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All the regions food news & reviews you can digest

Birmingham Whisky Festival Expands for 2015

Whisky Birmingham festival - Visitor nosing a dram

Birmingham Whisky Festival Expands for 2015

Birmingham’s major whisky festival will return for a third year in 2015, after a successful second year that saw visitor numbers double.

Organisers have now released 600 tickets for the one-day event at The Bond on 7th March, with over 100 tickets already snapped up in the Christmas gift-buying rush.

Outside of London, it now ranks England’s biggest whisky festival.

Whisky Birmingham 2015 will see whisky enthusiasts and novices gather to taste, try and buy from over 25 whisky brands and retailers at The Bond, a historic canalside venue in Digbeth.

This time the festival will grow to take over two exhibition spaces. Visitors will be able to sample over 150 whiskies from respected brands and distilleries, including Laphroaig, Buffalo Trace, Macallan and Chivas Regal.

Whisky Birmingham is the brainchild of Amy Seton, founder of the Birmingham Whisky Club. She explained the reason for expanding the event in 2015:

“The festival has taken off brilliantly, and it’s thanks to the great reception Birmingham has given it. People are really interested in Read more »

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Five Rivers A La Carte wins second British Curry Award

British Curry Awards 2014. L-R; Kate Silverton, Kindi Sunner, Shamim HM, Theresa May, Enam Ali
Five Rivers A La Carte in Walsall has won ‘Best National Newcomer’ at the 10th Annual British Curry Awards on Monday 1st December 2014. The fine dining Indian restaurant now has a total of two British Curry Awards.

The glittering British Curry Awards 2014 ceremony, quoted as ‘the Oscars of the curry industry’ by Prime Minister, David Cameron, was held at the Battersea Evolution, London. As well as the Prime Minister, other notable figures at the ceremony included former footballer David Seaman, comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli and Home Secretary Theresa May, who presented Five Rivers A La Carte’s Shamim and Kindi with the award, alongside BBC News journalist, Kate Silverton, and British Curry Awards Founder, Enam Ali.

In its debut restaurant year just three years ago, Five Rivers A La Carte won ‘Best Midland Newcomer’ at the 2012 British Curry Awards, and has now won a second, but in the national category, at this year’s 10th anniversary British Curry Awards.

Five Rivers A La Carte’s Group Sales & Marketing Director, Shamim HM, said: “We are over the moon to have won the Best Newcomer award, for a second time and in the ‘National’ category! We owe a massive thank you to all of our diners for their continued support and, of course, to our wonderful team for their loyalty, commitment and dedication.” Comment ends.

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The Ludlow Food Centre Announced as the Midlands’ Best Deli

Good Food Show Deli of the year

The Ludlow Food Centre was today announced as the Midlands’ Best Deli at the BBC Good Food Show, fending off competition from hundreds of entrants.

The BBC Good Food Show, in association with BBC Good Food Magazine has been scouring the Midlands’ for the past six months to search for the Midlands’ Best Deli or Farm Shop. The Ludlow Food Centre has won the coveted prize following an arduous judging process, with the judges describing it as ‘the ultimate food destination in the Midlands’.

The team of experts from BBC Good Food have been collecting and reviewing hundreds of customer nominations from across the Midlands’, including a mystery shopping exercise performed by Read more »

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Michelin Pub Guide 2015 crowns Cotswolds Pub of the year

14-new-stars-in-Michelin-Guide-2015Following the furore over the Michelin Restaurant Guide released late September, the eagerly anticipated Pub Guide UK 2015 has been announced.

The new look 2015 guide recommends more than 590 pubs from all over Great Britain and Ireland, of which 70 are new entries. All the pubs have been selected, first and foremost, for the quality of their food. So which Cotswolds Pub have Michelin crowned UK pub of the year? 

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Restaurant Review: Byron Burgers, Leicester

Byron Burgers LeicesterIs the new Byron Burger eatery a slip-up or a slider? Read our review here

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Two Michelin Star Chef Michael Caines Shropshire Restaurant Venture

Chef Michael Caines MBE Launches the new Townhouse Oswestry

Chef Michael Caines MBE Launches the new Townhouse Oswestry

This week saw the launch of Shropshire’s latest Restaurant launch move a step Closer. The venture in partnership with Two Michelin Star Michael Caines MBE invited key people from Oswestry and Shropshire to meet him and share the vision for what will become The TownHouse Restaurant.

The  team at Michael Caines Limited will be supporting and advising the new Oswestry bar and restaurant in the lead up to the grand opening in early December and beyond.

Michael Caines is one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs. AA Chef’s Chef of the Year in 2007, and awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry, Michael is the Executive Chef at Gidleigh Park, which was voted the number one restaurant by Sunday Times Food List in 2013. It is where Michael has earned his reputation – as well as two Michelin stars. Michael’s primary interest will remain at Gidleigh Park and The Townhouse will be added to his growing portfolio of consultancy interests which also include restaurants in Manchester, Chester and Exeter.

Last night Michael Commented “This is a really exciting project for me personally. The Townhouse is the first venture as Michael Caines Limited so we can focus purely on what matters – the food, the operations and ultimately the customer experience” continuing “I know Oswestry from my days travelling up to my venture in Chester and beyond, and when I was invited to view the property and Read more »

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London Restaurant Review

James Day, Editor of eat-the-Midlands.co.uk visits London's latest meat free offering.

James Day, Editor of eat-the-Midlands.co.uk visits London’s latest meat free offering.

Ethos Meat Free Restaurant, London review. Read what we eat with our shoots and leaves Here

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Chef Ron Faulkner Re-writes the rule book for his Thornbury Restaurant

Chef Ron Faulkner outSide Ronnies of Thornbury with his bar plates

Chef Ron Faulkner outSide Ronnies of Thornbury with his bar plates

This Summer has been a labour of love for Chef Ron Faulkner at his eponymous restaurant in sleepy Thornbury just outside Bristol. A fresh new approach to his business began in earnest in the Spring with a series of customer surveys, and research into what his existing customers were seeking from Ronnies, and what they would like to see in Thornbury, they spoke and he listened.

“We discovered that our customers wanted a more relaxed, accessible and bar feel to Ronnies” comments the affable Ron “historically we have focused on more of the fine dining element of the restaurant, ever since we won the Good Food Guide Best Restaurant in the Uk, and our 2 AA Rosettes, but since then food styles and eating out habits have evolved, and so we have taken the lead and re-invented the Ronnies experience for the existing and we are finding a new younger crowd into a more accessible, sociable, sharing and relaxing vibe”.

Gone are the formal tables downstairs and all have been replaced with an eclectic mix of relaxed sofas, Chesterfields, occasional chairs and tables of different heights – and you can even eat off a packing crate or two “Food should be fun” continues Ron “Life is stressful enough without the feeling you have to behave when you go out to relax, but we are finding now that customers who can now just pop in for a drink in our bar, or enjoy our new ‘Bar Plates’ which are a variation on our previous offering, still focusing on my passions as a Read more »

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Selfridges Birmingham marks the Indian festival of Diwali

Visitors enjoying biryani at Selfridges

Visitors enjoying biryani at Selfridges

Selfridges this week marked the Indian festival of Diwali with a first-of-its-kind public tasting party, held at Itihaas Brasserie in the Birmingham Bullring department store.

Live cooking demonstrations were led by Itihaas restaurant chefs, and members of the public were invited to garner expert tips and sample the freshly prepared cuisine.

The event focused on the biryani, a popular seasoned rice meal made with spices, meat and vegetables. It originated in the royal courts of 16th century India, and over time has evolved into many variations, as a celebratory dish for special occasions such as weddings and festivals.

Celebrating both the festival of lights, and Birmingham’s love of Indian cuisine, the event featured the UK’s best-selling Read more »

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The Midlands Finest Chefs Help Raise Money Through Innovative New National Cook Book

Great British Cook Book with Chef Mark Poynton of Restaurant Allimentum

Great British Cook Book with Chef Mark Poynton of Restaurant Alimentum

A nationwide search has taken place to find 200 different and diverse dishes from regions around Great Britain. The Ebook will be a celebration of this diversified nation with a variety of chefs, styles and foods to thrill any palate.

There will be 20 recipes from each of the ten areas of the Great British isles which include London and the South, North West, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to name a few, featuring restaurants and Chefs with a dish well worth sharing. An essential ethos for the book was not purely to feature AA Rosette or Michelin Star Restaurants and Chefs but to cover a range of different venues that are passionate about food and use innovative and inspiring recipes with local produce.

The book has been joined by some real household names represent each region including; Richard Corrigan. Michael Caines. Sat Baines. Rik Stein. Mark Joron. Mark Greenaway. Kenny Atkinson. Colin McGurran. Chris Eden. Luke Thomas. Adam Simmonds and Cyrus Todiwala and Mark Poynton for Central England.

Central England has been well represented with contributions from right across the culinary spectrum including Michelin Chef Richard Turner, of Turners Restaurant, and Chef Rachel Dorrell (pictured below) from Hotel La Tour in Birmingham, Award Winning Thai Chef Suree Coates of the King and Thai in Shropshire, as well as The Hundred House, Henry Tudor House, Drapers Hall, and Mytton and Mermaid all in Shropshire, David Kelman Ellenborugh Park Cheltenham, The Wood Norton and Andy Waters of The Queens in Belbroughton, both in Worcestershire.

Chef Suree Coates Great British Cook Book

Chef Suree Coates Great British Cook Book

“I was delighted to be asked to appear in this prestigious publication” commented Thai Chef Suree Coates (pictured) of The King and Thai, Shropshire “Its an honour to see my dishes next to the likes if Cyrus Todiwala who has been an inspiration to me and my cheffing, and its such a great cause”.

Michelin Chef Richard Turner (photo below) of Turners Restaurant Birmingham added “The diversity of the region is well represented in the book and its great to be able to raise awareness of the good causes.”

Mark Poynton (pictured above) of Michelin Starred Restaurant Alimentum in Cambridge who is fronting the Central England region added “I was delighted to be asked to support the Central Region for the launch of the Great British Cook Book – It is a great initiative, and a wonderful cause raising money for Macmillan Cancer Trust and Hospitality Action. Central England is spoilt by the number of high quality Chefs across the region, and I look forward to reading how they have used the regions’ ingredients in their recipes.”
Gary Allen, Project Director for the book said; “We wanted to combine our love of food with some of the amazing chefs and food producers we have come across through the years of working in the industry. The book has a real commitment to raising awareness on using local and sustainable produce where possible just like some of the reader’s favourite chefs and restaurants do. All sales from the book will be donated to Macmillian Cancer support and Hospitality Action.”
Andy Waters from Michelin Bib Gourmand pub The Queens commented “I am proud to be a part of this book that supports two fantastic causes whilst celebrating the thriving food industry we have in Britain today”.

Adam Simmonds, the books ambassador and Great British Menu winner 2014 is a huge supporter of the book; “When the guys first came to me a few years ago I knew nothing of that magnitude had been done before and was instantly hooked on the concept, the support from the chef world has been truly amazing!”

The book will feature 50 starters, 100 mains and 50 desserts as well as ten in depth features of unique and traditional trades in the UK. The areas covered include butchery, fishmongery, baking, home grown produce, wine and beer and there will be a rare insight into how these traditional trades work in our modern world. Readers will be taken on a food journey through a culinary array of cooking techniques, flavours and origins of produce without having to leave the book.

Readers will also get the chance to vote for their favourite recipe/dish through Twitter and Facebook. The venue which has received the most votes will win their very own on-line cook book in 2015 worth 30,000.

The Great British on-line Cook Book goes on sale for download November 20th following a launch at Nottingham Castle and will be available from all the main on-line shopping sites, and a printed version may follow early 2015. For more information visit www.thegreatbritishcookbook.co.uk or follow @gbcookbook on Twitter.

WIN an invite to the prestigious launch at Nottingham Castle on November 20th. Register in any of the lists HERE before October 31st

Chef David Ellenborough GB Cook Book

Chef David Ellenborough GB Cook Book

Andy Waters GB Cook Book

Andy Waters GB Cook Book

Rachel Dorrell Hotel La Tour Great British Cook Book

Rachel Dorrell Hotel La Tour Great British Cook Book

Chef Richard Tuner Great British Cook Book

Chef Richard Tuner Great British Cook Book

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