The Weekend Edition

The some of news from the Hospitality sector has been that the industry can’t decide what the outcome of the National Living Wage will be, shock horror. Also, when appearing in front of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, the lobbying group ‘Cut Tourism VAT’ were caught out exaggerating some of their claims.

Masterchef: The Professionals – Week 3

This week saw multiple sightings of the rarest of things; a Chef de Partie ( Parteeei, as narrator Sean Pertwee insists on saying it). We also, yet again, saw how woefully equipped some chefs are for life in professional kitchens, such basic skills as tasting, & filleting fish, are shunned for aesthetics.

The skills tests this week have seemed to ask alot or something nigh on impossible, in the time frame allowed. Galetti chose Escabèche as her test & gave each contestant 15minutes to prepare a dish which can take upto 24hours to complete. The definition of Escabèche by authoritative reference, Larousse Gastronimique is:

A spicy cold marinade for preserving cooked foods and originating in Spain.

It is used chiefly for small cooked fish. The fish are headed (hence the name , from ‘cabeza’, ‘head’), then fried or lightly browned; they are then marinated for 24hours in a cooked and spiced marinade.

The fish then keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Wareing asked some of the contestants to prepare a Lobster Raviolo with a bisque sauce. For an introduction in to the competition this again seemed a steep ask, especially compared to other opening tests in previous episodes.

Yet again there was a member of the Luke Thomas generation of chefs, 21 year old Sean from Hertfordshire, who has been Head chef for a year at a gastro pub. Bravo to him for wanting to enter, but unfortunately he was clearly out of his depth especially when surrounded by more experienced chefs with better backgrounds.

Chefs de Partie, Josh & Jamie, were both found out on the skills test for poor filleting & fail to taste respectively.

Highlights of the week were Private chef Joey’s Passionfruit curd tart, which Wareing proclaimed:

That could sit in any 3* restaurant


Masterchef: The Professionals – Joey’s Passionfruit tart.

Proof that a simple thing done well is a great thing. Even at the Restaurant Critic stage, Tracey MacLeod was asking

Do you do doggy bags?

High praise indeed for food which is less complex than those with culinary insecurities. This requires skill & confidence, which clearly Joey has.

At this stage, the wheat is being well & truly sorted from the chaff. There are several front runners, but how phased are they going to be by being taken out of their comfort zones. This may play into Joey’s hands, who clearly has a varied catering career.

Stories from the Inbox

Fraser Shand from Edinburgh College, emailed me to let me know about a fund raising evening:

Some of the country’s top chefs teamed up with Cyrenians and Edinburgh College to lay on a gastronomical spectacular and raise money for society’s most vulnerable people.

Chefs included Daniel Mellor from the Observatory restaurant at The Glasshouse Hotel; John Newton from Apex International; Neil Forbes from Café St Honore; Sebastian Kobelt, Patissier and Chocolatier from Linlithgow; Brian Grigor, head chef of the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant at The Balmoral Hotel.

Hugh McCluskey, curriculum manager for professional cookery and hospitality at Edinburgh College, said:

Our students were delighted to have the chance to work with top chefs and soak up their hints and tips while helping a good cause. Opportunities like this inspire them to focus on their studies and continue to produce fantastic work.

Charity evening


Espresso Mushroom Company have a concept which I really admire, this week they sent me their Christmas offers.

Grow perfect mushrooms in less than 2 weeks – even for the gardening novice!

Four simple steps:
Open up | Water | Grow | Harvest
Satisfaction Guaranteed!

For more information, see their website:


How much would you pay for a classic cookery book?

As much as White Heat by Marco Pierre White is regarded as a classic cookery book, widely regarded for inspiring a generation of chefs, How much would you actually pay for a new copy? £100, £200, maybe £400; How about £2,300? This is how much some people are asking for on Amazon.

Pierre Koffmann

Full listing:

File under: WTF

CHEFS: A warning from Michelin

And you thought only Brookside buried things under the patio…

After the much publicised fracas on the patio of Simonstone Hotel, with regard to hot food being available after a day of filming. The hotel have now decided to celebrate the fact, that due to their own incompetency, a highly strung Clarkson lost his rag, & ultimately his job.


Simonstone Hotel clearly think it’s funny to demonstrate their own incompetence.

Full story on: Mashable

Manchester/Birmingham rivalry continues

Opportunity of the week?!?

Win/Win situation for men?

Boobs & beer, what’s not to like? 😉

The moment when I just can’t help myself



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