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‘The Indiana Jones of food’: Diana Kennedy, culinary pioneer

She was instrumental in putting Mexican cuisine on the world’s food map. Now 97, Diana Kennedy is the subject of a brilliant film

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‘Mexico, as a country, will be eternally indebted to her efforts’: Diana Kennedy at home in Michoacan.
‘Mexico, as a country, will be eternally indebted to her efforts’: Diana Kennedy at home in Michoacan. Photograph: Paul Harris/Getty Images

Diana Kennedy has written nine cookbooks. The first, The Cuisines of Mexico, was published in 1972, is several hundred pages long, and has been widely credited with introducing traditional Mexican cooking to the English-speaking world.

Kennedy is 97, white, and English – hardly the ingredients you’d expect to make up a leading authority on Mexican food, but sometimes ingredients surprise you. She lives in the hills of Michoacán, four hours west of Mexico City, on a piece of land she bought decades ago. In culinary circles she is adored. The Mexican chef Gabriela Cámara describes her as “a legend”. Here’s the restaurateur Nick Zukin: “She is a prophet for Mexican food.” And the chef Rick Bayless: “She’s an incredible repository of knowledge.” And Pati Jinich, host of the Emmy-nominated TV series Pati’s Mexican Table: “I think Mexico, as a country, will be eternally indebted to her efforts.”

These quotes appear in a new documentary, Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy, by the filmmaker Elizabeth Carroll, which charts Kennedy’s remarkable life. For years, Kennedy has travelled across Mexico – from Chihuahua, in the north, to Yucatán, near the borders of Guatemala and Belize – in order to document its food culture, always with a sense of where she planned to go, but never entirely sure where she might end up. (“The important discoveries in my life have always happened by chance,” she has said.) When she arrived in a new town, she would visit its food market, and she’d ask the people she met there where they came from and what they liked to cook and how and which ingredients they used. Were they local? Were they imported from another state? Were they farmed or foraged? Later in life she roamed the country in a pickup. (“I wish my trucks could speak out some of the experiences they’ve been through with me.”) But when she first arrived in Mexico she travelled by bus, “with all the chickens and the pigs”, moving from village to village, region to region, taking great interest in the way food was cooked, the specificities of the recipes to which she was being introduced. She asked question after question. What were the local chillies? What were the local fruits? What were the local herbs? She touched. She tasted. She inhaled – fragrances as well as knowledge. “Anything to escape,” she says in the documentary, “and to learn.”

Down Mexico way: inspecting the produce at a local market.
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Down Mexico way: inspecting the produce at a local market. Photograph: Dogwoof

Whenever possible, Kennedy would visit somewhere she had never been before, spending nights in the truck or, when the weather allowed, a hammock. She usually travelled alone. Sometimes she carried a tape recorder, sometimes a pistol. Nothing stopped her; her determination was unyielding. She would drive hundreds of miles in order to check a single fact – an ingredient, an exact measurement. In the foreword to The Cuisines of Mexico, the late food writer Craig Claiborne, a close friend of Kennedy’s, wrote, “If her enthusiasm were not beautiful, it would border on mania.” She travelled compulsively, and she was always forthright and urgent, perhaps a little intrusive. “I wanted to know where people lived. I wanted to learn what the landscape looked like. I wanted to know more.” But people always responded generously. They were fascinated by her fascination. So they invited this odd Englishwoman into their kitchens, and she would stay for hours, or days, or even a week. “I felt at home immediately,” she says, “wherever I went.” She would record recipes faithfully – the specific ingredients and the precise measurements – and return to Michoacán, laden with local specialities, to recreate them at home. Whenever she published a recipe, she always mentioned where it came from, and the woman who had shared it with her.

Pot luck: trying out recipes at home, where she also held cookery classes for everyone from actors to renowned chefs.
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Pot luck: trying out recipes at home, where she also held cookery classes for everyone from actors to renowned chefs. Photograph: Dogwoof

Kennedy first arrived in Mexico in 1957. She was born in Loughton, Essex, in 1923. After the Second World War she travelled to Jamaica, invited by a friend and “propelled by lots and lots of hormones”, and then, impulsively, to Haiti. She landed during the revolution, along with several newspaper correspondents, including Paul Kennedy, a reporter with the New York Times. Paul was based in Mexico City. When he returned, Diana followed, “and then began this absolutely fascinating time in love” – with Paul, and then with the country that was now home. They married, and each time Paul left on a reporting trip, Diana left to explore her new world.

Paul died in 1967, in New York, where they’d gone so he could receive treatment for prostate cancer. In Manhattan, Diana felt out of her depth. She didn’t know anyone. She was suddenly forced to hustle. She was “terrifically depressed”. Claiborne, the food writer, suggested she teach Mexican cooking, an idea she at first thought was crazy, but soon she was holding lessons in her apartment, “six people in my little galley kitchen, cooking really traditional food. There was a dress designer, there was an actress. And here I was, teaching them how to make papadzules. I mean, hardly anyone in Mexico knew how to make papadzules. It was fun. It was a start.”

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Later, an editor at Harper & Row suggested she write a cookbook, which became The Cuisines of Mexico, and that’s when the work really began. Other cookbooks followed – cultural studies, really – and then appearances on cooking shows (Martha Stewart adored her) and then cooking shows of her own. In front of a camera she was formidable: eager to share what she’d discovered in Mexico but also slightly protective of it, and always straight-talking, almost to the point of rudeness. She would growl things like, “People say they don’t like cilantro. Please don’t invite them!” Or, “Get some texture into your food. We don’t want baby food all the time.” Or, “You might not have a molcajete” – a Mexican mortar and pestle, made of volcanic rock – “so buy one!”

But the real work, the work she adored, was the travelling, using food as a way into people’s lives – a “doctoral thesis performed in real-time, in real life”. She made the Michoacán house her base. She didn’t remarry. She never wanted children. (“I don’t want to bring up a little me. Can you imagine?”). Instead, she gave herself to work. Carroll describes her as “an anthropologist of food” who “happens to be a killer cook”. She has received heaps of awards, including the Order of the Aztec Eagle (big in Mexico), and a James Beard Foundation Award (big in food land). In 2002, Prince Charles visited Kennedy at her home to appoint her an MBE, for “furthering cultural relations between the UK and Mexico”.

‘Get some texture into your food’: gathering produce from her garden.
‘Get some texture into your food’: gathering produce from her garden. Photograph: Dogwoof

Do these things matter to her? It’s not clear. But legacy is important. In a scene from the documentary, Carroll films Kennedy running a cooking camp at her home. Some of the students are accomplished chefs. One owns three restaurants in Manhattan; another has five in Portland. But Kennedy is undaunted. At one point she moans: “It is absolutely appalling that Mexico is importing chillies,” and admonishes chefs for not taking a stand. Later she half-shouts:“Learn, learn, learn. Read my books and learn. What are you going to do when I’m gone? Who is going to start screaming?”

Source: The Guardian

8 delicious hotel breakfast recipes to elevate your weekend

Dalloway Terrace pancakes

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I’d happily argue that breakfast in bed is one of the best parts of staying in a hotel. Even better when the dishes are something a little more luxurious than what you might expect at home – perhaps a decadent lobster omelette or buttermilk waffles with vanilla mascarpone.

Needless to say, a hotel stay is not on the cards until at least July for now – but that doesn’t mean you can’t rustle something up in the kitchen to make the weekend feel a little more special. Below we round up the very best recipes from UK hotels to up the ante on breakfast and brunch until you can visit them in person for the full experience. 

‘Potty Eggs’ from The Newt in Somerset

The kitchen team at The Newt, an exceptional country house hotel, love this dish: ‘One of our signature breakfast dishes, Potty Eggs are wonderfully versatile – you can customise to your liking, swap fresh vegetables, add meat or leave it out. It allows our chefs to adapt to that day’s harvest from the gardens; and at home, is a great way to use up odds and ends in your fridge.’

The Newt's potty eggs
The Newt’s ‘Potty Eggs’ are a great way use up odds and ends in your fridge

Serves two

4 eggs 

2 handfuls of spinach or rainbow chard

2 handfuls of wild mushrooms, chopped

1 fresh chilli, chopped 

100g goats’, feta or mozzarella cheese

2 rashers of smoked bacon or pancetta (optional)

1 handful chopped parsley and mint from the garden

Optional extras: seeds, pine nuts, sliced radish

In a large pan, fry off the bacon or pancetta until golden. Add mushrooms, greens and chilli, and cook to wilt slightly. Crack your eggs on top, turn the heat to low and cook gently until whites are set. Season well, finish with fresh cheese and chopped herbs. Serve in the middle of the table, with plenty of toasted, heavily buttered bread to soak up the yolk.

Okonomiyaki eggs from The Lanesborough, London

Chef Luca Antonious of The Lanesborough, a five-star hotel overlooking Hyde Park, shared: “I love to make this brunch dish at home as a ‘show-stopping’ dish – something a little different to treat your family on a lazy Sunday at home, and it’s also relatively healthy. It is one of our best-selling dishes in Céleste, our Michelin-starred restaurant at The Lanesborough.”

Okonomyaki eggs from The Lanesborough
Okonomiyaki eggs are one of the most popular dishes at The Lanesborough CREDIT: ©JOHNCAREY2019

For six pancakes

3/4 cup (175g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp (2.5g) salt

1/2 cup (125ml) chicken stock (can be substituted with water)

4 eggs

3 cups (750g) finely shredded cabbage

2 green onions, finely chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 cup (60ml) canola oil

Toppings

2 cups (500g) bean sprouts

1 green onion, finely sliced diagonally

2 cups (500g) dried bonito flakes

3 tbsp (45g) pickled ginger

3 tbsp (45g) toasted sesame seeds

3 tbsp (45ml) soy sauce

1 tbsp (15ml) Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp (15ml) Asian-style hot sauce

Stir flour with salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk stock with eggs before whisking into the flour mixture. Fold in cabbage, onions and bacon. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15ml) of the oil over medium-high heat; pour 1/2 cup (125ml) of the batter into the pan, gently pressing down with a spatula to flatten. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottom is browned; flip over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as necessary. Toppings: Serve with sprouts, green onion, bonito flakes, ginger, sesame seeds, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce (or okonomiyaki sauce if you can find it) and hot sauce.

Buttermilk waffles with vanilla mascarpone and granola from The Rectory, Cotswolds

Kris Biggs, Group Pastry Chef of The Rectory Hotel, a lovely low-key country house hotel, introduces the dish like so: “This is one of my favourite breakfast dishes or even brunch, I love the textures, the crunch of granola, the freshness of the fruit and then the richness of the vanilla mascarpone.”

Buttermilk waffles at The Rectory
Buttermilk waffles from The Rectory looking pretty as a picture CREDIT:WWW.ALEXMAGUIREPHOTOGRAPHY.COM/ALEX MAGUIRE

You will need a waffle iron (which is available from most supermarkets). Be sure to compare the timings below with those suggested on the waffle iron packaging. 

Batter for four to six waffles

115g butter

255g plain flour 

480g buttermilk

30g caster sugar 

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

4g salt

2 eggs

Melt the butter in a saucepan, allow to cool. Whisk the buttermilk & eggs together. Sieve the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, whisk till a smooth batter. Slowly whisk the butter into the batter. Cook the waffles for 2.5 minutes or till golden brown

Vanilla Mascarpone 

200g mascarpone 

40g icing sugar 

1/2 vanilla pod or 5 drops of vanilla essence 

Split the vanilla pod in half, scrape the seeds with a small knife, add into a mixing bowl. Add the mascarpone and icing sugar, whisk together. Transfer into a container and chill for 30 mins before using. 

The Rectory Granola

Pinch of salt 

125g oats 

30g honey 

65g raisins 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

35g hazelnuts 

35g coconut flakes 

65g pumpkin seeds 

120g demerara sugar 

35g flaked almonds 

65g dried cranberries

Heat up the sugar, honey, olive oil & salt. Mix together the oats with the sugar mixture. Transfer onto a tray and bake at 180C until golden brown. Allow cooling before transferring into a container. Toast the hazelnuts, coconut flakes & flaked almonds. Add to the mixture with the cranberries, raisins and pumpkin seeds.

To serve

Once your waffle is cooked, place onto a plate. Place a nice quenelle of vanilla mascarpone cream, scatter season berries or fruit over then add your granola.

Porridge with Drambuie soaked Scottish berries from Gleneagles, Perth and Kinross

Executive Chef Simon Attridge of Gleneagles, the five-star Scottish hotel, spa and golf resort, explains his choice: “Porridge is one of Scotland’s most famous exports, but it also has a long history at Gleneagles, with one of our former chefs, Norman Brockie, having won the prestigious Golden Spurtle World Championships. The porridge we serve in our Strathearn restaurant is based on Norman’s award-winning recipe. It’s a hearty, comforting and delicious dish and you can make it naughty or nice with any number of toppings. Scottish berries are among the best in the world and are just beginning to come into season right now – add a handful of raspberries and strawberries for a sweet and healthy kick or, if you’re feeling a bit decadent, a sweet, rich Drambuie syrup makes the perfect porridge partner with a sharp berry compote.”

Gleneagles poridge
Up the ante on your porridge with The Gleneagles Hotel’s take on the classic breakfast dish

For four servings

750ml water (or milk)

250g medium pinhead oatmeal 

Salt

Sugar

Toppings

A small dish of whipped cream

A spoonful of toasted oatmeal per serving

A spoonful of brown sugar per serving

A punnet of raspberries, soaked in Drambuie

Place water and oatmeal in a pan and bring to the boil stirring continuously for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from boil and add salt or sugar to taste. If making it with milk, use a thick bottom pan to stop the porridge from catching. Place in bowls and top with whipped cream, toasted oatmeal, brown sugar and raspberries which have been soaked in Drambuie.

Croissant eggs Benedict from No.11 Cadogan Gardens, London

Head Chef Chris Prow of Hans Bar & Grill at Chelsea bolthole No.11 Cadogan Gardens shares: “We take pride in our food and produce alike here – we like to be unique. To me serving the Eggs Benedict with a croissant adds a certain joie de vivre and luxuriousness to the dish and goes down a treat with our guests.

Croissant Eggs Benedict from No.11 Cadogan Gardens
Say hello to the croissant eggs Benedict from No.11 Cadogan Gardens

Serves as many as needed

2 eggs per person

Serrano ham, Prosciutto or conventional sliced ham

Croissants from your favourite delicatessen or bakery 

Hollandaise sauce (see recipe below)

Fill a small pan just over one-third full with cold water and bring it to the boil. Add the vinegar and turn down to simmer. Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl and gently tip into the simmering water. Lightly poach for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels. Slice croissant in half, toast it, place your favourite ham on top and gently heat in the oven to warm meat but be careful of burning the croissant. Finally, place your two poached eggs on top and drizzle lashings of your creamy Hollandaise sauce, before placing the other half of the croissant on top.

Hollandaise Sauce

125g butter

2 egg Yolks

Tablespoon white wine vinegar 

Lemon Juice

Tiny pinch cayenne pepper

Melt 125g butter in a small saucepan and skim any white solids from the surface. Keep the butter warm. Put 2 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp white wine or tarragon vinegar, a pinch of salt and a splash of ice-cold water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over a small pan. Whisk for a few mins, then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until pale and thick, about 3-5 mins. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter, bit by bit until it’s all incorporated and you have a creamy hollandaise. (If it gets too thick, add a splash of water.) Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little cayenne pepper. Keep warm until needed.

Black pudding Scotch egg with fruity brown sauce from Links House, Scottish Highlands

Chef Chris Dougan of Highland retreat Links House told The Telegraph: “The Breakfast Black Pudding Scotch Egg is not for the faint-hearted! It brings together much loved classics and is deliciously filling and sets you off on the right foot for the day. Here at MARA in Links House, we like to put a subtle twist on our breakfast Black Pudding Scotch Egg by adding pea puree to the dish. Also unusual for breakfast, but works extremely well with both the fruitiness of the black pudding and sharpness of the brown sauce.”

Black Pudding Scotch Egg from Links House
This breakfast scotch egg from Links House is not one for the faint-hearted.

Black pudding for two

450g dry pigs blood mix

200 g porridge oats

5g allspice

300g streaky bacon

300g diced onion

120g cooked pearl barley

120g sultanas

150g pork back fat

155ml white wine vinegar

5g thyme

750ml water

Finely dice the onion, and bacon, then cook the bacon on medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and add the onions to the same pan, cook on a gentle heat until translucent. Place the sugar, thyme and vinegar in a pan, bring to simmer and reduce by 1/4. In a large bowl mix the blood, oats, spice, sultanas, barley, onions and bacon. Pass the reduced sugar syrup through a fine sieve into the dry mix, add the water and season with a good pinch of salt. Line a baking tray with cling film, place the mix in the tray and wrap tightly in film, then foil. Steam the mix for 45-50mins

Fruity Brown Sauce

100 g Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and chopped)

175 diced onion

75g chopped dates

750g chopped tomatoes (tinned)

25g tomato paste

25g tamarind paste

5g Worcester sauce

1g cayenne pepper

5g salt

225g sugar

2g ground ginger

1g ground nutmeg

1g ground allspice

1g Tabasco

400ml Malt vinegar

Reserve the sugar, add all other ingredients to a heavy-based pan, bring to a simmer for about 50 mins until all ingredients are tender, increase the heat to a gentle boil, add the sugar, simmer for a further 10 mins till all sugar is dissolved, blitz and pass through a sieve. 

Eggs

Place an egg in boiling water for 5 mins, cool immediately under cold water and peel. On the work, surface place a sheet of cling film. Crumble the black pudding, take 75g and press on the cling film (using a rolling pin will help for a more even finish. Place the peeled egg in the centre of the black pudding. Bring the edges of the clingfilm together to encase the egg in the black pudding. Chill this for at least 1 hour in the fridge. When chilled for 1 hour and firm, dip the egg in breadcrumbs. Fry at 180c until golden brown

To assemble

Cut the egg down the centre and serve in the centre of a plate, season the yolk with rock salt and black pepper, serve the brown sauce on the side.

Buttermilk pancakes from The Bloomsbury, London

Byron Moussouris, Executive Head Chef at The Bloomsbury‘s restaurant Dalloway Terrace, shared: “Pancakes are a great weekend treat, one of our most popular and ‘grammable dishes on Dalloway Terrace. We can’t wait to get back up and running but in the meantime here’s our popular recipe for you to make at home – go wild with the toppings!”

Dalloway Terrace
The pancakes are normally served at The Bloomsbury’s restaurant Dalloway Terrace CREDIT: REBECCA HOPE/REBECCA HOPE

For two

350g (12oz) self-raising gluten-free flour 

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

1/2 tsp salt 

2 tbsp caster sugar 

200ml (7 fl oz) buttermilk 

400 ml (14 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk 

2 free-range eggs 

85g (3oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for frying 

1 lime zested 

1 orange juiced and zested 

Toppings of lemon curd, berries and maple syrup or streaky back bacon and maple syrup

In a bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the buttermilk, milk, eggs, lime zest, orange

juice and zest and butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not overbeat – stir just to combine. Melt a small knob of butter in a large frying pan. Using a ladle, pour some batter into the pan to make a pancake. Depending on the size of the pan, you may be able to make more than one pancake at a time, or if you are confident you can use two pans at the same time. Cook the pancakes for about a minute, or until the underside is golden brown and the top is bubbling. Turn them over using a palette knife or fish slice and cook for another minute. Keep the pancakes warm in a very low oven while you cook the remaining batter. Serve with your choice of sweet or savoury toppings.

Lobster omelette from The Goring, London

This recipe comes from Richard Galli, Executive Chef of The Goring, including Michelin-starred restaurant, The Dining Room.

Lobster Omelette from The Goring
The Goring’s lobster omelette CREDIT: PHOTO CREDIT: DAVID COTSWORTH

You will need 

24cm non-stick pan

4 x 24cm ovenproof dishes

Thermidor glaze

35g butter

35g flour  

2 egg yolks

120ml shellfish stock (available from good supermarkets and specialist retailers)

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 

15g grated parmesan

115ml milk

150ml double cream

Juice of one lemon 

Salt 

Pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the flour and mix with a spatula until smooth paste forms and comes away from the sides of the pan. Continue to cook over low heat for about three minutes constantly working with the spatula. Once the flour and butter mix has cooked out remove from the heat and add the egg yolk, stock, mustard and parmesan and mix until smooth. Now add the milk, cream and lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to incorporate and reserve for later.

Omelette

240g fresh cooked lobster meat 

12 eggs

Tarragon leaves

Salt 

Pepper 

Pre-heat oven to 220oC with the grill on. Take 3 eggs per omelette. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper. Gently cook in an individual non-stick pan, folding constantly until an omelette begins to form but is still runny on top. Slide each omelette onto an ovenproof dish, runny side up. Take 60g of lobster meat and place on top of each omelette, add a generous spoonful of the Thermidor glaze on top of the omelette and spread a smooth layer over the top. Place the omelettes in the oven and grill for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer each omelette onto a warmed plate and serve immediately garnished with little chives. 

Source: The telegraph

How hotels are preparing for the holiday season from hell

From John O’Groats to Land’s End, thousands of UK hotels and B&Bs closed down during the pandemic. They may not survive the summer

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Across the country, hotels that were shuttered at the start of the coronavirus pandemic have become eerie, empty shells. Front desks are devoid of receptionists ready to check-in guests, rooms are collecting dust. And with the summer season on the horizon, life for UK hoteliers is about to get much harder.

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time,” says Sheena Kennedy, owner and manager of the Lindeth Fell Country House, a 14-room bed and breakfast in the Lake District owned by her family for 35 years. “We usually hope for a very good Easter, May, and the summer, of course, to keep us going over the quieter winters.” As soon as lockdown started, Kennedy cancelled all of her bookings and returned all customer deposits up to June. “I’m now very worried about the bookings that I have in place for July, August and September,” she says. “We’re waiting to hear on Sunday if there’s any news on that, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I’m doing the exact same and refunding those remaining deposits.”

The majority of Britons who had planned a domestic holiday in the UK this year believe that it is unlikely to go ahead, according to domestic tourism research from VisitBritain. “Those domestic summer holidays lost are not likely to be replaced with only a minority who have cancelled holidays looking to replace them,” says Patricia Yates, chief executive of VisitBritain.

If lockdown doesn’t lift by this summer, it would be a huge financial blow to many of the 13,000 hotels and over 35,000 B&Bs and guest houses in the UK, which make around 30 per cent of their annual revenue during the summer months. Chris Tate, partner at audit, tax and consulting firm RSM, says hotels that host corporate events skew the market’s revenue figures because they are busiest from October through November — hiding just how dire the summer drop-off can be for the rest of the market.

The average revenue that independent hotels outside London make between June, July and August — the period when they are more likely to be booked solid — averages £87 per room. This drops down to £64 per room after the season is over, a report from global hospitality market analytics firm STR shows.

In the Lake District, a popular destination for walkers, tourists and older holiday goers, Lindeth Fell is busiest from April to October, but it has already lost important income since it closed on March 22. “I don’t think overseas trade will be back for quite a few years. We have quite a strong market segment from Asia,” says Kennedy. “We hope that the UK market will pick up the slack, but are older people going to be isolating for much longer? I think they are, unless a vaccine appears.”

The summer period is just as important for the larger hotel chains. Accor, which operates hotel chains like Ibis, Novotel and Sofitel, reported that 77.5 per cent of its rooms were occupied in Europe during the months of July, August and September 2019, up from the reported 63.2 per cent occupancy rate in the previous three months. The InterContinental Group reported similar figures for 2019 for its hotel brands, like Holiday Inn.

“We have seen a significant drop off following the spread of Covid-19 and the significant impact on the industry as governments around the world restrict travel,” says an InterContinental Hotels Group spokesperson. “As is to be expected, given the circumstances, we’ve seen hotel closures, cancellations and changes to existing reservations in impacted markets.”

While the major players in the hotel industry might rely on the summer months just as much as the smaller bed and breakfasts across the country, it’s the B&Bs who are most likely going to struggle to survive a desolate summer. Krasimir Dinev, hotel industry analyst at IBISWorld, says that even if some industries are allowed to resume their usual operations soon, it’s unlikely that the hospitality sector will be one of them. “International brands have operations elsewhere, and as these operations start to improve, they can then support their UK segment to avoid collapse,” he explains. “Smaller operators are at a higher risk of collapsing than larger, branded hotels, due to their lower cash reserves.”

Family-run hotels, like the 10-bedroom Canberra Hotel in Blackpool, which Geoff Moore and his partner have owned for six years, could struggle. “At this stage, it’s hitting me hard. We’ve got absolutely nothing coming in,” he says. “The thing that’s crippling business is that the longer this is going on, the more people are deciding they don’t want to come, and the more deposits we are having to return. So it’s very, very hard at the moment.”

Moore says that he received the £10,000 retail, hospitality and leisure grant from the government, but believes that it will run out this month. The £10,000 cash grant is offered to businesses in the sector with a rateable value of under £15,000 and was introduced in addition to interest-free bounce back loans, which will let businesses borrow £2,000 and £50,000 interest-free for the first 12 months. “I will be looking to take advantage of that interest-free loan,” Moore says. “I hope it’s a great deal easier to obtain than trying to get a loan.”

Along with the retail, hospitality and leisure grant, the government also introduced hospitality and leisure business rate holidays, which will apply to the upcoming tax year. “[These] will definitely help the industry and ease the impact, but it is likely to not be enough for all operators and some would inevitably have to close, especially if the current travel restrictions and lockdown measures persist,” explains Dinev.

As it was the beginning of the holiday season, Kennedy only had nine permanent staff and was able to furlough all of them. If we’re not allowed to open, the scheme will have to be extended, or there will be huge redundancies across the whole sector, including us,” she says. “Depending on how long it carries on for, we will almost certainly be looking at the bounce back loan.”

Many of the hotel chains did not address how many of its staff had been furloughed or made redundant when approached, nor address whether their cleaning, maintenance or security staff were still coming in to work. The Marriott chain of hotels announced back in March that it would be furloughing 1,500 casual workers at its 60 UK hotels. And on Monday, it was reported that SoftBank-backed hotel startup OYO would be laying off 150 to 200 of its roughly 300 UK workers.

Budget hotel firm Travelodge famously appointed Deloitte and Moelis to negotiate rent breaks and deferrals with its landlords. Secure Income REIT, a real estate investment trust, which owns 123 of Travelodge’s 580 hotels, is currently in the midst of a high-profile dispute over the hotel chain’s overdue rent payments, accounting for six per cent of Secure Income’s annual rental income. On Monday, The Financial Times reported that Travelodge was expecting to lose £350 million in sales this year and that it would take the hotel chain “several years” to return to 2019 levels when its revenues reached £727.9m.

Premier Inn owner Whitbread is in a safer position as it owns its hotels, rather than leasing them. The company currently has £400m in cash and £900m in existing credit, though Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Emilie Stevens notes that its rent is still substantial.

And for those that do open, social distancing measures will have to be enforced, and they could cause chaos in the hotels. A spokesperson for Travelodge says that it has already begun installing Perspex glass on the front desks and placed two-metre tape markings in the reception area in the 50 Travelodge hotels that are still open. Accor has also begun putting up signage and placing down markings, making hand sanitisation available and adapting its food and beverage offerings.

For B&Bs, which tend to offer more cosy arrangements, social distancing could be harder. Moore has begun thinking about moving tables into the four corners of the dining room and setting breakfast hours for each individual guest. Kennedy says she feels slightly luckier because she has a fairly large dining room. “I’m worried about how we reassure guests,” she says. “I hope that we will get a very clear plan on social distancing and guest management.”

Still, Moore is optimistic that his city will return to its usual popularity pre-pandemic, but as for his hotel? That might be a different story. “I think Blackpool will bounce back and the other seaside places in England will be busy in the summer,” he says. “They’ll come down for the day, but I’m not so sure they will stay.”

Source: Wired

In 2020 sustainability and veganism will become a moral responsibility for hospitality and catering

The two trends that will shape hospitality and catering in 2020 for us more than any and all others are sustainability and veganism.

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How is London’s hospitality sector reacting to COVID-19?

Business Leader recently spoke to Harry Mead, the founder of London-based private members’ club The Court, to discuss how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected the capital’s hospitality sector.

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How do you plan on keeping the business going during this outbreak?

We have to make hard yet smart decisions. We’ve been in constant discussion with our suppliers and partners about the disruptions – everyone’s in a tight spot, it’s about managing expectations, constantly communicating and supporting each other through this unique situation.

We also need to be sensible and protect our staff and members and the wider community as much as we can. As a private members club based in Soho, right in the heart of the capital, The Court can’t keep functioning in the traditional manner, we can however look to serve our community in different ways.

A number of my contemporaries are doing really creative stuff to help, one of the few lights during this dark period is the innovative approach people in the hospitality industry are taking to getting through this and how they are reconfiguring their operations to make something work in this new landscape both for their businesses and for those in need.

We’re staying in regular touch with our members, and negotiating as many club benefits that members can activate and use remotely to make this difficult time just a little easier. We’re still here to help people out, on phone and email.

We’re going to get through this – one of the great bonuses of the ‘when in doubt be nice’ approach to business is the strength of the relationship this builds with our staff and partners. We have almost 40 staff and every one of them has a job with us to keep and come back to, they’re valued as our family and we will look after them as such. We want to come back swinging with our full workforce in order to best serve the high demand from members when everyone returns. It will be important all round to have familiar faces back at The Court the other side of all this.

We were in planning mode for the venue a few weeks before Boris’ announcement. Along with a lot of my colleagues in the industry, we had scenario planned for a drop in attendance, partial closure and full closure, and so we already had battle plans in place. Through everything, our primary focus was making sure our staff would be alright and the business would be protected so everyone would have a job to come back to. I have talked to every member of staff individually about this unprecedented situation and reassured them of this.

I founded The Court a year and a half ago, in the middle of the Brexit debate, in a difficult period in the economy. It’s testament to the hard work and dedication of my brilliant team and great members that we’ve made it a great success. The momentum in the business before this was phenomenal – this is a black swan event in its truest sense – it couldn’t be planned for and it has just happened. It’s a defining time for a business regarding how to handle something like this and come out of it stronger.

What support does the hospitality sector need from the government?

The Government support so far in terms of business rates and support for the workers has been more than expected, and we’re looking into how to take full advantage of all of it as the details emerge. As an industry, we need to keep going so that when we’re out the other side of this there are places for people to go, as there will be high demand. We have a lot of freelance contractors, so we’d welcome more guidelines on the support out there for them. The hospitality industry put its hands up and said we need help and the Government answered in full force.

Although The Court is closed as a physical space, we’re taking this time as an opportunity to plan for when we’re back. We’re working with key members of the team to do as much as we can to ensure the operation is ticking over and we come back stronger than ever. People will be starved of community and experience so we’re lining up some fantastic events which we can activate on the other side of this challenge.

How has the London business community reacted to the outbreak?

By and large my experience has been one of a community binding together – everyone that I know has knuckled down and offered help to each other. It’s one of those rare times when you strip away everything and get to see that it’s the people that make the hospitality industry special.

We’ve even had members offering to help, there’s a huge degree of outreach and support. In a way, it reminds me a bit of the 2012 Olympics when there was an almost unmatched level of national spirit and everyone came together in service of a wider goal.

It’s going to be tough, there is no doubt of that, but what the industry and country are showing as a whole, is that they are prepared to face the challenge head-on and do what is necessary to survive and thrive when we come out the other end.

By Oli Ballard

Source: Business Leader

 

Top 20 Best Food Blogs On The Internet That You Should Follow in 2020

The food industry is growing rapidly. There are a ton of celebrity bloggers who are emerging and creating incredible content with a ton of yummy recipes that you can use to make breakfast, lunch or even picnic snacks.

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Whether you are looking for some delicious recipes or curious to find out the income sources of the majority of the cooking blogs, you are in the right place. We’ll discuss some of the best food-related blogs that you must follow in 2020.

Quick note: The list mentioned on this page are in no particular order. Check out all the blogs and follow the ones you find fascinating.

20 Best Food Blogs to Follow in 2020

best food blogs for 2020

1. Pinch of Yum, Lindsay

pinch of yum blog

Lindsay is a former 4th grade teacher, now a full time blogger who runs the most popular food blog called Pinch of Yum where she shares yummy recipes. She also create a premium membership site called FoodBloggerPro.com where you can learn to start, grow and build a highly profitable food blog.

Why should you follow Pinch of Yum blog?

The #1 reason to follow Pinch of Yum is the content i.e the recipes shared on the blog. All of the food recipes are easy to follow and include a ton of images.

Here are few more reasons why you should follow ‘Pinch of Yum’.

  • Offers practical food ideas that are easy to implement for any kind of cook
  • Offers ideas to help foodies enjoy healthy eating
  • There are a ton of resources including an eBook and a meal planning system called Everyday Healthy along with the food recipes to help you with healthy eating

The best recipe shared Pinch of Yum blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Pinch of Yum.

Chicken Tinga Tacos: Do you love chicken tacos? Then, you’ll love this recipe from Pinch of Yum where you’ll find the best recipe to make chicken tinga tacos along with an instructional tutorial on how to do it (which also includes a 1 minute video on how to make chicken tinga tacos).

Keyword Research eBook

2. Sailu’s Food, Sailaja Gudivada

sailus food

If you’re looking for finger licking and spicy Indian food recipes, Sailu’s Food is the best to follow which is run by a mommy blogger Sailaja Gudivada.

Why should you follow SailusFood.com?

The primary reason to follow this blog is to learn more about how you can make healthy home made recipes which are mostly Indian recipes. So if you want to try delicious food recipes with Indian taste, this blog is worth following.

On this blog, you’ll also find that;

  • most of the food recipes have been inspired by fellow bloggers
  • recipes from a wide collection of magazines and cookbooks or
  • recipes from a friend or relative of Sailu

So you’re in a treat.

The best recipe shared on SailusFood.com

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from SailusFood.com blog.

Hyderabadi chicken biryani recipe: If you’re an Indian foodie, you must have heard about the famous Hyderabadi chicken biryani. Not only it’s famous in India but foodies from all over the world crave for it. If you want to know how to cook a spicy dum biryani, this one is a treat from Sailu’s blog.

You’ll find all the ingredients you need to cook it along with a ton of images and all the instructions you can follow to easily make Hyderabadi chicken biryani. Just go ahead and follow the blog if you’re a foodie who loves to try Indian recipes.

3. IAmAFoodBlog.com, Steph

IAmAFoodBlog.com

If you’re someone who prefers to eat a lot of Asian flavors and try some great recipes including Crab Rangoon Deviled Eggs, Banh Mi Tacos, Okonomiyaki Burgers Mac, Cheese Pie and so on, you should subscribe to this amazing blog which is run by Steph.

Why should you follow IAmAFoodBlog.com?

This is a unique blog where you’ll not only find content related to food but you’ll also find a ton of useful content and articles on;

  • Travel
  • Recipes
  • Gadgets related information and so on

This food blog also won Saveur Magazine’s 2014 Editors’ Choice for Best Cooking Blog and Blog of the Year and they are also nominated for Saveur Magazine’s 2016 Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners.

The best recipe shared on IAmAFoodBlog.com

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from IAmAFoodBlog.com Blog.

Turkey Menchi Katsu Burger Recipe: Are you a deep fried food lover? If you love all kinds of deep fried items, you should definitely give a try to Turkey Menchi Katsu Burger Recipe from this blog as it shows you how to make it in detail along with all the images and ingredients you need.

4. Cookie And Kate, Kathryne

cookie kate

This is another widely popular blog which is run by Kathryne who is a self-taught photographer and passionate food blogger cum cook from Oklahoma who started this blog in 2010 sharing all kinds of recipes for foodies.

Why should you follow Cookie And Kate blog?

Not only this blog is a great resource for finding a wide range of food recipes but also a great place where you can learn about how to start and build a food blog. You can also find a ton of useful tutorials on how to use proper photography within your food related blogs.

They also offer a free app where you can get access to their step-by-step voice guidance along with the photos that guide you through the cooking process.

The best recipe shared Cookie And Kate blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Cookie And Kate.

Crispy Baked Potato Wedges: Well, who doesn’t love crispy potatoes? They taste incredible and easier to make, even if you’re someone who’s just getting started as a cook, you can start with them. This recipe shared by Kate gives you all the information that you need along with the ingredients make homemade crispy potato wedges.

5. AllRecipes.com, Stan

all recipes

All Recipes is more of a food focused social network for the cooks, by the cooks than an ultra-niche food blog. Here’s where you can find and share the joy of cooking by getting access to a highly active food focused social network to share food experiences.

Why should you follow AllRecipes.com blog?

As we said above, unlike other cooking sites mentioned on this list, this can be treated as a social network for food enthusiasts.

Apart from all the food recipes, you also get access to their community (a forum) where you can ask any questions you’ve related to food and recipes. That means you can ask members of the AllRecipes.com questions about cooking and recipes to get responses from real home cooks which is a great reason to follow this blog.

The best recipe shared All Recipes blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from All Recipes.

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos: Are you a tacos lover? Do you want to find an easy to make recipe to make chicken tacos? If yes, this recipe is just for you where you can find all the details along with the ingredients to find out how to cook delicious chicken tacos. Besides, you can also find nutrition facts that you get with this recipe.

6. Budget Bytes, Beth

budget bytes

This blog is run by Beth where you can find simple, delicious, satisfying, well balanced meals on a budget where you can find over 1000 delicious and affordable recipes to choose from. So there’s a little something for everyone who stumbles around the blog.

Why should you follow Budget Bytes blog?

While all the other blogs mentioned on this list contain either delicious or exotic recipes but Budget Bytes consist of those food recipes that are budget friendly. So whether you want to try breakfast or lunch varieties, you can use this blog to find a delicious yet budget friendly recipe.

The best recipe shared Budget Bytes blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Budget Bytes.

Summer BBQs and Potlucks: Well, this is not a single recipe but it’s a collection of over 25 summer BBQs and Potlucks that you can try this summer to chill out. This list include a lot of tasty classic burgers, dogs, chicken and ribs for their main grilling dish, along with other casual stuff.

7. Chocolate Covered Katie, Katies

Chocolate Covered Katie

Are you a chocolate lover? Do you want to find a ton of chocolate recipes at one place? Chocolate Covered Katie run by Katies is just for you then.

Why should you follow ‘Chocolate Covered Katie’ blog?

This blog is exclusively for people who want to try a ton of chocolate recipes in their free time. This is one of the top cooking sites in the industry that has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, FOX, Dr. Oz, The Huffington Post, and ABC’s 5 O’Clock News.

The best recipe shared on ‘Chocolate Covered Katie’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Black Bean Brownies without flour: If you’re craving to eat something really yummy, you should definitely give a try to this delicious chocolate brownie recipe along with all the directions and ingredients you need to make it within less time.

8. Vegan Richa, Richa Hingle

vegan richa

Richa Hingle is the person behind Vegan Richa which has been featured on Oprah.com, Huffington Post, Glamour, Babble, VegNews.com, Rediff.com and so many others which offers all ranges of food recipes related to vegetables.

Why should you follow Vegan Richa blog?

Whether if you’re looking for a vegetarian recipes or if you’re a pure vegan looking for delicious items to cook, this blog is a perfect destination for you.

The best recipe shared on Vegan Richa blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Vegan Richa.

Vegan Thai Pizza: This is a great recipe for Pizza lovers who want to try it in vegan style which includes delicious ingredients such as Peanut sauce, sprouts and more peanut sauce and which can be made within a few minutes. So if you’re in a hunt for a tasty pizza which can be home made, this recipe is a great choice.

9. Kalyn’s Kitchen, Kalyn Denny

Kalyn’s Kitchen blog

Want to try paleo diet? Kalyn’s Kitchen is one of the most followed blogs run by Kalyn Denny gives you access to wide range of delicious recipes for carb-conscious eating.

Why should you follow Kalyn’s Kitchen blog?

If you’re someone who’s really health conscious and give a try to healthy snacks or recipes by keep your carb intake in mind, this blog is a must follow. Here’s where you can find recipes by food type, diet type, category type to access thousands of different kinds of recipes.

The best recipe shared on Kalyn’s Kitchen blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Crunchy Low-Carb Chopped Salad: As we discussed earlier, this blog mainly focus on giving you low carb diet recipes out of which this crunchy low carb chopped salad can be a great stuff you can try this week. If you’re someone who’s dieting and looking for quick low carb diet, this can be a perfect choice for you.

10. Recipe Girl, Lori Lange

recipe girl

Lori Lange is the person behind Recipe Girl which has over 3000 recipes that include all types of recipes from breakfast to lunch to yummy dinner.

Why should you follow ‘Recipe Girl’ blog?

Lori Lange is running the blog since 2006 and sharing a ton of yummy and tasty recipes since then. The blog has been featured on top sites like old Medal Flour, McCormick, Pepperidge Farm, Kraft, Sam’s Club etc.

The best recipe shared on ‘Recipe Girl’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Recipe Girl

Blue Cheese Burgers: Are you looking for a quick and easy to make blue cheese burgers? These blue cheese burgers are grilled beef burgers stuffed with blue cheese and they are easy to prepare which don’t take much time and contain lean ground beef blended with green onions, salt, pepper and fresh sage. Sounds yummy? Go give it a try then.

11. Two Peas And Their Pod, Maria

Two Peas And Their Pod blog

‘Two Peas and Their Pod’ is an award winning food blog which is run by Maria and the blog has also been featured in top magazines and online publications such as Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, Taste of Home Magazine, on Saveur, Fine Cooking, LA Times, PBS Food, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed etc.

Why should you follow ‘Two Peas And Their Pod’ blog?

You can visit their Recipe Index for a variety of recipes that include sweet and savory recipes, indulgent and healthy recipes. You’ll find all kinds of recipes for every meal and occasion and they also have an exclusive cookie recipes section where you can find a ton of recipes on how to make delicious cookies.

The best recipe shared on ‘Two Peas And Their Pod’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Two Peas And Their Pod.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies: Are you a cookie lover? If yes, try this incredible recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod blog where you’ll find all the details of how to make soft peanut butter cookies within a few minutes.

12. Add A Pinch, Robyn Stone

add a pinch blog

‘Add A Punch’ is one of the most popular blogs which is run by a foodie and cook herself Robyn Stone where you will a ton of useful classic Southern recipes to fit a modern lifestyle along with content related to travel and life.

Why should you follow ‘Add A Pinch’ blog?

You’ll find a ton of food recipes on this blog including;

  • Dessert recipes
  • Slow cooker recipes
  • Veg recipes
  • Non veg recipes
  • Summer recipes and so on

Apart from all kinds of food recipes, you can also find a ton of useful information related to life and travel to lead a better life.

The best recipe shared on ‘Add A Pinch’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Add A Pinch.

Chicken Enchiladas Recipe: If you’re a chicken lover and looking for the easiest chicken recipes, you’ll love this one. If you are looking for a simple yet delicious recipe for chicken enchiladas, then you should definitely give a try to this recipe where you’ll also learn how to do it even if you’re a beginner (along with the list of ingredients you need to make it).

13. Ambitious Kitchen, Monique

Ambitious Kitchen

Are you looking for a blog that only shares healthy recipes to keep you fit? If yes, this most followed food blog is a great treat for you.

Why should you follow ‘Ambitious Kitchen’ blog?

Apart from cooking related content, Monique also shares

  • fitness inspiration
  • travel adventures
  • Products she mostly uses and so on

So if you’re a health conscious person who’s searching for a best food blog to follow, this blog is for you.

The best recipe shared on ‘Ambitious Kitchen’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Ambitious Kitchen.

Carrot Cake Cookies: Do you want to try healthy carrot cake cookies bursting with coconut, raisins and pecans this week? Not only they taste good but they are packed with nutritious ingredients such as oats, pecans, coconut and raisins which is also healthier for you. You can find all the ingredients and directions to use on this page.

14. Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perelman

Smitten KitchenDeb Perelman is the founder of Smitten Kitchen which has an extensive collection of delicious recipes ranging from fruits to meat to vegetables and so on.

Why should you follow the ‘Smitten Kitchen’ blog?

The quality of the content along with the photography skills of Deb Perelman makes this blog one of the best food recipe blogs to follow.

The best recipe shared on ‘Smitten Kitchen’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Smitten Kitchen.

Pasta salad with roasted carrots:This recipe is exclusive for pasta lovers which consist of various ingredients such as garlic, lime, and fish sauce along with carrots to make yummy pasta. The best part about this recipe is it is easy to make and doesn’t take much of your time so you can make it multiples times whenever you crave for pasta.

15. Serious Eats, Group of People

Serious Eats

From chicken to cocktails to burgers to desserts, you’ll find a ton of easy to follow recipes on Serious Eats which is run by a group of food enthusiasts.

Why should you follow ‘Serious Eats’ blog?

The great thing about following this blog is that you will not only find a ton of great recipes to cook for any occasion but you’ll also learn how to become a better cook with all the essential cooking tips.

The best recipe shared on ‘Serious Eats’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Serious Eats.

How to Make Raitha (cool yogurt): Raitha is one of the widely popular items most people (especially the Indians) consume after having lunch or dinner. It helps you keep your body heat under control and eases your digestion system. So if you’re looking to give a try to it, you should definitely go through this recipe.

16. Gimme Some Oven, Ali

gimme oven

Ali, a Kansas City girl runs this blog which is is one of the most popular food destinations where you can find simple, quicker and irresistibly delicious recipes ranging from breakfast to lunch to appetites.

Why should you follow ‘Gimme Some Oven’ blog?

This is not only limited to share you great food recipes but also gives you a ton of useful cooking tips and here’s where you can also find travel and life related content to keep your life sane.

The best recipe shared on ‘Gimme Some Oven’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Gimme Some Oven.

Mojito: Whenever you visit a restaurant or coffee bar, what’s the #1 thing you order? We don’t know about you but we mostly prefer Mojito, it’s the best soft drink ever. If you want to know how to make it which is naturally sweetened with honey (instead of sugar), this recipe is for you.

17. Drizzle And Dip, Sam

Drizzle And Dip

This food blog is run by Sam who is a professional food stylist, recipe developer and food photographer where she shares hundreds of top south African food recipes.

Why should you follow ‘Drizzle And Dip’ blog?

If you’re someone who’s looking to give a try to a ton of south African food recipes along with food photography tips, travel diaries and so on, this blog is a must follow.

The best recipe shared on ‘Drizzle And Dip’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Drizzle And Dip.

Blueberry and frangipane galette: This delicious blueberry and frangipane galette (A galette is the French term for a flat cake) is all what you need to fulfill your craving for a tasty cake, which is also easier to make. This recipe includes all the ingredients you need to make it along with the directions of how you can make it at your home.

18. Wood And Spoon, Kate Wood

Wood And Spoon

Kate Wood who is a self-taught baker, writer and photographer behind this amazing blog called Wood and Spoon blog where she creates content around veg recipes, breakfast, lunch and so on.

Why should you follow ‘Wood And Spoon’ blog?

This blog is mainly dedicated to inspiring home bakers (so you’re in a treat if you want to be a cook) to create delicious food ranging from breakfast to dinner to share with your families and friends.

The best recipe shared on ‘Wood And Spoon’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Wood & Spoon.

Tomato olive rolls: These tomato olive rolls are perfect summer appetizers for all your outdoors and indoor events. If you want to make something yummy really fast and simple, this can be a great recipe you can try.

19. The First Mess, Laura

The First Mess

Laura is the person behind this famous blog which has been featured on top platforms such as The Huffington Post, SAVEUR, Epicurious, GOOP, the Food & Wine Blog, The Washington Post, America’s Test Kitchen and so on where you can find a ton of special diets.

Why should you follow ‘The First Mess’ blog?

If you’re someone who loves to cook with natural and plant-based foods (mostly organic food), this blog is a perfect destination for you where you will find hundreds of organic food recipes that keep you healthy.

The best recipe shared on ” blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Edible Garden.

Picnic salad: As the name suggests, this recipe is something that you can try whenever you go out for a picnic with your family or friends which is extremely easy to make and healthy as well.

20. Love And Lemons, Jeanine

Love And Lemons

This blog was launched in 2011 by Jeanine and have since been featured major publications and notable online platforms such as Food & Wine, Food 52, Refinery29, SELF Magazine and Oprah Magazine and so on.

Why should you follow ‘Love And Lemons’ blog?

This blog is one of the most followed blogs run by Jeanine where she shares a ton of tasty recipes ranging from breakfast to lunch to dinner.

The best recipe shared on ‘Love And Lemons’ blog

Here’s a delicious recipe that you can try from Love And Lemons.

Mango Cucumber Nori Wraps: If you’re a mango fan and looking for some delicious recipe ideas, this recipe is definitely for you where you will find a simple tutorial on how to make mango wraps which are a nice light summer dinner or a tasty lunch depending on your appetite.

Top 3 income sources for majority of the food related and cooking blogs

Are you curious to find out the major income sources that most recipe blogs use to monetize their audience? Well, we’ve figured out 3 of the major income sources that most food bloggers use to monetize their sites and here they are;

1. Affiliate marketing

While compiling the list of top 20 best food bloggers, we noticed one common thing: almost all the bloggers are promoting affiliate products related to food industry to make money from their blogs.

Not only in food industry but across any industry that you can imagine, most bloggers prefer affiliate marketing to make money from their sites. Affiliate marketing is where you sell others products and you will earn commission whenever someone buys a product using your referral link. In case of food blogging these items include things such as eBooks, recipe books, food related items etc.

Here are some of the best affiliate programs you can use to promote to monetize your food sites in 2020 and beyond. You can also use affiliate marketing platforms such as Commission Junction, ClickBan, eBay, Amazon Associates so on to find a ton of useful products in your niche to start promoting the right products to make more affiliate sales.

Must Read: 6 Steps to Make Money from A Food Blog Even If You Are Starting from Scratch [2020 Edition]

2. Offering premium content

One of the best ways to make money from a food blog is to offer premium content. Before considering to monetize your blog with premium content, it’s important for you to build an authority site.

This premium content includes;

  • Online courses: You can offer online courses talking about your best food recipes and people would love to buy them if you already have a hungry email list and thriving audience around your blogging network.
  • Membership sites: Membership sites such as Food Blogger Pro (run by Pinch of Yum blog owners) is a good example of how to make money from a membership site offering premium content which can be accessed only if you’re member.
  • Selling eBooks: How about selling recipes as an eBook? Or how about combining few of your best recipes from your own blog to sell as an eBook? Most people love to buy it and there are too many bloggers who are doing the same to monetize their site.

Must Read: Blogging Skills You Need to Become A Professional Blogger in 2020

3. Sponsored product reviews

When you’re running a food blog, you’ll get a plenty of chances to write product reviews of food related products and the best part is that most of these product reviews pay you money. Either you can reach out to other bloggers who are already doing sponsored reviews to start generating money or you can create a dedicated “sponsored reviews” page on your blog to start attracting more of such offers.

All the above mentioned strategies provide you passive income which means you can generate money from your food websites even while you are sleeping. It’s always better to try passive income streams over traditional ways such as blog consulting, freelance writing services etc.

FAQs About Best Cooking Blogs Worth Following in 2020

Here are few FAQs you might have about the food sites that you should follow in 2020 to learn more about food blogging, try new recipes and so on

1. I too want to start a food blog. How can I get started?

So what’s the best way to try new recipes? Start a blog and start sharing your knowledge with other people. That way you can get feedback about your recipes and you can also start making decent income as you grow your blog.

If you’re looking to start a food blog, we recommend you to go through this tutorial on how to launch a blog on WordPress within 10 minutes (along with the screenshots). All it costs you is around $100 a year but you’ll have full control over your sites and you can find a ton of ideas to generate income from it.

2. How to connect with the bloggers who are mentioned on this list?

If for any reason, you want to get connected with the bloggers mentioned above, you can visit their website (all the links are provided above), find their social media profiles and tweet or send a message on Facebook.

Almost all the bloggers have contact form pages on their sites so you can email if you prefer to communicate through emails. Either you can share if you’ve any recipes or ask them for any recipes that you can’t find on Google (to get faster responses).

3. How to increase traffic to my food blog?

First things first: increase traffic to any blog is an art just like culinary. It takes some time for you to get used to blogging and getting noticed in the world full of foodies. So our primary recommendation is NOT to focus too much on getting traffic (at least for the first few months) and focus more on creating quality content.

That being said, you can use the following tactics to get traffic to your food related websites.

  • Sharing recipes with other bloggers (guest posting) and getting links from them
  • Doing interviews with other bloggers and posting on your blog
  • Creating more content on a regular basis
  • Learn SEO if you’re a beginner as search engines send you a ton of traffic if done right

4. Can I use recipes, images or videos from other food websites and blogs and publish on my site?

No, that’s called plagiarism and you should absolutely avoid it because most bloggers spend countless hours of time in the research, photography, content creation, SEO and all. So copying their content blatantly is not suggested as most bloggers work really hard to provide unique content.

Moreover almost all of the content and images that you find on the food related blogs listed here are copyrighted, which means you need permission from those blog owners to use them. Few bloggers allow you to reshare their content in exchange of links to their site (but take permission before doing so).

If you’d like to repost the recipe on your site, it’s always a smart idea to rewrite it in your own words by making it more engaging (you can use the skyscraper technique for that).

5. How do food and recipe related websites make money?

That’s a great question. But if you’ve carefully gone through this post, you’ll find that we shared 3 of the major income sources that most food related blogs use to monetize their blog audience. So go through them to get an idea.

Most food bloggers also use strategies like AdSense, selling banner ads, speaking gigs, online courses, selling recipes etc to make money from their sites.

More Resources Worth Checking:

Final thoughts on the best food blogs you should follow in 2020

So what makes a food blog worth following? We took a lot of factors such as the food recipes, the quality of the content, audience size, social media followers etc to create the list of best food bloggers in 2020.

Whether you’re a foodie or someone who’s passionate about cooking, you will find the list of cooking websites mentioned here insanely useful. So what are you waiting for? Go follow those blogs and try to connect with them either through social media or email.

Source: Bloggers Passion

By Anil Agarwal

Leo Varadkar warns Britain may have to accept ‘fish for finance’ compromise in EU trade talks

Britain may have to accept a “fish for finance” compromise in EU trade talks which would see foreign boats in UK waters in return for few restrictions on the City, Irish premier Leo Varadkar warned today.

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 He stressed there would have to be “trade-offs” if the UK and Brussels are to strike a new trade deal which Boris Johnson has vowed to do by the end of the year.

The UK has a “very strong position on fisheries,” he added, given the size of British waters, with “a lot of fish taken out of your waters by boats from other countries,” and the bulk sold to mainland Europe.

Leo Varadkar wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera© Provided by Evening Standard

However, he added: “An area where you’re in a very weak position is one of the most valuable parts of the British economy which is financial services.

With the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) having experienced various political complications in the three years since the result of the referendum to leave the EU, the country has seen increasing public discontent from both Leave and Remain supporters alike. Amidst a general air of uncertainty and ongoing frustration at the government’s inability to mobilize a smooth withdrawal from the European bloc, demonstrators on both sides of the political spectrum have taken to the streets to give voice to their discontent.

As Boris Johnson secures a significant parliamentary majority in the most recent general election and looks to deliver on his promise to “get Brexit done” by any means necessary before Jan. 31, we look at recent public protests in pictures.

Related: Author Philip Pullman leads calls for a boycott of Brexit 50p coin

“And if financial services and entertainment, audiovisual, are cut off from the single market, the European market, that will be a very severe blow to the British economy and the South-East, in particular in London.

“So, you know, you may have to make concessions in areas like fishing in order to get concessions from us in areas like financial services.”

Related: EU sombre as UK prepares to end 47 years of membership

Some figures in the Square Mile, though, believe that continental Europe is so dependent on finance from London that any new restrictions will be limited anyhow.

Mr Varadkar, speaking to the BBC, also claimed that the EU would have the upper hand in post-Brexit trade talks given that’s it’s population is seven times bigger than the UK.

The Taoiseach, who is fighting a general election, also repeated warnings from several EU leaders that striking a comprehensive new trade deal by the end of December would be “difficult”.

He was holding talks with EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Dublin today.

By Nicholas Cecil

Source: Evening Standard

Wines of the week: 7 reds to blow away the January blues

“In our search for wines that offer simple pleasures at modest prices, and hopefully, remind us of sunshine to warm our wintry souls…”

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Welcome to January. Yup, Christmas and New Year are done, the coffers are empty, the leftovers all eaten or consigned to the bin, and the dubious pleasures of real winter lie ahead, rather than the bright lights of the festive season.

Obviously this is the fit-and-proper time to embark on rigorous self-denial, diets, fasting, abstinence from alcohol etc. Or not. Certainly not in my house, because in these dark and wintry days, I don’t really want to come home to a salad and a glass of tap water.

Certainly, one can be a bit more frugal, moderate alcohol consumption, and take some time off if one has particularly indulged. Frankly, though, comforting and warming foods and robust, modestly priced red wines are what I need right now to get me through the next couple of months.

And, I’m sorry to say, most low or non-alcoholic wines just don’t work for me; I prefer a non-alcoholic beer or sparkling water anyway if I’m having a night off.

In our search for wines that offer simple pleasures at modest prices, and hopefully, remind us of sunshine to warm our wintry souls, it’s first to the south of France and a taste of the Mediterranean with the La Jamais Contente Syrah-Grenache 2018 (£9.59, virginwines.co.uk), a typical Pays d’Oc blends from the Languedoc, with rich, herbally tinged flavours, balancing ripe fruit and peppery spice.

Staying in the Languedoc, the wines of Abbotts & Delaunay are reliably good and the Abbotts & Delaunay Mourvedre 2017 (£8.99, or £7.99 if bought as part of a mixed six-bottle purchase, majestic.co.uk) is dark, intense and smoothly drinkable, with a lovely spicy finish.

Both of these wines would be ideal with a cassoulet of beans and mixed meats, or a vegetable tagine with chickpeas. The Mourvedre would also be good with any meatier casserole, but moving up the scale with more Syrah and some southern-hemisphere sunshine, the Black Pig McLaren Vale Shiraz 2017 (£11.99, virginwines.co.uk) has big, robust, smooth flavours, without the more violently scented wildness that’s characteristic of so much Aussie shiraz, and is one for beef bourguignon, Lancashire hot pot or game pie.

A much less full-on syrah/shiraz is the Earth’s Essence Shiraz 2017 (£9.99, ocado.com). It is uniquely matured with an extract of South African indigenous rooibos and honeybush woods, giving it a warming, herbal, brambly, sweet note that probably makes it more like a French syrah than a New World shiraz.

Moving across the Atlantic to South America, the Fairtrade Bonarda-Malbec (£5.25, Co-op stores; not available online) is an appealing bargain blend, with chewy, dark-fruit flavours. Keeping with the Co-op, but swinging back to Europe, the Rock & Roots Organic Tempranillo 2018 (£5.25 until January 28, normally £6.25, Co-op stores; not available online), from the baking hot Castilla-La Mancha region in central Spain, is a succulent, smooth red. Both of these easy-drinking gluggers are just right for a baked pasta or a paella.

Sticking with Spanish Tempranillo, but moving north, Adnams have a good price on magnums of their brilliant own-label Rioja: the Monte Acura Rioja Crianza (£16.99, normally £19.99, adnams.co.uk) has lovely oaky, spicy, vanilla flavours and rich, juicy, dark fruits. A comforting and soothing bargain red to blow away our January blues. 

Source: The Independent

 

Nearly half of British holidaymakers go away for the food, survey claims

Neapolitan pizza makers celebrate making it on to Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage list.

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Perfect pizza in a Naples backstreet or spicy-sharp noodles from a Hanoi stall? A pisco sour in Peru or a perky vinho verde in Portugal …? Whether we’re anticipating it, enjoying it or talking about it afterwards, eating and drinking are, for many, what travel is all about. This week we’d like to hear about your most memorable holiday food or drink experience, at home or abroad.

Please use the form below to share your best gastro memory, including location and website if appropriate, keeping your tip to around 100 words.

Send your tip by Tuesday 26 May at 10am BST. We’re afraid that in these difficult times, there is no prize on offer for the week’s best entry – though hopefully that will return soon. But in the spirit of solidarity and optimism, we’d still love you to share your memories with fellow readers. That also means you do not need to be a UK resident to submit a tip.

Have a look at our past winners and other tips

Photographs are welcome if they are high-quality (at least 700 pixels wide, please) and you are happy to share them but it is the text we will consider. If you do send photographs please ensure you are the copyright holder.

The best tips will appear on the Guardian Travel website next week.

If you’re having trouble using the form, click here

Source: The Guardian

Nearly half of British holidaymakers go away for the food, survey claims

Almost half of the British holidaymakers go abroad for the food, a new poll claims.

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Participants in the survey would often plan their entire getaway around experiencing local dishes, from street food to haute cuisine.

More than half “love” the chance to tuck into foods they would never try at home – with Caribbean, Vietnamese and Scandinavian top of their cuisine bucket lists.

And 27 per cent have eaten the likes of insects, fermented foods, dishes containing bodily fluids – and even live animals.

The poll by Travelzoo of 1,000 UK holidaymakers identified Italy as the number one destination when it comes to travelling abroad for the food.

James Clarke, general manager for Travelzoo UK, said: “Increasingly, UK holidaymakers are travelling abroad with the primary aim of gaining new experiences – doing things they’ve never done before.

“And as the research shows, food is right at the centre of this – it’s such a crucial part of understanding a country and its culture.”

The study also found two-thirds consider themselves to be a “foodie”, with a particular interest in trying new dishes and enjoying authentic world specialities.

One quarter admitted they ate more food on holiday than at home.

So they can indulge when they are away, one fifth said they diet before their trip.

Warburtons shares secret famous crumpet recipe to make at home

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Since lockdown began, we’ve all been trying our hands at new, creative activities – including baking and DIY projects.

Now, Warburtons has given fans their next project – recreating its famous crumpets.

Taking to Facebook to challenge fans, the famous Bolton bakers wrote: “CALLING CRUMPET LOVERS EVERYWHERE! We’ve got news!

“We’ve unveiled the secret recipes to our much-loved crumpets – ready to rise to the challenge?

“Try it solo or with little ones – click below for the ingredients and steps you’ll need to become a crumpet connoisseur! Don’t forget to tag us in your masterpieces #AtHomeWithWarburtons.”

Think you’re up to the challenge? Here’s everything you’ll need to know.

Ingredients:

Bakes six

  • 150g plain white flour
  • 200ml water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast

Method:

  1. Add flour, water and salt to a mixing bowl

  2. Mix vigorously with a whisk until your arm aches (at least five minutes) to create your crumpet batter

  3. Mix a few millilitres of water into your dried yeast

  4. Add sugar, baking powder and yeast mixture to bowl and mix for another 30 seconds until you have a clear batter

  5. Cover the mixing bowl and put it into a warm place for 15 minutes – top tip: make sure your mixing bowl is bigger than you need as it will expand.

  6. Place a greased metal biscuit cutter into the middle of a non-stick frying pan

  7. Preheat your frying pan on a hob on a medium-high setting

  8. Before you start, give your batter a stir to remove any large air bubbles

  9. Use a ladle to drop approximately 60g of batter into the cutter inside the pan

  10. Wait for approximately four minutes – then carefully lift the ring off the crumpet

  11. Remove the baked crumpet from the pan – if the top looks a bit gooey, flip it over in the pan for a few seconds

  12. Repeat to make the rest of the crumpets

  13. Toast and enjoy with butter

Source: Manchester Evening News

Pubs fear disaster after being left out of plans to ease lockdown

Industry warns of ‘financial devastation’ as England’s pubs told to stay shut until August

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Boarded-up pub
The Hope and Ruin pub in Brighton. The British Beer and Pub Association has called for dedicated financial support from the government. Photograph: Luke Dray/Getty Images

Pubs face “devastation” after they were excluded from proposals to allow the hospitality industry to reopen in July, fuelling concern that nearly half could be driven out of business by Covid-19.

In a speech outlining his roadmap for easing lockdown, Boris Johnson said “at least some of the hospitality industry” could be open again within two months, provided social distancing rules can be enforced.

But Whitehall sources said this would apply only to cafes and restaurants with outdoor space, and that England’s pubs must remain closed into August and possibly beyond.

The exception is likely to intensify fears for the future in an industry already battling long-term decline.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), said: “The industry was looking for a glimmer of hope today … but it looks like we have more weeks of uncertainty ahead of us.

Rishi Sunak says furlough scheme ‘on track’ to be up and running by end of April

The government’s furlough scheme will be “up and running” by the end of April, chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed at today’s press briefing.

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Sunak said the portal is “on track” to open on 20 April for applications and businesses can expect a “period of several days” between submitting an application and receiving cash, “if everything goes to plan”.

Sunak said that payouts will be subject to necessary fraud checks, but that in theory businesses should be able to access the money by the end of the month and, crucially, in time for payday.

He said that the money for grants for SMEs had left central government and had made its way to local governments and confirmed that the last numbers he had seen showed that about one-third had already been dispersed to businesses. He added that the secretary of state was intensifying efforts to get the money “out the door”.

Sunak also confirmed that there had been “enormous improvement” with the government-backed loan scheme, which had previously come under criticism, and added that he was “expecting acceleration in the coming days”.

The furlough scheme was introduced by the chancellor to cover 80% of the wages of workers whose jobs have all but disappeared during the lockdown put in place following the coronavirus outbreak.

Grants to cover wages will be backdated until 1 March and will be available for at least three months from this date. Sunak has said there would be no limit to the amount of funding that will be available via the scheme as he unveiled what he called “unprecedented measures for unprecedented times”.

Source: The Caterer

By Jennie Milsom

All-Party Parliamentary Group launch inquiry to help hospitality back into work

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism is launching an urgent inquiry to establish the best ways to support the recovery of businesses hit by COVID-19 at the right time and in line with Government health advice.

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Hospitality and tourism have been two of the hardest and most visibly hit sectors by the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions on travel, social distancing and enforced closures of businesses have temporarily halted the ability for businesses to trade, with little indication of when they will be able to return to normal.

The inquiry will assess what is needed to get businesses in these sectors back on their feet at the right time for the country, providing forward-looking recommendations to guide Government as it moves to think about recovery. It aims to publish its findings and report by the middle of May, well ahead of any planned reopening.

The inquiry will look at a number of critical areas, including the right timing for the reopening of the sector and measures need to make sure it is safe; business support to help the sector transition to the new normality; guidance for businesses to help them get business-ready; reigniting the sector’s supply chain, and marketing the sector.

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism, Steve Double MP

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism, Steve Double MP said: “Collectively, tourism and hospitality add around £80 billion to the UK’s economy and in normal times employ 3.3m people.

“These sectors were two of the first to feel the impact of first social distancing and then the lockdown and businesses have been hit hard in every region.

“It is vital that, as the danger of COVID-19 passes, these businesses are able to hit the ground running and return to full strength as rapidly as possible. Ensuring these sectors get back on their feet quickly should be one of the Government’s top priorities.”

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls added: “Hospitality and tourism businesses provide employment, investment and opportunities in every region of the UK. That means that there is no corner of the country which has not seen job losses, shuttered venues and communities anxiously looking to the future.

“Our sector is in a unique position to begin the rebuilding process, both economically and socially, once we emerge and the time is right. This inquiry will focus on how we get restarted rather than necessarily when.

“It is clear we will only be able to recover if the right plan is in place, the Government understands the scale of the task and the opportunities it presents, and the correct support is provided – particularly the extension of the job retention scheme to protect jobs and wages.”

Source: Hospitality & Catering News

Choosing Cake Over Carrots Does Not Indicate a Lack of Self-Control

Choosing to eat chocolate cake instead of carrot sticks does not equal a lack of self-control, according to new research co-authored by a Cass Business School academic

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Exerting Self-Control Does Not Mean Sacrificing Pleasure

Choosing to eat chocolate cake instead of carrot sticks does not equal a lack of self-control, according to new research co-authored by a Cass Business School academic.

In the field of consumer research, self-control is often conceptualized as and tested through, the ability or inability to abstain from ‘hedonic consumption’ — at its most base level, eating sugary, fatty foods.

According to this common conceptualization, food decisions involve a trade-off between health and pleasure, where deciding on pleasure is associated with a self-control failure.

But, as the authors of Exerting Self-Control ≠ Sacrificing Pleasure argue, for a choice to constitute a self-control failure, it must be accompanied by anticipated regret and violate a long-term goal held by the consumer.

“Presented with the opportunity to eat cake or carrot sticks, a person intent on losing weight would experience a self-control failure when they choose to eat the cake and expect to regret having done so. Anticipated regret would signal that eating the cake violated a long-term goal of losing weight,” said Dr Irene Scopelliti, associate professor of marketing at Cass Business School.

“If the same person ate only a small piece of cake, however, they may not experience a self-control failure because they haven’t eaten enough to violate their goal of losing weight and trigger regret.

“It is not the consumption of cake that automatically signals a self-control failure, it is whether consumers believe that they may regret their food choice in the future; our research demonstrates that health and pleasure are not necessarily in conflict.

“That thinking plays into the dichotomous perception of foods being either good or bad, which is an incorrect over-simplification of eating practices.”

As a consequence, Dr Scopelliti and her co-authors, Professor Joachim Vosgerau of Bocconi University and Dr Young Eun Huh from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s School of Business and Technology Management argue that obesity should not, as it often is, be associated with a lack of self-control, as the two cannot be empirically linked.

“Because individuals’ long-term goals often differ, so too do the prerequisites for self-control failures,” Professor Vosgerau said.

“If a person is comfortable with their weight and does not anticipate to regret in advance their food consumption choices, then we cannot say that person lacks self-control.”

Concluding their paper, the authors question whether consumer behaviour researchers and psychologists have the expertise to advise consumers on their eating practices or give advice on what constitutes a healthy lifestyle.

“We argue that this task falls into the remit of nutritionists, biologists and medical professionals, who can objectively determine which foods and in what quantities are good or bad,” Dr Huh said.

“Consumer behaviour researchers and psychologists are better placed to help consumers realize that they have a self-control problem, and to assist them in altering their perceptions of food so that tastiness and healthiness become more positively associated.

“By abandoning the idea that eating “bad foods” equals a self-control failure, consumers should find it easier to exert self-control, particularly if they are armed with the combined dietary knowledge of medically trained professionals and the behavioural knowledge of psychologists and consumer researchers.”

By Joachim Vosgerau, Irene Scopelliti and Young Eun Huh

Source: SciTechDaily

 

The copper pan conundrum: how to keep your favourite kitchen kit forever, with help from the experts 

How long should a saucepan last? Five years? Ten years? One chef says many restaurant kitchens replace their non-stick frying pans every year…

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How long should a saucepan last? Five years? Ten years? One chef I talked to told me many restaurant kitchens replace their non-stick frying pans every year. Other kitchen kit lasts barely as long: finding someone to mend it is increasingly hard.

When my £125 electric kettle – barely a year old – broke last year, the manufacturer told me it wasn’t worth fixing, without even looking at it. Our local repair shop closed years ago, as it became cheaper to buy new rather than mend the old.

But in a small factory in the Midlands, Thomas Gameson and Sons is bucking the trend. The tinning company takes copper saucepans and refurbishes them to gleaming good-as-new perfection. And, as Lawrence Gameson pointed out when I visited the works just north of Birmingham earlier this month: “Some of the pans we’ve retinned date from the 1840s.”

Source: The Telegraph

By Xanthe Clay

Reviews: the Grill at the Dorchester, Bubala and more

Check out these reviews of some of our favourites that can help you when picking somewhere to eat or for your next night away!

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 The Times’ Giles Coren says the relaunched Grill at the Dorchester is “charming, progressive and fun”

A weeny potato skin was stuffed with buttery mashed Jerusalem artichoke (or, wait, was it a choke skin?) and covered with grated truffle, with some baby globe hearts nestled alongside in a sort of barigoule. They were Italian, the waitress said, and provided by Natoora, but struck us as oddly unseasonal (as did the blades of samphire). All very, very good, though.

My middle course was truly exceptional. Two glazed lobes of sweetbread, beautifully golden and crunchy, sitting on well-seasoned lentils full of pebbly heft and fibre that served the offal incredibly well. And all this sat beneath two saucer-sized discs of celeriac that seemed to melt transparently over it, on top of which was a chunk of maitake mushroom, golden, gland-like in shape and size – a pun on the pancreas beneath? Perhaps, but properly, properly wonderful.

I then had the best lobster thermidor I’ve ever known (offered at a £20 supplement to the £60 three-course lunch menu). The huge, shelled thorax of the beast was brought out by [head chef] Tom [Booton] himself (looking barely half his 26 years), who explained how he freezes it to tenderise the meat and avoid the toughness that bedevils the dish, then taken back, cooked and served over a gorgeously crumbly tart full of its eggy thermidor sauce. The meat was indeed soft, and sliced easily into slender roundels with a sharp knife, without cracking the fragile pastry on which it sat.

Rating: cooking: 9; service: 10; owner: 0; score: 6.33

Bubala in London’s Spitalfields is a vegetarian restaurant that deserves to last, says The Observer’s Jay Rayner

There is still-warm falafel with a puddle of whipped tahini and crimson strands of pickled onion. There are discs of aubergine, long-roasted until the skins are almost crisp and chewy, then dressed with heaps of a sharp coriander relish called zhoug. Oh yes, tonight I am learning many new words. A long plank of mellow halloumi comes crisply fried and dressed with black-seed honey. People will tell you breathlessly that this particular honey, infused with the likes of nigella and black cumin seed, will protect you from cancer. Yeah, whatever. You only need to know it’s lovely on halloumi; if you have a cold, try a Lemsip.

A chunk of cabbage comes seared and blackened and pelted with pomegranate, hazelnuts and tahini by a kitchen that has never heard the phrase “enough already”. It doesn’t need to because it’s a delightfully messy dish. A lump of green romanesco cauliflower is less than fiercely cooked. We have to ask whether they have anything approaching a steak knife. They find something. Even then, we send part of it flying across the table in a splat of smoked tomato sauce punched up with ras el hanout. When we get it all back on to the plate it’s another strong and satisfying mess.

I have to take issue with one menu description: confit potato latkes. I know latkes, and latkes these ain’t. A latke demands grated potato, egg, perhaps a little chopped onion. They are ill-shaped dollops of crisp-fried potato. What they serve at Bubala are geometric blocks of finely sliced confited potato, pressed and then deep fried, which originated at the Quality Chop House on the Farringdon Road. They’re great. Of course they are. They’re deep-fried pieces of already confited potato. How could they not be great? The sprinkling of Aleppo chilli adds an encouraging kick. But latkes, they are not.

Price: small plates, £5-£7.50; large plates, £9-£11; desserts, £4-£5.50; wines, from £25

Amazónico in London’s Mayfair offers “slightly kitsch simplicity in an exoticised, vaunted package”, writes Jimi Famurewa in the Evening Standard

Food, cannily, rebrands the sushi and steak mode of most modern luxury restaurants as dishes that are inspired by ‘the countries the Amazon river touches’. This translates to shareable Latin-Asian fusion wheezes of varying quality; particularly in the case of bland Venezuelan humitas de choclo (steamed, mashed corn, essentially) and yuca fries that make you crave some sort of specialist police force for crimes against under-seasoning.

But then, hamachi tiradito (cured yellowtail fish) came in a tingling, utterly slurpable passionfruit marinade. Aymara palmito salad (a kind of palm heart-laced Brazilian take on Thai som tam) had its own face-slap of salty-sweetness. And two violently charred rump steaks — brought to the table on vertical skewers for an awkward, pre-slicing ceremony — were adroitly salted, flavoursome and not overly hampered by a sawdusty, accompanying ‘farofa’ crumb.

If chicken tequeños (basically Venezuelan spring rolls, filled with that magnificently grubby, chip shop-style brown mystery goo) made me start to suspect that Amazónico’s secret is to offer wealthy people a glitzy alibi to enjoy quite junky, unsophisticated pleasures, then pudding sealed it. Chunks of six-hour rotisserie pineapple were gratifyingly sticky and boozy, served with coconut sorbet and the heavy hint of a 1970s dinner party.

Ultimately, this slightly kitsch simplicity in an exoticised, vaunted package is Amazónico all over. And, yes, perhaps it doesn’t justify the precipitous prices or current scrum for tables. But the native tribes of Mayfair do things differently. And, like it or not, this is the new king of their particular jungle.

Price: £153 for two. Rating: ambience: 3/5; food: 3/5

The Courier’s Murray Chalmers says the Michelin-starred Peat Inn in Cupar, Fife, “needs to loosen up the polite flavourings a bit, raise its game with the service and not rely on a certain very specific and slightly outmoded modus operandi if it’s to reach out to new generations of diners”

The starters were sublime although David’s fine tart of young heritage beetroots, figs, Lucky Ewe cheese and balsamic dressing (£10) meant he had two consecutive dishes based on a riff of beetroot on pastry. (His vegetarian amuse bouche was just that.) My cured sea bream, dressed white crab, lemon crème fraîche and squid-ink crackers (£10) was an excellent dish, as light and fresh as can be – clean food in its truest and least reductive form.

The main courses were less successful. I was torn between a 12-hour braised daube of beef (£21) and a dish of roast pheasant and hispi cabbage (£22). The waiter said both were great but immediately opined that the beef was the one to go for. It wasn’t great. The long braising had effected a sort of reverse Midas touch where the depth of flavour just wasn’t there – like the beef’s very essence had been leached out.

The radicchio stuffed with red cabbage tasted of… red cabbage, the wonderful acrid bitterness of cooked radicchio lost in a battle of strong spicing. The young parsnips, beetroot and carrot purée, cob nuts and diable sauce were a weird miasma of nothingness – not the robust, assertive flavours you would expect.

Price: starters, from £10; main courses, from £18; dessert, from £9. A three-course lunch menu of the day is available at £25 per person. Rating: value: 7/10; menu: 9/10; atmosphere: 8/10; service: 7/10; food: 8/10

The Sunday Times’ Marina O’Loughlin visits the Ivy Cambridge Brasserie and describes it as “a posh Wetherspoon’s for people who don’t mind paying through the nose for mediocrity if it comes in a nice outfit”

Small eruptions of modernity creep in: jackfruit for yer vegans, Iberico pork for yer foodies, but nothing to disconcert an audience determined on the Ivy formula of expensive comfort food.

It’s so comforting that one starter could have been fed to an infant with few ill-effects; it’s almost entirely without personality, flavour, depth: a rice pudding with textural nibs of… something (oh, right, that’s the billed lobster) and blurts of vaguely fishy coral foam on top. Its recipient describes it as “Heinz baby lobster risotto”.

But there are surprise hits too: the Iberico pork is a fat, juicy chop that tastes like well-reared meat, even if, like the room, it’s far too gussied up: cep butter, baked apple, thick, claggy calvados sauce. My choices also buck the trend by being pretty good: a suave chicken liver parfait with crumbs of what tastes like praline on top and decent toasted brioche; and a freshly fried chicken Milanese topped with an egg, its sunshine yellow yolk suggesting a good egg, perhaps a Burford Brown. But that’s because I wimped out and ordered the most basic food on the menu. My defence? It’s what you must do in this most basic of restaurants.

…we’re not asked how we want the burger cooked and, too late to remonstrate, it arrives almost carbonised, gristly and hotter than hell: “We’re only allowed to serve it well done,” says the waiter. Its chips are cheap catering-pack jobs, trying to hide their commercial mealiness under the lipstick-on-a-pig splat of Parmesan and truffle oil. Creamed spinach as a side, dry and composty, has all the allure of something coughed up by Shrek.

Price: meal for two, including 12.5% service charge, £137

Mizu at the Lodore Falls hotel in Keswick, Cumbria, is a bit like Wagamama without the diligent service, writes Grace Dent in The Guardian

At Mizu, I order a plate of “Asian sausage”, imagining it to be a welcome rip-off of the rustic, northern Thai banger you get at Ben Chapman’s Kiln, teeming with kaffir lime, coriander root, galangal and lemongrass. Instead, I am sent a plate of pigs in blankets lying in a puddle of sesame sauce. And here all hope evaporates.

The “sushi” is largely California rolls containing mayo or cream cheese, and none of it feels freshly, just-that-minute rolled. The menu section marked “sticks” – they mean yakitori – features chunks of sweet potato that give nothing of the grill, as well as prawns and pork belly.

The “big plates” are better than the sushi and sticks, even if their presentation is flawed. “Steak & tempura” is an 8oz steak half marinated in dashi and half dipped in tempura (ie, battered). It is, quite frankly, bizarre. The lentil sauce in the Sri Lankan parippu fish curry is gorgeous, but a grey piece of pan-fried cod plopped skin side up on a beige sauce will not win any hearts on Instagram.

Price: about £40 a head à la carte, plus drinks and service. Rating: food: 3/10; atmosphere: 3/10; service: 2/10

The décor at the Caddy Mann in Jedburgh doesn’t match the “exquisite precision” of the chef, according to The Telegraph’s William Sitwell

The menu is a celebration of British classics and local produce, from pigeon and beef to venison and haggis. My chicken-liver pâté starter could not have been bettered. It was not over-whisked, but nicely fluffy, smooth and with a drizzle of red-onion jam that was just tart enough to match the sweet liver. There was a delicate garnish of tiny leaves and pea shoots and, with a roundel of toast, it was a dish of perfect proportions. My pal Dillon was equally effusive about his roasted wood-pigeon breast.

The ‘Caddy Mann lamb’ had grabbed my attention with its promise of a slow 18-hour cooking process and it was a succulent and tasty dream. This place being a touch old-fashioned, along came a bowl of veg as well as chips. The latter were as described: ‘real and proper’ (crunchy on the out, fluffy on the in), and while the carrots and cabbage were cut and looked like school food, they were superb: sweet, cooked to just the right texture, again faultless. We shared a chocolate tart, which came on circles of dark sauce and with a delicious scoop of crunchy chocolate ice cream.

Price: lunch for two, £55, excluding drinks and service. Rating: 3.5/5

HOTELS

Fiona Duncan of the Telegraph praises Little Barwick House, near Yeovil, Somerset, for being the epitome of “personal, welcome-to-my-home hospitality”

You eat well. Be sure to arrive in time for complimentary tea and scones by the fire in one of the two homely sitting rooms, with log fires and shelves of books and family photographs (though the framed industry accolades do disrupt the homely rhythm a little).

 

And you sleep well, too. The seven modest bedrooms, located on the two upper floors of the house, are tranquil and domesticated, with pretty fabrics, crisp linen on comfy beds, fluffy towels and big bottles of bath products.

Tim and Emma Ford are the owners of Little Barwick and their traditional take on British hospitality can be traced back to its roots. They met at Sharrow Bay, overlooking Ullswater in Cumbria, where for 10 years Tim was head chef.

Price: double rooms, from £250 per night, including afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast

Craig Fowler of the Scotsman enjoys the comfort of his suite at the Glasshouse in Edinburgh, but finds that the relaxed dining space offers a less than generous eating experience

The Macallan Suite – each room is named after a popular whisky – was stunning. The windows were floor to ceiling and ran the length of the back wall of the suite with a view of the landscape edging up towards the top of Calton Hill. They were also tinted, so guests can get a view of the outside without worrying about those on the outside getting a view of them. Thick, blackout curtains meant the intrusive nature of the morning sun didn’t get a chance to spoil a much-needed lie in.

The set-up is a little different from your standard hotel dining experience in that there isn’t an evening dining room as such. Guests are instead welcomed into the Snug bar, which lives up to its moniker. While standard dining tables and chairs are on offer, there is also plenty of comfortable seating available for eating and drinking. None are more appealing than the couches around the fire pit, which is in full view as soon as you walk into the softly-lit room.

Even if you settle for the traditional method of dining, the chairs all point away from the tables at a 45 degree angle to encourage a more relaxed experience. As for the food, “light” would be the best description for the majority of dishes we experienced. Starters of haggis bonbons and black pudding rolls left scarcely a hint of grease and the desserts were similarly delicate, but as someone with a ravenous sweet-tooth, I must admit to wanting more from the chocolate fudge cake.

Price: rooms from £135 per night

Source: The Caterer

Jodie Eccles

Head of Hospitality

Jodie Eccles, the Head of Ginger Hospitality, had a successful 10-year career in the industry before becoming a hospitality recruiter in 2008. This experience gives her a deep understanding of the needs of our clients and chefs.

Jodie’s curiosity and passion for the industry keep her up to date with all of the latest trends. This coupled with her expertise and ability to maintain long term relationships with chefs and clients, ensures that she will quickly become an essential asset in your team.

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