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All Posts By FEAST Editorial Team

BiCE At Jumeirah At Etihad Towers Welcomes New Chef De Cuisine

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Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, a social and gourmet hub in the heart of the UAE’s capital, has appointed Alessandro Mordini as the new Chef de Cuisine at Italian restaurant BiCE.

Chef Alessandro is a master of Italian cuisine with over 17 years’ experience gained from prestigious hotels, resorts and restaurants across Europe and Asia. He also owns a family restaurant along the shores of Tuscany.

A native of Piedmont, a region in northern Italy, which is famous for white truffle, Alessandro’s passion and creativity was inspired by his grandmother’s home cooking.

He began his culinary training at an early age and developed a simple, rustic style of cooking that allows the quality of ingredients to shine. Alessandro’s cuisine features fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients, an abundance of truffles, mushrooms and cheese. He has also established a reputation for creating beautifully presented traditional handmade pasta dishes, packed with versatile flavours.

Loughlin Druhan, Director of Food and Beverage at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, said: “As Chef de Cuisine of BiCE, Alessandro is bringing the spirit of authentic northern Italian style cuisine with a modern creative touch to Abu Dhabi. He knows how to coax the essential flavours out of his many creations and I am confident that our guests will be delighted with the menu changes.”

Chef de Cuisine, Alessandro Mordini, completes the Italian team at BiCE which comprises Alessandra Carfora, Restaurant Manager and Sommelier; Giuseppe Sparagna, Junior Sous Chef; and Michele Garbuio Beverage Manager. Antonio Patti, the resident pianist, adds a further touch of authenticity to the restaurant. Guests are promised a true Italian experience which starts with the welcome, continues with the ambience and culminates in the dining experience.

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More Than Meat Triumphs At Food Matters Live

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The recent Food Matters Live conference, which ended a few days ago, has proved to be a turning point in the growth of revolutionary food brand More Than Meat.

The firm has since received a lot of interest from investors at home and abroad. On social media, hundreds of new fans have connected with the brand. And, after sampling products, many of the delegates chose to leave glowing reviews on a comment board.

The firm also made it to the final of the prestigious Unilever Foundry Dragons Den competition. With such strong feedback on the taste and texture of the products, more than 150 sales leads were generated over the two day event.

The team also used the event to garner feedback and generate excitement around the launch of its next product – a Jerk Burger.

National media are also starting to pick up on the business opportunity that More Than Meat is tapping into.

Just last week, the Guardian cited More Than Meat as an example of a new type of meat-free food brand that successfully “markets its products’ nutritional benefits directly against its meaty Waitrose equivalents”.

Barry Honeycombe, the founder of the company: “All expectations have been exceeded at Food Matters Live. The feedback we received was a glowing endorsement of our absolute focus on quality, flavour and taste. The next phase in our growth will see us scale up our production and significantly grow our customer base.”

Samantha Morris, from Food Matters Live, highlighted the “bright, interactive stand that had a strong buzz around it. The team were very knowledgeable, the products are great, and the delegates were very interested in sampling”.

The More Than Meat range uses a blend of plant-proteins and wholefoods to make tasty meals and snacks. It includes burgers, sausages and casseroles. The foods are high-protein and free from cholesterol, added fats, eggs, dairy and meat.

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MSC Cruises Teams Up With Cirque Du Soleil To Set New Standards In Live Entertainment

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MSC Cruises has today announced an exclusive long-term partnership with Cirque du Soleil to create new live entertainment shows aboard its next-generation Meraviglia ships.

The spectacular productions will take place inside purpose-built Aft Lounges, which will feature 450 seats – including a 200-seat restaurant area where guests can enjoy dinner and drinks before each performance. The 1,000sq metre spaces – kitted out in the latest audio-visual technology – are being specifically designed for the shows at a cost of €20 million.

New Cirque du Soleil productions will take place six nights a week during sailings, with two performances per night.

MSC Cruises has four Meraviglia project ships in the pipeline with the first – MSC Meraviglia – currently under construction at the STX shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The 4,500-guest, 167,600GRT ship will set sail on its inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean from June 2017, and will be the first to have three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.

Further Meraviglia project ships are scheduled for delivery in 2019, 2020 and 2022.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises declared: “MSC Cruises is a company built on innovation, from the unique ships we design and build to the on-board experiences we conceive and create.

“Together with Cirque du Soleil are now designing a totally new, live entertainment experience for our guests. It’s this commitment to innovation, and the vision and creativity that only a family-owned company can apply, that make MSC Cruises so distinct”.

Yasmine Khalil, President 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil’s Special Projects Company, commented: “We have found in MSC a long-term partner with a clear vision about trends in the cruising industry and a strong desire to be the leader by taking entertainment on board to a whole new level.  For Cirque du Soleil, this is what inspires us and provides us with a great creative challenge that we require for each new relationship and project that we embark on”.

The partnership with Cirque du Soleil was unveiled aboard MSC Fantasia in Barcelona, Spain during “All Stars of the Sea” – the annual MSC Cruises travel-trade gathering to celebrate and reward the Company’s top performing partners – in front of an audience of 1,800 travel agents.

MSC Meraviglia’s inaugural Mediterranean cruise season are already on sale online and can also be booked via your favourite travel agent.

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Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences

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winter wonderland

White Winter Wonderland

winter news

Exciting Winter News

Crans-Montana is gearing up for the next Winter Season, a time when the resort really comes into its own. The weather is cooling, fires are being lit, the autumn leaves have turned the mountain sides into landscapes of red, orange and gold and the peaks are already capped with white.

Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences is also taking on its winter colours and preparing to welcome its first winter guests, including those who return every year to experience the wonderful winter wonderland that is our beloved resort.



Guarda Golf Charity Night For UNICEF

With the help of many generous donators, we were able to collect very significant funds for UNICEF during last winter’s charity event and therefore decided to hold a second edition on Saturday 6th February 2016. Today, children all over the world are more in need of our support than ever.

Guarda Golf Charity Night for UNICEF will be again under the patronage and in the presence of our dear friends Sir Roger Moore and Lady Kristina Moore. An auction sale of a painting by our house artists Tylek & Tylecek will help to collect additional funds and participating guests will enjoy exclusive live entertainment and get the chance to win a number of exciting prices at the lucky draw during the night.


winter paradise

Crans-Montana – A Winter Paradise

Crans-Montana is a Mecca of Winter sports, providing tourists with a range of activities for all levels. Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences will be happy to arrange your ski passes, recommend the best shops for hiring ski equipment and make your reservations with instructors, as required.

Here are some of the activities to experience in the resort this winter:

  • 140km of ski slopes, for all levels
  • Snow park for the more adventurous skier
  • Snowtubing, sledging and snowbiking
  • 18km of cross country skiing
  • 65km of trails for winter hikes and snow shoeing
  • Ice-skating & curling
  • Paragliding & Helicopter tours

full moon nights

Full Moon Nights – Après-Ski & Aperitif

Who needs a better excuse than the full moon for a celebration?
Join us for this exclusive event in celebration of the magic of the full moon between 4pm and 8pm in the beautiful snowy landscape in front of the hotel.
Come directly from the slopes or for an aperitif before dinner and enjoy cocktails, mulled wine and traditional raclette. A magical moment!


winter delica

Winter Delicacies

Chef Ronan Gaillard and the restaurant team are delighted to offer once again a range of delicacies in the Giardino Restaurant, Les Alpes restaurant, in the Guarda Golf Lounge and on the terrace. Topping the list, our Oysters & Caviar menu with Champagne pairings is a delight, now more than ever with our new house Champagne, Ruinart. We will be bringing back our ever popular truffle menu and, of course, it would not be winter in Switzerland without a selection of local cheese fondues, available in the Les Alpes restaurant.


warming spa days

Warming Spa Days

A day spent warm and cozy in the spa, looking out at the snowy mountains is possibly the most  relaxing way to spend your day. Our hotel guests benefit from complimentary access to the Guarda Golf Spa, including our pool, whirlpool, sauna and steam room. Our spa therapists are on hand all day and offer a range of treatments for the hands, feet, face and body.

All are versed in the use of our new oxygen treatments, using the LE CUBE O2+ machine, designed to harness the power of oxygen in a range of skin renewing treatments.


excellence tea

Connoisseurs in Excellence

Don’t take our word for it! We have won TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence several years in a row now and enjoy a full five-star rating and an outstanding 98% approval rate. If that wasn’t enough, we also have a top ranking on with a near perfect rating of 9.6 out of 10.

We are not likely to rest on our laurels though, with ever improving standards and new innovations in our offering. Watch this space!


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Chetzeron Reaches New Heights In Crans-Montana

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Perched atop the snow-laden slopes of Crans-Montana, with panoramic views of the Rhone Valley and the majestic Alps, Chetzeron takes “away from the crowds” to a whole other level. Located in a former gondola station, this Design Hotels™ member’s impressive stone and glass façade houses 16 rooms and suites, all with unrivalled views across the Alpine landscape, from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc. Towering above the typical mountain resorts in both elevation and style, Chetzeron offers an intoxicating blend of world-class skiing amid splendid isolation.



Blue Sky Thinking
When Original and third-generation hotelier Sami Lamaa set out to create a luxury eco lodge in the Swiss Alps, it was never going to be anything other than unorthodox. For the self-confessed claustrophobe, the traditional wood-clad
chalets huddled together in a busy resort was the ultimate antitheses of his vision of a mountain retreat – ultimately realized in the form of an abandoned gondola station located 2,112m above sea level. It took Lamaa five years, and the overwhelming support of the local community, to gain planning permission to transform the former station into Chetzeron. The result is both authentic and innovative, a hotel that challenges and surprises its guests at every turn.
Together with Lausanne-based architects, Actescollectifs, Lamaa has created a space that pays homage to the industrial splendor of the original structure, while encouraging a sense of warmth and coziness to juxtapose the wild terrain of the surrounding landscape. The cavernous mouth of the cable car station forms the centerpiece of the hotel, now covered entirely by glass, flooding the lobby area with light while offering dramatic views over the mountains with
perennial snow at their peaks.

Large concrete porticos and original station walls crafted from local stone have also been incorporated into the interior design of Chetzeron, creating a sense of timeless charm. The public spaces are large and spacious, yet defy coldness
through tucked-away nooks and discreet lighting. Each of the spacious guestrooms and suites offers a cocoon-like feel, contrasting natural stone with plush bedding and furnishings, resulting in alpine interiors that are traditional yet contemporary. Generous windows throughout ensure that the stark beauty of the hotel’s surroundings form an integral part of Chetzeron’s visual identity.




Sublime Silence

Thanks to its unique position and adventurous access, the arrival to the hotel is an event in itself, with guests arriving by foot, bike, jeep, ski or snowmobile. Chetzeron is a sanctuary for winter-sports junkies jaded by heaving resorts and
jostling crowds. For seasoned spectators, there are plenty of perches from which to take in the skiers and surrounding splendor, including terraces on three levels that are dotted with hammocks and sun loungers, alongside a heated outdoor pool. Après-ski comes courtesy of the private and public bars, and restaurant serving seasonal cuisine along with Valais wines. Committed to supporting the local community which played such an integral role in getting the hotel off the ground, Chetzeron uses locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible. Local cured meat is a firm favorite and bespoke picnics can be arranged for families, hikers or corporate groups during their stay.

Truly a year-round destination, stunning hiking and cycling routes appear with the melting snow, and the nearby Severiano Ballesteros golf course is a mecca for international golfers, as well as playing host to elite players at the annual Omega European Masters.

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Jumeirah At Etihad Towers Launches Al Fresco Dining Promotions

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Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, one of Abu Dhabi’s premier choices for al fresco gourmet experiences, is celebrating the winter season with a series of special promotions across six outlets.

Building on the success of last year the Chill and Grill Friday Brunch at Nahaam restaurant is back.  Enjoy premium cuts of meat from the live barbecue stations, sushi and oysters from the fresh seafood counters, artisanal cheeses and irresistible desserts. Live music entertainment, free beach and pool access will be offered for the first time. The brunch starts from AED 285* per person.

A hidden gem in the heart of the city, Pearls by Michael Caines is Abu Dhabi’s new hotspot. The open terrace is the perfect place for sundowners, shisha, aperitifs and relaxing after dinner. Guests can take in the views while the best DJs in town perform into the night. The Pearls Lounge offers a creative beverage menu and pristine over-water location which promises fine views of the Arabian Gulf.

Other options for al fresco dining include fresh, Italian cuisine at BiCE; breakfast, lunch and dinner at Rosewater; Arabic cuisine served under the stars at the award-winning Li Beirut; and casual dining options from Nahaam at the popular pool bar.

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers al fresco dining experiences can be enjoyed alongside the ‘Leisure First’ package. A credit of AED 300 can be used in any of the restaurants and bars, when booking a stay of minimum three nights. The Leisure First package is valid until 9 January 2015

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Christmas Pudding Organic Yoghurt Launched By Brown Cow Organics

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Brown Cow Organics has introduced a 155g Christmas Pudding flavour live organic yoghurt into their multi award winning range of organic yoghurt (there are 10 additional flavours.). This limited edition flavour is  available now; a seasonal artisan dairy twist to the most traditional of Christmas desserts – their Christmas Pudding yoghurt is going out to their stockists now and will be available until Christmas, you can call or email Brown Cow Organics for your nearest independent retail stockist or you can purchase online from Abel and Cole.

Artisan made on their organic farm, Brown Cow Organics yoghurts are produced using only their own organic A2 beta casein protein rich whole milk from their born, bred and grazed Guernsey herd.   Ingredients are totally natural, non-homogenised, and are rich in Omega 3s and other trace elements. A small team of dedicated local people hand make the yoghurt which is then hand poured into recyclable, re-usable pots.  The yoghurt is never homogenised or pumped as this would destroy its molecular makeup and natural creaminess.  This artisan process produces naturally thick rich yoghurt without using emulsifiers, stabilisers or thickener.

Of this new seasonal flavour owner Judith Freane said “it is the only Christmas Pudding organic live yoghurt available on the market from an organic artisan producer; or indeed at all in the independent retailer sector to my knowledge.”   Introduced as a lighter alternative to the usual pudding or indeed for a seasonal breakfast; Christmas pudding and yoghurt lovers are sure to snap these up.

Brown Cow Organics sell their organic yoghurts only through independent retailers, you can also order in packs of 4 x155g from their Christmas Fayre range online for delivery on 23rd December.

Their full organic Christmas range consists of Organic Beef, Organic Turkey, Organic Goose, Organic Gammon, Organic Trimmings and Organic Yoghurts – all available for national mainland UK delivery to your doorstep, or collection direct from the farm or Wells market on 23rd December.

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BOC In Partnership To Revolutionise Ready Meals

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A new collaborative project involving BOC, the UK & Ireland’s largest supplier of industrial gases and medical gases, a number of major food companies and the University of Lincoln, has now begun and is set to revolutionise ready meals. Funded by Innovate UK, the two-year project aims to develop an innovative cooking and cooling system that would dramatically improve the quality and healthiness of ready meals, while also reducing current food waste levels and increasing the speed of production.

The Advanced Cooking and Cooling Technology project (ACCT) will seek to combine two food manufacturing processes, including a new cryogenic rapid cooler from BOC, UK leader in cryogenic freezing and chilling technologies for food production and a Member of The Linde Group. The ACCT team’s intention is to develop an integrated system that involves the rapid cooking of food using OAL’s patented steam infusion Vaction™ technology followed by rapid cooling (using liquid nitrogen).

The rapid cooking and cooling system would enable just-in-time production and would greatly enhance food production within the fast-growing markets for ready meals, soups and other sauce-based food products. It will target areas where there are major opportunities for improvement in food manufacturing – nutritional values, productivity and waste. The ACCT partners are: BOC; the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM); food engineering and automation specialist OAL (Olympus Automation Ltd); and leading UK frozen ready meal manufacturer Iceland Manufacturing Ltd.

Cedric Hanson, BOC’s Business Development Manager, Application Technology, commented: “BOC is delighted to be a partner in this project. Our cryogenic rapid cooler is the latest in line of innovations that BOC is introducing into the UK and – together with our project partners – we look forward to integrating the cooler with OAL’s rapid steam infusion to produce a commercial, just-in-time production system”.

During the past 20-30 years the food industry has changed from being supply driven to market driven. Manufacturers have to ensure that their products meet consumer expectations for higher quality, more varied and healthier foods. The traditional inefficient heating and cooling processes used in the soups, sauces and ready meals sector presents additional challenges for the food industry as it seeks to meet these demands.

Experience to date clearly demonstrates that cryogenic rapid cooling (CRC) and OAL’s steam infusion processes can improve food quality and manufacturing flexibility through reduced processing times. Over the two-year project, the team plans to gain a full scientific understanding of the effects of rapid cooling using liquid nitrogen on sauces and soups, and the vegetables, fruits and meats they contain in order to maximise nutritional values. Product shelf life could also be increased and waste minimised as we will develop a fully flexible process that will reduce production, cleaning and changeover times for increasingly variable supply requirements.

ACCT partners hope that the project will result in the development of a new generation of food products and processes to unlock exciting new food opportunities that are not possible using current process technologies.

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Wonder Tale: Shaun Clarkson ID Wins The Sleep Set 2015

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25.11.15: Last night saw Shaun Clarkson ID win this year’s Sleep Set award for the best designed hotel room set at Sleep 2015; Europe’s exhibition and conference for the global hotel design, development and architectural community.

The Sleep Set dubbed the ‘catwalk of hotel design’, this year set a theme of wonder tale, inviting five designers to create an individual room set drawing on the essence of fairy tales. The brief was to tell their own story, touch on the human condition and play with perceptions.

Shaun Clarkson ID, whose ethos is escapism, impressed this year’s Sleep Set 2015 judging panel: Javier Hortal, Director of Technical Services at Mandarin Oriental; Katy Ghahremani, Partner at MAKE Architects; and Erik Nissen Johansen, Founder and Creative Director of Stylt Trampoli.

Shaun Clarkson comments, “At Shaun Clarkson ID, we are in the business of creating fantasy worlds. So, the theme of Wonder Tale was a gift allowing our imagination to run wild. We believe hotel rooms should be somewhere to get lost in a magical environment. Inspired by some of the great fashion photographers, from Tim Walker and Pierre and Gilles to Cecil Beaton, we created an experience of surreal luxury”.

Shaun Clarkson ID chose rich colours of pink, purple, gold and brass detail, and opulent velvet and silk materials. Designers Guild supplied all the wallpapers, fabrics, cushions and linen. A focal point of the set was a circular bed and scallop headboard created exclusively by bed specialist Hypnos. Its circular shape chosen to suggest indulgence and the voile curtain around it intended to create intimacy and romance.

Elsewhere in the sleep set Shaun Clarkson ID partnered with Bar Joinery Build to create an oversized golden egg shower, inspired by Tim Walker, to give the room a surreal and extravagant staging.

Shaun Clarkson says, “We are delighted to have won The Sleep Set 2015. We have had such fun creating our very own fairy tale room telling our own story and are thrilled we captivated the judging panel. I would like to thank all of our suppliers who helped us to create this magnificent wonder tale hotel room”.

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Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2016: Last Call For Entries

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Casual dining operators have until 27 November to submit their entries for the first ever Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards, organised by Diversified Communications UK.

These important new awards for the multi-billion pound casual dining sector will enjoy a prominent showcase at the Casual Dining trade show, which takes place next year on 24-25 February at the Business Design Centre in London.

Numerous multiple and independent casual dining restaurants, pubs and bars have already submitted their entries across the 11 categories, which cover operational excellence and performance, leadership, employee engagement, marketing, social responsibility, and design.  There are also two additional awards recognising the ‘Turnaround of the year’ and casual dining ‘Champion of the year’, which will be nominated by the judges.

Some of the sector’s best known business leaders, consultants, influencers and entrepreneurs will be lending their extensive knowledge and experience to the inaugural judging panel.  Among them are Karen Forrester, CEO of TGI Friday’s UK; Keith Bird, chief operating officer of GBK; Kate Nicholls, chief executive of The ALMR; Anthony Pender, chairman of the BII; Paul Charity, MD of Propel; Peter Martin, vice chairman of CGA Peach; industry pioneer Ian Neill; Alex Reilley, executive vice chairman of Loungers; Lorraine Wood, director of Arena; Mark McCulloch, founder and CEO of WE ARE Spectacular; and Chris Brazier, group event director of Casual Dining.

“Our own trade show and now our own awards, Casual Dining is the place to be,” says TGI Friday’s Karen Forrester, about the new awards.

“The casual dining world is booming with creative energy, quality and bold thinking, we are proud to be part of it,” says Afroditi Krassa, founder of AfroditiKrassa.  Her hospitality design agency won Best Designed Independent Casual Dining Restaurant last year for Perfectionists’ Café, Heathrow Terminal 2 (operated by The Fat Duck).

Diversified UK’s award manager, Louisa Pope, says: “The casual dining market is thriving, thanks in large part to the fantastic innovations and dedication of operators and the incredible dining experience they offer.  The launch of the Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards is a fantastic way to celebrate their achievements and reward those companies who are making a real difference to the growth of this sector.”

Casual Dining operators are invited to nominate themselves via an online entry from on the Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards website at  The final deadline for entries is Friday 27.November 2015.

The Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2016 include the following categories:

  • Champion Of The Year (nominated by judges)
  • New Casual Dining Concept Of The Year
  • The Social Responsibility Award
  • Casual Dining Turnaround Of The Year (nominated by judges)
  • Casual Dining Marketing Campaign
  • Employer Of The Year
  • Best Designed Independent Casual Dining Restaurant
  • Best Designed Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant
  • Best Designed Casual Dining Pub or Bar
  • Independent Casual Dining Restaurant Of The Year
  • Independent Casual Dining Pub Of The Year
  • Multiple Casual Dining Pub Brand Of The Year
  • Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant Of The Year

The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of 24 February 2016 at The Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London, following the first day of Casual Dining.  The Casual Dining Champion 2016 will be interviewed exclusively on day two of the Casual Dining trade show on 25 February 2016.

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