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A new digital magazine – Foodie Offerings – that focuses on helping readers discover UK food and drink providers that they’ve probably never heard of. The magazine is available on the Apple iTunes Newsstand with Android and Kindle version due out during the first quarter of 2014. And if that isn’t enough you can download a PDF version by subscribing to the mailing list on the website.
“From amazing meats and cheeses, to speciality drinks, spices, jams, sauces and hampers, our digital magazine is designed to help you discover new culinary delights that you’ve probably never heard of. Start discovering food with Foodie Offerings.”
“We’ve teamed up with a selection of foodie providers to offer our readers some unique and exclusive discounts. Through Foodie Offerings you can sample the foods you love whilst getting a juicy discount off your purchase.”
It’s taken 20 kilos of Belgian chocolate, 5 kilos of icing and 40 hours of painstaking work in the kitchen, but Ashley McCarthy couldn’t be happier with his Dahl-icious new sculpture, that is guaranteed to bring chocolate cheer to a children’s hospice this Christmas.
The chef and owner of Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, near Tadcaster, has created a meticulously-handcrafted chocolate artwork celebrating the work of children’s favourite Roald Dahl, incorporating elements from his many best-selling books. Look closely and you’ll find Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall, the BFG’s enormous belt, James’s magical peach and a host of eponymous heroes from marvellous Matilda to Fantastic Mr Fox. All Dahl life is here – and it’s delicious.
Ashley, a father-of-three who runs a multi-award winning family pub with his wife Kelly, designs and makes an ambitious chocolate sculpture every Christmas to raise money for Martin House Hospice, which cares for children and their families in nearby Wetherby. This is his ninth creation in as many years – and his biggest and best yet.
‘I started off years ago with a simple house – a bit like a gingerbread house, only made of chocolate,’ he explained. ‘But it’s evolved beyond all recognition since then.
‘To be honest, it’s become a bit of a hot topic in the pub and on Facebook as people start making suggestions for what I should sculpt. The debate starts in January and heats up in the summer – months before I so much as pick up a knife.’
This year’s delicious celebration of all things Dahl actually started life as a Facebook suggestion. A keen bean put forward the idea of a creamy recreation of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and Ashley’s fevered imagination and creative hands-on skills took it from there.
‘I haven’t had any specific training as a chocolatier,’ he said. ‘But it’s a skill I’ve honed and developed over the years.
‘I can honestly say I love every minute of it. I don’t have a lot of time to spare, so it must mean something that you’ll often find me elbow-deep in chocolate at all hours of the day or night at one of our busiest times of the year.’
He does it because he loves it, but also to raise much-needed funds for Martin House, which needs to find around £5 million a year to carry out its vital work. When his chocolate sculpture is complete, it’s given pride of place in the pub beside a plaque explaining what it is and which cause it’s raising money for. ‘People are very generous,’ said Ashley, ‘particularly when they realise it’s for Martin House. We usually find around £1,000 in the collection box.’
The sculpture and the money are taken to the hospice on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas Day, the children are invited to admire it once last time before smashing it to pieces. This might seem a little brutal, but there is method in their festive madness.
‘We fill the sculpture full of individual chocolates – usually four or five boxes,’ said Ashley. ‘The structure itself has usually been quite manhandled by the time Christmas actually arrives – people prod it and poke it because they can’t believe it’s made of chocolate; some even try to snap a bit off. But by filling it with hundreds of chocolates, we make sure every child still gets a well-deserved treat.’
Europcar the leader in car hire services in Europe, is helping customers enjoy the journey with its new Britain’s Best Bites Map. Whether you are packing a picnic or shopping for the best ingredients for the Christmas table, you won’t go hungry with Europcar’s map of nibbles. The comfort and convenience of a Europcar vehicle, means renters can enjoy the journey – and now also you can enjoy the food along the way.
Europcar Britain’s Best Bites Map is a scrolling parallax map which allows customers to take a journey down the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Charmingly illustrated, with famous landmarks and images of the food in each region, the map features a green Europcar car, which can travel from place to place, unveiling gastronomic delights on its trip.
The route is 874 miles in total and covers key areas, including Edinburgh, the Highlands, Carlisle, Manchester, Stroud, Bath, Exeter and Cornwall.
At the tip of UK mainland, you’ll find the award-winning Caithness Smokehouse. Sample the mouth-watering smokey flavours of its locally sourced North Sea fish.
In rural Cumbria, even the motorway services have farm shops. Stop at Tebay to fill up on hand-reared meat, homemade pies and relishes.
A trip to Lancashire isn’t complete without tasting the creamy, mild, crumbly cheese. Travellers looking for something to showcase on their cheeseboards should head to
Dewlay cheese-makers of Gartang, who have been making award winning Lancashire cheese for almost 60 years.
Stop for a coffee
Exeter’s Exploding Bakery is an original, no-nonsense bakery. Order one of their ‘full-on-flavour’ tray bakes made with local Devon butter and free range eggs served with a relaxing cup of coffee.
Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group says,
“Europcar has searched from Land’s End to John O’Groats to locate the best local providers, helping our car hire customers find these regional delicacies out on the road. With Christmas around the corner, this is the ideal time to stock up on gifts and seasonal treats. And with Europcar, drivers can select a vehicle with a big boot, ensuring extra space for all those gourmet delights.”
With over 250 locations across the UK, there’s a Europcar branch along the whole of the Britain’s Best Bites route, meaning travellers can book a vehicle, wherever they are. Our flexible and affordable car hire saves wear and tear on the family car, as well as added comfort for longer journeys. With additional items, such as baby seats, additional drivers and GPS, Europcar caters to every traveller’s needs, with the widest choice of vehicles, all on average less than six months’ old.
More details: Europcar Britain’s Best Bites Map
Bordeaux Wines has announced a partnership with two Michelin star chef, Michel Roux Jr, to publish eight of his favourite recipes for casual entertaining at home.
Michel will be partnering with Bordeaux Wines to promote the 2013 Everyday Bordeaux Wines, a list of wines judged by the Association of Wine Educators to be some of the most delicious and affordable Bordeaux currently available in the UK, priced between £6 and £20 – the full list for 2013 can be found at www.bordeaux.com/uk/wines/selection
The recipes include Roasted Mackerel paired with a White Graves; Hot Pears with Roquefort and Walnuts matched with a sweet Première Côtes de Bordeaux wine, and a Cheese and Ham Pie accompanied by a Bordeaux Supérieur. These will appear in the ‘2013 Everyday Bordeaux’ booklet, 1 million of which should be in todays national newspapers.
The Bordeaux Wine Bureau is also producing short video clips of Michel preparing and cooking four of his recipes. These are all up on YouTube; one I’ve included Grilled Sardines with Ham, Basil & Tomato Relish below.
Michel Roux Jr Recipes with Bordeaux Wines:
Michel is best known for his Michelin star restaurant, le Gavroche, which he took over from his famous father in 1991, gradually changing the style of cooking to his. He appears as an expert judge on the BBC’s MasterChef: the Professionals, and fronted the new series of BBC Two’s Food and Drink alongside wine expert Kate Goodman earlier in 2013.
Michel’s latest book, The French Kitchen: 200 Recipes From the Master of French Cooking, was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 24 October 2013 in hardback at £25 (Amazon has it at £12) (Ebook: £11.40).