on to my team. It will be a challenge in trying to incorporate these elements into our service for such large banquets but I’m looking forward to improving our standards and pushing the team forward.’
The catering division of Churchill Service Solutions has been rebranded from Catering by Churchill to Radish as it aims to secure more business and industry (B&I) contracts.⠀ ⠀ The division, which announced the new name on twitter, has seen a highly successful year as it doubled in size. It saw turnover increase by £8m to £17m, boosted by contracts won with Capital City College Group, Bolton University and a range of care homes.⠀ ⠀ The new Radish now aims to stand out from the competition as it offers combined services that complement Churchill’s cleaning and maintenance services.⠀ ⠀ Joining the company from Elior in January, Radish managing director, Rebecca Bridgement, has been working to establish the catering brand as an independent operation.
Celebrity chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio has died at home at the age of 80 on Wednesday, his agent has confirmed.⠀ ⠀ He was known for the Italian restaurant chain that carries his surname, which he co-founded in 1999. The chain has called him the ‘Godfather of Italian cooking’ and said he will be ‘greatly missed’. It stated, ‘It isn’t just Antonio’s name above our doors, but his heart and soul lives and breathes throughout our restaurants.’⠀ ⠀ Carluccio also appeared on TV programmes, including the BBC Two hit Two Greedy Italians, alongside chef Gennaro Contaldo, and wrote 22 best-selling cookery books.⠀ ⠀ Jamie Oliver paid tribute via Instagram: ‘He was my first London Boss at the Neal Street restaurant 25 years ago, which was an institution and Mecca of wild mushrooms.⠀ ⠀ ‘He was such a charismatic charming don of all things Italian. Always hanging out the front door of the restaurant with a big fat cigar, a glass of something splendid and his amazing fuzzy white hair. Viva Antonio Carluccio… Cook a feast up there mate.’⠀ ⠀ Carliuccio was born in Salerno, Italy in 1937 and, as a child, he would hunt through the forest near his home for different mushrooms and fungi with his father. He came to the UK in 1975 to work as a wine merchant, importing Italian wines.⠀ ⠀ He then became the manager of Terence Conran’s Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden in 1981, and he was named the runner-up Sunday Times Cook of the Year. He became its owner in 1989.⠀ ⠀ Carluccio opened a delicatessen next door to his Neal Street restaurant in 1991, but it wasn’t until 1998 that he started the first Carluccio’s Caffe.⠀ ⠀ The Carluccio’s chain has continued to expand across the UK and today operates from more than 80 locations. Carluccio sold his interest in the restaurant chain in 2005 but maintained some involvement.
This year, to honour the time held tradition of KFC for Christmas in Japan and following last year’s success, Flesh & Buns will put the JFC (Japanese Fried Chicken) Festive Feasting Basket back on the menu.⠀ ⠀ Available from now until Christmas, the sharing menu will provide the perfect alternative to turkey, instead offering diners a basket filled with tender buttermilk and shichimi fried chicken.⠀ ⠀ Since 1974 when KFC was first introduced to the Japan, it was cleverly marketed as a 'Kentucky for Christmas'. At a time when turkey was not available in the country, families would buy a bucket of KFC to share instead. The strategy paid off and now the country sees an estimated 3.6 million individuals getting together around the iconic white and red buckets over the festive season.⠀ ⠀ Founder Ross Shonhan has travelled extensively through Japan and observed this unconventional way to celebrate Christmas; he thought it only made sense to bring this delicious sharing dish to Flesh & Buns, with their own take on fried chicken (not having the secret KFC recipe at hand).⠀ ⠀ The set menu for two kicks off with a Nagasaki Whisky Shake consisting of shiso leaf ice cream, Buffalo Trace bourbon and banana liqueur; followed by a steamer basket of half a buttermilk and shichimi fried chicken with BBQ mayonnaise, served alongside a green salad and steamed gua bao buns, unassembled for a build-your-own buns dining experience, and finishing with a Flesh & Buns favourite, the rich and indulgent Chocolate Nikka Whisky Cake.⠀ ⠀ Flesh & Buns have launched the limited-edition JFC Festive Feasting Basket, and the special will be served throughout the festive season until 24 December. The set meal for two will be priced at £37.00.
The ALMR has announced the winners of the 2017 ALMR Operations Managers Awards at a celebratory ceremony in central London.⠀ ⠀ The Operations Managers Awards is the only awards of its kind in the eating and drinking out sector, testing the finalists through a rigorous process that lasts seven months.⠀ ⠀ The winners were announced at a standalone ceremony at the Pullman Hotel in Euston, London, following an exhaustive mentoring process and a rigorous weekend-long Masterclass testing the finalists’ enthusiasm, dynamism and business acumen.⠀ ⠀ The 2017 winners are:⠀ Business Development Manager of the Year: Yvonne Fraser from Greene King Pub Partners⠀ Area Manager of the Year: Emma Deabill of Yo! Sushi⠀ Rising Star: Adam Sykes of Fuller, Smith & Turner⠀ ⠀ ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said, “Congratulations to this year’s winners, they should feel especially proud as the competition was particularly fierce and an exceptionally high standard.⠀ ⠀ “The ALMR Operations Awards are a fantastic asset, not only to the ALMR but to the entire sector. The sector is full of enterprising and talented individuals driving innovation across the sector and this competition does a great job spotlighting that talent.”⠀ ⠀ ALMR Ops Awards founder Nick Bish said, “Each year the awards process seeks to reveal, prove and celebrate those individuals at the cutting edge of licensed hospitality. All of these men and women play a crucial role in the continuing success of the dynamic and exciting licensed retail hospitality sector.”
Less than a year after their launch and a series of successful summer pop ups, Enrique Vivas and Jorge Felizardo, co-founders of @tacosdel74 – London’s Rockin’est taco bar, will be opening their second site on 24 November.⠀ ⠀ The new site at 129 Kingsland High Street, in the heart of Dalston, will be revealing new dishes such as tortas (the Mexican sandwich) and an array of new tacos, tostadas and awesome bar snacks, such as, the new Kick ass Del 74 tamarind & Chile Morita bad ass chicken wings.⠀ ⠀ It will also be building on Del74’s classic offering of magnificent margaritas, the Acapulco shrimp cocktail and damn good tacos including the fan favourite cochinita pibil, comprising braised leg of pork with guacamole and red pickled onions.⠀ ⠀ True to the outlaw nature of Del74 you can also expect mezcal sharing bottles – pay as you pour pre-marked bottles with shot glasses so friends can sit down, pull up a bottle and sip mezcal (or take a shot) and chat.⠀ ⠀ Del74 Dalston will be open for, lunch/brunch from Tuesday to Sunday, featuring dishes such as the Tortas, the classic Huevos Rancheros, Enfrijoladas and Del 74 signature home made chipotle Chile gluten free corn-bread with salmon & avocado.⠀ ⠀ Del74 is all about honest Mexican food made with love and they will continue to bring traditional recipes handed down from Enrique’s Aunt Patty, custodian of the family kitchen secrets, to their new Del74 joint in Dalston.⠀ ⠀ Over the last 10 months, Enrique Vivas and Jorge Felizardo have amazed fans with their much-loved obsession for authentic street style tacos. They are now taking things one step further to continue their small but brilliant operation.⠀ ⠀ The aim of the new Del74 pitch up is not to create a contrived branded space but to provide its community with an independent, slightly raw charm alongside the highest quality of taco enjoyment. Focussing on their Rad-tastic trade mark interior and general Killer times! Not to mention a new and improved Disco Toilet!
This November, Ellory, the Michelin-starred Hackney restaurant, will launch ‘Ellory Sundays’, celebrating simple comfort food classics with a twist, all specially paired with wines from their list of exclusively European bottles.⠀ ⠀ Available as a special on Sundays only, Head Chef Sam Kamienko has recreated simple familiar home-style dishes, given a new meaning by using the same ethos as his Michelin-starred food. From comforting Steak & Ale Pie ‘n’ Mash topped with a suet crust to Toulouse sausages served with Aligot, an indulgent mashed potato mixed with half their weight in cheese.⠀ ⠀ The lineup will also include Fish and Chips, served with lashings of tartare sauce (12 November), an intensely rich Beef Shin Lasagne which takes three days to make (19 November), Pork Knuckle and Sauerkraut (10 December) and, to kick off the festive season, an Ellory Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, will be available on the 17 December.⠀ ⠀ The restaurant will also celebrate their second birthday in style on the 26 November, turning fast food favourite, Fried Chicken, on its head, made using herb-fed Swaledale chicken, brined and floured with a special spice mix before being shallow fried. All this will be paired with Grower Champagnes selected by Co-owner and Sommelier, Ed Thaw.⠀ ⠀ Thaw said, ‘We like to do Sundays a little differently at Ellory. We’re taking simple classics but giving them as much care and attention as we do with the rest of our food so you can expect it to be the best comfort food you’ll ever have!’⠀ ⠀ Ellory Sundays is available every week as a special. The regular sharing menu is also available.
CAMRA will be attending the BBC Good Food Show at Birmingham’s NEC, where the Champion Bottled Beer of Britain Competition will be judged and announced for the second year running.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Finalist judging will take place on the 30 November at 1 pm at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Experience, following a series of local member voting rounds and regional judging competitions throughout the year. Visitors to the BBC Good Food Show will be the first to hear this year’s winner while they sample some of the finalist beers, explore new tastes, learn about the art of brewing and gain an insight into the diversity of real ale.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ CAMRA’s National Director responsible for the competition, Nick Boley said, “We’re delighted to announce the Champion Bottled Beer of Britain winner at the BBC Good Food Show as it provides a great opportunity for people to come and learn more about beer tastings and try some of the best bottled beers in the UK.”⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Visitors to the BBC Good Food Show can purchase tickets to a number of tutored tastings with industry experts to discover how they can judge beers themselves. Tutored tastings will be lead by international beer writer Roger Protz, beer and travel expert Daniel Neilson, accredited CAMRA taster Sally Lavender and world beer judge Adrian Tierney-Jones.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Sponsored by Beer Hawk, visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase a case of beer featuring Champion Bottled Beer of Britain finalists and regional runners up following the announcement at the show.
Wok & Go is looking to raise funds through Crowdcube to expand its Chester-based chain of noodle bars to 37 sites.⠀ ⠀ The brand currently has 24 outlets across the UK and expects to open another 13 in the next 12 months, including a London flagship store.⠀ ⠀ Since opening in Chester in 2008, Wok & Go has grown into a distinct brand-led fusion food chain, blending the best from Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine.⠀ ⠀ Dishes are available to eat in, take away or can be delivered, with all the food cooked fresh on open wok-stations within the outlets.⠀ ⠀ The PFC Group, the Wok&Go Parent company, is a full-service franchise business that owns four corporate stores, receives a share of sales revenue from its 21 franchisees, offers a unique managed franchise service and operates a fit out specialist that does all the work for new opening and renovations in the UK.
The 2017 StreetSmart campaign has launched with over 500 restaurants across the UK (300 in London) ready to participate in fundraising for homelessness charities with a voluntary £1 added to diners’ bills throughout the festive months of November and December.⠀ ⠀ This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of StreetSmart, having raised over £8.2m since 1998. StreetSmart raised a staggering £587k in 2016 and in this anniversary year, look forward to building on this success.⠀ ⠀ Exciting restaurant newcomers to the campaign include Ikoyi, Luca, Oklava and Som Saa in London, El Gato Negro in Manchester and Issho in Leeds. Restaurants such as Quo Vadis, Spring, The Providores, The River Café and Polpo continue to pledge their support to the cause.⠀ ⠀ 2017 couldn’t be a more crucial time to support the campaign: homelessness figures have continued to climb and the estimated number of rough sleepers on a single night in England is 4,134, marking an increase of 134% since 2010. During the same period, the number of families declaring themselves homeless increased by 48% to 59,090.⠀ ⠀ Sam Clark and Sam Clark, chef owner of restaurants Moro and Morito, said, “Homelessness is more of an issue now than ever – that makes StreetSmart more relevant than ever.”⠀ ⠀ StreetSmart’s campaign invites diners in participating restaurants to add £1 their final bill. Every penny of every £1 raised in each restaurant is distributed by StreetSmart to local charities in cities across the UK. This means that if customers spend local, the money and subsequent support stays local, too.⠀ ⠀ The campaign doesn’t dip into any of the funds raised because its partner, Deutsche Bank, fund the administration element. This ensures that every pound given by diners remains whole and goes directly to help the homeless and vulnerable.⠀ ⠀ StreetSmart was set up in 1998 by two ethically-minded London business people, William Sieghart, Chairman of StreetSmart, founder of Forward Publishing and Mary-Lou Sturridge, Former Director of The Groucho Club, and Hotelier.
Waka welcomes Winter Nikkei-style with seasonal specialities⠀ ⠀ Nikkei concept @wakalondon is welcoming winter with a range of Japanese and Peruvian seasonal specialities, inspired by each country’s Christmas traditions. The two main dishes and two hot drinks will be on the festive menu at Waka, which has established itself as a popular Square Mile culinary destination since opening on Eastcheap in September.⠀ ⠀ The Nikkei Navidad Sushi Set is a festive fusion of Nikkei-style sushi featuring favourite Peruvian, Japanese and British Christmas ingredients. It comprises: Nikkei Salmon Roll with salmon, cream cheese and sweet peppers; Curry Roll with chicken katsu, carrots and curry sauce; and Cranberry Roll with turkey, cranberry sauce and mushroom, chestnut & dried fruit stuffing.⠀ ⠀ Drawing on the strange-but-true Japanese tradition of feasting on fried chicken at Christmas, Waka’s Chicken Katsu Curry hot bowl is a generous serving of deep-fried breadcrumbed chicken on a bed of steamed rice, topped with a spicy curry sauce made to Waka’s secret recipe. Waka’s best-selling dish since opening, it is the team’s recommendation for a Japanese-style Christmas treat.⠀ ⠀ Japan and Peru are each represented on the menu by a new hot drink, designed to ward off the winter cold. From the former comes a spicy Fuji Matcha Chai Latte combining matcha green tea, black tea, vanilla, spices, cane sugar and ginger, while Machu Cocoa, a richly satisfying blend of chocolate, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, follows the Peruvian tradition of enjoying indulgent hot chocolate over Christmas.⠀ ⠀ As with all Waka’s menu, the seasonal specialities can be enjoyed in the beautiful basement dining room or to grab-and-go, making them the perfect choice for anyone craving a taste of Christmas but tired of the same old turkey-and-stuffing sandwiches.⠀ ⠀ The Nikkei Navidad Sushi Set (£5.85) will be available at Waka from 13th November until 29th December, the Fuji Matcha Latte and Machu Cocoa (both £2.95) from 13th November until 31st January 2018, and the Chicken Katsu Curry (£5.25) is available now.
The campaign for a cut in beer tax in the Budget moved into Parliament, yesterday, with a well-attended debate in Westminster Hall sponsored by Mike Wood MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliament Beer Group.⠀ ⠀ MPs from all parties spoke in support of fairer tax treatment for the sector. In response, Treasury Minister Andrew Jones recognized the challenges facing the sector, and undertook to ensure its views were heard.⠀ ⠀ Using data published by the BBPA, Mike Wood MP highlighted the 900,000 people who rely on the industry for work. Forty-six per cent or which are young people. Nationally, the sector adds nearly £23bn to the economy, paying £13bn in taxation. However, the return to a retail prices index-linked rise in this March’s Budget was disappointing, he told MPs. He also said that a look was needed at whether Small Brewer Relief, as currently framed, is preventing some brewers from expansion.⠀ ⠀ Whilst the debate was taking place, some 40 MPs attended a drop-in event with the British Beer & Pub Association, to hear about the huge positive impact of brewing and pubs in their constituencies, and to receive a special briefing on the business rates burden being shouldered by pubs in their own patch.⠀ ⠀ The BBPA is calling for wholesale reform of rates, and an extension of the current, pub-specific relief. MPs were photographed with a special chalk board, with unique statistics for their own areas.⠀ ⠀ BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds, who hosted the event, commented, “It was great to hear so much cross-party support for beer and pubs from MPs in Parliament yesterday. The campaign has achieved widespread recognition that the sector is greatly overtaxed, and that further tax rises in the Budget are unsustainable.⠀ ⠀ ‘We now need the Government to turn this goodwill into action, with a cut in beer tax and further action on business rates in the Budget on 22nd November.”
Shoppers at @LoveMeadowhall will be happy to know there will be a new @gbkburgers and @letussushi: http://bit.ly/2A0OGL9 British Land, joint owner of Meadowhall, one of the UK’s premier shopping destinations, has announced that Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Let’s Sushi will join the line-up at the Oasis Dining Quarter to provide an even broader choice of food at the centre. Opening in November, Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s new 2,500 sq ft restaurant, located on the upper level alongside leading brands like Giraffe, TGI Fridays and Carluccio’s, will cater for 100 covers. Local operator, Let’s Sushi, will take a 500 sq ft unit on the lower level opposite Barburrito and in the heart of the family food hall, which includes 1,200 communal seats. The restaurant will be the brand’s second site in the city and is set to open before Christmas offering fresh sushi and bento boxes alongside soups and other hot dishes. Alice Keown, F&B Asset Manager for British Land, said, “Meadowhall’s £60 million refurbishment has been a key factor in securing new brands. Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Let’s Sushi signing is particularly exciting as it will add even more variety and choice to the Oasis Dining Quarter from the food hall on the lower level, to the 16 family focussed restaurants on the upper level. “Around 64% of our shoppers choose to have something to eat or drink when they visit, so we are constantly looking for new brands to refresh our offer and create an even more modern and vibrant dining experience.” Keith Bird, Chief Operating Officer for GBK, said, “We have been looking to secure a site in Meadowhall for some time and with so much momentum behind the refurbishment project, now seemed like the perfect moment to take space there. Located in a prime unit at the biggest retail destination in Yorkshire, the new restaurant will help to bring Gourmet Burger Kitchen to a much bigger local audience and is a very exciting next step for us.”
This January, Thailand’s Greyhound dining chain will be bringing its flagship restaurant, Greyhound Cafe to London’s Fitzrovia. http://bit.ly/2gNuBzG Greyhound Cafe London will be set over two floors, featuring a canopied patio at its entrance welcoming guests. The ground floor bar and dining room will be decked out with Bangkok style ‘shophouse shutters’, ‘Cho Huay’ (Thai grocery store). Downstairs, the basement dining room will bring the Bangkok street scene indoors with corrugated metal-sheeted walls, mock folding tables, brightly coloured chairs and Thai ‘Temple Fare’ pendant lights. Divided between small and large dishes, Thai-style ‘Single Plates’ and a sizeable vegetarian section, the menu at Greyhound Café will pay homage to Thai cooking with the greatest hits of Bangkok dishes but with Greyhound’s signature twists. First up, diners can choose from ‘Salmon in Hot Pursuit’, a small platter of thinly sliced sashimi-grade salmon in chilli-spiked green sauce; ‘Complicated Noodle’, DIY taco-like wrap of iceberg lettuce and rice noodle sheets with soy-braised pork herb salsa; and Edamame Som Tam seasoned with musky salted black crabs. For mains, Pork Knuckle Tod Krob, German-style pork knuckle simmered with Thai herbs, deep fried until golden and served with sticky rice. For lighter fare there will be ‘Angry Pasta’, wok-fried with mixed seafood, holy basil and a good dose of Thai chillies and vegetarian Pad Thai prepared with shitake mushroom stems. The sweet toothed can finish their meal with Sago An-Chan, tapioca pearls coloured with butterfly pea flower, served with Greyhound’s signature fresh coconut sorbet. A list of cocktails that spotlights both Thai heritage and new-gen beverages will be developed in partnership with Thai spirit distillery Mekhong, using the eponymous rum spirit as the base. The new opening will also welcome to London an exclusive range of Thai craft beer from the award-winning Phuket based Full Moon Brew Works.