Showing posts from July, 2012

The Tales Behind Your Tea A Talk With Tetley Farmers

July 2012
To support their commitment to Rainforest Alliance, Tetley has launched an innovative social media initiative, facilitated by popular social media site Facebook, to allow caterers (and consumers) in the UK to communicate directly with the very communities producing the tea they sell and consume.
The Facebook site already has over 65,000 ’likes’ and receives daily updates from tea producers in South Africa and Malawi who give an insight into their daily lives, the communities in which they live and what is involved in achieving and maintaining their Rainforest Alliance Certified™ status. Both caterers and customers can pose questions; respond to the posts left by the farmers and view photos and videos of life in and around a tea estate. This innovative communication platform re-enforces Tetley’s commitment to the very people who help to grow and sustain the heart of their business. 
As a raw product, tea originates from areas all around the world and in doing so sustains the liv…

Beige food dominates British plates

31 July 2012
Colourful diet? Beige food dominates British plates: New research reveals routine and a reliance on convenience foods is driving the UK’s eating habits and nutrition intake The monotony of eating the same range of foods could be taking its toll on the UK’s nutritional intake. According to new research, the majority of British people eat the same foods at breakfast and lunch every day, and nearly half (48%) rely on a small bank of evening meals such as spaghetti bolognaise and chicken tikka masala. In fact, 68% of people routinely buy the same foods from the supermarket each week, supporting the stereotype that the British really are creatures of habit. The survey of 3,000 adults conducted for PAGB, the UK trade association for over the counter medicines and food supplements, has revealed a distinct lack of variety in British diets and a marked preference for a ‘beige palette’. “Eating the same type of food every day is not only boring but could lead to deficienc…

Fabulous fungi forays in Mid Wales

30 July 2012

The unspoilt Mid Wales landscape is a mecca for mushrooms of all kinds, and
The Metropole Hotel is engaging the services of fungi expert, Daniel Butler,
to run a foraging safari later this year, providing a unique experience to
add to your UK family holiday in Wales.

Fungi foragers can look forward to a special treat, as chanterelles,
porcini, wood hedgehogs, giant puffballs and parasols are just some of the
prized fungi that grow in profusion in the Mid Wales area.

“Porcini, for example, sell for a great deal of money in London
delicatessens, but most of the harvest goes to waste, as the vast majority
of people are uncertain about which types of fungi to pick, and therefore
leave them well alone,” explains Justin Baird-Murray, MD of The Metropole

“With such a fabulous wild harvest on our doorstep, it makes sense to make
the most of this natural bonanza.  Daniel is a self-confessed fungi fanatic
and his knowledge is extensive, so participants will, have a fun day …

Roast red pepper salad.

There is something about roasted red peppers, they haves a real flavour impact in anything you put them in. This salad is one that you make and can keep in the fridge for a couple of days and it actually improves with keeping. You will need. 6 red peppers
2 red onions
2 cloves of garlic
3tbsp of olive oil
4 to 6 anchovy fillets
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Fresh chopped oregano
A handful of black pitted olives.

So start by taking your pepper and garlic and placing them on a try in the oven and roast them until the skins are nice and black. You do not have to worry about taking the garlic out of the skin, once you have roasted it just squeeze it out and you have roasted garlic puree. Once the peppers and garlic have cooked take them and put them in a bowl. Then cover the bowl with cling film and just let the pepper sit in the bowl and cool. Once you can handle them remove the skin, stalks and seeds but save as much of the liquid that you can. It is this that has such a lot of flavour. Now…

Fresh pea, bean and bacon salad

Now as we have all of this veg right now that is in season why not try and make this salad with it. All you have to do is cook the veg refresh it and then mix it together, that and cook the bacon and chop the herbs, well you know what I mean and it is worth it in the end. You will need 750g/1lb 10oz broad beans, podded
750g/1lb 10oz fresh peas, podded
50g/1ld 10oz Green beans
200g/7oz mangetout
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp cider vinegar
4 or 6 spring onions
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
A small sprig or two of fresh mint
180g/6oz cooked crispy smoked bacon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Now all you have to do really is be careful as to how you cook your vegetables. For me you need to have two large saucepans and lots of cold iced water. First bring one of the large pans of water to the boil. The other leave on the side with a colander over it. Now what you do is add the broad beans to the water and cook for two minutes. Then strain the beans and water into the other pan, put the bean…

Crab and leek quiche

I love crab and I love leeks so this is a perfect combination, set in a rich egg custard. Also good for picnics and eating out side. So while we are actually having bit of a summer then make this and go out for the day. Now for this recipe I use both white and brown crabmeat as I think that gives the best flavour. 
You will need
225g/8oz short crust pastry 100g/4oz leeks
15g/½oz unsalted butter
25ml/1fl oz white wine
The juice form half a lemon
A pinch of cayenne pepper
4 eggs
120ml/4floz full fat milk
120ml/4fl oz double cream
88g/3oz white crabmeat
88g/3oz brown crabmeat

So start by rolling out your short crust pastry, prick the pastry, cover with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Then in a preheat set at 190c/375f and bake for 10 minutes the remove the beans and paper then pop back in the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes to finishing cooking the pastry and leave to cool.
Now take your leeks and dice them and give them a good wash. Personally t…

Food Business Start-up Boot Camp: London, 15-16 September 2012

27 July 2012 PRESS RELEASE – 27 JULY 2012 LONDON: FOOD BUSINESS START-UP BOOT CAMP A brand new workshop for people dreaming, or at the early stages, of running their own food business comes to London on September 15-16, 2012. Led by food industry expert Monique Borst, the Food Business Start-up Boot Camp is touring the country this year and comes to Wallacespace Covent Garden at the end of September. London is home to many innovative and entrepreneurial food businesses from individuals making cakes, pickles and jams to sell at farmers markets to success stories like Neal’s Yard Dairy and The Monmouth Coffee Company. But starting a food business can be a daunting task ... you need to be aware of all the rules – environmental, health, licensing and insurance – competition is fierce and profit margins are small. You also need a marketing strategy to give your business the best chance of being seen and heard and a realistic business plan. For anyone starting that journey, or peop…

South Indian style Cuttlefish Kedgeree

Kedgeree is a dish consisting of flaked fish, boiled rice, eggs and butter. It originated amongst the British colonials in India hence was introduced to the United Kingdom as a popular breakfast dish in Victorian times, part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine. Here we have modified the original recipe to feature cuttlefish instead of a regular fish.
Cuttlefish 200gms (cleaned weight, the ink reserved)
Red Onions 1 medium sized
Green Chilli 1
Ginger 20gms
Curry leaves 5 leaves
Lemon ½ a lemon
Mustard seeds ½ teaspoon
Turmeric Powder ½ teaspoon
Butter 50grams
Tomato 1 medium sized
Cream 100ml
Coconut cream 100ml
Coriander leaves 2 sprigs
Oil 20ml
Salt to taste
Basmati rice 200gms Process
Dice the cuttlefish into approximately ½ inch dices.
Finely chop the red onion
Finely chop the green chilli
Finely chop the ginger
Finely chop the tomato
Boil the Basmati rice
Heat oil in a pan to smoking point
Add the mustard seeds, green chilli,ginger and curry leaves
Let the spices crackle
Add the choppe…

Dev Biswal to showcase sustainable cuttlefish at Hasting Seafood & Wine Festival

Press Release
Horrified that local fisherman are discarding unwanted cuttlefish, Dev Biswal, chef patron of The Ambrette @ Rye restaurant – is to give live cooking demos of a specially createdrecipe throughout the Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival (15th and 16th September) to help boost its popularity.Throughout the weekend, he will encourage visitors to try cuttlefish and less popular types of fish, whose stocks are at healthy levels.
The Michelin-rated chef has created a ‘South Indian style Cuttlefish Kedgeree’ dish. Originating amongst British colonials in India, Kedgeree which was part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine, was introduced to the UK as a popular breakfast dish in Victorian times.
“Speaking to local fisherman, it appears there’s very little local demand for cuttlefish, one – who catches them is special pots with no by-catch – exorts them to Italy, where they are prized as a delicacy,” said Biswal, adding, “It’s a great shame as they’re in plentiful supply alo…

Cheeseboard Theatre Tips

1.Add some flavoured texture to your cheeseboard by dropping plain bread in favour of a fruit & nut bread such as apricot & walnut or prune & hazelnut and serve it slightly stale, cut into thin wafer slices
2.Fruit and cheese are a classic combination but give your grapes some extra character by serving them frozen – simply wash a bunch of grapes and shake off any excess water, place on a plate and pop in the freezer, serve directly once frozen onto the cheeseboard giving a more interesting texture with extra bite
3.Add a simple twist on the traditional by pairing your cheese with fruit that has a sharp acidity such as: cherries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, nectarines and tangy plums – these work well frozen too
4.Turn your cheeseboard into a visual feast by serving long celery stems in a vase of ice water. Team with a small bowl of rock salt too for dipping
5.Radishes are a tasty substitute to celery providing a peppery bite, leave a little stem on each on to hol…

Crispy granary bruschetta, poached egg, spinach and a Port Salut glaze.

Port Salut recipes with Jean Christophe Novelli
Ingredients 4 eggs (free range, large) 2-3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar 4 thick slices of ciabattas bread 25ml olive oil 1/2 tsp dried herbs 400g washed baby spinach leaves 100ml double cream 4 egg yolks 100g Port Salut (grated) 50g butter (optional) Sprinkle of ground nutmeg Method On a baking sheet place the slices of ciabattas, brush with olive oil and season with dried herbs, salt and pepper. Place in a hot oven and bake until crisp and golden brown. Place on four plates or a serving dish. In a large sauce pan heat plenty of water to boiling point. Add a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar and season to taste with salt Once boiling stir with a whisk to start a circular motion in the water and crack in the eggs one at a time, bring to the boil and immediately turn down to a simmer, cook for 3-4 minutes if a soft egg is required, a little longer for a firmer egg and 5-7 minutes for a hard poached egg. Keep the eggs warm in the water until nee…

Char grilled chicken, leek, Port Salut and button mushroom fricassee, whole meal crouton

Port Salut recipes with Jean Christophe Novelli
Ingredients 4 x skinned and boneless chicken supreme's (cut into thin strips) 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into thin slices 2 x spring onions (trimmed and chopped into thin roundels) 1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed) 100g chestnut or button mushrooms (sliced) 100g grated Port Salut 50g breadcrumbs 50g grated Port Salut 75ml double cream 25g butter 1 bunch of chives (chopped) 4 slices of wholemeal bread (cut into fingers) 25ml olive oil 1/2 tsp dried herbs 1/2 glass white wine Method Heat a char grill skillet until very hot, brush the chicken strips with some of the oil and season with salt and pepper and your favourite spice, paprika is good as is cumin or garam marsala. Quickly char grill the chicken pieces until well coloured and cooked through remove from the skillet and keep warm. In a large saucepan melt the butter over a low heat. Add the leek and spring onion and sweat until tender. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and continue to cook unt…

Malmaison refurbishing Dundee listed landmark to create new hotel

26 July 2012 Malmaison has announced that it is to refurbish the vacant Tay Hotel, a listed city centre landmark constructed in 1889 in the Scottish coastal town of Dundee. Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has been appointed as main contractor on a refurbishment project to create the new Dundee Malmaison hotel. Works commenced in June and completion is scheduled for twelve months later. The project forms part of the £1 billion Dundee Central Waterfront Development, an integral phase in the city's multi-billion pound regeneration of its historic waterfront, which will include the new £45 million Victoria & Albert museum. Around 150 full and part time construction jobs have been created thanks to the £15 million development, with a further 120 new jobs to be made available once the hotel opens. In keeping with the prestigious Malmaison brand, the structure is being redeveloped to create an international standard lifestyle boutique ho…

Shahrukh Khan Attends Chak 89 Owners Event

25 July 2012

The award winning Chak 89 Restaurant and Banquet hall owner Frank Khalid was
all smiles when his special guest Shahrukh Khan turned up at the owner’s

Frank who had invited Shahrukh a few weeks earlier was not convinced that
Shahrukh would be able to make it because of his work schedule, but was very
happy and surprised that Shahrukh Khan the king of Bollywood was able to be

Frank, who had organised the event in celebration of the achievement of Chak
89 over the last year, was only too pleased to greet Shahrukh Khan, who is
now a regular client and is associated with Chak 89.

Chak 89, based in Surrey, just round the corner from Tooting, it is known
for its connection with the one and only king of Bollywood actor Shahrukh
Khan and it was not long before Shahrukh let his hair down, making Chak 89
his home.

After enjoying his banquet meal of traditional Indian food that Chak 89 is
renowned for, Shahrukh was in the mood to have his own way on the dance
floor. So relaxed and comf…

Alcohol brands must take social marketing seriously

25 July 2012

Alcohol brands must take their social media marketing seriously and not be
tempted to just dabble, or they could risk their reputations and a run-in
with regulators.

That was the overriding message from a seminar staged by Birmingham-based
communications agency Seal, which was attended by representatives from 10
brewery and alcohol brands and the Advertising Standards Authority. 

Initiatives such as the recently announced ‘Responsible Marketing Pact’ show
the sector is aware of the need to act responsibly. However, the situation
at the coalface shows that social media marketing is more complex than many
marketers appreciate.

The power and the pitfalls of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, when it comes
to complying with strict rules on the marketing of alcohol, were outlined at
the seminar at which delegates were advised that it was easy to be seduced
by the low cost and huge reach of social media channels and its value in
engaging and interacting with consumers.

Jason Navon, digital str…


25 July 2012

• Faking it – 75% of Brits use a fake laugh
• Comedy starts at home – two thirds of Brits prefer to laugh at their own
• Men top the comedy confidence polls

Three in every four people rely on fake laughs to get them through the day,
a survey has revealed, with bosses, work colleagues and friends most likely
to trigger our guilty giggles.

Where women use fake laughter to fill awkward silences, men are far more
likely to use it to make themselves look good in front of their peers. And,
when it comes to the age groups, it’s the younger generations (those 18-34)
that are most likely to fall back on their fake laughs rather than admitting
they don’t get the joke or find it funny.

What people do find amusing, however, is themselves with over two thirds of
people admitting to laughing at their own jokes and almost half believing
that they’re the funniest person in their social circle!

The findings have been released as part of a nationwide study on British
humour conducted by Old Jamai…

Smoked salmon and pasta salad.

This is a nice light and rather filling salad that is perfect for a sunny day, when you go for a long walk and want to stop for something to eat. Also take away the pasta and you have a really good dressing for a salad that goes really well with roasted beef. You will need. 170g/6oz pack of smoked salmon
170g/6oz fresh or dried pasta
3tbl spoons of extra virgin olive oil
1tsp whole grain mustard
1tsp horseradish cream
Small bunch of chives
Small bunch of fennel or dill
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley
3tsp lemon juice.
Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

First get a pan of water on ready to cook the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked get it of the heat and into some cold water to refresh it as soon as you can. As to what pasta you want to use it is up to you. Personally any shell shaped pasta is best as it holds on to the dressing better. Now add your oil to a blow along with the lemon juice, mustard and horseradish. This salad dressing goes well with rare roast beef salads, and all most all smok…

Innovate Services announces partnership with Mary’s Meals charity

24 July 2012

Innovate Services Ltd, the innovative catering facilities operator to the
education sector, has announced it is supporting Mary’s Meals as its
designated charity.  Mary’s Meals is a global movement that sets up school
feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, where poverty
and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.

The idea behind Mary’s Meals is a simple one that works. The charity
provides one daily meal in a place of learning in order to attract
chronically hungry children into a classroom, where they receive an
education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.

Mary’s Meals began by feeding just 200 children in Malawi in 2002. Today,
the charity is providing daily meals to over 650,000 hungry children every
day in 16 different countries across the world, including Kenya, Haiti,
Uganda, Liberia and India. It costs Mary’s Meals just £10.70 to feed a child
for a whole school year.

As part of its commitment to the charity, Innovate will …

Its ‘Party Time’ at New Forest Ice Cream!

July 2012
New Forest Ice Cream, manufacturers of quality ice cream has added another exciting flavour aimed specifically at children, on the back of the recent success of the their ‘Party Push-Up’ product. 
The Party-Time variant of New Forest’s ever growing Continental Range of ice cream, combines the distinctive sweet flavour of candy floss with the vibrant pink colour associated with the typically fairground snack. The Continental range, currently supporting 20 flavours is made without the need for eggs, is gluten free and as with all of New Forest’s products, suitable for vegetarians.
The success of the Party Push-Up, a duo of vanilla and strawberry ice cream on a clear plastic stick which is generously filled with candy covered chocolate pieces, just one of 15 varieties in the New Forest range of Ice Creams Lollies and Wrapped-Goods range, over the past three years has led to the development of the new flavoured scoop ice cream.
Christina Veal, Director at New Forest Ice Cream e…

Scotch eggs.

Now I saw them being made on the television the other day and it reminded me that is was such a long time since I had had one that I had to make some. Scotch eggs are something that you can buy quite cheaply but you never know if you have a god one or not until you bite into it. That is normally when you are filed with disappointment and ask yourself why did you buy that for. And that is why I have not had a scotch egg in such a long time.So here is my recipe for a good, I would not say perfect scotch egg. You will need 340g/12oz sausage meat
Salt, ground white pepper, nutmeg and ground black to taste
4 eggs
Plain flour
1 baton egg
5 or 6 good serving spoons of white bread crumbs

Now if you are like e you do not want you egg completely hard boiled before you make your scotch egg.Like to have the yolk in the centre still under cooked. So I bring my water to the boil and then gently lower my eggs in and cooked them on a simmer for about 7minutes. Then take them out of the hot water and in to c…

Olympic party ideas, menus.

Now the hard thing to do is you are thinking of doing a party on the opening of the Olympics is to think of a theme. The easy ones are stick to making everything in to the Olympic rings, use onions rings, apple rings, pine apple rings, burgers with a hole on the middle and doughnuts with the right colour of icings on each one. Or do you try and go for a theme of a Greek night , London night, International night or just use the gold, silver and bronze in you decoration and food. Personally I would try and do all of that. Here is my attempted at a Olympic menu, you will note there is no cheese cores as I think the menu is cheesy enough as it is.
Chef Wise Olympic menu. Starters orders ‘On your marks….’ The Olympic flame, deep-fried prawns in tempura batter with a wasabi dressing From mount Olympus itself Greek salad, dressed salad leaves served with Mediterranean cous cous, mixed olives, cherry tomatoes Going for gold , Thai chicken meat balls, home made with fresh coriander with sweet chi…

Keeping up with consumers: the challenges for the alcohol sector and social

20 July 2012

Seal PR and Marketing

The recently announced responsible marketing pact from the big alcohol
producers was a welcome initiative, however, research commissioned by
communications agency Seal shows that consumers and brand marketing teams
are way ahead of compliance.

Some 79% of respondents to the survey of 1,000 Facebook users said they
engage with alcohol brands across the social landscape. Although Facebook
dominates Twitter, Google + and Pinterest were also used by the sample to
engage with alcohol brands. The survey also showed:

• 90% of respondents access the internet daily from home
• 70% use mobile phones and social networks are part of daily life for this
• 68% of Facebook users visit the site daily and 48% of Twitter users log in

Seal’s experience is that brands are entering into a number of social spaces
with the best intentions but a lack of detailed guidance is leading to
breaches of the relevant codes. Social media’s attraction to brands and it’s
perceived lo…

Malmaison launches new summer menu

19 July 2012

Malmaison, the luxury boutique hotel brand in the UK, has announced the
launch of a new Summer Menu at its brassieres.

The menus have been created by Head Chef John Woodward and his team, who
have added some seasonal delights and exciting new dishes, including a
seared yellow fin tuna salad nicoise, Greek salad with grilled halloumi and
watermelon and, in the mains, guests can enjoy Cajun swordfish, delectable
grilled polenta and more.

In addition to the new dishes, the Malmaison hotel restaurants still include
Malmaison's heartily portioned favourite Mal dishes, including the Mal's
prawn cocktail, 'from the shore' smoked salmon blini, crème fraiche and
caviar, the legendary Mal Burger and the delicious Cornish Crab fritters
with avocado, as well as six different choices from the grill. In keeping
with the overall quality of the menu, all of the beef on offer is naturally
reared, grass-fed and dry aged on the bone for a minimum of twenty eight

The new dessert menu…