All posts in In the Press

The Tanqueray BA175

Tanqueray BA175This month a cocktail by the UK’s Bartender of the Year 2013, Gareth Evans, will be unveiled for service in the British Airways Concorde Room, at London Heathrow Terminal 5. Offering a luxurious taste of the capital’s incredible cocktail scene, guests will be able to enjoy Gareth’s aperitif, the Tanqueray BA175 pre-flight.

The cocktail, named The Tanqueray BA175, will be served in an elegant champagne flute with equal 25ml measures of pink grapefruit juice, apricot liquor and Tanqueray No. TEN gin topped with champagne. Offering a playful twist on the classic French 75, the delicately balanced aperitif was created by Gareth in 2013 as he succeeded in the rigorous search to find the UK World Class Bartender of the Year.

Gareth Evans says,

“It is an honour to have my cocktail served in this iconic destination within Heathrow. When people started flying many years ago it was common to enjoy cocktails on board and pre-flight. It’s great that British Airways is celebrating our current ‘golden era’ for cocktails by supporting World Class and serving world class cocktails in their Concorde Room.”

The cocktail is being served to mark the second consecutive year World Class™ and British Airways have partnered to find the UK World Class™ Bartender of the Year as part of the global World Class competition.

Cultivate Urban Food Growing Festival

cultivate‘Cultivate’ will be Waltham Forest Council’s first urban food growing festival, aiming to turn Waltham Forest into the garden of London.

The 9-day event will kick off with a one day conference where established and new local food growers will come together to talk about how to help put in place initiatives for sustainable food growing in the borough.

The conference will also include activities, stalls and information showing the whole food cycle. It will aim to establish a Waltham Forest Food Co-operative, create new community food growing plots and spaces, and promote food growing for personal use and sale.

“We want to make the most of all the opportunities there are in the borough to grow food and encourage local people to get involved,” explained Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment for Waltham Forest Council.

“The week that will follow the conference will see a programme of events that will demonstrate the broad range of approaches to urban food growing,” said Cllr Loakes.

“We want to ensure there is something on offer for everyone working in the food sector, from community projects to local businesses and interested residents. We’re also keen to see practical workshops and demonstrations take place and to organise cycle and walking tours and a food fair market place.”

“At the moment we are looking for expressions of interest to participate in Cultivate. We want to showcase all that is already on offer in the borough, support new initiatives and highlight established networks.”

Waltham Forest Council is also interested in people and organisations that provide teaching and training on growing your own food and want to create a forum for further collaboration and projects.

Anyone with proposals for workshops, talks, demonstrations, dinners, walks or anything else that celebrates local food growing initiatives should submit an expression of interest to by 7 February.

Cultivate Urban Food Growing Festival Waltham Forest, 21-30 March 2014

Quayside of Whitby at National Fish and Chip Awards

Quayside of WhitbyYorkshire and the North East’s best fish and chip shop, Quayside of Whitby, is set to takeaway its biggest serving of titles at the National Fish & Chip Awards next week – as a finalist in three categories!

The champion chippie – which has already scooped regional winner in the ‘Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year’ and is now up for the UK title – has also been nominated as finalist in the ‘Independent Restaurant of the Year’ and the ‘Marketing Innovation’ award categories of Seafish’s 2014 awards, which celebrates Britain’s top notch takeaways.

“It’s a nail biting wait to see what the judges will decide!” says Stuart Fusco, director and head chef at Quayside, part of the Fusco family firm that was set up more than 50 years ago. “But we believe our values of quality, tradition and sustainability will win though. Our passion for the product has made visits to the seaside for thousands of families extra special.”

Quayside has had to endure a rigorous judging process for the awards, with shop visits and presentations. The overall winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony in London on Wednesday January 22.

Cheese Counter of the Year 2013

Cheese Counter of the Year 2013The Courtyard Dairy in Settle, Yorkshire has been named Cheese Counter of the Year 2013 at this year’s World Cheese Awards – a competition organised by The Guild of Fine Food and sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP. The specialist dairy shop, run by Andy and Kathy Swinscoe, rose to the top of the 10 finalists from 80 entries from throughout Great Britain.

Judge Patrick McGuigan explained “The Courtyard Dairy is a brilliant example of how a small shop can do great things. Andy and Kathy Swinscoe may only have opened the shop last year but it’s truly inspirational – the shop looks terrific, it is temperature controlled which means that the cheeses can be displayed in the open which is great for immediate impact.

“Andy has visited and made cheese with almost all of his suppliers and remains in constant contact with them which helps him to source the very best of each batch and also add new products as soon as they are made. Pictures of cheese producers and a cheese map of Britain are excellent additional touches that help customers to connect with regional cheeses and the people who make them. The competition this year was much fiercer than 2012. Britain’s cheesemongers are really raising their game, providing stunning products and service – they are simply miles ahead of anything supermarkets are doing”.

Opened in 2012, The Courtyard Dairy is a specialist cheese shop selling the very best cheeses from the British Isles and Europe – with a firm commitment to supporting the few remaining independent farmhouse cheesemakers.

“Andy and Kathy are completely dedicated to the art of cheesemaking – not simply as retailers but as experts through years of study, talking to and working with cheesemakers and knowing cheese production from the grass up. Andy took a scholarship in Cheese Maturing through the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, then an apprenticeship in France in Affinage (cheese maturing) on top of having a degree in Culinary Arts & Hospitality, so his expertise and dedication to cheese is based on immense knowledge about his subject,” said John Farrand, organiser of the Big Cheese Challenge held at the World Cheese Awards.

Andy also gathered valuable hands-on experience and skill; working at Borough Market in London, with Cheddar makers in Somerset, and also at Paxton & Whitfield, London which has Royal Warrants stretching back to 1850. At Paxton & Whitfield Andy had the pleasure of delivering cheese, by hand to Buckingham Palace and coincidentally, Paxton & Whitfield was last year’s winner of the Cheese Counter of the Year.

An epic road trip involved expert judges travelling around the UK to assess the cheese counters of 10 shortlisted delis, farm shops and specialist cheesemongers, looking at areas such as product range, knowledge, training and display.

The 10 finalists, who were picked from over 80 entries included:

The Courtyard Dairy, Settle, North Yorkshire (WINNER)
Paxton & Whitfield, Jermyn Street, London (RUNNER UP)
The Cheese Plate, Buntingford, Herts (awarded THIRD place)
Arcadia Deli, Belfast
Arch House Deli, Bristol
Cheddar Deli, Ealing, London
The Cheese Society, Lincoln
Delifonseca Dockside, Liverpool
Gonalston Farm Shop, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Umami Delicatessen, Wantage, Oxfordshire

Best County Dining Pub of the Year 2014

The Gun Best County Dining Pub of the Year’ For the third consecutive year, ETM Group’s Docklands gastropub, The Gun, has been awarded ‘Best County Dining Pub of the Year’ by The Good Pub Guide 2014

This is the fourth time overall that The Gun has won this award (the first being in the 2010 guide), as a result of its excellent reader reviews and anonymous inspections by guide editors, Fiona Stapley and Alisdair Aird. Fiona comments:

“Our London Dining Pub for the fourth time, this deservedly popular riverside place continues to offer delicious contemporary food, beautifully presented, in relaxed and friendly surroundings; it is an obvious winner.’

Tom Martin comments:

“We are absolutely delighted to have won this significant award again. With London’s gastropub scene burgeoning, it is a real achievement to have won it three years in a row, four times overall, and a testament to the fantastic kitchen and front of house team we have here at The Gun. Thank you very much to Fiona and Alisdair and all our customers for recognising this”.

Renowned for its high quality British food, The Gun has always been a high achiever. Other prestigious awards for the pub are: ‘Best UK Riverside Pub’ The Times 2012, Time Out’s ‘Best Gastro Pub 2006/07’, ‘Best New Restaurant Award’ from Hardens and Remy Martin in 2006 as well as ‘The UK’s Best Sunday Lunch’ by The Publican Magazine in 2007.

The Good Pub Guide, established for over 30 years, continues to provide a variety of honest, entertaining and indepensible information.

Best County Dining Pub of the Year 2014: The Gun, 27 Coldharbour, Docklands, London, E14 9NS T: 020 7515 5222