St Ewe Eggs break into sports drinks
The Cornish-based free-range egg producers St Ewe Eggs are planning to pasteurise egg whites for the sports nutrition market.
They have secured a £430,000 loan from HSBC to purchase a pasteurising unit so they can tap into the demand for liquid egg whites for protein sports drinks. Pasteurised liquid egg whites retail at £2.95 a litre, according to Farmer’s Weekly.
Rebecca Tonks, co-owner at St Ewe Eggs, told them: ““With the new unit installed, we will be looking to create two new jobs and boost annual profit over the next two years.”.
The new pasteurising unit will also be able to provide separated eggs for the baking industry.
St Ewes have 14,000 free-range birds on the outskirts of Truro with a further 42,000 at local farms they partner with. All their eggs are Lion Quality Mark accredited and Freedom Food assured.
Taunton Cider resurrected
Five years after the Taunton Cider Company brand ended following acquisition in 1995, a group of enthusiasts are relaunching it.
The new Taunton Cider Company is located (10 miles from the original production site) in Churchstanton, Somerset. Their first product will Taunton Cider Original, a 4% ABV lightly carbonated cider made using traditional techniques and locally sourced English apples. They plan two more varieties over the next year – Taunton Cider Natural Dry and Taunton Cider Traditional.
Co-founder Miles Gray told The Morning Advertiser: “We are proud and excited to resurrect this once-famous name. We want to truly cherish this great brand and will make every effort to build it back to its rightful position, respected in the cider community and enjoyed by cider lovers everywhere.”
Itsu opening in Bristol
The Asian influenced healthy eating chain will open in Bristol’s Broadmead shopping centre on 14th December, its first venue in the South West.
Itsu was created by Pret a Manger co-founder, Julian Metcalfe and will serve 64 dishes including sushi, miso soup, salads and ‘yoga’ pots. There will also be a bar serving soft drinks, beer and wine. They aim to reduce food waste and will reduce salads and sushi to half-price half an hour before closing.
Itsu's head of regions, Agne Kazberaite, told the Bristol Post: “We're excited to be introducing our eat beautiful concept to Bristol as it's vibrant, relaxed and quirky, just like itsu. Add to that the thriving food scene and desire for healthy, tasty food, it's a perfect fit for us.”
Work starts on Swindon town centre food hub
It’s hoped the food hub, called The Crossing, will create a new heart for The Brunel Shopping Centre with 16,000 sq ft of food service space.
Construction has officially started but General Manager at The Brunel, Kevin Gwilliam, has reassured shoppers and retailers that it won’t affect the Christmas shopping period. He told the Swindonian: "Protecting the crucial Christmas shopping period is paramount for us and the development programme has been designed in phases to ensure Christmas trading is not affected.“
The Crossing is set to open in Spring 2017 and will also incorporate a new play area, free wi-fi, an event space and refurbished customer toilets. FI Real Estate Management (FIREM), who own and manage The Brunel are in discussion with food outlets interested in opening in the new space.
Stephanie McGaffin, Senior Asset Manager at FIREM, said: "I'm pleased to say that we've had a lot of interest in The Crossing and we should soon be in a position to make announcements about the brands that will be joining us in Swindon Town Centre."
Sandbanks Hotel’s Chinese pop-up becomes permanent
The Ocean Palace pop-up restaurant is now a permanent fixture in the Poole-based Sandbanks Hotel. Initially set up in the beachside Compass Room for the summer, the concept worked so well that hotel has now taken on the kitchen and front of house team.
General Manager of the Sandbanks Hotel, Andrew Woodland said: “The Ocean Palace ‘pop up’ concept worked so well for us during the summer months, with Chinese taster dishes on the terrace, or lunches, dinners and banquets in the restaurant, that we completely redesigned our kitchens, under the keen eye of Ping – Ocean palace’s manager, and invested in a traditional Chinese kitchen with elaborate wok and steaming facilities.”
The Sandbanks Hotel is one of four owned locally by FJB Group, which employs over 350 staff in Poole and Bournemouth.
Hampshire Food and Drink Award Winners
The 11th annual Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards took place on 23rd November at The Elvetham Hotel in Hartley Wintney with more categories than ever to celebrate the region’s best.
Winners included: The Terrace Restaurant, The Montagu Arms Hotel for Best Hotel Restaurant of the Year; The Greyhound on the Test, Stockbridge for Best Hampshire Menu; The Fur & Feathers, Herriard for Pub of the Year; Restaurant 27, Southsea for Restaurant of the Year; Andrew Du Bourg, The Elderflower was named Chef of the Year.
On the food and drink product side, Sarah Hunt’s Pork Pies at Tatchbury Manor Farm were Food Product of the Year and Dancing Cows Gin scooped Drinks Product of the Year.
For a full list of winners go to http://foodawards.hampshire-life.co.uk/2016-winners/
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Brakes increases MSC-certified ranges
Recently named as the UK’s MSC supplier of the year, Brakes are adding to their MSC-certified fish and seafood range, with two kipper and three mackerel lines, including a newly-certified own brand Atlantic mackerel offering.
The five lines account for annual sales of 85,000 units currently and the move to source them from MSC-certified fisheries and suppliers is one that takes Brakes’ MSC product range well beyond 150 items.
For more information, visit www.brake.co.uk.
St Peter’s Brewery goes without alcohol
The Suffolk brewery has launched St Peter's Without, an alcohol-free beer they describe as the best “you’ve ever tasted by far”.
The malty, full-bodied beer is not to be confused with low alcohol ales and contains less alcohol than a glass of orange juice. Three years in development, it’s been brewed to appeal to ardent beer drinkers who want the unique taste of real beer but with no alcohol and 25% fewer calories too.
It’s available nationwide, on draft and in bottles with a RRP of £1.49.
Fresh pasta machine
FEM’s new Sirman Sinfonia 2 pasta machine is aimed at small to medium-sized restaurants who want to offer fresh pasta to their customers.
Capable of producing 5kg of pasta per hour from scratch, it’s made from stainless steel with an anodised aluminium bowl with a 6 litre, 2.5kg dough capacity.
It comes with one die of the chef’s choice with other dies and a variable speed pasta cutter available from FEM. The list price is £2110 + VAT.
For more information visit www.fem.co.uk
Hospitality operator grows Cotswold portfolio
The high-profile Archie Orr-Ewing has added the New Inn at Coln St Aldwyns near Bibury to his group, which includes the Swan Inn at Swinbrook near Burford, on a lease from the Mitford family trust, and the Kings Head at Bledington near Stow-on-the-Wold.
The letting of the 115 bedrooms and 65 cover inn was brokered by Colliers International. Director Peter Brunt said: “The New Inn makes an excellent addition to this high-performing portfolio…Unashamedly upmarket, [it] caters for a well-heeled local population which ensures the very highest standards are expected and delivered”
New exec chef at Bath Priory
Michael Nizzero has been appointed executive chef of the Andrew Brownsword owned hotel. He starts on 9th January 2017 and replaces Sam Moody who left in September.
Nizzero joins the Bath Priory, a five AA star, 22 bedroom hotel in the World Heritage city from the Ritz hotel in London, where he was a premier sous chef.
Alan Swinson, food and beverage director at Andrew Brownsword Hotels told The Caterer: “We worked hard to secure the right candidate to uphold and develop the restaurant’s fine reputation and Michael’s exceptional experience, enthusiasm and passion were a natural fit.”
Nizzero has also worked as a senior sous chef at the three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire and won a Michelin star at the Relais & Chateaux property Hostellerie La Briqueterie in Vinay, France. He plans to have a la carte and tasting menus at both lunch and dinner.
ASK THE EXPERT
Caroline Benjamin of Food Allergy Aware shares some expert advice on making your party planning fully inclusive for ‘FreeFrom’ customers over this festive season…
It’s that time when you are planning, developing and printing menus for the Christmas party season. But have you considered how inclusive your menu is for the FreeFrom customer? If you take the time to consider FreeFrom guests, you will receive social media love which money can’t buy.
Believe it or not, the FreeFrom customer wants to eat, where possible, the same foods as their colleagues. Just because they can’t eat gluten or dairy it doesn’t mean they are vegetarian. Here is a selection of foods often left off the menu for those who are gluten-free: pigs in blankets, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, profiteroles, mince pies, beer, party foods, chocolate log and roulade. However, with a bit of research and menu adaptation you can provide a product suitable for all your guests without having to have separate menu items.
So how you can adapt or improve your menu and the service you offer?
• Review your menu and look at the contents:
Do you need to have nuts within the recipe or can you substitute with another ingredient or garnish?
- Fish, shell fish and molluscs
Do you have an option that’s free from these allergens? If they are on your menu do you have a process for how they are prepared in advance, avoiding any contamination issues?
- Gluten and dairy free
Can you create a dessert or starter which could be appropriate to cover these food groups which can go hand in hand? Understand if you want to cover lactose free vs dairy free.
- Review your main dishes.
Can sauces be adapted to use reductions, cornflour, stocks and seasoning which are safe?
- Create standard recipe templates and ingredient templates where information can be readily to hand. This will help when managing guests who have allergens outside of the major 14. We have samples on our website. To access the sample recipe template please visit this link: http://www.fatc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/201610-Recipe-spec-website.pdf.
To access the sample ingredient template please visit this link: http://www.fatc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/201610-Ingredient-spec-website.pdf.
- Train your staff to understand how dishes are created and how to avoid cross-contamination.
- Once your menu is created take time to check dishes for the 14 allergens and review where appropriate can they be eliminated or replaced?
Remember although one person may have the dietary requirements their party could be 4 or 50 persons in total. More often than not the FreeFrom diner will choose the venue where they and therefore their party can eat, and it is far easier to have a menu dish suitable for as many dietary requirements as possible than trying to adapt a dish on the day, eliminating the chance of errors which could cause a cross contamination issue.
• Create an allergy table.
Once the menu is created, communicating suitable dishes and their contents to guests should be relatively straightforward. Creating an allergy table which highlights the allergens, adaptions and covers ‘may contains’ will help the FreeFrom guest decide at the booking stage what is suitable for their requirements rather than waiting until the day and risking what may be available. For a sample allergy table please visit here http://www.fatc.co.uk/allergen-matrix/.
• Be clear on menu dishes
- Obtain full information of the customer’s dietary requirements.
- Train staff to look at the allergy matrix to affirm what dishes could be available.
- Where customers have multiple allergies or those outside of the 14 major allergens, arrange for the chef to call them and discuss options.
- Where there are true risks of cross-contamination, be up front but don’t use coverall ‘may contain’ statements.
- Don’t offer false assurances at the booking stage and then on the night tell the guest you cannot guarantee a safe meal.
- A gluten-free menu should be what it says, ‘gluten-free’ without disclaimers!
• Check your bookings and create a plan
- Ensure that bookings are reviewed two to three days prior and where dietary requests are highlighted put processes in place to ensure that all information is captured and all staff are aware.
• On the day
- Allocate a senior member of staff to manage FreeFrom customers.
- Have a list of names, their allergens and specific meals.
- Arrange to speak to the guest on arrival, review their menu with them so they know exactly what they will be getting,
- Let them know if there will be identifying markers (like a coloured tooth pick) for their food
- Staff collecting food should double check with the kitchen prior to delivery.
- Arrange for the FreeFrom customer’s food to be delivered first and separate to other plates.
Having robust processes in place will ensure your guest returns to your restaurant and shares information on-line and with other likeminded colleagues. Get it right and you will have a customer for life.
If you need help, advice or training in any aspect of allergen awareness including the templates provided in this article Food Allergy Aware can help. Food Allergy Aware Ltd offers food allergy awareness and food safety training and consultancy for every aspect of food production and service. We offer a free 30-minute telephone consultation. Call us today on 07732 637292 or sign up for our newsletter by visiting our website http://www.fatc.co.uk/services/.
The Chef’s Forum at Exeter Cookery School
Exeter Cookery School, Quayside, Exeter, Devon
“Celebrating the launch of a new initiative, the Chefs’ Forum Educational Foundation CIC in Devon – a vital support fund to help young chefs making their way in the industry. Over 60 top Devon chefs will attend, including Masterchef of Great Britain Peter Gorton and Michelin-starred Mark Dodson of The Mason’s Arms, Knowstone. Exeter Cookery School Chef Proprietor Jim Fisher will be performing a cookery masterclass.”
The Gram Go Green Summit 2016
The Soho Hotel, London
“Back by popular demand, this Autumn’s Gram Go Green Summit is getting ready to tackle the issue of sustainability across an ever-changing foodservice landscape. The latest Green Paper from Hoshizaki Gram UK will be unveiled, providing the foodservice industry with a comprehensive research tool to evaluate the sustainable landscape. The Summit’s exciting line-up of industry experts includes: Kirsty Saddler from popular restaurant chain Leon, Mike Hanson from BaxterStorey and celebrity eco chef Tom Hunt.”
Padstow Christmas Festival
1st – 4th December
This award-winning free event is Cornwall’s largest food festival. Famous for its traditional Christmas market packed with more than 100 artisan crafts and food & drink stalls, the festival is due to attract more than 50,000 people to Padstow over the four days. Two chef theatres host celebrity chef demos from culinary talent such as Nathan Outlaw, Rick Stein and Tom Kerridge.
Langham Wine Estate Christmas Fair
3rd December 12-4pm
“Join Langham Wine Estate for an afternoon of Christmas cheer, wine and food samples, and gifts galore. We’ve invited some neighbours so you’ll have a host of top quality local produce to sample and buy for friends and family this Christmas. Local producers attending are Wild at Hart Venison, Houghton Springs Fish Farm & Dorset Charcuterie!”
Please register at the following link –
Cheltenham Street Feast
16th – 17th December
St George’s Place, Cheltenham
“Cheltenham’s inaugural street food event will set up in the heart of town this December, offering a two-day showcase which celebrates local food, drink and music. With a variety to appeal to all visitors, businesses involved with the event include Brew and Bake, Cidersmiths, The Cotswold Pizza Company, DEYA Brewery, Jack’s Kitchen, and Juicilicious, offering a cuisine to appeal to palates.”
The skyr’s the limit
It turns out the Vikings quite liked a yoghurt. A cultured dairy product called skyr has been part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years and is now being hailed as the latest ‘superfood’ in America and Europe.
A young Yorkshire farmer, Sam Moorhouse, is currently the only British farmer making the product, which has the consistency of a strained yoghurt but a milder flavour. He told the Guardian: “I need to scale up to meet demand… The bank was sceptical about funding at first and nobody had heard of skyr, but it has been very popular. I was looking at diversification two and a half years ago and I read an article about skyr. I flew to Iceland to try it, worked at a skyr producer…” It was on this trip he met Icelandic dairy expert Thorarinn Egill Sveinsson, who is now helping him produce it.
Although you’ll find it with the yoghurts in supermarkets like Booths – the so-called Waitrose of the North – it’s actually a soft cheese made from skimmed milk. Crucially for its superfood credentials it is low in sugar, fat free and high in protein.
Moorhouse can expect some competition both from MS Dairies, the biggest producer of ‘authentic' skyr, owned by 700 Icelandic farmers and Arla, a Danish-Swedish company which sells in Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
According to business consultants Future Market Insights, the market for skyr is expanding fast and is already worth nearly £6.4 billion a year. We wonder if any South West dairy farmers will grow that further?