What with this being British summer time, we can’t promise the sun will rise and shine in a clear blue sky today but we can guarantee to give you all the news you need to know in the hospitality trade this week.
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Enjoy your Rise & Shine!
The South West Dominates Top 50 “Best Food in the World” List
The south and south west proved what a delicious region it is with a star-filled showing in this year’s Great Taste Awards.
Out of the 10,000 products to be judged in this coveted blind tasted food awards, 3,539 were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and of those, 346 are based in the south west.
These included 11 entries in their Top 50 Foods, described “quite simply [as] the best fifty foods in the world”, by organisers the Guild of Fine Food.
Three star, top 50 winners included; The Cornish Duck Company’s Free Range Whole Cornish Duck with its “sweet, nutty and buttery flavour”, a “lush”, “silky smooth” and “utterly delicious” Organic Double cream from Jess’s Ladies Organic Farm Milk in Gloucestershire and Cotswold-based Martin’s Meats’ Gloucester Old Spot Gammon Steak , which won judges over with its “super depth of delicious porkiness”.
Also making the Top 50 from the south west were Waddling Free Free-Range Duck Eggs from The Traditional Free Range Egg Co in Somerset, The General Cider from Sandford Orchards in Devon, Gloucester’s Bramley & Gage had two products – their 6 ‘O’clock Gin and Sweet Vermouth and Wiltshire’s Tracklement’s Tewkesbury Hot Mustard made the top table of artisan food and drink.
Other three star winners from our regions included Marshfield Ice Cream’s Vanilla Clotted Cream Ice Cream (Gloucestershire), Moonroast Coffee’s Moonroast Ethiopia (Hampshire) and Manna Kitchen’s Lemon Tart (Dorset).
The Great Taste Awards are judged by over 500 blind tasters. The panel of judges this year included; TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants. Together they re-judged the 3-star winners to agree on the Top 50 Foods, plus the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste Supreme Champion for 2016, which will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner at The Royal Garden Hotel in London on Monday 5 September. Waste was kept to a minimum during the judging process with unused products being donated to local food banks and hampers made up for local businesses to raffle in aid of local charities.
Details of this year’s winners can be found at www.greattasteawards.co.uk and a select range of products will also be made available via Taste Distribution which has been established exclusively to distribute Great Taste award-winning products to independent retailers.
Ginsters Get Big Football League Deal
Cornish pasty producers Ginsters have signed a three year deal with the English Football League (EFL) to become an official partner.
Announced on the 5th August, the partnership gives Ginsters the exclusive rights to supply pasties, slices and sausages rolls to the EFL on a national level.
The deal will launch on September 10th with Ginsters’ biggest ever on-pack promotion as they give away £3 million worth of prizes, supported by social media and outdoor advertising. The campaign, called “Tickets & Tenners”, will feature prizes of cash, EFL tickets, season tickets and VIP match day experiences.
“The Ginsters EFL partnership, on-pack activity and support above the line sees Ginsters significantly ramp up the promotion of its core savoury lines. We know that Ginsters consumers are huge football fans, which is why we are committing to our most comprehensive support for the game and the brand to date” said Ginsters managing director, Kieran Hemsworth.
“As a nationally recognised brand that remains ingrained in its local community, values its heritage and recognises the important role football can play in society, Ginsters in an excellent fit as a partner for the EFL,” commented Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the EFL.
Blackacre Farm Eggs Rebrands
Somerset free range egg producer, Blackacre Farm Eggs, has rebranded to become The Traditional Free Range Egg Company. Owners Dan and Briony Wood have made this change as they feel “that it better represents their commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for small independent family-run farms, using the traditional flat deck production method.”
The name change comes after the “No Multi-Tier Here” educational campaign they ran earlier in the year which highlighted the difference they see between the traditional roots of free range egg production and the increasing use of huge multi-tier sheds.
The new brand will be rolled out across the entire product range, but the Wood family is keen to stress that nothing else about its award-winning Free Collection will be changing.
Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains; “It feels like a big step to change our name after 36 years, but with the industry changing at a rapid rate we felt that the time was right to draw a line in the sand and show our support for traditional family-run farms before they are lost forever. We were overwhelmed with the support we had from the public when we launched our No Multi-Tier Here campaign, but some in the industry claimed that we were looking to entirely condemn free range egg production within multi-tier sheds. This just wasn’t the case and it’s time to set the record straight. Quite simply, we believe that farmers who go above and beyond to produce exceptional quality eggs have every right to differentiate their products from those that are mass produced, just as artisan cheesemakers producing traditional cloth-bound cheddar are able to set themselves apart from their supermarket rivals. The knowledge and experience of these farmers is second to none, something we think is too special to lose, so The Traditional Free Range Egg Company is absolutely committed to helping them survive and ultimately thrive.”
The AA to Rate Serviced Stays
The AA has launched an accreditation scheme for serviced accommodation. Reflecting the growth of the sector that takes in extended stay properties and aparthotels, the AA will rate businesses that join from three to five stars. The assessment will be different from other properties that the AA rate including hotels, restaurants, self-catering accommodation, guest accommodation, and caravan and campsites.
Alistair Sandall, commercial manager at AA Hotel & Hospitality Services, said: “We have seen the growth in the market in recent years and both the industry and the guest now see a real need for quality accreditation for the market to mature and grow. This new scheme has been developed through our many years of experience and expertise and compliments our suite of quality accreditation and consultancy products and services.”
The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) chief executive, James Foice welcomed the scheme: “The ASAP’s quality accreditation programme is now well established both in the UK and also increasingly across the world. The AA’s serviced accommodation standard is an excellent opportunity to promote the many benefits of serviced apartments to a new audience”.
Corona Pop Up at Bournemouth Sky Bar
Mexico is coming to Bournemouth with the Corona Summer Terrace pop-up at LEVEL8IGHT The Sky Bar at the Hilton Bournemouth.
The terrace will be on the top floor bar, the highest in the south west which features indoor and outdoor seating and a view across the coastline. Visitors will be able to get buckets of Corona bottles or opt for a cocktails laced with the iconic Mexican beer.
It’s open until September.
Salutations to Shortlisted Devon Pub
The Salutation Inn located in Topsham, Devon has been shortlisted in the category Bed & Breakfast of the Year in the Food and Travel Magazine Reader Awards for 2016.
Opened in November 2012 by the Williams-Hawkes family, the Salutation Inn offers a choice of three tasting menus created from the best local, regional and seasonal produce. Last October the restaurant scooped two awards in the South West Chef of the Year, championed by Michael Caines MBE, for sous chef James Mason with South West Young Professional Chef of the Year and commis chef, Jack Sharland who won Student/Apprentice Chef of the Year.
Chef patron Tom Williams-Hawkes said: ‘As you can imagine we are very excited. This is not only great for us but also for Exeter, especially when you look at the other cities in the category. As an independent small family business being shortlisted in such a prestigious international awards scheme is really significant.’
Derek Phillips, Honorary Secretary of the Devon Hotels & Restaurants Association, of which the Salutation is a member, said: ‘It is fantastic to see this recognition for The Salutation Inn as well as the city as a whole. As a top destination for visitors, and sought after city to live and work in, Exeter is firmly on the map as a successful and thriving city.’
Food & DRINK NEWS
New Bath Brewery is Well Read
A new literary-themed ‘pico-brewery’ (that’s smaller than a micro or nano brewery) has started up in Bath and already has its beer being trialled in the 5-star Royal Crescent Hotel. The Albion Beer Company, owned by local entrepreneur Harry Speller, has launched with two types of beer – “Paradise Lost”, a strong amber ale and “The Tempest”, a rye beer with the addition of juniper. Drawing inspiration from its location in the Poet’s Corner area of the city which has streets named after John Milton and William Shakespeare among other authors, both beers will feature quotes from the works they are named after. Harry Speller said: “Our plan is to slowly expand within the local area, for me a big drive is to have fun in the making and selling of our beer. It’s been great meeting local businesses and people, getting feedback and seeing how our beers are received. The long term goal would be to expand and build a bigger brewery eventually ideally in the Bath area.”
A new seasonal ale is due to be launched at the end of the summer.
Seaweed from Jurassic Coast in Shops Now
A new business has started harvesting and selling seaweed from the East Devon coast. Ebb Tides, owned by Tony Coulson dries the sustainably foraged seaweeds and packages them for use as an ingredient and ground as a seasoning. Located in Sidmouth, Ebb Tides enlisted the help of award winning chef Noel Corston to help with blending the different varieties of seaweed.
The company recently obtained a grant from Invest Devon (part of Devon County Council) to help pay to promote their products at the BBC Good Food & Drink Show in November. Each year ten Devon Businesses are invited to secure a grant from Invest Devon with the purpose of promoting Devon based products outside of the county.
The products are available online at www.ebbtides.co.uk, at shows and in the Dartington Food Shop, Totnes.
NEW EQUIPMENT & INNOVATION
Extra Large Capacity Washing Machine Launches
The Cater-Wash CK8514 can handle 14kg of dirty washing in one almighty load. This makes it ideal for B&Bs, small hotels, pubs and restaurants, according to sellers Cater-Kwik. As well as a big capacity, it allows you to add garments mid-cycle, has vibration control for quiet operation, customisable cycles, a temperature range that goes up to 75°C, A++ energy rating and a 1200 rpm spin speed. It’s priced at £649.99 with a two year warranty. Get more details from www.caterwash.com.
Mini Cocktails get Shorty Glasses
The trend for mini cocktails now has a range of smaller glasses. New from Artis is ‘Shorty’ – a range of three margarita, martini and rocks glasses featuring a stubby stem. Each glass holds 14cl, making these perfect for tasting, sampling and tapas-style casual dining.
Says Artis customer, Elliott Ball, co-founder The Cocktail Trading Co., London: “Shorty is the glassware range the industry has been dying for – glasses built specifically to accommodate the tapas-style approach.”
For more information on the Shorty range go to www.artis-uk.com
New website for The Bath Priory run by Clockwork
Brownsword Collection Hotel The Bath Priory has a new website that is said by its designers, Clockwork Marketing, to boost conversion.
The new bespoke website features “aspirational photography, alongside prominent call-to-actions” and, according to Clockwork, has an easy-to-use content management system.
Group Digital Marketing Manager, Ben Parkinson, says: “Clockwork have been fantastic at tailoring the Content Management System to match our needs which actually evolved with the project beyond the initial brief. Their experience with hotel website design and build really helped with understanding the many different commercial facets of the properties along with booking engine integration.”
CAMRA Great British Beer Festival
9th – 13th August
The home to over 900 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
20th – 21st August
Sandown, Isle of Wight
A vast array of eats, treats, sights and sounds to suit all tastes and ages. There are huge garlic and food marquees, along with cooking demonstrations from top Island chefs in the all-new theatre kitchen.
The Cheese & Chilli Festival
20th – 21st August
North Walls, Winchester, Hampshire
Cheese and chillies from around the world, along with a beer festival from local microbrewery, Downton Brewery.
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Festival + Beer, Cider & Perry Festival
20th -21st Aug
The Wharf House, Over, Gloucester
Local beers, ciders, perry and tapas will all be on offer at The Wharf House’s annual event – with live music set to entertain festival-goers this year.
Great British Food Festival
20th – 21st August
Bowood House, Calne, Wiltshire
Over 80 top local producers offering a variety of stunning food to sample and a selection of real ale and wine bars. Top chef demos from Great British Bake Off finalists Howard Middleton and Luis Troyano and MasterChef’s Luke Owen.
Mid-Somerset Agricultural Show
Cannard’s Grave, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
One of the highest profile and most respected agricultural shows in the south west. Includes the South West Cheese awards, the Somerset Cider Championships and Honey Show.
Melplash Agricultural Show
West Bay Show Ground, Bridport, Dorset
The south west’s premier agricultural exhibition packed full of exhibits including livestock, horses, homecrafts and horticulture. There are over 350 trade stands selling everything from locally produced food to tractors.
The Big Feastival
26th – 28th August
Alex James’ Farm, The Cotswolds
Jamie Oliver and Alex James present The Big Feastival, a unique weekend celebration of music, food and fun for all the family.
Avocado Time Machine Turns Brown Around
The Avocado Time Machine does not harness the hipster super food’s healthy power to let you travel back through time to before avocado on toast became a thing. But it does set out to stop them turning brown. Which given the times we’ve fiddled with lemon juice and clingfilm only to be rewarded with brown mush is nearly as impressive. Developed by Australian company Naturo, they claim it will stop browning of cut or pulped avocado fruit for a minimum of 10 days when refrigerated. It does this with a natural process that switches off the enzyme responsible for the fruit’s browning using steam generated pressure fluctuations.
The Navato Zero can process 4000 avocados an hour for products like guacamole that use mashed or pre-sliced fruit. All with no artificial additives or preservatives.
“By understanding the avocado’s lifecycle and the complex correlation of enzymes involved in the browning process, we have made it possible for the world to enjoy 100% natural, ready-to-eat avocado slices, dices, chunks or pulped products while retaining the flavour and fresh taste of avocado, without browning,” said Jeff Hastings, director of Naturo.
Sadly for avo addicts, it’s only available for industrial scale production at the moment so don’t abandon your cling film and lemon juice quite yet.