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ISSUE 159

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FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING TODAY

THE YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

ISSUE 159

GOING BEYOND

FEAST MAGAZINE

MOTORSPORT

Sophisticated cuisine at

Texture Restaurant

Inspirational cooking at

The Asburton Cookery School

Grand Union Bars Wining, dining and dance


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Editor’s comment

Ramsey FINDING YOUR INNER

EDITOR: Daniel Stephens CONTRIBUTORS: Jeff Senior Rob Samuels Matt Waring ART EDITOR: Steve Williams DESIGNER: Kate Webber FEATURE MANAGERS: Nikki Mcmath John Henson 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

aybe as money has become tighter we’ve looked at cheaper ways to feed

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ourselves. When Gordon Ramsey is showing us how to make one of his delicious dishes on Channel 4 our thinking often turns to being unable to afford all the fresh ingredients? So we don’t buy fresh. We buy the cheaper dried

version, or we get frozen ginger or garlic when the supermarket has them on buy-one-get-one-halfprice. Yet, the kids moaning about being made to eat things they’ve never tried before, coupled with the trials and tribulations of marrying working life with a social one means we become metronomic. We go through the motions. That usually means sticking to the same meals over and over, or simply putting a ready-meal in the microwave or picking up the telephone to dial the local Domino’s. Have we lost our passion for cooking or do we simply have too much going on to give it the time of day? Jamie Oliver, the once “naked chef” and moonlighting drummer-boy, certainly thinks we have the time and the finances to give the kitchen some much needed attention. With his fifteen-minute meals (published in print and supported by a television series) he shows us that cooking from fresh requires less time than we may think. His most recent show – Money Saving Meals – goes one step further to highlight how we can cook delicious food on a budget. Like Ramsey, Oliver has a passion for food that, unsurprisingly for two of the UK’s most decorated and well respected chefs, goes above and beyond marvelling at the simple pleasures of a McDonald’s Big Mac. Yet, their infectious adoration for cooking is behind their rise to culinary celebrity. And it is an enthusiasm that wears off on the viewer.

Contract Publishing

Thankfully, once your passion for cooking has been reignited there is a place to learn more. Several places actually. In this month’s Feast, we take a look at a variety of cooking schools who

(Huddersfield) Ltd

all aim to invigorate chefs of all abilities and show what can really be done in the kitchen. For

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.

example, from Can Cook, a Liverpool based cooking school that wants to bring a sense of fun

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back into the kitchen to Ashburton, a long-established institution with a new professional course that has already seen graduates take up positions in Michelin-starred restaurants. We also look at one of the most prestigious academies in the UK - Jean-Christophe Novelli’s school based at his farm in Hertfordshire. So if you’re looking to reenergise your passion for cooking there’s plenty of places to find your inner Ramsey!

Daniel Stephens Editor

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Contents ISSUE 159

Features ENTERTAINMENT 8

THE LUMINAR GROUP Giving people a big night out

44 YAS MARINA CIRCUIT Going beyond motorsport

PUB CHAIN

12 GRAND UNION BARS wining, dining and dance

RESTAURANT CHAIN 16 HAKKASAN Customer focused

FINE DINING

22 TEXTURE RESTAURANT Sophisticated cuisine

RETAIL STANDARDS

24 BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM GLOBAL STANDARDS Promoting standards in food safety

COOKERY SCHOOLS 32 CAN COOK Let’s cook

34 ASHBURTON COOKERY SCHOOL Inspirational cooking 38 THE NOVELLI ACADEMY A passion for food 40 SWINTON PARK COOKERY SCHOOL Learning to appreciate good food 42 COOKERY SCHOOL AT LITTLE PORTLAND STREET Fun and informal

22 TEXTURE RESTAURANT Sophisticated cuisine

SPORTING EVENT

44 YAS MARINA CIRCUIT Going beyond motorsport

CORPORATE HOSPITALITY

48 SOMERSET HOUSE A centre of excellence for art and culture

HOSPITALITY

50 NEW HALL HOTEL & SPA The perfect venue 52 ROSSO RESTAURANT premier league venue 56 FLEMINGS MAYFAIR Chic and discreet

GREEN TOURISM

52 ROSSO RESTAURANT Premier league venue

58 GREGYNOG HALL Famed for its hospitality

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Regulars UPDATE 4

THIS MONTH’S TOP STORIES

34 Sections ASHBURTON COOKERY SCHOOL Inspirational cooking

8 ENTERTAINMENT 12 PUB CHAIN 16 RESTAURANT CHAIN 22 FINE DINING 24 RETAIL STANDARDS 32 COOKERY SCHOOLS 44 SPORTING EVENTS 48 CORPORATE HOSPITALITY 50 HOSPITALITY 58 GREEN TOURISM

8 THE LUMINAR GROUP Giving people a big night out

56 FLEMINGS MAYFAIR Chic and discreet

66 HAKKASAN Customer focussed

Follow us on

12 GRAND UNION BARS Wining, dining and dance w w w. f e a s t m a g a z i n e . o r g

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UPDATE BRITAIN'S RECOVERY PROPPED UP BY CONSUMER SPENDING UK economy grew 0.7% in the second quarter but lack of trade and investment growth cast shadow over data

ALTHOUGH Britain’s economic recovery appears to be well underway, its sustainability has been called into question after data showed the recovery was driven by consumer spending, rather than trade and investment. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed that in the second quarter the economy grew by 0.7 per cent and the first quarter's growth was upgraded from 0.3 per cent to 0.4 per cent. Earlier this month George Osborne said there were “signs of a balanced, broad-based and sustainable recovery” but, according to The Independent, new data suggest the foundations may be less secure than previously thought. Between April and June, consumer spending rose by £661m, an increase of 0.3 per cent. However, trade made no contribution whatsoever, as a surge in imports cancelled out the benefits of rising exports.

The Daily Telegraph reports that business investment fell by £786m in the three months to June to £28.7bn – a slide of 2.7 per cent and its second worst reading since the depths of the recession in September 2009. The Government had hoped Britain’s growth would be driven by exports and corporate investment, rather than relying on debt-fuelled consumer spending. Households have been able to increase spending despite falling real take-home income by cutting into savings and easier access to credit. Rob Wood of Berenberg Bank said that the underlying picture is that “households’ real incomes were flat over the first half of the year, and the savings rate has fallen sharply.” Simon Wells of HSBC called the data a ‘reality check after a period of very strong UK data releases.”

RHUBARB PARTNERS WITH NT

CATERING company Rhubarb has signed an exclusive three-year contract with the National Trust to deliver events at historic properties around London and the Home Counties. The partnership means that both parties will work together on events in a bid to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the historic landmarks, including Osterley Park & House, Petworth House and Stowe Landscape Gardens. Each venue will have a dedicated Rhubarb event planner to oversee all aspects of an event, such as themed balls, weddings and private dinners.

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Ben Duffy, commercial development consultant for the National Trust, said the partnership came about because of the organisation’s aim to bring its properties to life and allow people to enjoy them in new ways. “Some of our beautiful properties were originally created to host lavish functions and dinners and today make the perfect setting for a wide choice of events. We hope this partnership will help raise additional funding for conservation work, to restore and maintain these historic buildings and landscapes for generations to come.”

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‘BEER GOGGLE' STUDY WINS IG NOBEL AWARD A team of researchers who found that people think they are more attractive when drinking alcohol, have scooped an Ig Nobel prize for their work. The researchers from France and the US confirmed the ‘beer goggle effect’ also works on oneself. Ig Nobel awards are a humorous spoof-like version of their more sober cousins, the Nobel prizes. Winners have 60 seconds to make a speech to avoid being booed off stage by an eight-year-old girl. Titled ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder’, the team were awarded one of 10 awards at a packed gala ceremony at Harvard University. In the study, people in a bar were asked how funny, original and attractive they found themselves.

The higher their blood alcohol level the more attractive they thought they were. Attractive drunks The same effect was also found for those who only thought they had been drinking alcohol when in fact it was a non-alcoholic placebo drink. “People have long observed that drunk people think others are more attractive but ours is the first study to find that drinking makes people think they are more attractive themselves,” said Prof Bushman “If you become drunk and think you are really attractive it might influence your thoughts and behaviour towards others. It illustrates that in human memory, the link between alcohol and attractiveness is pretty strong.”

LINDLEY HERITAGE WINS £3M DERBY THEATRE DEAL BREWDOG BREAKS OWN RECORD SCOTLAND’S largest independent brewery, BrewDog has officially broken its own crowdfunding record, raising £3m in two months through selling shares to beer fans with its innovative ‘Equity for Punks’ scheme. The record-breaking start to the campaign takes the brewery three quarters of the way to reaching its ambitious £4million target in less than a third of the time it allocated to the programme. The company made 42,000 shares available to anyone to buy

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online at £95 each, ignoring traditional methods of funding to support its continued rapid growth. Unlike many crowdfunding programmes that simply look to raise donations in return for fringe benefits, BrewDog is offering equity in its business. The cofounders of the brewery, renowned for brewing bold and creative beers, plan to use the funds raised to further expand its new brewery, its burgeoning bar division and a new series of bottle shops across the UK.

LINDLEY Heritage has picked up a six-year deal to deliver catering services at Derby Theatre. Worth £3m in total, the new contract at the 649-seat arts venue will see the retail and leisure division of Lindley Group take over from Autograph, which previously managed the operation. As well as re-launching the existing Bistro Deli Café and operating the first floor Lounge Bar, Lindley Heritage has created a new 50-cover dining area called the Bistro, which will be cross marketed and promoted by the theatre through the booking office. The menus created by Lindley Heritage’s executive development chefs for the Bistro Restaurant will focus on seasonal ingredients sourced from local suppliers, while the Lounge Bar will serve beers by

local family-owned brewery Derby Brewing Co. The Bistro Deli and Café will serve its own special house blend of coffee selected especially for the theatre. Gary Johnson, general manager at the Derby Theatre, said: “The theatre is very much rooted in the local community while being international in its outlook. We are in the process of transforming from a traditional producing house to an organisation for training, mentorship and artistic excellence. “We aim to be an exemplar of a new way of looking at the role and responsibility of a theatre to its community and Lindley Heritage’s approach to developing our catering facilities and services is very supportive of this philosophy.

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UPDATE

COMPASS GROUP EXPECTS 4.5% FULL YEAR GROWTH GLOBAL catering giant Compass Group said it expected full year revenue growth of 4.5% percent following a strong performance in its core North American market. Strong levels of new business wins, good retention rates and modest inflationary price increases in North America drove the company’s organic revenue growth. Operating profit margin for the

full year is expected to be more than 7% for the first time, for the 12 months to 30 September, reported Compass Group in a trading update today ahead of announcing its full year results on 27 November. Like for like volumes are expected to be broadly flat in North America, negative in Europe & Japan and positive in Fast Growing & Emerging.

GRUBS UP FOR RENTOKILL IT MIGHT not be to everyone’s taste but queues of hungry students and workers enjoyed their grub as they tucked in to crispy mealworms and crunchy crickets in London. They were given a chance to sample unlikely foods that have been hailed as the answer to feeding the world’s growing population. Pest control service Rentokil established the world’s first ‘pop-up pestaurant’ in the City of London – for one day only. The company boast 85 years of service and served up an array of exotic cuisine, including sweet chilli pigeon burgers, salt and vinegar crickets, BBQ mealworms and chocolate-dipped ants. The ‘food’ was free of charge to

everyone feeling brave enough to try it. The menu may not sound appetising, but it is healthy. Insects have been found to be rich in protein, zinc, calcium and iron while also being low in fat. Edible insects have recently been identified by a number of different bodies, including the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation, as a potentially valuable source of food for the world's rapidly growing population. David Cross, head of technical training academy at Rentokil, said: “The Pestaurant is all about celebrating the hard work that goes into keeping the UK’s pests under control.”

IN NEXT MONTH’S

FEAST

MAN EATING BUGS We talk to ‘Gastronaut’, Stefan Gates about whether we in the West are missing out on a valuable food source

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YO! LANDING AT HEATHROW ICONIC Japanese restaurant chain YO! Sushi is to open a brand new restaurant at Heathrow Terminal2, offering quirky pod seating and an innovative service designed around the unique needs of airline passengers. For the first time ever at YO! Sushi, airline passengers will be able to pre-order their food online before they arrive, ensuring their order will be ready for takeaway as soon as they come through security. For those wanting to dine in, any hot food or bespoke orders can be

taken by our team of kitchen ninjas who will use a tablet to place the order directly with the kitchen. The restaurant will showcase an exclusive range of set menus to give passengers the option of a wellness meal before their flight. The ‘Wellness Menu’ will provide customers with the optimum amount of nutrition before getting on a long haul flight, highlighting various nutritional benefits to aid a comfortable journey such as omega 3 oil found in our delicious sashimi.

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COCA-COLA NO LONGER TOP OF THE POPS APPLE has ousted Coca-Cola as the world's leading global brand – with Google claiming second spot. After 13 years as the undisputed number one, the fizzy drinks firm has been relegated to third place in this year's Interbrand list. Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s global chief executive officer, said: “Every so often, a company changes our lives – not just with its products, but with its ethos. “This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Apple now ranks number one. “(CEO) Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs' vision intact – a vision that has allowed Apple to

deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again.” Apple has appeared on Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands list since it was first published in 2000. That year Apple ranked 36 and had a brand value of $6.6bn (£4.07bn). It now has a brand value of $98.3bn (£60.7bn) – almost 15 times the 2000 figure. Interband said Apple’s meteoric rise in brand value can be attributed to “the way it has created a seamless omnichannel experience for customers”. It added: “By keeping consumers at the centre of everything it does, Apple is able to anticipate what they want next and

break new ground in terms of both design and performance. “With 72 million Macs in use and record-breaking sales of both the iPhone and iPad, Apple has made history by unseating Coca-Cola and becoming Interbrand's most valuable global brand of 2013.” This year, the total value of all 100 Best Global Brands has been put at $1.5trn (£0.92trn) – an 8.4% increase on 2012. When determining the top 100 brands, Interbrand says it examined three key aspects: The financial performance of the branded products or service The role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice

The strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company As well as Apple and Google, this year’s big climbers are Facebook (52, +43%), Prada (72, +30%) and Amazon (19, +27%).

THE TOP 10 BRANDS ARE: 1. Apple 2. Google 3. Coca-Cola 4. IBM 5. Microsoft 6. GE 7. McDonald's 8. Samsung 9. Intel 10 Toyota

2 SISTERS FOOD GROUP OPENS FOOD SAFETY LABORATORY

2 SISTERS Food Group has opened a GBP1m food safety laboratory to test food from its sites all across the UK. The facility, located in Nottingham, will test around 1m food samples each year from biscuits and ready meals to pizza and salads. CEO Ranjit Singh said the laboratory underlines 2 Sisters’ commitment to producing “worldclass food products” and ensuring its products are safe to eat.

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“We have invested a substantial sum in this lab, and as our business grows, there will be an increasing need to ensure quality and safety go hand-in-hand. It’s what the British consumer demands, and what we demand as a world-class manufacturer.” Earlier this month the company partnered with research organisation Campden BRI to create a training and development hub for food safety at its Birmingham headquarters.

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Luminar Group :feature 2 25/09/2013 16:53 Page 8

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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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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Grand Union Bars:feature 2 29/09/2013 11:35 Page 13

Pub Chain Grand Union Bars

wining, dining and

dance

By day Grand Union is a fashionable, relaxed all-day-eating diner with a fantastic menu of classic American dishes. By night the place is alive with electric vibes, with the DJs paying homage to the epitome of cool from 90s soul, electro funk, and indie chic.

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ll sites in the Grand Union Group share signature style and feel but each one of them still preserves its own identity and is customized to the needs of the area. “All venues are designed in our unique style with vintage furniture, bold flower wallpaper and eccentric décor features,” comments Sales and Marketing Manager Anna Murashka. “Details are sometimes striking and impulsive but very tastefully arranged; this represents a very specific identify of the chain.” The group has recently opened its eighth bar, all of them in London. Grand Union Chancery Lane is a stunning addition to the family. Be it a sophisticated business lunch or late night drinks, Grand Union has it covered. With an extensive all day diner menu and 2am licence every night, there’s no better place to wine, dine and dance. This newest venue reflects the style of the others and, like all Grand Union Bars, the venue’s nature changes as the day progresses. Anna says: “By day, they’re trendy, relaxing places to have lunch and drinks. In the evening, they fill up with a beautiful crowd of cocktail drinkers, who party late into the night at weekends. We have late licences and DJs in most venues, especially on Thursdays,

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Fridays and Saturdays. We are well-known for creating an electric party atmosphere, particularly in places like Farringdon, Brixton and Wandsworth where people dance until early morning.” There’s a big emphasis on looking after customers well and making sure they have a great time, which results in plenty of return business and referrals. As Anna explains, the venues cater for a

With an extensive all day diner menu and 2am licence every night, there’s no better place to wine, dine and dance wide variety of private and corporate events: “We find a balance between shared and private parties. We don’t want to close off venues completely on key days and upset our local clientele but most venues have private rooms so the main bar is still open for the general public. Many have fantastic features, such as Kennington with a stunning sun terrace overlooking the London Eye, Brixton with a gorgeous Pleasure Garden featuring quirky Thai tree

www.grandunionbars.com Tel: 020 88771851

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Pub Chain Grand Union Bars

houses or Farringdon with its sultry candlelit Vaults at the bottom of the sweeping staircase. Food-wise, all bars share an American diner style menu, with fantastic burgers, ribs and wings, salads and pizzas. Although all sites currently have the same menus, Paddington is the main diner with a lounge atmosphere and emphasis on table service. It’s also the place where a more extensive food menu is being introduced this autumn. CHANGING MENUS “As a result of menu research and development, we will be introducing slight variations of the offer in different sites to reflect cus-

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tomer needs,” remarks Anna. “At Chancery Lane and Farrington, for example, there is a bigger demand for function menus and sharing dishes to accommodate large corporate events, while Wandsworth and Brixton are big party venues.” Grand Union works closely with suppliers to source the best ingredients at an affordable price so it can provide the best quality and price to customers. There’s an aim to use fresh and seasonal produce as much as possible. The brand has been very successful in London and that’s where the focus remains. Grand Union has ambitious expansion plans in the next few years.

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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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Hakkasan Ltd:feature 2 26/09/2013 09:45 Page 17

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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Hakkasan Ltd:feature 2 01/10/2013 12:19 Page 20

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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Hakkasan Ltd:feature 2 26/09/2013 09:49 Page 21


texture restaurant:feature 2 26/09/2013 11:13 Page 22

Fine Dining Texture Restaurant

Sophisticated

CUISINE

Created by Agnar Sverrisson and Xavier Rousset, Texture is a Michelin starred modern European, restaurant and champagne bar with Scandinavian influences

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gnar Sverrisson and Xavier Rousset met whilst working at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons as Head Chef and Head Sommelier respectively. In 2007 they set up Texture which has since won a number of accolades including a Michelin star in 2010, The Independent New Restaurant of the Year and Best Newcomer in the Caterer & Hotelkeeper Catey Awards. Last year the pair opened 28째-50째 Wine Workshop & Kitchen, a more informal, wine focused restaurant in the City. Before joining Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Agnar Sverrisson trained at a number of well known Michelin starred restaurants. Originally from Iceland, he moved to the UK in 2001, but remains loyal

Texture Restaurant 34 Portman Street London W1H 7BY Tel. 020 7224 0028 texture-restaurant.co.uk

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to his heritage, combining Icelandic and Scandinavian ingredients with locally sourced British produce. Xavier Rousset became the youngest Master Sommelier in the world when he passed the exam aged 23 shortly after winning the Ruinart Sommelier of the Year competition in 2002. Responsible for the eclectic and substantial wine list in the restaurant and bar, Rousset also runs the pair's second venture 28째-50째 Wine Workshop & Kitchen where the aim is to offer guests an excellent variety of unusual wines at unbeatable value. Texture's cuisine style is modern European with Scandinavian influences and focuses on combining and emphasising different consistencies. Sverrisson's roots are demonstrated in the inclusion of ingredients such as Icelandic Cod, Icelandic Lamb from

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texture restaurant:feature 2 26/09/2013 11:13 Page 23

Fine Dining Texture Restaurant

Skagafjordur, Icelandic herbs and Icelandic skyr. The regular tasting menu further showcases Sverrisson's creativity in the kitchen and a set lunch offers unrivalled value. The Texture Champagne Bar welcomes diners for pre-dinner aperitifs or those who want to take advantage of Rousset's extraordinary Champagne and wine list. Five sparkling wines and Champagnes are offered by the glass and a further 110 Champagnes by the bottle making Texture one of London's most extensive Champagne destinations. Minutes from Mayfair and just off Oxford Street, Texture is also a popular destination for private events including intimate private dining and exclusive private hire.

Named Tolli, after the famous Icelandic artist, Texture's private room seats 16 and can be enjoyed with bespoke menus indicative of Sverrisson's signature style matched with wine selections from Rousset's impressive list. Additionally, prior to lunch or dinner booking at the Tolli Room, Texture can offer a wine tasting, individually tailored to each event. Diners can also enjoy the Texture Champagne Bar which offers a warm welcome with the promise of great pre-dinner aperitifs. Those who want to take advantage of Rousset's extraordinary Champagne and wine list can get a head start here. Five Champagnes are offered by the glass and a further 110 Champagnes by the bottle making Texture one of London's most extensive Champagne destinations.

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BRC Global Standards :feature 2 02/10/2013 15:59 Page 24

Retail Standards British Retail Consortium Global Standards

promoting standards in

FOOD SAFETY

The BRC Global Standards are a leading global safety and quality certification programme, used throughout the world by over 17,000 certificated suppliers in 90 countries through a network of over 80 accredited and BRC recognised Certification Bodies

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Retail Standards British Retail Consortium Global Standards

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hen markets are truly global, the standards to which suppliers conform have to be correspondingly global to ensure compliance right across the board. That’s where the BRC’s responsibilities lay because its Global Standards team manages a scheme to ensure standards in manufacturing are maintained at the highest level. “We are the scheme owner,” confirms Compliance Manager Karen Betts. “We write the Standards, publish Guidelines, help sites achieve the Standard and manage the approved certification bodies to make sure each BRC audit undertaken is consistent, challenging and robust.” CREATING A COMMON GOAL The British Retail Consortium is a trade association for UK retailers and the Standards arose from a realisation that, although food safety was critical for the retailers, it didn’t provide a commercial advantage for any of them. That led to a need to reduce the workload by cutting down on the number of audits and to create a common goal for all participants. The BRC facilitated the necessary agreement between the retailers and the initial outcome was the Food Standard that was published in 1998. The Food Standard remains the flagship Standard with 16,182 certificated sites in over 120

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countries. Added to that are a further three Standards made up of a Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials with 2,323 certificated sites, a Storage and Distribution Standard with 648 sites and a Consumer Products manufacturing Standard that has 452 certificated sites. That amounts to almost 20,000 certificated sites for Standards that are recognised widely across the globe.

“There’s a market demand to certificate sites to provide customer confidence in the safety programmes there, whether that’s packaging or storage and distribution” To maintain that global recognition, the BRC ensures its Standards are pitched at a consistently high level, with its Food Standard benchmarked by the Global Food Standard Initiative (GFSI). There’s also a review and update of Standards every three years to ensure they reflect the changes in the industry as well as conforming to new legislation from around the world The process, as Karen explains, develops new Standards when they’re needed and keeps existing

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Retail Standards British Retail Consortium Global Standards

Standards up-to-date: “There’s a market demand to certificate sites to provide customer confidence in the safety programmes they operate, whether that’s packaging or storage and distribution. If there is a need, we facilitate the development of Standards. We have an international advisory board with members throughout the world and for each Standard we have a technical advisory committee. “The food technical advisory committee meets three times a year and looks at the day-to-day operational side. We welcome feedback from all of the stakeholders, which include the certificated sites that are listed on the BRC Global Standards Directory. Once the audit data is uploaded onto the BRC Global Standards Directory, all the sites receive an invitation to complete our survey so we get feedback. We want to gather as much information as possible about the people who use the BRC Standards to make them better and we feed all of this data into our technical advisory committees.” Maintaining the Standards is the BRC’s responsibility but, given the large number of sites spread across the world, the auditing of those sites is handled by approved certification bodies. Those certification bodies are listed on the BRC Global Standards

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Directory (www.brcdirectory.com) and have a rating that results from a compliance programme. “The BRC has a five-star rating system so every six months we measure certification bodies against key performance indicators,” recounts Karen. “There are five criteria including how quickly the audit result is given to the client and the quality of the audit report. The BRC has a strict requirement around auditors because we want to make sure they are competent, knowledgeable and experienced in the food process and the technologies they need to audit. Every auditor has to be registered with the BRC and there are many background requirements for auditors to retain registration.” MAINTAINING AUDIT STANDARDS In effect, the certification bodies audit the individual sites and the BRC audits the certification bodies to ensure they do their job properly and efficiently. Feedback from sites is part of that process and there’s also a complaints system for sites that have any issues. The independent reviews of the certification bodies often involves a BRC auditor accompanying a certification body auditor to sites to ensure good and consistent audits are carried out.

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BRC Global Standards :feature 2 02/10/2013 15:59 Page 27

Retail Standards British Retail Consortium Global Standards

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CALL 01484 411400

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Retail Standards British Retail Consortium Global Standards The process ensures sites requiring certification can choose a certification body with confidence, the BRC’s Global Standards Directory clearly indicating each certifications body’s location, the Standard for which it has responsibility and its star rating. The certification bodies are also accredited by independent accreditation bodies, such as UKAS in this country and others globally. Certification of sites involves a number of steps and the BRC provides help and background information. Karen says: “Initially, applicants need to get hold of the Standard- that details the requirements. We have several Guidelines available to help in developing an-understanding of what a site needs to do to achieve certification. A site must review where it is in relation to the requirements of the Standard and we believe the key to an effective food safety management system is management commitment, which is number one in our work requirement because there needs to be a food safety culture. Applicants need to form a management team, understand the requirements of the Standard and conduct a gap analysis and an internal audit. There is a free download on the BRC website that lists those requirements.” SUCCESSFUL CERTIFICATION After selecting a certification body, the site undergoes the audit and is certificated if successful. That results in an entry on the BRC Global Standards Directory with login access so sites can share their

reports and details with nominated customers. There’s also a BRC logo the sites can use in their communication activity, demonstrating they have achieved certification to the Standard. “It provides an independent third party audit,” remarks Karen. “And it’s consistent and challenging because BRC has an overarching management of certification bodies and the auditors. If sites don’t receive the service they expect or they have any issues, they can get back to the BRC using our complaints processes. We are like any brand owner in that we can’t improve our product unless we get feedback.” “Many major retailers specify BRC certification as a minimum requirement for their supply chain to trade with them,” adds Sales and Marketing Manager Nigel Scott. “Retailers have their own audit requirements but a minimum is often BRC certification.” Audits take place initially and periodically, with the BRC operating the only scheme of its type with the option for unannounced audits. Karen says: “Any site can choose to have an unannounced audit. BRC supports and promotes this concept because we think good management culture should be lived every day and shouldn’t require a site getting ready. Any site should be ready constantly and an audit isn’t there to catch people out. We want it to be challenging so a site receives an audit grade

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Retail Standards British Retail Consortium Global Standards

and report that clearly demonstrates it has robust controls in place. Sites can choose an announced or unannounced audit, with each having its own protocols surrounding it.” The certification body and its auditors have to adhere to certain audit protocols, with the length of the audit

“We have an online book shop so anybody, anywhere in the world can purchase publications”

1 Dartmouth Street Westminster London SW1H 9BP Tel: 020 78548900 www.brcglobalstandards.com

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dependent on several different factors that include what the site is doing, its processes, level of complexity and the size of the site. The outcome of each audit is the site conforms to the Standard or fails to do so. In the case of non-conformity for the Food Standard, the site has 28 calendar days to prove it has identified the root cause and has closed out the problems so they won’t happen again. Successful certification will result in the issue of a certificate, which for the Food Standard will be Grade A or B that lasts for one year or Grade C for six months. The latter includes a level of non-conformity that may be

classed as minor, major or critical, and which needs to be resolved to achieve the full certification It is a continuous process of developing, updating, publishing and maintaining the Standards, with a new Agents and Brokers Standard currently in the pipeline. “We have an online book shop so anybody, anywhere in the world can purchase BRC publications,” comments Nigel. “The Food Standard, for example, is published in fifteen languages and we support it with an Interpretation Guideline that’s also in a number of languages. We deal with people where English is not their first language and so have to provide local language versions. However, we do not take into consideration any local differences because it is a global export Standard and retailers want the same standards within the factories of those who are exporting their products to other countries.” The need for translation and the application of Standards is likely to increase as the BRC seeks to extend beyond the 120 countries where its Standards currently apply. Nigel says: “Our heartland is Europe because we’ve been here longest but we are developing quite sizable markets now in places like North and South America, South Africa, Russia, China and India. We are spending quite some time over there to develop these markets.”

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can cook:feature 2 26/09/2013 14:29 Page 32

Cookery Schools Can Cook

lets

cook

The Can Cook Cookery School is based in a state of the art studio at the Matchworks in South Liverpool

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an Cook is a Liverpool-based cookery school. Its mission is to start a cookery revolution, to get people off the fast food bandwagon and enthusiastic about cooking and food. The cookery school is an innovative and professional environment, perfect for getting people cooking again and enjoying the whole food experience. The Can Cook Studio is a state of the art, 20place cookery school where Can Cook runs a whole range of cookery courses and experiences. For organisations, Can Cook provides bespoke cookery approaches for schools and community initiatives as well as corporate and teambuilding events. Importantly, Can Cook cookery classes are fun, engaging and exciting. It runs a number of evening cookery classes and weekend cookery courses that are tailored for each person or group, whether students are complete beginners or wanting to enhance their skills. The Cookery School is the ideal place to learn or enhance culinary skills. Can Cook has a range of cookery classes including Indian, Italian, Thai and other world

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can cook:feature 2 26/09/2013 14:29 Page 33

Cookery Schools Can Cook

cuisines as well as specialist courses in baking and desserts. Each course is a great mix of chef demonstration, practical cooking sessions and enjoying the food you make in the Can Cook Dining Room. Another popular option is the Cook and Dine Foodie Experiences. Cooking is a great social activity so join Can Cook for the evening to enjoy its chef demonstration. Students can try their hand at cooking and enjoy the meal with a glass of wine or beer with the rest of the group. Can Cook is about the whole food experience. Whether you want to pop into one of its cafes or are looking for catering for a business meeting, special event or service, you can enjoy Can Cook food, always prepared from scratch, with fresh ingredients by the Can Cook Chefs. The company has a number of events upcoming. Firstly, its food poverty campaigning will see it com-

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plete a number of projects with schools, communities and families across Liverpool. Teaching Liverpool to Cook, an annual fundraising campaign, aims to raise ÂŁ100,000 in 100 days. Meanwhile, Kitchen Share is an initiative that encourages start up and small food businesses to grow. Can Cook provides the equipment, space, utilities and training which are all available on a rent as you need basis. Can Cook is getting ready to launch its first incubator programme which will allow up to 20 new food businesses free start up access to all of its facilities and training, as well as introductions to specialist boot-camps, visits to other successful food businesses, and branding and marketing advice. The company is also under way with the design and build of its unique street food truck that will start selling great street food in Liverpool from December.

Can Cook Studio The Matchworks Garston, Liverpool L19 2RF Tel: 0151 650 6444 www.cancook.co.uk

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Asburton:feature 2 01/10/2013 11:44 Page 34

Cookery School Ashburton Cookery School

cooking

inspirational

Ashburton Cookery School and Ashburton Chefs Academy are among the UK’s top private, cookery schools offering inspirational cookery courses to both home cooks and professional aspiring chefs.

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shburton Cookery School in Devon has grown over the last nine years into one of the UK’s leading private providers of culinary training for both professional and nonprofessional chefs. Built on an ethos to inspire and invigorate cooking technique, Ashburton offers a range of courses suited to all abilities. Originally designed to provide a quaint, countryside retreat in the heart of Devon where enthusiastic home cooks could learn a few new skills, Ashburton has developed its courses dramatically. For example, few cookery schools level their courses based on ability but Ashburton felt this was important in order to deliver better training to students who are then more capable of learning and understanding the skills. This also generated further interest

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in courses as students returned to the school to progress their education. Furthermore, Ashburton invested in a purposebuilt unit featuring three modern kitchens. This was the beginning of the Ashburton Chef ’s Academy. Subsequently, it now offers professional accreditation in association with BAC and the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality. “It is quite an exciting time,” says Chef Director Darrin Hosegrove. “We’ve gone full circle. We still have our country cottage arm of the business which is really important to us because that’s what we started with and it’s great for us to be in a position to continue providing that service. But we’ve now added a professional arm where we can deliver a Level 4 Culinary Diploma as well as Level 2 Culinary Certificate accredited through the CTH.” Darrin says it was important when choosing the awarding body to have the ability to tailor courses as the school sees fit. Importantly, the CTH offered the creative freedom needed to educate in what Darrin terms the “Ashburton Way”. This involves going

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Cookery School Ashburton Cookery School

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Cookery School Ashburton Cookery School

Ashburton Cookery School Old Exeter Road Ashburton Devon TQ13 7LG Tel: 01364 652784 www.ashburtonchefsacademy.co.uk www.ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk

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beyond the textbook. Chefs are taken on a six-month journey highlighting all facets of the culinary process so that they have an intimate knowledge that begins with the supplier and ends with the dish being presented on the plate. “We want our students to understand that they need this type of knowledge to progress in the industry. A big part of being a professional chef is knowing about the best ingredients and you only have that knowledge by having a good grounding in where it comes from, and how it is produced, caught or farmed.” Darrin acknowledges that the course is geared to training chefs not simply about the practice of cooking but about the hardships of professional life. “I make no apologies to students for how hard we make them work. I say you’re about to come into a bubble that you can’t get out of for six months. We are going to drill you with just about everything we think you’ll need for a career in the industry and nothing else matters for six months. If you want to be a chef, get used to it, because

this is how it is. This is a lifestyle and if you understand it’s a lifestyle – you’ll love it.” The success of Ashburton’s Level 4 Culinary Diploma has seen a number of graduates take positions in high profile restaurants including Gordon Ramsey’s Maze, Paul Ainsworth’s Number 6 restaurant in Padstowe, and the double Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park Hotel. Other students have opened their own businesses including an international student from Montserrat who took over the kitchen at her family’s hotel restaurant and another who started a catering business in South Africa. The success of Ashburton’s culinary courses is highlighted in the school’s achievement at the Food and Travel Awards this year where it won Best Cookery School. Significantly, this is the second year in a row Ashburton has won the award. It also holds the accolades for Best English Cookery School and Best Large Cookery School from the British Cookery Awards.

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Asburton:feature 2 09/10/2013 10:24 Page 37

Cookery School Ashburton Cookery School

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Jean Christophe Novelli:feature 2 26/09/2013 15:57 Page 38

Cookery Schools The Novelli Academy

a passion for

food

Whether you choose a course with Jean-Christophe Novelli himself or one of his team of personally hand-picked chefs, you will be guaranteed an intimate, inspiring, unforgettable culinary experience

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J

ean-Christophe Novelli is an acclaimed celebrity chef often referred to as the “nation’s favourite French cook”. The multi-Michelin starred and AA Rosette awarded chef has been a European Chef of Year finalist, is recipient of the prestigious Egon Ronay Dessert of the Year award and has a Honorary Doctorate from Bedford University. Amid his frequent television appearances in both Britain and America, Novelli has developed one of the world’s finest cooking academies. All of the courses have been designed to be attractive to a vast range of people or organisations and include master classes, tasting and demonstrations as well as Novelli’s new Chef ’s Table. The master classes are restricted to a maximum of six people to guarantee utmost attention. This is probably one of the best cooking days you will ever experience. With a pre-organised theme, chefs will have the chance to have a “hands-on” experience and a chance to recreate some of Novelli’s favourite dishes which will definitely leave you with the knowledge to impress anyone around you. The tasting and demonstrations days are probably the best introduction days into Novelli’s cooking world. Most people will start with one or more of these themed days and progress to the master classes. Everyone who has been on one of these days will know that Novelli aims to impress and strict time

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Jean Christophe Novelli:feature 2 30/09/2013 11:21 Page 39

Cookery Schools The Novelli Academy schedules don’t exist. Everyone gets a chance to see the acclaimed chef cook his favourite dishes while he gives away handy tips and answers as many gastronomic questions that can be thrown at him. The latest addition is the Chef ’s Table. If you are looking to entertain and impress your friends, this is a newly re-vamped concept to the academy. You can book Novelli to cook a personally designed menu for you and your friends, produced when you arrive at the chef ’s farm. This is a multi-course meal that can be designed with Novelli’s team in advance. Novelli also provides Resident Chef Courses. Here the academy tries to introduce you to food and styles from around the world including Italian, French, Mediterranean and African but all courses have been designed by Novelli and his team of chefs working together to maintain high standards. These days have proven to be most enjoyable with some visitors coming three or four times a year and forever expanding their culinary horizons. The chef began his exciting career at the tender age of fourteen as a baker in his home town of Arras, Northern France, before becoming the private Head Chef to Elie de Rothschild at the age of 19. Novelli’s life changed completely when he arrived in Great Britain in 1983 when he spent a year taking care of Keith Floyd’s pub, ‘The Maltsters’, as Head Chef, whilst Keith was filming his famous TV shows. In 1996, Novelli then opened four restaurants

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in London, and so began the foundations for his internationally based mini empire. What is so surprising is that he only had £500 in his pocket to start this solo venture. Next year, Novelli will be introducing Chef Training. Having worked with several organisations

Amid his frequent television appearances in both Britain and America, Novelli has developed one of the world’s finest cooking academies in the recent past, the chef has decided to open the academy to any organisation who would like their staff to be helped to find their inspiration and increase their repertoire of dishes and to give them ideas on how to improve their current methods. As this is a course that is specifically designed around particular requirements, course dates and course content will be decided after careful analysis of needs and the kind of results the client is trying to achieve.

Novelli Associates Ltd Crouchmoor Farm, Tea Green Hertfordshire, LU2 8PS UK Tel: 01582 454 070 www.jeanchristophenovelli.com

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swinton park:feature 2 30/09/2013 12:20 Page 40

Cookery Schools Swinton Park Cookery School

teaching the appreciation of good

food

Housed in converted Georgian stables of Swinton Park, the cookery school offers a relaxed environment well disposed to the appreciation of good food and fine wine!

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any cookery schools focus on the quality of their produce but few obtain ingredients from a 22,000 acre estate. “We have venison, partridge, grouse, pheasant and rabbit,” explains General Manager Tom Lewis. “We have a trout farm and you can’t have fresher or better ingredients than those from the estate.” Swinton Park is the ancestral home of the Cunliffe-Lister family and was converted to a hotel before the cookery school opened in 2003. It’s been named one of the top ten cooking schools and featured in the Best Small Cookery School category of the 2012 British Cookery School Awards. The school runs some forty courses of varying lengths aimed at audiences from children through to

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professionals. Tom says: “We take all skill sets from somebody with no clue of cooking to keen amateurs and professionals. It’s a very diverse course structure and we get a feel for the skill sets and adjust accordingly. It’s never intimidating and is about enthusing and getting the delight of cooking and food across to an audience.” Cookery School Director Steve Bulmer insists the course fundamentals are constant: “We convey as many techniques as possible. Some dishes are very complicated but the core techniques are the same. If you give people a simple technique, they can adapt that for different dishes. I’ve picked up some weird and wonderful ways of doing things, so I’m just passing that knowledge on.” Besides the cookery courses, there’s a fortnightly chef ’s table where participants gain in-depth knowl-

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Cookery Schools Swinton Park Cookery School

edge about what they’re eating and gourmet weekends that integrate food and wine knowledge with cookery skills. Any features can be built into bespoke private courses and corporate events where teams are often set Ready Steady Cook-style challenges. “We put together whatever they want,” confirms Tom. “We feature many cooking disciplines and nationalities of food.” SEASONAL INGREDIENTS Running though everything is an emphasis on ingredients which, as Tom emphasises, leads to a focus on seasonality: “The grouse shooting season starts on August 12th and runs until 10th December. We have mushrooms in autumn then pheasant from late October until 1st February. We’re sensible about sustainability and use what’s here.”

The school recently reopened after a complete refit that will improve course presentation even further. “We have six sections with everything available so people can work in pairs and prepare a meal,” says Steve. “I’ve tried tapas style cooking with smaller portions and interesting tasting dishes. For a three course menu, I teach the first dish and they’ll make it then eat it. We have a quick clean up and then I’ll show the next dish and off we go and just gallop along like that. It’s hands on at pace.” Although the core principles will remain, there are plans to involve growers more and to run artisan workshops. Tom says: “Everything is continually reviewed. You can’t stand still and think you’ve created the end product because it’s always changing. We have to keep up to speed with what’s going on around us.”

Swinton Park Ltd Swinton Park, Masham Ripon, North Yorks HG4 4JH www.swintonpark.com/cookery-school T: 01765 680969

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Portland Street C/S:feature 2 30/09/2013 14:04 Page 42

Cookery Schools Cookery School at Little Portland Street

demystifying

Cooking Cookery School’s approach to food is simple, modern and imaginative. They love sharing their ideas for delicious homecooking and are constantly finding fresh sources of inspiration to bring to the classes.

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Cookery School 15b Little Portland Street London W1W 8BW www.cookeryschool.co.uk Tel: 020 76314590

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osalind Rathouse is a woman on a mission: to restore cooking skills that are dying out in the UK. She says: “We’re a nation that have forgotten how to cook because these skills are not being passed down within families and people can now have takeaway or ready meals anytime. More cookery books than ever are being bought, there are more cookery television programmes than ever and yet there is less cooking at home! Food technology is taught in schools rather than cooking despite the fact that kids love to cook. If kids could do pure cooking at school, they would certainly learn how to cook.”

After alternating between teaching and cooking in her native South Africa, Rosalind set up Cookery School ten years ago and can now promote her beliefs. “Our ethos is to teach really good home cooking that is easily replicable,” she states. “We demystify cooking and are not a school for chefs; we’re a school for cooks. We cut through jargon and our message is that it’s fun and easy and it is learning that lasts. We’re also very hot on teaching because chefs have not been taught how to teach home cooking.” Cookery School offers Absolute Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses as well as a fast track, intensive six week Cook’s Certificate in Food & Wine. There’s a huge range of courses including sauce making, meat and poultry, fish, pasta and chocolate. Added to that, there are regional courses covering various countries. All told, there’s something for everyone and many people start with one course and move to another as they acquire skills. The school also runs party events for birthdays and other special occasions. Corporate courses comprise 50% of activity, with team building exercises and corporate entertainment where companies bring in

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Cookery Schools Cookery School at Little Portland Street customers for basic workshops or full meal preparation. Cooking is also, as Rosalind recounts, used as a training tool: “We work with many training companies and also closely with a very forward thinking bank and for the last eight years have been involved with Desmond Tutu’s African Leadership Institute. They train people in Africa to become potential leaders and about 180 have been through the course. They have a week each in South Africa, Oxford and London and for one day we work with them alongside an organisational psychologist.” Rosalind’s overall aim is to remove myths and promote good home cooking. She says: “We have a strong emphasis on using good ingredients and two years ago received three stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the only cookery school in London to do that. Part of our ethos is teaching how easy it is to eat sustainably and, again, we make it very accessible.” Despite the popularity of cookery programmes, Rosalind believes TV chefs have created a daunting aura. Whilst they’ve made some people interested in cooking, others have become nervous about attempting the whole process. That’s something she plans to correct: “We’re continuing to draw attention to the fact that cooking is easy and fun. We want to shout that message out because it’s a shame if, in this country, we lose the ability to cook. That’s our future thinking and we want to become involved in teaching adolescents about to leave school because ‘cooking is cool’ and we owe it to them to show them how to do it.”

“We’re going to draw attention to the fact that cooking is easy and fun. We want to shout that message out because it’s a shame if we lose the ability to cook” Rosalind Rathouse

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yas f1:feature 2 09/10/2013 10:55 Page 44

Sporting Events Yas Marina Circuit

going beyond

motorsport

A unique combination of timeless tradition, striking innovation and luxury, Yas Marina Circuit is inspired by the culture and values of the United Arab Emirates and its capital, Abu Dhabi.

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Sporting Events Yas Marina Circuit

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he Yas Marina Circuit hosts Formula 1’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina followed in the footsteps of the Bahrain Grand Prix to bring the Middle East its second circuit on the Formula 1 calendar. Yas Marina, which is located on Yas Island about thirty minutes from the capital of the United Arab Emirates, welcomed its first Formula 1 race in 2009. It has since held the GP2 Asia Series event and Australian V8 Supercars. Considered one of the most technologicallyadvanced Formula 1 circuits in the world, Yas Marina has grown to offer a wide range of incredible experiences on and off the track. One of its biggest crowd pleasers is the fact it is the only motorsports venue in the world that offers covered and shaded grandstands throughout the facility, coupled with the unique pit lane exit that runs partially beneath the track. It means Yas Marina’s motorsports experience is second to none for both drivers and spectators. The twenty-one corners of Yas Marina Circuit twist through the man-made island off the Abu Dhabi coast, passing by the marina and through the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel designed and conceived by New York based architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture, and winding its way through sand dunes, with several long straights and tight corners. The incredible venue has been designed to go beyond the pleasures of motor racing with a theme park, water park and residential areas, hotels and beaches for visitors to enjoy. Housed among five grandstand areas, the circuit can welcome over 41,000 people to a racing event with Dragster Track, VIP Tower

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and Ferrari World Theme Park adding further interest. The circuit was built by main contractor Cebarco and features a permanent lighting system provided by Musco Lighting. The track surface has a British connection as the Graywacke aggregate was shipped to Abu Dhabi from Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire. Praised by drivers for the level of grip it offers, the surface material has gained high acclaim from many of those associated with the sport. After two years of intensive planning and construction involving 14,000 staff and 35 million construction man-hours, the versatile facility opened its doors to the world, eager to highlight the beautiful landscape and traditional

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Sporting Events Yas Marina Circuit Arabic hospitality alongside sensational on-track action. Yas Marina Circuit encourages the growth of sporting culture in the UAE and prides itself on being the centre for motorsports excellence in the Middle East. For those looking to host a conference or event at the circuit, Yas Marina has both indoor and outdoor venues. The Yas Events Centre offers over 34,000 square metres of multipurpose indoor venue space, ranging from the Performance Al Markaz conference zones to the intimate Marina Views suites – all with spectacular views of the F1 circuit and Yas Marina. The indoor venues just as easily provide the perfect location for small bespoke meetings as conferences and exhibitions with superb in-house catering, AV capabilities and support services. Outdoors, there is over 200 acres of venue space available. Visitors can choose from the F1 track, Luna Lounge, Drag Track or Oasis areas to make a gala dinner, product launch or bespoke event truly special. With unbelievable views of Yas Marina, the illuminated Yas Viceroy Hotel, giant AV screens and the most sophisticated lighting system in the world, the outdoor venues deliver a ‘wow factor’ unique to Yas Marina Circuit. This year, the circuit is seeking an enhanced community driven approach that goes beyond Formula 1. CEO Richard Cregan said, “Success

For those looking to host a conference or event at the circuit, Yas Marina has both indoor and outdoor venues

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yas f1:feature 2 30/09/2013 09:24 Page 47

Sporting Events Yas Marina Circuit

Yas Marina is pushing its credentials as a place to hold meetings and conferences with the launch of the Yas Events Centre

for us is not defined solely by how we engage international and local audiences with the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, importantly it has to be accompanied by our equally strong engagement with the community in which we belong.” Complementing the motorsport line-up, the 2013-2014 calendar sees lots of popular community health and fitness programmes including Walk 2013 which raises awareness of Diabetes. Elsewhere, Yas Marina is pushing its credentials as a place to hold meetings and conferences with the launch of the Yas Events Centre. “The meetings, incentives, conference and event industry is an increasingly important dimension to our business and we will see events as large as the World Economic Forum and Etihad Airways 10th anniversary to name but two taking place at Yas Marina Circuit this season,” said Cregan. Yas Marina will host GP3 testing after this year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as well as sponsor two GP3

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cars in the testing event to be driven by two local drivers, both of whom will be eligible to compete in next season’s GP3. Looking further ahead, Yas Marina has announced plans to partner with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council to provide ongoing support and incentives for local motorsport talent. This will encourage their long-term development across all forms of motorsports. “It is the support of our partners and members of the community that make our initiatives both meaningful and inclusive. Throughout the 2013-2014 season we look forward to bringing more people to the circuit than ever before and believe strongly that this year’s calendar will ensure that Yas Marina Circuit and its programmes will remain ‘Community Driven’ this season and long into the future.” www.yasmarinacircuit.com Tel: +971 (0) 2 659 9800

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Somerset House:feature 2 28/09/2013 11:19 Page 48

Corporate Hospitality Somerset House

a centre of

excellence for art and culture Somerset House has produced a distinctive public programme that annually draws over two million visitors to the site, providing a stimulating environment for exploration and relaxation

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Somerset House Trust South Building Somerset House Strand, London WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org.uk Tel: 020 7845 4600

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omerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. Since opening to the public in 2000, Somerset House has produced a distinctive public programme that annually draws over two million visitors to the site, providing a stimulating environment for exploration and relaxation. The varied, year-round programme includes an open air film and concert season and ice rink, as well as temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary fashion, design, art and architecture, family workshops and free guided tours. In September 2009, Somerset House became the new home of London Fashion Week. During summer months fifty-five fountains dance in the courtyard, and in winter visitors can skate on London's favourite ice rink. Somerset House also hosts open-air concerts and films, con-

temporary art and design exhibitions, family workshops and free guided tours of spaces usually hidden to visitors. The Trust's mission is to conserve and maintain Somerset House to the highest standards and to develop the site as a public space which is universally recognised as a world class visitor attraction and centre of excellence for culture and the arts. The Trust also aims to make Somerset House a place of inspiration; a distinctive platform for London showing great examples of the visual and performing arts and providing opportunities for everyone to participate. The completion of the restoration of the buildings around the fountain court will provide public access to all the wings at ground level and open up the spectacular lightwells for art installations. The upper levels of the building are ideally configured as

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Corporate Hospitality Somerset House

workspaces and these are being converted into high quality lettable spaces for the creative industries. They are now occupied by a growing community of cultural entrepreneurs. Studio spaces are also being made available for a number of artists and designers in residence to encourage makers, stimulate creativity on the site and create a platform for their work to be shown to the public. Somerset House is developing a new sustainable model for running an arts and cultural centre in London without requiring regular funding from government but capable of providing a new cultural legacy for future generations. Recently, Somerset House staged London’s bestloved open-air cinema as Film4 Summer Screen in August provided an extended programme of 14 nights of films, featuring classics, comedy, romance, musicals and thrillers, presented in the magnificent 18th century courtyard on a giant 17 x 8 metre screen with full surround sound. With early evening DJ sessions, food and drink and special live introductions to selected films, Film4 Summer Screen is the ultimate cinema experience and a highlight of the summer calendar. Next up this autumn, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins, Somerset House will proudly present Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, a major fashion exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and wardrobe of the late British patron of fashion and art.

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New Hall Hotel:feature 2 01/10/2013 12:43 Page 50

Hospitality New Hall Hotel & Spa

B the perfect

venue

eing part of the Hand Picked Hotels requires certain standards and New Hall Hotel fits right in with the other hotels in the collection. It’s the oldest inhabited moated house in England, dating back to the 12th Century, originally built by the Earl of Warwick as a hunting lodge and acquired by Hand Picked Hotels in 2008. Now, as Regional Sales and Marketing Manager Julie Smith emphasises, it has its own style: “We are a four star country house hotel, relaxed and certainly not stuffy. The service we provide feels more personable without being too familiar.” The hotel has 60 bedrooms, with 48 being in the newer courtyard building and 12 heritage rooms in the main house. Julie says: “There is a mixture of Suites, Deluxe and Classic bedrooms, recently refurbished with a classic yet contemporary feel. New Hall was not built as a hotel but a house, so the rooms are quirky and interesting.” A big feature is the Health Club and Spa, with an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, gymnasium and treatment rooms with the latest equipment. Although a private members’ club, it’s also open to hotel guests, offer-

At 800 years old, New Hall Hotel & Spa in the West Midlands has a long history of providing discerning guests fine hospitality

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New Hall Hotel:feature 2 01/10/2013 12:43 Page 51

Hospitality New Hall Hotel & Spa ing an array of treatments and packages from spa breaks to bridal packages. Increasingly popular, as Julie confirms, are breaks for brides not wanting the traditional hen party: “We have girls that come to the hotel with perhaps a couple of friends for spa treatments and lunch or they make it a longer stay and include overnight accommodation. There is also the option for dinner in a private room providing that exclusive element.” New Hall Hotel & Spa is mainly a corporate hotel during the week, with leisure and weddings over the weekend. The hotel is ideal for meetings and conferences, both day and residential from 8-40 delegates. The Garden Pavilion can seat 170, making it the perfect venue for that special wedding day. As a relatively small hotel, it has the feeling of ‘exclusivity’ for any event. Guests at the New Hall have a choice of dining, with The Terrace being a brasserie-style and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The Bridge restaurant has a 2 AA Rosette accreditation, offering modern British cuisine. Added to that, there’s a lounge bar for snacks and a very popular classic afternoon tea or cream tea. OWN PRODUCE “We have 26 acres here,” comments Julie. “We have a flourishing herb garden, we may get our own

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A big feature is the Health Club and Spa, with an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, gymnasium and treatment rooms with the latest equipment. chickens and we are looking at getting some bee hives so we can be more eco friendly. We’ve built relationships with local suppliers so we can get produce from the right sources.” The emphasis on local sourcing means menus change with the seasons and the chefs are encouraged to try their hand at new dishes and constantly introduce variety into menus. A major aim now is to expand the restaurant’s two AA Rosette standing across the hotel. Julie says: “We‘re aiming to achieve AA 4 Red Star status by the end of 2013; that’s an 18 month journey for us. We have Red Star properties within the collection and the aim is to increase that number.”

Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield Birmingham B76 1QX www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/newhall Tel: 0121 3354701

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Rosso Restaurant :feature 2 26/09/2013 16:01 Page 52

Restaurants Rosso Restaurant

venue Premier league

Rosso is the home of good food, in a magnificent setting, with outstanding service and a welcoming atmosphere

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reated as a destination venue, the fashionable Rosso Restaurant is continuing to grow in stature. With the competition increasing as Jamie Oliver opened up across the street recently, Rosso is more than holding its own as Manchester’s premier hotspot for great Italian food. Indeed, as marketing manager Charli Garner says, Jamie’s Italian has actually improved the market for the restaurant. “It brings more people to Spring Gardens where we are located,” she says. “Historically, it isn’t seen as a place in Manchester where you go to dine (the building was a bank for many decades before it became a restaurant) but now with more restaurants opening, the area is becoming more and more popular with diners who see it as a destination venue.” Instead of there being a situation where two similar restaurants are competing for the same custom, Rosso and Jamie’s Italian are collectively growing the marketplace as a dining destination for mutual benefit. Charli welcomes the introduction of more restaurants opening up in the area in future. Rosso Restaurant has become the prestige home of fine Italian cuisine in Manchester. Opened in 2009 in the 115-

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Restaurants Rosso Restaurant

year-old Grade II listed building at the top end of Manchester’s King Street (a former banking hall before it became the high-end restaurant Establishment for a time), Rosso was developed to provide a relaxed yet sophisticated eatery that serves a unique twist on classic Italian food at an affordable price. Part-owned by Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand, the development of Rosso was spared no expense. £1.5 million was spent on its refurbishment with a classically designed bar and huge mirror wall, and a hearty theme of red furnishings throughout. The restaurant has quickly established an enviable reputation and last year won the City Restaurant of the Year award at the Cheshire Life Food and Drink awards. It has followed that up this year with Best Restaurant and Bar in Manchester 2012, and has received accreditation from the local council in its Truly Good Food scheme, highlighting Rosso’s commitment to healthy, sustainable food. The ethos of Rosso is that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The restaurant promises to provide quality food and great service in sumptuous and relaxed surroundings. Food critic Jonathan Withington observed: “The setting of Rosso is amazing and that’s what makes the restaurant so special. You spend a lot of your time admiring the decor. The food is also exceptional in taste, quantity and presentation in every way.”

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High praise indeed. Rosso offers everything you’d expect from a good Italian with a range of pizza and pasta dishes, a varied and well-stocked wine list, and a collection of meat and fish dishes to cater for all tastes. Opening seven days and serving its lunch menu from noon, the venue serves over 2,000 guests every week. A major attraction is the extensive wine list. Rosso boasts one of the finest and well-stocked wine cellars in Manchester. Alongside over forty wine varietals featuring a range of Italian and French wines in white, rose, and red, the restaurant also

The ethos of Rosso is that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication provides an extensive choice of vintage and non-vintage Champagne. It has also recently become the first city centre venue to serve Dom Perignon by the glass, endorsed by its makers Moët & Chandon. Charli highlights how Rosso also plays an important part in the local community. Many of its key suppliers are from the region as the restaurant looks to support the local economy as

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Restaurants Rosso Restaurant

well as maintain relationships with suppliers able to deliver the quality produce and ingredients head chef Steve Hildebrandt requires. Rosso also actively seeks to ensure food is available for future generations by sourcing produce sustainably. Rio Ferdinand oversees much of what the restaurant does, particularly its endorsement of the charities he supports. Rosso holds events for the charities at the venue, which can cater for up to 200 people at a standing recep-

“We’re very flexible in the way we operate and the venue itself is very versatile”

43 Spring Gardens Manchester M2 2BG www.rossorestaurants.com Tel: 0843 290 9100

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tion. Indeed, its adaptability as a restaurant is one of its most important characteristics. “We can be both formal and informal,” says Charli. “We’re very flexible in the way we operate and the venue itself is very versatile. For example, people can sit down and enjoy an a la carte menu, or stand up and enjoy a sharing platter. For events, we can offer canapés or buffet selections, for example. We try to design the service around the customer’s requirements.

“We do events on a regular basis and one recent one was the launch of the UK Soap Awards so we had all the big stars in. We also do networking events and hire out our semi-private area for christenings, weddings and other celebrations. We attract these sorts of events because of our ability to tailor our service around the customer as well as the great food and the charming architecture of the building itself.” Rosso also treats diners to live music on weekdays. The reputation of Rosso has seen it welcome many famous faces through its doors. With the Manchester United football connection it isn’t surprising to see a few footballers when dining there. Celebrity sports personalities such as Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen have dined at Rosso, as has actor Billy Zane (who said: “Amazing food, incredible place with a real special vibe.”), and writer-comedian James Corden. Tottenham Hotspur football manager Harry Rednapp thought, “Everything was perfect top to bottom,” when he visited. “Business is continuing to grow,” explains Charli. “We want to be that little bit different and provide our guests with a unique experience of Italian food, delivered with great service in iconic and stylish surroundings. That has made us a destination venue and we’re proud of the success we’ve had in our first three years in business.”

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Flemmings Hotel :feature 2 28/09/2013 11:09 Page 56

Hospitality Flemings Mayfair

chic and

discreet

Flemings Mayfair unveil new designs for 50 newly refurbished guest rooms

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Flemmings Hotel :feature 2 28/09/2013 11:10 Page 57

Hospitality Flemings Mayfair

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lemings Mayfair, a luxury fourstar boutique hotel based in the heart of Mayfair, has refurbished 50 rooms and revealed seven new room designs across 50 of its newly refurbished guest rooms. These bold new designs reflect the ambiance of the hotel, mixing modern elegance with punches of colour, combining humour with a feeling of luxury and opulence. Designs for the rooms started in July 2012 with the “Books Room”, a design centred around the wallpaper by Young & Battaglia. The personality of the hotel is celebrated through the bespoke furnishings of the rooms by the creation of unique, Flemings’ labelled cushions to the bespoke wallpaper highlighting key London attractions, the Penny Black wallpaper and also Vivienne Westwood’s tartan paper, maintaining the quintessentially British heritage of the hotel. Oliver Brown, general manager of Flemings said: “Each one of the 50 guest rooms is unique. Our rooms appeal to guests

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who don’t want the “one size fits all” you get from big brands, and instead want personality and individuality. The attention to detail of the team here is reflected in the new rooms. Every guest receives something unique and special at Flemings, which starts from a warm greeting on arrival, to relaxing in their newly-designed bedroom.” Flemings Mayfair is a boutique hotel converted from six Georgian townhouses, and prides itself on 5-star service. Hidden away in the tranquil haven of Half Moon Street in the heart of bustling Mayfair, Flemings offers a convenient and stylish retreat for all of London’s favourite attractions. The luxury hotel has 129 rooms from Classic to Executive and a series of serviced apartments and suites. Its elegant Townhouse is available as your own private residence in the heart of London. The Grill delivers faultless service, with dinners and afternoon teas and is complemented by a sophisticated and relaxed bar with cool cutting edge cocktails that won’t disappoint.

Flemings Hotel and Apartments 7-12 Half Moon Street Mayfair, London W1J 7BH Tel: 020 7499 0000 www.flemings-mayfair.co.uk

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gregynog hall :feature 2 29/09/2013 13:32 Page 58

Green Tourism Gregynog Hall

hospitality famed for its

Gregynog Hall was once a landed estate but is now a university conference centre at the heart of the local community.

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University of Wales Gregynog Tregynon, Nr Newtown Powys SY16 3PW Tel. +44 (0)1686 650224 www.wales.ac.uk/en/UniversityConferenceCentre/GregynogHall.aspx

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regynog Hall, the gift of the late Miss Margaret S Davies, was opened by the University of Wales as a residential educational centre in 1964. Standing in 750 acres of gardens and woodland near Newtown in Powys, it provides residential accommodation for up to 100 people, and can host non-residential conferences for up to 200 people. Gregynog’s primary purpose is to be a study and conferencing facility for university staff and students. It plays an important part in fostering and strengthening links between the higher education institutions in Wales. The Library at Gregynog includes collections in Celtic Studies, the Fine Arts and Music. A classical

music festival is held in the house and grounds each June and Gwasg Gregynog, a renowned fine arts press, is housed in the courtyard area. Gregynog also operates a commercial conference and hospitality business. When Gregynog was bequeathed to the University of Wales, it inherited not a simple conference centre but a national institution, which had been famous for its hospitality for at least four hundred years and had hosted conferences since the 1920s. As a registered educational charity, Gregynog offers excellent value for money in a unique venue, accommodating both residential and day conferences in the peace and tranquillity of a beautiful setting. Now with full wireless internet, its eight conference rooms provide a number of breakout options

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Green Tourism Gregynog Hall and can host the most modern of affairs. The Music room seats up to 180 people while the separate dining room caters for 100 people and the Blayney Room, with its exquisite oak carvings, can hold a reception for 40. The Davies Room and Cellar Bar offer a choice of licensed premises. If clients wish to hire the whole house, bespoke “exclusive use� packages are available, providing both privacy and a high level of security for international meetings. Clients can impress delegates with the exquisite good taste of the Davies Sisters, in a building where Renoirs, Monets and Picassos once hung and Rodins still stand. At Gregynog, the offer is a genuinely warm Welsh welcome, focused on providing the best service available. Gregynog has held a coveted Hospitality Assured award since 2002, being the first Welsh organisation to do so, and has consistently built on its reputation for the provision of quality. Each year guests give it a satisfaction rating of over 85 per cent, which is proven by its high levels of repeat business. It is also an accredited Investor In People. Unlike many historic houses, Gregynog has maintained its flexibility, added this to imagination and insight, to create individual events and personalised packages. Clients will find that it can provide precisely what is required, from croquet on the lawns to field sports. Standard presentation facilities are included in the delegate rate with video-conferencing hire available on booking. The Music Room has a PA system and induction loop. Full IT support and office services are available.

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For more information or a free quote call Kate or Steve:

01484 411 400 www.designcpl.co.uk w w w. f e a s t m a g a z i n e . o r g

]

AFFORDABLE DESIGN, PRINT AND WEB SOLUTIONS

[CPLDESIGN] PRINT AND DESIGN SOLUTIONS

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classified:feature 2 02/10/2013 14:04 Page 60

SHOWCASE FRUIT & VEG SUPPLIERS

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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ISSUE 159

cover 158:Layout 1 09/10/2013 11:15 Page 1

FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING TODAY

THE YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

ISSUE 159

GOING BEYOND

FEAST MAGAZINE

MOTORSPORT

Sophisticated cuisine at

Texture Restaurant

Inspirational cooking at

The Asburton Cookery School

Grand Union Bars Wining, dining and dance


ISSUE 159

cover 158:Layout 1 09/10/2013 11:15 Page 1

FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING TODAY

THE YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

ISSUE 159

GOING BEYOND

FEAST MAGAZINE

MOTORSPORT

Sophisticated cuisine at

Texture Restaurant

Inspirational cooking at

The Asburton Cookery School

Grand Union Bars Wining, dining and dance


Feast 159