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All the regions food news & reviews you can digest

Oxfordshire pub the White Hart reaps National awards

Kay and Mark Chandler, The White Hart Oxfordshire

Kay and Mark Chandler, The White Hart Oxfordshire

It has been a bumper award-winning year for an Oxfordshire gastro pub that sources much of its ingredients from a bountiful kitchen garden. The White Hart at Fyfield has received a crop of accolades including being named Restaurant of the Year South East in the Food Awards England.

 Owners Mark and Kay Chandler were delighted to receive the gong at the fourth annual award ceremony held at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on Monday, October 2nd.  The White Hart team have also been recognised by The Good Food Guide 2018 and The 2018 Michelin Guide.

Irfan Younis, CEO of Food Awards England organisers Creative Oceanic, said: “We are honoured and delighted to have such great finalists and winners representing the English food industry and enhancing its reputation nationally and internationally. These were the fourth annual Food Awards England. They are a true reflection of the talent in the country and we want to make sure that the hard work and determination of English food professionals don’t go unnoticed.”

Mark and Kay put their success down to their ethos for sourcing the very best, seasonal ingredients and the dedication and passion of their team. They commented: “It has been a wonderful year for us. We were honoured to win Restaurant of the Year South East and to feature in both The Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide 2018 was the icing on the cake for us and our fantastic team.”

“We are lucky to have such a talented and enthusiastic team and such wonderful fresh produce on our doorstep. Our ethos centres around using the best sustainable produce in the area. We work with local farmers and suppliers, grow lots of Read more »

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Top 5 Street Foods Here and Coming to Birmingham

tamatanga rice

Birmingham is a city worth celebrating, to state the obvious our city has gone street food crazy which only means one thing for your appetite it’s about to go through the roof! Street food inspired restaurants are emerging in all quarters, but can you blame them? It’s a riveting concept and even better when the food is mouth-watering!

If you’re on the hunt for authentic street food experience packed complete with all the flavour and excitements of the market delights, you’re in for a treat. Her’s are top 5 Deliicous choices.

 

Tamatanga

Hearty, home styled Indian food! Tamatanga is nestled among some of Nottingham’s best restaurants.  Brummies look no further this chic eatery has brought their flavours of success into our turf with the promise of “a new way to eat Indian”.  Try their tapas style sharing dishes, you can choose from ambrosial dishes such as Chaat, Samosas, Jerk Tikka, Prawn Tempura as well as regular curry dishes made from traditional recipes.

Zindiya

The perfect love affair spot for Indian street food lovers!  Zindiya is a new eatery and bar in town serving Indian realness with a culture twist. Stuck for what to eat for lunch? Well this little bundle of joy fits perfectly into that mould. Before the food arrives you will find yourself already feeling enticed by the bright walls covered in authentic artwork bringing a piece of India to Birmingham. Whether you’re after a light bite at lunch as well as a more substantial dinner in the evening, Zindiya will have you wishing all restaurants serve Chaat.

Indico

This little gem offers a true celebration of Indian street food and cultural heritage, tucked in Shirley and Solihull the food at Indico has been carefully selected to showcase the best and tastiest dishes from the Indian street food culture . Make sure to try the buttery paranthas of the Punjab and Goa’s famous Goan fish curry rice and Raos omelette  which is an omelette dipped in spicy coconut gravy garnished with lime and onions.

Gateway To India

You’ll never see such fab mixed grills than here.  It’s a real feats for the eyes. They have the best selection of vegetarian dishes like Chana bature, papri chaat and pau bhaji

Mowgli

Booming already in Liverpool and Manchester, Mowgli will be opening its doors late September stationed at Grand Central.  The venue layout is intimate surrounded by a Jungle Book theme, when you arrive you will know this place is unique. The menu is fresh and innovative, be sure to try the Indian styled ‘chip butties’,  flavour filled yoghurt Chaat bombs and delicious fish dishes as well as an extensive wine list to choose from. If you have specific dietary requirements do not feel left out they also serve gluten free and vegan meals!

Get your tummy ready and just about everybody you know because things are about to get exciting!

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It’s Mooncake madness as China town’s Mid Autumn Festival roars into the Arcadian

Chinese lion pic

This weekend will see a host of colourful cultural festivities at the Arcadian as The Chinese Festival Committee host the Mid Autumn Festival this Saturday afternoon.

Headed up by James Wong, owner of the Chung Ying Restaurant Group, there will be a feast of activities and food to enjoy for all the family.

The Mid Autumn Festival has been celebrated in China since the Shang Dynasty over 3000 years ago. It has ties to the moon, fertility, and the Autumn harvest time.

James Wong says, “It gives me great pleasure to bring the Mid Autumn festival back to Southside. The Arcadian is a great space for all the festivities and in modern times the day is a time for Chinese families to get together to eat lots of delicious food! Not many know the historical story of the festival and the tradition of the mooncakes, and it is an interesting one.”

One of the many legends goes thus: after Hou-Yi shot the nine other suns out of the sky, the gods were impressed and gave him an elixir of immortality. But he loved his wife Chang so much that he couldn’t bear to live without her.

People were jealous and when Hou-Yi left the house his friend Peng Meng chased his wife for the elixir, which she loyally refused to give away. She was forced to flee into the moon, and in his overwhelming grief Hou-Yi arranged all her favourite foods outside their house as an offering to her.

This is where the tradition of mooncakes comes from. They are a sort of savoury, filled dumpling with red bean paste and a duck egg, which resembles the moon when the dumpling is broken into.

With Taekwondo performances, Dragon Dances, a performance from the Hall Green Academy choir and fireworks to end the festival at 7pm, you are sure to work up an appetite.

Luckily, there will be a plethora of street food offerings. City favourites Digbeth Dining Club will be on hand, as well as the fantastic Dim Sum Su, which we can’t wait to try out.

If all this wasn’t enough, Mr James Wong himself is even promising to shave his head in aid of cancer research if £4,000 can be raised for Macmillan. That’s worth a visit in itself.

Entrance is free and the weather looks fine so this is sure to be an event for all the family.

 

ENDS

12:00 – 19:00 at The Arcadian –  Birmingham

 

Hurst Street, Southside, B5 4TD Birmingham United Kingdom

 

 

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Birmingham’s best flock to Hopwood as elegant Blakes restaurant celebrates party launch

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Last Friday night, the great and the good from Alvechurch and Barnt Green businesses attended the official launch of Blakes restaurant – the newly revamped fine dining restaurant at the Westmead hotel.

Special guests in attendance included former Villa players Cyrille Regis and Mark Walters as well as TV presenters Noreen Khan from the BBC and Suzanne Virdi from ITV

VIPs were treated to champagne on arrival. Restaurant manager Kieron also showcased his cocktail skills with an array of Blakes speciality cocktails including the Sofia, which is sweet with a burst of cinnamon.

Guests were  impressed with the canape sharing boards, rosebud shaped garlic dough balls, fried tempura prawns, pea and goat’s cheese tarts, and macarons for dessert made the rounds of the guests, and even some hot wings for those who dared!

Plus mini soupcons of mushroom soup, and mini ham terrine and duck. The team showcased their new  pizza oven covered in one pennies which  was a massive hit,  churning out the delicious home cooked pizzas. Light and tasty, there were even ones topped with chocolate and bananas.

Guests were thrilled by the novelty of the tropical flower wall which provided a unique backdrop our movers and shakers were only too happy to take selfies at.

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Blakes Restaurant Launches At Westmead Hotel

blakes small

For those yearning for a little elegant dining in the leafy outskirts of Birmingham, then you would do well to head out to Hopwood, just 5 minutes drive from affluent Barnt Green. Here is where you will discover the revamped Blake’s at the Westmead Hotel.

The 80 cover restaurant has been transformed into an elegant brasserie ideal for modern fine dining. Guests will love the stylish interiors decorated in cosy greys and warming bronze tones creating a contemporary elegance.

Blakes Director, Sapna Panesar says, “Our customers have always enjoyed the superb quality provided by the Westmead, and we want to continue offering diners the same level quality with our new look. We have been working very hard flexing our creative muscles with the design team behind Adam’s and we are really impressed with the results.”

The kitchen team headed up by Head Chef Tom Kavanagh have also been showing off their culinary flair creating a new menu of tempting seasonal dishes. Tom and his team use classic produce and have produced enticing dishes full of flavour and style.

Tom says, “Our exceptional team has been working creatively hard developing a menu that will combine the best dry-aged beef, finest seafood and freshest locally-sourced ingredients to create a unique and charming dining experience. Guests will be spoilt for choice with the menu, such as Fresh Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Chargrilled Courgette; Grilled Red Snapper; Confit of Duck, Sweet Teriyaki Pork and Roasted Monkfish in parma ham. All beautifully presented of course!”

Bar manager Kieron, formerly of Hotel du Vin Birmingham, will be on hand to talk you through the well thought out wine list and an innovative cocktail offering.

The new venue will official launch with a VIP party on Friday 29th September and open to the public on Saturday 30th September 2017

 

www.blakesbirmingham.com

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New FUMO Restaurant & Bar for Selfridges Birmingham

New FUMO Restaurant & Bar for Selfridges Birmingham

New FUMO Restaurant & Bar for Selfridges Birmingham

Birmingham’s multi-award winning Italian restaurant company, San Carlo Group today announces it’s to further expand operations in the city.

The Italian family owned and run group which has 17 leading UK restaurants, including the original and hugely popular San Carlo on Temple Street and Fumo on Waterloo Street, is to open a Fumo restaurant, champagne and cocktail bar at Selfridges in Birmingham this Autumn.

Fumo will be located in Selfridges on the 4th floor with stunning views overlooking the iconic Bullring. With a nod to the popular and critical success of its Fumo restaurants in Birmingham, Manchester and St Martins Lane, London, Fumo will serve delicious, seasonal Italian small plate dishes to share or eat alone and a feature bar will specialise in cocktails and Laurent Perrier champagne.

The £1m restaurant will be the third Selfridges San Carlo Group restaurant – San Carlo Bottega and Gran Café are situated within Selfridges Exchange Square, Manchester.

The Group’s success has been built on providing original Read more »

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MFDH Awards goes off with a Bang!

Sabai win mfdha17

What a magnificent night! Monday 26th June 2017 saw the Midlands Food Drink & Hospitality Awards take place at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

The Midlands Food Drink & Hospitality industry was out in full force and saw over 450 people in attendance, including the biggest names and faces in the food and catering industry from all around the West Midlands, to honour and award the very best restaurants, cafes, eateries, chains, hotels, chefs and more in the Midlands world of hospitality.

The MFDH awards, founded by Anita Chumber, Ifraz Ahmed and Anita Champaneri, was sponsored by Pepsi Max, with diamond sponsor NFU Mutual, and category sponsors Birmingham City University, Pathway Group, NA Consulting, High Speed Training, Bacardi and Laurent Pierre.

The night kicked off with a stellar reception that welcomed the guests, hosts, judges and sponsors to the beautifully decorated venue at the cricket ground. It was an electric night full of fun and frolics.

Host Raaj Shamji, known for his flamboyance and infectious humour, and his eclectic band kept the guests entertained with their unique brand of wit, wonder and flair. They brought a sense of cabaret, zest and fun to the night that kept everything up and lively.

Live music was provided by the Walsall Wallaz and Beat Asylum, guests were also treated to a stunning performance from Nemesis from Britain’s Got Talent.

Drinks were aplenty at the bar and food was provided from Mahir’s Experience.  The delectable cuisine was perfectly fitting for a night celebrating the very best in food.

Needless to say, when it came to the winners, the level of excitement and tension was palpable. Some of the most coveted awards and winners of the night included Sabai Sabai for Best Oriental Restaurant; Best Spanish which was picked up by El Borracho De Oro; Best Themed awarded to Indico Street Kitchen; Best Boutique Hotel went to Hotel Du Vin and a special Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Rajdoot. Also a big congrats to Edgbaston Boutique Hotel for winning Best Cocktail Bar and Best Afternoon Tea; Asha’s for winning Best Curry House, Malmaison for winning Best Hotel Bar and the most petulant, but wittiest food blogger around, Simon Carlo for winning the Best Blogger Award.

The crowd moved to the after party after the awards was over, which saw yet more fun, laughs and partying with music provided by DJ AKB.

The organisers of the night, commented:

It is overwhelming to see so much support for this very important industry in the Midlands. The awards, now in its second year, has been a huge success.  A huge congratulations to the winners & nominees and thank you to everyone that has supported the event this year.”

Next year’s MFDH awards is already being planned and looks set to be even bigger, better and brighter. Look forward to seeing you next year!

For images from the night, please click here and for further photos please click here.

See Winners List here!

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Delicious PR celebrates a Delicious decade

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Delicious PR celebrates a sparkling decade in business. Specialising in the city’s food drink and hospitality sector, the PR agency in Birmingham hosted a delicious party to mark their 10th Anniversary at the Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Bar.

Clients old and new, press and friends who have been a part of the delicious journey came out in force to support this milestone.  With fizz, canapés and cake, not to mention Edgbaston boutiques fabulous bespoke cocktail called Deliciously Golden made with old pressed Golden Delicious Apple Juice, Meadowsweet Cordial, Quince, London Dry Gin, Citric Acid & Magnolia. Serving delightful, playful afternoon tea canapés that went down a treat along side a few hours of sunshine in the brand spanking new luxurious Moet & Chandon terrace – it’s safe to say it was definitely a great way to mark a delicious decade.

MD Anita Champaneri said,

“Having founded the company after a career as a showbiz producer with ITV and BBC in London, I am fiercely proud that the company is really plugged into the dynamics of my adopted city. It’s been an adventure, and we want to say a big thank you to all our clients, colleagues and hospitality comrades who have been on this fantastic journey with us. We are looking forward to the next 10 years and beyond.

Click here to see all photos from the event.

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Chef Brad Carter Interview

Chef Brad carter Signature chefs

Michelin-starred chef Brad Carter is looking forward to getting out of the kitchen and meeting food fans and producers at Ragley Food Festival, in Alcester, Father’s Day weekend.

We caught up with Brad who has appeared on television’s Saturday Kitchen, whowill be demonstrating the culinary skills that earnt him his prestigious star at Ragley Food Festival in the magnificent 18th century Ragley Hall between Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon. Set in the hall’s stunning grounds, the event falls on Father’s Day weekend and – with a barbecue, craft beers and family fun galore – is the perfect place to take to Dad on 17-18 June.
Brad Carter is chef/proprietor at Carters of Moseley, which he launched in his hometown in 2010. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the Michelin Guide 2016, making it the fifth restaurant in Birmingham to receive a coveted star.

Although proud to receive this and other honours, Brad hasn’t changed his core values and enjoys getting out and about and meeting everyday foodies. As a chef who is known to be passionate about seasonal food, Brad enjoys spending time at food festivals, receiving feedback from the public and listening to what other foodies want.

“It’s a chance to showcase the restaurant to a wider market and show people how passionate we are about food. You get a real sense of discovery from a larger audience,” he says.
He is looking forward to Ragley Hall Festival due to the large number of independent traders, producers and start-ups.

“I hope to be able to discover new suppliers from the region, and maybe cook with them on stage. Our food is ALWAYS driven by the ingredients.”
Brad loves the summer months and is eager to show off what can be done with British green peas, broad beans. strawberries and raspberries.
He says: “Our soft fruit is from nearby New Farm Produce, in Lichfield. We use both ripe and ‘green’ strawberries; we use the unripe berries in savoury dishes, which we are looking at using in our demo.”
Cooking seasonally is just an everyday job to Brad.

“It will be bang on seasonal just like we do in the restaurant. Our menus are based on ‘on-the-day ingredients’ using what comes in from our suppliers, so our demo will be the same.”
Brad has recently spent time in Cornwall bonding with his kitchen team and researching seafood and produce from the area; all of the restaurant’s seafood comes from the region.

“Our team visited our mussel farmer in Foye, in Cornwall, during our spring break; we like to work as a team. I met Gaz who farms our mussels in deep sea, rather than an estuary, which is rare – he is the first to do so. It makes a huge difference to the flavour. They are the best I’ve ever had, the meat is right to the rim, and the flavour is like nothing else I’ve tried before.
“Mussels now form one of our ‘snack’ dishes on our menu with wild garlic that we have fermented from last season mixed with fresh wild garlic with wild garlic seeds. We like to experiment with flavours all the time.”
Brad’s favourite dish on the menu at the moment is Cornish turbot.

“Its just at its best now due to the tides in Cornwall. Served with our own smoked roe, Lichfield asparagus and Kent truffles, you cant get much more seasonal and British than that,” he says.
The Michelin star still counts as one of the highlights of Brad’s career, though he says it was completely unexpected.

“I never realised what it meant and how it gives an inner confidence for the team and opens doors to help push the boundaries with exciting new ingredients and methods, whilst still keeping true to our roots: the flavour. It opens so many doors beyond the kitchen. I always wanted to go on Saturday Kitchen since I was a young chef, it was a dream come true when it happened.
“I do enjoy it. I never thought I’d be on TV, or even on stage, it’s so humbling.

Read more about Brad’s plans for the next year and Ragley Food Festival here

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Top 10 Midlands Father’s Day Gourmet Gifts

Nut Tree Inn Michelin Chef Mike NorthMake Dad’s day: 10 best food gifts for dad.

Everyone knows that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so, this year, don’t buy Dad yet another pair of cuff-links that will rarely see the light of day. Treat your father to a gift that he’ll truly enjoy.

Whether he’s an aspiring gourmand, sees himself as head chef in the kitchen, or simply loves delicious food and drink, you won’t go far wrong with a gourmet gift. We have gathered together ten of the best from Midlands based ‘GourmetXperiences’

  1. Cocktail masterclass. Teach dad to create cocktails, shaken and strirred. The Verzon Hotel, near Ledbury, offers a cocktail masterclass with an expert mixologist, using spirits from the Chase Distillery. For this entire month, book or attend a masterclass for a minimum of two people and learn tips on perfect Chase Gin cocktail accompanied by a Herefordshire sharing platter. Each couple also receives a complimentary Chase Gin Taster Pack to take home as a thank you, before the end of June. More on Chase Cocktail Masterclasses Here
  2. Michelin-starred cooking eXperiences For dads who fancy themselves as budding chefs, give them a Michelin-starred eXperience hosted by top chef Brad Carter at his eponymous Birmingham restaurant. This is a restaurant that focuses on a warm welcome and a ‘wow’ factor. Discover the secrets behind an award-winning dessert and sample the five-dish tasting menu courtesy of this Michelin-starred chef, who has appeared on television’s Saturday Kitchen. £65 per person. More on an experience with Brad here.
    Or try seasonal English fare at Nut Tree Inn, Oxfordshire served up by chef patron Mike North. Cook with Mike North here
  3. Thai cookery eXperience. Love Thai food but have no idea how to recreate the authentic experience at home.? Multi-award-winning Thai chef Suree Coates is renowned for her flavours and presentation. The former Thai Curry of the Year can teach you Dad to cook traditional Thai with an interactive demonstration (including lunch and wine), at her Shropshire restaurant, near Bridgnorth. More on Thai Cooking Here
  4. Gourmet tasting menu eXperience. More into eating than cooking? Why not try Edmunds Bistro de Luxe Tasting Menu eXperience at the classic French bistro, in the heart of Birmingham’s fashionable Brindley Place. Offering six courses celebrating the flavours of France. Edmunds Bistro eXperience and gift voucher details here
  5. BBC MasterChef Winner eXperience. In recent years, cook schools have popped across the country offering culinary lessons to beginners and experts alike. One of the best is by BBC MasterChef Professional winner Mark Stinchcome and his wife Sue. They’ll offer tips and insights gleaned from the BBC show at Eckington Manor Cookery School, in Worcestershire. MasterChef Masterclass details Here
  6. Stay in a country retreat in foodie heaven. Ludlow, in Shropshire, is gourmet heaven. Why not make a top class meal even better by adding a relaxing night’s sleep to the evening? Old Downton Lodge, near Ludlow, offers a top class menu with rustic refurbished converted stables and barns, so there are no worries about how Dad’s getting home. Ludlow Retreat details here
  7. Cooking inspiration with quality cook book. Start Dad’s creative juices flowing with inspiration for a Signature Chef recipe book featuring recipes from top chefs from Heart of England & Wales or South West and Channel Islands. With recipes from some of the greatest British chefs including all Birmingham Michelin-starred chefs, alongidie 10 others in the region, celebrity chefs and rising stars, this quality cook book with mouth-watering photography makes a thoughtful addition to any gourmand’s recipe book shelf.  Heart of England & Wales Recipe book here.
  8. Beer or wine evening. Many breweries, vineyards and wine shops offer a tour and tasting experience. Tanners, in Shropshire, holds regular events that Dad will love. This month, you can sample an Ale, Cider and Cheese masterclass with Clare Downes of Monkhouse Food and Drink, who also happens to be part of the Appleby family behind Appleby’s Cheshsire cheese.  The evening, at Tanners, in Shrewsbury, on 24 June, will pair cheese with sweet cider, stout and Tanners 175th anniversary ale. £18 per person. www.tanners-wines.co.uk
  9. Craft beer. Indulge the man in your life with quality craft beer. The Wild Beer Company has a selection of merchandise for the dad who loves a pint. From a Craft Master Glass for £4 to Bag O Swag including a hat and bottle opener £15, hoodie £32, or simply opt for a mixed case of his favourite beers. www.wildbeerco.com
  10. Save 20% Off at Chase Distillery. Who does nt love a tipple? What bette than a delivery from the regions’ very own Single estate Distillery. Chase, located in Herefordshire offers World beating Gin, Vodka and liquors that will lift anyone’s spirits – especially dad. Being made from Herefordshire potatoes, and apples, rather than grains, means they are all Gluten Free too! Visit the Chase Shop, and quote “WorldGinDay” to save 20% off at check out Here (before the end of June)All of the above provided by (c) GourmetXperiences.co.uk
  11. White Hart GourmeXperience Oxforshire

    White Hart GourmeXperience Oxfordshire – Sample their produce with a  special Tasting Menu here

 

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