Thursday, 24 May 2012

Use your loaf to celebrate in style!

Research by the Flour Advisory Bureau (FAB) reveals one in six Brits are planning to organise, or help to organise, at least one more party than usual this summer. The Love Your Loaf research also revealed that more than half of Brits prefer to do a buffet than a sit down meal when celebrating.

Planning for the perfect buffet has now been made simple thanks to the free-to-download Love Your Loaf party planning toolkit launched on today

Toolkit author Catherine Borowski of top London event company Produce says, “The FAB research shows that the top three worries for Brits planning a party this year are the weather, the cost of hosting a party and how much preparation is involved. While we can’t do much about the weather, my FAB Love Your Loaf party planning toolkit will help make the preparation easier.

The Love Your Loaf research reveals that the nation’s top three menu choices for party buffets are sandwiches (68%), sausage rolls and cocktail sausages. Whilst 15% of people will be having a traditional British party buffet menu at their party, 1 in 10 will be experimenting with new sandwich fillings. Egg and cress sandwiches will be taking centre stage to help us toast 60 years of the Queen, the traditional tea party stalwart, the cucumber sandwich, has been voted our least favourite sandwich filling.

Master baker and Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood is heading up the Love Your Loaf campaign and he says, “My favourite sandwich is made from sliced white bread with crispy unsmoked back bacon and butter and for a buffet, I always head for the egg and cress sandwiches first so I’m delighted that the nation agrees with me!”

Catherine continues, “As an events and party planner, I’m a huge fan of the classic party buffet which is a great way to keep costs down too. Sandwiches remain a stalwart of the Great British party buffet 250 years after being ‘invented’! Check out my delicious sandwich ideas and cake recipes brought up to date for the 21st century to help you celebrate in style.”

The status of the trusty white slice at party buffets across the country was also delved into by the FAB Love Your Loaf research. Around a third of Brits voted for this family staple as the best bread for party buffet sandwiches. Wholemeal and seeded bread came second and third respectively with more exotic varieties trailing a long way behind. Why not celebrate with sliced bread this summer? Whether you’re planning a Jubilee party or creating a healthy snack, the versatility of a loaf of bread can help you celebrate every day.

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter says, “Many people don’t realise that white sliced bread is fortified with vitamins and minerals to give your family great taste and a healthy choice: four slices of white bread provide a quarter of the recommended daily calcium intake for adults. And as bread is naturally low in sugar and lower in salt as well as being enriched with calcium, it is a good source of protein and fibre. For those of us constantly worrying about our weight, bread is a low fat food containing between 1.6 – 2.5% fat, if you’re watching your figure, remember to pick a healthy sandwich filling to keep on track.”

A fifth of people worry about under catering whilst 16% of people worry about being able to cater for everyone attending their parties. The Love Your Loaf toolkit has got this covered with guides on how many sandwiches, cakes and drinks you’ll need to rustle up however big a crowd you’re feeding. With more men than women hosting four more parties than usual, these guidelines are bound to come in useful: it looks like this summer of celebration has stirred up a patriotic party gene in the nation’s men!

Catherine concludes, “Whatever the occasion, be it for the Queen’s Jubilee, the London 2012 games or a family birthday, chances are there’ll be friends and family itching for an invite. So, prepare to step forward, don your pinny and throw your own British party buffet and Love Your Loaf!”

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Award winning caterers choose Heterarchy to design their first Restaurant

Five Rivers A La Carte Interior
Five Rivers Catering Group, the award winning event caterers in Punjabi cuisine, launched their first restaurant in Walsall which offers both dining and banqueting within its purpose built home. 

For this exciting new venture they chose Heterarchy to design of their dining area and bar as the company able to deliver on their mission statement with the interiors:
"Compromise nothing; deliver everything"

And Heterarchy have certainly delivered. Within the exposed brick shell of the building, which is in itself characterful, materials have been carefully chosen to create a sense of luxury whilst providing an intimate feel within what is quite a large space.

As you enter the building, into a small lounge area, upholstered wall panels with bronze finish framing act as a backdrop for the free-standing curved bench seats, creating the look of fixed seating but with added flexibility. Attention to detail is everywhere, from the delicate crackled paint finish to the carefully balanced tones of bronze in both upholstery and laminates. This curved bank of seating flows seamlessly into the main bar structure, again with bronze finish framing around buttoned and upholstered panels. A bar counter of solid black quartz, with a deliberately thin edge profile, is as crisp as it is luxurious.

In the bar area the contrasting steel and hardwood rolling ladder against the double height, wood shelving make for a striking focal point . Six columns of silvered antique oak provide support for both the ladders and the glass shelves. Bronze antique mirrors to the rear of the glass shelves are edge lit using linear LEDs. The overall effect is a carefully balanced mix of industrial and luxurious, bringing together the characterful brick walls with the more opulent setting of the main dining space.

Almost fully booked since it opened the striking décor has helped it stand out from its competitors marry perfectly with the quality of the food to create a unique and luxurious dining experience.

Tony Matters, Creative Director of Heterarchy, says: "This was an exciting project to be involved in, particularly working with the dynamic and highly motivated team at Five Rivers. We enjoyed a close working relationship with the client team and I hope we produced an interior that is a true reflection of their brand and entrepreneurial spirit."

Fantastic Father's Day gift for the foodie Father!

A YORKSHIRE entrepreneur has designed a range of hand crafted quality marble cheeseboards for father’s day. 

The Made from Marble dark marble cheeseboards measure 29cm by 15cm and are engraved with a choice of ‘Dad’s Cheese’, ‘Daddy’s Cheese’, or ‘Grandad’s Cheese’ the three cheeseboards have been specifically crafted for father’s day and retail at £29 including a free gift box and P&P.

Jayne Little, former head of merchandising at Marks & Spencer turned entrepreneur set up Made from Marble from her kitchen just four years ago. She says: “We have a range of 30 products for sale via but wanted to develop something specifically for father’s day as we understand how difficult present buying for the men in your life can be. 

We decided to develop a personalised gift but were keen to make it affordable, and at under £30, we think these cheeseboards really hit the mark. The majority of our customer base is female and having gained a lot of insight into what sort of gifts they are looking for which is why we decided to take our most popular product and adapt it for father’s day.”

Made from Marble is also marketing a special ‘Salt Piggy’ for father’s day for kitchen conscious dads who like to cook. The ‘Salt Piggy’ is available in dark and cream marble, measures 29cm by 16cm by 10cm and retails at £49 including free P&P. 

Jayne adds: “Our new Salt Piggy has been released just in time for father’s day as we know that a lot of fathers like to cook and we thought it would provide a quirky alternative gift for those wanting to spend a little more on a gift that will last a lifetime.”

Have a real Royal Jubilee Feast with Farmison

Last year’s Royal Wedding inspired a new generation of street party enthusiasts, and outdoor parties also are set to be a theme of this summer with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee fast approaching.  In addition to being lots of fun, street parties are a chance to show off your culinary expertise and great taste in food to your neighbours!

Farmison delivers the finest British produce directly from farmers who traditionally supply Great British chefs and award winning restaurants. For the Jubilee celebrations, Farmison has selected a variety of products that are perfect for sharing and eating outdoors, taking the hassle out of choosing what to bring to a street party.

In addition, to celebrate this momentous occasion, Farmison have created their very own unique Jubilee Sausage. Using a secret recipe developed with Michelin starred chef Jeff Baker, who has cooked for the Queen and the wider Royal Family on many occasions, Farmison have developed a traditional English sausage with ingredients influenced from Toulouse sausage. The sausages will be available exclusively to throughout June, priced at £6.95 for a pack of six.

Goosnargh Free Range chicken drumsticks  are ideal for sharing and so easy to cook, either on their own or cooked in a more imaginative way – try roasting with lemon halves and garlic, or braising with fresh tomatoes and black olives before baking. Priced at £6.75 for a pack of 8.  Farmison’s free range chicken skewers from Reg Johnson’s Goosnargh farm in Lancashire are perfect for a tasty snack, ideal piled high on a sharing plate and look great! Simply add tomatoes and peppers for a bit of colour and added crunch. Priced at £5.95 for six.

You can’t beat a traditional British banger fresh off the barbeque at a street party – always a great crowd pleaser! All Farmison’s sausages are made with first-rate, truly tasty meat from animals that aren’t factory farmed. Olde English Style Best Pork Sausages are priced at £5.95 for eight.
To finish off the street party in style, why not make a fresh fruit salad using produce from one of Farmison’s Seasonal Fruit boxes. A large box includes at least 12 different varieties of fruit and contains 46 portions – more than enough to feed the masses! Simply add vanilla ice cream or fresh cream to serve with. Priced at £24.95

Finally, as the crowning glory of the feast fit for a Queen – you can’t go wrong with a fantastic selection of British cheese. All Farmison’s cheese is sourced from leading small artisan producers – why not try a large British Farmhouse Cheese box, which includes Cooleeney, Isle of Mull Cheddar and Dunsyre Blue, along with quince jelly and Stag water biscuits, priced at £31.95. offers one of the largest ranges of exquisite seasonal ingredients from traditional farmers, growers and artisan producers across Britain - a wealth of delicious produce available in one simple delivery from the online butcher, greengrocer, cheesemonger and traditional pantry. It represents over 75 of the best independent British suppliers including 31 butchery farms offering 23 different breeds, over 30 fruit and vegetable growers offering many varieties of seasonal produce and exclusive access to over 50 British farmhouse cheeses, more than 60% of which are not available anywhere else online.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Pilgrim's Choice for your lunch box!

Saving money is a top priority for Brits with 45% stating saving money as the reason to make a packed lunch. The average consumer saves £29 a month making their own packed lunch – the equivalent of £13billion a year.

It’s not just our bank balance that has benefited from home-made lunches with a new culinary trend of pimping up the British sandwich to make lunchtime a more glamorous affair heralds a new lunchtime meal - ‘the glamwich’. Over two thirds (69%) of Brits now make a packed lunch and almost half (47%) change sandwich ingredients to make a packed lunch more exciting.

The research published today of more than 2,000 Britons by Pilgrims Choice on of the UK's top cheddar brands and Censuswide, highlights over 60 per cent of the population now regularly choose to make their own lunches. Out of these lunch makers nearly half (48%) choose to make a sandwich, which if made on a daily basis would be enough sandwiches to fill 48 double decker buses per day.

With one in five consumers adding fancy fillings to make their lunch more exciting and because it looks better than shop bought products, there are endless examples of aesthetics taking lunch making to an alluring new level:
• One third (32%) of all consumers use high-quality cheese to add glamour to a sandwich
• A fifth (21%) buy more interesting bread to make their packed lunch a more exciting occasion
• One in ten sandwich makers add olives or pesto (10%)
• Nearly a fifth (18%) add sweet chilli sauce
• 12 per cent try to replicate sandwiches they have seen or bought in shops

The increase in sandwich making has nutritional benefits as Dr Carina Norris a nutrition expert says: “Sandwiches shouldn’t be boring and making your own means you choose exactly what goes into them, so you can control the fat and salt content, maximise the amount of nutritious salad and help achieve your daily nutrient targets.”

”Try to include a variety of different vegetables in your sandwiches – different veg contain different vitamins and other healthy plant compounds, so eating a variety is a great way to help ensure you get all the nutrients you need. Salad leaves, baby spinach, cress, watercress, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot, thinly sliced radish, beetroot, finely chopped celery and peppers are just a few ideas. Thin slices of apple work well too- they’re especially good with cheese.”

For further ideas to put the rock back into your lunch roll Pilgrims Choice has demonstrated its ‘expertises in cheeses’ and launched a free smartphone app ‘Good Sandwich Pilgrim’ with plenty of categories and over 100 sandwiches to inspire your sandwich making: Glamwich, Speedy, Cheap Eats, Healthy, Vegetarian, Sweet Tooth and Kids Lunchbox.

Alastair Jackson, Marketing Director at Pilgrims Choice, said: “You only need to look at popular television shows such as MasterChef, Come Dine With Me and Great British Bake Off to see that there is a huge consumer appetite for all things foodie and why should this stop when eating ‘al desko’. This research illustrates that as we celebrate the 250th year of the sandwich, consumers are taking sandwich making to a new level. There is now a renewed interest in not only the content but also a need to make presentation ever more appealing.

For more ideas on how you can make your food more artistic visit us at our own sandwich art exhibition at Bath & West, May 30th – June 2nd.”

Let's learn to taste, again!

A campaign has been launched to encourage consumers to take the time to taste their food after scientific research showed 79% of people were unable to identify even basic sandwiches and just 28% of a national poll admitted to savouring their food.

Busy, stressed workers are being encouraged to reawaken their taste buds by a leading psychologist after 60% of the population admitted to ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ tasting what they ate – 1,000 people were polled.

The majority (42%) of British workers admitted to eating at their place of work most days with just 13% leaving their place of work for lunch – almost half (44%) described their lunch as ‘a means to an end’ to refuel their body.

Incredibly, with Britain a multicultural melting pot of global cuisine, awareness levels around food nutrition and healthy eating never higher, and the widest range of great tasting food and flavours at the public’s finger tips, it seems the ability to actually taste food is under threat.

Food brand GLORIOUS! has launched the Flavour Map – a global, online, crowdsourced resource – to inspire as well as re-educate consumers about flavour and taste, as well as unearthing little-known global flavours to launch for the UK market.

The scientific research into the UK’s lunchtime eating habits was commissioned by GLORIOUS! and led by Dr David Lewis with scientists at Mindlab.

Participants were able to only correctly identify 35% of ingredients and most did not detect flavour swaps – 93% were unable to discern beef from Chinese pork, 92% couldn’t tell ham from tuna, 82% could not detect Quorn from chicken, while 78% could not distinguish pork from chicken.

Researchers found that, on average, 79% of people were unable to detect when basic flavours had been swapped, this rose to 88% when people ate whilst distracted, increasing to 93% for people eating under time pressure.

The interactive flavour map – – a ‘Tripadvisor for taste’ allows the public to pin flavours ‘from around the globe or around the corner’ such as meals, recipes, or natural produce.

Dr David Lewis said:"The abundance of great flavours food experiences have never been more diverse, yet our findings suggest consumers are lazy when it comes to tasting and appreciating their food.

“I doubt there’s ever been such a rich tapestry of food and flavour combinations at our disposal, yet we’re not savouring what we eat, which is not just a shame but a genuine waste of taste.

“Our lunchtime habits in particular show that workers consume food as a means to refuelling the body and most rarely, taste what they’re eating.

“The GLORIOUS! Flavour Map campaign is helping to reawaken taste buds, encouraging consumers to take time out to savour their food and inspire new taste and flavour combinations.

“There’s so much fine produce, ingredients and meals available – from budget to blow-out – that food should be an adventure, yet most consumers are getting lost in the basics of taste exploration.”

A Dozen Top Tips To Wake Up Taste Buds:
1. Eat mindfully by truly focusing on what you are eating. Avoid distractions such as reading, watching TV etc.
2. Set aside time to enjoy the food without rushing. Leave at least 15 minutes for even a snack, a full meal should take 30 minutes of more.
3. Relax when you are eating. Do not keep glancing at your watch or thinking about all you have to do after the meal.
4. Chew the food carefully. Remember that chewing is the first stage of digestion. An enzyme in the saliva starts the process by breaking down the food morsels.
5. Take small mouthfuls. The larger what is termed the food ‘bolus’ the less effectively it is chewed and savoured.
6. Avoid talking while chewing. Not only does it prevent you paying full attention to your food but also causes you to swallow air, leading to a greater risk of embarrassing belches.
7. Efficient chewing not only allow you to savour the taste, aroma and texture of the food but also enables the body to adsorb the nutrients better.
8. Avoid drinking too much while eating. Fluid not only distends the stomach but also dilutes the digestive enzyme in the mouth and essential acid in the stomach.
9. Do not over salt the food. Not only does it spoil the taste but, with some kinds of salt, risks increasing blood pressures.
10. Eat with your eyes as much as your mouth. Anticipating how the food will taste not only adds to your enjoyment of the meal but also triggers the release of enzymes so ensuring good digestion.
11. Leave the food in your mouth for enough time to experience all the aroma. What we think of as taste is mostly smell. The tongue is only receptive to basic tastes, such as sweet and sour, the rest of the enjoyment comes from cells lining the nasal passages. Molecules of food broken down by chewing take time to reach these cells, so slow down and enjoy more.
12. By enjoying the experience of eating you will not only enhance the pleasure you derive from your food but also encourage a greater sense of overall well-being. That old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is not quite true. More accurately you are what you ingest and digest. Both these processes work best when they are allowed to work slowly.
Source: The GLORIOUS! Flavour Map

Dr David Lewis continued: “Apart from denying ourselves the pleasure that savouring tasty, well-cooked and presented food provides, there are other negative consequences of what Dr Brian Wansink has termed ‘mindless eating.’

“Because we eat inattentively the food is often insufficiently and inefficiently chewed. Mastication, the process in which the food in our mouth is broken into smaller fragments and thoroughly mixed with saliva, represents the first stage of digestion. Saliva contains a digestive enzyme essential for the proper absorption of the meal. If this stage is bypassed, as it typically is when consuming food inattentively, the results can range from indigestion and heartburn to an inadequate uptake of essential nutrients from the food.

“Poor mastication also means that we fail to savour and appreciate the true taste and texture of the meal. What we regard as taste is, in fact, mostly smell. As the food morsel is broken up in the mouth, molecules are released which drift upwards to a sense organ known as the olfactory epithelium. It is here that we recognise and enjoy the great taste of most food.

“The tongue itself contains thousands of conical shaped receptors sensitive to touch. It is these which convey the sense of texture that adds so greatly to our enjoyment, provided they are allowed sufficient time to do their work.

“Finally, rapid, ‘mindless’ eating means that the food goes ‘down’ so rapidly that by the time the stomach signals to the brain that it has ‘had enough’ we have, in fact, overeaten. The consequence is that we add unnecessary calories and so put on weight.”

Full Statistics
• 59% of UK workers spend less than 15 minutes eating lunch
• 21% spend just 5-10 minutes eating lunch
• 60% admitted to ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ tasting what they eat
• 42% did not leave their desk during their lunch breaks
• 13% leave their place of work for lunch
• 44% described their lunches as a ‘means to an end’ and a way of keeping hunger at bay
• 20% described their lunches ‘really enjoyable’
• Participants in the scientific experiments correctly identify just 35% of ingredients
• On average, 79% of people were unable to detect when basic flavours had been swapped
• 88% were unable to detect swaps when eating while distracted
• 93% were unable to detect swaps when eating under time pressure
• In specific produce flavour swaps
o 93% were unable to discern beef from Chinese pork
o 92% couldn’t tell ham from tuna
o 82% could not detect Quorn from chicken
o 78% could not distinguish pork from chicken
Source: The GLORIOUS! Flavour Map

The GLORIOUS! product line includes a range of fresh, high quality soups, stews and pasta sauces all developed within its A-Z of Global Flavours ethos.
*Find flavour inspiration at the GLORIOUS Flavour Map:

Vegetarian breakfasting with a difference

Chinese Fried Bread
Wing Yip is helping to dispel the myth that vegetarian breakfasts can never match the meat alternative with some incredible pan-Asian dishes.

To celebrate National Vegetarian Week (NVW) 2012, the UK's top Chinese and Oriental food supplier is highlighting delicious meals to challenge the might of the bacon butty and black pudding.

The focus of this year’s National Vegetarian Week, which runs from Monday 21 May to Sunday 27 May, is breakfast, so veggies can try Yu Tiao, usually known in English as Chinese fried bread sticks.

The long, golden-brown, deep-fried strip of dough is eaten for breakfast in East and South East Asian cuisines and often dipped into hot coffee for a hearty and satisfying first meal of the day. Cooking from scratch is reasonably hassle-free, but for those short on time, Wing Yip offers a quick and delicious frozen version.

Other vegetarian breakfast choices include the Malaysian Paratha, which is a type of flatbread that’s delicious with breakfast staples like omelette or scrambled eggs. Finally, Chinese Man Tao (steamed buns) are fluffy and perfect with hot soy milk.

Mr Wing Yip, founder of Wing Yip, said: “We’re trying to help break the perception that vegetarian breakfasts are a bland alternative to the traditional British fry-up or sausage sandwich.

“With a little imagination, you can create a fantastic meat-free exotic meal to surprise your breakfast guests and get a perfect start to the day.”

Yu Tiao

• ¾ teaspoon instant yeast
• Two tablespoons of lukewarm water
• One teaspoon of Mai Siam Palm Sugar
• 250 ml water
• One teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda
• ½ teaspoon of ammonia powder - available from Wing Yip
• ½ teaspoon of alum - available from Wing Yip
• 315 gms bread flour
• One teaspoon pink salt
1. Mix the yeast, lukewarm water and sugar and set aside for 10 minutes until foamy.
2. Mix the water, bi-carbonate of soda, ammonia powder and alum.
3. Sift the bread flour and pink salt into a mixing bowl then add the two other mixtures and, using a wooden spoon, mix the dough until it is combined.
4. Knead for five minutes and add a little bit more flour if the dough is too sticky to work with.
5. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough proof for two hours. After that, turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface.
6. Sprinkle some flour on the dough and roll it into a long rectangle.
7. Cut into strips that are four centimetres-wide and roughly the length of a chopstick.
8. Place one of the strips one on top of another and leave for five minutes. Then heat vegetable or sesame oil for frying.
9. Press lightly on the two strips of dough with a chopstick. Then hold both ends of the combined dough and lower into hot oil. Deep fry, turning constantly until each it turns puffy and golden brown.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Gate Opens to Brings Exciting Vegetarian Cuisine to Islington

The Gate, London's most successful vegetarian restaurant since 1989, will open in Islington on 1st June 2012, offering diners in North East London the chance to enjoy vegetarian cuisine at its best. The Gate Hammersmith will be temporarily closed for refurbishment on 19th May until 1st October 2012.

The Gate announces the launch of its new restaurant, bringing exciting vegetarian cuisine to diners in North East London. On 1st June The Gate will open in Islington at 370 St Johns Street, introducing a tempting mezze bar menu - perfect to share, and a delicious weekend brunch. The new daily set menu is designed to attract lunchtime and early evening / pre-theatre diners, who can choose 2 or 3 courses at great prices. We will of course also be serving our award winning à la carte.

The Daniel Brothers started trading in Hammersmith in December 1989, knowing nothing about running a restaurant, simply knowing that food should be celebrated. Inspired by their cultural background, they created a menu which blended Indo–Iraqi cooking with traditional Jewish food. Over the years, French and Italian influences have matured their seasonal creative dishes into delicious international cuisine. The Gate has become a successful family-run vegetarian restaurant, recently quoted as London's most popular vegetarian restaurant earlier this year. Michael and Adrian have produced 2 cookbooks and have recently been nominated for other awards, not to mention the back catalogue of amazing reviews.

Michael Daniel’s passion for sourcing ingredients with care and intensifying flavour through careful cooking and unusual food combinations has helped The Gate to become what it is today. “I am delighted to bring exciting vegetarian cuisine to North East London in a fun and relaxed way.” Michael adds “Launching The Gate Islington has given us the added opportunity of refreshing our restaurant in Hammersmith ready for the re-launch on 1st October.”

The Gate Islington is located opposite Sadlers Wells theatre, near Angel underground tube station and will be open on 1st June 2012. The Hammersmith restaurant will be temporarily closed for refurbishment from 19th May, reopening for business as usual on 1st October 2012.

National Vegetarian Week

Going permanently meat-free is not for everyone, but even occasional forays into the veggiesphere could cut costs, boost your health and make you a better cook, claims Cook Vegetarian magazine. Urging non-veggies from all walks of life to experience meals without meat during National Vegetarian Week (21st-27th May 2012), Cook Vegetarian offers more than 500 free recipes on to inspire and delight meat-free cooks. Need convincing? Check out Cook Vegetarian's top

4 reasons to put more veggie dishes on the menu:

1 Every little counts for health
When it comes to the benefits of vegetarianism on your body, it isn't just acase of all or nothing. A recent Harvard study found that each extra serving of processed meat per day increased the chance of premature death by 20%, while the World Cancer Research Fund has recommended people limit consumption to 500g (cooked weight) of red meat a week, avoiding processed meat altogether. So, opting for vegetarian recipes just a couple of times a week in place of red meat could contribute significantly to a healthier

2 Money matters
With food prices still on the rise, where we spend our grocery pounds is more important than ever. While there's no denying that you can eat cheaply without giving up meat, an unprocessed vegetarian diet can't be beaten on cost per serving. Top-notch seasonal vegetables are available at a steal from markets (or you can grow your own for pence); combine with low-cost grains and dried pulses and you have seriously frugal food. For example, a scratch-cooked shepherdess pie made with lentils can cost just 47p per portion for a hearty, balanced meal.

3 It's the future...
With the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation estimating that nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gases are caused by meat production, plus the swathes of rainforest and other rich ecosystems being cleared, and the water needed, to graze livestock and to grow crops to feed them – eating less meat offers one avenue to a more sustainable future. Simply eating less intensively farmed meat on fewer occasions can reduce your carbon footprint, while opting for an entirely plant-based diet (without dairy) is the gold standard of eco-eating.

4 Hugh can... so you can too!
But can a foodie really enjoy and savour vegetarian cuisine? Yes, says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall one of many TV chefs to champion the meat-free cause in recent months. The former king of carnivores claims that since launching his book River Cottage Veg Every Day, most of his meals contain 'little or no meat' but that he now eats 'better than ever'. Hugh even spent four months entirely without fish or meat to lend weight to his argument that vegetables deserve pride of place on everyone's plate, and was surprised just how much he got out of the experience. So why not take up the vegetarian challenge and expand your foodie horizons too?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 May Deals has Savings on Top Brand Restaurants and Retailers

Voucher codes site announces latest deals for money off at Pizza Express, Debenhams, Clarks and more, the website that helps UK consumers save money at over 800 leading stores and suppliers, has this week introduced new deals to get shoppers savings on May dining out and other goods. The voucher codes site has sourced new online vouchers redeemable at leading stores like Clarks and Debenhams plus top pizza chain Pizza Express.

One of the UK's best-known pizza chains is available on a budget through the latest deals in the shape of Pizza Express. The website this week offers shoppers newly updated Pizza Express deals which they can use to get hold of great value - deals on show include 2 for 1 + Pizza.

Other top brands and retailers can be had on a budget too this month thanks to Among the deals redeemable at hundreds of top stores is a choice of new money off coupons which features deals such as a £25 Sainsbury’s gift card when you buy BT Broadband online, 20% Off Selected Outdoor Toys at Debenhams and Free Delivery & Returns at Clarks.

Doug Scott, managing director of, commented, “Brits do love a bargain and saving money at top name stores and restaurants is always popular - so we're pleased to help people out right now. These new deals we've sourced this week are perfectly-timed to help people get more for their money this May and through the summer." offers consumers money saving deals at major high street brands and specialist retailers, including stores like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Travelodge, First Choice, and Boden.

For more information visit

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Ice Man Cometh … with Icely Done's Frozen Cocktail Sticks

Icely Done Havana Club rum and coconut
Icely Done Havana Club rum and coconut
Icely Done launch six perfectly blended drinks in the form of nostalgic frozen cocktail sticks for home delivery this summer.

Each Icely Done cocktail stick is expertly blended using quality branded spirits and sustainably sourced ingredients to create six tantalising flavours to inject magic into any event, party or any social occasion.

Choose from:
Finlandia grapefruit vodka & Pomegranate
Absolut lemon vodka & Raspberry
Havana Club rum & Coconut
Havana Club 3yr rum & Mango
Campari & Blood Orange
Beefeater gin & Lemon

Created by Lefti Christodoulou, an internationally renowned bartender and drinks' industry professional, Icely Done cocktail sticks are inspired by a Brazilian fresh fruit product sold as a street drink to quench thirsts in hot climates.

Icely Done cocktail sticks are a stylish, nostalgic and affordable way to instantly serve up an ice cold cocktail for your guests. I’ve mixed each flavour to impart a genuine cocktail experience of superior quality and taste while also being refreshing, mouth-watering and moreish. We freeze our cocktail sticks as soon as we have created the blend so they are free of additives and preservatives and taste just like a good cocktail or blended fresh fruit ice cold shot,” says Lefti.

So, when the hot weather cometh ring the Icely Done Man on 07534 934 744 or order online. Prices start from just £1.50 per cocktail stick based on a minimum order of 20 and are inclusive of VAT. Delivery within the M25 is free with charges applicable outside of the Greater London area.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

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That's Books: First Preserves: Marmalades Now Available On iBook...

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Parmigiano Reggiano Celebrates The Launch Of!

Food lovers and cheese addicts should note that Parmigiano Reggiano is celebrating the launch of its new website to remind the world that Parmigiano Reggiano is the ONLY cheese that can be called Parmesan.

Please visit and enjoy exploring the site. As well as learning about the history and craftsmanship of the King of Cheeses, check out the videos section and test your knowledge with our new Truth Behind Parmesan game.

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Vegan 'Fish' On The Menu At Leading Sushi Restaurant

Vegan 'fish' produced by ethical food firm Redwood is now on the menu at Brighton's best-loved sushi restaurant.

Moshi Moshi, renowned for its work in fish conservation, is using the faux 'fish' in dishes such as vegan 'fish' udon and stir fry noodles.

"It's proving very popular," said Karl Jones of Moshi Moshi, which is keen to help protect global fish stocks. "Customers love it - not just vegans, but the carnivorous too. As the flavour is so good, it's a viable alternative to real fish."

As Karl Jones points out, ethical consumption is at the heart of everything Moshi Moshi does.   

"We firmly believe in 'restorative eating'," he says. "It's a way of eating that aims not just to make the environment sustainable but actually restores and improves it. Our aim is to give back more than we take.

"One way we can do this is by decreasing our reliance on animal proteins and to eat more vegetarian food. It's why we teamed up with Redwood."

To show just how versatile plant-based alternatives to meat, fish and cheese can be, Moshi Moshi recently joined forces with Redwood to launch The Great Moshi Vegan Challenge, in which eight of Brighton's leading chefs went head to head to create the best sushi using vegan ingredients.

Among the ingredients that particularly impressed judges was Redwood's vegan 'duck', which was used in five separate dishes and combined variously with mango, kale, ginger, grapefruit, sansho pepper, boshi jelly and shiitake mushrooms.

It was also the basis for the winning dish duck chettinad created by chef Alun Sperring, who added mango and nut sauce and red chilli chutney to give the sushi a kick familiar to the Indian food he serves at Chilli Pickle, named as one of the top 50 curry houses in the UK.

"We're delighted that our foods are capturing the imagination of chefs," said Lee Rockingham of Redwood. "We hope many more will follow in Moshi Moshi's footsteps."

Everything in the Redwood range is made from natural plant-based ingredients so free from animal products and derivatives as well as cholesterol, artificial colours/preservatives, lactose, hydrogenated fats and GMOs. This makes them suitable not just for vegetarians and vegans, but also for people suffering from lactose or casein intolerance and anyone looking for a healthier and more ethical lifestyle. 

Redwood products are also kosher certified and the company itself is halal process certified.

According to The Ethical Company Organisation and The Good Shopping Guide, Redwood is the UK's most ethical vegetarian foods firm. Find out more at

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Whisky for Father’s Day

Father’s Day, Sunday 17 June, is an occasion to wise-up on whisky and buy Dad his favourite. Or, for a more adventurous choice, where can you get the best inspiration? Whichever way, you will also want to know that you are buying smartly. Click on for recommendations and an easy way to buy from established online whisky retailers. Browse all in one place and rest confident as you save time and effort by buying at the keenest prices, and knowing that delivery will be efficiently taken care of.

This absorbing and informative site does so much more than list prices. Enjoy the blog; also videos of tastings presented by master distillers and behind the scenes visits with experts at different distilleries. Pierre Thiebaut of WhiskyMarketplace, and presenter on WhiskyMarketplace TV, is also a judge in the World Whisky Awards. Here he gives a few of his top recommendations. “If you know Dad’s favourite brand, he may like to try a different aged bottling from the same distillery. Or you can search by style, for example, a smokey, peaty Islay whisky or a more subtle, sweet Lowlands style. You can then easily choose from a list of choices, prices, and availability, for everyday drinking right through to rarities to collect.”

Compass Box: Great King Street ‘The Artist Blend’
“A blended whisky?” I hear you cry. Yes, but this is not any old blend. Before we get into that, let us be clear, there is nothing wrong with blended whisky; some of the greatest whiskies are blends. This little number stands head and shoulders above anything in its price range. The secret to a great dish is fine ingredients, and whisky-maker John Glaser knows that only too well. With his attention to detail and a simple, confident recipe of fine malts and grain whiskies, he has crafted a masterpiece. Around £24.

Lagavulin 16 years old
Is Dad a fan of deep peat flavours? If he already has some Laphroaig or Ardbeg stashed in the cabinet, he might just be missing this other gem from the Island of Islay, the spiritual home of the peat beasties. This whisky is rich with smoldering peat embers and a delicate touch of sweetness. It will transport him to a beach on Islay, with the moonlight glinting on the water, as the fire dies down on a summer night. Around £43.

Highland Park 21 years old
Now we are getting serious. Gentle peat, woody notes and fruits combine to produce an elegant and beautifully balanced whisky. A luxurious and rich texture delivers the wonderful flavours with aplomb. Bottled at a higher strength 47.5%, it is perfect for appreciating the subtle complexities it holds. Yes please! Around £92.

Brora 1982 ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ bottled by Gordon & MacPhail

This is one for a Dad who knows his distilleries. Brora, the most famous of the ’lost distilleries’, shut down its stills in 1983. Some of the whisky it produced still rests in casks in the dark corners of warehouses. From time to time, it gets bottled, although there is less of it about than there used to be. The price is modest for a Brora but there is more to this and other whiskies from that sadly missed distillery than just scarcity value. The whisky is as intriguingly complex as it is rare. Around £130. is an essential companion to premium whisky buying. It provides an easy one-stop retail comparison of over 4,000 whiskies. No longer need will you have to trawl through individual retailers to find a chosen whisky. Major brands through to boutique expressions, limited editions and rarities can be easily tracked down. With just a couple of clicks, you can land on the product purchase page of a selection of online retailers and know that your choice is available to buy. was created by brothers Pierre and Jean-Luc Thiebaut who designed the resource as an extension of their well established whisky social network This currently features over 2500 product reviews from registered consumers.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012