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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

Adam Handling Appoints Executive Chef for Hoxton Site

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Adam Handling’s hotly anticipated Hoxton site is almost ready to open its doors and, ahead of that, he has appointed Daniel Watkins as Executive Chef to oversee food operations across all three of the building’s venues – The Frog Hoxton restaurant, Iron Stag bar, and Bean & Wheat coffee and bar.

Bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise, Daniel spent eight successful years as Head Chef of The Anchor (Bib Gourmand recipient) in Hullbridge. Before that, he spent ten years working in corporate fine dining for high-profile clients such as Deutsche Bank.

Daniel has closely followed Adam;s career and the success of his restaurant group and he is happy to be joining the team: “It was during my time at The Anchor that I really developed my style as a chef. Not just in the way I cook, but in the way I think about food. I’ve always really enjoyed dining at The Frog restaurants, not only because I love the food but also because of the emphasis on sustainable eating throughout the restaurant group.”

In his role, Daniel will be overseeing the food offering as he draws on his extensive experience in managing the restaurants. He will be part of an exceptionally talented chef trip, working alongside Jamie Park, who is taking on a more focused role as The Frog Hoxton’s dedicated Head Chef, and Adam himself. Together, they will develop the site’s tantalising new menus, which will carry an emphasis on relaxed and sustainable dining.

“Daniel’s been a big supporter of the group since Frog E1 opened and I’ve always said I only work with people I know and trust so it’s amazing to have him properly on board! He’s a great asset to the team and I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on,” said Adam Handling.

 

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Four Degree Opens Its Doors

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Four Degree, the Japanese and European riverside restaurant in Vauxhall, has officially opened after an extended soft launch period. The restaurant is spread over two floors, offering incredible Thames-side views, while the fabulous and glamorous interior features a floral installation by celebrity florist, Larry Walshe and stunning light sculptures by renowned designer Tom Dixon.

A distinctive fusion of Japanese and European cuisine, the menu includes dishes such as Wagyu Sirloin with Ponzu Sauce served with garlic chips, spring onion and yuzu daikon and Four Degree’s sushi bar features Usuzukuri Sashimi turbot with Orange Ponzu & Lemon Daikon and Gun Kan Nigiri with King Crab and Tobiko.

The dessert menu includes Four Degree’s Chocolate Fondant with Green Tea ice cream and the Coconut Parfait with yoghurt sauce, lemon curd, crunchy coconut & white chocolate. The kitchen is overseen by new Head Chef Ricardo Garcia, who has previously worked at Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House and Michelin starred The Bingham.

The experimental and seasonal cocktails can be enjoyed by guests whilst looking over London’s skyline on the Four Degree terrace. Tipples include the Bushi, a fresh vodka-based cocktail with a hit of citrus, saiaki, a umeshu and port reduction and smoky finish and the Mai Taiko, Four Degree’s twist on a classic Mai Tai, featuring a blend of Japanese and Caribbean rums and spiced with oriental Falernum.

Rare whiskeys will be available in the Macallan whiskey lounge, which boasts unique and rare whiskeys. Partnering perfectly with this is Four Degree’s extensive selection of premium cigars. Available on the menu is the Romeo Y Julieta Churchill, famously smoked by and named after Lord Churchill, and the world famous Montecristo Open Eagle.

In addition, Four Degree has four beautiful Private Dining Rooms that can hold between 8 and 20 people and that include state-of-the-art conferencing facilities along with excellent sound and visual equipment for those after a party environment.

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Creating Better Leaders and Stronger Cultures with Charitable Walks

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The CEO of EP Business in Hospitality, a leading communicator in business thinking and opinion, has walked, together with his daughter, a phenomenal 143.2km (89 miles) across the Italian countryside of Tuscany, ahead of the company’s launch of a series of challenging charity walks that aim to remove experienced and emerging leaders from their comfort zones in the name of building stronger team cultures and promoting the spirit of ‘social good’ in the workplace.

“I did make the mistake of assuming the challenge would be the distance but rest assured, the real challenge was far tougher. It was a genuine trek for the experienced walker, it was also excellent bonding time between father and daughter. My daughter had not trained at all, whilst I was walking 30 miles every weekend to build my resilience for the journey. Ironically, when it came to it, my daughter became the alpha and left all for dust as she stormed round the course thrashing all designated times and leaving me in her shadow. The journey started in Bologna and we travelled across country and on the final day descended into Florence,” said Chris Sheppardson, CEO.

EP Business in Hospitality’s charitable walks for culture are designed to encourage people to participate in a physical challenge that is fun, outside of their comfort zones and day to day lives, but also one that build memories, lasting friendships and is in support of importance and socially good causes.

“In truth, the walk was a far better experience than I expected. It really did test both body and soul. It travelled through the most glorious countryside and barely close to any village let alone a town. The people we met along the way were welcoming and generous and of course the hospitality, food and wine was excellent too,” said Chris.

The current programme of walks include ‘The Grand Cru Walk’, from Dijon to Macon on the 18th of September for 7 nights, and ‘The Salzburg Lakes and Mountains’, walking the landscapes of the Salzburg Salzkammergut Lake District on the 18th of October for 7 nights.

Those interested in participating can email Lauran Bush at lauran.bush@epmagazine.co.uk.

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Tish to Open in Belsize Park

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Tish, an upcoming contemporary kosher restaurant and bar, offering an all-day menu of European cuisine, will open its doors on Sunday, the 29th of July in the heart of Belsize Park, London. Open from 7am to 12.30am and with a capacity of 160 covers, a beautiful dining room, a bar and a stunning alfresco terrace, Tish will become the ideal spot for summer dining.

The tone of the splendid dining room is set by the soaring 15-foot ceiling, mint green wood panelled walls, and a cream and green checkerboard terrazzo flooring. Four grand brass chandeliers grace the room and the gorgeous bar features an extraordinary Brazilian quartzite top, hand-selected in Verona, Italy. The open kitchen will showcase the team of chefs at work under a dramatic giant copper canopy. The dining room opens out onto the large outdoor terrace complete with playful patterned seating, merrily hued parasols and all manner of heaters and weather proofing.

The breakfast menu includes Challah French toast with pear compote and maple syrup or fresh fruits; Pomegranate and citrus fruit salad with mint and Acacia honey; Crepes served with fruit compote, fresh fruit and pouring chocolate sauce; Eggs cooked to order and Delicacies from the bakery.

The lunch and dinner menu features modern classics and seasonal new dishes alongside Jewish heritage favourites, such as Tish Hungarian bean soup; Chicken soup with kneidlach; Dry-aged rib eye steak with truffle chips and field mushrooms; Crispy duck leg with red cabbage and cranberry jus; Seared salmon fillet with green kale salsa, pickled fennel, crispy pearl barley and pomegranate and Tish Chicken schnitzel with roasted fingerling potatoes, peppers and caper berries. Moreover, the menu also has a wide selection of fresh salads and sandwiches.

Tish’s extensive drinks list offers many wonderful wines not previously available in the UK, alongside an innovative cocktail menu. Guests can also enjoy excellent coffee and a wide range of fruit juices squeezed to order. A variety of cakes and delicious small plates can be ordered alongside drinks. A children’s menu will also be available, as well as a desserts menu.

 

Photo Credit: Tim Atkins

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Loyalty Programmes in the Hospitality Sector

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The retail and hospitality chains are launching or revamping loyalty programmes and, according to the UK’s leading customer engagement platform Como, their members redeem a gift on average every 9.4 days. A member also takes an average of 59 days to complete and redeem a punch card; meaning that with an average of 10 punches per digital card, it brings customers back at least once a week.

“A lot of people are still under the impression that loyalty programmes don’t work, that they’re just another piece of plastic taking up space in your pocket, but our internal data proves that loyalty programmes do work, and consumers are rewarded on average every 9.4 days,” said Liran Mayost, Founder, Deputy CEO and Chief of Product Strategy at Como.

The data from Como includes insights from nearly 400 stores in the hospitality sector across the UK. It found that 6.45% of loyalty programme members qualify as “champion” members, spending in the last three months on average 153% more and visiting 30% more often than other members. Moreover, they facilitate a massive 14.3% ov overall members sales.

The slowest day of the week for business in the month of June was revealed to be Monday, with sales down 41.7% compared to the daily average, while Saturday as the busiest day for sales, up 79.3% on average. Over the last three months, average visits were 112.4% higher during the weekend than during other days of the week.

Data from Como also reveals that customers in the UK show loyalty to a business where they are members of their programme, with 94% of members being loyal to just one location of a chain. Loyalty to one specific branch is questioned once a chain gets bigger, in a way that members have more places to choose from.

“Retaining customers in the digital age of fierce competition is even more important than winning new customers as they bring in more value and revenue and it requires a mix of exclusivity, personalisation and engagement,” concluded Liran.

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How to Avoid Wasting Food

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In the UK, we throw away £13bn worth of food every year – not only is this expensive but it’s taxing on the environment and wasteful too. So, to help you avoid throwing away leftovers and unused foods, we’ve got some secrets to share for a more economical household and reduced waste.

Be familiar with sell by dates

You need to understand food dates and what best before and use by labels mean in order to make the most out of your fridge freezer. Consider upgrading to a model that ensures food stays cool. Fridges from the likes of Fisher & Paykel feature innovative tech that adjusts the temperature of your fridge to keep food fresher for longer.

Your meat and fish will be your most expensive food purchase so by taking a couple of seconds to check the dates on them you could save a lot of money and reduce waste. A good idea would be to store recently bought products in the freezer, if you don’t think you’ll eat them in time before they go out of date – this way they will last longer. This works well when buying large packets of meat as you can individually divide them up into freezer bags and the rest can go in the fridge to be used up in the next few days.

The same rule applies for dairy products that go out of date quicker. If you have leftover yoghurts consider using them as a topping on your breakfast cereal or add them to a smoothie.

Be clever with your food

Being clever with your food is the key to having no waste. What it comes down to is really thinking hard before throwing items away. Your leftovers from other dinners can make some great meals that taste great. Leftovers from a roast dinner could be used to make a curry or even a sandwich for your lunch the next day. If you’ve got the time, you could even turn your
leftovers into soup.

Try and keep your fridge freezer stocked with only the food items you need and try and avoid buying things for the sake of them being on offer. If you have dinner leftover in the pan, put it in freezer bags or boxes, then pop it in the freezer for a quick meal another day.

Last dregs of wine or beers can also be put into ice cube trays, frozen and then used for cooking in the future. If your fruit has gone bad, such as bananas, you don’t have to throw them out – mash them up and add them to ice cream for a quick and easy pudding idea or mix with egg to make banana pancakes.

Meal planning

Meal planning is one of the most effective ways of saving money on your food. This is because you can plan exactly what you’re going to eat – therefore knowing what food you are going to be using up. Think before you go shopping about what you need and write a list, this way you won’t end up shopping for things you already have. Ask family members what meal they would like to have during the week and you can then work out a meal plan everyone will enjoy.

Get your portions right

Last but certainly not least, get your meal portions right. By doing this you won’t end up with leftovers at all and it’s great for staying healthy and eating the right amount of food for your body too. Use a portion calculator to help you weigh up enough for a filling dinner with no leftovers.

Try implementing these tips into your everyday life and you’ll soon notice just how much money you’re saving and how much less you are throwing out in between food shops.

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Australian Winemakers Return to the UK

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A talented group of winemakers from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, will return to the UK in September 2018 for a series of tastings and masterclasses promoting the region, its wines and its personalities. The group of nine illustrious wineries includes Crittenden Estate, Kooyong, Moorooduc Estate, Ocean Eight, Paringa Estate, Polperro, Port Phillip Estate, Stonier, Ten Minutes by Tractor and Yabby Lake Vineyard.

The group first came to the UK in 2016 to promote their region and, due to the success of their visit, they will be returning with new stories to tell, new wines to taste and more people to meet.Focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the main event on Thursday the 6th of September will start with an intimate masterclass hosted by Australian expert Matthew Jukes, followed by a free-pour trade tasting in the afternoon where all the wineries will be showcasing a selection of wines.

“It is very exciting to be welcoming back the Mornington Peninsula winemakers to the UK as this is one of the elite wine regions in the world and the wines on tasting will further underline the incredible standard of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir produced in this idyllic peninsula,” said Matthew Jukes.

The group of wineries has ambitious aspirations and will be engaging further with trade and consumers in events across the south east, including Vinoteca, 67 Pall Mall, The Wine Society and The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.     

Mornington Peninsula is less than an hour’s drive south-east of Melbourne and enjoys a cool, maritime climate, which is evident in the world-class wines it produces. These award-winning wines are predominantly made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, although some cool-climate styles of Shiraz and Pinot Gris are also produced.  With smaller, family-run wineries dominating the wine scene in this small region, the focus is on quality, character, elegance and longevity.

The combination of powerhouse pioneers, winemakers, owners, legends and the next generation will certainly create a buzz in the trade as the group of nine makes its way across the UK.

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Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari to Open Caractère

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Emily Roux has teamed up with her husband Chef Diego Ferrari, the head chef at Le Gavroche, to open their first restaurant together in October in Notting Hill – Caractère. The restaurant name is a play on both chefs’ unique and strong characters, as well as their family influences and their cooking and eating experiences, which will be reflected in both the menu and the décor.

“We are incredibly excited about opening our first restaurant together. Caractère is the manifestation of everything we love, and we cannot wait to share it,” said Diego Ferrari.

The food served at Caractère will focus on simple and delicious French and Italian dishes from both owners’ heritage. Each season the menu will change and diners will have the opportunity to choose from the daily specials.The wine list will offer both French and Italian wines, and will predominantly feature smaller winemakers.

“My background and my training is of course Classic French fine dining, but I’ve always been so in love with Italian food. Then I found love with Italian-born Diego when we were both working in Monaco at Alain Ducasse’s three Michelin starred restaurant, Le Louis XV. Since we’ve been together, he has taught me so much about Italian food. Our new restaurant brings together our story, and our menu will always be a reflection of the food we love to cook and love to eat,” said Emily Roux.

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Bovey Castle Has Been Shortlisted for The Cateys 2018

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The Cateys 2018, the most prestigious awards in UK hospitality, has shortlisted Bovey Castle, the luxurious country estate in the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, for its Hotel of the Year (Group) category, alongside London’s Ham Yard Hotel and The Ned. The awards recognise business leaders, innovators and household names in the hospitality industry.

“We are delighted to have been shortlisted in the internationally-renowned Cateys alongside two of London’s most impressive hotels. The exceptional team at Bovey Castle is committed to innovating and showcasing British hospitality at its best,” said Mark Chambers, Managing Director at Eden Hotel Collection.

The hotel, under the leadership of General Manager Francisco Macedo, has gone from strength to strength, having been awarded five Red Stars by the AA in 2017 (the highest possible accolade) for its exceptional hospitality.

Set in 275 acres of countryside within Dartmoor National Park, the flagship property has 60 bedrooms, 22 lodges, an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts and an Elan Spa complete with Art Deco swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, treatment rooms and a dedicated Gentlemen’s Quarter. Country pursuits available include falconry, cider and sloe gin-making and off-road driving. Its flagship restaurant – the Great Western – is overseen by talented Head Chef Mark Budd and is the proud recipient of 3 AA Rosettes for its culinary excellence.

The hotel has launched the Ultimate Bovey Castle Experience to mark the awards, which includes three-nights’ accommodation in a Grand State suite, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot in the suite on arrival, full English breakfast each morning, a private tour with the Estate Manager, an off-road driving experience in one of the hotel’s Land Rovers, champagne afternoon tea, a tour of the Bovey Castle Estate Deer Park, a 55-minute spa treatment per person, cider & sloe gin making in the Long Barn and dinner with wine each evening in the flagship Great Western Restaurant (two three-course dinners and a seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings). The Ultimate Bovey Castle Experience costs from £2,950 total/£1,475 pp (two sharing).

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Goupie Extends Its Shelf Life

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Goupie, the moreish chewy chocolate confection hand-produced in Kent, has announced the extension of its shelf-life to 9-months, as well as the switch to a Julian dating system, which will enable the company to improve its traceability even further and streamline its process.

“We were determined to improve our traceability of products, and allow more flexibility to our customers,” said Janet Simpson, Co-Founder at Goupie. “With Julian dating, it will be much easier for us to identify specific batches and the extended shelf-life will help our customers plan ahead and buy from further afield.”

The expanded shelf-life will be applied to all Goupie products, allowing them to open up their supply chains to further abroad, supporting their plans for export.

“We’ve been testing our products for well over a year now to ensure that the quality is maintained with our improved recipes for the full 9 months. Obviously, as a best before date, there is nothing harmful in products after that time, but it’s important for us that the quality is maintained for the customers,” explained Janet.

Goupie is available in 18 flavours from a variety of specialist food retailers or online at www.goupie.co.uk. The flavours include Original, Hazelnut, Orange, Dark Chocolate with Lavender, White Chocolate with Lavender, White Chocolate with Cardamom, Mint, Cherry & Almond, Espresso, Date & Walnut, Salted Sticky Toffee, Chilli, Ginger, Lemon Meringue, Sesame Butter, as well as special flavours for the festive period – A Taste of Christmas, White Christmas, and Boozy Christmas.

All Goupie branded products are based on a genuine family recipe, with 13 of its dark chocolate flavour being dairy free and vegan friendly. There are also seven gluten free flavours, which include all of the Christmas flavours.

Janet Simpson has refined this original cocoa-rich chewy chocolate confection into a range of distinctive flavours: all made by hand, and then cut into distinctive triangular pieces.  Together with Joe, her husband, Janet has now moved production from their farmhouse kitchen to a state-of-the-art production unit to ensure that Goupie continues to be made to highest standards of hygiene and product quality.

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