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James Cochran Launches 1251 Scotch Bonnet Jam

James Cochran, the hugely successful chef behind 12:51 in Islington, has now launched 12:51 Scotch Bonnet Jam. This sweet, fiery condiment comes in a stylish and distinctive jar, elevating any number of dishes. 

James has long incorporated the flavours and traditions of his mother’s Caribbean heritage into his cooking, and over recent years, his scotch bonnet jam has become a true signature recipe. The jam appeared on a goat dish that James prepared on BBC2 Great British Menu 2018, whilst his renowned Buttermilk jerk chicken with scotch bonnet jam has been available on his restaurant menus for over five years. People loved it so much they would always ask for the recipe and how to buy it, so James has now bottled it up and 12:51 Scotch Bonnet Jam is available for everyone to enjoy at home. 

The sweet, spicy, warming flavours of the jam make it a perfect accompaniment to chicken, cheese, burgers, barbecued meats, sandwiches and many other homecooked meals. It also makes the perfect gift for chilli-loving friends and family. Produced in east London, 12:51 Scotch Bonnet Jam is made from all-natural ingredients with no added preservatives and is also vegan and gluten free. The jam is available to buy online at 12:51 Deli and at James’s Islington restaurant 12:51. 

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Lancashire Family Estate Unveils Its First Gin Collection

A family from the idyllic village of Bashall Eaves in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley has created a unique range of craft gins, Bashall Spirits, inspired by recipe books that date back to the 1700s.

A London Dry sits at the heart of the Bashall Spirits range, along with three uniquely flavoured full-strength gins.

Taking botanical cues from the Forest of Bowland and the protected woodland surrounding the village, the juniper-forward London Dry Gin includes cranberry, elderflower, caraway and hazelnut.

The flavoured gins – Orange & Quince Gin, Damson & Elderberry Gin and Parkin Cake Gin – are a celebration of recipes which have been handed down through the Worsley-Taylor family for generations.

The golden-hued Parkin Cake Gin is based on a Victorian-era family recipe for the traditional Lancashire bake, and is rich with treacle and ginger.

Traditional marmalade recipes inspired the zesty Orange & Quince Gin, while the Damson & Elderberry Gin is an homage to the many orchard and fruit wine recipes found in the antique recipe books.

Fiona McNeill, co-founder of Bashall Spirits, said: “Our family have held these unique handwritten recipe books for centuries, and we wanted to find a way to bring these flavours to life in a contemporary way. This truly is a unique range of gins that showcase Lancashire’s rich heritage of food and drink, our village and the beautiful landscapes which surround it.”

Bottled at 40% ABV, this collection of small-batch gins, the first from family-owned Bashall Spirits, is distilled by an award-winning partner distiller based in Arbroath, Scotland.

Bashall Spirits’ range of craft gins are available to both on-trade and off-trade.

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Iceland Adds 18 Plastic-Free Products to Its Christmas Range

Iceland will be the only major UK supermarket to offer its customers the choice of a plastic free or reduced plastic packaging Christmas dinner this year.

From this week, Iceland customers will be able to choose from 18 Christmas products that are completely free from plastic packaging, as the retailer continues to make strides in its commitment to eliminate plastic packaging from its own label products by the end of 2023.

The new range will allow shoppers to pick up a starter, main course and dessert with minimal plastic packaging. Products such Iceland’s Luxury Beef Wellington, Stuffing Balls and Luxury Black Forest Layered Pavlova have had their packaging redesigned from last year and are now completely plastic free.

As part of the Christmas range, Iceland is also offering customers eight products that have had their plastic packaging significantly reduced. One example of the redeveloped packaging is Iceland’s Perfect Turkey Crown, which was previously packaged in a plastic bag and is now offered in a recyclable paper wrap with only a remaining plastic band seal.

In total, Iceland’s new range of plastic-free and reduced plastic products now contains 97% less plastic packaging than in previous years, showcasing just how much progress the supermarket has made since making its plastics pledge at the beginning of last year.

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland said: “We’ve been working hard all year to develop alternative packaging solutions and I’m proud to be offering Iceland customers the choice of plastic free Christmas products. Christmas is a crucial time of year which sees retailers go head to head on product innovation, and we were keen to incorporate our sustainability efforts into this. We know that there is a significant appetite for reduced plastic packaging and that plastic consumption increases significantly at Christmas, so we were keen to take on the challenge and demonstrate to the industry and our consumers that it’s possible to have a sustainable Christmas.

“The development of the new range has involved exploring and testing hundreds of alternatives, before developing a series of new-to-market solutions which have either significantly reduced, or entirely removed, plastic from the packaging of our new Christmas range.”

Since it made its pledge, Iceland has removed more than 2,100 tonnes of plastic from its own label packaging and has plans to increase this figure significantly in 2020. As part of these plans, Iceland has announced that it will have removed all black plastic packaging from its own label products by January 2020.

The reduction and removal of plastics from Christmas product packaging was awarded ‘Best Retailer Initiative’ by The Grocer earlier this month.

A full list of the range can be found below:

Plastic free Christmas products:

  • Luxury Beef Wellington
  • Stuffing Balls
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Rocky Road Cheesecake
  • Salted Caramel Cheesecake
  • White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake
  • Luxury Black Forest Layered Pavlova
  • Luxury Raspberry & Pistachio Layered Pavlova
  • Luxury Toffee & Pecan Roulade
  • Luxury Lemon Roulade
  • Cheese Truckle, Cheddar & Chilli
  • Cheese Truckle, Oak Smoked Cheddar
  • Cheese Truckle, Wensleydale & Cranberry
  • Mini Pies
  • Mini Cottage Pies
  • Mini Beef Pasties

Reduced plastic Christmas products:

  • Perfect Turkey Crown
  • Three Bird Roast
  • Stuffed Turkey Breast Joint
  • Extra Tasty Turkey Crown
  • Prawn Marie Rose Sauce
  • Pickles
  • Fine Ruby Port
  • Black Forest Ice Cream
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How Can We Make Use of Our Plastic Waste?

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 3 m read

As we well know, when our plastic based products are cast aside, they are polluting are atmosphere and land. These days, humans produce a phenomenal amount of plastic goods due to its cheap production and versatile nature. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest concerns for our planet right now. 

In the UK, there are in the region of 13 billion plastic bottles used each year — with only 7.5 billion currently being recycled. Here, we take a look at some of the best ways our plastic can be recycled to ensure that we limit the damage to our planet. 


Perhaps unsurprisingly, we can buy items of clothing that were once part of a plastic bottle we’d have drank from. With the likes of polyester, nylon and other synthetic fibres forms of plastic, companies can use recycled plastic to help create their new garments. Did you know that it only takes approximately 10 bottles to create enough plastic fibre for a new t-shirt? As well as this, the insulation in a ski jacket can be created by just 14 recycled bottles.  


The UK is a nation of outdoor lovers — even if we don’t always get the weather that’ll help us best use our outdoor space! Studies have found that the average Brit spends over two hours a week in their garden space. Many take pride in their outdoor area and love to entertain guests throughout the year. To do so, they need a space that is suitable, and decking has seen a huge increase in popularity. Since first being released in 1990, artificial decking has become more favourable due to its low maintenance, look like real wood, and have a long life span. These boards are made up of 95% recycled wood fibres and plastic, making them environmentally friendly as well as easy to upkeep. 

Bed sheets

Great news! You can soon relax in the knowledge that you’re being environmentally sustainable while lying in bed! Ecozee, a company that is set to launch bed sheets made from recycled plastic, states it is going to help you ‘save the environment in your sleep’. With the average plastic having a ‘useful life’ of approximately 15 minutes, it’s clear to see that bed sheets made from recycled plastic will turn this into a much greater lifespan!

Home décor

It’s not just companies who can create great uses for old plastic. Users on social media channels are always sharing the DIY skills regarding old plastic material. Stand out examples include jewellery stands, themed plant pots, and pencil organisers — all created using the bottom of plastic bottles and milk bottles. Some much more extravagant examples by those with creative flair include hanging chandeliers and Christmas trees!


Moving away from home comforts, did you know that many forms of transport use recycled plastics in production? In 2018, vehicle manufacturer Volvo set itself a goal of using 25% recycled plastics in cars by 2025. This can range from fishing nets to old bottles and can be used in areas such as dashboards and carpets. Currently, the company states that approximately five per cent of plastics in its cars are made from recycled materials. 

Elsewhere, in 2017, pilot and environmentalist Jeremy Rowsell made history by flying a light aircraft across Australia using conventional fuel that was mixed with fuel which derived from plastic waste. This journey, which saw him travel 500 miles from Sydney to Melbourne, saw the fuel used include a blend made up of 10% end-of-life plastic that was usually found in the ocean and landfill sites. It was a breakthrough in potential future fuels for light aircrafts.

Of course, there are many other ways plastic can be recycled. And, when you recycle materials, it uses far less energy than creating them new, so recycling has many benefits. While recycling is a major topic of discussion, we still have a large scope for improvements regarding the subject in order to help save our planet. It’s not just up to companies to use recyclable products either, so recycle today to reap the rewards tomorrow!



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Go Fish! for the Deal of the Day this Black ‘Fry’Day

Do some of the Black Friday deals look a little fishy to you? Well this year, there’s good reason, as Sarson’s and Fish! – one of London’s finest seafood restaurants – have partnered together to offer discount devotees and dine-hard fish and chip fans an unmissable Black ‘Fry’Day meal deal.

With the nation gripped by Black Friday deals, Sarson’s is celebrating the Friday fish and chip tradition with a twist by inviting the public to dive into a delicious limited-edition discount of black fish and chips.

The squid-ink battered fish and chips are a modern twist on a British classic and will be served with mushy peas, tartare sauce and lashings of Sarson’s.

Just ask for the ‘Sarson’s Black ‘Fry’Day Deal of the Day when dining-in at Fish!, Borough Market on Friday 29th November, to enjoy the exclusive Black ‘Fry’Day offer.

The fastest 100 foodies will catch the ‘deal of the day’ for just £9 (usual RRP £18), while stocks last, and leave with a complimentary bottle of Sarson’s vinegar, to ensure families can continue the much-loved British tradition of Fish Fridays at home – black batter optional.

Whether you’re laden with shopping bags, or anctipating a few home deliveries of Black Friday orders, respect your chips this Black ‘Fry’Day with a splash of iconic Sarson’s malt vinegar.

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Chef Adam Handling Launches Ugly Butterfly

Ugly Butterfly, a sustainable casual restaurant, Champagne bar and sustainability conversation hub, has been opened on the King’s Road, Chelsea, on Wednesday November 13th 2019.

Aiming to demonstrate that zero-waste can be luxurious, and creating something beautiful from ingredients which are usually thrown out, Ugly Butterfly represents the second generation in sustainable hospitality, and is a collaboration between award-winning chef and restaurateur Adam Handling;  Cadogan, the long-term family business that owns and manages part of Chelsea; Quintessentially Foundation – the award-winning and grant-giving arm of Quintessentially Group, providing funding and building awareness for UK registered charities; and The Felix Project, a London-based charity which collects surplus food from food industry suppliers, and delivers it to local charities and primary schools to help feed vulnerable people.

Open for walk-in diners from lunch time until the late evening from Wednesday to Sunday, Ugly Butterfly will offer an exciting and delicious menu of snacks and small plates, served alongside a Champagne list (by the glass) from the region’s top wine makers.  The interiors have been created using up-cycled and re-utilised materials throughout.

All dishes will be made from the parts of ingredients that are usually discarded as waste, most of which will come from Adam Handling Chelsea, with an emphasis on the four most-wasted foods; bread, milk, eggs and bananas.

As well as providing a great place to eat and drink, Ugly Butterfly will become a hub for business and community sustainability initiatives to be promoted and supported, with pioneers in sustainable food and drink, restaurants, fashion, technology, and art and craft, holding free conversations and creating experiences for drop-in diners twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7.00pm.  The conversations will include talks from Mike Robinson, leading game chef, founder of The Woodsman, co-owner of the Harwood Arms and a wild food specialist, and Steve Bannatyne of The Wood Store, sellers of recycled and reclaimed wood and creators of most of the up-cycled handmade furniture at Ugly Butterfly.

The menus include some daring dishes created by Adam Handling and his team at Adam Handling Chelsea (located at the Belmond Cadogan hotel on Sloane Street), such as deboned crispy fried chicken feet with caviar; Adam Handling’s iconic cheese doughnuts made with left-overs from the cheeseboard; banana bread and chicken butter; lobster shell soup; broccoli stalk Caesar salad; retired dairy cow tartare, crispy potato peelings; reformed doughnuts (made with leftover bread) and overripe fruit jam.

2.5% of the takings will be donated to The Felix Project to support their many projects fighting food waste, and two dishes on the menu will use Feast Fairly pullet eggs which are usually disposed of due to their small size. Funds from Feast Fairly egg sales are donated to The Felix Project.

Adam Handling says: “This is such an exciting collaboration. Across my restaurants and bars we have a strong commitment to achieving zero waste and in setting up Ugly Butterfly, we can help to move the sustainability agenda forward even further by bringing together the pioneers in sustainable food and drink, fashion, business, furnishings, technology, arts and crafts and giving them a home for some really interesting discussions.  We want everyone to be able to drop in for some really tasty food, and delicious Champagne, and to contribute to building awareness of how we can live our lives, every day, on a more sustainable basis.”

Hugh Seaborn, Chief Executive, Cadogan comments: “Adam was a breath of fresh air when he opened his destination restaurant on Sloane Street earlier this year – we are delighted to champion his brave zero-waste ethos further at this exciting new venture and use it to stimulate conversation around sustainability more widely, as well as raising funds for the impressive Felix Project. Ugly Butterfly resonates strongly with our ongoing commitment to long-term stewardship and reducing environmental impact; we hope that it is a creative way to inspire the community, both residents and businesses, to think differently for the future.”

Mark Curtin, The Felix Project CEO says: “The Adam Handling Restaurant Group is leading the way defining a new responsible and sustainable business model; we at The Felix Project are extremely grateful to be chosen as their charity partner and excited to help Adam and his fantastic team push the message of food waste reduction and sustainability in such an innovative and exciting environment.”

Ben Elliot, Chairman of Quintessentially Foundation and Co-Founder of Quintessentially says: “We’re excited to be involved in the Ugly Butterfly project spearheaded by Adam Handling in support of our charity partner of the year, The Felix Project who are leading the fight in tackling food waste. This is an amazing concept that will highlight the issue and disparity between food waste and the hunger of our nation’s most vulnerable in society.

“1.9 million tonnes of avoidable food waste is generated by the UK food industry each year. At the same time food poverty is a huge and growing problem, almost 4 million children in the UK live in households that struggle to afford to buy enough fruit, vegetables, fish and other healthy foods.’’

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KERB Extends Event Catering Portfolio with Kew Gardens Christmas Win

The UK’s leading street food organisation, KERB, has partnered with Kew Gardens for their annual winter trail, heading up the food and drink over the 40-day event with their incredible line-up of London’s best street food traders.

In its 7th year, Kew Gardens’ winter trail takes place from 20th November 2019 to 5th January 2020 and is one of London’s most popular Christmas activities. As the first time KERB has partnered with the world-famous botanic gardens, the street food pioneers are delighted to secure the contract and provide tasty food and festive drinks from ten independent street food traders and six bars.

This most recent partnership for KERB Caters, joins a series of impressive large-scale events secured by the private event arm of the business, which originally formed in 2014. In the last twelve months alone, KERB has supplied food for 190 events, generated revenue of £2 million for traders, and became the first and only street food company to be an official supplier at prestigious London heritage venues Natural History Museum, Somerset House and Alexandra Palace

KERB is bringing the same flavour and diversity from their street food markets and recently opened Seven Dials Market to some of London’s best venues. As part of the KERB ecosystem and mission to grow and support London’s independent food businesses, KERB Caters gives street food traders an opportunity to showcase their services through a new platform. With 30 out of Time Out’s 44 ‘Top Street Food Traders in London’ being KERB members, KERB events guarantee incredible service and innovative, delicious dishes.

Born out of a changing tide in event catering, KERB Caters offers clients a new and exciting way of entertaining event guests and incredible events management experience. As proud winners of ‘Best Event Caterer’ at the recent London Catering Awards 2019, KERB is firmly establishing their position in the events catering industry.

Alana Buckley, Commercial Director at KERB says, “This partnership with Kew Gardens is such a great way to mark another great year for KERB Caters. Following the launch of our first permanent market, Seven Dials Market, and collaboration on a number of large-scale events, 2019 saw continued growth for KERB. KERB Caters is one of the many ways we support independent food traders to grow, outside of our regular street food markets, new permanent site and food incubation programme. Event catering is a fantastic way for KERB members to gain exposure, experience, and revenue, with our five highest earning traders each securing over £70,000 from KERB private events alone in the last 12 months.” 

Harriet Hutton, Commercial Events Manager at Kew Gardens says, “We’re really excited to have KERB onboard for the first time this year. It brings a new element to Christmas at Kew, and it’s great to be supporting local, independent businesses. Visitors are in for a treat with a variety of enticing, festive options available – I’m most looking forward to My Pie and their award winning pies, and being able to treat myself to a steak and chips from Beefsteaks.”

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TUCO Launches New Food and Beverage Industry Report

The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has launched its third quarter industry food and beverage report; TUCO INtelligence Q3.

As the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers, the TUCO report rounds up the latest market intelligence with a focus on sustainability, the effects of the summer heatwave and Brexit.

Launched last year on behalf of its members, the report is designed to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting caterers and anyone supplying them through a round-up of industry data and reports.

Released every quarter, the invaluable reports help pinpoint what drives food and beverage trends and shapes the industry.

The report notes 2019 is a landmark year in the global poultry and pig industries as poultry producers’ cash in as China’s swine fever crisis shows no sign of abating. Chinese imports of fresh/frozen poultry have already risen by 40% year on year in the first quarter, according to the latest Birtwistles market report, with UK/EU prices remaining firm.

Vegetables, however, have taken a hit. According to the Reynolds Crop Report analysed in TUCO’s report, the sizzling hot temperatures in July killed off the brassica crop, resulting in wholesale prices hiking from 60p to £3 for cauliflower. Broccoli supply is also expected to be difficult due to Britain’s bizarre recent weather conditions.

The price of halloumi has also rocketed thanks to a global shortage. Last year, reports The Grocer, producers warned that they were struggling to keep up with demand and an export deal with China might lead to shortages in the UK. Brexit is also hitting the cheese hard as a weak pound makes it far more expensive to import.

Brexit continues to be a key discussion point for all, and in addition to this latest food and beverage report, TUCO has conducted a survey of all appointed suppliers to ascertain their latest position for a no-deal Brexit. The findings have been posted on its Brexit Impact Tool on the TUCO website;

As an organisation, TUCO strives to deliver real value for members. It does this through providing industry data such as its INtelligence reports, its procurement services, its award-winning academy and its events throughout the calendar year.

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Celebrating 10 Years in Style at Simpsons Fish & Chips

Simpsons Fish & Chips celebrated its 10th birthday in style with hundreds of guests at its store in Priors Road in Cheltenham. Live music from The Ambling Band entertained crowds who enjoyed Simpsons’ much loved fish and chips as well as deep fried Bounty bars and ice cream.

Simpsons is run by Bonny Ritchie, under the expert guidance of Bonny’s mother, Jan, who has been in the chip shop industry for over 40 years.

Simpsons Cheltenham store opened in 2009 and was awarded the coveted title of UK’s Best Takeaway by Seafish in the National Fish & Chip Awards 2016.

Following on from the success of the Cheltenham shop, Simpsons opened new premises in nearby Stroud in August 2017.

The team behind the Simpsons brand believe the best fish and chips should consist of good, no nonsense natural ingredients – fish, potato and batter and that’s it. Their batter has no MSG, salt or bulking agents and absolutely no artificial colours or flavouring.

Simpsons Fish and Chips Cheltenham was the first MSC certified chip shop in Gloucestershire. The Stroud premises were the 100th certified fish and chip shop in the UK in October. The MSC hallmark is awarded to people who commit to using only fish that is sourced responsibly.

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Choosing Your Kitchen Essentials

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 4 m read

Kitchens are fun places in a home and also the most difficult to outfit. Pots and pans may be very basic and easy to find in supermarkets or home depots, but finding the right kind at the most reasonable prices makes it rather difficult. When you try to buy your cookware, at the back of your mind you would always hope they would last for more than just a few months. It is shocking to know that pots and pans have a wide range of prices and there are a lot of brands and kinds to choose from.

So what makes the process so complicated when at the end of the day they are still pots and pans? The price does make it complicated because some cookware comes with shocking prices. No matter what kind, which brand, and what size they are, they still end up with the same results – cooked food.  They settle on the stove in the same way, they do not have special features as most of them look exactly the same. However, manufacturers are charging much for them.

So how do manufacturers justify the prices they put into these cookware? Science and cooking will help unravel the mystery behind these shocking prices.

Reactivity and combination metals

Cheap cookware is either made of a reactive or non-reactive metal. Click here to learn more about cookware materials.

If you are cooking something acidic and you are using a reactive pan, the metal that made up the pan will react with the ingredients and you will end up with an altered taste of the food you are cooking. Most of us do not want our food to taste differently as we expected, right? In order to achieve the right taste of the food you are cooking, you will need a non-reactive pan. However, materials used to manufacture a non-reactive cookware is are usually slow conductors of heat so there might be issues in uneven heat in the pan or unevenly warmed surface, which would still affect the food you are cooking, and you would not want that either.

In moments like this, you would wish that you have bought the expensive counterparts instead. The expensive ones have a great advantage on the cheap ones in terms of quality and efficiency. Higher quality pots and pans are often made of combined metals. They are often made in such a way that the core pot is made with aluminium, a reactive metal, and the inside is coated with non-reactive metal so that whatever touches your food does not give any reaction at all, therefore not altering the taste of your food.  With these expensive choices, you get the best kind of cookware.

Managing Heat

The expensive cookware is made in such a way that they conduct heat easily and fast, this characteristic makes a difference in cooking. discusses the relationship between heat and cooking.

For example, when you are sautéing garlic, the pan will heat up fast and when you put your garlic and sauté it, when you have reached that spot of just being cooked right, not too much until it is burnt, you can easily get the pan off the stove and then the pan will cool down immediately so it prevents the garlic from burnt.

Pots and pans at higher prices are well-made and materials are thicker. Thicker materials would allow heat to be evenly spread out so even heat is applied to the food you are cooking; this would mean an evenly cooked food.

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What you paid for is what you get

Generally speaking, expensive means quality; the more expensive, the higher the quality.

For beginners, this is going to be a big deal because you will not have to replace your cookware every now and then. The quality ones are built to last for a long time. Longevity would make it reasonable and cost-efficient to buy the expensive ones, rather than the cheap and low quality ones.

With cheap cookware, the quality of materials plus construction is also lesser. So you will be expecting broken handles in no time, holes, and other issues that would affect its efficiency. Hence, choosing the right quality and the best kitchen essentials could eventually mean unconsciously saving money which you would spend for repairs and buying replacements later on if you had chosen the cheaper versions. Also, it would add more flair and class to your kitchen aside from your way of providing good food for your loved ones. Convenience and safety in the kitchen is also an important facet in a comfortable home and good family life.  

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