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Premier Inn gains MSC certification
Premier Inn has become the world’s largest Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified national hotel chain, with a total of 635 locations now serving fish with the blue MSC label.
The new MSC blue tick will feature on menus across all Premier Inn restaurant brands including Beefeater, Brewer’s Fayre and Table Table. The move by owners Whitbread PLC “significantly widens the availability of sustainable fish dishes for UK diners”, according to the MSC.
As result of this decision, it is expected that an extra three million certified sustainable portions of fish and chips will be served across the UK. Certified sustainable species appearing on menus will include prawns, pollock, haddock, whiting and cod in dishes such as fish and chips and prawn cocktail.
James Pitcher, Director of Sustainability for Whitbread, said: “It is becoming ever more important for the hospitality industry to operate a sustainable, traceable supply chain and it is something we have been focusing on for a while now. Our customers expect us to do the right thing, so we are immensely proud to have achieved MSC certification for our restaurant brands.
“Whitbread is committed to sourcing products responsibly and we hope this will be a landmark step in helping set standards across the industry. The MSC’s certification and eco labelling program enables everybody to play a part in securing a healthy future for our oceans.”
George Clark, MSC UK Commercial Manager, comments: “It’s great news that UK diners have more sustainable choices when eating out. Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, and all our other certified restaurants are doing a great job of making eating out more sustainable. Casual lunches, fish and chip suppers, slap-up dinners and even room service; all of these can now include MSC-certified fish. Looking for the MSC ‘blue tick’ ecolabel on menus will ensure your fish has been sustainably caught and help protect our oceans for the future.”
Menus with MSC labelling can now be found in a range of outlets including McDonalds, Wahaca, Ikea, Hilton and over 80 fish and chip shops.
Lympstone Manor now open
Michael Caines’ new luxury hotel in Devon officially opened its doors on April 3rd. After a two-year renovation, the Georgian Grade II-listed country house hotel has 21 bedrooms and suites for guests and is situated in 28 acres of grounds.
Overlooking the Exe Estuary, the hotel also features a wine cellar with over 600 bins and a fine dining restaurant overseen by Caines, who achieved two Michelin stars and has held them for 18 years. There are plans to plant a vineyard on hotel grounds and the appreciation of wine is said to be central to the experience of staying at the hotel.
“The opening of Lympstone Manor is the realisation of a dream,” he said. “Everything that I have achieved in my long career has brought me to this point where I can fully express my vision of contemporary country house hospitality for the 21st century. I can’t wait to welcome old and new friends to my new home!”
New café opens for Easter on Sharpham Estate
Opening on Good Friday, the 14th April, the Vineyard Kitchen is a new alfresco café overlooking the River Dart. Located on the Sharpham Estate in South Devon, Chef Chris Sherville will use local meat, fish and shellfish as well as the award-winning wine and cheese produced on the 500-acre, 1,000-year-old farm owned by the Sharpham Trust.
Sherville previously ran a restaurant in Bath and the pop-up restaurants at the Port Eliot Festival at St Germans in Cornwall, following retraining as a chef at the age of 35 at Leith’s Cookery School. Most recently he has been working with Michelin star chef John Burton Race as Two Grumpy Chefs, providing bespoke private catering.
“It’s very simple to me,” he says. “I only cook what I enjoy cooking and I put my heart and soul into it. These are dishes I love eating and I hope other people will love eating them too.”
Dartmoor Brewery gets SALSA quality award
Craft ale producer Dartmoor Brewery received the SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) accreditation for the quality of its production processes.
The award for the brewing industry was developed in conjunction with the Cask Marque scheme which recognises excellence in the service of craft ale.
Richard Smith, Managing Director at Dartmoor Brewery, commented: “As we continue to grow our business at Dartmoor Brewery, it is vital that we further develop our professional and robust processes and systems, whilst also maintaining the essential character of our craft ales. The SALSA accreditation reinforces our message about quality and consistency in craft ale production, and will enable us to distribute our excellent ales to the many trade buyers who now insist on this standard.”
Somerset ice cream producer expanding to meet demand
Granny Gothards Ice Creams and Sorbets have doubled the size of their production facilities and taken on staff to meet their new contracts with Morrisons, Southern Co-op and Searcys.
As part of the Morrison’s initiative to work with local producers, they are in 11 stores in the South West. They are also increasing the number of Southern Co-ops they supply including stores in Pill, Bristol and Burnham on Sea.
The artisan ice cream maker has recently been chosen by Searcys to supply their ice cream and sorbet. They have made their first delivery to Blenheim Palace and have launched a new Blenheim Palace Honey Ice Cream using fresh honey from the Blenheim bee hives.
Founder Amanda Stansfield said: “Although we are growing in production, we will never alter the way we make the ice cream and sorbets, they will always be handmade with care and love, we will just have more people making them!”
For more details go to www.grannygothards.co.uk
Beach Retreats open Bude office as demand grows
Self-catering holiday letting agency Beach Retreats has opened a new office in Bude in response to a growing demand in bookings that has seen it expand its property portfolio by 66%.
The office will be located in Bude Business Centre and managed by newly appointed area manager Stacey Philips. It will enable further growth for the company’s full-service property management in Bude, Widemouth Bay and surrounding areas.
Andrew Easton, Beach Retreats’ business manager says: “ It’s great to see the demand for holidays in Cornwall continuing to grow and encouraging that our customers are seeking to discover more of the Cornish coastline.
The opening of our Bude office means we’ll now be able to offer full property management and localised cleaning and laundry services in north Cornwall. We’re excited to see our expansion support local property owners, contribute towards the local economy and help to profile interest in the area.”
St Austell rebrands historic wine division
St Austell Brewery’s dedicated wine division has been rebranded as St Austell Wines. Previously known as Walter Hicks Wines, it’s one of the oldest wine specialists in the South West, founded in 1851 by the eponymous wine merchant and maltster.
The new look can be seen in the St Austell Wines 2017 wine brochure which showcases more than 750 wines in the new collection.
James Staughton, Chief Executive, St Austell Brewery and the great-great-grandson of founder Walter Hicks, said: “Wine has always been at the heart of everything we do. We’re very proud of our roots and the new name and branding demonstrate the importance of the business as a key part of the St Austell Brewery family.
“We believe Walter’s entrepreneurialism, heritage and the independence of the company are true assets, which come together to form a story that we want to shout about. After extensive research and insight, the launch of St Austell Wines boldly celebrates our past and demonstrates our commitment to the future. As a former wine buyer, I’m delighted with the 2017 wine guide and its new look; I’m certain it will excite and inspire each and every customer.”
New brand for guest experience company
Guest experience management experts HospitalityGEM have rebranded as HGEM. Both the client-facing HospitalityGEM division of the business and guest-facing The Mystery Dining Company will both now function under the umbrella HGEM brand.
The rebrand coincides with the appointment of Amy Dignon as client success manager. The new role will “ lead clients in best practice across all aspects of the guest experience, helping operators to explore ideas to improve the customer journey at a more strategic level.”
Steven Pike, managing director of HGEM said: “The management of the guest experience is a core function in any hospitality business. The combination of industry experience and growing technical capability makes HGEM uniquely positioned to shape the landscape for how businesses not only measure the guest experience but take actions to improve it.
The rebrand is more than a refreshing new look – it’s a statement of intent for how we intend to empower businesses and individuals in creating amazing hospitality experiences. We recognise the value of being an extension of our clients’ teams in order to achieve this, and Amy’s experience is perfectly suited to help them go from strength to strength in creating a premium guest experience”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Lucy’s unveils new dressings
Lucy’s Dressings, based in London, has launched four new products. These include a new line of low sugar dressings which have less than 0.3g of sugar per serving and come in three varieties: Ginger Sesame, Raspberry and French.
Lucy’s have also added a sixth product to their Deli Range – Lucy’s Classic House Vinaigrette. This is “perfectly balanced, with a light lemony flavour, it’s delicious on all kinds of salads and vegetables.”.
For more details go to lucysdressings.co.uk.
Entry level meat slicer from FEM
The Sirman Smart 250 slicer is an “affordable, entry-level slicer ideal for cafés, small restaurants and delis” according to distributor Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM).
Made from anodised aluminium, with a built-in sharpener and heavy-duty motor, the 250 offers an adjustable thickness of slicing. List price is £540. Visit www.fem.co.uk for more details.
Hotel du Vin Cheltenham gets new GM
Chris Thompson will oversee the day-to-day running of the hotel. He joins from sister brand Malmaison, where he was deputy general manager of Malmasion Leeds.
Nick Halliday, chief operations officer, Hotel du Vin said: “We’re delighted to welcome Chris to the brand. He’s done some excellent work at Malmaison and we believe he’ll be a real asset to both the hotel and the brand. I look forward to working with him.”
Chef Demonstrations at The Food & Drink Trade Show (3rd – 4th May)
See live demonstrations in the show’s demo kitchen. Find inspiration and ideas to differentiate yourselves from your competitors, and profit as a result!
Taking place on the Love Food Roadshow‘s demonstration kitchen, come along and see talented chefs demonstrate dishes to delight your senses. Hosted by Celebrity Chef Felice Tocchini, the kitchen will feature a range of exciting and informative cookery demonstrations.
The owner of Feli’s Bar & Restaurant (formerly Fusion Brasserie), Felice has been in catering since the age of six. His parents took on a village bar and it was Felice’s job to make coffee, which he loved.
Moving from his home nation of Italy – where he had trained at the prestigious Ferdinando Martini Catering College – to the UK in the 1980s, Felice’s first position was as Commis chef at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre restaurants in Stratford-upon-Avon. Felice quickly graduated from commis chef to head chef and chef manager for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s restaurants and hotels.
Felice is a passionate chef with a passion for locally sourced, seasonal produce. His television appearances have included cooking demonstrations and topic-based discussions as a celebrity chef on a range of series from Countryfile to The One Show. He is a contributor to both the esteemed Novelli’s Academy and Eckington Manor Cookery School.
Andy Link is Chef Patron at the acclaimed Riverside Pub at Aymestry. He has been dishing up delicious food at this North Herefordshire pub for 10 years. Good food is at the heart of the popular 16th-century coaching inn, and guests can look forward to enjoying freshly picked produce from Mr Link’s kitchen garden, meat from local farms, and fish from nearby rivers. The two-acre working kitchen garden is managed, planted and harvested by his team of chefs, bringing a true seed to plate ethos back to the restaurant. Andy’s aim over the coming years is to push this further, limiting the whole menu to food grown or sourced only within the local catchment, using the restaurant as a hub to promote the region’s producers.
The Riverside Pub were finalists in the ‘Best Eating Out’ category at the Visit Herefordshire Awards for Excellence 2016.
Matt started in the restaurant trade at the Scrumpy House in Much Marcle in 2000. “We were always about local, even back then and we won one of the first flavours of Herefordshire awards. It was always about around-the-corner produce!”, he said.
Matt and his wife, Annalisa bought the Crown Inn at Woolhope in 2007 and have tried to create a pub that serves the community and also brings visitors from afar. They recently won the ‘Best Cider Pub’ in the Great British Pub awards and have been recognised for their Sunday lunches in the Best British Roast Dinner Awards.
Matt also makes cider commercially and helps other cider makers too. He has worked as Westons Cider’s ‘Stowford Pressman’ touring the UK with the England Cricket team for 3 seasons! Matt has a regular Saturday morning cooking slot with Andrew Easton on BBC Hereford and Worcester at 7.45am.
The Slo Life Kitchen is Matt’s latest venture. He runs private cooking classes from his cottage near Woolhope. He provides help with cooking skills for the modern world and encourages you to take time for quality.
Yvette Farrell, Principal of Harts Barn Cookery School, will be doing a demo from her signature ‘Taste of Forest’ Menu – Forest Mushroom Ravioli, Griddled Wild Boar with Wilted Buttered Garlic Greens.
Yvette is passionate about the Forest, local produce and nature’s own larder – she is a trained horticulturist and has elevated the Cookery School to winning Forest Business of the Year 2016 and was named Forest of Dean Business Person of the Year in 2015.
The Cookery School prides itself on offering ‘Cooking For All’. It is based in the beautiful Forest of Dean on an awe-inspiring site dating back to 1068. The focus is to offer classes that are accessible, affordable, give confidence and are lots of fun. The school opens its doors to first-time cooks, children, local businesses wanting a corporate occasion or cooks wanting to improve their skills or learn something completely new.
Yvette also offers a Hire a Chef service for private and event catering, regular supper clubs, kids and adult parties, venue hire and holiday activities for kids.
For more information about the show, to book a stand, or register to attend, please call 01934 733433, visit www.thefoodanddrinktradeshow.co.uk, or follow @lovefinefood.
Big Bournemouth Beer Festival
14th – 16th April
Bournemouth International Centre
“There’s something for everyone at this year’s festival with a huge range of traditional real ales complemented by a range of novelty and seasonal beers, plus the ever popular cider and perry bar and a wine bar.”
The Farm Shop & Deli Show
“Experience the best quality local and regional produce from more than 450 outstanding suppliers over three days. Farm Shop & Deli Show will be packed with new launches, fresh industry insights and trendsetting food and drink.”
Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival
28th – 29th April
Powderham Castle, Devon
“A garden party like no other! Celebrate the wealth of independent growers and makers with our new ‘Devon Made’ expo. Visit the ‘Chill & Grill Yurt’ and the ‘Devon Bar’ run by Powderkeg Beer, prize-winning Woodbury and Devon brewery. This bar will sell only those drinks brewed, distilled and made within Devon county borders. So lots of beer and cider of course, but also Devon Dappa and Gin and Salcombe Gin.”
Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink
29th April – 1st May
Exeter Castle Courtyard & Northernhay Gardens
“An established favourite for all foodies, the festival attracts an international audience with visitors attending from far and wide to buy delicious goodies, watch top chefs in the live Festival Cookery Theatre and get involved in workshops and demonstrations.”
2017 Dorset Food & Venison Festival
Post Green, Lytchett Minster, Poole BH16 6AP
“Celebrating the best of Dorset’s produce!”
Coeliac UK: Bournemouth & Poole Group – Food Fair 2017
Parkstone Grammar School, Poole, Dorset
“A great opportunity to try and buy a wide range of ‘Free From’ foods. Talk to local dieticians and representatives from Coeliac UK.”
For further details, please contact David Dorrell on Bournemouth@coeliac.org.uk
The Food & Drink Trade Show
3rd – 4th May
Three Counties Showground, Malvern
“A unique blend of inspirational speciality food & drink products, from a wide range of exhibitors; from the small and regional, to those who trade throughout the UK and internationally.”
Gin Festival Bournemouth 2017
5th – 7th May
Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre
“We’ll be serving up over 100 different gins (including many new and exclusive gins) plus, new brands, cocktails and masterclasses from industry experts!”
The Devon County Show
18th – 20th May
“The best of food, farming and entertainment. The Food & Drink Pavilion will be even bigger – and top chef Michael Caines will be cooking up some incredible dishes in our cookery demonstration theatre.”
Taste of the South
19th – 21st May
Poole Park, Dorset
“Taste of the South is a brand new festival in association with Poole Maritime Festival. A celebration of all things local from the South of England, it will include food, drink, produce, art, culture and entertainment. There will be exhibitions, tastings, samplings and demonstrations, to give visitors a taste of the South.”
Please contact email@example.com to enquire about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities.
Tourism Management Institute Hot Topic 2017
Sheffield Hallam University
“The focus this year will be on Innovation in Rural Tourism – local food and drink, specialist events and characterful stays, with experts from the public and private sector sharing best practice.”
The London Wine Fair
22nd – 24th May
“The London Wine Fair is the largest event of its kind in the UK drinks industry, and one of the world’s leading wine trade events. 15,000 wine professionals will journey to London to be immersed in the world of wine, to sample across the continents and take part in the many tastings and masterclasses.”
Caffé Culture Show 2017
23rd – 24th May
“The nation’s leading gathering place for the café and coffee community, continuing to bring together all those who have a passion for pushing the industry forward.”
2nd – 4th June
City Centre Piazza, Plymouth
“The South West’s largest food and drink festival will see the Piazza transformed, with stalls brimming with local delicacies, live music and a marquee bar. With more than 100 traders showcasing the best regional produce – as well as cookery demonstrations from talented local and celebrity chefs – organisers are hoping to yet again attract more than 100,000 food lovers.”
6th – 7th June
“Commercial Kitchen is the definitive event for equipment buyers, specifiers and decision makers from across all sectors of the foodservice industry who are looking for the best equipment, services and accessories for their kitchen.”
Royal Cornwall Show
8th – 10th June
Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
“The county’s biggest annual event and is brim-full of exhibits and activities which offer so much in the way of entertainment, competition, information, shopping and all that’s best in food and farming.”
Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival 2017
16th – 25th June
The Square, Bournemouth
“The Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival is 10 whole days of delight for foodies. Enjoy good food, amazing cooking skills and fabulous entertainment!” Includes: Street Food Festival, Farmers & Producers Market and Demo Kitchens.
Bournemouth Vegan Fair
17th – 18th June
Bournemouth International Centre
“A weekend of indulgence, inspiration and information – with over 90 diverse stalls full of tempting treats, a wide range of talks, and plenty of delicious food.”
Bournemouth Business Expo 2017
22nd June, 10am-4pm
Bournemouth International Centre
“Bournemouth’s largest business show for all businesses who are looking to grow and prosper. Keynote speakers, seminars, speed networking and over 70 exhibitors!”