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ISSUE 158

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ISSUE 158

FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING TODAY

LET’S

FEAST MAGAZINE

WOK

AT THE SCHOOL OF WOK Nelson Design

The Luminar Group

Tate Liverpool

An eye for detail at

Giving people a big night out

A unique setting


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Editor’s comment MORRISONS’ M LOCAL EDITOR: Daniel Stephens CONTRIBUTORS: Jeff Senior Rob Samuels Matt Waring ART EDITOR: Steve Williams DESIGNER: Kate Webber FEATURE MANAGERS: Nikki Mcmath Tony Croxford Fran Smith PRODUCTION: Vicki Lindsay Lisa Pollinger ADMINISTRATION: Charlotte Lewis ACCOUNTS MANAGER: Nick Charalambous 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

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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GAMBLE orrisons has fallen behind the other major supermarket retailers in recent years. Having the least amount of stores amongst the “big four” means it can’t compete in overall sales but alarmingly the supermarket, which was established in Bradford in 1899, has seen its market share steadily drop. While Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s have generally maintained the market share they held in 2011, Morrisons has seen its position drop from 12.1 per cent to 11.3 per cent. In 2013, it has targeted the convenience store market, an area of retail it was lacking previously. Adding to the estate with the purchase of floor space previously used by HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops, Morrisons has begun opening smaller stores in key city and town centre locations. Fast-tracking its “M Local” brand, the supermarket retailer plans to open 100 stores by the end of 2013. But what benefits will this bring to our high street? During the summer, M Local stores opened in Wokingham, Kensington, Westminster, Windsor, Kilmarnock, Derby and Blackburn. Certainly, the early signs are promising with sales growing this year. Morrisons has also provided around twenty jobs per store and could potentially create thousands more. However, other business owners on the high street have expressed concern. In Wokingham, where an M Local store has appeared in a unit vacated by Dorothy Perkins and Burton, nearby traders have seen a drop in their own sales. Some business owners have said the cheap produce and convenient location in the heart of the town has seen shoppers move away from independent stores. The owner of independent coffee outlet Oslar Coffee, Jason Oslar, said: “Because of the buying power of a supermarket chain I can’t sell sandwiches or cold drinks at the same prices as them so it’s going to have an effect on my business. Having such a large shop unit like that, supermarkets are the only people that can afford the rates. They are muscling in on every single trade.” Oslar, like many other business owners, said he would have preferred to see another clothing store open. Gagan Singh, who owns two independent convenience stores nearby said the store had a “negative impact” on his business because people perceive it to be cheaper. He said, “We have had a massive drop in sales and we have been hit hard at both shops. Things have slowed down tremendously.” So while Morrisons is creating new jobs and revitalising its brand to tap into the growing convenience market, there’s appears a negative side. Indeed, this could be another nail in the coffin of the high street as we once knew it. Yet, is that a bad thing. Big brands muscling in on independent trade is the dark side of commercial practice but we must acknowledge that the high street is changing. It is up to independent retailers to discover ways to get customers back into their shops. Therefore, instead of looking glumly at falling trade and the high street’s demise, we must look at ways to revitalise it. Part of that challenge is getting people away from their computers, and away from the lavish malls dotted around the country, and back into town centres. Morrisons convenience stores, as well as others like it, may be part of the solution.

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Daniel Stephens Editor

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

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Contents ISSUE 158

Features GREEN TOURISM 8

GREEN TOURISM BUSINESS SCHEME Sustainable tourism

16 THE LUMINAR GROUP Giving people a big night out

10 TATE LIVERPOOL A unique setting 14 BROWSHOLME HALL A stunning venue

ENTERTAINMENT

16 THE LUMINAR GROUP Giving people a big night out

HIGH PROTEIN FOODS

20 DR ZAK’S HIGH PROTEIN FOODS The home of high protein food

FINE DINING

22 KITCHEN W8 A home from home

RESTAURANT CHAIN 26 HAKKASAN Customer focused

COOKERY SCHOOL

32 SCHOOL OF WOK Let’s wok 40 BELFAST COOKERY SCHOOL More than a restaurant

INTERIOR DESIGN

42 SEA DESIGN GROUP Making space work

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HAKKASAN Customer focussed

44 NELSON DESIGN An eye for detail

CARE HOME CATERING

46 HALLMARK CARE HOMES Relationship-centred care

PUBS

48 RENAISSANCE PUBS Made in Britain

SEAFOOD

52 WILLSEA LTD Expertly prepared

STADIUM HOSPITALITY 54 WIGAN ATHLETIC A venue for all seasons

CORPORATE HOSPITALITY 58 AYNHOE PARK A bit of British eccentricity

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TATE LIVERPOOL A unique setting

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Regulars UPDATE 4

THIS MONTH’S TOP STORIES

Sections 8 GREEN TOURISM 16 ENTERTAINMENT 20 HIGH PROTEIN FOODS 22 FINE DINING 26 RESTAURANT CHAIN 32 COOKERY SCHOOLS 42 INTERIOR DESIGN 46 CARE HOME CATERING 48 PUBS 52 SEAFOOD

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54 STADIUM HOSPITALITY 58 CORPORATE HOSPITALITY

SCHOOL OF WOK Let’s wok

44

8

NELSON DESIGN An eye for detail

GREEN TOURISM BUSINESS SCHEME Sustianable tourism

22 KITCHEN W8 A home from home

Follow us on

46 HALLMARK CARE HOMES Relationship-centred care 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

CHEERS ONE HUNDRED PUBS WILL BE GIVEN A NEW LEASE OF LIFE AFTER RECEIVING SPECIAL PROTECTED STATUS. SPECIALLY chosen drinking holes in England have received the status to stop them from being closed down or prematurely sold for redevelopment. The pubs have been given Assets of Community Value (ACV) status by local councils, meaning a pub cannot be sold off without the local community being informed first. Councils will be able to refuse planning applications from developers and the measure even allows the community to put in a bid to buy the pub should it go up for sale. The measure gives the community a controlling stake in the future of their beloved local. Brandon Lewis MP, the community pubs minister said: "We have known for hundreds of years just how valuable our locals are. Not just as a place to grab a pint but also to the economies

and communities of those they serve and that is why we are doing everything we can to support and safeguard community pubs from closure." The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) estimates as many as 18 pubs close every week. The latest measure means if a listed pub goes up for sale the community can step in to ensure its future by either vetting planning applications or even bidding for the pub themselves. The Rose and Crown in Slaley, Northumberland, is one drinking establishment which recently opened under community ownership in the beginning of August. The pub’s future was in jeopardy after the tenants left in July last year, but local campaigners raised more than £280,000 and bought it from brewery Marston’s.

CAMRA hopes the latest development will help communities realise they can have a say in what happens to their local. CAMRA aims to get at least another 200 pubs listed as community assets. Mike Benner, the group's chief executive said: "CAMRA is delighted that the Government has recognised the vital importance of pubs and empowered communities to protect them. By listing their local, communities are ensuring that if the pub is under threat in the future, there is a much-needed extra layer of protection which “stops the clock” should it be put up for sale." As a result of the measures pubs are now the most commonly type of listed community building in the UK and among the most popular listed asset overall, second only to playing fields.

A BOOST FROM A DRAGON DORSET based White Pepper cookery school received a business boost from TV Dragons Den star Theo Paphitis. Last week, Luke Stuart, owner of White Pepper Cookery School, tweeted Theo about his business during ‘Small Business Sunday’, an initiative set up by Theo that runs weekly. Theo retweeted Luke’s message to his 376,700 followers and as a result, the cookery school (www.white-pepper.co.uk) has 15% more followers. The cookery school has also been profiled on a new website (www.theopaphitissbs.com).

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PREHISTORIC HUMANS SPICED THEIR COOKING EUROPEANS had a taste for spicy food at least 6,000 years ago, it seems. Researchers found evidence for garlic mustard in the residues left on ancient pottery shards discovered in what is now Denmark and Germany. The spice was found alongside fat residues from meat and fish. The scientists make the case that garlic mustard contains little nutritional value and therefore must have been used to flavour the foods. “This is the earliest evidence, as far as I know, of spice use in this region in the Western Baltic; something that has basically no nutritional value, but has this value in a taste sense,” said Dr Hayley Saul, who led the study from the University of York.

Raquel Welch in ‘One Million Years B.C’. Not the only spicy dish prehistoric man enjoyed

COOP UNVEILS ONLINE PLANS

THIRST FOR HEINEKEN COOLS DUTCH brewing giant Heineken suffered from a profits hangover in the first half of the year as miserable weather cooled drinkers’ thirst for lager. The world’s third-largest brewer, which joined forces with Danish rival Carlsberg in 2008 is fighting back against weak sales by introducing a range of “radler” drinks, which mix beer with fruit juice. A low-alcohol Foster’s radler, which includes lemon juice, has been introduced in the UK along

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with more fruit variations of its Bulmers cider brand. Yet beer sales volumes still dropped by nearly 10 per cent in the UK during the opening six months of the year. Chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer warned: “We continue to operate in a challenging trading environment. Although the volume trends have improved in July with the warm summer weather in Europe, economic conditions in several of our core markets continue to constrain consumer spending.”

UK convenience retailer The Co-operative Group is developing an online sales platform that it plans to trial this year. The company, the UK’s fifth-largest grocer, said it is investigating “a number of digital solutions” as it looks to expand into the country’s online grocery market. “We’re currently looking at a number of digital solutions to provide an online grocery offering, which will complement our strong community food retailing position,” food retail chief Steve Murrells revealed.

“We recognise that the online grocery market is a rapidly growing channel, which provides a significant opportunity for us as, primarily, a convenience retailer. We have trials planned later in the year to help us identify the best convenient solution to online food retailing.” The move follows Morrisons entry into the online space through a tie-up with Ocado that will see it launch a web platform in January and the resumption of online deliveries from frozen food specialist Iceland.

MOROCCO LAUNCHES GOLF TOURISM PUSH THE MOROCCAN National Tourist Office (MNTO) in London is to launch the Morocco Golf Championship in the UK. The Tour will host ten golf tournaments in England sponsored by the MNTO, with the winners and runners-up progressing to the grand final at the London Golf Club on October 1st. More than 1,200 aspiring amateurs, men and women, who aim to qualify for the final and win prizes

which include golfing holidays in Morocco. Under the theme of Golf in Morocco, the series will enhance the image of Morocco as The Kingdom of Golf, a nation with more than 40 courses, where every major city has at least two with others about to open or under construction. Marrakech, for instance, now has five courses and two others are scheduled to open in October with more to follow next year.

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UPDATE

SUFFOLK ORGANISATION ‘TO BOOST TOURISM' A new organisation, bringing together businesses, councils and organisations across Suffolk, is being launched on Tuesday to help boost tourism. The Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is being set up with members including Adnams brewery, Suffolk Coastal District Council and promoter Aldeburgh Music. The new group aims to attract visitors to the Suffolk coast. On 24 September it is holding a conference on promoting tourism.

The free event is being held in Aldeburgh Music's Britten Studio in the Hoffman building of the Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and local business owners are invited to consider how they can do their part to further promote the region. Speakers include James Berresford, chief executive of Visit England, Therese Coffey, Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal, and Tim Rowan-Robinson, chairman of The Suffolk Coast DMO.

LITTLE BAG, LOTS OF CAKE G. R WRIGHT & SONS, one of the UK’s leading producers of home baking mixes is launching new packaging across its portfolio of cake mixes. The bright, fresh look is set to appeal to the modern consumer and create greater stand-out and on-shelf product appeal. On shelf from September 2013, the new style packaging will be available in five pastel shades:

cream, green, blue, lilac and light yellow and will carry the strapline; Little bag. Lots of Cake. The new-style packs – Madeira, Ginger, Carrot, Toffee and Chocolate Fudge – also feature ‘back of pack’ recipes for: one cake, 15 slices, 24 cupcakes or twelve muffins, further endorsing the cake mixes versatility.

MULLER ACQUIRES UK OPERATIONS OF NOM GERMAN dairy giant Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller has acquired the UK operations of Austrian rival Nom, as it looks to expand its presence in the country's private label yoghurt market. Under the agreement, Müller has acquired Nom Dairy’s yoghurt production facility in Telford, Shropshire – securing employment at the site – which has a turnover of GBP43m (US$67.1m) per annum.

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Müller CEO Heiner Kamps said: “This acquisition underlines our commitment to growing our presence in the UK, which along with Germany and the US, is a core market for Müller. “We believe that there are strong opportunities in the UK private label yoghurt sector and the Telford facility will help us to realise our plans to provide customers with great products in this important

ART ON A SOUP TIN CAMPBELL’S has partnered with the Andy Warhol Foundation to produce a limited edition range of tomato soup cans inspired by the artist's iconic paintings. The series of four Warhol-style labels have been designed in colours including white and yellow, and pink and teal, and will launch on 9 September. Supermarket chains Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are set to stock the limited edition cans, with Warhol-related promotional activi-

ty including sampling taking place in store. The Campbell’s brand featured in a series of 32 Warhol canvases produced in 1962, each reflecting a different flavour of soup that the company produced at the time. Although Campbell’s did not commission Warhol to paint its cans the company went on to become a supporter and established the Andy Warhol Scholarship Fund with the New York Art Academy.

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IT’S CHRISTMAS

WELL THAT’S WHAT THE BIG SUPERMARKETS ARE SAYING IT’S STILL August (and the bank holiday weather was surprisingly good), but on the high street and in the UK’s supermarkets we already have the first signs of Christmas. In Tesco, Asda and others some goods, particularly giant Christmas chocolate tubs, are now proudly in position, many complete with full-on Christmas displays. Tesco said many customers like to spread the cost of Christmas while Asda said that only a few of its supermarkets had begun selling

the Christmas ranges, but more would soon follow. Retail blogger Steve Dresser spotted some Christmas chocolate assortments at an Asda store last week, complete with snow on the branding and Christmas hats on the wrappers – and tweeted what he saw. Kraft-owned Cadbury’s and Nestle typically begin selling their Christmas tins and tubs to retailers from the end of July. But Cadbury’s said supermarkets had been “very quick off the mark” this year in getting them onto shelves.

As well as the supermarkets, cash and carry chain Costco has also started selling Chrismas trees, tinsel and advent calenders. A survey released earlier this month found that retailers are expecting strong growth in online sales this Christmas – but consumers are not so sure. Some 25 retailers and more than 2,000 consumers took part in a study carried out by personalisation provider Peerius. It found that 88% of retailers expect to enjoy ecommerce

growth of 20% or more this Christmas, with an optimistic 25% expecting internet sales growth of 50% or more. However, 66% of consumers who expect to shop online this Christmas say that they will spend the same as last year. Some 16% expect to spend less and only 17% expect to spend more. Those expecting to spend more predict an average rise of 26%. Last year, online sales grew by 18%, but Peerius says its results suggest this Christmas will fall short of that.

FARMLAND IN DEMAND

FARMLAND prices in Yorkshire and Humber hit another record high during the first half of 2013 – and have now almost tripled in less than a decade, according to a survey. Figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that the cost of farmland in the region jumped to £7,000 an acre and is now almost three times the price it was for the same period in 2004 when an acre in the region cost just over £2,613. The RICS Rural Land Market Survey said the increase was driven by the ongoing surge in demand

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from farmers and investors alike. Interest from potential buyers started to steadily grow at the beginning of 2006 and surveyors in Yorkshire and Humber note that hikes in commodity prices are leading the charge to expand agricultural operations with investors increasingly seeing land as an economic safe haven. Respondents in Yorkshire and Humber expect the trend of rapidly growing farmland prices to continue over the coming year with a net balance of 67% more surveyors predicting further growth.

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Green Tourism Green Tourism Business Scheme

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Green Tourism Green Tourism Business Scheme

tourism sustainable

Sustainability and green issues are now very much mainstream and tourism, as one of the main economic drivers in the UK, has its part to play.

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any organisations use self-assessment to rate how green businesses are. That, according to Managing Director Andrea Nicholas, isn’t good enough and isn’t the way the Green Tourism Business Scheme works. She says: “When businesses look for accommodation or events, they want third party certified properties. It’s important businesses are assessed by qualified, experienced people. Our assessors have environmental backgrounds, have qualifications and they’re properly trained.” The approach has resulted in membership growing to 2,300 businesses and seen the scheme accepted as the standard for large hotel chains such as Hilton, Radisson, Best Western and IHG. It is, however, open to any business involved in tourism, a recent development in conjunction with the Broads Authority creating a system to grade hire boats. The benefits include a potential saving on identified costs of 20% in the first year as a result of advice arising from the initial assessment visit. “There’s the added benefit of promotion to the consumer,” adds Andrea. “Businesses aren’t just saying they’re green, they’ve had someone check what they do and give advice that helps specifically. Visit England research showed 58% of customers would choose a green graded business against one that wasn’t, everything else being equal.” A directory of suppliers with green products is being added to the website. Suppliers have to conform to a code of conduct that confirms their products have green credentials such as being made from recycled materials, have minimal impact on the environment or are produced in an ISO 14001 accredited factory. Andrea says: “We make sure the suppliers we promote offer green products. It is not compulsory for businesses to use the suppliers and, if they want to

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offer incentives, those are passed directly to our membership.” A big part of the organisation’s role is offering advice to members, so it has to be aware of what’s happening and is often involved in consultation processes for tourism strategy and new legislation. Typical recently was the latest waste regulations in Scotland, which will prohibit food waste being put into general waste and affect many members. “We’ve known about those regulations for two years and we’ve been letting people know so they can be prepared,” remarks Andrea. “Businesses can future proof themselves against new legislation and taxes coming along.”

“...Visit England research showed 58% of customers would choose a green graded business against one that wasn’t, everything else being equal.” Changes include redevelopment of the website to give it a more modern design, consumer facing pages, improved search and more information for businesses. The GoldStar awards ceremony has been expanded to a full day conference in November, the aim being to attract 250 businesses and broadcast live on the internet for a global audience. And, whilst some organisations continue to depend on self-assessment, the Green Tourism Business Scheme, as Andrea recounts, is revising its grading criteria: “We’re improving, updating and making sure everything’s working in terms of legislation and we’ll be incorporating issues relating to equality, accessibility and quality to make sure members meet minimum standards. That’s going out later this year for consultation and will be launched next year.”

Green Tourism Business Scheme No. 4 Atholl Place, Perth, PH1 5ND www.green-business.co.uk Tel: 01738 632162

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Green Tourism Tate Liverpool

setting

a unique

Housed in a converted warehouse in the unique waterfront setting of Albert Dock, Tate Liverpool boasts a variety of memorable spaces

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orporate sponsorship and membership provide invaluable support for Tate Liverpool and entitle supporters to access the gallery’s exclusive events spaces for receptions, dinners, meetings and presentations. Tate Liverpool is situated at the heart of the Albert Dock and is ideally located as an events venue for the International Business Festival 2014, which takes place over six weeks in June and July next year. SEPARATE SPACES Tate Liverpool is home to the national collection of modern and contemporary art in the north, showcasing works by some of the world’s most famous artists. The Tate family of galleries (which includes

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Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Tate St Ives) also has its own catering arm, Tate Catering, which runs the sixty-seat café at Tate Liverpool and provides catering for events. Hospitality spaces at Tate Liverpool accommodate a wide range of events. “The whole top floor suite is separate to the gallery, with its own entrance, boardroom, events space and auditorium with projector and IT equipment,” explains Keith Moore, General Manager of Tate Liverpool Catering. “The capacity for the space is 100 and groups can use the auditorium for their presentation, break out into the concourse for refreshments and have meetings for up to twenty people in the boardroom. Access to the gallery for tours and private views is often available directly from the events suite.

Tate Liverpool Albert Dock Liverpool Waterfront L3 4BB www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool Tel: 0151 7027400

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Green Tourism Tate Liverpool “Outside gallery opening hours, Tate Liverpool also has unique entertaining facilities with the gallery foyer and café able to cater for 250 and 90 respectively. Large dinners and glamorous receptions can be held in any of our spaces but for smaller events we also have a hospitality room with a capacity of forty. This is a great space with original stone floors and exposed brickwork and has a great atmosphere.” Typical events are private dining, receptions and away days whilst Tate Liverpool uses the spaces itself for private views, exhibition opening events and hosting artists, lenders and supporters who make the exhibitions possible.

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Catering for events ranges from buffets to fine dining, with a choice of menus tailored to meet requirements and emphasis on local sourcing of ingredients and seasonal produce. That focus, as Keith emphasises, contributed to Tate Liverpool winning a Green Tourism gold award: “It acknowledges what we’re doing Tate-wide. Our packaging is bio-degradable, recycled material, our cooking oil goes back to the supplier to use as biofuel and we have a gadget for the fryer that extends the oil’s life by 50%. “For years we’ve sourced bio-degradable, even down to takeaway cutlery that’s corn starch. We always have this belief that it’s worth it and it’s

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Green Tourism Tate Liverpool

drummed into our psyche when working for Tate Catering. We’re going for membership of the Sustainable Restaurants Association, where Tate Modern got silver, and we’re applying for that on the back of the Green Tourism award.” The award is seen as acknowledgement of work done, with much driven by a green group that has a representative from each department, discusses environmental issues and decides how to proceed. “It’s progressive and will evolve into bigger things where we come up with new ideas and implement them,” says Keith. “Hopefully, when reassessed for the tourism award, we’ll stay with gold because we’re doing better than last time. The award is very important because everyone’s assessed separately and there’s friendly competition. Just because we’ve got gold doesn’t mean we sit back. We want to maintain the standard, come up with different things and progress in some way.”

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Green Tourism Browsholme Hall

a stunning

venue

Browsholme Hall – the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire – is the ancestral home of the Parker Family, who have lived there since it was built in 1507

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Browsholme Hall Clitheroe Road Cow Ark, Clitheroe Lancashire BB7 3DE www.browsholme.com Tel: 01254 827166

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rowsholme Hall, pronounced “Brusom”, lies in the Forest of Bowland four miles north-west of Clitheroe overlooking the Hodder Valley. Built in 1507 by Edmund Parker, the red sandstone house has a genuine claim to be the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire. Browsholme is a historic house unique in so many ways – not least for its remarkable antiquarian collection representing the accumulation of the personal possessions of fourteen generations of continuous occupation. Browsholme Hall is not a museum and its guided tours illustrate a living history of the house as well as encapsulating the lifestyle and the survival of one family in Lancashire. Indeed, it is the ancestral home of the Parker family, who have lived in it since it was

built in 1507. The current owners, Robert and Amanda Parker, invite visitors to share their home and gardens and provide guided tours for day visits, groups and coach parties. Origins of the Parker family can be traced to 1381 when, soon after the Black Death, Peter de Alcancotes accepted the office of park keeper for the Forest of Bowland from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. The family motto “neither wind nor wave shall move us” perhaps bears witness to the survival of Browsholme through the Reformation, the turbulence of the Civil Wars, the extravagance of the Regency period, through the Napoleonic, Boer and World Wars. Each period has left its trace - a skull from the Pilgrimage of Grace, a royalist coat worn by Capt. Thomas Whittingham, furniture by Gillow and Hepplewhite, even a fragment of a Zeppelin. The Hall has a unique historic collection, an eclectic accumulation of family possessions spanning the fourteen generations who have occupied the Hall since 1507. Ancient oak furniture, fine furnishings by Gillow, portraits by Romney, Lely and Devis, arms and armour, Chinese porcelain, medieval stained glass and a fragment of a Zeppelin.

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Green Tourism Browsholme Hall

Unsurprisingly, Browsholme Hall has become an attractive venue for wedding ceremonies. The aim to allow the bride and groom as much choice and assistance as possible in planning their wedding which can include everything from fireworks, a great photographer, a horse and carriage or even a helicopter. Close to the house itself and enjoying the same lovely rural setting, the 17-century Tithe Barn has been restored and converted into a unique new venue for weddings and receptions for up to 120 guests. Beautiful traditional features such as exposed stone, oak beams and flagstone floors, provide two magnificent spaces which can either be used together or on their own. Into the conversion the latest design innovations in lighting, video, sound systems and catering facilities have been seamlessly integrated to provide a truly unique experience. Wedding manager, Rebecca Clarke, has over ten years' experience in helping brides with all aspects of the day, from the colour scheme and decorations to flowers, catering and entertainment.

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Luminar Group :feature 2 03/09/2013 11:49 Page 16

Entertainment The Luminar Group

B Luminar operate exciting and entertaining venues where people can meet, eat, drink and dance and with a branded estate of over 70 nightclubs and bars, they have the largest square footage of nightclub capacity in the country

etween 1995 and 2006, The Luminar Group was a billion pound enterprise with over 300 nightclubs in its portfolio, including a host of clubbing mainstays like Chicago Rock Café, Liquid, Oceana, Lava & Ignite, and Life. Due to economic strife, the smoking ban and a lack of investment, the company slowly stripped itself of assets, and fell into administration in October 2011 with 80 clubs remaining under its umbrella. Three private investors quickly snapped up the company, and The Luminar Group has turned around, having retained 55 of the original group’s most recognisable clubs in prime locations across the UK. “Our 55 clubs go from Aberdeen to Plymouth, and we have all sorts of different businesses – some of them are branded, and some of them aren’t. Some of them are in need of refurbishment, and others are in good condition and they’re trading well – it’s a real mixed bag,” says CEO Peter Marks. “What they do have in common, is generally we’ve got the best location and the best building in town, so that’s

giving people a

BIG night out

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Luminar Group :feature 2 03/09/2013 11:49 Page 17

Entertainment The Luminar Group what drove us to buy the 55 we chose from the 75 on offer.” For Peter, nightlife is an extremely important aspect in any prosperous town. “I believe that the night time economy in any town will better prosper if there’s a very good nightclub and some very good bars, as people are more likely to go into the town.” He added, “If it all becomes rather tired and boring then people stop coming. We firmly believe in the nightclub business, and we’re out there investing in our estate now.” This investment is a meticulous process across its clubs, and The Luminar Group is working through the units that are in the most need of work. The first three invested businesses opened in the historic cities of York, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh – with the investment ensuring the clubs match their prestigious surroundings. With such a large, and recently acquired portfolio, The Luminar Group maintains a pragmatic approach towards business, with the knowledge that a number of its clubs are not operating at the desired level currently. “We’ve got quite a few underperformers, and some of that is down to the economy, unemployment in the under 24s, and other macro issues,” admits Peter. “We accept that these issues exist, but much of it is down to the fact that we’re running certain businesses that are no longer modern enough to attract customers.” Of course, this isn’t the case for every one of the company’s brands, and while many of The Luminar Group’s nightclubs are now extremely profitable hotspots, a lot of the clubs, Peter says, are in need of modernising. “We’ve got a lot of good clubs, about half of our clubs are as good as they can be, and the other half, with a little sensible refurbishment, can become great again.” He continued, “We’re not doing them all at once, and some of them won’t get money spent on them for 2 or 3 years because they’re not in too bad condition and they’re trading well. It’s all about return on investment – that’s not often black or white, you have to go in and make a judgement call based on your experience, the prospects of the town, and the competition.”

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Along with these core factors, the company looks at the club’s local identity before deciding on the most appropriate course of action. “If we’ve got a business that’s trading well as a brand, we’re not going to change it. In some cases, we may just refresh it to keep it modern.” One example of this approach was with Oceana in Leeds, a 2000 capacity city-centre club popular amongst students. “Oceana cost £7 million to build, so we’re not about to spend another £7 million to change the brand! It actually works very well as it is.” Other businesses need a total makeover, Peter says, with the club formerly known as Liquid in Aberdeen providing a fine example. “Liquid had become a poor performer and the brand was working against it. If we were to reopen it as Liquid, when it had such a poor reputation then it wouldn’t improve the prospect of the business. So we’ve completely rebranded it as The Institute.” The company takes a bespoke approach to each one of its clubs, deciding strategy on an

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Entertainment The Luminar Group

“We offer a location for those people who really want a complete experience. Our modus operandi is to give people a big night out”

Luminar House Deltic Avenue, Rooksley Milton Keynes, MK13 8LW www.luminar.co.uk Tel: 01908 544 100

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individual basis, by analysing the location, the town itself and the competition. Peter explains, “If the brand is broken in a town, there’s no point in going back in there and stuffing it down everybody’s throats and saying ‘look it’s a lot better now!’ – you’re just working against yourself.” He added, “Where we think the brand has good trading and a decent reputation in a town we will retain it, when we think the reputation has gone then we’ll change it.” The Oceana brand, which has units in numerous large cities including Leeds, Bristol and Cardiff, is next in line for refreshment. Currently the venues, which all have a capacity in excess of 2000, play host to two different nightclubs within each building, and also feature 5 different bars. The Luminar Group’s plans involve capitalising on this idea of several clubs under one roof. Says Peter, “We’re going to knock two bars out and insert a third music venue because one of the things we see is that music tastes are extremely fragmented, and people

like to be able to move between different styles.” He continued, “Currently we tend to have a charts driven room as the main room, as well as a retro 70s and 80s room too. We will put r&b, or indie into the new third room depending on the market, which will enable another crowd to come in – appealing to a wider audience.” The majority of The Luminar Group’s clubs are these large-capacity venues, and the notion of creating a big night destination is core to the company’s philosophy. “You can drink in any town centre bar or pub until 2am these days,” noted Peter. “We offer a location for those people who really want a complete experience. Our modus operandi is to give people a big night out. Clubs definitely provide events like this, which is something that the bars can’t do.” Peter also believes that customers have changed their approach to going out. “Nowadays, people are looking for events that are a bit more special than just going down to the local pub – I think people go out less, but when they go out they want more. “The difference between a pub and a nightclub is that if you’ve got a local pub, you have to open every night. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got 5 people in or 50 – that’s all part of the service. In a nightclub, if you have 5 in there’s no atmosphere. We need atmosphere, that’s part of what we deliver. It’s going to take about 2 or 3 years to get the company back to something like it used to be, although it’s not going to be as big again. It’s not my aspiration to have 300 nightclubs. I don’t want to have the most venues in the country, I just want the best.”

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Dr Zak:feature 2 02/09/2013 11:42 Page 20

High Protein Foods Dr Zak’s High Protein Foods

the home of

HIGH PROTEIN food

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Dr Zak:feature 2 02/09/2013 11:43 Page 21

High Protein Foods Dr Zak’s High Protein Foods

When it comes to knowing what to eat for the sports and fitness sector, there are few better placed than Dr Zak Pallikaros, BSc, MSc, PhD. Zak has dedicated twenty years of his life to bodybuilding and sports nutrition and has won multiple competitions in the UK and abroad.

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n 2010 Dr Zak spotted a niche in the UK market for the sports and fitness sector. Typically, these sportspersons would avoid every day foods such as bread or pasta, as they are high carbohydrate and low in protein. In addition, the protein content is usually derived mainly from wheat flour, which is not a complete protein source. Fast forward two years, 20 recipes, 2 bakeries and lots of frustration and finally, Dr Zak’s protein bread is launched into the UK market, packing an impressive 30g of protein in two slices and 30% less carbs than a traditional wholemeal loaf. “It was important for us not only to create a high protein based product, but one that actually tasted great. All too often, protein powders are added to products that compromise the final taste, which is why it took us two years to develop, but we are over the moon with the finished article.” REAL STRUGGLE But it has not been all plain sailing for the Dr Zak’s team from what they thought would be quite a straight forward product to develop. “It was a real struggle to create the recipe and work out how to bake a product that had substantially less wheat flour and was packed with protein powders. Many of our early attempts failed completely and later products were holding onto too much moisture, making them soggy. But we hung in there and are proud of our final product”

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Knowing his target market well, Dr Zak’s has used two forms of isolated protein in their range, Wheat Protein and Pea Protein. This delivers the consumer a complete amino acid profile from the two protein sources, which is important in the sports and fitness sector. One unforeseen but somewhat fortuitous byproduct of adding the protein powders was the shelf life. The bread lasts two whole weeks at room temperature and stays soft for the duration. It will also last three months when frozen without impacting on taste or texture, unlike many traditional breads. COMPETITIVELY PRICED The bread retails for between £3.99 and £4.49 which, when likened to traditional bread, could look expensive. But when you compare the total protein content of the loaf at over 214g, to a protein shake or protein bars that deliver around 30g for around £1.99, then suddenly the bread looks to be very competitively priced in its target market. But Dr Zak’s are not stopping with their bread. In October they plan to launch their high protein pasta and later in the year their high protein tortilla wraps. “We want to build the brand to become synonymous with every day high protein foods and with the feedback we are getting on the bread, I think this could become a reality.” The pasta will deliver an impressive 50g of protein in just 100g serving, making this high on

the list for not only the sports and fitness sector but also people looking to cut out carbs or maybe on specific diets like Atkins. The protein is delivered from Pea Protein Isolate and Fresh Eggs which makes the pasta taste amazing and, once again, offers a complete amino acid profile. “We are so excited about the pasta launch. Everybody who has tried it thinks it tastes amazing and many people prefer it to normal wheat pasta.” DEVELOPMENT The tortillas are in development now so Dr Zak’s don’t have any specifications as yet, but as you can imagine, they will pack a protein punch for sure and if the bread is anything to go by, it will taste great too. “We believe there is substantial scope for not only retail but the food services sector too. Consumers are becoming very savvy when it comes to protein and carbs, and the food service sectors are always on the lookout for something original, which is exactly what the Dr Zak’s range will deliver” Dr Zak’s have secured frozen wholesale through The Health Store to stock their range in health foods shops and gyms. They welcome any retail chain enquiries for their products and companies in the food services sector. Tel: 020 3070 2992 Web: dr-zaks.com

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Kitchen W8:feature 2 04/09/2013 12:06 Page 22

Fine Dining Kitchen W8

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itchen W8, the brainchild of seasoned restaurateurs Philip Howard and Rebecca Mascarenhas, was quick to stamp its authority as the new kid on the block in Kensington. Led by Mark Kempson’s array of fine food, a Michelin star was earned after only fifteen months in business following its unveiling in 2009. With an emphasis on local inspiration for a local crowd, Kitchen W8 wanted to offer Kensington its very own sense of chic and sophistication without the pretence. While success is never guaranteed, under the direction of its two vastly experienced proprietors, the potential for something great was always on the cards. Co-owner Rebecca Mascarenhas has been specialising in local restaurants for nearly thirty years. She opened Sonny’s in Barnes southwest London in 1986 which proved very popular with local residents

home a home from

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Fine Dining Kitchen W8 who didn’t need to travel far to experience really great food. Two decades later, Sonny’s is still as popular as ever, with Rebecca developing similarly popular places to eat in Putney, Chiswick and Balham. Fellow proprietor Philip Howard is well known in the industry as head chef and coowner of the Square, a modern French restaurant in the West End of London boasting two Michelin stars. Known for his ability to nurture the talents of young up-and-comers, Kitchen W8’s head chef Mark Kempson worked with Philip at the Square for a number of years before being given the lead role at the new Kensington venture. The amalgamation of business and restaurant knowledge alongside Mark’s passion for a range of food, the sort people want to eat not marvel at, is the cornerstone of Kitchen W8’s

enduring success. Yet, the decision to bring in David Chevalier as general manager in 2010 should not be ignored. He oversaw the restaurant achieve the Tatler prize for Best Newcomer prior to the Michelin star, and has led the restaurant’s commitment to friendly, informal service that underpins the whole ethos of the venue. David is quick to acknowledge the hard work of the entire team, adding that its suppliers have also played a crucial role in its success so far. “Kitchen W8 puts its ingredients at centre stage,” he says. “We believe that our suppliers are the true stars of the culinary world and through Philip and Rebecca we have built up a network of producers and suppliers all over Britain that provide us with the quality we desire, and have done for many years.” The flexibility of its suppliers is also a crucial ingredient. As Kitchen W8 has the ability to

print its menus on a daily basis, prompting its head chef to be dynamic with the dishes he chooses to serve, suppliers have to be on their toes. And they are. “Mark spends a lot of time talking with suppliers to try to get the best products but the best is not always available, and as the seasons change, produce moves in and out of its prime. We change the menu every season but are adaptable to what we have available fresh each day, which means the menu can change from day to day. “If for example we can’t get our choice for lamb that day, we will seek an alternative or our supplier may suggest something different. There is a certain level of trust you need with your supplier and that’s something Mark has gained through working closely with them. “It does make a big difference – even if you are the best chef in the world, if the produce is not right, the end result is not right, so we rely on the relationships we have with our suppliers.”

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Fine Dining Kitchen W8 Kitchen W8’s food has been described as modern English with a French Soul encompassing light, simple grilled food to more complex and hearty dishes. David explains that the food in a restaurant geared towards the local community must principally offer value for money but should also provide plenty of choice.

“We try to appeal to a wide range of tastes and desires so that we can please as large a clientele as possible.”

Kitchen W8 11-13 Abingdon Road London W8 6AH Tel: 020 7937 0120 www.kitchenw8.com

“We try to appeal to a wide range of tastes and desires so that we can please as large a clientele as possible. We want them to have a good time in a relaxed atmosphere where service is attentive and friendly. We get a lot of regular customers and it gives us great pleasure to see them come back time after time.” The extensive, expertly chosen wine list complements the experience of visiting Kitchen W8. Around twenty wines are served by the glass and 250ml carafes with varieties from around the world chosen for their

flavour and ability to be paired to certain dishes. Indeed, the front of house staff will often advise guests on the best wine to go with their chosen meal. Although emphasis will be placed on value for money drinking, the enthusiast will be offered unusual and interesting wines as well as classic wines at affordable prices. The “bring your own wine” policy on Sundays, where no corkage fee is charged, has proven very popular with customers. Of course, the Michelin star was the icing on the cake, and something that makes the entire team very proud. “It was a real achievement for us. We received it a year and three months after we opened which was very impressive. “In the first year we were very busy because we were a newcomer in the area and people wanted to try us out. Winning the Best Newcomer in the Tatler magazine was a great boost and further evidence we were doing the right things. Also, we had all the food critics come along and we had some really good reviews which generated plenty of interest in us. “When we achieved the Michelin star in our second year the business gained a further boost and generated even more interest in Kitchen W8. It is the most sought-after award in the industry and means so much to us. But it really is a team effort; we are all working really hard – from the owners to the chef, myself and those serving the guests each day – so that we can be the best we can possibly be.”

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Hakkasan Ltd:feature 2 06/09/2013 15:54 Page 26

Restaurant Chain Hakkasan

“M

oney is not the purpose but it is the side benefit of good food, good ambience and happy customers,” is a statement in Hakkasan’s training manual. It was written by the company’s longest serving General Manager, Adnan Ozkara, and he believes it is a principle that has served the business well and made it one of the best restaurant brands in the world. He says: “That’s the essence of Hakkasan; we just focus on our customers – what they want and how they feel happy. We don’t worry about the money but, when we focus on our customers’ needs, the money comes. I think that’s why the restaurant thrives and I believe the

customer

focused Founded in 2001 Hakkasan has become one of the most successful modern restaurant concepts in London.

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Restaurant Chain Hakkasan success of the business will continue to grow in the future.” The company’s success started with the opening of the first Hakkasan Chinese restaurant in Hanway Place, London, in 2001 by founder Alan Yau, who was already known in the restaurant world for opening the revolutionary restaurant chain, Wagamama. After the success of Hakkasan, Alan Yau then went on to open Busaba Eathai, a modern Thai venture. The Hanway Place branch initially seemed a mistake to many because it was not in a fashionable area but confounded the critics by becoming a huge success and winning a Michelin star in 2003, which it has held ever since. A Mayfair branch followed in 2010, also winning a Michelin star a very short time after opening. Other brands have now been developed within the company, starting with Yauatcha, which opened in 2004 and received a Michelin star within one year, which Adnan describes as ‘a junior version of Hakkasan’. Another addition to the Hakkasan group is Sake no Hana, an innovative Japanese restaurant in Mayfair where the emphasis is on introducing new food to the market and bringing the best of Japanese food to London. They are, as Adnan emphasises, all very different: “Hakkasan is a modern Chinese restaurant that’s busy and buzzy with music, bars, private rooms and late night DJs. It is entertainment rather than just eating, whereas HKK has

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no entertainment. It is for people who have a delicate palate where the taste of the food is their main purpose. Sake No Hana is operationally similar to Hakkasan but the food concept is different as is the aesthetics of the restaurant.” STRENGTH IN FOOD The attractions of the restaurants include the general ambience and level of personal service, with many customers and their particular likes and preferences well known. But the biggest strength is the food, which Adnan believes is of a quality that cannot be experienced anywhere else. He says: “I eat regularly in other restaurants but I cannot see anything in the same league as

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Restaurant Chain Hakkasan

Hakkasan; Hakkasan food is in a world of its own. We invest heavily in our restaurant to ensure we have the best chefs in the world and that they are well looked after and provided with excellent working conditions. In return, we ask them to create the best.” Creating the best food and service means recruiting the best people and then investing heavily in training so that all head chefs and their teams are fully acquainted with the Hakkasan style. The same principle applies to the front of house staff, with restaurant managers often starting as waiters and working their way up through the ranks. “If they’re special, we recruit from outside but almost everyone is trained in-house,” comments Adnan. “To get somebody from outside our organisation and make them a manager is a challenge because it is a different restaurant to what they are used to and the food menu is widely expansive. Outsiders can take six months to learn our menu but we have many prospective managers inside Hakkasan who have been moulded to the company style and are continually supported with excellent training.” The food is generally rated as classical with a modern touch and there are continual reviews of the menus. The success of any new dish is carefully assessed, with customer feedback determining whether it is removed

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“The majority of the menu stays the same but we do what we can to make the most of local produce. I feel that customers prefer to eat their own fish and vegetables, and know where their produce is coming from.” or becomes a permanent feature of the menu. Even then, as Adnan points out, there are regional variations between the various restaurants: “The majority of the menu stays the same but we do what we can to make the most of local produce. I feel that customers prefer to eat their own fish and vegetables, and know where their produce is coming from, so there are slight variations in the menus to reflect this. “There is a mixture of ingredients so beef in this country may be different to that in the United States; it might be slightly more tender or have a slightly different taste. However, you would definitely know you are eat-

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Restaurant Chain Hakkasan ing one of our products as the marinating process and the method of cooking are the same. Spices, wherever there is no legal barrier, are imported from their own country of origin, often from as far as China or Japan.”

The formula has been sufficiently successful for Hakkasan to have two Michelin starred restaurants as well as winning numerous other awards. 8 Hanway Place London W1T 1HD Tel: 0207 927 7000 17 Bruton Street London W1J 6QB Tel: 020 7907 1888 hakkasan.com

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The formula has been sufficiently successful for Hakkasan to have two Michelin starred restaurants as well as winning numerous other awards. These include being the only restaurant to be twice named Oriental Restaurant of the Year and Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee, who has led the kitchen since it opened in 2001, being named London Chef of the Year. The Mayfair restaurant has three AA rosettes in addition to its Michelin star while Hanway Place has been named one of the top fifty restaurants in the world and listed among the best Asian restaurants.

The success has led to the opening of Hakkasan restaurants in Miami, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Mumbai and Doha plus a Yauatcha in India and a Sake no Hana in Doha. The only real limitation to the expansion is that Hakkasan restaurants in particular are very expensive investments and are only practical in large cities where the population can support the operation. The Mayfair establishment, for example, cost £10.8 million to open and needs at least 400 customers every night to be successful. “We don’t cut corners,” stresses Adnan. “The kitchen at Mayfair is probably equal to the size of one at a big hotel and, in addition to the restaurant, there are staff changing rooms, wine rooms, two bars rather than one, a private room and two sommelier stations. The decorations are expensive and only the best materials are used and fitted by top professionals, which may be expensive but are important for maintaining our brand image.” Despite the cost of the investment, there has been significant expansion over the last few years and that’s likely to continue. However, for the present, the plan is to step back and assess the situation. Adnan says: “We want to take a year’s break, relax a little and see which areas can be expanded and where we have to slow down. We may also want to make slight changes to the menu. We have to be careful because the market is very competitive and, if we are going abroad, there are varying market conditions to consider.”

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School of Wok :feature 2 02/09/2013 16:13 Page 32

Cookery School School of Wok

A

degree in biochemical engineering followed by a position in marketing isn’t the normal basis for a catering career. But that’s how Jeremy Pang started before setting up School of Wok. “I worked in and out of restaurants and I did a basic cuisine course at the Cordon Bleu,” he remarks. “My business partner took his cuisine course at Ashburton and our in house tutor and manager went to Leith’s, so we’re all career changers having gone to different cookery schools. It's quite a nice mix in terms of what we actually do because, having had that first hand experience at other cookery schools, we've put together our own mix of how we want to teach our classes.”

let’s

PERMANENT BASE Jeremy started School of Wok on his own in 2009, teaching people in their own homes to cook Chinese food, which is a skill that was for him almost a sixth sense. Business partner Nev joined a year later and that instigated a growth to corporate events, hen parties and teaching people in bigger venues that included colleges and restaurants. After 2.5 years as a mobile cookery school, a permanent base was established in Covent Garden. Jeremy says: “We now have two kitchens and we’re fully sponsored by AEG who fitted out our kitchens for us with all high end domestic appliances. We’re very focused on teaching home cooking and helping attendees improve their everyday

wok There’s more to wok cookery than standard stir-fries. School of Wok spread their love and excitement of Eastern cuisine and dish up a masterclass of delicious tips

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Cookery School School of Wok

kitchen life. But it's all based around Oriental and Asian cuisine, Chinese, south-east Asian and a little bit of Indian food. Sometimes we bring in a Japanese freelance chef to do corporate events or hen parties, depending on what the client wants.” There are still corporate events at locations around the country but everything else is held at the Covent Garden site. The business, in fact, now has three main parts — corporate events, party events that include both birthday and hen parties, and walk in classes that run Wednesday to Saturday and are a mixture of one hour quick fire sessions, three hour master classes, evening sessions and full -day intensive cookery courses. Added to those, as Jeremy recounts, is a recent development: “We’re just running our first ever professional level 2 CTH approved three week course. In between is the five day course that we do in professional dim sum, which I think is something noone else in the whole of Europe is doing. We are

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essentially at the moment the only ones in the market offering these types of courses.” VARIED THEMES AND MENUS The walk in classes are all themed and include topics such as an understanding of wok, Chop & Wok that is essentially a beginner's knife skills class and introduction to dim sum that is based around pastries. There are also Southeast Asian street food courses, Thai classes, Vietnamese classes and each one has a different menu. These attract quite a few regulars who may come for an understanding of wok class first and then move into the other classes over the course of a few months. The aim of the daily courses is not to create professional chefs but more to nurture an interest in the ability to cook food properly. To help with that, the website has a range of woks and other equipment CONTINUED ON PAGE 364

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Cookery School School of Wok for purchase. “Everyday customers generally have a huge interest in oriental food because they go out and eat it a lot,” recounts Jeremy. “But they never really know how to cook it so we’re the bridge to that. They really enjoy the classes and we've done a lot of research in the last six months and analysis on our own business. We’ve found people are searching online for Oriental and Asian cookery classes and that's where they’re finding us. So they have a genuine interest.” While the birthday and hen parties are more about enjoyment and can be tailored to meet individual tastes, the corporate events are often aimed at team bonding with class sizes generally ranging from ten to 35. The emphasis is on fast-paced and action-packed events for employees, which are entertaining and engaging. Many are interactive ‘cook-and-eat’ classes that teach teams how to create exotic Eastern dishes before sitting down to enjoy the results. And many can be completely bespoke to fulfil particular requirements, with the availability of state of the art mobile kitchen facilities

enabling cooking class to be held anywhere on company premises. Jeremy says: “We pretty much prepare everything and do maybe two or three fun things such as wrapping a dumpling or rolling a spring roll then a couple of stir fries to bulk out the meal. Recently, we did a Chinatown Treasure Hunt, which is almost like Masterchef. The teams of four or five have thirty pounds each and they have to go out to Chinatown and find all the ingredients, then come back and work out how to cook them with a little bit of help from us.” BEST INGREDIENTS The principles for all courses are the same, with an emphasis on using the best ingredients that include the finest Chinese sauces and fish from Cornish day boats. “We have good ingredients and we cook simple food; nothing too complicated,” comments Jeremy. “But we really show people that, as long as they use good ingredients, their Oriental and Asian food is going to taste

“we really show people that, as long as they use good ingredients, their Oriental and Asian food is going to taste not just as good as restaurants, but much better than some they get there”

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Cookery School School of Wok

not just as good as restaurants, but much better than some they get there. “Some of the classes are more focused on the raw ingredients; the Southeast Asian classes are based on spices and herbs form there and the Chinese ones will be more sauce based because we’re very heavily reliant on soya bean based sauces and oyster sauces. We give people an understanding of how to use those sauces in the right quantities and a lesson in how to use the wok properly. Over 50% of our customers probably own a wok but none of them really use it properly. That even goes for the professionals because no-one from a western chef point of view has really been trained in how to use a wok properly.� In order to maintain the standard and relevance of the courses, the presenters themselves have to be properly and regularly trained. That typically involves

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Jeremy taking five or ten days a year to go out and undergo some continuous development in Asia and his business partner doing the same. Manager Stefan also has five days a year of paid training anywhere in the world providing it benefits the business in some way. That typically means going out to Asia or Hong Kong for five days of training and the company is continuously training other staff. The two main assistants are actually joining the three week professional course and the aim is that everyone can really motivate themselves and get involved with food. GOURMET WALKING TOURS Besides the cookery school, there are other activities that include a consulting service where new restaurants, noodle bars and takeaways are given help and advice on setting up a new business. A recent success is

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Cookery School School of Wok

“We’ll see what happens in the next three to five years and, if it really rockets, we’ll asses the situation and see how we’re going to expand from there.”

School of Wok 61 Chandos Place London WC2N 4HG www.schoolofwok.co.uk Tel: 0207 2408818

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the Zing Zing takeaway that’s been open for three months and has started to receive fantastic reviews through using good ingredients and making everything from fresh. There are also, as Jeremy explains, regular gourmet walking tours: “We have two types at the moment, Flavours of China and Flavours of Vietnam, which follow very similar principles. We meet at the school on a Saturday morning, have a cup of coffee and then head over to Chinatown. I take the group through Chinatown and give them my idea of how it has changed over the course of the last twenty to thirty years because it’s become a lot more regional in certain places.

“We view all the different types of regional cuisines and I point out all the different regional restaurants, what they do and how they make things. Then we head over to the Kowloon Bakery, which is essentially a Cantonese bakery that makes lots of different types of Hong Kong style breakfast items, buns, breads and cakes. We have breakfast there, head over to the Chinese supermarket and pick up a lot of ingredients. I describe all the vegetables, sauces, herbs and spices that we use and how we use them and give tips on cooking different things. After a light dumpling lunch, it’s back to the school for a three hour cookery class and then finish off with a feast and a glass of wine. So it’s quite a fun day and the customers really enjoy the varied tour and how it all works.” SUCCESSFUL FORMULA At the moment, it’s a formula that’s working well after little over a year in the current premises. The immediate aim is to fill up the school’s courses and constantly raise its profile. “We’ll see what happens in the next three to five years and, if it really rockets, we’ll asses the situation and see how we’re going to expand from there,” concludes Jeremy.

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School of Wok :feature 2 02/09/2013 16:15 Page 39

Cookery School School of Wok

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Belfast cookery :feature 2 04/09/2013 13:46 Page 40

Cookery School Belfast Cookery School

B

elfast Cookery School is the city’s first purpose built school dedicated to developing culinary skills. Nestled in the centre of Belfast, the school offers a range of courses specifically designed to appeal to all ages and level of ability. The Belfast Cookery School is born out of love for food and the desire to share the experience of professional cooking with others. The school is open to all levels of experience and is designed to awaken, enliven or revitalise a passion for cooking with fresh ingredients and the best quality produce. The school has room for sixteen students each with their own individual work station – all utensils, equipment and ingredients are provided to enable you to create your culinary masterpiece. Under the expert guidance of experienced chefs you will be given a step by step lesson in creating a delicious meal you can re-create time and again at home to impress family and friends. The cookery school lends itself to a number of events including team building (it can organise half or full day cooking sessions), private dinners (why not get together as a group and cook your own evening meal along with one of the school’s chefs), and product launches (it is the ideal venue for the launch of food related products).

more than just a

RESTAURANT The Belfast Cookery School was born out of love for food and the desire to share that experience. It is open to all levels of experience and is designed to awaken, enliven and revitalise a passion for cooking with fresh ingredients and the best quality produce. 40

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Belfast cookery :feature 2 04/09/2013 13:46 Page 41

Cookery School Belfast Cookery School Chef tutors include the prolific Stephen Jeffers who has had a wealth of experience in the catering industry in Northern Ireland. At the beginning of his career, he was the youngest head chef in Parliament Buildings at Stormont. To further his career he became the personal chef to one of the Guinness family before later opening his own restaurants Grace Neill's, Jeffers & The Boat House. Andy Rea is another masterful chef in Northern Ireland. From his roots training in catering at the Belfast Institute, Andy went on to work throughout America before returning to Belfast and settling on a position with Paul Rankin at his Michelin restaurant Roscoff. Quickly progressing up the ranks, Andy was appointed Head Chef at Roscoff and latterly Cayenne, scooping numerous national accolades along the way, firmly cementing his name in culinary history. In partnership with seafood farming duo Joanne and Bob McCoubrey, Andy opened Mourne Seafood Bar in the heart of downtown Belfast to critical acclaim for its no nonsense affordable approach to fresh local seafood and has gone on to pick up a plethora of industry awards. For a look at international flavours look no further than Franco Cutrona and Rozanne Stevens. Franco is from a small town in the mountains of Sicily called Marineo. He trained as a chef in Palermo and

then spent summer seasons in northern Italy. Franco came to Belfast in 1991 and has worked in a number of establishments, some specialising solely in Italian food and others influenced by worldwide flavours.

The Belfast Cookery School is born out of love for food and the desire to share the experience of professional cooking with others. Rozanne hails from South Africa, where she was a cookery tutor and broadcaster. She became known for her foodie slot on RtĂŠ Radio 1, Today With Pat Kenny. Her distinctive voice has been winging it's way across airwaves for the past five years. Rozanne also writes a weekly nutrition based food column for the Irish Independent. A food and wine lecturer with a particular interest in healthy, vibrant food, she has over a decade of experience teaching thousands of students, ranging from the keen amateur to aspiring professional chefs.

Belfast Cookery School 53-54 Castle Street Belfast BT1 1GH Tel: 02890 234 722 www.belfastcookeryschool.com

AFFORDABLE DESIGN, PRINT AND WEB SOLUTIONS CPL Design is a multidisciplinary design consultancy offering a complete range of cost effective design and print solutions to a range of clients. We specialise in branding, design for print, promotional materials as well as on-line and digital work translating your ideas into innovative visual communications with real impact. For more information call Kate or Steve

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Sea Design Group :feature 2 02/09/2013 11:51 Page 42

interior design SEA Design Group

work making space

SEA Design Group has the skills to mould ideas into fully-fledged concepts & turn the concepts into beautiful trading spaces

“I

t’s a good, varied role,” remarks Associate Director Simon Street. “No two days are the same.” The variety comes from SEA Design Group providing a complete service to commercial clients, coffee shops, corporate pub/restaurant companies, retail developers and other leisure industry operators on diverse projects. Simon says: “We offer all elements of commercial project consultancy from concept creation to technical detailing, tendering, to concept roll-out inclusive of project management and cost controls, so it’s all encompassing. EXPERIENCED TEAM “We have a broad skill base with an experienced technical team that looks at operational requirements and the best equipment for clients with spatial planning to make sure they’re commercially viable. There is a difference with spatial layouts for restaurants as opposed to coffee shops and we work hard to provide the balance between making the site functional and profitable for operators while maintaining comfort and memorable experience for customers. We typically produce feasibility plans to show what's possible while coordinating with all parties to ensure everybody’s happy.” The work varies from a full process for independ-

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Sea Design Group :feature 2 02/09/2013 11:51 Page 43

interior design SEA Design Group

ent operators to being part of a specialist team for corporate clients. With Greene King, for example, SEA works purely on a design and design management basis since the client has its own kitchen specialists, quantity surveyors and project managers. Simon explains a contract for Costa: “Once we've agreed the year’s programme, we assess it, determining how the previous one went and what we can improve, then get started on the next — a ‘storm, reform, perform’ planning activity. We've built up good rapport with Costa and we've been developing with them over ten years as a symbiotic relationship.” SPATIAL PLANNING There’s a similar arrangement with Beefeater where SEA is handling the evolution of outlets from their traditional steak house image to cater for a broader customer base, encouraging more youthful customers without alienating existing ones. New sites require spatial planning to accommodate operational and environmental assessments to satisfy local authorities. Initial concepts are progressed

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through to rollout with design guides developed to assist the process both nationally and internationally for brand property sites as well as franchisees. That’s made possible, Simon believes, by SEA’s staff: “We have a team with a broad range of backgrounds unified by a passion for design. We have landscape specialists, technical gurus and enough accumulated experience to provide a high level of detail throughout. Integration of interior design with furniture design, horticultural thinking and fabric design, poised with project and financial management, which gives us unique control over developments. That's the core skill and we have some good youthful designers who are making their mark to provide a nice balance.” The company is showcasing its skills through the refurbishment of its head office in Warwickshire to demonstrate its current design thinking. After that, it’s looking to expand through different retail operators, always looking for a new challenge. “We’re having a fresh look at some high-street businesses and what we can do with applications of food and beverage spatial planning,” comments Simon.

SEA DESIGN GROUP 13D Princes Drive, Kenilworth Warwickshire CV8 2FD seadesigngroup.com Tel: 01926 864440

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Nelson Design :feature 2 03/09/2013 14:12 Page 44

Interior Design Nelson Design

F

an eye for

DETAIL

ounded by Claire Nelson in 1991, Nelson Design is a creative and vibrant architectural interior design company, offering strong design solutions to create bespoke and remarkable spaces. The company philosophy is to avoid prefabrication. “Creative, inspiring and exceptional – those three words were etched into my head and what I wanted each project to deliver when I set up Nelson Design over twenty years ago,” says Claire. “These three words are still the backbone of my company and design team today.” Passionate about design, the company pushes boundaries. It offers a high level of creativity, applying exceptional materials, beautiful textiles and finishes as well as designing bespoke furniture, to create unique and stunning spaces tailored to clients’ needs. Nelson Design recognises functionality is key in every project. Its architectural interiors approach ensures visual interest and appropriate space planning preserves function, while attention to detail is paramount. “We listen and we take time to understand the needs of our clients in order to provide them with an extraordinary and stunning space. Indeed, our success is not about conforming to the mainstream. I am always looking for new and unusual materials and finishes. Subtle or dramatic, but always exceptional. Details in design are what make the difference without having to explain it,” remarks Claire. Nelson Design enjoys a diverse portfolio of projects, including Michelin-star restaurants, wine bars and cafés as well as residential refurbishments. Working together with a team of specialists, top quality craftsmen and artisans, each

Passionate about design, Nelson Design offer a high level of creativity, applying exceptional materials, beautiful textiles and finishes as well as designing bespoke furniture, to create unique and stunning spaces tailored to their clients’ needs

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Nelson Design :feature 2 03/09/2013 14:12 Page 45

Interior Design Nelson Design project bears the hallmarks of being unique and exceptionally designed. Client expectations are surpassed every time. Many of its projects are with repeat clients or from private referrals – a testament to the quality of completed projects and the practical and personable way Nelson Design works to deliver on time and on budget. Recent work includes the completion of a project at the iconic Notting Hill restaurant The Ledbury in July this year. Originally designed by Nelson Design in 2005, Claire was invited again to refine and perfect The Ledbury’s interior space. Subtle changes were key to enhancing the customer experience without altering the original design premise. The entrance screen has been transformed into an object of sculpture: hand woven fabric panels with metallic thread serve as a backdrop for bespoke LED fittings in hand blown glass and bronze finish, all encased in glass. New hand woven panels dress the windows and new decorative wall finishes were incorporated to the walls and washrooms. Light fittings were replaced with fittings incorporating more organic elements, the joinery was all refreshed and re-polished, and the floral table accessories were replaced with sculptural pieces of fauna. “I wanted a more natural essence to the restaurant to complement my vision of my cooking,” says two-Michelin-star chef, Brett Graham. “The subtle

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changes Claire has made and her choices of materials are exquisite. She delivers perfection every time”. Principally, Nelson Design has grown in stature through its unique approach to each assignment. Claire’s dedication to an ethos that calls for individuality has seen the company go from strength to strength. Probably best known for the Nigel PlattsMartin group of London restaurants that, along

“Creative, inspiring and exceptional – those three words were etched into my head and what I wanted each project to deliver when I set up Nelson Design” with The Ledbury, includes Chez Bruce, La Trompette, The Glasshouse, and The Square, Nelson Design has developed an enviable list of clients. It is in restaurant design that Claire’s company has really excelled, and it is clearly where she feels most at home. She says, “When you open a restaurant, you have to make an impact. As designers, we can guide restaurateurs to the most exciting materials and have a good understanding of planning and lighting – all key factors in making a restaurant a success.”

Nelson Design Limited 2nd Floor, 3-5 Barrett Street London, W1U 1AY www.nelsondesign.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 7935 8600

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hallmark final:feature 2 04/09/2013 13:57 Page 46

Care Home Catering Hallmark Care Homes

relationship-centred

CARE

Every Hallmark care home creates a community that offers activity, independence and choice.

T

www.hallmarkcarehomes.co.uk Tel: 01277 655655

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he care home sector has had bad press recently but Hallmark Care Homes is keen to change this perception by welcoming the community into its awardwinning care homes. “Our homes are very much a part of the community and we regularly invite our neighbours into our homes for an insight into what we do,” states Group Hospitality Services Manager Roy Garland. “We have café areas that are the social hubs where families meet rather than going to dining rooms or lounges and they’re thriving places.” The company operates seventeen care homes, all within four hours of the Billericay Support Office, and Roy’s role is to look after non-core services with food provision for all homes. Residents have different likes and needs, so attaining a high satisfaction level is only achieved by

strict attention to detail. That starts before a new resident is admitted, with the manager’s assessment establishing likes and dislikes. Roy says: “The chef visits them when they move in to discuss the menu and cover any special dietary, medication or nutritional needs.” A 28-day menu, which changes three times a year, is adjusted to meet residents’ preferences. After that, there’s constant monitoring to ensure residents enjoy meals and to avoid problems. That’s helped by ongoing interaction between chefs and residents, by carer involvement at meal times and an emphasis on smaller dining rooms, allowing personal service and constant feedback. It’s backed up by extensive training including level 3 food hygiene courses for catering staff and managers, and level 2 for others. “It’s invaluable to

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hallmark final:feature 2 04/09/2013 13:57 Page 47

Care Home Catering Hallmark Care Homes ensure high standards,” remarks Roy. “We’re undergoing a nutritional training programme so chefs look at things differently. If residents don’t eat part of a meal, the meal won’t be nutritionally balanced. We have to know what’s going on, make sure residents eat properly and highlight problems.” The eating experience in newer homes is enhanced by the siting of kitchens within dining rooms so residents can see and smell food being cooked. That provides a theatrical style and enables residents and relatives to be involved in cooking. KEEPING ACTIVE Involvement is encouraged whenever possible because Hallmark is keen to keep everyone active and mobile. Roy explains: “Residents can shop for or grow their own fruit and vegetables, then peel and prepare them. The chefs will cook it for them or, if they wish, they will cook it themselves. It keeps them active and involved.” Activities extend to themed events and special menus. World tasting events are also held featuring food from around the world, with successful dishes often introduced into menus. The plan is to expand the company by two new homes a year and, in order to create Hallmark’s award-winning facilities, all are purpose-built from new. The approach has resulted in the company winning the Pinders Healthcare Design Award for three consecutive years and the company continuing to adapt to the changing needs of residents. “Every time we build a home, we learn how to make the next even better,” comments Roy. “They’re all new builds because everything’s as we want it from day one rather than having to convert another building into the care home we need.”

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Renaissance Pubs :feature 2 05/09/2013 12:00 Page 48

Pubs Renaissance Pubs

made in

BRITAIN Simplicity is the name of the game at the Renaissance Pubs which strives to source the freshest, tastiest produce to consistently offer interesting, traditional British menus, alongside a good selection of cask ales and wines

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R

enaissance Pubs was started by three childhood friends who had run the Cinnamon Cay restaurant and opened their first pub, The Abbeville, in 2002. Today, Renaissance Pubs has grown to six pubs with The Rosendale in West Dulwich being the latest to open. The same three people are still in charge, with Mark Reynolds running the operations side, Nick Fox handling the finance and Tom Peake being responsible for the design of the pubs. Mark puts the success of the business down to a number of factors, not least of which are that each establishment is unique and fits in with the local area. “They’re certainly not chain pubs,” he confirms. “Each pub has its own DNA, is designed and has its menu sourced depending on the locality of that pub. We very much look at each pub individually rather than doing a

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Pubs Renaissance Pubs

time to do the research properly. He says: “We find out what’s going on. We ask locals what they want via questionnaires dropped through their letterboxes, that sort of thing.” Once the requirements are established, each new site is completely renovated to a design that reflects the needs of the local area. A case in point is the newly refurbished Tommyfield, which was originally called the White Hart when it became part of the group in 2005. With many of the fixtures, fittings and kitchen equipment in need of replacement, the pub received a complete makeover, including a change of name to denote the new start. Irrespective of the uniqueness, certain elements are standard throughout all the pubs, including an insistence on high quality, with good service and great food. A lot of effort is put into getting the look and feel right because corporate roll-out. We try to work out what each area actually needs rather than blanket bombing and saying we’re a Starbucks or an All Bar One and we’re going to do what we think works. “Our ethos has always been to do the simple things well, add a dash of flair and exceed expectations. Ten years and six pubs later, this priority remains the same. Award winning ales and well chosen, great value wine lists are matched by menus designed to hit the mark in terms of unpretentious comfort (hence our famous steaks and burgers) whilst also offering real innovation and ‘grown up’ food cooked by passionate chefs.” This uniqueness is achieved by thorough research of an area before anything else is done. And this thoroughness is possible, believes Mark, because the business is content to expand slowly and so there is

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Mark believes the whole ambience of the place is crucial: “You can have great food and great staff but, if the place looks awful, you won’t get away with it. If it doesn’t look right, you’re not going to get people in the door to start with.” All the establishments are traditional pubs at heart, with real ale, looking after customers and people being allowed to bring dogs in. The emphasis is most definitely on serving the local community. Like most successful pubs these days, food plays a big part. This ranges from relatively smart food in a restaurant area to traditional pub food such as pies and burgers. But the emphasis is still on quality. “We make sure it’s the best burger we can do,” comments Mark. The menus are essentially British but, given London’s cosmopolitan nature, often have Italian and Asian influences. And although

Renaissance Pubs was started by three friends Mark Reynolds, Nick Fox and Tom Peake

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Pubs Renaissance Pubs

The Abbeville Tel: 020 8675 2201 www.theabbeville.co.uk The Avalon Tel: 020 8675 8613 www.theavalonlondon.com The Bolingbroke Tel: 020 7228 4040 www.thebolingbroke.com The Rosendale Tel: 020 8761 9008 www.therosendale.co.uk The Stonhouse Tel: 020 7819 9312 www.thestonhouse.co.uk The Tommyfield Tel: 020 7735 1061 www.thetommyfield.com www.renaissancepubs.co.uk

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they contain some common items such as pies and steaks, they all vary between the different pubs. Mark says: “We give the chefs a bit of licence and let them create their own dishes. They then have a sense of ownership of the business and really understand what the customer wants. If you want to attract good chefs into this industry, you have to give them some freedom to create what they want.” All the chefs have the backing of Executive Chef, Massimo Tebaldi, who has been with the business from the start and ensures quality is maintained throughout the pubs. He’s also there to ensure that the best ingredients are sourced at the best price and with least inconvenience. In order to achieve this, there is a set range of mainly local suppliers where the chefs can get their ingredients.

“We use the same meat supplier across our group,” explains Mark. “They can choose from what that supplier does, whether it’s rabbit, wood pigeon, duck or whatever. They can’t really choose their own suppliers because we would lose economies of scale. Having twenty different vegetable suppliers would be a complete headache and you wouldn’t get the right pricing.” Significantly, the company has invested in a farm in Hampshire where it rears chickens, lambs, pigs and some cows for the restaurants. Mark says: “It’s an area that’s quite important to us — hatch-reared chicken that’s delivered twice weekly to site. We know where it has been, we’ve seen it from chick all the way up to our abattoir. It’s great to have that traceability there and we’re doing it with lamb and pigs, including some rare breed pigs.”

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Renaissance Pubs :feature 2 07/09/2013 09:45 Page 51

Pubs Renaissance Pubs

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Wilsea Ltd :feature 2 19/09/2013 11:50 Page 52

Seafood Wilsea Ltd

expertly

prepared Specialising mainly in cod and haddock Wilsea fish is shipped throughout the United Kingdom and Europe

W

Wilsea ltd 7 Scotstown Crescent Peterhead AB42 1GU www.wilsealtd.co.uk Tel: 07710182048

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ilsea Ltd was established in 1993 as a primary processor of all white species. Specialising in mainly cod and haddock, Wilsea fish is shipped throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. The five-person team is led by director Will Clark. He learnt his trade as a boy of nine, filleting during the school holidays in his home town of Scarborough and now has over thirty years experience in the trade. Fish is bought on a daily basis from Peterhead and Fraserburgh Fish Markets, before arriving at the Wilsea processing facility for expert preparation to

individual client requirements by a fully trained and extremely competent team. No shortcuts are used and everything is done by hand to ensure that what the fish customers receive is in perfect condition, before being packed in ice and shipped off for delivery. Experience definitely counts and it is one of the main reasons Wilsea has prospered. Managing director Will Clark has been in the processing industry for over thirty years and leads the team through a handson approach that includes everything from early morning inspection of the fish to buying the best fish available fresh every day from Europe's premier whitefish port of Peterhead (as well as Fraserburgh port depending on landings). Will's eye for quality

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Wilsea Ltd :feature 2 19/09/2013 11:50 Page 53

Seafood Wilsea Ltd fish and fast turnaround means that he often leaves lesser quality fish behind for other buyers. The managing director then drives the lorry that transports the fish to his modern processing facility, where he is met by his highly skilled work force where together they process the fish ready for the customer. Will’s love of the industry stands him apart from competitors. This has seen him lead a number of key organisations dealing in developing standards within white fish production. Previously, he was chairman of The Scottish Fish Merchants Federation and is now the Chairman and secretary of the Peterhead and Fraserburgh Fish Processors Association (PFFPA), which is the only active fish processors association representing the white fish industry. Will also sits on the board of Seafood Scotland. The company is proud that only at Wilsea Ltd can you be assured of quality control like no other from purchase to dispatch with 100 per cent traceability guaranteed. Wilsea Ltd is a primary processor of all white fish specialising in cod and haddock and all of its produce is processed to meet the exact demands of a varied range of customers, from the fishmonger to fish fryer, hotelier and wholesalers alike. Whether the customer wants it with the skin on or skin off, bone in or out, fresh, frozen or smoked, Wilsea can accommodate all these requirements. Products include cod in a range of sizes from 3oz up to 3kg fillets, while haddock is provided in 4oz up to market availability. All products are packed and chilled in different weights from 2kg to 15kg, with all products packed to meet the customer's requirements. Because Wilsea Ltd process all white fish available from the markets it can accommodate special requests for different species. This will then be sourced, processed and delivered to the client.

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Wigan Athletic :feature 2 09/09/2013 13:58 Page 54

Stadium Hospitality Wigan Athletic

a venue for all

seasons Wigan Athletic serve up more that great football. Their hospitality packages are tailored to make your experience at the DW Stadium all the more memorable

D

espite the disappointment of relegation from the Premier League last season, there’s still much to look forward to for Wigan Athletic. That includes participation in the Europa League as FA Cup holders to add to the usual match days. The football club was formed in 1932 and worked its way up the league structure to spend eight years in the Premier League and achieve the historic victory in the FA Cup final last season. It shares the DW Stadium with Wigan Warriors rugby league club and there are separate teams to handle match day hospitality for the two clubs and non-match day events. COMMUNITY CLUB Scott Williams, New Business and Match Day Operations Manager for Wigan Athletic, comments: “We pride ourselves on being a community club with projects within the community and trying to reach

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Wigan Athletic :feature 2 09/09/2013 13:58 Page 55

Stadium Hospitality Wigan Athletic

every game. The most exclusive option is the Club Lounge for match sponsors, ball sponsors and match day programme sponsors and their guests. That includes a champagne reception and canapés, four course meal plus Man of the Match presentations and photo opportunities. FOOD OPTIONS All lounges are accessible before and after the match and at half time, with a variety of facilities and events that include a bar, quiz and raf-

fle plus attendance by former players to host the day and answer questions. But the main difference, as Scott emphasises, is the food: “We feel we’re providing something for everyone because not every fan wants a four course meal, so we have the different options. Our regular customers like to see familiar faces and they like to have a chat with us and know what’s going on within the club. This is why our Champions and Legends lounges are so popular with seasonal members.”

our fans. After winning the FA Cup, we've taken it out as much as we can in the community to let people see it. We're proud of our local roots and that's reflected in the hospitality where we cater for all aspects of football fans at what we think is a very reasonable price. In terms of the Premier League last season, we were one of the best for value for money and we pride ourselves on providing an excellent service at an affordable price.” The hospitality options cover five separate lounges and all packages come with reserved seating. Differentiating factors are the food and the facilities provided, with the Champions Club and Legends Club catering for hard core supporters with a one or two course carvery meal. Rigalettos is an Italian restaurant through the week and used exclusively as a lounge on match days to serve a three-course meal. The next step up is the glass fronted Coors Lounge that has a view of the pitch and offers three course meals that change

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Stadium Hospitality Wigan Athletic

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Stadium Hospitality Wigan Athletic

On match days, the focus is on ensuring everything runs smoothly. “We have good staff and we use our match day assistant and a match day supervisor in each lounge to make sure it's ticking over,” recounts Scott. “We ensure we get around all the lounges and speak to customers before and after the game. We like to get feedback so we put out comment cards and make sure we read them. If there's anything to address, I’ll make sure we do and look to make improvements at the next game. It's important we listen to customers and what they want, whether that’s about the menu, the football or the environment.” AWAY SUPPORT One important aspect of Wigan Athletic’s hospitality is it extends to away fans who are made as welcome as home supporters. The Rigalettos package can include tickets for the away end of the ground and, when there’s enough demand, the Marquee Lounge under the North Stand is available. That’s used for fans

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to have a drink before the game and accommodated 250 Aston Villa fans for a two course meal at the end of last season. Exciting times lie ahead for Wigan Athletic with the aspiration to make a return to the Premier League plus the venture into European competition for the first time in the club’s history. One thing for certain is that the club aims to continue to provide success both on and off the field.

Wigan Athletic DW Stadium Loire Drive Wigan WN5 0UZ www.wiganlatics.co.uk/ commercial/hospitality Tel: 01942 774000


Aynhoe Park:feature 2 07/09/2013 11:20 Page 58

Corporate Hospitality Aynhoe Park

a bit of british

eccentricty Aynhoe Park is not a hotel. Aynhoe Park is a spectacular 12 bedroom private house embodying British eccentricity at its best

A Aynhoe Park Aynho, Banbury Oxfordshire OX17 3BQ www.aynhoepark.co.uk Tel: 01869 810636

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

nyone wanting an unusual event venue should take a look at Aynhoe Park. “We are slightly eccentric with the largest privately owned plaster cast collection in Europe,” comments Head of Events Nicola Brooke. “We have an ever-growing collection of taxidermy and people can hire the house for weddings or private parties. When you hire the house, you hire all the grounds. If you choose to play cricket, croquet or ferret racing, you can. You can use the grounds as you like.” Aynhoe Park is a Grade I listed 17th Century country house on the Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire border that has been rebuilt and remodelled throughout its history. Current owner James Perkins has a music and events background through his ownership of Fantazia Rave in the 1990s

and has re-invented the house by giving it a sense of theatre. The house and grounds are hired on an exclusive basis, covering all downstairs spaces that include a salon, bar, dining room, orangery and library plus a catering kitchen. They’re suitable, as Nicola explains, for various events: “We had the Red Bull field sales conference here recently and we have weddings where you take over the whole house. “It includes overnight stays, a butler, breakfast and a catering company from our preferred list will cater for the event. There’s a choice of hiring for two nights or one night, depending on the season. Midweek hire can be just one night or not at all if it’s a photo shoot when they won’t necessarily want to stay.” If accommodation is needed, there are thirteen rooms for up to 26 guests and the option to set up

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Aynhoe Park:feature 2 07/09/2013 11:20 Page 59

Corporate Hospitality Aynhoe Park

bell tents and tepee villages for greater numbers. That happened when Jade Jagger’s wedding was held there recently and also included the erection of a marquee to handle the volume. Everything’s done to satisfy individual needs, with interested hirers provided with a guided tour and meetings with suppliers and caterers as appropriate. “We can organise everything for them,” emphasises Nicola. “We have some fairly eccentric activities, such as ferret racing, and a company comes in to organise them. We also put hirers in touch with the catering company. “There are various cuisines, including Indian caterers as preferred suppliers, and we cater for all different diets. The caterers use our facilities unless the event is in a marquee for 200 people plus, then there’ll be a service marquee attached. We provide the butlers, housekeepers, an event manager and house manager while the catering company provides serving staff. We oversee everything during the event and follow up afterwards.” Expansion of the facilities is now on the cards, with a long-term hire of the two front wings ended and plans in place for refurbishment and the provision of a further twenty bedrooms. That, as Nicola confirms, will give scope for other events at this eccentric venue: “We’re not as corporate as we’d like to be and we’re looking to expand more into that area.”

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

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Licorice:feature 2 09/09/2013 09:55 Page 60

What do you know about...

LICORICE

all sorts of facts and trivia about licorice The licorice plant, a shrub, is officially classed as a ‘legume’, which means it is related to beans and peas. It is about four feet tall with purplish flowers and grows in hot, dry places. The word ‘Liquorice’ comes from the Greek word ‘Glycyrrhiza’ meaning ‘Sweet Root’. It is a uniquely flavorful herb that is 50 times sweeter than sugar. The use of liquorice as a medicinal remedy is documented during the time of Hippocrates in the fourth century BC. Licorice helps relieve the pains that accompany certain types of ulcers, and it is good for the adrenal glands.

In the United States, anise seed is a popular substitute flavoring for licorice. Although the anise seed has an unmistakable licorice flavor, it is not related to the European plant whose roots are the source of true licorice.

In the legendary film “The Tramp” the shoe that Charlie Chaplin ate was made of liquorice

Pontefract in Yorkshire was the first place where liquorice mixed with sugar began to be used as a sweet. Also Pontefract in July, you will find the annual Liquorice Carnival. There is even a liquorice queen crowned with a liquorice crown. She will wear liquorice clothes and bedazzle visitors with liquorice jewels. You can buy a liquorice plant to take home with you, and there is even a liquorice cheese made there!

In the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy the Orcs have black blood, so it was only natural that the inside of their mouths should not be pink but black as well. To achieve this, the Orc actors had to swill a liquorice based mouthwash prior to each of their scenes. In the James Bond movie “Moonraker”, where villain ‘Jaws’ bites the cable car line, it was actually made of liquorice!

The British Army issued liquorice bars to all its soldiers during the WWII after they discovered Japanese troops fighting in the jungle used it to quench their thirst. Hannibal also gave it to his ‘war elephants’ to give them enough energy to carry him and his army across the Alps. Licorice root is a botanical ingredient in modern Chinese medicines used to manage cancers. In 2003 Policeman Simon McEvoy prevented a gas explosion in a street in Oldham by plugging a leak with a liquorice all sort.

Current research conducted at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, supports the use of licorice in the treatment of prostate and breast cancer. In China, it is known as the ‘great detoxifier’ because it is thought to drive poisons from the system. In Turkey, Syria and Lebabnon, liquorice is boiled with water to make sous, a popular refreshing drink, which is served ice cold.

TO SPONSOR THIS PAGE

CALL 01484 411 400 Tel: 01326 562111

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Fax: 01326 564568

Email: sales@hendys.net

Web: www.hendys.net

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ISSUE 158

cover 158:Layout 1 19/09/2013 09:55 Page 1

ISSUE 158

FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING TODAY

LET’S

FEAST MAGAZINE

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AT THE SCHOOL OF WOK Nelson Design

The Luminar Group

Tate Liverpool

An eye for detail at

Giving people a big night out

A unique setting

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