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ISSUE 154

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FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING TODAY

ISSUE 154

ALSO INSIDE: Collins Seafood Tibbatt’s Abel The Brookwood Partnership The Raby Hunt

FEAST MAGAZINE

THE EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER Ponti’s Group

Paul Ainsworth at Number 6

Simple Simon Design

Raising the standards

Six of the best

Simply the best in design


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Editor’s comment tracking our

EDITOR: Daniel Stephens CONTRIBUTORS: Jeff Senior Rob Samuels Matt Waring ART EDITOR: Steve Williams

food sources ransparency is something McDonald’s has tried to bring into its brand in recent years,

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particularly in the aftermath of the film documentary Super Size Me. Following criticism of the company’s impact on health through the craze of cheap, affordable fast food, McDonald’s hit back with new menus, clear dietary information on packaging, industry-leading sustainability practices, as well as an overhaul of the brand image and

DESIGNER: Kate Webber

complete re-imaging of its outlets.

FEATURE MANAGERS: Nikki Mcmath Peter Syddall

on the supply chain behind the Big Mac. Named the “Quality Scouts” initiative, volunteers from the

PRODUCTION: Vicki Lindsay Lisa Pollinger ADMINISTRATION: Charlotte Lewis

Now McDonald’s is inviting members of the public to go behind the scenes to evaluate and report

public will visit different parts of the fast food restaurant’s supply chain, from farms to factories to find out how its products are made. The initiative is led by former England rugby union international and Celebrity Masterchef winner Phil Vickery who will oversee the production of supply chain reports. These will be published on the McDonald’s website. Vickery, who will lead the recruitment of the scouts, said: “As the son of a dairy farmer I’ve always been very aware of where the food I eat has come from, so I’m excited to be leading the McDonald’s

ACCOUNTS MANAGER: Nick Charalambous

quality scouts on their mission to discover more about some of Britain’s best loved products.”

Feast is published by: Contract Publishing Ltd 3 Brook Street Huddersfield HD1 1EB Tel: +44 (0)1484 411 400 E-mail: info@feastmagazine.co.uk

and practical response to growing consumer interest around the provenance and processes involved in

Warren Anderson, vice president of supply chain at McDonald’s UK, believes it forms an important producing food products. “Every day people ask us questions about our food and our ingredients, so we’re inviting members of the public to see for themselves what’s in some of our most popular products and follow the journey from farm to restaurant. “We’re looking forward to giving the quality scouts unique access behind the scenes, letting them uncover the facts and sharing their reports.”

Contract Publishing (Huddersfield) Ltd Feast magazine is published by Contract Publishing (Huddersfield) Ltd. Company registered in England & Wales. All material is the copyright of CPL (Huddersfield) Ltd. All rights reserved. Feast magazine is the property of Contract Publishing (Huddersfield) Ltd. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form whole or part without the written permission of a director of Contract Publishing (Huddersfield) Ltd. Liability: while every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press.

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A recent poll of 2,000 consumers by Populus found knowing where ingredients came from is important for eighty-one percent of people. The study also found understanding how the food is produced is important to fifty-three percent.

Daniel Stephens Editor

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Contents Features ISSUE 154

CORPORATE HOSPITALITY 8

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY Add some culture to your event

10 ROYAL EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO A night to remember

HOSPITALITY 12 CHRISTCHURCH HARBOUR HOTEL A room with a view

32 COLLINS SEAFOOD Passionate about seafood

20 BRASSERIE BLANC Man on a mission

SCHOOL CATERING 36 LACA One voice, one vision 38 THE BROOKWOOD PARTNERSHIP Unbeatable food standards 46 ARAMARK Food service solutions

INTERIOR DESIGN FINE DINING 14 THE RABY HUNT Inspired by simplicity 16 PAUL AINSWORTH AT NUMBER 6 Six of the best 18 THE FEATHERED NEST Welcoming atmosphere

RAYMOND BLANC 20 BRASSERIE BLANC Man on a mission

50 TIBBATTS ABEL Outstanding interior design 52 SIMPLE SIMON DESIGN Simply the best design 56 DAMSON Top-notch kitchen

BAKERS AND CONFECTIONARIES 60 NEVIS BAKERY The peak of Highland baking

FOOD PROCESSORS RESTAURANT CHAIN 24 PONTI’S GROUP A taste of Italy

62 BECKETTS FARM Fresh off the farm

CATERING SUPPLIERS SEAFOOD 30 REGAL FISH SUPPLIES LTD The nation’s fishmongers

64 YATE SUPPLIES One stop shop

56 DAMSON Top-notch kitchen

62 BECKETTS FARM Fresh off the farm

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contents:feature 2 13/05/2013 15:31 Page 3

Regulars UPDATE 4

THIS MONTH’S TOP STORIES

PRODUCT PLACEMENT 28 SOME MUST HAVE GADGETS

SHOWCASE 66 SHOWCASE YOUR BUSINESS

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT... 68 ...BREAD

Sections 8 CORPORATE HOSPITALITY 12 HOSPITALITY 14 FINING DINING

38 THE BROOKWOOD PARTNERSHIP Unbeatable food standards

20 RAYMOND BLANC 24 RESTAURANT CHAIN 30 SEAFOOD 36 SCHOOL CATERING 58 INTERIOR DESIGN 60 BAKING & CONFECTIONARY 62 FOOD PRODUCERS 64 PACKAGING

16 PAUL AINSWORTH AT NUMBER 6 Six of the best

50 TIBBATTS ABEL Outstanding interior design

24 PONTI’ S GROUP A taste of Italy

Follow us on

32 COLLINS SEAFOOD Passionate about seafood w w w. f e a s t m a g a z i n e . o r g

FeastMagazine1 F E A S T M AG A Z I N E

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UPDATE

BRITAIN ‘RUNNING OUT OF WHEAT’ BRITAIN will become a net importer of wheat for the first time in a decade this year because of bad weather, the National Farmers’ Union has said. NFU president Peter Kendall said more than two million tonnes of wheat had been lost because of last year’s poor summer. The prolonged cold weather would also hit this autumn’s harvest, he said. But he said the shortage was unlikely to affect the price of bread because of the global nature of the market. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Kendall said the average yield fell from 7.8 tonnes a hectare to 6.7 tonnes last summer. Looking ahead to the 2013 harvest, he said farmers had only managed to get three quarters of the planned wheat planted this year, so the UK was already 25% down on potential production.

“I’ve been walking crops yesterday on the farm in Bedfordshire and they look pretty thin. We would normally say you should hide a hare in a crop of wheat in March. You’d struggle to cover a mouse in some of mine. “If we got three quarters of the area planted, and the same yield as last year, we could be looking at a crop of only 11m tonnes of wheat when we actually need 14.5m tonnes of wheat for our own domestic use here in the UK,” he said. 'Andrew Watts, a wheat farmer and the NFU combinable crops board chairman, said farmers had been hoping for a kind autumn after a poor harvest in 2012, but this had not happened. “It seems many farmers have written 2013 off and are trying to do what they can with the crops in the ground. Everyone is focussing on 2014 and making sure the land is in a good condition to get good crops then.

“This is what producing food is all about – the weather.” He added: “We have got to put it in context, this is only the first time since the late 1970s that we have been net importers, Over the past five or six years we have been in surplus.” The crop damage is dealing a further blow to Britain’s farming industry, which is already reeling from a spate of recent livestock deaths due to the cold weather. But Mr Kendall said only about 10% of the cost of a loaf of was attributable to wheat. The rest was due to processing, transport, and packaging, he said. “We could see wheat double and the impact on a loaf of bread would not be enormous. “But we need to make sure, in the UK, we are producing raw materials for what has been – despite the weather – a fantastically successful sector,” he said.

ENJOY A LITTLE R’N’R AT THE VAULTS BAR LOCATED in the heart of London’s historic Square Mile, Voltaire has already seduced London with its champagne bar, Parisian cigar terrace and incredible vaults. Adding to the experience still further is a unique initiative that takes health and well-being to a whole new, fun level – R‘n’R at the bar. Working in partnership with Temple Spa, the award-winning luxury aromatherapy-infused skincare range favoured by a host of celebrities, Voltaire’s mixologists have created a quintet of delicious cocktails made with herbs and fruits

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found in the label’s range. What’s more, anyone ordering one of these irresistible creations will receive a complementary – and complimentary – Temple Spa product to take away with them. Priced from £10, the collection comprises Repose, a soothing blend of vodka, Cointreau, camomile and lavender with fresh lemon. Served with Temple Spa Aromatherapy Resting Cream, it brings a whole new meaning to the term good night’s sleep. www.voltairebar.co.uk

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IMPROVING FOOD STANDARDS SENIOR officials from Cardiff Council recently met with the Managing Director of Welsh Brothers, Alan Heycock, to discuss a way forward following the announcement by the authority that it was withdrawing all of its beef products from the supplier with immediate effect as a precautionary measure over horse meat contamination concerns. Cardiff Council’s Leader, Councillor Heather Joyce, was joined by Councillor Ashley Govier, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chief Executive, Jon House, and discussions focussed on how the authority can work with Welsh Brothers to ensure that high quality beef returns to the school menu as soon as possible. Council Leader Councillor Heather Joyce said: “We all know that there is no substitute for high quality locally sourced fresh produce and the recent horse meat issue has only served to underline this. “Whilst I stand by my decision yesterday to withdraw all beef products as a precautionary step while testing is ongoing, this is not a long term solution and what I would like to see is for beef to return to our menus as soon as possible but with trustworthy guarantees in place over standards and quality.

“The impact of this horse meat issue has been wide spread and hit many local traders and establishments hard. “Yesterday, one of our local city region's suppliers, Welsh Brothers, became the latest victim of this issue. We realise how unsettling this must be for the business and the uncertainty is has thrown Welsh Brothers into. This is why I have asked my Chief Executive, Jon House, to work with the company to progress our response. “Cardiff is taking a lead in Wales to respond to the current Europe wide situation and this is why it is important that we work with local businesses to achieve a positive outcome that so that this doesn’t happen again.” Councillor Ashley Govier, Cabinet Member for Environment added: “While we are responding to the current situation and people’s concerns by doing everything we can to provide a clearer picture of the situation as soon as possible; we are also working to ensure that all meat that the council sources fulfils our highest standards and expectations. “Welsh Brother’s Chief Executive shares our vision on this and that is why we are currently working with the supplier to see how standards can be improved.”

FARRIMOND JOINS SEAFOOD PUB COMPANY

‘WE GOT AMOUNT OF FISH WRONG’ WITH scientists admitting they got the amount of fish in the North Sea and surrounding waters wrong, one Whitby fisherman has said: “Now give us our quota back.” The International Council for Exploration of the Sea’s most recent advice has confirmed that fishing pressure across the main commercial stocks has in fact fallen to a remarkable degree. Arnold Locker, president of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation, said now the scien-

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tists have admitted they got the science “wrong” since 2002, the industry should be rewarded with a “big lift in quotas”. He added: “It is brilliant news. What they are saying is the fishing pressure isn’t a problem any more. In particular, the commercial fish such as cod, haddock and whiting, which is the fish we catch.” The research shows that North Sea cod, the staple of Whitby’s fish and chip shops, has steadily rebuilt towards safe biological levels.

GASTRO-PUB award-winner Simon Farrimond has joined Lancashire’s Seafood Pub Company team as Operations Director. Simon moved from the acclaimed Angel Inn at Hetton where he won last year’s national

‘Front of House Manager of the Year’ title in the ‘50 Best Gastro-pub Awards’. He is initially based at the Assheton Arms in Downham but is also responsible for the Oyster & Otter at Feniscowles, Blackburn.

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UPDATE HOTEL CHOCOLAT WINS AWARD LUXURY chocolatier and cocoa grower Hotel Chocolat has been awarded “Speciality Retailer of the Year” at the retail version of the Oscars, the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013. The awards help to showcase the innovation present within the retail sector and act as a mark of distinction for the exceptional efforts being made every day to improve customer’s experiences. “Being a speciality retailer means being totally obsessed by your

subject. In our case, cocoa and chocolate. We have taken risks and given full reign to creativity, all the while focussing on the loyalty of our customers, through our 100% Happiness Guarantee which is at the heart of everything we do.” said Angus Thirlwell, CEO and Co-founder. Hotel Chocolat is one of the world’s few chocolate makers to actually grow cocoa and remains a privately owned company with the original co-founders still very much involved.

SIMPLE NAME, EXQUISITE FLAVOUR SPONGE has been sold in the higgledly-piggedly Cafe since September 2000. With cake legend Sue Barrons old school standards and eye for detail, fans were left open mouthed at the scale and flavour of the cakes. So in 2009 they took Sponge out of the comfort of their Byfords home and created a new look under the company name of SPONGE. They only use the best in ingredients – flour, sugar, butter and free range eggs all feature alongside

natural flavouring. To find out more visit www.sponge.co.uk

ZUMBA LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE TO HELP FIGHT WORLD HUNGER DANCE fitness company Zumba Fitness has launched a new initiative encouraging people: “don’t just burn calories, donate them” in a bid to help fight one of the world’s greatest health risks – hunger. “The Great Calorie Drive” initiative is a collaboration with US hunger-relief organisation Feeding America and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). From now through June 2013, participants are encouraged to shake off their calories in Zumba classes worldwide, and Zumba will donate the equivalent of the average amount of calories burned per class (750

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calories, for up to three classes) to Feeding America and WFP. During the three-month campaign, Zumba Fitness is challenging the world to donate 2.6bn calories. Alberto Perlman , co-founder and CEO of Zumba Fitness said: “Hunger is one of the world’s greatest solvable problems, while many fight to burn calories, others suffer from hunger. “The Zumba network is in a unique position to tip the scales in the right direction, and we expect to touch millions of lives.” To learn more about the campaign visit greatcaloriedrive.com

£30M INVESTMENT EXPANSION PLANS

MID-MARKET private equity firm Bowmark Capital is investing £30m in management buyout and expansion of London bar and restaurant group Drake & Morgan. Founded in 2008 by the Imbiba Partnership, the group’s sites include The Refinery in Southwark, The Parlour in Canary Wharf and three sites in the City – The Anthologist, The Folly and The Drift. Its concept is for all-day food and drink offering in stylish, accessible and female-friendly premises. Over the past three years the

group has experienced 75 per cent growth in sales. Drake & Morgan sites are typically based in landmark locations, often on the ground floor of new office developments. Sites in St. Paul’s and Holborn are planned for openings this year, while a further eight sites have been identified for expansion over the next two years. Over the long term the company plans to roll-out the concept nationwide with potential for up to 70 units across the UK.

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FOOD RETAILERS URGED TO MAKE FARMERS A PRIORITY A GOVERNMENT advisor on food health has insisted that independent retailers and supermarkets must make farmers a top priority if the quality of the UK’s diet is to improve in the wake of the horse meat scandal. Dr Corinna Hawkes, an international expert on food policy and health, spoke about the importance of food buyers re-prioritising farmers at a conference exploring how small producers can grow their business, the future of corporate food and the challenges of health, food security and sustainability. The Future of Food Conference 2013, held in Cheshire, brought together industry experts and specialist food producers to discuss

the vital issues facing producers, suppliers and retailers and need to move away from price-driven food production fueled by consumer demand for low prices. Dr Hawkes said: “Farmers need to be supported to produce healthy food for the market. At the moment, the farmer is at the bottom of the pile, and that needs to change.” Dr Hawkes was joined at the summit by Justine Fosh, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and Improve, Chris Dee, Chief Operating Officer of leading independent, family-owned supermarket chain Booths, and Professor Paul Ross, Head of Bio-technology at Moorepark Food Research Centre

and a leading expert on dairy bio-technology. Katrina Michel, chief executive of Marketing Cheshire, believes that Cheshire has put a clear marker down in food and this event demonstrated the value of an integrated approach to countywide food delivery. She said: “With members of Reaseheath, The University of Chester, The Nationals Skills Academy, and of course Taste Cheshire, we are now showing a unified front with our food sector and this conference marked the starting point for a year of unrivalled food delivery that will show Cheshire clearly as a leading county for food and drink.”

TV DINNERS PUT PREMIER FOODS ON RIGHT TRACK

THE TURNAROUND at Premier Foods gained traction with first quarter sales boosted by a television campaign and the cold weather. The Mr Kipling-to-Hovis food group reaped the benefits of its first campaign advertising five of its top brands. Britain’s Arctic weather also meant sales of Oxo and Bisto soared as shoppers tried to keep warm by cooking hearty winter meals.

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The firm saw sales of its branded foods increase by 2.2pc to £275m while its top stable of ‘power brands’ increased by 3.5pc. Chief executive Gavin Darby said Premier (up 2.25p to 73.75p) had posted five successive quarters of sales growth from its key products and he is focused on fixing the broken bread business. On future trading Darby said the right strategies are in place to make further progress in 2013.

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N P Gallery:feature 2 10/05/2013 11:36 Page 8

Corporate Hospitality National Portrait Gallery

culture add some

to your event

From the eminent individuals that adorn the Gallery’s walls to the dedicated events team who work with you to plan your event, the National Portrait Gallery is the perfect host for your special event

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Corporate Hospitality National Portrait Gallery

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ounded in 1856, the aim of the National Portrait Gallery in London is “to promote through the medium of portraits the appreciation and understanding of the men and women who have made and are making British history and culture, and ... to promote the appreciation and understanding of portraiture in all media.” The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. The Collection is displayed in London and in a number of locations around the United Kingdom, including several houses managed by the National Trust. The Gallery is increasingly keen to find new ways to share the Collection through the National Programmes, as well as through its website. Like other national museums, the Gallery is supported both by government and increasingly by a large number of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations, as well as by the receipts from ticketed exhibitions, shops, catering and events. The Gallery aims to bring history to life through its extensive display, exhibition,

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research, learning, outreach, publishing and digital programmes. These allow us to stimulate debate and to address questions of biography, diversity and fame which lie at the heart of issues of identity and achievement. The National Portrait Gallery aims to be the foremost centre for the study of and research into portraiture, as well as making its work and activities of interest to as wide a range of visitors as possible. Recently, the Gallery announced that a small painting – the size of a postcard – will go on show as part of a major new exhibition called Elizabeth I and Her People (10 October 2013 - 5 January 2014), supported by The Weiss Gallery, where it will be displayed alongside a selection of portraits of Elizabeth I. Seen together, they will show how the Queen established, during a reign of nearly 50 years, an image of a strong and powerful female monarch. An unusual allegorical painting, the portrait is a reworking of the classical story of the Judgment of Paris upon the goddesses of mar-

riage, war and love. In the guise of Paris, the Queen is represented as both judge and winner, retaining for herself the prize of the golden apple. This miniature reinterprets the theme of Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses, found in the Royal Collection painting of the same title by Hans Eworth, also shown in the exhibition. While the artist certainly appears to borrow some of the essential formal elements of the composition from the earlier painting, it is markedly different in terms of the Queen’s appearance, background landscape, costumes of the goddesses and in the addition of the peacock, and so the miniature can be considered an original reworking of the subject. Elizabeth is shown in a remarkable dress of cloth-of-gold, wearing a diamond necklace and a golden crown, and her wide ruff and jewelled headpiece suggest the fashions of the later 1580s or early 1590s, as seen in works such as the Woburn Abbey Armada Portrait (c.1588). www.npg.org.uk Tel: 020 7306 0055

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Military Tattoo:feature 2 09/05/2013 10:05 Page 10

Corporate Hospitality Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the world’s most spectacular shows set against the iconic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle

a night to

astles were designed to keep intruders out, which conflicts with current day needs when visitors are welcomed. Staging the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Esplanade outside Edinburgh Castle every August means getting 8,500 guests plus over 1,000 performers in and out each night but it’s a challenge the organisers are used to dealing with. The event is in its 63rd year, has a live audience of 217,000 and is watched by 100 million on television. It’s sold out for the last fourteen years and generates £100 million for the Scottish economy annually. “The Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle is one of the most recognised images in the world,” remarks Sponsorship and Corporate Hospitality Manager Nancy Riach. “People have a strong emotional connection with our event so we have to be more than just a show.” The Tattoo is a destination event that many people see as a once in a lifetime experience, which puts pressure on Nancy and her team. She says: “We look after the programme of hospitality offers built around the show and we ensure we deliver quality local produce, excellent service and unique locations. We also add a flavour of the show to come with access to behind the scenes, meet and greet with performers and entertainment. Most of our guests secure the date and experience at the Tattoo and then go on to book everything else for their trip around it.” The ability to deliver a great experience has been helped by the development of a purpose-built stand

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Corporate Hospitality Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo providing improved comfort and enabling flexible hospitality packages. It has a 150-seat corporate box where hospitality guests sit with the salute taker and various VIP guests that may include royalty. Those who want something special can book anything from a VIP seat in the Royal Gallery to the top package with fine dining in Edinburgh Castle and a welcome from the Producer of the Tattoo. “Then we escort them down through the Castle, which is our backstage area,” explains Nancy. “They walk through the performers, across the drawbridge into the arena, across the Esplanade, into the VIP box and take their seats. People love that whole experience.” That’s just one of various offerings to suit different budgets and meet individual needs. Bookings can be made through the box office or the hospitality team, which can tailor packages and include outings with partners such as National Museums of Scotland, the Scotch Whisky Experience and Royal Yacht Britannia. Everything’s done with the understanding that the Tattoo is often the ultimate experience for many and it’s an event that has a huge reputation. Nancy says: “We work very hard with our partners and there’s a very big focus on the whole experience. If any of it falls down, that’s what people remember, so we make sure every aspect of the experience delivers to the highest standard.” The outcome is a fantastic level of feedback and a score in the 90s for people recommending the event. That’s partly due to all aspects being under the in-

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house team’s control, organising the whole complex logistics of the operation to ensure an excellent allround experience. It’s also due to meticulous preparation that starts with a ten-year plan and goes into greater detail as each event nears. That means the content of next year’s show is known and each generally follows a theme — Natural

“The Tattoo is an iconic event and, as you would expect, there is a great demand for our hospitality,” Scotland this year and Scotland Welcomes the World in 2014 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games. Bookings start in September for previous guests and for the general public the following month, enabling visitors to organise their trip and everything else well in advance. “The Tattoo is an iconic event and, as you would expect, there is a great demand for our hospitality,” remarks Nancy. “We are constantly assessing and developing the offer to match the market as well as working to create bespoke offers for groups with specific needs or interests. It is fair to say there is something for everyone from individuals looking for a special night out to high-end corporate groups wanting a unique experience.”

The Tattoo Office 32 Market Street Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1QB www.edintattoo.co.uk Tel: 0131 2254783

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Christchurch Harbour:feature 2 09/05/2013 11:48 Page 12

Hospitality Christchurch Harbour Hotel

view a room with a

From waking up to dazzling views of Christchurch Harbour, to crabbing at Mudeford Quay summer is a special time at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa

D Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa 95 Mudeford, Christchurch Dorset, BH23 3NT www.christchurch-harbour-hotel.co.uk Tel: 01202 483434

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orset-based Christchurch Harbour Hotel is located overlooking the stunning grandeur of the Christchurch Harbour. With a recent £9 million investment, the hotel can now offer a unique experience incorporating beautiful views and great accommodation alongside the newly opened Jetty restaurant and multitreatment Spa with indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room. With the magnificent Dorset World Heritage Coast and the tranquil New Forest National Park on the hotel’s doorstep, it provides the perfect venue for a relaxing short break. Michelin starred chef Alex Aitken heads up the staff at The Jetty restaurant. One of the new additions

to the hotel following its £9 million investment, The Jetty provides breathtaking views as it sits by the waters edge while guests enjoy the finest locally-sourced food. The environmentally-friendly restaurant was designed by Baufritz architects with walls made of glass to allow diners to enjoy panoramic views of the harbour. The building itself is a modern, custombuilt and innovative timber build, specifically developed for its carbon-neutral qualities. Thomas Huber, General Manager, feels the food is a major draw for guests. “The food is absolutely fantastic, I think that makes a huge difference from other similar hotels,” he says. “With two restaurants, both with two AA Rosettes, to choose from, our Harbour Restaurant and The Jetty within the grounds of the hotel, share the same philosophy when it comes to food – keep it fresh, seasonal and bursting with local flavour. With amazing views over the estuary, they really add to our guest’s experience.” The locale certainly aids the hotel’s ability to produce such great tasting treats. “We are in a location where local produce is some of the best in the country. We get our game from the New Forest, we get the fish

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Hospitality Christchurch Harbour Hotel from the harbour, and we have fishermen delivering fresh seafood and fish almost every day. Then we have loads of farm land in Hampshire and Dorset where we can get local produce as well,” adds Thomas. Certainly, the presence of Alex Aitken at The Jetty helps. Alex is a ‘home-grown’ chef with a huge amount of knowledge and experience gleaned over a career dedicated to culinary excellence. His list of accolades includes the UK’s top food awards and has an unbridled commitment to local food. Another great addition at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel is its luxury spa. The minute you walk in you are in a world of pampering, luxurious treatments and tranquillity. Using the worldrenowned ESPA and Guinot ranges and treatments, the experienced and welcoming therapists will offer a holistic approach to each guest, with some treatments remaining exclusive to the hotel. The Spa features a pool, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, crystal steam room, salt grotto, state-of-theart gymnasium, five treatment rooms and a rest and refresh area. Slippers, robes and towels will be provided as well as complimentary herbal teas and water for re-hydration and relaxation. Thomas believes this means guests aren’t dependent on the unpredictable English weather. “With the spa and the restaurants, everything you need is right here, so you aren’t dependent on the weather. You can have a fantastic time in the spa, get some relaxing treatments, then enjoy a tasty meal without leaving the hotel.” The Christchurch Harbour hotel has everything in place to flourish. The new addition of The Jetty restaurant and luxurious Spa allow guests to truly relax while soaking in the fresh seaside air and tranquil ambience of the beautiful coastline and countryside that resides close by.

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The Raby Hunt :feature 2 08/05/2013 14:48 Page 14

Fine Dining The Raby Hunt

simplicity inspired by

The philosophy is simple at the Raby Hunt – deliver quality food using responsibly and locally resourced produce

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he Raby Hunt Restaurant’s Head Chef James Close passion for food is what distinguishes this destination eatery out. He has lived and breathed every aspect of cooking from a very young age, as he was brought up in Grove House, an award-winning hotel run by his mother. Thanks in part to travelling through Europe as a child, international cultures and flavours have influenced his cooking. James believes in simple ideas and

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The Raby Hunt :feature 2 08/05/2013 14:48 Page 15

Fine Dining The Raby Hunt well tried combinations – a modern British style using the finest seasonal produce from a strong network of suppliers. The Raby Hunt Restaurant is a thirty-seat fine dining restaurant based in a beautiful Grade II listed building, situated in the pretty village of Summerhouse near Darlington. Part of its appeal comes from its belief that frsh food should not travel far to get from farm to fork. It obtains its meat from a local butcher who’s meat has been bred and grazed in the fields nearby. Animals are then taken to a local abattoir and therefore not put through a lengthy journey. Eggs come from a few sources within ten miles and are all completely free range and fed on natural foods. Vegetables are the same. Fish comes from a merchant from the east coast which is only a matter of 30 miles away and is delivered, as all produce, on a daily basis. The history of The Raby Hunt Inn dates back to the 1800s. Being on an old drovers road to Northumberland and Scotland it originally had ample stables, which are now converted into cottages. Originally part of the Raby estate it was also a favourite meeting and finishing point for the Old Raby Hunt. Many a stirrup cup will have been drunk here and can still be had in the two recently refurbished bars. The restaurant says, “At the Raby Hunt we intend to achieve a unique dining experience in our

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comfortable contemporary restaurant which will appeal to all, from a quiet dinner for two to that special family occasion. “Our menu is predominately British with European influences. We feature fresh locally sourced ingredients and have a good wine cellar that

“At the Raby Hunt we intend to achieve a unique dining experience in our comfortable contemporary restaurant which will appeal to all, from a quiet dinner for two to that special family occasion” boasts many specially selected wines from the old and new world. “Two modern stylish bedrooms offer visitors more time to stay and explore the area or the opportunity to have a great dinner and then enjoy a lovely Raby Hunt breakfast the next morning.” The Raby Hunt has recently invested in the refurbishment of its bars, and also boasts an idyllic outdoor seating area which is perfect for that casual beer or glass of wine.

Summerhouse, Nr. Darlington Co. Durham DL2 3UD www.rabyhuntrestaurant.co.uk Tel: 01325 374237

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Fine Dining Paul Ainsworth at Number 6

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best six of the

Paul Ainsworth’s No. 6 sources brilliant local, seasonal ingredients and then serves them in a simple modern style

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et in an 18th Century Georgian townhouse in the backstreets of the Cornish fishing town of Padstow, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 is a young restaurant with big ideas. Having opened five years ago in a small town with an already impressive food heritage, Number 6 was awarded Padstow’s first Michelin star last year. Paul Ainsworth’s eponymous restaurant has managed to achieve this honour without the bells and whistles usually associated with traditional fine dining, with Number 6 instead focusing on a relaxed and homely environment. “There’s no feeling of starchiness – guests can relax and enjoy themselves,” said owner Paul Ainsworth. “We don’t do tasting menus, amuse-bouche, pre-desserts or anything like that! We offer an a la carte menu that will change with the seasons - it’s just great quality food cooked well.” Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 has embraced this philosophy since opening its doors in 2008. “I think food is changing a lot, and the ‘fine dining experience’ isn’t necessarily what people want all the time,” Paul said. “There will always be a place for high-end fine dining, but we try to give people the best experience in a relaxed environment.” Number 6 is named because it is the sixth house on the street, and this idea of home comforts spreads beyond the building itself, and resonates throughout the business. According to Paul, “The restaurant is essentially

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Paul Ainsworth:feature 2 08/05/2013 15:06 Page 17

Fine Dining Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 mine and my wife Emma’s home – we spend more time here than in our own house! We want guests to feel welcomed into our home, and hopefully see mine and Emma’s personalities in the restaurant.” This ethos is one that has been cultivated over time, and eventually earned Number 6 its highly sought-after Michelin star – an achievement that has catapulted the restaurant into the UKs elite. “It’s the biggest accolade you can imagine for a restaurant,” Paul said. “I’ve always tried to make sure that we are cooking for our customers, and that hopefully one day we’d be recognized by Michelin for it, and fortunately we were.” Earning the first Michelin star in Padstow, a town known previously for Rick Stein’s exploits, is an incredible achievement for all involved at Number 6. “It’s not just for myself and Emma the Michelin star wouldn’t have been possible without our great team, particularly Head Chef John Walton, and Restaurant Manager Alex Tozer,” said Paul. “The whole team makes sure the experience is consistent every day of the week.” Consistency is now the driving force for Paul Ainsworth, and this is a notion that has developed alongside the restaurant. “I’ve never consciously tried to change, I’ve just evolved over time,” Paul continued, “I get more of a buzz seeing something leave the kitchen absolutely consistent every day than I would by changing the menu every five minutes!” Additionally, any new dishes must undertake

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a rigorous development process before hitting the menu, with great care taken to ensure every plate is perfect before it arrives at the customer’s table. Having earned Padstow’s first Michelin star, Paul Ainsworth isn’t content to rest on his laurels, with the chef hoping to extend the welcoming aspect of Number 6 beyond providing Michelin starred food. “There’s four people that I really look up to, and that

“I’ve always tried to make sure that we are cooking for our customers, and that hopefully one day we’d be recognized by Michelin for it, and fortunately we were.” is Tom and Beth Kerridge, and Sat and Amanda Bains,” said Paul. “Emma and me would love to do accommodation next, and of all the places we’ve stayed at and eaten in, those two places blew us away - we find what both are able to do hugely inspiring. Accommodation for us would complete the package of what we try to offer at Number 6.”

6 Middle Street Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8AP www.number6inpadstow.co.uk 01841 532093

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Feathered Nest:feature 2 13/05/2013 15:35 Page 18

Fine Dining The Feathered Nest Country Inn

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The Feathered Nest Country Inn is a country pub, restaurant and inn set in the picturesque village of Nether Westcote and nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds

rom the day the Feathered Nest reopened in 2011 after major refurbishment, there was a commitment to operate as a pub and restaurant. “Many gastro pubs are purely restaurants with far too many tables,” confirms proprietor Tony Timmer. “We maintain our pub as the hub and welcome people with dogs and in their muddy boots and working clothes. There’s the same menu in the bar or main dining areas but the pub is large enough for people who come in just for drinks.” It remains a drinking pub but is also very definitely a restaurant, with a chef from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and three AA Rosettes gained within the last year. That reflects an improved food offering and vastly expanded wine list, with diners coming from as far afield as Manchester and London. However, true to its roots as a local pub, the Feathered Nest offers bar meals that include burgers and sandwiches, although Tony emphasises their quality and that sandwiches include home smoked salmon. The latter is possible due to the installation of a smoking oven that’s made available as a service to locals. That local feel extends to a recently acquired fifty acres of land that will provide game and foraging for berries, wild herbs and garlic. Added to that is the garden supplying vegetables and herbs to the kitchen. That fits in with the general principle of local sourcing although Tony insists it’s not strictly applied.

welcoming

atmosphere

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Feathered Nest:feature 2 13/05/2013 15:35 Page 19

Fine Dining The Feathered Nest Country Inn “We obtain as much as possible locally,” he says. “But if the quality of produce isn’t good enough, we seek it elsewhere. Most of our vegetables, strawberries and raspberries are grown locally, pork is Gloucester Old Spot from a local farm, game comes from local farmers and gamekeepers, lamb, eggs and chickens from nearby Burford. None of the local beef breeds came up to the mark so we bring that in from Devon.” He is alert to new suppliers and always offers the opportunity to present their produce. Everything goes through a process of blind tasting and testing in dishes, with a change only made if something’s better. “It’s ultimately about quality because that’s what our customers pay for,” Tony confirms. INTENSE MENU The varied produce leads to menus that change seasonally and are essentially British ‘with a twist’ to include using lesser cuts prepared in an exquisite way. There is an ongoing process of developing new dishes but the amount of work for each one means the menu is kept short at five starters, five mains and five desserts. Running a pub and restaurant together poses extra challenges, as Tony points out: “We cater for people that just want a pint of beer and a great sandwich or a home made pork pie. On the other hand, some want to drink wine at £80-90 a bottle and have

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a full a la carte menu. It’s tricky for the kitchen because we get orders for pub classic dishes that receive as much consideration as the a la carte menu.” The balancing act has been achieved well enough for a further 14-15 bedrooms to be planned and a host of awards having been won. These include the

“Most of our vegetables, strawberries and raspberries are grown locally, pork is Gloucester Old Spot from a local farm, game comes from local farmers and gamekeepers, lamb, eggs and chickens from nearby Burford” coveted three AA Rosettes, although Tony believes awards and accolades are simply a bonus on top of the main aims: “We set out to create a true pub serving wonderful food in a great location. We wanted to have a credible menu and wine list but offer something more relaxed than five star country house hotels. The quality of food we’re serving is obviously proving to be successful.”

The Feathered Nest Country Inn Nether Westcote Oxfordshire OX7 6SD www.thefeatherednestinn.co.uk Tel: 01993 833030

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Manoir Aux Quat Saison :feature 2 24/04/2013 10:39 Page 20

Raymond Blanc Brasserie Blanc

man on a

MISSION

Not content with championing sustainability in catering, Raymond Blanc is now pushing hard to increase training in the industry whilst being heavily involved in the Brasserie Blanc restaurant chain 20

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Raymond Blanc Brasserie Blanc

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aymond Blanc is a man on a mission, or maybe that’s several missions. Not content with championing sustainability in catering, he’s now pushing hard to increase training in the industry and at the same time is heavily involved in the Brasserie Blanc restaurant chain. Raymond is possibly best known for Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which he bought in 1984 as a restaurant with rooms. He recalls: “I wanted to create a hotel that would be as beautiful as the food. The garden plays an important part, not only to deliver a great deal of the food but it’s part of the great experience. I’m trying to build a modern classic rooted in tradition. Sustainability is at the very heart of our values within Le Manoir as much as the architecture. Sustainability and responsible modern luxury are the very core values and deliver extraordinary experiences to our guests.” These values are replicated in Brasserie Blanc, which is now a nineteen strong chain of restaurants. The aim from the outset was to provide good quality food using fresh ingredients at affordable prices. The latter is illustrated by a two course menu with wine that’s priced at £14.50 in London and £11.50 elsewhere, which demonstrates Brasserie Blanc’s

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value for families in particular and has created great loyalty by encouraging regular visits. It’s not just about price because the accent is very firmly on the quality of the food. “The Frenchness is important to me and my business but also due to the menu content, which is influenced by Mama Blanc,”

“Good quality, delicious, rustic home cooking with some lovely dishes” comments Raymond. “Good quality, delicious, rustic home cooking with some lovely dishes. We actively welcome children and we have a programme for them.” The menu changes constantly, reflecting the seasons and including new dishes introduced as a result of regular meetings between Raymond and his chefs. For all dishes, the emphasis is on freshness and sustainability, with Brasserie Blanc using many of the same suppliers as Le Manoir and everything from sustainable sources. It’s one of the few restaurant chains to be a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association and, although the pricing structure doesn’t allow the same level of organic produce as at Le

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Raymond Blanc Brasserie Blanc

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Raymond Blanc Brasserie Blanc

Brasserie Blanc is using the Mayor of London’s Apprenticeship Scheme, for which Raymond is an ambassador, and is taking on one apprentice at each location with a plan to increase to two

Manoir, much is free range with no chemical additives and a premium price paid to ensure quality. That quality, as Raymond confirms, is assured through the sourcing policy: “We buy centrally because that’s how we get the quality, consistency and give the same experience to every guest. A tremendous amount of attention is put on sourcing for quality and consistency of the food we give our guests every day.” Sustainability, in Raymond’s view, doesn’t just apply to ingredients but to the industry generally and is the reason there’s a big emphasis on developing staff. Le Manoir has long had its own apprenticeship scheme, with the very first apprentice still working there. Brasserie Blanc is using the Mayor of London’s Apprenticeship Scheme, for which Raymond is an ambassador, and is taking on one apprentice at each location with a plan to increase to two. The scheme is associated with the De Vere Training academy and aims to create 250,000 apprenticeships by 2016. With 300,000 people employed in the food service industry in London alone and the service sector the only one with any growth, Raymond believes it’s vital to invest for the future and pays businesses to do so: “More chefs and restaurateurs are training a professional workforce and giving these young people a profession. That will help business long-term because you are creating loyalty; a young person will stay and grow with your business a long time if you’re a good employ-

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er. The scheme is hugely important to the country. Every establishment must grow and nurture British talent, which will benefit both employer and employee.” Growth for Brasserie Blanc saw the creation of ten restaurants last year, although the pace of future growth will be more measured so experience can be gained. Business is helped by keeping the profile high through associations such as the recent Manet exhibition promo-

“Every establishment must grow and nurture British talent” tion that Raymond believes benefited both Brasserie Blanc and the Royal Academy of Arts. Overall, he’s optimistic about the future of Brasserie Blanc and the industry in general. He says: “Our approach to food is changing completely and it’s now part of our consciousness. Consumers and chefs are recognising the true value of food and there is a wonderful possibility here to regrow our regions, culture and old heritage. We can create a very dynamic industry that is extremely responsible, modern in its approach and training must be at the heart of it. We are successful because we are also reconnecting with the true values of food and there’s an energy that’s hugely positive in our industry. That’s why we’re growing today.”

HEAD OFFICE: 106 - 108 High Street; Teddington Middlesex TW11 8JD www.brasserieblanc.com

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Ponti Group:feature 2 09/05/2013 08:29 Page 24

Restaurant Chain Ponti’s Group

a taste of

ITALY Ponti’s Group are passionate about serving you the fantastic food from the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy and source many of their ingredients directly from carefully selected suppliers.

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Restaurant Chain Ponti’s Group

“It’s about being true to our roots and showing off our heritage” Stefano Ispani MD

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ow you deal with competition can determine your business success long-term. Having started in 1963 in London as Ponti’s Caffes serving a mix of traditional English fare with a dollop of Italian favourites, the company faced increasing opposition. “There are many businesses and restaurateurs doing Italian cuisine exceedingly well,” recalls MD Stefano Ispani. “The challenge for us over the last few years has been our identity going forward and do we want to carry on being a café/sandwich bar/coffee bar operation or do we evolve the food offer and compete in a different segment.” CASUAL DINING The answer was the family-run business wanted to evolve the food offer into the casual dining market and, as a consequence, now has two restaurant brands located in shopping centres, airports and London’s West End. There are six Caffè Italia outlets offering quick snacks, two

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Ponti’s Italian Kitchens for traditional dining and seven of the original restaurants that will be converted to one of the other formats or phased out. The Ponti’s Italian Kitchen format, as Stefano confirms, is seen as the main vehicle for the group in the future: “It’s about being true to our roots and showing off our heritage, which is in the region of Emilia Romagna, the food heart of Italy. We use optimum ingredients from that region, such as tortelli, cured meats and parmesan cheese, in some of its classic dishes and just put our twist on it.” The name rather indicates each restaurant’s format since, in the same way the kitchen is at the heart of an Italian home, it’s also the nerve centre of the restaurant. It allows diners to see the chefs preparing the food and puts on display the quality ingredients they use. That’s in keeping with the decision the group took when it pondered the challenge of how to distinguish itself from competitors that were bigger and had much greater marketing resources.

“The conclusion we reached is there’s only a couple of things we can do better than them,” explains Stefano. “One is to out-cook them and the other is to out-serve them. We can’t compete with their marketing, the amount they spend on social media or indeed on their buying power. So the only way we can compete is how well we cook the food and how well we serve it. We spend much time, money and effort focusing on those two factors.” BETTER TASTE Because of the market they’re in and the type of customers they serve, the restaurants don’t have menus that are constantly changing and the challenge is to make each dish taste better than the equivalent served by a competitor. That’s achieved partly by using the very best ingredients, which are a mixture of locally sourced ones for environmental and economical reasons plus others from further afield for authenticity together with inspiring the team to truly understand the flavours they are looking to achieve. Stefano says: “The speciality niche ingredients we use,

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Restaurant Chain Ponti’s Group

like cured meats and some of the cheeses and breads, are specially imported. Then we’ve got fresh produce; fruit, vegetables and some of the meats and fish we buy locally because we have to be practical. The butcher who does a lot of our meat, for example, we’ve been working with for thirty years and he’s a second or third generation family butcher.” The principle of freshly cooked food using quality ingredients is carried through into Cucina Catering, an events catering company that grew out of repeated requests from customers for Ponti’s to cater at outside events. Favourable reviews caused the business to grow and it has successfully handled numerous events ranging from sandwiches to full meals and including business lunches, catering for all three main political parties, the launch of the Airbus A380 and even the occasional Bar Mitzvah with non-kosher food. A more recent challenge is the increasing need for regular communications with customers in the digital age. That’s partly achieved through Ponti’s “Grazie”

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reward card that started out as a lavazza coffee reward card and has evolved into a loyalty awards programme with data capture that enables an ongoing dialogue with those who require it. NICHE MARKETS It’s all part of the way Ponti’s Group has developed over the last fifty years and will continue to do so. However, it still has the challenge of the big brands that can pay premium prices for any prime sites that become available. That, as Stefano confirms, is something the group will meet: “We’re looking to constantly grow and the challenge is to find great new sites and have the capital to open them. But we’re living in a world that’s becoming more about big brands while we’re still a small independent family business. Therefore the challenge is always for us to find niches in the market, do something that’s different and make money from it. We have a strong notion on how that can work and that’s what we’re going to be looking at.”

Ponti's Group Limited 8 Haverstock Hill London, NW3 2BL www.pontis.co.uk Tel: 020 7324 2266

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product placement:feature 2 12/05/2013 14:40 Page 28

PRODUCT PLACEMENT

must have

gadgets

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BEEWI APP CONTROLLED HELICOPTERS The BBZ301 Bluetooth RC Helicopter can be controlled directly from your Smartphone using the specific BeeWi HeliPad application available on Android market. The Bluetooth RC Helicopter works as a regular RC Helicopter with throttle, left/right and forward/backward directions. The application provided allows for both touch screen and motion control, offering a richer and more user friendly experience. The BBZ301 RC Helicopter is Bluetooth 3.0 compliant and it is compatible with all Bluetooth compliant Android devices using the SPP Serial Profile.

www.argos.co.uk www.johnlewis.com

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product placement:feature 2 12/05/2013 14:40 Page 29

MAROO DROGO LEATHER CASE FOR iPAD This stylish leather case for the iPad pays tribute to two of Autumn/Winter’s must-have trends (The Orient and Black Leather), the Drogo is crafted using 100 percent high-grade leather. Embossed with a detailed, oriental dragon motif that elegantly wraps its way around the front, back and spine of the case, the Drogo celebrates the dragon, which is traditionally symbolic of power and good fortune. A contrasting gold suede interior and yellow stitching adds a splash of colour to ensure that the Drogo is an accessory that will be noticed. www.amazon.co.uk

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BEEWI APP CONTROLLED CARS The BBZ201 Bluetooth RC Car can be controlled directly from your Smartphone using the specific BeeWi Control Pad application available on-line. The Bluetooth RC car works as a regular RC Car with forward/ backward direction and left/right steering. The application provided allows for both touch screen and motion control, offering a richer and more user friendly experience. The BBZ201 RC Car is Bluetooth 2.1 compliant and it is compatible with all Bluetooth compliant devices using serial port profile (SPP) such as mobile phones or computers, a specific application being required.. www.argos.co.uk www.johnlewis.com

WACOM BAMBOO DUO STYLUS A necessity for anyone with a tablet. The Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo is a dual-purpose stylus for Apple and Android devices. With a premium ball-point ink pen at one end and a stylus at the opposite end, this products elegant design and quality craftmanship is synonymous with all Wacom products. Bamboo Stylus duo is the ideal tool for writing, drawing or doodling in both a digital and analogue world www.wacom.eu

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MAROO LEATHER SERIES A collection of four premium-leather, colourful cases for the 4th and 3rd generations of the iPad, as well as the iPad 2. Using a blend of lavish materials including soft high-quality leather, each bright design features a contrasting coloured stitch and a sophisticatedly subtle wave, another reference to Maroo’s Maori tribal heritage. An easy-carry hand strap is positioned on the inside of the case for presenting or reading, and the interior pocket provides a handy space for storing notes and business cards when on the go. Maroo.com

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OPALUM FLOW 1010 SPEAKER Boasting stylish Scandinavian design, this minimalist ‘floating’ speaker uses patented Actisonic® and Actiline® digital audio technology for clear, crisp and natural sound. Its stunning exterior is the perfect partner for the latest LED and plasma screens enabling a non-intrusive and simple but enhanced viewing experience. The addition of a hub and RF touch remote also means other audio devices can be connected for an unprecedented sound experience. www.opalum.com

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Regal :feature 2 09/05/2013 16:00 Page 30

Seafood Regal Fish Supplies Ltd

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egal Fish Supplies Ltd has been supplying quality fresh and frozen seafood to domestic customers since 1989. Set up by four equal share partners, the founders sold, prepared, packed and delivered products themselves in the early days of the company. This hands-on approach and close relationship with customers has prevailed over the years generating a customer base of over 90,000 seafood lovers throughout England and the North Wales border. Now, as the company looks to grow, it has started a business-to-business service bringing the bespoke product line to the commercial market. Mike Brummitt (General Manager) says the new venture is beginning to flourish already and will provide strong additional revenue towards the company’s traditional service to domestic end users. He feels, however, that the business-to-business venture distinguishes itself because the aim isn’t to compete with the major supermarkets or deliver to mainstream commercial companies but offer an alternative, unique product. He says, “We are selective about the customers we want to deal with. We don’t want to compete for Brewers Fayre companies across the country; we are looking at more specific people to work with where we can create a mutually beneficial win-win partnership.”

the nation’s

fishmonger Regal Fish Supplies Ltd has created over 1000+ thriving seafood delivery rounds throughout England and the North Wales border

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Seafood Regal Fish Supplies Ltd Regal is particularly targeting the specialist market where quality and freshness outweighs pricing concerns. “At the end of the day our products will potentially never be the cheapest,” he concedes, “but we are looking for people who are seeking quality in the product and instead of just choosing from a list, they may come to us and say this is actually what we want, can you do this for us as opposed to saying that’s our list of available products and that’s all we offer.” DISTINGUISH ITSELF Certainly the ability to provide customers with a range of fresh and frozen seafood as well as choices as to how those products are prepared provides Regal with a platform to distinguish itself within the market. “Most of the foodservice companies don’t have that flexibility to tailor products around the customer’s requirements. We aren’t, however, looking to challenge these companies head on; we want to establish ourselves in niche markets that require a specialist, top quality product such as farm shops, certain restaurants, cafes and delicatessens. We feel we can give them a point of difference and end up with a win-win relationship that works for both parties over the long term,” explains Mike. The Regal service benefits from many years of experience dealing with seafood from sourcing,

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packaging and distributing. The company was set up with one key goal in mind – to provide fresh fish and seafood to people who may not have good access to it. This is still the belief today and has allowed the company, through ensuring standards have never

Regal is particularly targeting the specialist market where quality and freshness outweighs pricing concerns dropped, to provide a tailor made service that has fostered an enviable reputation for excellence. “The nature of the service provided has stayed very much the same over the years,” admits Mike. “We work closely with domestic customers and supply market-fresh quality wet fish. It really is the chain of custody and the product that we provide that makes the difference against other competitors and quite often the product that we buy in can be dispatched the same day to the customer.”

Ardent Road, Falkland Way Barton upon Humber North Lincs DN18 5RN www.regalfish.co.uk Tel: 08453 893 973

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Collins seafood :feature 2 10/05/2013 12:30 Page 32

Seafood Collins Seafoods

passionate about

SEAFOOD Collins Seafoods believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the freshest seafood possible. Which is why they’re constantly looking for suppliers throughout Europe and America who can offer exactly that

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espite stagnation in the economy many UK businesses across a range of sectors are flourishing. Frozen seafood supplier Collins Seafoods, based in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, is one of them. On top of doubling the size of its North East headquarters after growing its presence in Yorkshire, the company is celebrating once again as it landed a prestigious industry award. Strong sales over the last few years has enabled Collins, led by founder and managing director Richard Collins, to grow the business. This year it has every reason to be optimistic with its North East base benefiting from expansion to accommodate a growing workforce and a new sales team focused on developing the company’s presence in Yorkshire. AWARDS The Brakes Best Supplier 2012 Fish and Seafood award arrives hot on the heels of impressive 2013 sales. Brakes is a Europe-wide catering giant and the accolade was given to Collins for its excellent support and service as well as its impressive track record in delivery and quality. Operations director Claire Swinbank said the company was “greatly honoured to receive an award from such a highly-regarded organisation as Brakes.” She highlighted the consistency of top quality Frozen-At-Sea product delivered at the right price, meaning value for money for both the company’s customers and, by extension, the consumer. Claire also praised the performance of Samherji (Icefresh), one of the biggest suppliers of Frozen-AtSea fish in Europe, as well as Collins’ ability to call

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on the support of its own vehicle fleet and warehousing, as reasons for its success. The company was originally founded in 1980 when Richard Collins operated a single-van business, delivering fresh seafood to his local restaurants, bars, hotels, and fish and chip shops. It wasn’t long before his reputation grew and a single van became an entire fleet. Key to his ethos was, on top of attentive customer service, the freshest product possible. This is why the concept of Frozen-At-Sea is an indispensable element of the company’s growth. FRESHNESS Richard Collins quickly discovered that freshness is the only ingredient you need to enhance the delicious flavour of seafood. As fresh trawlers can be out at sea for up to two weeks at a time, the first catch they make isn’t going to be quite as fresh as it could be. By the time it reaches the consumer, that piece of fish has probably seen better days, leaving a lot to be desired when it comes to texture and taste. Through the Frozen-At-Sea process, the consumer can taste the freshness of seafood as if it had been caught only hours ago. Collins pioneered the delivery of this process into the UK market, giving its customers (predominantly fish and chip shops as well as wholesalers) confidence in the quality of the product. The company also monitors standards by its strict performance controls. Working with some of the most wellrespected trawler operators throughout key locations in the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Scotland and Russia, Collins is committed to responsible sea fishing to maintain the highest standards. The company actively promotes the use of certified sustainable species in the marketplace and

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Seafood Collins Seafoods

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Seafood Collins Seafoods

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CALL 01484 411400

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Collins seafood :feature 2 10/05/2013 12:30 Page 35

Seafood Collins Seafoods will only supply Frozen-At-Sea fish that is fully traceable. Once fish are caught by the trawlers the FrozenAt-Sea process happens very quickly to ensure products arrive on the plate in the freshest possible state. Usually, fish are frozen within two to six hours of being caught. One of the biggest reasons Collins has been successful is its relationships with suppliers. Because it has worked with them for many years and is the sole distributor of their products into the UK market, Collins distinguishes itself by virtue of having some of the best seafood available in the country. With the experience of the suppliers themselves, alongside Richard Collins’ astute understanding of the UK market, Collins has a reputation like no other. “We have such long relationships with our suppliers that we can ensure top quality product for our customers,” remarks Claire. “It makes the difference that we are the main distributor of these products in the UK. Through the relationship we have with our suppliers, along with their backing to deliver the right products at the right price into the UK market, is a big reason Collins has the reputation that it does.” Highlighting the standards the company strives for is its requirement for suppliers to have MSC certification. MSC is the global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies and conservation groups to promote, recognise and reward sustainable fishing. Currently, Collins works with suppliers who either have MSC certi-

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fication or are in the process of gaining certification having already met the criteria necessary for accreditation. The company can also ensure standards never drop with access to its own modern vehicle fleet and cold storage facilities in Grimsby, Newton Aycliffe and Leeds. Alongside subcontractors delivering to wholesalers throughout the UK and Ireland, Collins distributes 10,000 tonnes of seafood every year.

“We have such long relationships with our suppliers that we can ensure top quality product for our customers” Knowing its market in depth enables Collins to not only offer the best product but attentive customer service that understands the role take-away outlets play in modern society as well as the various challenges faced by wholesalers UK-wide. Collins believes that by getting to know its customers it can better tailor its services to them. Today, as the UK’s most experienced distributor of top quality Frozen-At-Sea products, it comes as little surprise to see the company continuing to go from strength to strength.

Unit 2, Park 2000 Heighington Lane Business Park, Newton Aycliffe County Durham DL5 6AR collinsseafood.com Tel: 01325 315544

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laca:feature 2 24/04/2013 12:36 Page 36

School catering Local Authority Catering Association

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laca:feature 2 24/04/2013 12:36 Page 37

School catering Local Authority Catering Association

one voice

one vision Since it’s inception in 1999, LACA has set out to inform, develop, represent and support its members through a range of initiatives and services

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ACA’s campaign for National School Meals Week (NSMW) in 2012 has been highly commended by judges at the recent Marketing Excellence Awards run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Judges said: “The Marketing Excellence Awards celebrate the best marketing achievements across various industry sectors and acknowledge the contributions made by individuals as well as by teams. “Winning a CIM Marketing Excellence Award means that you have created results that deliver real business benefits. “It is important that we celebrate these achievements, to continuously flag the positive value of marketing to both businesses and society. It’s the marketers who are on the frontline of any business, bridging the gap between customers’ needs and company offerings that need to perform, gain competitive advantage and make profit.” Entered into the Public Sector – Local Authority and Emergency Services category by AVF Marketing on behalf of LACA, the NSMW campaign lost out to NHS Blood and Transplant, the winner of the award. In a statement LACA said: “LACA was very proud to receive the Highly Commended in Public Sector (Local Authority & Emergency Services) category for LACA's National School Meals Week at last night's CIM awards. Many thanks to Arnold and the AVF Marketing team for all their work and for submitting NSMW for a CIM Award on our behalf. A great result!” Established in 1990, the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) is the leading professional body representing 750 catering managers in local authorities, private contractors and individual schools who are providers of school meals services

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within primary and secondary schools in England, Wales and Scotland. Since its inception, LACA has set out to inform, develop, represent and support its members through a range of initiatives and services. The membership of LACA is diverse and includes public and private sector providers, client officers, dieticians and individual schools. There are also 400 associate members who are jointly responsible for the supply of over £425 million worth of food, drink, equipment and services to the school catering sector. With 135 local authorities represented in the membership, eighty percent of the

“Winning a CIM Marketing Excellence Award means that you have created results that deliver real business benefits” catering service is provided by LACA members. With around three million lunches being served every day in 22,000 schools, the LACA network is the country’s largest provider of school catering. The organisation draws on the strengths of its membership nationally, and is managed through its members on a voluntary basis. Each region elects a representative to sit on the LACA Board and to become a Director of LACA Ltd. The Directors of LACA Ltd have overall responsibility for decisions made by the Association. There is a continuing need for all involved in the industry to work together to maintain high standards in the school catering service, and thus make a major contribution to the health of future generations.

Bourne House Horsell Park, Woking Surrey GU21 4LY, UK www.laca.co.uk Tel: 01483 766777

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Brookwood Partnership:feature 2 29/04/2013 10:50 Page 38

School catering The Brookwood Partnership

unbeatable food

STANDARDS

Serving more than 45,000 fresh meals each day, Brookwood provides a first class, dedicated contract catering service to 93 independently run schools across the UK

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Brookwood Partnership:feature 2 29/04/2013 10:50 Page 39

School catering The Brookwood Partnership

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he Brookwood Partnership is a catering company built on a firm ethos to deliver quality, both in terms of its output and to the staff that work so hard to attain these high standards. Serving almost 100 schools, the majority of which are independent, the company produces around 45,500 meals a day. In spite of this staggering quantity, quality remains the focus. “It’s predominantly all about fresh, local sourcing,” Managing Partner Kate Martin explained. “Food that is produced in the UK, actually cooked in a kitchen at the school, and served to the students in their own dining rooms.” Established in 1996, The Brookwood Partnership is privately owned by three managing partners, and employs almost 900 people across its various sites in

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the UK. In addition to its excellent reputation as a caterer, the company is renowned throughout the industry for its exemplary attitude towards its hardworking employees, says Kate; “We’re called ‘a partnership’ because every employee, after a length of service, will get a percentage of his or her salary paid back in the form of profit-sharing.” She went on, “I know we’re the only contractor that does that, and it’s a nice thank you to all of our staff for what they do.” The company’s dedicated people cater to a broad mix of students across the age groups - from the very first day of school, right up to sixth form. As such, menu creation is a deeply thought-out affair. “The food on offer differs depending on specific age groups. In prep schools for example, our menus are geared around serving food that the children are familiar with, and taking them on a journey by

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School catering The Brookwood Partnership

introducing them to new tastes and ideas,” said Kate. “With the older children it becomes far more sophisticated, as the pupils become more discerning. Our menus reflect high-street trends, and we try to keep it innovative, fun and exciting.” This is particularly important for boarding schools, where the students are essentially at home, explains Kate; “Lunch tends to be more of a fuel stop, whereas evening at boarding schools is the time when you can make it more interactive and educational because there's more time and less pressure.”

“Our menus reflect high-street trends, and we try to keep it innovative, fun and exciting.” Kate Martin Managing Partner In addition to this, The Brookwood Partnership retains a fierce dedication to using local fare. The company promotes British produce throughout its menus, and also utilizes local suppliers depending on availability. “We do buy local produce, for example on one of our sites we buy sausages from a local butcher, and watercress in Surrey,” Kate said. “We’re always trying to support local communities, as well as British food, to reduce

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unnecessary food miles.” The company’s supply network is thoroughly audited, with all meat Red Tractor approved to ensure it’s completely traceable. “We use sustainable fish, as well as free-range eggs and chicken from the UK only,” Kate added, “we’re pretty stringent in what we buy, and where we buy from - and we have to be. Traceability is of paramount importance, particularly in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, which fortunately hasn’t touched us in any way, shape, or form.” While the company has no obligation to meet the government’s nutritional guidelines for state schools, due to its independent status, The Brookwood Partnership is focused on ensuring that nutrition is at the forefront of menu creation. “We exceed all the nutritional standards that the government has laid down as far as state schools are concerned,” said Kate. “We do this by making sure that all of our menus are nutritionally analysed by our own company nutritionists, to make sure that they’re balanced and sound.” In addition to providing healthy food, The Brookwood Partnership is also dedicated to the education process, and healthy eating is promoted via the company’s own ‘Eating For Life’ programme. The programme actively encourages students to eat healthily, with leaflets, posters and tasting tables set up in dining rooms to point pupils in the right direction. The company also takes part in classroom talks, assemblies, open days, and interacts directly with parents to demonstrate that the responsibility of catering is taken

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Brookwood Partnership:feature 2 29/04/2013 10:50 Page 41

School catering The Brookwood Partnership

BE BETTER INFORMED

SUBSCRIBE TO FEAST MAGAZINE

CALL 01484 411400

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School catering The Brookwood Partnership

01293 553040

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info@co-ordination.net

www.catering-hire.net

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Brookwood Partnership:feature 2 29/04/2013 10:50 Page 43

School catering The Brookwood Partnership Brookwood scoop two awards at the Cost Sector Catering Awards: The Corporate Responsibility Award and The Unit Manager of the Year Award

seriously. The ‘Eating For Life’ programme also extends into the kitchen, where The Brookwood Partnership leads by example. “We re-skill all of our chefs so they can still make food taste great, without adding salt. We want to use our chefs’ skills - so a chef will actually be cooking rather than opening a packet. We make all our own bread, yoghurt, and soup. Everything we do is homemade,” Kate explained. “Things like that really encourage children to be able to select a healthy diet from a very young age, and make good choices that stay with them hopefully throughout their lives.” Education is a huge aspect of what The Brookwood Partnership offers, and the company are particularly looking forward to the upcoming World Environment Day on the 5th June. Coinciding with this international occasion will be the company’s Planet Matters Day, a massive event to promote the caterers’ programme of the same name. “Our Planet Matters™ programme is all about the environmental responsibilities we have towards the planet, and working with schools to make sure we’re ahead in that field,” said Kate. “We find that school children are really motivated by the environment and want to know that we’re responsible caterers, so we do a lot of work with them – not only receiving ideas and feedback, but letting them know what we do

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School catering The Brookwood Partnership

The Brookwood Partnership Ltd Brookwood House 1 Churchfield Road Walton on Thames Surrey KT12 2TW Tel 01932 233 299 Leeds Office: The Brookwood Partnership Ltd No. 2 Wellington Place Leeds LS1 4AP Tel 0113 366 2027 www.brookwood-ptnrs.com

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through assemblies and presentations. Hence our Planet Matters Day on the 5th of June.” World Environment Day will essentially act as a platform to launch the company’s all-encompassing Planet Matters Day across every single one of it’s schools. “Every school will have a menu that has been designed around promoting local and British produce, but also Fairtrade as well – which we’re very big on,” explained Kate. “There are certain things we cant grow in the UK, but still need to use - and we try wherever possible to source Fairtrade products.” Planet Matters Day will therefore focus on giving children a greater awareness of where their food comes from, and how far it’s travelled to end up on their plates. Furthermore, the company is looking to actively promote recycling with a unique approach, according to Kate. “Staff on the sites will be dressing up in costumes, and decorating the dining rooms with things that they’ve made out of recy-

cled products like newspaper, cardboard and other products that would otherwise be thrown away,” she said. “We want to show that we can use recyclable things in lots of different ways.” “Planet Matters is all about informing the pupils about everything environmental,” said Kate. “From plate waste, and recycling - to food miles, how much electricity it takes to produce lunch in school, and all the others aspects with regards to local food.” These are messages that should be promoted on a daily basis, according to Kate, and The Brookwood Partnership does this through stickers and leaflets throughout the year. “We haven’t done a day where the whole company is involved before,” said Kate. “This will be the first time we’ve done that, and everyone is really looking forward to it. Children love this sort of stuff, they see the planet very much as their own, and their future and it’s causing quite a lot of excitement!”

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Aramark:feature 2 10/05/2013 14:50 Page 46

School Catering Aramark

food service

SOLUTIONS Aramark’s education team puts in place food service solutions, which are designed especially for the students or pupils at each establishment.

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ramark is a food service partner to organisations across a range of sectors including business and industry, education, healthcare, offshore and defence. The company has over 12,500 employees in the UK, who provide a vast range of services to customers. Aramark delivers tailor-made food service and refreshment solutions, including business dining, employee restaurants, retail facilities and coffee outlets throughout the UK. The company is passionate about food - about its quality and freshness and how and where it is served. Its Innovation Centre plays a key role in helping Aramark understand customers' needs and meeting them through the development of new food offers and menus. It also has expertise in services beyond food, such as grounds maintenance, reception duties, cleaning

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and many more, each package designed according to the client's individual requirements. Recently, Aramark scooped two prizes at the annual Cost Sector Catering Awards, which showcase the UK’s best organisations and people in food service. The coveted Chef Award went to Gerard O'Sullivan, Culinary Director, Special Projects. It marks continuing success for Gerard, who also won Chef of the Year at the FSM Awards last November. In addition, Aramark as a whole took home the prestigious Event Catering award, which was accepted by Neil Shroeder, Executive Director, Special Projects. Both awards were given in recognition of the substantial role Aramark played in delivering a major event in London last year. Aramark was also recognised at the prestigious HCA (Hospital Caterers’ Association) National Awards for the second year running. Its team at South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation

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Aramark:feature 2 10/05/2013 14:50 Page 47

School Catering Aramark

Trust (SLaM) has been highly commended in the annual awards in the Catering Service of the Year category. For the SLaM team, led by Director of Operations Julie Anderson, it's a second accolade after being highly commended in 2012 as the HCA's Catering Team of the Year. Open to hospitals and contractors across the country, the awards recognise those who “not only maintain a quality food service but exceed expectations and enhance the patient experience.” In particular, the HCA looked for evidence of teams who “go over and above the call of

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duty to support the healing work of medical teams with healthy, nutritious food.” In its submission, Aramark focused on its move from providing frozen to fresh food at SLaM, a major change which contributed to a 22% reduction in patient feeding costs and a substantial increase in patient satisfaction scores. SLaM is the largest mental health trust in the UK and has a renowned reputation worldwide for being at the leading edge of development and research into the treatment of mental health. Aramark's greatest success in the last year is in further and higher education, as

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School Catering Aramark newly-released figures show that the value of its new education contracts grew by 126% in its last financial year. Wins with institutions including the University of Westminster, Wirral Metropolitan College and Hammersmith College mean that Aramark generated new business worth over £4.2m per annum for 2012, up from just under £1.9m the previous year.

“Our success is down to the fact that we provide so much more than food and facilities services”

www.aramark.co.uk Tel: 01252 529000

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Tracey Smith, Aramark’s Business Development Director, Education, said: “Our success is down to the fact that we provide so much more than food and facilities services. We know that we are a ‘shop window’ for universities and colleges and form part of their drive to attract the best students. “Through innovating with menus, restaurant design and customer promotions, and delivering hospitality and other core FM services, we help make our clients' institutions appealing and dynamic.” Aramark’s portfolio of education clients also includes the Universities of London, Salford, Sunderland, Worcester and York St John. Aramark’s education team puts in place food service solutions, which are designed especially for the students or pupils at each establishment. The company offers a number of different food types and styles from

contemporary cuisine to high street retail brands such as Costa, all under the banner “feeding the body...fuelling the mind.” The education line of business has approximately 130 locations across UK, ranging from independent schools and further education colleges to universities and secondary schools. Over 1,300 employees deliver these services to students and pupils. Aramark successfully provides conferencing and hospitality catering services as part of the commercial development of its clients’ facilities. The catering provided ranges from simple hot beverage services to large scale, high quality receptions, graduation ceremonies and summer schools. Aramark’s latest contract success was for international aircraft manufacturer Airbus across its UK sites at Filton, near Bristol and Broughton, near Chester. The five-year contract is worth around £25m. Aramark will introduce initiatives including an increased number of food and drink outlets, refurbished dining areas, a new concierge service and longer opening hours. Each is aimed at matching the working patterns of Airbus’ diverse workforce, which ranges from manufacturers through to engineers and office-based employees.

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Tibbatts Abel:feature 2 07/05/2013 12:08 Page 50

Interior Design Tibbatts Abel

outstanding interior

DESIGN Created by a dynamic partnership of specialists in the hospitality and leisure design industry Tibbatts·Abel is an outstanding interior design and architectural consultancy

“W 214 Fort Dunlop Fort Parkway Birmingham B24 9FD tibbatts.com Tel: 0121 7471111

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e like to work with the site and not just the scheme,” proclaims Director Adam Tibbatts. “No site is the same and each has its own characteristics that need to be brought through in the design.” That attitude results in Tibbatts Abel’s approach being to take on fresh, innovative and dynamic projects. Even when dealing with chains, it always provides an independent feel to every site rather than simply churning out each as a replica of the previous one. Although the company was formed less than seven years ago, the two partners have thirty years

industry experience and the Tibbatts name is into its second generation after 33 years in the business. In effect, it’s a combination of experience and an innovative approach that’s applied by this interior design consultancy to projects in the hospitality and leisure industry. The result is a growing and varied client base that includes Chinawhite, Movida, Buddha Bar International, the Lazy Cow chain of steak restaurants, Greene King, Signature Pubs and many independents. The work for Buddha Bar International, as Adam explains, shows how delivering what the client needs leads to further contracts: “The Buddha Bar in Knightsbridge opened pre-Christmas and we

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Tibbatts Abel:feature 2 07/05/2013 12:08 Page 51

Interior Design Tibbatts Abel were employed by Buddha Bar International to move the existing bar concept into the 21st Century. We used several modern lighting techniques to create a very powerful ambience within the space and we’re now looking at other projects in Europe for Buddha Bar International.” The use of modern lighting techniques is not only to provide the required effect but also delivers energy efficient lighting in line with other environmentally friendly materials. It’s all part of the complete service that Tibbatts Abel provides, with the main emphasis on front of house design. COMPLETE SERVICE The service, according to Adam, is honed to meet clients’ needs and always focused on the individuality of the site and the client: “We take a brief from the client and assess and analyse their needs as much as we can. We need to get in their head, put forward ideas based on initial discussions and move from there into spatial layouts, conceptual design, full detail design, technical design and operations on site. We’ll take a project from start to finish, project manage it and offer a complete design and build service with contractors we have worked with previously. We do everything from taking the brief to getting the licence and planning, executing on site to handing the project over.” That sort of approach has led to various accolades that include Best Bar awards for London and Scotland. It’s also caused a feeling that the industry future is looking more positive. Adam says: “It is a difficult economic climate but we have very loyal clients who have been with us for years. But we are actively looking for new clients and new opportunities. We do hotel work, such as the Rutland Hotel in Edinburgh, but we would like to push into that further.”

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Simple Simon :feature 2 09/05/2013 09:20 Page 52

Interior Design Simple Simon Design

simply great

DESIGN Simple Simon Design understand bar, restaurant and hotel interiors. They know how and why they work and have a wealth of project managing installations to time and budget

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Interior Design Simple Simon Design

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esign for hospitality and leisure, according to Simon Hall, isn’t just about how the property looks. “Everyone gets excited about design and appearance,” he remarks, “but the operational side is really fundamental, making sure the space works. We’re providing a business service and it’s no good if it looks beautiful but is a nightmare trying to get dishes around the restaurant because the food is in the wrong place. So we take great pride in operational success as well as appearance.” Simon’s company, Simple Simon Design, has spent the last ten years in interior design and its specialisation is bar, restaurant and hotel interiors. A background in strategic branding means it can also ensure a cohesive and structured appearance that runs right through an establishment’s signage, menus and staff aprons to its stationery and website so everything ties together. But the main aim, as Simon emphasises, is getting the interior completely right: “Most work comes from customer referral and so customer satisfaction is absolutely paramount. Getting the brief right and understanding what the client wants is an important first step. “Clients have a business plan and need to achieve a certain number of covers every sitting. We also have to make sure the supply lines to and from the kitchen are working, think about how the end user will perceive it, health and safety, and building regulations in terms of layout and facilities. The first stage answers that business response and makes sure the solution will fulfil particular business criteria, before we start worrying about colour and appearance.” To achieve its aims, the company handles everything through a tried and tested process from initial consultation through detailed design and eventually a review of the project’s conclusion. Along the way it project manages

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the build and liaises with approved suppliers and contractors to deliver exactly what the client needs. It’s a formula that’s worked well on projects, mainly in its southwest area but increasingly across the UK. CONTRASTING PROJECTS These projects include two Graze Bar developments for Bath Ales that were a complete contrast. “One was a 400-year old timber frame building in Cirencester and the other was a new build in Bath, still being finished as we fitted it out,” recalls Simon. “That’s a quality barrestaurant for a traditional brewer and is very contemporary in style. It’s at Bath station and is very high profile because it’s the first city centre location for Bath Ales within Bath.” The varying needs of these two projects illustrate Simon’s belief that hospitality venues have to be appropriate to their location so that, for example, creating a vintage French bistro in

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Interior Design Simple Simon Design

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Interior Design Simple Simon Design

a new shopping mall just doesn’t work. That’s why even developments for a bar or restaurant chain are individually designed to reflect their surroundings. Simon says: “It’s important the customer buys into it and the dining experience stacks up. You have to make the most of existing architectural features that help make sense of the building and space. It can be a challenge tying those in with the client’s core brand values but it’s incredibly important the building’s inside reflects what’s outside. If it doesn’t look and feel right, people won’t engage with it properly and it won’t resonate with them.” That’s been reflected in the company’s most prestigious project to date, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new River Cottage Canteen in Bristol, a 120-seat restaurant in a Grade 2 listed former church hall. The design established a changed layout emphasising the building’s best features, maximised its operational efficiency and required close working with the River Cottage team, the conservation officer and planning department. ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES The completed project reflected the River Cottage ethos of restaurants with a family feel and individual features in character buildings. It also embodied, as Simon recalls, the high environmental values required: “They believe in that wholeheartedly so all the lighting is low energy, there’s no air conditioning front of house and many products were sourced locally. That was challenging because it reduced the choice but was a stimulating exercise and absolutely essential to River Cottage. Their fans and customers buy in wholeheartedly to their brand

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values and it’s vital we support those and doesn’t undermine them.” That project turned out really well and Simon is hopeful others will follow as River Cottage identifies sites to develop. If so, it will add to an expanding portfolio. “We have various pubs, bars and restaurants on the books and we’re very busy,” comments Simon. “We’re thrilled to be growing when others are struggling. I feel incredibly confident about the industry and think Britain is a fantastic and creative place to work. It’s so competitive and the quality of night life and dining is very exciting. Hospitality is a core part of our business and we see our future in bars, restaurants and hotels.”

Simple Simon Design Ltd 5.10 Paintworks Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3EH www.simplesimondesign.co.uk Tel: 0117 9725976

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Damson Restaurant:feature 2 25/04/2013 16:32 Page 56

Interior Design Damson

top-notch

KITCHEN

Dawnvale serves up top-notch kitchen for delicious Damson

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reater Manchester-based Dawnvale is proud to have played a significant role in supporting both award winning restaurateur Steve Pilling and Salford City College to create and install one of the UK’s ‘greenest’ and most advanced low-energy commercial training kitchens at the £1m Damson Restaurant overlooking the garden and piazza area of MediaCityUK. The 140-cover Damson Restaurant officially opened earlier this month to rave reviews and is already proving to be a hot-spot for food-lovers from across the North

The 140-cover Damson Restaurant officially opened earlier this month to rave reviews West and beyond. The kitchen meanwhile is providing students from FutureSkills, Salford City College’s £6m advanced skills centre, the opportunity to work for one of the North West’s top restaurant brands in a cutting edge commercial kitchen environment. The groundbreaking project (and vision of Graham Pennington, Deputy Chief Executive at Salford City College) has

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been in planning and build for over two years, although Dawnvale completed their remit in a 12-week period as agreed. Working closely with Chef Simon Stanley, renowned restaurateur Steve Pilling and architect Don Hobson (Design Mac), Neil Guest, Managing Director of Dawnvale set out to deliver leading-edge kitchen facilities featuring the latest sustainable and environmentally friendly technology. This included low energy induction and next generation kitchen sanitation technology (a central island cooking suite powered by induction saves an incredible ninety percent of energy compared to traditional equipment), a low energy extraction canopy with a unique curved glass back (this curve creates the vortex, which increases the velocity thereby reducing the energy required), and fully removable grease filters and filter housing making this the easiest and safest extraction system to clean. The kitchen also featured PCO technology in the ventilation system that helps sanitise the kitchen and reduces cross contamination. In addition, it reduces airborne bacteria by over ninety percent. As well as the commercial kitchen, Dawnvale also designed and fitted the new bar, marble floors, bespoke wine displays, and a feature drop-down ceiling with LED lighting. The company also provided the complete furniture package. This included four large bespoke radius fixed

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Interior Design Damson

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seating booths with arched backs including individually upholstered flutes with single copper button and headrest, shaped seat, laminated outer backs with routed copper strip detail. In addition, Dawnvale supplied the dining tables. These were manufactured with a high quality rosewood natural wood veneer top with Italian turned metal pedestals in a specified RAL finish. Also, high quality Italian dining chairs and armchairs in split fabrics, with matching high stools, designer sofas and lounge chairs all finished in a range of contract fabrics completed the furniture package. Dawnvale’s credentials and outstanding reputation in the hospitality sector span over thirty years. Other notable recent projects include TGI Fridays, Hawksmoor Restaurants and the Chaophraya Group. Renowned for design flair, collaborative working practices and value for money, Dawnvale designs, manufactures and fits bars, restaurants, hotel bedrooms, cinema rooms for some of the UK’s leading hospitality groups and independently owned restaurants and hotels. Neil and the team already had a long-standing relationship with Steve Pilling whose superlative credentials span some fifteen years at the very highest level and whose restaurants include the multi-award winning Damson Restaurant in Heaton Moor and The Red Lion in High Lane.

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Steve said, “Salford City College should be congratulated for their vision, passion and hard work in ensuring the industry has not just a national centre of excellence for our young people, but actually one we can safely say aspires to be world-class. “My expertise in running, owning and developing high quality restaurants has, I trust, brought a new and personal dimension to the project. Working with Salford City College and Dawnvale to ensure the facilities and experience will surpass the expectations of students and the paying public has been exhilarating and inspirational. “This will be the perfect environment for students to truly learn and master their craft as well as gain knowledge on the increasingly important elements of running a sustainable and environmentally-friendly kitchen. It’s great news for young people with career aspirations, the North West hospitality sector and the industry as a whole.” Said Neil Guest, “This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting projects Dawnvale has ever been involved in. Every single aspect of the design and build has been created using ‘next-generation’ thinking; we have pushed all the boundaries to harness the very best products available to meet our sustainable and low-energy approach.”

Dawnvale Albert House, Albert Street Hollinwood, Oldham OL8 3QP Tel: 0161 684 7879 www.dawnvale.com www.dawnvalefurniture.com Damson Restaurant MediaCityUK, Orange Building MediaCityUK, Salford M50 2EQ Tel: 0161 751 7020 mediacity.damsonrestaurant.co.uk

F E A S T M AG A Z I N E

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Nevis Bakery :feature 2 07/05/2013 17:08 Page 60

Bakers and Confectionaries Nevis Bakery

the peak of

Highland baking Standing on the shores of Loch Lihnnie under the shadow of Ben Nevis, Nevis Bakery produces a range of high quality cakes and biscuits

Nevis Bakery Ltd Units 5, Annat Industrial Estate Corpach, Fort William PH33 7NA www.nevisbakery.com Tel: 01397 772087

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hen the last bakery in Fort William closed, master baker Archie Paterson saw a business opportunity. That led to the establishment of Nevis Bakery in 1981, which remains a family business today but has expanded to the point where it is now looking to sell into China and elsewhere. The company started from a small factory unit with a shop outlet and a retail van selling products to local houses. That eventually led to the set up of a shop in Fort William, another in Oban and a growing wholesale business. The product range now comprises mainly of cakes, shortbread, oat-

cakes and biscuits plus a number of craft bakery products such as savouries and morning goods. A common feature for all products is the use of fresh and local ingredients. “We try to source as locally as possible,” comments Archie. “All the eggs come from a farm in Aberdeenshire. Nowadays, it’s a legal requirement that hens have to be kept in certain sizes of cage so we stopped taking in foreign eggs and only use fresh Scottish eggs because we know our farmers abide by these rules. “For the everyday savouries we make for our local area, we get fresh meat each day from the butcher. First thing in the morning, it all comes in fresh and we don’t store meat at all on the premises. It’s all worked off that day and turned into pies. Our floor is milled in a flour mill in Kirkcaldy in Fife and, as far as possible, we try to keep everything local. Sugar has to come in from abroad but, where possible, we source Scottish raw materials and we use Scottish suppliers. We are SALSA accredited.”

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Nevis Bakery :feature 2 07/05/2013 17:08 Page 61

Bakers and Confectionaries Nevis Bakery Another significant factor is that everything’s baked fresh to order. That’s particularly relevant for the products that go to wholesalers and distributors, where shelf life is important. This varies from three months for oat cakes up to a year for shortbreads, which makes these products particularly suitable for the company’s growing export trade. That, as Archie explains, resulted from recommendation of the company’s products: “The overseas customers order through an exporter in Liverpool, with the products mainly going to expat supermarkets in Bahrain and Kuwait for people who want a taste of home. We were approached by the exporter who had an enquiry for our oatcakes, a company in Bahrain having been specifically asked for Nevis oatcakes by expats who have tasted them and wanted some out there.” The company produces consistently high quality products that include loaf cakes that are moist, as against the dry versions that are sometimes produced elsewhere. This consistency has led to repeat orders and referrals as well as a host of awards over the years. One of the most recent is a gold award for the company’s Brue Highlander steak pies at the Scottish Pie Championships. That’s the fourth gold for the pie on three years, which illustrates the consistency of the product. Making consistently high quality products has led to rising output and, as Archie confirms, there is scope for more: “We’ve got a fair bit of the UK covered at the moment so we’re now tending to look to China and places like that. There is a significant demand for good Scottish products out there at the moment. We’ve still got a good few hours in the day that we can produce without increasing our capacity and we’ve got the same amount of ground outside if we have to expand the factory at all.”

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Becketts Farm:feature 2 09/05/2013 14:19 Page 62

farm

Food Producers Becketts Farm

fresh off the

Becketts have been farming in Wythall for 75 years and bringing both fresh food and farming closer to the people.

F

Becketts Farm (A. E. Beckett & Sons Ltd) Heath Farm, Alcester Road Wythall, Birmingham B47 6AJ www.beckettsfarm.co.uk Telephone: 01564 823402

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ew farms welcome the development of a major road close by but that helped Becketts Farm to diversify. The building of a dual carriageway and the farm’s location one mile from the M42 ensured the success of a farm shop that started in a garage at the roadside and is now in its sixth version. Since that limited beginning, the business has changed out of all recognition. “It’s just grown,” remarks Marketing Manager Holly Beckett. “We built the restaurant onto a new farm shop in 1996, adding the cookery school and conference facilities in 2008.” Other ventures include business properties, a golf driving range, football pitches and a day care centre. It’s all part of the diversification that has seen farm-

ing become less significant although there are still 1,000 acres of arable crops. The farm remains important because it provides, along with other local farms and producers, quality produce for the farm shop and restaurant. The latter is a 14-seat family-friendly establishment with a British style and everything cooked fresh, opening daily and also used for private hire and special events. The Orange Kitchen cookery school provides adult’s and children’s’ courses, runs team building events and is available for commercial kitchen hire. The original farm shop has now expanded to eight departments that include hot food, a deli and a florist. Holly adds: “We have a bakery for fresh bread and cakes. That’s probably our most popular department and the biggest selling line is cream

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Becketts Farm:feature 2 09/05/2013 14:20 Page 63

Food Producers Becketts Farm cakes made with fresh cream. The butchers supports local producers and farmers, butchering all meat on site and producing our own mince.” Location is important to the enterprise’s success. Its position on the Worcestershire/Warwickshire border means a wide range of quality produce is available while closeness to Birmingham and the road network ensures a variety of customers. Nevertheless, Becketts remains a family run business true to its local community. “We’re always helping schools and local charities,” remarks Holly. “We’re happy to do it and hold a number of events throughout the year. At Easter, we have an animal nursery so kids can come and watch eggs hatching, hold chicks, spring lambs and calves. We do a big event at Christmas, family oriented, a magical Christmas adventure. Other events include food fairs, exotic pet days and family fun days. It just provides a little bit more.” The business is committed to the environment, planting wild flowers to encourage bees, recycling 80% of waste and installing a 50 kilowatt solar power system. All its efforts have resulted in Becketts being named Business of the Year 2012 in the Midlands Family Business Awards and have, according to Holly, kept things moving during difficult times: “We’ve maintained the figures we’ve had over the past few years so it’s nice we’re still supported. I’d like to think that’s due to links with the local community because that support is from them. We’re always trying to attract new people as well as retaining the old ones.”

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63


Yate Supplies:feature 2 10/05/2013 16:10 Page 64

Catering Suppliers Yate Supplies

one stop

shop With over 25 years experience in this industry Yate Supplies is a one stop shop for catering and janitorial supplies.

www.yatesupplies.com Tel: 01454 312 300

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ith over 25 years’ experience in the industry Yate Supplies is a one-stop shop for catering and janitorial supplies. It is based in a 50,000 sq ft warehouse North of Bristol and holds over 7,000 stock lines. The company prides itself on excellent service and offering a real alternative to national competitors and online wholesalers. Yate Supplies provides services for both local and national accounts, including many well known restaurants, hotel chains and facilities management companies. Its teams are highly professional and pro-active in offering customers the service they deserve. Having enjoyed a steady growth over the last quarter of a century Yate Supplies is still family owned and run. The company follows the same principles now as it did when its was first founded

and these have always set it apart from competitors. Complementing the service is Yate Supplies’ own fleet of vehicles which travel the length and breadth of the country supported by a third party distribution network. The company goes to great lengths to ensure its own fleet is carbon neutral and the drivers are trained to SAFED standard (Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving). Part of Yate Supplies’ success over the years is its ability to provide bespoke products. The company says, “Everyone likes to be a little different or stand out from the crowd. Here at Yate Supplies, we like that too, so we offer a wide range of bespoke services for our customers. “We can get many of the things within our range customised to your requirements providing it meets our minimum purchase quantities, from food wraps to fine dining crockery, cleaning chemicals to clothing. The only limitation is your imagination. “We can hold your bespoke products on the shelf and you can pay for them as you use them, our website will enable you to log into your account and view your specifically stocked items and live stock levels at anytime.”

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Yate Supplies:feature 2 10/05/2013 16:10 Page 65

Catering Suppliers Yate Supplies

Highlighting the standard of its work are the many awards it has won (or been nominated for) in recent years. These include two in 2011 from the Food Packaging Association (FPA) where it won the Environmental Award and was nominated for the Distributor of the Year Award. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 it was nominated for the FPA’s Distributor of the Year Award also. As part of its corporate responsibility, Yate Supplies is acutely aware of the impact it has on the environment. Therefore, the company monitors its own environmental performance while providing customers with a range of products with green credentials. These products have been chosen for their credibility, environmental impact and small carbon footprint, factors which are important to Yate Supplies and most importantly to the customer and end user.

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classified:feature 2 24/04/2013 16:21 Page 66

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SEAFOOD SUPPLIERS

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Morris and son PremiumSeafoodProducts

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Cooked Chicken Portions in Norfolk

RESTAURANT AND WHOLESALE BUSINESS

www.cookedchickenportions.co.uk

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4BLACK PUDDING TO DIE FOR 4WILD BOAR SAUSAGES 4PANCETTA 4TRADITIONAL CUMBERLAND SAUSAGES PGI

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classified:feature 2 24/04/2013 16:21 Page 67

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bread:feature 2 24/04/2013 16:29 Page 68

What do you know about...

Some interesting facts about one of the oldest prepared foods Around 10,000 B.C. man first started eating a crude form of flat bread – a baked combination of flour and water. Ancient Egyptians are usually credited with inventing the oven and discovering yeast leavening. About 3,000 B.C. they started fermenting flour and water mixtures by using wild, air-borne yeast. Eventually they added sugar, salt and flavourings such as poppy and sesame seeds. Parts of the ancient world that drank wine instead of beer used a paste composed of grape juice and flour that was allowed to begin fermenting, or wheat bran steeped in wine, as a source for yeast.

Pliny the Elder (AD 23 – August 25, 79) reported that the Gauls and Iberians used the foam skimmed from beer to produce ‘a lighter kind of bread than other peoples.’ In Medieval Europe a piece of stale bread roughly 6 inches by 4 inches called a trencher was used as an absorbent plate. At the completion of a meal the trencher could then be eaten, given to the poor, or fed to the dogs. It was not until the fifteenth century that trenchers made of wood started to replace the bread variety.

The French Baguette is derived from words meaning ‘little stick.’ In the 1950s the beatnik community used the term bread as a euphemism for money. In Cockney rhyming slang, bread means money; this usage is derived from the phrase ‘bread and honey’ In Britain in the nineteenth century the inflated price of bread due to the Corn Laws caused major political and social divisions, and was central to debates over free trade and protectionism.

Germany prides itself on having the largest variety of breads worldwide. More than 300 basic kinds of bread are produced with more than 1,000 types of small bread-rolls and pastries. The inside of the bread is called, the ‘crumb’. The Jewish bagel is boiled before it is baked, giving it its distinctive texture. Before erasers were invented, people used a rolled up piece of white bread to erase graphite.

The Italian bread, Ciabatta means slipper; the shape of the bread roughly resembles a slipper. Rome had a bakers’ guild in about 150 B.C. and the 12th century bakers guilds in London and Paris were two of the first modern craft brotherhoods. The first automatic bread slicer was invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder. It takes a modern combine harvester about 9 seconds to harvest enough wheat to make 70 loaves of bread.

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ISSUE 154

cover 154:Layout 1 11/05/2013 11:41 Page 1

FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING TODAY

ISSUE 154

ALSO INSIDE: Collins Seafood Tibbatt’s Abel The Brookwood Partnership The Raby Hunt

FEAST MAGAZINE

THE EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER Ponti’s Group

Paul Ainsworth at Number 6

Simple Simon Design

Raising the standards

Six of the best

Simply the best in design

Feast 154  

Feast mag Issue 154

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