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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Product Review - Tiger Gin by The Shropshire Gin Company

Product review, gin review, Tiger Gin, Shropshire Gin Company, Gerry's Kitchen
I've lost count of the number of new gins that have been launched in recent years. So much so, it's got me thinking that it must be incredibly easy to create your own take on 'Mother's Ruin' and get it onto the shelves.
How wrong was I?
When Shropshire lad JJ Lawrence of The Shropshire Gin Company set about making his own gin, little did he know just how big a battle he would have on his hands before his luxury British spirit, Tiger Gin, could be launched to the public.
Product review, gin review, Tiger Gin, Shropshire Gin Company, Gerry's Kitchen
I'm not sure where the 'Tiger' name comes from, (possibly from the indigenous striped cats that roam the North Shropshire Plain?), but when Heineken Asia Pacific PTE Ltd complained that the public would confuse this new brand of gin with their popular Tiger Beer brand, a legal case ensued that somehow made it all the way to the High Court before sense was seen and Tiger Gin was realeased into the wild.
Product review, gin review, Tiger Gin, Shropshire Gin Company, Gerry's Kitchen
We have sampled more than our fair share of gin this summer but when we were recently sent a couple of 'Tiger Cubs' to put through their paces, I put the Fever Tree on ice and set about preparing a couple of cool Tiger Gin & Tonics.
Product review, gin review, Tiger Gin, Shropshire Gin Company, Gerry's Kitchen
Despite being very juniper forward in taste, Tiger Gin is packed with a warming sweet orange and liquorice flavour making it a very easy to drink, either neat over ice or as a refreshing G&T with a simple garnish of a slice of orange.
Some gins are overly complex with an almost endless list of botanicals fighting for attention in the mouth - Tiger Gin is clean, crisp, uncomplicated and would make a great addition to any ginthusiasts drinks cupboard.
Priced at £35, Tiger Gin is available to order from Shropshire based alcohol merchant Moonshine & Fuggles.
Keep up to date with Tiger Gin on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Tables Turned on Thai Leisure Group's Senior Team for National Waiters Day

Senior members of contemporary Thai restaurant, Chaophraya, swapped their suits for aprons to spend a day serving in front-of-house roles at its Glasgow site today (20 October).

The stunt, which coincided with National Waiters Day, was held to highlight the importance of front of house and service roles, in order to promote them as viable long term career options.

In a true reversal of roles, an open invitation was sent to front of house staff from casual dining restaurants across the city, inviting them to dine at the restaurant for free, using the Thai Baht to tip the staff on how they thought the service was.

Brand Strategy Director James Hacon said: “If you’ve been to our restaurants, you’ll know we’re all about creating exceptional dining experiences in unique surroundings. None of this would be possible without passionate and skilful front of house staff.

“They are the face of the industry and this initiative is a wonderful chance to promote these positions as attractive career options and the first steps of a career pathway. In fact, over 40% of the current managers across the whole business, started working on the floor of the restaurants, so if you’re looking to progress in a service career, drop in and say hi.

“Naturally, when the opportunity arose to put our work to the test by joining the other senior team members for a day on the frontline, I jumped at it. It was a humbling experience and reinforced the importance front of house roles play in the overall customer journey.”

In addition to James, five other members of Chaophraya’s senior team helped out with waiting on the tables.

National Waiters Day is affiliated with the organisation Springboard and its Front of House Festival. This has been created to promote the food and beverage sector and showcase the industry as a vibrant and dynamic place to work, inspiring young people to join the sector.

Springboard is a charity that provides advice and training for young people in the UK. It also works closely with the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries to help get people back to work and reduce unemployment.

 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Edinburgh Gin Reveals Brand New Flavour

Edinburgh Gin – Scotland’s fastest growing gin brand - reveals a brand new gin liqueur flavour for 2016, Plum & Madagascan Vanilla.
This season’s must-have cocktail ingredient, Plum & Madagascan Vanilla liqueur will join the ever popular family of fruit gin liqueurs; Raspberry, Elderflower and Rhubarb & Ginger.
In the spirit of innovation, Edinburgh Gin’s Plum & Vanilla gin liqueur is the first of its kind available to the UK drinks market.
Alex and Jane Nicol, co-founders of Edinburgh Gin, originally thought of the new recipe while picking plums at their home in Scotland.
Abundant with natural flavour, Plum & Vanilla (ABV 20%) is made from juicy Scottish plums and Madagascar vanilla.
The highest quality vanilla has been sourced from Madagascar for the new recipe. Such attention to detail reflects Edinburgh Gin’s quest to use only the finest ingredients to create new and vibrant flavours.
Plum & Vanilla liqueur is an exciting new base liqueur for anyone who loves to shake up their own cocktails or those who just like sipping on cocktails. Serving suggestions include a Plum Negroni, a new twist on a Kir Royale and a Plum Collins. This new liqueur is perfect for cocktails this festive season.
The limited edition run will see 12,000 bottles hit shelves of John Lewis, independent drinks retailers, the Edinburgh Gin Distillery Shop at the visitor centre and at Edinburgh Gin Distillery shop online.
Edinburgh Gin’s co-founder, Alex Nicol said: “Plum & Madagascan Vanilla perfectly complements our range of popular gin-based fruit liqueurs, and we are delighted to add Plum & Vanilla to the family.
Made with Scottish plums and Vanilla from Madagascar, this new recipe has been devised from quality ingredients, producing an opulent and indulgent fruit liqueur, great for cocktails, after dinner drinks and desserts. There are other plum based liqueurs on the market but Edinburgh Gin is the only Plum & Vanilla. 
Edinburgh Gin is continuing to craft the Gin renaissance and be at the forefront of gin-making in the UK.”
SERVING SUGGESTION:
  • Soor Plum
  • 25ml Edinburgh Gin
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 25ml Plum & Vanilla
  • 1 Egg white
Dry shake ingredients together, then shake again with cubed ice, double strain into rocks glass and serve with a plum wedge.
Edinburgh Gin Plum & Vanilla Liqueur is on sale from 19th October.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Quick Recipe - Spiced Squash Soup

Squash, soup recipe, onion, coriander, chilli, vegetable stock, Cumin
With my summer holiday now behind me, I can start to accept that winter is definitely here. As the trees shed their leaves and the rain batters the windows, all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a steaming bowl of homemade soup.
This quick and easy soup can be made from scratch and be ready to serve in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 600g Squash, chopped - I used a Kabocha squash
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • handful freshly chopped coriander to garnish

Method

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan before adding the chopped onions to the pan. Cook the onions until soft then add the chilli and chopped squash.
  2. Cook for a few minutes until the squash starts to brown then add the ground coriander and cumin, cooking for a a further couple of minutes but be careful not to burn the spices.
  3. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the squash pieces is tender.
  4. Remove from the heat then blitz with a hand blender, taking care not to splash hot soup everywhere.

To serve, divide between two bowls then scatter with the chopped coriander and perhaps a swirl of coconut milk before serving chunky slices of buttered bread.

Squash, soup recipe, onion, coriander, chilli, vegetable stock, Cumin

This soup is so easy to make and tastes delicious. The spices do a great job of cutting through the sweetness from the squash. If you fancy your soup with more of a kick, simply ramp up the amount of chilli and spice in the recipe.

La Maison Du Whisky To Celebrate 60th Anniversary with Williams Bros Craft Beer Collaboration

La Maison Du Whisky, William Bros Brewing Co, Drygate, John Felix, Gerry's Kitchen

Leading French drinks importer, La Maison Du Whisky, will celebrate the firm’s 60th anniversary with the launch of its first craft beer collaboration.

The collaboration with Scottish craft brewer, Williams Bros. Brewing Co, will produce a trio of new beers inspired by notable eras from French history.

Brewed on the Drygate Studio Kit in Glasgow – a pilot kit designed for collaborations and small batch brews – the limited edition 1,200 bottle run will include:

· Golden Promise - a 5% ABV Golden Ale - 500ml

· Ale Deco – a 5% ABV Brown Ale - 500ml

· Second Republic Red Rye – a 5% ABV IPA - 500ml

Glasgow artist, John Felix, will also participate in the collaboration; producing three original label artworks inspired by the beer and French art in equal measure.

400 tripacks, each retailing at €18 / £16.20, will initially be available throughout Paris with longer term UK and Europe-wide listings rolling out in the coming months.

Jonathan Lax, Brand & Category Manager at La Maison Du Whisky, commented:

“There’s a growing movement in France for people wanting to know about craft beer and actively seeking out new styles to try.

Williams Bros are our biggest selling import beer brand and it made perfect sense for our first foray into the world of craft beer to be with Scott Williams and his team.

The process of brewing the beer on the Drygate Studio Kit was one of collaboration and comradery; an attitude that resonates right through Glasgow.”

Scott Williams, Co-founder of Williams Bros. Brewing Co, commented:

“La Maison Du Whisky has long been an import ambassador of Williams Bros’ craft beers; instrumental in helping us create a global ‘Brotherhood’.

We wish La Maison Du Whisky every success for the next 60 years to come and long may we keep this ‘auld alliance’ alive!”

 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Wild Fig Announces Street-Food Inspired Pop-Up

Wild Fig Catering, Justin Maule, Gerry's Kitchen, street-food, pop-up restaurant, The Whisky Bond

Justin Maule's Wild Fig announces street-food inspired pop-up dining event for the Distillery at the Whisky Bond.

The Distillery, located at The Whisky Bond in Glasgow, will host a pop-up dining event by leading gourmet chef, Justin Maule of Wild Fig, on Saturday 12 November.

Offering an intriguing spicy street-food inspired menu, including beef and langoustine pho and salt and chilli scallops (full menu including vegetarian options here: www.wildfigfood.com) the pop-up dining experience is the second that Wild Fig has held at The Whisky Bond and will be located at the building's Distillery co-working area.

Running from 7pm till late, tickets are available from www.wildfig-twb.brownpapertickets.com priced at £45 per person and the event will be a relaxed evening of food, drink and good company, featuring international flavours in the form of a spicy street-food inspired menu, perfect for a cold November night.

Wild Fig Catering is a bespoke catering company founded by renowned chef, Justin Maule. With over 20 years of experience in some of the finest kitchens in Scotland, Justin is trained in the classic French style and is recognised as one of the country's best chefs.

The Distillery is located at The Whisky Bond (www.thewhiskybond.co.uk), one of Glasgow's leading commercial hubs for creative businesses. Located on Glasgow's Canal at the heart of the newly emerging Speirs Locks district – just a ten minute walk from both Cowcaddens and St George's Cross Subway Stations - TWB spreads out over seven floors and offers 100,000 sq. ft. of space to those working mainly in the creative and cultural industries. The Distillery is its co-working space, designed specifically for freelancers and start-ups. A limited amount of space is currently available to let in both The Whisky Bond and The Distillery.

Helen Teeling, Distillery Manager, said: "This will be the second time that we have hosted Wild Fig at The Distillery – we had such fantastic feedback last time that we are excited to be announcing a second pop-up event. Wild Fig creates the ultimate dining experience and its founder and lead Chef, Justin Maule, is regarded as one of Scotland's absolute best.

“At The Distillery we consistently look to bring new experiences and high quality events not only to our tenants but to the local community, and to have Justin Maule and his team cooking here is hugely exciting as his food is renowned. We're expecting tickets for this pop-up to sell quickly as places are limited so would recommend buying quickly to avoid missing out.”

Chef Justin Maule, founder of Wild Fig, added: “'We're delighted to be holding another dining event at The Whisky Bond, it's such a great space. As usual we will be using great Scottish seafood and produce, and as a Land of Food and Drink Ambassador Chef - committed to championing Scotland's rich larder of world class produce - I'm especially excited about the salt and chilli scallops, which combine one of Scotland's finest products with the chilli spice of Asian street food.”

Tickets for the Wild Fig pop-up dining event, 12 November at the Distillery at The Whisky Bond, are available here: www.wildfig-twb.brownpapertickets.com priced at £45.

 

5 Questions - Alan Brady, Head Sommelier at Hotel du Vin, Glasgow, One Devonshire Gardens

Gerry's Kitchen, 5 Questions, Alan Brady, Hotel du Vin, One Devonshire Gardens
One of our favourite places to eat in Glasgow is Hotel Du Vin, One Devonshire Gardens. Situated on a tree lined Victorian terrace in Glasgow's West End, the luxury boutique hotel is home to a 3 AA Rosette restaurant where myself and Nicola have enjoyed champagne lunch on a number of occasions.
Wine plays a central role in the day to day operations at the hotel with each of the bedrooms named after famous vineyards from across the globe whist One Devonshire Gardens have Head Sommelier Alan Brady on hand to offer his expert advice to anyone interested in learning more about the extensive array of wines kept in the Hotel Du Vin wine cellar.
Gerry's Kitchen, 5 Questions, Alan Brady, Hotel du Vin, One Devonshire Gardens
We've known Alan for a few years and over that time and thanks to his recommendations, we have been able to try wines that we might not have normally ordered. Alan has also demonstrated his knowledge and expertise by selecting the perfect matched wines to heighten our dining pleasure. Keen to find out how a local boy ended up working as a sommelier in one of the Glasgow's top hotels, I set about asking Alan 5 Questions.
Gerry's Kitchen, 5 Questions, Alan Brady, Hotel du Vin, One Devonshire Gardens
Here's Alan's story;

How did you get started?

Like most things, luck has its part to play. I had done my WSET courses while working as a waiter and supervisor at Brian Maule. I left there to pursue a wine role and, two years later, I applied and got the sommelier position at the Old Course Hotel (via a stint as Restaurant Manager at Michael Caines Glasgow). Keeping a keen interest in wine, working with different merchants and knowing people all helped. Then the opportunity arose to come to One Devonshire Gardens and I jumped at the chance of the challenge.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give anyone looking at a career within the hospitality industry?

Work at the best places you can. Keep your head down, work hard and learn as much as possible. Taste everything both food wise and wine, there is so much to learn and understand. And enjoy it, it's a brilliant industry full of great people.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?

I really hope I'm still working with wine and food. I'm sometimes asked if I would ever go into sales/retail, but I think I'd miss the buzz and push of service too much. Seeing the guests reaction to the food and wine pairings is fantastic.

If you could only be drink one wine in the world, what would it be & why?

Really hoped you wouldn't ask this one....I'm very lucky to have tried and sold some of the great wines of the world and it's difficult to pick one wine out of them all. So, I'll be difficult and say if I could only drink one type, it would probably be Pinot Noir.

You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?

The menu is decadent ( well, why not?)

Foie Gras to start. Grouse main then cheeses and tarte Tatin to finish.

The guest? Probably have to say Silvano Giraldin, legendary front of house and former manager of Le Gavroche. I have always admired his knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the industry.

Gerry's Kitchen, 5 Questions, Alan Brady, Hotel du Vin, One Devonshire Gardens
I would like to thank Alan for taking the time to answer 5 Questions and wish him all the best for the future. Why not book a table at Hotel Du Vin Glasgow and enjoy top quality, locally sourced produced served in elegant surroundings and take your dining experience to the next level by having Alan recommend the perfect wine to go with your meal.

 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

5 Questions - Chantelle Nicholson, Chef Patron of Tredwell's, Covent Garden

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott
Earlier this year myself and Nicola had an eventful trip to London where we had plans of enjoying a few Michelin meals and great nights out however I was struck down with a tummy bug which meant that we had to cancel some of our plans. I did manage to struggle my way through Sunday Roast at Marcus Wareing's The Gilbert Scott as well as a fantastic lunch at Galvin at Windows but our Saturday night dinner plans for Tredwell's (another Marcus Wareing restaurant), sadly had to be scrapped. Prior to going to London I had been tweeting with Chantelle Nicholson, Group Operations Director of Marcus Wareing Restaurants and Chef Patron of Tredwell's and had been looking forward to meeting Chantelle on the night however I had to settle for a tweet from her on the Sunday morning to check how I was feeling.
Chantelle is one of the hardest working women in the hospitality industry who for the last ten years has been part of Marcus Wareing's team, working her way up from sous chef to her current position as Marcus' right hand woman. During this time she has picked up numerous awards and received recognition from her peers in the industry whilst working tirelessly to ensure that the group deliver top quality food, drink and service to all of their guests across their three venues.

In 2009 Chantelle's talent and contribution to the hospitality industry was recognised and celebrated and she was awarded an Acorn Award.

In 2011, she had to transfer her talents to the operational side of Marcus Wareing Restaurants, helping it launch its second London restaurant The Gilbert Scott in St Pancras. Chantelle has held the principal role of Operations Director of the restaurant group since 2014 and in the September of 2014 she drove forward the opening of Marcus Wareing Restaurants latest venture Tredwell’s in Covent Garden. In October 2015 her dedication and hard work to Tredwell’s was celebrated on a national level as it saw Tredwell’s win the coveted award of ‘Best new restaurant – London’ at the 2015/16 AA Hospitality Awards.

In June 2016 Chantelle took on the role of chef patron of Tredwell’s, alongside her role as Group Operations Director for Marcus Wareing Restaurants. More recently, In July 2016 she was once again recognised when Chantelle won the prestigious ‘Manager of the Year’ award at the 2016 Catey’s.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott
Here's Chantelle's story;

How did you get started?

Originally from New Zealand, I trained as a lawyer, before discovering my passion for food. In 2004 i entered the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship competition and got through to the final, where I met Josh Emett, who was then head chef of The Savoy Grill in London. Impressed by my skills in the competition Josh offered me a job to work with him at The Savoy Grill which I accepted without hesitation.

I quickly packed up my life in New Zealand, moved to England and it was at The Savoy Grill where I first met Marcus Wareing who was Chef Patron. Just as I had with Josh Emett, I was quick to impress Marcus and having gained experience in all areas of the kitchen in 2006 Marcus asked me to join him at Pétrus as sous chef.

Despite the long arduous hours and pressures of the job I continued to perform highly, advancing quickly to senior sous chef, then spending the next few years taking on pivotal roles in several more of Marcus’s esteemed restaurant kitchens.

When Marcus launched Marcus Wareing Restaurants in 2008 I worked by his side, proving myself invaluable to Marcus' new business.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott

What’s the best piece of business advice you could give to aspiring young chefs?

Hard work and sacrifice will get you to your goal. Remember it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?

I hope to continue doing what I'm doing just now as well as having the chance to develop some great people over the next 5 years.

If you could only cook one of your own recipes, what would it be & why?

That would have to be the Tredwell's Gin & Tonic Cheesecake - it's dessert and Gin with lemon all in one!

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott

​You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why?.....and what's on the menu?

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott

It would have to be Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group in order to pick his brain. As for the menu, it would have to be Champagne and Foie Gras to start, followed by Rib of Beef with triple cooked chips and a bottle of Petrus, finishing with a fresh raspberry trifle.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott
I've asked a number of chefs what advice they would give to anyone considering a career in the hospitality industry and there seems to be a common thread - work hard, hard work and sacrifice - Chantelle is testament to what can be achieved if you follow that advice.
I would like to thank Chantelle for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to answer 5 Questions and which her ever success in the future.
Myself and Nicola have booked another trip to London for the end of the year so we will be rescheduling our dinner at Tredwell's and all going well, I might even be able to thank her in person for doing 5 Questions.
Keep up to date with news from Tredwell's on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Friday, 14 October 2016

A Scottish Still for a Scottish Gin - Avva Scottish Gin

Avva Scottish Gin, Gin, Berry Good, Gerry's Kitchen

New to the market this weekend see’s the launch of the first batch of spirit from Moray Distillery Ltd. Based in the old Cathedral city of Elgin, in the heart of Speyside with direct access to a wide range of botanical sources such as woodland, grassland valleys, riverside and coastal terrain whilst not forgetting the essential access to highly talented copper-smiths. The founder, Jill Brown, has some creditable history in the drinks sector, with a multi-award winning liqueur business Berry Good under her belt along with an honours degree in Rural Business Management & Agriculture, she is a third generation licensee and decided in 2015 to follow a long term ambition to join ranks of the craft distillers having previously worked for the Scottish Government.

Avva Scottish Gin, Gin, Berry Good, Gerry's Kitchen

Avva Scottish Gin is made with using a bespoke Speyside copper still called Jessie-Jean (J-J) named after the founders grandmothers. Sometimes it is worth taking the extra time to do things well, in this case exceptionally well. It is really easy to purchase an ‘off the shelf’, imported copper-still but being based in the heart of distilling country, the skills to make such essential pieces of kit were on the door-step. Three streets away to be exact, Speyside Copper Works hand-crafted J-J. She is small at only 250l but my what spirit she has, like the ladies she’s been christened after.

Traditional botanicals have been combined with hand-foraged botanicals from Highland and Speyside. Jill has a rural background, geographically botanicals are gathered from numerous sources from John o Groats to the Spey valleys through a network of relations, friends and acquaintances. Jill explains that, ‘It’s the transformation of what many consider weeds, which are gathered and preserved to allow year-long use. A flavour profile is established from each botanical, which allows a recipe to be developed then onto a trial batch of spirit. The previous experience I have with compounding spirits for liqueur production most definitely helped establish recipes for Avva Scottish Gin. The distillation process was where I wanted to go with the business and I appreciate the importance of utilising local suppliers, which is why I chose for the still to be made in Moray. Not many distillers or distilleries were able to just pop over the road to see it all coming together. A Scottish Still for a Scottish Gin seems fitting.’

The iconic Cathedral has been the inspiration for key elements of the design. Below the rose window there are ten arched windows; the final recipe has the lead botanical of Juniper which is complimented by 10 other botanicals including rowan berries, angelica root, lemon peel and dandelion to name but a few. There is no mistaking this is a London style dry gin, with reviews of ‘clean finish, well-balanced’, ‘ooo very moorish’ whilst others simply smile and nod ‘this is a great gin, well done, congratulations!’ However people tend to buy with their eyes first and the attention to detail is apparent from the first glance, Avva Scottish Gin is presented in a traditional apothecary styled bottle and finished with a wooden topped cork which is de-embossed with the rose window, the paper-type used for the label again is traditional with highlights of matt copper on certain elements to reflect the use of the copper still in the gin’s production.

Avva Scottish Gin, Gin, Berry Good, Gerry's Kitchen
The name Avva means: ‘a respected grand-mother, respectable elder woman’ in the Indian language of Dravidian, in Hebrew however, it means to overturn or ruin which links the reputation that gin had as ‘Mother’s Ruin’ from the Hogarth era. Linking the respected grandmother is of course J-J, named after Jill’s grandmothers. Avva Scottish Gin launches in the year that the UK’s most famous and respected grand-mother celebrates her 90th birthday, HRH Queen Elizabeth – who is also partial to a Gin & Tonic we are led to believe. Along with a slight play on words ‘I’ll Avva G&T please’ seems a logical name for ordering a drink.

The first batch will retail direct to consumers via the online shop from 14th October 2016 and allows gin connoisseurs to select their own number from the first batch at £38 for a 70cl bottle. There after selected trade and retailers (independents) will be sent their orders.

FB:@AvvaScottishGin T: @AvvaScottishGin W: www.moraydistilleryltd.co.uk

 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Chaakoo Bombay Cafe Coming to Glasgow

Iranian restaurants, Glasgow restaurants, Chakkoo Bombay Cafe
The management and staff are excited to announce the opening of Chaakoo Bombay Cafe on Friday 14th October 2016 at 79 StVincent Street in Glasgow City Centre!
A couple of doors along from it’s sister restaurant andGlasgow’s favourite Mexican, Topolabamba , the teamat Chaakoo look forward to taking you back in time toexperience the incredible flavours, smells and atmosphere of a classic Iranian Cafe.
The team includes:
  • Denny Pereira - former General Manager of Topolabamba Glasgow
  • Cal McMillan - our experienced Managing Mixologist - on hand to ensure youhave your favourite tipple
  • Man Mohan Prasad - heading up our kitchen team
Owner Paul Sloan said, “ As a team we have waited so long to bring this venture toGlasgow. It is unique in a way that transposes you back to the 50s in Bombay with atouch of glamour flung in. Our people are talented, dedicated and in love with theremarkable food and our bar menu that is beyond unique.
From Friday 14th October onwards, Chaakoo will be open for lunch, dinner andeverything in between from 12 noon. (Breakfast and earlier opening - coming soon.)
Tables can be booked online for parties of 5 - 8 people. Parties of 9 or more canbook by phoning 0141 229 0000. We’ve plenty of room here at Chaakoo andwelcome tables of 5 or less to pop in and we’ll seat you as soon as possible. Enjoy aleisurely drink at our bar whilst you wait!
Find out more by visiting the website: www.chaakoo.co.uk . Or via Chaakoo’s socialmedia:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChaakooBombayCafe/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chaakoouk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chaakoouk/

Monday, 10 October 2016

Product Review - Esker Gin

Esker Gins, Esker Spirits, Gin, Scottish Gins, product review
A few weeks ago I was introduced to Steven Duthie of Esker Spirits, an artisan distillery based on Royal Deeside and home to Esker Gin. Scotland has seen a huge range of new gins hit the shelves over the last year, each of them hoping to create a taste that stands out from the crowd, and so far I've yet to taste a gin that I haven't enjoyed.
In addition to taking the time out to answer 5 Questions for Gerry's Kitchen, Steven kindly sent me a generous sample bottle of Esker Gin to try out at home.
Esker Gins, Esker Spirits, Gin, Scottish Gins, product review
The key to creating a standout gin is all about carefully balancing the botanicals used to infuse the alcohol spirit. Esker Gin is created in a traditional copper still with over a dozen responsibly sourced botanicals including heather, milk thistle, peppercorn, citrus and silver birch sap tapped from the trees of Kincardine Estate.
So armed with a chilled bottle of Fever Tree Tonic Water, a few huge wedges of pink grapefruit and my Schott Zwiesel Gin Copa glasses (courtesy to WineWare UK), I set about preparing a couple of G&T's.
Some gins are light and fresh, some floral, others citrusy but Esker Gin has a very grown up feel about it. On the nose, Esker Gin has a subtle aroma of citrus but not overpowering. The initial taste is slightly sweet but is quickly replaced by a fresh green herb taste, the silver birch adding a rich layer of flavour and a warm burn as it works it way down the throat. The silver birch is a key feature of Esker gin and coupled with the heavy juniper presence, the mouth is left with the flavours of pine whilst the peppercorns add a slight spice finish.
Myself and Nicola loved our Esker G&T - Fever Tree Tonic Water works well with the strongly flavoured gin and the pink grapefruit garnish complimented the citrusy notes of the gin. A G&T works well on a hot summer day and there are plenty of options for a long cool drink but when it comes to a classic after dinner gin and tonic, I would be reaching for the distinctive flavours of Esker Gin all night long.
Esker Gin is still relatively so you're not going to find it on the supermarket shelf, thankfully you can order your bottle from Royal Mile Whiskies and Drinkmonger.
Keep up to date with news from Esker Spirits on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Marriott Hotels in the UK Announces Craft Beer Partnership

Marriott Hotels, Harviestoun Brewery, craft beer

To celebrate the world’s largest beer festival, Marriott Hotels in the UK has partnered with renowned Scottish brewery, Harviestoun, to create the ultimate food and craft beer pairings to tantalise the senses.

In celebration of Oktoberfest, chefs across more than 40 Marriott properties will be using their culinary expertise to whip up a variety of delicious dishes, each of which is perfectly paired with their award-winning beer counterpart and available until the end of October.

The mouthwatering combinations include griddled lamb and coriander patties with a matching amber ale, made with what is often considered to be the finest hop on earth, the Simcoe hop. Other options include a delicious pulled pork brioche bun with matching Schiehallion ale, a stunning lager with flavours of lychee, green mango and a fresh grapefruit finish, and sole goujons with lemon and truffle mayonnaise, matched perfectly with a golden fruity ale offering a light citrus note.

Talking about the appetising initiative, Sean Kelly, Area Director Food & Beverage UKI, said: “Pairing the right food with the right drink is extremely important for an optimum culinary experience, as strong flavours can often complement each other or clash.

“We wanted to offer guests throughout the country something different to celebrate one of the biggest folk gatherings in the world and what better way to do that than by partnering with a brewery as well-regarded as Harviestoun?”

Toby Knowles, Managing Director at Harviestoun Brewery, added: “We pride ourselves on mixing and experimenting with various different flavours to create our award winning beers and the chefs at Marriott have complemented these flavours fantastically with the matching food creations.

“Every beer has a unique style and finding the perfect dish to pair it with will only enhance the diner’s experience, so we’re delighted to be partnering with Marriott Hotels in the UK to deliver this.”

 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Chef Jimmy Lee On My Kitchen Rules UK

GLASGOW TV Chef Jimmy Lee is on the hunt to find Scotland's most talented home cooks in 'My Kitchen Rules UK'.

The Channel 4 show kicked off this week and is set to uncover Britain’s most talented home cooks. Two-time Michelin Star awarded restaurateur Michael Caines MBE, one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs, and Michelin Star Queen of home cooks and food writer Prue Leith CBE, one of the country’s foremost authorities on all things culinary, join forces to judge the contest. Together across the new series, they will judge entrepreneurial amateur cooking duos hoping to take home a top prize of £10,000 and prove that their home cooking is up to restaurant standard.

Scottish Chef Jimmy Lee is owner of award-winning Cantonese restaurant, Lychee Oriental on Glasgow’s Mitchell Street, and will join the judging panel to oversee the Scottish heats with the regional finals being aired on Friday 7th October at 5pm on Channel 4. Jimmy said, "I am delighted to join Prue and Michael to find the best home cooks that Scotland has to offer. Not only do we have brilliant fresh produce available in our country but we are also home to some talented cooks and I'd love to see a Scottish team win the first series of the new channel 4 show".

In the competitive elimination format, 16 pairs of amateur cooks will create pop-up restaurants in their own homes, where they will prepare a menu of dishes for judges Prue and Michael and their rival contestants to critique.

The 30 x 60’ series from 7 Wonder – one of the UK’s fastest growing independent TV production companies, is based on the knock out success of Australia's ‘My Kitchen Rules’, which holds the top spot as the country’s number one show on Seven Network.

My Kitchen Rules UK has been commissioned for Channel 4 daytime by Syeda Irtizaali, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment.

The series has been a huge success in Australia and hopes to repeat its momentum in the UK.

 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Free Chicken Burgers? Cluck Yeah!

To celebrate the launch of Byron's new chicken special, Clucky Balboa, a flock of tiny chickens (…not real ones…) will be hidden near your local Byron, West George Street on the weekend of 7th, 8th and 9th October.
Find one of the 3000 toy chickens out and about around the country, bring it to your nearest Byron restaurant, and you’ll be the clucky recipient of a free chicken burger for you and five friends – it’s that simple (with a few terms & conditions of course).
It’s the perfect way to see if you reckon Clucky is a true match for Byron's proper hamburgers. If you're beady-eyed enough to find one, share a picture with them on Twitter or Instagram.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland Reveals New Michelin Stars

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2017 is published today, October 3, priced at £16.99 (€18.99 in Ireland)

Twenty new Michelin-Starred restaurants were unveiled at the first-ever live launch of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland this morning.

The 2017 edition of the guide includes a new Two Michelin Star restaurant: Raby Hunt at Summerhouse, near Darlington, where self-taught chef James Close cooks unfussy, modern dishes.

Eighteen new One Michelin Star establishments were revealed, including two pubs: The Wild Rabbit in Oxfordshire with Tim Allen in the kitchen; and the Crown at Burchetts Green in Berkshire, run by Simon Bonwick and his family.

The Lake District has two new Michelin Stars: Forest Side and Gilpin Hotel, while Dublin has another Michelin Star in Heron & Grey.

In Wales, Sosban & The Old Butchers in Anglesey has gained a Michelin Star, as has James Sommerin in Penarth.

Rebecca Burr, Editor of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2017, said: “London’s great variety of establishments, its history, but also its dynamism and vitality are illuminated by the capital’s new Michelin Stars.

“The Ritz Restaurant and Veeraswamy, London’s oldest Indian restaurant, both receive One Michelin Star. These establishments have long and illustrious histories, but the cooking at both has never been better than it is today.

“There have been some excellent additions to the guide across both Great Britain and Ireland - restaurants that are producing consistently good food using excellent ingredients.”

Newcomers to the London dining scene awarded a Michelin Star include Ellory and The Ninth.

Establishments which have retained their Michelin Stars under new chefs include Gary Foulkes at Angler, Tom Brown at Outlaws at the Capital Hotel and Robert Potter at Bybrook Restaurant at the Manor House Hotel.

Special congratulations were given to Michael Wignall, who made a very successful move from Surrey to Devon and retained the Two Michelin Stars at Gidleigh Park.

Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck returns to the guide with Three Michelin Stars. The restaurant offers a truly memorable and visceral multi-sensory experience which is informed by a clever narrative.

Rebecca Burr said: “Our inspectors had many meals here during the course of the year and found the restaurant invigorated, rejuvenated and unquestionably worthy of being re- awarded our highest accolade.”

This edition of the guide also marks the 20th anniversary of the Bib Gourmand – Michelin’s award for good value, good quality cooking. This year the guide includes more than 140 ‘Bibs’, of which 24 are new.

Also published today is the Michelin Guide London 2017, priced at £12.99 (€14.99 in Ireland). This guide provides extended text on London’s restaurants, with photographs and information on all Michelin Starred establishments, as well as a pull-out map. It also includes a selection of London’s best hotels, across all categories of comfort.

Both guides can be purchased from bookshops and at http://travel.michelin.co.uk/

The first ever live launch of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland took place at IET London, Savoy Place.

 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

National Waiters Day - October 2016

Fred Sirieix, National Waiters Day
National Waiters Day is the brainchild of Fred Sirieix and is designed to celebrate all front of house staff - whether a waiter in a fine dining restaurant like Galvin at Windows or Rhubarb in Edinburgh; a shaker in Ed's Easy Diner; a mixologist in Salvatore's cocktail bar; or a barista in Benugo.

This will be a day to celebrate all Front of House staff and inspire people about careers in the Hospitality industry.

The day aims to change the perception of Front of House and Service as an unskilled job working long hours to one of a job that offers good skills, lead to a rewarding career with good progression routes and amazing rewards.

It will be a day of celebration of the excellence, dedication, hard work and discipline of all 2.5 million working in the Hospitality industry in the UK.

The day will demonstrate the values of the profession with a range of activities and events - be part of it!

Today, National Waiters Day is part of Springboard's Front of House Festival. The Festival has been created to promote the food and beverage sector and showcase the industry as a vibrant and dynamic place to work. We want to inspire young people to join this great industry and all it has to offer.

To find out more about The Front of House Festival, or to get involved, visit CareerScope.

 

60 Second Craft Beer Review - Capitán APA by Cerveza NAO

Craft beer, beer review, Capitán APA, Lanzarote beers, Gerry's Kitchen
I'm currently on holiday in Lanzarote and although I tend not to drink much beer in the heat, when I heard about a new craft brewery on the island, I had to check it out.
Cerveza NAO has only been in production for three weeks but already have two beers that are attracting attention from restaurants across Lanzarote. Using the best malted grain from Germany, locally grown cereal and hops imported from the UK and America, NAO have created two beers that they hope will be a hit with local drinkers - Capitán APA, an American style pale ale and La Gloria, a Berliner style weiss beer. I bought a couple of bottles of each when I visited the brewery yesterday morning.
Craft beer, beer review, Capitán APA, Lanzarote beers, Gerry's Kitchen
Capitán APA by Cerveza NAO
  • Bought direct from brewery for €2.30 for 330ml bottle (approx. £1.99)
  • Pours with a creamy head that hangs around through the whole drink
  • Dark amber colour
  • Smells fresh and light with citrus and tropical notes on the nose
  • Medium carbonation
  • The similarity to big American Pale Ales is obvious from the initial taste. Sweet malt, bitter hops and fresh citrusy notes all fight for attention in the mouth. In the end, the fresh citrus comes to the front making this a great beer to enjoy in the hot Lanzarote sun.
I love the big hoppy American pale ales and I would put Capitán APA up there with some of the best. The balance of sweet, bitter and fresh is fantastic but the brewmaster at NAO has done a great job in keeping the beer refreshing enu go to enjoy on a hot day. This beer is easily one of the best that I've tasted in recent months, so much so that I'm disappointed that I only bought two bottles!

 

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