Showing posts from November, 2012

"Like A Choral Song" Manchego DO Gran Reserva Announced As World Champion Cheese

29 Nov 12 A traditional unpasteurised ewes' milk cheese from a historic Spanish estate has been named World Champion2012 after wowing judges at the World Cheese Awards in Birmingham.
The Manchego DO Gran Reserva, from Dehesa de los Llanos in the province of Albacete, becomes the first champion from mainland Spain in two decades of the international award scheme, which was topped in 2011 by a French Ossau Iraty and in 2010 by Britain's own Cornish Blue.  
Chosen from among more than 2,700 British and international cheeses, the Manchego was described by this year's final judging panel as "a stunning cheese - light, with high notes like a choral song and an aromatic, long finish".  In all, 255 judges from around the world took part in the awards, staged alongside the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC.
Of the 2,781 cheeses judged, 50 cheeses were awarded Super Gold medals - the full list of award winners is available from
"This Man…

Britain's Best Cheese Counter 2012 And Cheesemonger Of The Year Announced

29 Nov 12
"The shop in Jermyn Street is simply a Mecca for cheese lovers.  There is real theatre, visually stunning displays and a sense that each person working there wants to talk about cheese, work with cheese and celebrate cheese."  Judge's comments.  
Paxton & Whitfield's historic Jermyn Street cheese shop was named Britain's Best Cheese Counter 2012 at the World Cheese Awards held on November 28th in Birmingham in a competition sponsored by Le Gruyère AOC. 
Hot on the heels of winning, Paxton & Whitfield celebrated for a second time as Hero Hirsh, assistant manager of the Jermyn Street shop, was declared winner in the Cheesemonger of the Year competition.  Hero tackled five rounds of cheese challenges, and her knowledge and dedication to cheese shone through to the expert cheese judges.
Opened in 1742 and boasting a string of Royal Warrants, from Queen Victoria to the present monarch, Paxton & Whitfield could be classed as a cheese instit…

L'Atelier de Courvoisier: An Extraordinary Journey For The Senses

28 Nov 12 Courvoisier is delighted to announce the launch of L'Atelier de Courvoisier - an explorative insight into its renowned ageing cellar in Cognac. L'Atelier will celebrate the alchemy of this prestigious cognac: the meticulous craftsmanship of our master blender Patrice Pinet in bringing together regional grapes, copper pot stills, new oak barrels and intricate techniques to create this most precious liquid.
This one-of-a-kind experience will take place in the exclusive Tasting Room in the Wine Shop on the lower ground floor of Harrods, London from Wednesday 5 to Sunday 9 December.
Each day, between 12 and 4pm, brand ambassador Rebecca Asseline will be conducting tastings of Courvoisier's celebrated XO directly from the barrel and explaining the magic behind the brand. On Saturday 8 December, L'Atelier will play host to a one-off special evening, hosted by master blender Patrice Pinet, where guests will embark upon an immersive and educational journey throug…

Food And Travel Photographer Publishes 'Bangers & Mash'

28 Nov 12 Bangers and Mash is no ordinary life story - it's a tourist's guide to cancer treatment in pictures. "Being treated for cancer is like being in a foreign country" is how author Keith Hern puts it, "and what you really need is a guidebook."
Early on in Keith's battle against throat cancer he began to keep a diary but, being a photographer, Keith's diary is in pictures as well as words. Recruiting amused nurses and tolerant radiographers to hold the camera, Keith's book de-mystifies cancer treatment and chronicles every step of the way back to health.
Not always a comfortable read, Bangers and Mash is fast-paced and completely compelling. Most importantly, is intended to help patients and their families understand "what they are in for."
The book is titled after the first solid food Keith was able to eat after 4 months' of chemo and radio therapy.
The big lesson is that it's not all bad. The book doesn't pu…

G'NOSH Christmas Party Survival Guide

28 Nov 12 Charlotte Knight, Founder of gourmet dips brand, G'NOSH (, has put together her top tips for hosting a stress-free Christmas party, full of suggestions for canapés, stylish drinks and ways to keep calm and prioritise in the lead up to your event with all of the other stresses of Christmas.
G'NOSH is a gourmet dips brand with five delicious flavours, combining easy-going sociable food (that'll be the NOSH), with a love of gourmet (which is what the G stands for!). G'NOSH use only the finest natural ingredients and are completely free from preservatives and artificial flavours with a shelf-life of 10 days.
Plan ahead as a little pre-event organisation will be crucial to avoiding stressful moments. If you're a bit of a 'last minute' person, remember it's never too late to write a to-do list and prioritise tasks and don't forget to draft in help from family members or friends attending too. The chances are they'll be w…

Support Local Farmers At First Christmas Food And Farming Festival

27 Nov 12 Make the most of extended opening hours at the Cotswold Farm Park
The North Cotswold Food and Farming Festival is pleased to announce their first Christmas Festival will be held on Sunday 2nd December. Following from the success of their spring and summer events, the team have decided to introduce a Christmas time event for those wishing to add local food to their festive menu.  Christmas themed cooking demonstrations with Rob Rees, The Cotswold Chef and local food producers will take place throughout the day.
The Festival will be held at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park, who has recently announced they will remain open until Christmas so there will be plenty of activities for children too including face and pottery painting.  Stall holders will include local artisan food producers and craft and gift products sourced from the Cotswold area.  There will also be music throughout the day and at 3pm a live nativity.
Adam Henson, Director of the Cotswold Farm Park said:…

Gin Scrummy

27 Nov 12 Move over mulled wine, Britain's got a thing for gin this Christmas and Martin Miller's has mixed up the ultimate party tipple based on the classic G&T.
Created by Oskar Kinberg, co-founder of Dabbous bar and restaurant (39 Whitfield Street, London W1) the Martin Miller's G&Tea is delicate, refreshing and best served long with lots of ice. 
Best of all, it's the perfect skinny cocktail, just 120 calories and, due to the agave syrup instead of sugar, it's low GI too. 
Available at Dabbous Bar (£8.50) or try making your own at home and impressing your guests with your mixology expertise.
50ml Martin Miller's gin 10ml Crème de peche (peach liqueur) 15ml Fresh lemon juice 10ml Agave syrup 75ml Lemon verbena
All ingredients are easy to source (lemon verbena can be found in good tea shops). Brew the lemon verbena as for tea and let it cool before mixing. Hot tea will melt the ice and water down the taste.
Method: 'Build'…

UK Goes Christmas Pudding Crazy - Four And A Quarter Xmas Puds Sold A Minute At Aldi

27 Nov 12     Over 250 Christmas Puddings sold an hour at Aldi stores nationwide in mid-November        Aldi introduces Christmas Pudding two weeks early due to popular demand          Over 52,000 puddings sold in just 17 days           43% increase year on year          South East buys four times more puds than Scotland
The nation clearly has a sweet tooth as the UK is going potty for pudding, with 255 Christmas Puddings being sold every hour at leading discounter Aldi, despite it only being November.
Aldi customers have been flying through the doors and down the aisles to pick up a pudding, with 52,776 being sold between 5th - 21st November 2012.
Due to demand and interest, Aldi has had to bring forward the on sale date of its Orange Topped Christmas Pudding (£7.99) by two weeks, proving that frenzied festive shopping is taking the UK by storm.
Puddings are proving particularly popular in the South East, with Aldi stores selling on average four times more Christmas puddings there …

'Tea Takes On The World' Masterclass At The UK's Only Tea Plantation

26 Nov 12 Tea guru and pioneer to the UK's first tea plantations, Jonathon Jones, will be hosting The Tea Masterclass at School House at the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall on the 29th November. The beautiful Wild Escape property will be transformed into a 'Tea School,' where we are inviting a limited amount of people to attend the day event to learn more about the world of tea.
10am start with an introduction on Britain's tea history and future, how and where the Camellia sinensis grows, and the manufacture of teas. There will then be a walk to the new plantation at the Himalayan Valley plus an exploration of the herbal tea gardens at Barn Close. Lunch will be a delicious Cornish feast of local delicacies including pasties and cream teas.
The afternoon session will focus on the story from bush to cup, the differences in loose leaf and tea bags, tea and health, perfect brewing, and why men need to 'man up' and drink more tea! The day will conclude with a foru…

Tootoomoo Restaurant Creates Modern Folklore For Londoners

26 Nov 12 A Pan Asian restaurant inspired by folklore tale of Tootoomoo and the shop houses of Asia launched on Friday 23rd November in Crouch End.
With Malaysian master chef Ricky Pang at its helm this exciting new concept in dining is a relaxed, colourful and joyful place to eat with an interior designed to create an authentic in store experience and a market place where customers can buy fresh ingredients to cook at home and also order dishes to take away.
And the folklore tale of Tootoomoo is brought to life by renowned street artist Milo Tchais who has been commissioned to design a mural depicting the tale of the little girl who tames the giant.
The team behind the restaurant are a dedicated group of foodies who love everything Pan Asia has to offer. They have come together with a goal to deliver fresh pan Asian food that is 100% natural, made to order, eat in, take home and affordable. The ingredients are the finest they can source and are fresh, healthy and honest, all cr…

St Ermin's Hotel Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea

26 Nov 12 With winter fast approaching and Jack Frost nipping at your nose, why not escape the bitter cold and treat yourself to ‘Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea’ at the St Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster.

To get in the seasonal spirit (whilst continuing to serve their hugely popular Classic Afternoon Tea), the hotel is delighted to announce this delicious new menu which includes such tasty snow-dusted treats as: mulled apple cider jelly with apple cream, Lebkuchen (a form of Austrian gingerbread), Pumpkin passion cupcakes, Brunsli (Swiss brownies), marshmallow snowballs, scones and a variety of seasonal sandwiches including turkey and cranberry, cheese and onion chutney, ham and pickle, and Smoked salmon and cream cheese.                                               Stepping in to the elegant entrance to find sparkling chandeliers, sophisticated winter décor and a warm and welcoming atmosphere- you are certain to be charmed by open fires, cosy surroundings and most importantly- Wint…

Britain's Best Bakery

26 Nov 12 Starting today (Monday 26th November) at 4pm on ITV1 (repeated at 5pm on ITV1+1) and continuing daily.
MICH TURNER MBE from LITTLE VENICE CAKE COMPANY will be appearing alongside Peter Sidwell.
Together they visit 36 of Britain's Best Bakeries, to taste the produce and understand the passion behind British baking at its best. Exploring the bakeries' role in the community and sampling the finest bakes in Britain.
Along the journey they set a number of challenges to ultimately crown BRITAIN'S BEST BAKERY

Your New Year's Resolution: A Healthier, Slimmer You With Easy Bean, The Original, Tastiest One-Pot Meals

26 Nov 12 Over the season of goodwill, mince pies and Christmas pud we each put on an average of half a stone, according to figures from the British Dietetic Association.*
One way of going into the New Year with a resolve for healthy eating when you don’t have time for home cooking is to include Easy Bean ready prepared meal pots in your food routine.
Easy Bean’s pots are not a diet food but they are wholesome, delicious and authentic. They are a low calorie boon to anyone focused on healthy eating as they are naturally low in fat and salt and high in fibre. Packed full of pulses and chunky veg, each 320g pot provides 2 to 3 of your five-a-day.
Christina Baskerville, MD of Easy Bean, says: “It’s so easy to over-indulge at Christmas - many of us do, with temptations galore at every party and meal. Some of the benefits of Easy Bean are that the meals help you eat well, fill you up and save you time so shedding a few unwanted pounds in January can be more straightforward than you thi…

New Bacon Launches With Double Award Success

27 Nov 12 A brand new Cornish bacon is launched this week having secured two food industry awards.
The ‘Cornish Sweetheart’ streaky bacon, developed by TheKernow Sausage Company, has picked up a British Pig Executive (BPEX) Silver Award and a Gold Great Taste Award before its official launch.
The unusual streaky bacon is marinated in molasses and chilli and cured for six weeks, a process which gives the bacon its distinctive colouring.
Gavin Roberts of The Kernow Sausage Company said: “We gave it the name Cornish Sweetheart on the grounds that it is very Cornish in its provenance and it has a sweet flavour.
“The bacon is made using traditional methods and it is the addition of the marinade that makes a big difference. It gives it a sweet edge and a really interesting depth of flavour. The combination of sweet and hot is a winner in my book.”
Described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world, the Great Taste Awards are organised by the Guild of Fine Food and are the acknowledged benchmark …

This year, it needn’t be an X(XL)-mas!

26 November 2012 Christmas may still be over a month away, but research conducted by the brand TOTAL Greek Yoghurt has shown us that many of us have already given up on our healthy eating plans to begin the Christmas binge fest, with most of us believing we have no hope in the battle of the bulge over the next few weeks. According to the new research released today, by the start of next week almost one in six people would have already given up trying to be careful about what they eat and instead will be welcoming a month’s worth of gorging, while almost half will be in full Christmas binge-mode by Mid-December. Around three quarters of those surveyed by TOTAL Greek Yoghurt are resigned to the fact they will put on weight over Christmas, with one in 12 people saying they saying they expect to gain half a stone at least over the next few weeks. Half of us think it will take us at least a month to lose our Christmas weight, while close to one in six of us think it will take us a c…

Vivien Lloyd's Award-Winning Chutney To Launch In Fortnum & Mason

26 Nov 12 Preserves expert Vivien Lloyd is proud to announce that her Apricot & Seville Orange Chutney recipe won the Chutney Challenge at Fortnum & Mason's recent Artisan Market. As part of the award, Vivien's delicious chutney will go on sale in the iconic British store this December.
Fortnum's expert team of grocery buyers judged the Chutney Challenge 2012 competition, looking for chutney made from fruits and/or vegetables of the season, which was balanced, homemade and had a touch of individuality.
On Vivien's winning entry, the judges said: "An interesting and aromatic chutney, Vivien's creation had clean fruit, coherent spicing, excellent use of stem ginger, and was awarded 9 ¼ out of 10 by our judges".
Vivien says: "I am honoured to be supplying Fortnum & Mason, purveyors of the world's finest food and wines, with a chutney made using traditional methods."
The recipe is an adaptation of the Apricot & Orange Chutn…

What ever happened to Beaujolais Nouveau?

I know it is a bit late to bring this up but what ever happened to Beaujolais Nouveau , the much awaited and talked about time of year. It would be the 3 Thursday in November and that would mean the Beaujolais Nouveau is going to be here. I remember seeing it on the television talked about in wine shops and on food programs. There was a Beaujolais Nouveau race to get the first bottle back into London. I rambler garish labelled bottles of wine that you would try and sell in a short space of time before you was lumbered with too many of what was normally , but not always rather hard to drink wine. In fact the annual hype was often undermined by what was normally a pale, very young, sappy, just-fermented red wine. If not drank would end up being used for cooking with.
Beaujolais had always made a vin de l'année to celebrate the end of the harvest, but it was for local consumption. Until  1951 when rules in  the region were relaxed and the Union Interprofessionnelle des Vins du Beau…

The Cake & Bake Show Heads To Manchester In April 2013

22 Nov 12
Due to the phenomenal reaction to the sell out launch show in London, the Cake & Bake Show, the UK's biggest experiential event dedicated to all things baking, is proud to announce that a second edition of the show will take place at Manchester Central over three days, 5th-7th April 2013.
The first Cake & Bake Show held at Earls Court last September sold out four weeks before the event, and attracted more than 21,000 visitors across two days, demonstrating that the public's demand for baking shows no sign of slowing down.
The baking trend is a nation-wide phenomenon which is why the Cake & Bake Show is coming to Manchester, offering even more baking fans around the country the chance to see their favourite baking stars, take part in expert-led classes and shop for an array of baking and cake decorating equipment and delicious artisan produce.
All the most popular star speakers from the London event - from Mary Berry to Tom Herbert to Claire Clark - will …

Christmas In A Box From Riverford

22 Nov 12
Whether you are in charge of the larder for your festive feast or looking for an exceptional gift for food-loving friends, Riverford offers everything you need for your Christmas dinner - all in one convenient family hamper.
New for 2012 the Riverford Complete Family Hamper provides all you need for your festive table to groan with goodies - from a free-range organic turkey, seasonal organic vegetables and characterful handmade cheeses to buttery mince pies and clotted cream.
Delivered direct to your door, you can avoid the hurly burly of Christmas shopping hassle while luxuriating in the knowledge that your feast not only tastes good but has been ethically produced.
What Riverford doesn't grow or produce on its farm at Newby Wiske is carefully sourced from small producers, growers and cooperatives who share Riverford's commitment to the highest animal welfare and the lowest environmental impact. Riverford has won the coveted RSPCA Good Business Awards, Observer Eth…

BBC Good Food Show Winter Opens At The NEC On 28 November

22 Nov 12
The BBC Good Food Show Winter will be coming to Birmingham next week and 400 exhibitors will be heading from all over the country to sample and sell their wares to thousands of food loving visitors. There will also be over 35 food and drink experts providing live demonstrations, bringing TV programmes to life and cooking off against each other on 8 different stages across the Show.
Highlights of the Show include:
Supertheatre, sponsored by Tesco Real Food This 2000 seat, purpose built theatre will feature some of the best chefs in the business, from James Martin to Pierre Koffmann and Gino D'Acampo to Glynn Purnell, Tom Kerridge and the Hairy Bikers.  The Supertheatre really is the place to see all of your food heroes under one roof.
See your favourite TV programmes come to life:
The Great British Bake Off Join Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood from the BAFTA award winning TV series The Great British Bake Off live in the Supertheatre on Saturday. A range of contestants and …

Add A Little Italian Sparkle To Christmas Parties

Newly launched for Christmas, Sprizzato is a delicious and versatile new aperitivo drink that's the ideal ingredient for festive cocktails and is the perfect alternative to Champagne this party season.
Traditional Italian bitters drinks date from Golden Era Italy, and the classic spritz is currently undergoing a huge revival of popularity across the UK as Brits embrace the European love of this pre-dinner drink, with a huge number of dedicated Aperitivo bars and restaurants opening across the capital. Created by a small and passionate Anglo-Italian team, Sprizzato is a bitter-sweet orange-infused libation, made to a traditional recipe and still distilled in the old-fashioned way with macerated oranges, botanicals and rhubarb using local ingredients from Padua. Sitting somewhere in between Campari and Aperol, less bitter than the former but slightly more so than the latter, Sprizzato is a boutique alternative to more these more standard offerings. A 'spritz' made with Spri…

Festive Food Swaps To Keep You In Shape This Christmas

The Christmas party season is known to be a time for excess and indulgence, especially when it comes to food. The passing trays of sausage rolls and vol-au-vents may look tempting, but don't forget there are tasty and healthier alternatives to nibble on, such as Spanish olives.
As well as providing rich fibre content, Spanish olives contain unsaturated fat in the form of monounsaturated oleic acid, which is much healthier than what is found in many snacks and fast foods. What's more, they provide you with essential minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and iodine, as well as important vitamins B, A and E.
Olives from Spain has teamed up with nutritionist Fiona Hunter to show how many calories can be saved by replacing popular party finger foods with a portion of Spanish olives. With each olive containing just over five calories and 0.3g fat, these simple food swaps could help fight the New Year bulge.
Party Snack Spanish Olive Equivalent* 1 small …

It's Christmas! Festive Macaron & Martini Masterclass

This Christmas why not do something different for your loved ones or work colleagues with OhLaLa Macarons and their new Festive Macaron & Martini Masterclass. Offering exclusive new recipes with a seasonal spin, think eggnog, spiced brandy butter, candy cane and silver snowflakes, this luxury Masterclass is the perfect way to keep you full of merry cheer!
Recently launched in the UK, the Ohlala Macaron and Martini Masterclass has taken residence in some of London's finest venues, bringing an element of fun and glamour to each intimate workshop.
The sessions offer participants the chance to create and take-away their very own macarons, whilst expert mixologists from the London bar scene will teach and assist with the mixing and shaking of martinis - a perfect combination of education and pleasure, all in the spirit of Christmas!
Held weekly, by world-class pâtissiers from the likes of Zuma and Grainger & Co., guests have the opportunity to sample and taste as they are take…

Celebrity Chefs Serve Up Festive Celebrations At Padstow's 5th Annual Christmas Festival

A selection of celebrity chefs are set to serve up a stunning start to the festive season at Padstow's star studded 5th annual Christmas Festival, starting on Friday 7th December and closing on Sunday 9th December 2012.
The Tanner Brothers and Jack Stein kick things off in style on Friday with a series of scrumptious food demonstrations and talks. On Saturday Phil Vickery of ITV's This Morning starts the day off at 10.30am followed by a fascinating food forum featuring Nathan Outlaw, Jack Stein, Carl Clarke and Mark Hix. At 2.15pm Angela Hartnett, Gaynor Coley and Polly Dent step up to the stage, followed at 4.30pm by a master class demonstration with Rick Stein and Paul Harwood. Sunday sees a further series of demonstrations, closing at 4.15pm with rising star Nathan Outlaw.
Where to stay Visitor's looking for a place to stay nearby can enjoy 10 per cent off short breaks with Blue Chip Holidays and up to 20 per cent off seven night breaks.
Lower Trevorgus House, an impres…