The Weekend Edition

Clearly in the build up to Christmas it has been a quiet week for the news. Yet another blagger was outed on social media and Gary Usher (@StickyWalnut) confirms on Twitter that his next venture will be Chorlton in 2016, as posted on this site in mid November.

Masterchef: The Professionals – Week 5 Quarter finals

The week started with an invention test centering around core ingredients of:

  • Venison
  • Pork belly
  • Ox tail
  • Seabass
  • Duck

Highlights were Bobby’s Pork with lentils, merguez sausage, samphire; Wareing declaring:

 Absolutely brilliant layers of flavour.

And Mark S’ Venison with Oxtail ballotine, beetroot, Black pudding purée & chard. Wareing said:

Another great dish.

With Josh, Andy Joey and Darren in the bottom four and fighting for two of the available remaining places to progress, now was the time to risk it for a biscuit. Unfortunately it was the end of the road for both Josh & Joey for different reasons. Josh had consistently produced dishes which were off on a tangent throughout the competition. He realised this and tried to return to his classic roots, but to no avail. Joey’s cooking has relied heavily on the mantra of ‘doing a simple thing well’, and whilst her food has gained plaudits as the weeks have gone by, this will only take you so far in Masterchef.


The ten remaining chefs were split into two groups of five. The first group would be cooking a three course meal for six people at The Law Society. The group comprised of Nick, Darren, Mark S, Andi and Dean, there is no denying this was a strong group of chefs, but could they pull off a stunning meal working as a team?

The menu:


Source: BBC iPlayer

Despite the clever editing; The function sitting down at 6.15pm, yet a kitchen clock (13mins into the episode) showing 1.25pm, everything went great. The only minor hiccup was Dean only cutting five portions of the terrine for a party of six, the group recovered well and really pulled together a unit.

After this, they were back to the Masterchef kitchen to cook yet another show stopper. It was a close fought affair, so close in fact that Wareing & Galetti failed to separate them, all five progress to the semi finals next week.

The second group of; Mark H, Danilo, Gavin, Bobby and Scott were to cook for cricketing legend Mike Gatting & four of his friends at Lords.

Their menu was:


Source: BBC iPlayer

Off to a promising start with Mark & Danilo’s pickled Mackerel salad with tortellini, it quickly descended from there. The main course of stuffed Rabbit saddle with a butter bean & braised leg ragout, from Bobby & Gavin, was labelled as ‘amateur’. Whilst Scott’s dessert of a deconstructed Apple crumble was declared as ‘disappointing’, and the guest of honour saying that he would have preferred cheese and biscuits.

Whilst these two days out did little to discount any of the participants, much like the skills test in earlier rounds, it was left to the second group to cook their show stoppers.

This was a much easier decision for the judges, with only Scott, Mark H & Danilo making it through to the semis.


Restaurant CEO rounds on NY Times critic

There’s no doubting one the things that really ranckles the Hospitality industry is the right of reply to online reviews. This is probably one of the many reason’s the Sticky Walnut Twitter account is so popular, with Usher’s takedown of Tripadvisor reviews which are clearly unjust.

However, Altamarea restaurant group CEO has take this to a new level, with his crushing open letter of New York Times critic Pete Wells.

Full story: Grubstreet NY

It’s Christmas time & the blaggers are out in force.

Clearly this has been a problem which has plagued the blogosphere for sometime; those that seem to think that they have a divine right to have free meals in restaurants, in exchange for possible free PR.

This week’s example of a blagger is Taylor magazine, who sent this lovely email to James Lewis, the marketing director of Gauthier Soho, Tartufo & Gauthier Wines.


Taylor magazine’s wanting of a free meal for 6

Naturally reached out to Taylor magazine for comment, but their idea of social media damage control was this:


People ask me why I don’t support the Cut Tourism VAT campaign

One story which has been rumbling on for a while is the Cut Tourism VAT campaign. They’ve been to Parliament pleading poverty, but thanks to an automatic feature on The Caterer website, this explains my position perfectly


Despite recording record profits, JD Wetherspoon still are pleading poverty

Loves this parody:

All top chefs are on drugs – Heston Blumenthal

Full article: Here

Think we need to get back to basics

Clearly David Chang hasn’t informed Michelin that ramen is dead!

After the ranty essay that Chang published in his Lucky Peach publication that ramen was dead, clearly the New York based chef has been ignored by Michelin. The French tyre company has garnished its first ramen restaurant  with a star.

Full story: Munchie on Vice



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