Showing posts from June, 2012

Absinthe the agony and the ecstasy.

Absinthe is nothing more than an alcoholic drink that is all but if you look at the history of this drink then you realise just what a special drink it is. It is said that it can send you mad, a hallucinogenic and had the dubious honour of being banned in a number of countries and still is in some. But not in Briton as it never really caught on.So why did this drink get the reputation that it has and why. The temperance movement who was against anything alcoholic along with a number of professional body’s and associations publicly stated that, absinthe was associated with violent crimes and social disorder. It was said that “Absinthe makes you crazy and criminal, provokes epilepsy and tuberculosis, and has killed thousands of French people. It makes a ferocious beast of man, a martyr of woman, and a degenerate of the infant, it disorganizes and ruins the family and menaces the future of the country.” In 1905 a Swiss farmer called Jean Lanfray murdered his family and attempted to take hi…

My Ultimate Hot chocolate.

Now we have all had the powdered hot chocolate that you get, just add boiling water to it and of you go. But that is nothing to a popper real hot chocolate, made with real chocolate. The thing is is you are going to make anything like this then you want to make sure that you go over the top and when I say over the top I man over the top, full fat not holes bared hot chocolate. After all if you are going to do this you may as well do it right. You will need. 1 vanilla pod,
1 cinnamon stick
½ litre/1 pint of double cream
½ litre/1 pint full fat milk
150g/5½oz plain chocolate
A dash of rum
Sugar, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg
A little fine grated chocolate.
Some whipped cream

Now to do this you want the very best high coco solid 70% plus chocolate if you can get it, otherwise it’s not worth the bother. Take the vanilla pod split it and scrape out the seed and place them in a sauce pan along with the cinnamon stick a little grated nutmeg and the double cream. Bring this slowly to the boil and the…


29 June 2012

The Gate Islington officially opened just a short walk from trendy Upper
Street on 1st June.  Diners are warmly welcomed and choose from a delicious
array of vegetarian cuisine.  Multicultural owners Adrian and Michael Daniel
are well known for their popular restaurant in Hammersmith (currently under
refurbishment) which was opened in 1989.

The Gate brings exciting, refined Indo-Iraqi Jewish cuisine to Islington.
Ingredients are sourced and cooked with care to intensify flavour, resulting
in beautifully presented delicious food combinations for vegetarians and
meat-eaters alike.  Set against a fine backdrop of high ceilings, original
Victorian features, moody lighting, solid ash stained tabletops and
industrial steel bar stools, The Gate displays cosy details within a
wonderfully comfortable setting.  The Gate flaunts individuality along with
its vegetarian delights, a rare find in London.

Diners are warmly welcomed by a relaxed atmosphere where they can choose to
have a drink at the …

Strawberry pavlova.

Despite the fact that you have you make a meringue this is the desert to have right now. Evan if you get your meringue from the shops make this and use just picked strawberries from the field and you will have a dessert that will be chewy, sweet and full of summer flavour. You will need
6 free-range egg whites
300g/10½oz caster sugar
1 tsp wine vinegar
250ml/9floz whipping cream
A dash of vanilla
75g/2½oz sifted icing sugar
450g/1lb strawberries
100ml/3½fl oz water
100g/3½oz caster sugar
250g/9oz strawberries

First get your oven hot and preheat it to 180c/360f. Then in a bowl whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Now add the sugar, just one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly, until all the sugar is combined. Now for this part you might feel that you need three hands as the bowl always seems to go round and round so put it on a damp cloth. Then fold in the vinegar. Now put the meringue mixture onto a baking try that you have lined with some baking p…

Traditional Tetley - Now in an envelope

June 2012
In response to caterer demand, Tetley have made available their traditional drawstring tea bags in a hygienic individually sealed envelope in line with their speciality range.Ideal for hotel bedrooms, breakfast buffets, conference areas and other sectors where an individually sealed bag adds that touch of class, the new product now gives caterers a full range of products from traditional and Decaf through to Redbush and Green.
The tea bag comes with Tetley’s unique drawstring mechanic that puts the control of the brew in the hands of the customer and leaves the caterer with a much cleaner work surface. 
Dorothy Sieber, Marketing Director for Tetley Tea in OOH explains the benefit to caterers of the new non-drip drawstring bags:
“Adding a traditional teabag to our extensive envelope range now gives caterers a full selection of quality teas.The prominent Tetley branding adds a touch of familiar quality to tea provision in hotel rooms and breakfast buffets, whilst the unique drawst…

Waffle While On The Go with JM Posner!

June 2012
Professional catering equipment supplier JM Posner has launched a new and unique stick waffle maker, allowing caterers to serve the tasty treat as an exciting addition to the desserts menu or as an on the go quick snack.
The stick waffle maker is ideal for outlets with a high trade in on-the-go dining, for those looking to focus on home made products and establishments with alfresco potential. Creating endless amounts of fresh, fluffy waffles, the machine comes complete with a stylish finish, a mechanism for turning during cooking to create a even cook, a digital temperature control and a non-stick plate for ease of use.
Stick waffles are easy to hold, making them ideal for eating on the go or in a garden environment and are just as easy to decorate by simply dipping into the sauce of choice and topping with sprinkles.Alternatively they can be made in advance and stored in display cabinets for the customer to choose from. The stick waffle maker supplied by JM Posner, is curre…


28 June 2012

A nationwide search for Britain’s hidden attractions has been launched by
the Vintage Inns  group of country pubs.

The Vintage Guide to Britain aims to unearth the little-known but much-loved
beauty spots, local customs, dishes and must-see sites from throughout the
nation. Vintage Inns is inviting people to submit their hidden treasures,
which will be collected on the group’s Facebook page and website.

Clair O’Neill, Head of Brand Marketing at Vintage Inns, said: “With the
Olympics on the horizon and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee just gone, it seems
the entire nation is celebrating the best of Britain. We are as excited
about these momentous events as anyone, but at the same time we wanted to
highlight some of the quirky, out-of-the-way but adored attractions that
make Britain such a unique and wonderful place.

“Whether it’s an ancient local tradition, fantastically idiosyncratic little
shop, a long-abandoned yet beautiful Victorian folly or a walk that takes
your breath away in more wa…


Now if you want to make this properly then you need to cook it for about a day over a slow heat or in the oven, But this a quick and easy version of what is one of my favourite French dishes. Now that is easy for me to say as there are so many of them but this is in the top ten. Casseroles that is, leaving plenty of other categories to clarify and fill. You will need 250g/9oz smoked streaky bacon
4 Toulouse sausages
4 garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 x 400g/14oz can flageolet beans
1 x 400g/14oz can tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 chicken legs
250ml/9floz white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
50g/2oz white breadcrumbs

Take a large sauce pan and heat it on the stove top so it is nice and hot. Then take your bacon and pop it in so it cooks realising all the fats and oils and becomes nice and brown. Then add you chopped onions to the pot and let them cook down a little along with the crushed garlic. Now get the sausages and chicken in to the pan and…

Chak 89 Hosts Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor

27 June 2012

Chak 89 was London’s centre of attention last week when Bollywood actors
Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra attended their after party for the release
of their new film Teri Meri Kahanni.

Chak 89, the award winning Indian restaurant was chosen by the promoters of
the new film which premiered earlier in Feltham.

Looking stunning in a black low cut evening dress, Priyanka and the dashing
Shahid Kapoor enjoyed a night filled with excellent and traditional Indian
food. The ambience and atmosphere at Chak 89 left them both surprised and

The most talked about Bollywood stars Priyanka and Shahid were looking happy
and content with their night, they gladly posed for photos during the course
of the evening, acknowledging everyone with a “Thank you”.

Chak 89 owner and MD Frank Khalid was overlooking the whole arrangements
with the promoters, he was overwhelmed by the hundreds who turned up for the
event to catch a glimpse of the famous two.

With continual star studied Bollywood guests on…

Jollof rice

Jollof rice is found throughout West Africa. Depending on who makes it be very hot and spicy or not, but it always full of tomato. I have read that it was the historic relative of jambalaya. Serve with fried chicken and a green salad and it makes a change from just rice. You will need 1tbsp olive or vegetable oil 2 large onions, sliced 2 x 400g/14oz cans plum tomatoes 1 red pepper 4tbsp tomato purée ¼tsp cayenne pepper 1tsp curry powder 1tsp garlic puree 1tsp ginger puree 1 bay leaf Fresh thyme 1 chicken stock cube 550ml/19floz of water 225g/8oz long-grain rice Salt and freshly ground black pepper It is a bit like cooking any rice dish like this start by heating the oil in a large pan. Then add the onions and cook until translucent. Now rinse your rice to get rid of any excess starch and add that to the pot, let it cook in the oil for a moment or two. Then add the cayenne pepper, curry powder, garlic puree, ginger puree, bay leaf and thyme. Let the spice cook in to the rice. Then add the canned tomat… receives funding and doubles number of restaurants listed

26 June 2012

- Delivery Hero network invests in the future of hungryhouse in the UK
- 6,000 delivery menus now listed by hungryhouse – double the number from 9
months ago
- Number of orders went up by 71% since partnership agreed
- The majority of menus listed are locally-owned and operated businesses
- The Delivery Hero network now has more than 4million customers worldwide just welcomed the 6,000th restaurant using its online
takeaway ordering system. It has grown by 100% only months after partnering
with Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based global network for online food
ordering. "We are planning to further accelerate our growth and add 700 new
takeaways menus in July alone!“, says Tony Charles, Co-Founder of

With the increase in delivery menus listed, the business has also seen a
significant gain in orders. “We are close to 500,000 meals per month now.“
comments Tony Charles. The site is not only expanding in size, it’s also
improving in terms of quality -  givin…

Wild and Exotic “Sagri” Barbecues at The Ambrette

Press Release The Ambrette at Rye Restaurant which has taken the town’s dining scene by storm since opening in December, has installed an outside Tandoor oven and Indian charcoal barbecue, to offer fine out door dining Indian style during fine weather.

The “MagnoliaGarden” at the White Vine House, named after its tree which was spectacular in late spring.i Opening times are weather dependent, so no advance bookings will be taken.
The Ambrette’s location on Rye’s high street in the 5 AA starred White Vine House is drawing considerable numbers overnight guests to the historic CinquePort.Whilst locals and gastro tourist from London and beyond, have flocked to the East Sussex town to sample chef-patron Dev Biswal’s unique style of “culinary art”, the introduction of a special “Wild & Exotic” menu featuring meats such as zebra and kangaroo, as well as more traditional fare such as salmon, brochettes of spiced lamb, a grazing menu and a vegetarian platter, is expected to is expected to fur…

Poached pears

If you want a classic simple and tasty desert, then you cannot go wrong with poached pears. Now I like to do them in red wine and that is the classical norm but you can do them in white wine if you like or is you want to really impress do some in red some in white and then present a half and half mix of red and white poached pears. Now this recipe can do both just change the red wine for a sweet white wine and you are there. You will need
6-12 ripe Conference pears
The juice and zest of 1 orange
400ml/14floz sweet red wine
750ml/1¼ pints water
55g/2oz honey
200g/7oz sugar
The juice of 2 lemons
1 vanilla pod, split
1 cinnamon stick, broken into short lengths
4 cloves

Now it all depends on how big your pears are to how many you will need so for this you will get 6 to 12 done all depending on the size. Starting at the top leaving the stalk on peel the skin of the pear as thin as you can get it. Then from the bottom remove the core and make the base as flat as you can so it stands up on its o…

A day at the Harrogate Speciality food show got me thinking.

I have spent my morning wandering around the Harrogate speciality food show and I must say the more you go to events like this the more I am amazes at the quality of the good on show. And now it is not just things that are imported form France or Italy but home grown quality products. Products that are made by people who are passionate about their product and what they make.
As I was driving to the event I was listening to radio four and the food program was on. And it was talking about the catering at the Olympic Games and what the legacy would be from the games. It told the story of the producers and people in the area who are involved in the food . We all know about the big sponsor such as McDonalds and Coca Cola, but behind them are thousands more. The small cake makers, veg growers and producers of British products that have been selected to supply items for the games. And then as I wander around the show it began to dawn on me that the big challenge for all the stands was not wha…

Three smoothies

The smoothie is the very drink that can get lots of fruits in to kids with very little effort. Now you have herd all sorts of things about them getting to much sugar on the heath and blending them with fats from the dairy and the acid of the fruits attacks the teeth. Well this all might be true but I still eat butter and saturated fat , drink and cross the road without using the green cross code every time.So do not have them morning noon and night eat other things and use you own intelligence and you will be fine. All you need to make them is something to blend them together, I use a hand blender, seem easier than making sure the lid is on the blender.
Mango smoothie 1 ripe mango 1 ripe banana 3 heaped tbsp yoghurt 300ml/10½floz milk ice cubes (optional) Get everything in a jug blend it together and serve in a tall glass.
A berry smoothie 175ml/6floz apple juice 120ml/4floz natural yoghurt 1 banana 170g/6oz Berry’s Now for this one you can use and berry that you like strawberries, raspberries o…

Potato and radish salad

Now here is a nice salad that is a little different and the sort of thing that makes a change from your average potato salad. And like a lot of compound salads it just taste so much better if you make it the day before. You will need 400g/14oz baby potatoes cooked A bunch spring onions 2 gherkins 10 radishes A small bunch of dill 100g/3½oz mayonnaise 1tsp Worcestershire sauce 1tsp ketchup 1tsp horseradish cream ½tsp mustard Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste To start make your dressing take the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, horseradish cream and mustard and add to a large bowl and combine them all together. Then season with salt and pepper. Now take your potatoes and dice them up and place them in a bowl. Slice the radishes as thin as you can and add them. Chop your spring onions and gherkins and add them and finally a good amount of chopped dill. Now toss everything together and place in the fridge and chill it down for about an hour or so then serve. It is something o…

Introducing a Timeless Classic with a Modern Twist, Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream.

June 2012
In a further development to their exciting range of flavours, New Forest Ice Cream has launched a Rhubarb Crumble and Custard flavour, which combines the sumptuous flavours of the classic British dessert into a modern ice cream alternative. The real dairy custard base is generously interspersed with real pieces of rhubarb and delicious chunks of crunchy shortcake to create a flavour that will be loved by old and young alike. 
Part of New Forest’s real Dairy range, which is made using the milk from Jersey cows and fresh double cream to ensure a superb tasting and high quality product, Rhubarb Crumble and Custard is one of 20 flavours in the range, most of which are suitable for vegetarians and produced using a gluten free recipe.
Christina Veal, Director at New Forest Ice Cream believes that the new Rhubarb Crumble flavour will be a big hit with the whole family:
“Rhubarb Crumble is one of the classic British desserts, combining the tart flavours of the rhubarb with the swee…

Evidence suggest that Big Buns result in Big Buns

21 June 2012

Whilst it may appear that we consumers have won the battle of the supersized
portions, I can report that we have not. All that has happened is that the
very clever marketing people in the food manufacturing industry changed
their language and span us a number of different lines with the same
meaning. “Bigger Bag” crisps, “Multipack” chocolate bars and “Buy 2 get one
free” on Mars, Twix and Snickers are all just new ways to sell us more
products, new ways to say “Supersize”.

Kate Walker from said “Supersized portions are again on the
rise and just because the marketing people call it something else, like “The
Kid’s Challenge” (named as such because it weighs as much as a child at 9lb
of food” doesn’t make it okay.” In this evening’s TV programme “The men who
made us fat” (BBC2 at 9:00pm), the presenter takes on the “challenge”, an
emotive word that makes eating the huge meal sound like a victory and the
eater a potential hero. Man Vs Food is another popular TV show depi…


21 June 2012

Forget Pimms, cold beers and Rosé, the Strawberry Daiquiri is being tipped
as the must–have drink of Summer 2012, forecasting increased sales – up 28%
on last year alone.  It is expected Brits will drink more than 9 million
Strawberry Daiquiris in 2012.

The trend is the result of perfect weather conditions and an increase in
at-home cocktail consumption. Strawberry producers are predicting a bumper
harvest of strawberries for 2012.

According to cocktail experts Funkin, Strawberry puree sales are up by
27.62% (June 11 to June 2012) which is the equivalent of 9,049,700
individual cocktails.  Britain’s second favourite flavour is Raspberry, with
6 million cocktails being made. Passion Fruit has also seen an increase of
29% (equivalent to 5,979,700 individual cocktails). In contrast sales of
Kiwi puree are down by 16% and traditional Blackcurrant puree is down by
nearly 51%.

Andrew King, CEO, Funkin Cocktails says; “We’re expecting an early season
for strawberries and a bumper crop. With …

McDonald’s franchisee wins Business of the Year award

21 June 2012

Atul Pathak, Managing Director of Appt Corporation and franchisee of 20
McDonald’s restaurants, was presented with the prestigious ‘Business of the
Year’ award at the Asian Lite Business Awards on Friday evening in

The Asian Lite Business Awards honours Asian Businessmen and women from
across the UK who have excelled in their respective fields, especially those
in professional, cultural and charity sectors. The Business of the Year
award was given to Atul in recognition of his business acumen, and for his
commitment to running a socially responsible business.

Speaking about his award, Atul Pathak said: “It is a privilege for my
business to be recognised in this way, and an honour that I will share with
my employees who are the bedrock of my business.

“The McDonald’s franchising model has afforded me the opportunity to
establish and grow a successful business, including during these tough
economic conditions. I look forward to continuing to grow my business whilst
helping to…

Homemade beef burgers

Now when you do get the weather to have a barbeque you cannot beat making your own beef burgers. Now as long as you have some good minced beef and a bit of egg to bind everything together then you will have a burger. Now what you put in them to give them a bit of a boost is up to you, just salt and pepper or a whole lot more. This particular recipe gives them a sort of Italian flavour to them. But use garlic ginger and lemongrass and get a Thai flavour, rosemary thyme and sage to get a really old English style burger. Whatever you use is up to you the world is your oyster as long as you can bind it with the beef.
You will need 450g/16oz lean beef mince
2 garlic cloves
1tsp mustard
1 egg
1 red chilli
1 onion
Fresh basil
Fresh parsley
Fresh oregano
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Get you herbs and chop them up along with the garlic, chilli and the onion. Now how fine is up to you, I like a nice rustic look to my burgers but you might not, also if you make them rustic they …


19 June 2012

British consumers will buy more than double their normal amount of snacks,
drinks and alcohol during the Olympics, according to an independent survey
from OnePoll commissioned by destination media group Redbus

The findings from a survey of 2,000 people this month revealed that over 88
per cent of shoppers intend to make extra visits to supermarkets to stock up
on products such as meals, nibbles and drinks as they enjoy London 2012 at
home with family and friends. 

Amongst the most popular products that shoppers will buy more of during the
London games are:

• Crisps (80%) – Walkers and Pringles are the top choice (38% each)
• Pizza (75 %)
• Beer/cider (75 %) – Budweiser and Stella Artois taking the top spots (12%
• BBQ products (67 %)
• Wines/spirits (66 %)
• Carbonates (65 %)
• Sausage rolls (62 %)
• Fruit Juice (62 %)
• Condiments (59 %)
• Pies & Quiches (54 %)
• Premixed Alcoholic Drinks (50 %)

Stefan Borson, Chief Executive of Redbus Media Group, s…

Party Pork ribs

Nothing better to eat than sticky finger licking barbecue ribs. Now you can just do them in the oven and let them cook nice and slow or make the sauce separate and cook the ribs on the barbecue if you would like. Personally I like to do them in the oven in a dish with a lid on it so they cook in their own steam. Your will need About 12 pork spare ribs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
50g/2oz bark muscovado sugar
4tbsp red wine vinegar
3tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1tbsp tomato purée
2tsp Chinese five spice powder
1tsp ground paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Now if you have a casserole pan that you can start on the stove and then put in the oven this is perfect for that. Start by chopping up your onions and crushing your garlic as fine as you can. Then in the oil cook the onions until soft along with the garlic, Chinese five spice powder and paprika. Once you have done that add the chopped tomatoes, muscovado sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sau…

Emergency cheesecake

If you find that you are suddenly having a dinner party or the weather is nice and decide to have a barbeque and need something for dessert then this is as easy as it can get. Make it set it in rings and serve it or let it set in the fridge if you have time.
you will need,
About 3 digestive biscuits and three ginger nut biscuits 30g/1oz butter 85g/3oz strawberries halved or raspberry’s

3tbsp mascarpone, or cream cheese

1tsp caster sugar

A few drops of vanilla

100ml/3½floz double cream

Just start by crushing your biscuits together in a bowl, the more rustic the better. I like to use a mix of biscuits to add another element of flavour. Melt your butter and mix that in to the crushed biscuits and then press it down in to some rings or a cake tin to form the base. Now in another bowl add your berries, if strawberries chap them up first, mascarpone or cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Work this all together so the berries and the cheese are fully combined together. Then whisk the cream and fold t…

Wine regions of the world 7 Burgundy Côts D’ Or.

This is the one region that I do not like for all the wrong reasons. I do not like the region because of one actual wine that is above all other wines I fell responsible for more snobbery and turning people away from exploring more about wine. This wine I remember once was so much sort after and desired that it was also I thing one of the reason why new world wines took such a strong hold in the market. The wine I hold responsible is no other than Chablis. It might be a hangover from the late 1980 when I was just a mere boy who was learning his trade and this particular wine seemed to rule the world. It might be just me and the number of bad experiences I had with this wine, not drinking it but serving it to customer who seemed to have more money than taste and just wanted to pay over the odds for a premier cru over chilled so you can hardly taste the wine and then add some sparkling mineral water to it, to make a spritzer. It is perhaps these images that I have that just make me shud…