back to blogging...

20. Feb, 2021

Dear Sirs

 

I have been working in hospitality industry for a long time, I am certainly not as wealthy as Gordon Ramsay who is starting new TV show and drives a Ferrari or 6, although we have same passionate goals and pride, looking after our heritage and helping our local economies is what I/we do.

Our industry, the third biggest in this country, has suffered long enough the last 11 month, the high risk groups of people have now been vaccinated which means you have to lift the lockdown as you promised in December 2020 and let our businesses and all the private sector run their course again. Hospitality is not about running a TV show btw....I am sorry to hear and see, but people just die….people have been dying before Covid while others carry on.

Catering colleges are looking for new students but it looks very bleak with all these lockdowns as the younger generation don't see a future in this sector. It is hard enough to keep our businesses shine in 'normal' circumstances but need to be supported with new protégées to keep our heritage at speed and passing on skills and knowledge for their future and your tax revenue.

All is not lost yet, but if this locking down continues for whatever reason you and your currently running government will personally be responsible for shutting down our industry in the UK forever. Gordon Ramsey TV show will not be putting bread on our tables.

To summon this up, lift the lockdown and stop future lockdowns, open up businesses on the 1st of April and be an example that you care as much as we do.

 I just wonder....who else is writing this weekend.....

 

26. Jan, 2021

I copied this post from Alison Maslen... I am disgusted of the governments despicable actions and the bad handling in the shadows of Covic, to push through new regulations and laws without proper scrutiny. WE NEED BEES!!

A pesticide believed to kill bees has been authorised for use in England despite an EU-wide ban two years ago and an explicit government pledge to keep the restrictions.

Following lobbying from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and British Sugar, a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam was sanctioned for emergency use on sugar beet seeds this year because of the threat posed by a virus.

Conservationists have described the decision as regressive and called for safeguards to prevent the pollution of rivers with rainwater containing the chemical at a time when British insects are in serious decline.

The decision by 11 countries to allow emergency use of the product comes amid a growing awareness of the harmful role played by refined sugar in the development of long-term health problems.

Matt Shardlow, the chief executive of the invertebrate conservation group Buglife, said it was an “environmentally regressive” decision that would destroy wildflowers and add to an “onslaught” on insects.

“In addition, no action is proposed to prevent the pollution of rivers with insecticides applied to sugar beet,” he said. “Nothing has changed scientifically since the decision to ban neonics from use on sugar beet in 2018. They are still going to harm the environment.”

The EU agreed to a ban on all outdoor uses of thiamethoxam in 2018 to protect bees. When the UK pledged to back the ban, Michael Gove, then the environment secretary, said: “The weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood … We cannot afford to put our pollinator populations at risk.”

He also wrote in the Guardian: “Unless the evidence base changes again, the government will keep these restrictions in place after we have left the EU.”

The UK, however, has now joined EU countries including Belgium, Denmark and Spain in signing emergency authorisations for its use, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A similar emergency application for England in 2018 was refused after government pesticide advisers said it would “cause unacceptable effects to bees in flowering crops and flowering plants in field margins”.

It added that it would harm “birds and mammals eating seedlings from treated seed and birds consuming pelleted seed” and risked “adversely impacting populations of aquatic insects”.

Scientists have observed significant declines in some British bee species since 2007, coinciding with the introduction of thiamethoxam, which was previously widely used. Studies suggest that it weakens bees’ immune systems, harms the development of baby bees’ brains and can leave them unable to fly. Another study has found honey samples being contaminated by neonicotinoids..”

3. Nov, 2020

If one thinks about truffles...they were used in kitchens and restaurants as a norm and everyday on the order list on different sections back in my London Savoy days. Knowing full well they were expensive but part of fine cuisine, presentation, flavours and giving any dish the waw factor. This is still the case in smaller restaurants, where passionate Chefs who give their life and love to every single dish, with incredible techniques where real foodies sampling their artistic flair and perfection. Sourcing local ingredients and working with growers and helping artisan producers has been in my life for as long as I can remember make the best out of the best. 20 years ago I arrived in Shropshire on my journey as a Chef. Back then only a handful of local producers were known but plenty of choice of growers. Now in every corner or hamlet of Shropshire there are passionate growers and producers working along side each other to make the finest artisan produce Britain can be proud of. I am working closely together with Rupert and Tracy from Bennet&Dunn organic rapeseed oil, develloping and making natural flavoured rapeseed oils using locally sourced ingredients. We discussed many times truffles, but only if they were local ones. Many moons later I happened to come across Mike Collison, from Shropshiretruffles, on instagram and contacted him immediately, set a date and today was just a fabulous experience. Mike and his 'truffle' dog Oscar took us, Rupert, Tracy and myself into the orchard and as simple as it sounds, Oscar was set to work and told to find truffles, of he went and we just followed him, he certainly had a good nose for truffles and within seconds the first truffles were dug out. Can you believe it, Shropshire truffles....for Mike and Oscar walking through the orchard , digging and picking up truffles is a daily routine, for us three just to experience this was an un-forgetful jaw dropping event to say the least, real Shropshire truffles. Needless to say this won’t be my last visit. Another chapter has begun.  

2. Aug, 2020

So now we are in August, I know lots of catering  establishments meant to be going all full on t.mz , prepping all weekend and then some kind of government 'person' announced yesterday that kids need to stop going to pubs and go to school soon. so shut the pubs, I am not to sure at all what kinda horse sh..t trade-off this is. Who in the right frame of mind comes up with this. It feels like there is an unknown to the public agenda running to cage us all, a little at the time so we get used to it. So wrong....

I do feel sorry for all the new hospitality students, who were looking forward to a career they dreamt of for years, just melting away in front of them. It will have a serious impact in our industry for years to come. I hope there will be more constructive guidelines coming out soon. we all need structure in our life and looking forward to what will be happening tomorrow...

Meanwhile, my new addiction of sour dough breads is more fulfilling then any 1 minute of BBC news.  Using great organic flours from Pimhill Farm and Shipton mill, I do look forward making my daily fresh loaves. Healthy indeed and the fresh baked bread smell every day is mouth watering, even better then the smell of freshly ground coffee. 

I promise next blog will bea little less politcs...🙂

24. Jun, 2020

So this lockdown....I have seen so many people all over the world making sourdough bread in this period so far, It is amazing how people come together, I am always on the lookout for new things and challenges. food is an endless journey of knowledge and learning. I have been  speaking to people in Canada, Australia, Bahrain, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland to name a few countries working together on new recipes, methods. Exchanging knowledge of the how the who the when and the what, a privilege for sure. From hobby bakers like myself to professionals all having the same ideology to make the best ever ...everyday...

Having  been experimenting with starters (mother) using different flour and blended flour, and came to the conclusion, to make the best you got to use the best. Speaking to a baker friend in London, I got in touch with Shipton mill flour company, their website is fantastic, but you need to know what you are looking for as there is so much choice. Well impressed with their service, flour(s) been delivered within 24hours although their website stated it could be a few days as there is a 'pandemic' on the go.

I will be starting to use the flour this week and see what will be the new results/outcome of my sourdoughs. Exciting times. I am eager to implement the new breads/techniques when the lock down is all over.

Happy baking, and I hope this will carry on regardless this lockdown ar another one if it happens again, people are changing for the better in my eyes, more home cooking and baking.  

See you all again soon 🙂