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All the regions food news & reviews you can digest

Good Food Guide Readers Award Nominations Announced

Good Food Guide Nomination Cards

Good Food Guide Nomination cards featured in nominated Restaurants

The prestigious Good Food Guide, owned by Waitrose, is currently half way through its much sought after ‘Readers Restaurant’ nominations campaign, and have announced the front runners so far.

The Waitrose Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Award champions local eateries and recognises great food and service at restaurants, pubs and cafés across the UK.  Nominations are for readers, as well as the public who can vote at participating restaurants by completing the nomination post cards available at many across the region. Also nominations on line often linking from their own websites.

Previous winners from the region include Carters of Moseley, Birmingham who currently hold the accolade as overall winner for the UK, as well as Turners Michelin Restaurant in Harborne, and the Bluebell in Henley in Arden, alongside Edmunds when Andy Waters was Chef Patron.

At this halfway stage, Midlands frontrunners include:

Midlands
34 Windsor Street, Leicester
The Queen’s Head, Sleaford
The Duncombe Arms, nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire
The King and Thai, Broseley, Shropshire

Chef Patron Suree Coates celebrates her Good food Guide Entry

Chef Patron Suree Coates celebrates her Good Food Guide 2015 Entry

Chef Patron Suree Coates of the King and Thai who are shortlisted for Shropshire commented,”We are delighted to hear we are even in the competition. Its a real honour. Any customer feedback is welcomed and last year we were highlighted as one of the Waitrose Good Food Guides  ’Local Gems’ which was incredible – but to be nominated as finalist for the readers award is a huge accolade to even get this far. We would like to thank all our customers for their kind comments to date ask wish everyone the best of luck”

Consultant editor Elizabeth Carter commented ’Once again Good Food Guide readers have come up trumps, nominating their favourite independent restaurants with enormous enthusiasm and in such detail. I’m delighted by the selection at this halfway stage and, as always, impressed by the sheer variety of owner-run eating places, from simple cafes and pubs to smart destination restaurants. I can’t wait to find out who the winners will be.’

Nominate your favourite Restaurant Here

Other regional half way finalists include: Read more »

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Ludlow Restaurant Awarded 3 AA Rosettes Under New Chef

Andrew Birch Chef Fishmore Hall Shropshire

Andrew Birch Chef Fishmore Hall Shropshire

Fishmore Hall, located near Ludlow in Shropshire is delighted to announce that they have been re-awarded the prestigious accolade of 3AA Rosettes following a recent inspection under new Head Chef, Andrew Birch.

Previously Senior Sous Chef of the 3AA Rosette and Michelin-starred Montague Arms in Hampshire, Birch joins Acorn Award winner and owner of the boutique hotel, Laura Penman, to re-launch Forelles restaurant for Spring 2015.

Birch has created a series of new tasting menus and brings a wealth of experience with him. Originally from Swansea, Andrew has previously been awarded Welsh Chef of the Year in 2004, Young Chef Apprentice of Britain in 2005, Young Chef Apprentice of Europe in 2005, and was a finalist in the Roux Regional Scholarship in 2006.

Hotel owner, Laura Penman, said: ‘We are truly delighted to have been awarded 3 AA Rosettes for Forelles, which is a great testament to Andrew Birch and the whole team at Fishmore Hall. It is onwards and upwards from here!’

Andrew commented, “It is a real privilege to be recognised for our hard work and dedication. It has been a Read more »

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The Botanist Opens in Birmingham – Save 25% Off Food

Botanist LogoThe new ‘Botanist’ bar and restaurant has now opened in Birmingham. Reader offer: save 25% off Food in April. More Here

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Birmingham Michelin Restaurant Launches Pre-pay ‘Ticket’ System to add value for diners

Chef Richard Turner of Turners Restaurant Birmingham

Chef Richard Turner of Turners Restaurant Birmingham

This week a Birmingham Michelin Restaurant will set the UK trend by launching a special pre-payment facility for guests to pre-book their meal, and save over 20% off their meal price.

There is often a high perception of Michelin dining to be expensive, but with high overheads, attentive service and often small venues, margins are tight and diners not always turning up means costs do remain high – however a Chef Patron of a Birmingham Michelin Restaurant is set to lead the UK by announcing a special pre-pay system to help diners with immediate effect.

Chef Richard Turner of Turners Restaurant in Harbourne, Birmingham, one of the smallest Michelin Restaurants in the UK, and one of 4 in Birmingham, Turners. which has recently been refitted, has announced that he is launching a special pre-pay ‘Ticket’ system to help add value to the customer experience “Being a Michelin restaurant can be considered to be a bit of a double edged knife” comments Chef Richard “diners expect the best in service, food and the highest quality fixtures, fittings and of course tableware, but often don’t choose to dine at such restaurants as they perceive them to be expensive – but to service the demands of customers we need to keep ahead of the game and maintain high staff levels to attend to their needs at every service, and being one of the smallest Michelin Restaurants in the UK with just 28 covers our costs remain high – then if they decide not to turn up without letting us know, it can make the difference between a profit or loss on certain services.”

Chef Richard continues “So to help customers save on Michelin Dining, and to maintain our tight margins we have adopted the American ‘Ticket-System’ of booking – It is simple, much like booking an airline ticket or theatre, the earlier you book, the better chance you have of dining on your chosen time. Diners can pre-book by visiting our special ‘Turners Ticket’ website page direct, and if they choose to pre-pay they save over 20% on our Simply Turners a la carte menu menu – normally 5 dish a la carte menu for £55, will be just £45 per person on a Thursday night, however unlike lots of online offers they will Read more »

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The ‘pies the limit’ for Two Shropshire Real Ale Pubs Battling for Top Crust in #piewars

Crown Inn Hopton Owner-Terry-Roberts-with-team-Symon-Ginnever-and-Chynna-Marshall

Crown Inn Hopton Owner-Terry-Roberts-with-team-Symon-Ginnever-and-Chynna-Marshall

Shropshire enjoys it’s fair share of traditional pubs and artisan real ale breweries, but two landlords are battling it out for ‘top crust’ in the pie world and are challenging the public to vote for their favourite homemade pie, each containing Shropshire real ale in their secret recipes. 

Ye Olde Punch Bowl Venison & Hobsons Ale Pie from the AGA

Ye Olde Punch Bowl Venison & Hobsons Ale Pie from their AGA

Adam Giles owner of Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn near Bridgnorth, Shropshire commented ”We are famed for our AGA Carvery – the first in the UK – also perfect for slow cooking our pies – I’ve frequented the Crown Inn near Cleobury Mortimer on a number of occasions en route to our sister pub The Plough Inn at Far Forest just over the border in Worcestershire, where we source our venison for our pies. It’s a lovely traditional country pub like ours, but I strongly believe we make the best pies in Shropshire, all made in our AGA.”

 

Shropshire Steak-Ludlow-Ale-Pie-Crown-Inn-Hopton

Shropshire Steak-Ludlow-Ale-Pie Crown Inn Hopton

Terry Robertson, proprietor of The Crown Inn, Hopton Wafers near Cleobury Mortimer added ”We are aware of the Punch Bowl and their AGA Carvery but as a traditional coaching inn we have a history of serving traditional pies to weary travellers. More recently we have increased our range and now serve three types of pie on our daily 2 course £10 lunch menu. They are all very popular and I challenge the public to vote and decide who makes the best pies during National Pie Week. What better combination than a homemade soft crust pastry pie with a pint of local real ale?”

 

Both pubs will be going head to head from Monday March the 2nd during National Pie Week. They will each be serving a range of daily pies, including a vegetarian option during lunchtimes and early evenings, and the added option of a pint of local craft ale which will be included in each pie – the Crown Inn serving their Shropshire steak and Read more »

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Birmingham Food Festival for Cannon Hill Park

Chef Glynn Purnell to appear at Cannon Hill Park Birmingham Food Festival

Chef Glynn Purnell to appear at Cannon Hill Park Birmingham Food Festival

Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest celebration of food and drink, transforms Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park into a foodie heaven 15,16,17th May

Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest celebration of food and drink, transforms Cannon Hill Park into a foodie heaven this summer with Birmingham’s Michelin-star and top chefs, new tasting theatres, pop-up restaurants and more street food than you can shake a satay stick at.

The AGA Rangemaster Chefs Theatre welcomes Michelin-star chef Glynn Purnell and top local chefs Matt Cheal of Simpons and Atkar Islam of Lasan Group who will cook their favourite summer recipes and share top tips for visitors to take away and impress family and friends with at home.

Fans of MasterChef can also watch 2014 winner Ping Coombes cook her signature dishes from the series in the Chefs Theatre and try dishes from her Malaysian Pop-Up on the Street Food Avenue. Ping is also joined by Read more »

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Restaurant owner turns waiter at Salvation Army dinner for the homeless

Raj Rana, Manjit Rana, Sanjay Anand MBE, Major Samuel Edgar, Shabana Mahmood MP, Cllr John Lines_

Raj Rana, Manjit Rana, Sanjay Anand MBE, Major Samuel Edgar, Shabana Mahmood MP, Cllr John Lines_

Restaurant owner turns waiter at Salvation Army dinner for the homeless

The owner of an upmarket Birmingham restaurant turned his hand to waiting on guests, at a special dinner for residents of The Salvation Army’s William Booth Centre.

Itihaas on Fleet Street celebrated its ten year anniversary on Sunday by inviting 25 of the city’s most vulnerable people to dine on a menu of authentic Indian cuisine, carefully prepared by the restaurant’s chefs, and overseen by the owner’s mother.

In an unusual and heartwarming twist, the guests were served not by waiters, but by Read more »

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First Anniversary for AGA Carvery with over 80,000 diners served to date!

TV Actor John Challis AKA Boycie with AGA Carvery Cretor Adam Giles and AGA RAngemaster MD William McGrath

TV Actor John Challis AKA Boycie with AGA Carvery Creator Adam Giles and AGA Rangemaster Chief Executive William McGrath

This week saw the anniversary of the UK’s first official AGA Carvery – Created by Shropshire based restaurateur and publican Adam Giles MD of family run Nostalgia Inns.

Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn is located just outside Bridgnorth and was the first of its kind in the UK to create the AGA Carvery concept and launch it last February 2014, to much acclaim.

Since its launch Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn has announced it has served a staggering staggering 80,000 diners from it’s AGA Carvery who have enjoyed the unique flavours created by the slow cooking of the meats and the fresh vegetables – It has even now become a regular haunt for famous faces from TV, News and Sport, including Nick Owen of BBC Midlands today, BBC TV Actor ‘Boycie’ from the hit comedy series ‘Only Fools and Horses’ – “It is the best carvery I have ever had”, commented actor John Challis, who is also a Shropshire resident. Gareth Edwards the famed Welsh Rugby player is also set to make an appearance there shortly and is sure to be converted to the AGA Carvery.

‘Fresh from the hot plate to your plate’ – Diners travel from all over the UK and many have commented on the quality and tenderness of the meats, as well as the extra crispy potatoes and vegetables all cooked in the AGA cooker ‘The feedback has been amazing’, comments Adam Giles, creator of the AGA Carvery concept and MD of Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn owners Nostalgia Inns – “We always received very positive feedback from our diners, as well as Read more »

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Ellenborough Park Hotel Charity Rugby Dinner Raises the Bar and Over £8000

Ellenborough Park Hotel Charity Rugby Dinner Raises the Bar and Over £8000

Battle of the Chefs contest sees Wales win a Six Nations Culinary Challenge. Phil Vickery MBE, the former England and Gloucester rugby captain, presided over a charity auction that raised £8,150 for the Wooden Spoon children’s rugby charity, on Friday 6 February, as part of an evening of Six Nations celebrations.
See the teams ‘warm up’ in the video below, and the full round up of the nights events and photos Here

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Sales Expansion at Shropshire Based Catering Centre UK

Catering Centre MD Richard Davies with Sales Manager Duarte Castro

Catering Centre MD Richard Davies with Sales Manager Duarte Castro

Telford based Catering Centre UK has announced it is set to expand it sales operations, alongside its kitchen consultations in order to keep up with demand for its speciality services.

MD Richard Davies from Bridgnorth who established the business in its current form in 2009 has always been at the leading edge of catering equipment supply – Now based on Stafford Park in Telford are winning contracts across the UK and more recently overseas. Keeping up with trends and the ever changing market, the focus in recent years has been more on sales, supported by the investment of over £30,000 in 2014 for a state of the art website to ensure demands for catering supplies can be fulfilled on line, speeding up the process and enabling the company to match on line prices as part of their ‘Price Promise Guarantee’. A finalist in last years Shropshire Star Small Business of the Year Awards, Catering Centre UK have now continued their expansion.

“Catering equipment supply in the hospitality industry is very competitive”, comments MD Richard Davies. “It is crucial to keep ahead of your competitors, and continue to supply your customers with exactly what they need, when they need it, for a very competitive price. We took the decision last year to invest heavily on line, with a new website, which now displays over 20,000 sales products, as well as Read more »

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