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Dessert for D-Day

Dessert for D-Day Great British Menu chef Aktar Islam is calling on the general public around the country to spend time with their older neighbours by rustling up a dessert or pudding to share on 6th June, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

The award-winning Birmingham chef wowed the judges on BBC 2’s Great British Menu with a show stopping, war-time inspired pudding complete with edible Churchill cigar. He is now urging everyone to offer a slice of friendship and make a Dessert for D-Day for an older neighbour they know or donate to Age UK, the Charity that supports vulnerable older people across the country.

Loneliness is a huge issue that affects people all year round with around one million older people regularly going an entire month without speaking to anyone and 600,000ii older people only leaving their house once a week or less.

Aktar, chef director at the award winning Lasan restaurant in Birmingham said: “Sharing food is a fantastic way to open doors, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Battenburg, Bakewell or a Blancmange – by knocking on your neighbour’s door and sharing your Desserts for D-Day on Friday 6th June and throughout the weekend that follows you could be bringing a little comfort into someone’s life.”

Laurie Boult, Head of Fundraising at Age UK said: “At Age UK we know how devastating loneliness can be for older people so we are delighted to be involved in Desserts for D-Day. Sharing a pudding with an older neighbour you know is a lovely way to brighten up their day. If you can’t share a pudding, you can still make a difference simply by donating to Age UK. We support a wonderful range of services, such as befriending, social activities, lunch clubs and coffee mornings to give lonely older people the opportunity to feel more connected.”

To help Age UK end loneliness people can donate today by calling 0800 169 8787 or texting HELLO to 70004 to donate £3 and help make later life better. To find out more about ‘Desserts for D-Day’ log on to To find out more about Age UK’s work to tackle loneliness and how you can donate go to Share your photos from the day with Age UK on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #lovelaterlife or post them on Age UK’s Facebook page.

UK Beer That Fights Prostate Cancer Wins Award

aurelio beerAurelio, a new UK craft beer created to help fund the battle against prostate cancer, has been awarded the top prize at the International Beer Awards in Italy.

Aurelio, which gives all profits to Prostate Cancer UK and is the first beer from the brewing firm Two Fingers Brewing Co., was awarded Best Craft Beer Innovation at the awards ceremony.

Appropriately enough, but by complete coincidence, the awards, dubbed “the Oscars of the beer industry”, were held in a district of Rome also called Aurelio.

Aurelio was launched just four months ago after its founders, seven ad men, decided to combine their love of craft beer with their marketing expertise to create a beer brand that wasn’t just better tasting, but better for men everywhere.

Two Fingers Brewing Co. was established in January this year and the award recognises the unique positioning of its pioneering beer brand as the only beer to put men’s health before profit margins.

Aurelio, a fine 4.8% golden ale, is brewed and bottled at cost by award-winning craft brewers Hepworth & Co. It is available through Tesco and is set to be stocked by Morrisons and Ocado.

Matt Sadler, Co. Founder, Two Fingers Brewing Co., said: “Today is a proud day. Four months ago we launched Aurelio in Tescos across the UK and began our mission to fight prostate cancer, one beer at a time. Now, we’re in Rome, in the district of Aurelio no less, and are humbled to have had our efforts recognised as leading the way in the world of beer. This is one small sip for man, one giant leap for mankind. I just hope I don’t smash the award on the way home.”

Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising, at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’re delighted that Two Fingers Co. has picked up this award. This is testament to the dedication of the team in building this fantastic initiative, and going to lengths to make it a success. Their support for the cause has been phenomenal so we’re thrilled that they have won this!”

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.