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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

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Archive for the ‘Hotel News’ Category

Do you have what it takes?

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Waiters races have been run all around the world for over a century. It gives those in the profession a chance to demonstrate their professional skills including their agility and balance.

The earliest races started in France which were to recognise waiters for their contribution towards the tourism industry and economy as well as an opportunity to show off their skills to the public!

Now, these races are held around the world and this year in London the race of all races will be held on June 23rd, 2013.
It involves racing by carrying a tray, bottle and glasses, keeping them in place for the whole race. The winner is the Waiter who crosses the finishing line first with tray and contents still in tact.

The course usually runs for approximately 1km and in London the the starting line takes place at Brunswick Square from 10.00am.  The Race starts at 11:00am.

Do you have the speed and agility? Do you have what it takes to be the next champion and have fun doing it? If you’re not inclined to run, check out other activites on the day which you can also organise in your area including, silver service, napkin folding, table lay up and glass recognition.

Find out more at: www.nationalwaitersday.com and follow organisers on Twitter at: @WaitersDay_UK

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Eat My Words – Tom Kerridge

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

In this week’s edition of Eat My Words we have the lovely Tom Kerridge. Tom is Chef and owner of The Hand and Flowers situated in the beautiful town of Marlow, the first Pub to ever achieve Two Michelin stars. We’ve just seen him in BBC’s Food, here’s what he has to share. You can go and enjoy Toms cooking at The Hand and Flowers and follow Tom on Twitter @ChefTomKerridge

You’re known for being a dedicated Chef and an all round nice guy. Do you feel like your cooking has changed since you received your second Michelin star? What do you consider your biggest achievement in your cooking career?

If anything our cooking has become simpler and is very product focused and letting the ingredients and simplicity speak for itself. The biggest achievement is, without a shadow of a doubt, is achieving the first 2 Michelin stars for a pub in the world.

You’ve worked with some high profile chefs – who gave you the best tip and what was it? Who did you enjoy working with the most?

The best tip I received from any chef was when I first started cooking was from a college teacher, who said respect the ingredients, and the ingredients will respect you back. I massively enjoyed my time working for Stephen Bull under head chef Jon Bentham in the centre of London, just off Leicester Square, in a basement kitchen for 3 years. Play hard, work hard, and didn’t see day light for the winter months.

We just saw you on BBC Food, what was your time like behind the scenes? What did you enjoy the most? Any juicy goss?

Behind the scenes was a very family based atmosphere with lots of people who had worked together before. Working with Michel Roux Jnr was a massive honour, as he is a hugely respected and massively influential chef on the British food scene. No juicy gossip I’m afraid, everyone was highly professional and very friendly.

After your tv debut at an early age – would you consider having your own cooking show?

Would love to do more TV, the parallels between tv and catering are really similar. Long hours, low pay but full of highly passionate and motivated people.

Where was the last place you ate out and what did you have?

Claude Bosi’s new pub, the Malthouse tavern in Fulham. There was a big table of us and we ate the whole menu, particular favourite was bavette based in hay. Michelin star in the making!

What is your favourite Local Restaurant?

Sunday lunch, the Royal Oak in Paley Street. Best Sunday lunch around. Or mid-week, the Hind’s Head in Bray for a brilliant steak.

Which dish to you have most fun making?

I love cooking absolutely anything to do with meat. Thoroughly enjoyed my time as a sauce chef over the years, its the most exciting, dramatic, hardcore section in a kitchen.

Which dish do you enjoy as long as someone else prepares? Who would you want to cook for you?

Really love a Sunday lunch with all the trimmings. A food hero of mine, who unfortunately is long gone, is the great French gastronom Fernand Point

Which chefs do you most admire and who would you like to work with in the future?

There are a huge amount of chefs that are cooking today that really are world class, Sat Bains, Claude Bosi, Simon Rogan, Daniel Clifford, Nathan Outlaw to name a few. I have done some work with Sat and Claude and to be honest, working with those guys is always a great laugh and great food.

Thanks Tom!
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Eat My Words – Hieu Bui

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Welcome back to EAT MY WORDS, this episode we are coming  with the fresh and spicy flavours of Vietnam!  We have been speaking with Hieu Bui, owner of the fantastic Cay Tre, Viet Grill, and Keu - www.vietnamesekitchen.co.uk/ where you can get some of the most authentic Vietnamese food in the UK.

You can also follow him on twitter @caytrevietgrill and @keulondon.

What is the secret to a great Banh Mi?

Good bread of course!  Not too doughy, not too light.  The original version in Vietnam is very crispy, sometimes too much for the inside of your mouth.  We have worked with Sally Clarke’s Bakery to make it a little less crispy but balanced with better flour, which improves the taste.  Also, it’s about the balance of the flavours of the filling.  The richness from the mayo, the herbs, the quality of the different pork products, and the pickled daikon makes the Vietnamese Banh Mi different to any other sandwich.

Have you altered any of your recipes/flavours to appeal to the British palate?

I don’t think so.  Some of the dishes we make here are even better than in Vietnam, not because of changing flavours, but because we use good British producers.  But the key flavours come from spices and herbs which we fly in from Vietnam every week.

What Vietnamese dish do you feel is the most important for non-Vietnamese to eat in order to understand traditional flavours?

A very well made crispy pork spring roll.  It requires fresh ingredients, is fried like the Chinese make them, has a French use of herbs, and uses fish sauce which is distinctly Vietnamese.  Our cuisine absorbs all of this after years of being colonised by those countries, but instead of just mixing, we have created our own cuisine with some new cooking methods and ingredients.

Which was the last restaurant you ate at, and what were your thoughts?

The last restaurant I went to was Zuma, with my wife to celebrate Vietnamese Independence Day.  The food there is like a bit of Bincho, a bit of western cuisine.  It was very busy.

What is your favourite local restaurant?

The Tramshed.  They always have nice new salads every week, and the quality of the beef gets better every single day.

What is the most important attribute a chef can have that works for you?

Always look for new ingredients, always try to make traditional dishes perfect, and always learn from other cuisines.

Which chefs do you most admire?

Mark Hix.  He knows everything!

Thanks so much Hieu!

Posted By Mise En Place International Hospitality Recruitment

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Chef Hermes – Eat My Words

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Chef Hermes writes a blog from within the catering industry, after spending over 20 years cooking with the inspirational, the talented and the egomaniacs of the stoves. He now spends more time writing and sharing from the inside of the catering industry. You can find Chef Hermes at http://chefhermes.com/ on facebook here or on twitter @ChefHermes. We caught up this week for a quick chat about writing and eating! Enjoy.

You run the blog chefhermes.com. How has blogging/writing changed yo our view on the industry?

Writing the blog has broought me into contact with journalists & PR companies, which has been a bit of an eye opening experience. Some of the PRs I’ve met have grabbed the ‘new media’ with both hands & have been more than welcoming and helpful. Others not so, which is slightly disappointing & sometimes annoying. PRs are playing a larger part in promoting restaurants & chefs than ever before. Freebies & press junkets are contributing to the growing demand for popularity lists, reviews and general food related writing. Most of the higher rated Michelin chefs (with the possible exception of Andrew Fairlie) are or have engaged with the services of a PR company. I’d just like to point out that when I have a story which will possibly end up on the blog, I also make a point of trying to get in touch with the related PR or chef for their response & point of view.

Which is the last restaurant you visited and what were your thoughts?

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon. I’ve been three times in the past 18 months and the food is cleaner, sharper & more focused. It’s probably closer to the elusive third star now than it’s ever been. It appeared on chefhermes.com

Which is your favourite local restaurant?

Living & working in South Devon I’m virtually inundated with lots of hiddden gems,  from my local pub to the recently Michelin starred Driftwood in Cornwall which holds great personal  memories.

What is the most difficult part of your job?

Trying to restrain myself. I’m on the social networks quite a lot and invariably there are people who’ll disagree with me, and that’s fine. But occasionally there are people who feel the need to provoke and causing a heated discussion. Fortunately having already had a scrape with the legal system concerning the blog, it tends to stop me going a touch too far.

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?

How badly staff are generally treated relative to other industries. For example, lieu days are common place and are the biggest fallacy that employees endure. Poor wages, hours & the lack of training (as there is generally a cost attached to it) are all levelled at catering, & rightly so. Not everybody is so short sighted and it’s certainly better than it was when I first started over twenty years ago.

Who is your favourite food writer?

There are two writers which I admire. The newly appointed Guardian restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin & investigative food journalist Joanna Blythman. Both have a natural talent to draw you into their writing.

What’s harder, writing or cheffing?

Doing both at the same time is a double edged sword, it helps with inspiration & material, but restricts time spent actually writing & publishing. I’d say on the whole cheffing is harder, but both require some similar disciplines: focus; originality; research & technical ability. Although people say ‘build it & they will come’ which is all very well, but neither a blog or a restaurant will grow unless they meet & exceed their users/guests expectations and needs.

Thanks so much Chef

Posted by Mise En Place International Hospitality Recruitment

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ARE YOU UNEMPLOYED AND KEEN TO GET A BREAK IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

ARE YOU UNEMPLOYED AND KEEN TO GET A BREAK IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?

Channel 4 Television is opening a hotel

They will train YOU to become a skilled member in the hospitality industry.

Do you want experience learning the hospitality trade from one of the UK’s most respected experts?

Do you want to be taught customer service skills and see how a strong team is run?

We are looking for unemployed people for a wide variety of roles who want to get back to work.

If you are interested in getting involved with this new Channel 4 programme –

e-mail us at: hotel@optomen.com Or phone 0203 227 5939

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UK Hospitality Industry Loves Stag and Hen Do’s

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

THE LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IS TRADING WELL THANKS TO THE 260,000 WEDDINGS AS WELL AS THE STAG AND HEN DOS HELD EACH YEAR.

With 260,000 weddings held each year, and most brides and grooms organising a stag or hen do, there are many in the UK who will celebrate with a night out or weekend away each year. With an average group size of 12.85 guests and an average spend of £150 per person, this sector suggests a conservative market worth of over £1bn!

In recent years Government statistics have revealed that the number of UK residents travelling abroad has been steadily declining, with a 15% drop over the last two years. This may have contributed to the growth in UK Stag and Hen do’s as well as slowing European growth and an increase for domestic events.

Also in recent years Hen and Stag do’s are becoming weekend and/or highly planned events rather than a just a night out.

Simon Denning, managing director of StagWeb Ltd, said: “This sector of the market often suffers from pre-judgement but in recent years we’ve seen more positive recognition of the commercial benefit of stag and hen events, and we’ve welcomed a lot of new partners.

“Price in most cases, as you would expect, is the critical driver in selecting event content but this is also coupled with organisers wanting to plan memorable, quality events – they are both leisure and price aggressive.

“To operate in this low-margin market you have to be a really dynamic business. It’s our job to get the balance, the venues and the performance just right for the budget. If we can keep doing that, we’ll keep sending business to our partners.”

Let’s hope Brits keep up the trend of cross-dressing and drinking up the town (through interesting shaped straws) before they get hitched!

We would love to hear your feedback on where you had your Stag or Hen Party… Let us know in the comment section below or on our FB wall HERE

Posted By Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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The Craft Guild of Chefs Looking For Entries for Hotelympia

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The Craft Guild of Chefs’ Culinary Academy is looking for talented up and coming chef entries for the 2012 Salon Culinaire at Hotelympia.

The competition offers great opportunities for all chefs. The Salon Culinaire is the beating heart of Hotelympia for chefs. Held at Excel in London from 26th February to 1st March 2012, over 8,000 chefs from across the industry visit the event.

Fergus Martin, academy team manager, said: “Without a shadow of a doubt competitions are so vital in this profession, not least because of the fact they help chefs gain industry wide recognition and put into practice different skills from the ones they may use every day. The art of showmanship is certainly a string that all chefs should be adding to their bow.

Aside from the individual entries, the Culinary Academy is also looking for six members to make up its team for La Parade des chefs at Hotelympia. There will be around ten competing cooking for visitors and their guests.

“We will be running a training camp at Wyboston Lakes in October aimed specifically at showing our younger members the ins and outs of a competition,” said Fergus. “We will cover everything from glazing, to making terrines, balancing food on plates and portion sizes. It’s our aim with the academy to spread our collective wealth of experience and share it with all our members.”

Success for members at events like these could eventually see places acquired on the Craft Guild of Chefs Culinary Academy team for the 2012 World Culinary Olympics, which will take place in Messe Erfurt, Germany.

For more information, please call 020 8948 3870 or visit www.craftguildofchefs.org.

If you are interested in taking part in the 40 minute demonstartions, email a small biog and your contact details to cgc@proactivecommunications.com.au

Posted By Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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583 more beds for travelers at Heathrow

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Plans for a 583-bedroom hotel close to Heathrow Airport have been given the green ahead by the London Borough of Hounslow.

The plans were submitted by Squared Circle Developments after the company acquired the site from airline caterer, Gate Gourmet, in December 2009.

Situated opposite Hatton Cross tube station on the junction of the A30 and Faggs Road, the six-storey hotel, which incorporates 131 car parking spaces, is to be designed by Michael Drain Architects.

Martin Drage, director of letting agent, Mason Drage Limited, said: “This decision provides a massive boost to hotel capacity at Heathrow in a micro-location under-supplied with hotels. We have already experienced strong levels of interest from budget and mid-market operators who are attracted by the high connectivity of the site and the grant of consent will allow discussions with operators to progress rapidly.”

Subject to negotiations with operators, the new hotel could be ready within 18-months. Demolition of the former catering centre has already begun.

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HMA opens entries to their Hotel Marketing Awards

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Hotel Marketing Association (HMA) has revealed the categories for it’s annual 2011 Hotel Marketing Awards, which celebrates the best hotel marketing campaigns in the UK for the past tear.

The awards which have been running for 18 years now and have usually included the following categories

  • Best Marketing Campaign Independent Hotels
  • Best Marketing Campaign Hotel Chain or individual Chain Hotel
  • Best Marketing Activity on a Small Budget (max £7k)
  • Young Marketer of the Year

Two new awards have been added this year, to move with the changing way Hotels are being marketed they are

  • Best Social Media Campaign
  • Best Agency Promotion or Campaign

Andrea Mckay, chairman of the HMA said, “Winning a marketing award from HMA is a great accolade for any individual hotel or group and we urge everyone who is eligible to submit an entry”.

In recent years winners have included, The Berkeley, Hilton, Premier Inn, De Vere, Intercontinental Group and Gleneagles.

The 2011 awards will be announced at the HMA 40th Anniversary Christmas Lunch at the Savoy hotel in London on the 19th of December.

The deadline to submit entries for the awards is the 18th of November. There is no charge for entering and any UK based independent hotel, hotel group or relevant external hotel marketing agency, is eligible to enter.

For more info see http://www.hotelmarketingassociation.com/

Posted by Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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Modern Marketing with Victorian Class – The Grand Hotel Eastbourne

Monday, September 27th, 2010

After enquiring about a staff Christmas party at the ‘The Grand Hotel Eastbourne’ we were invited to their inaugural ‘showcase weekend’.  The invitation promised a weekend at the beach with meals, a sea view room, spa treatments and team building events all for free. Hotels often put on hospitality events as an incentive to book but we hadn’t heard of the ‘showcase weekend’ tactic before. It sounded too good to be true… On the contrary the showcase was indeed just that, a wonderful display of a unique hotel with decades of character and Victorian charm. It was a confident form of marketing and we would like to look at how they used it and just how well it applies to the industry.

The Grand is the only 5 star hotel on the coast in the UK run by Elite hotels who have a string of unique high end establishments across the country. Externally, it lives up to its name with an amazing Victorian facade looking out over the English Channel situated a few miles down the coast from Beachy Head. On our arrival we were greeted by the concierges at the door with regal charm and then received similar treatment at the front desk were we were checked in with no fuss and quickly escorted to our rooms. The lobby and ground floor dining area are all grand in every sense of the word with minute detail in the decor. You get the feeling you are walking into an Agatha Christie novel walking past high tea being served, you can picture Poirot pontificating over a Crème de Menthe on the murder that occurred in the Debussy suit the evening before.

Our room was equally luxurious with sea views, classic styling and a gift basket of fruit and goodies plus information about the hotel. Seeing as the weekend was completely free you would expect more intervention from the organisers. I had anticipated name tags on arrival and formal tours of the facilities. With no name tags in sight we relaxed in our room, where complimentary champagne was served and the invitation to attend afternoon tea plus activities was delivered. The aim of the weekend was after all to sell the hotel and specifically its event/convention facilities.

At afternoon tea once again there was no pressure. Over sandwiches we could sign up for several activities and the staff casually meandered around introducing themselves and making sure we were having a good time. We didn’t join in on the planned activities (power boat rides, treasure hunts, bush skills) instead we took a walking tour of Eastbourne. Dinner was started with cocktails and continued into the wonderful Compton room, a large, majestic room with chandeliers and ornate wall carvings. Every table was marked with the name of a famous band or musician who has either stayed at the hotel or performed there (the Grand has an impressive music history; we sat at The Who table). Dinner continued in 5 star style with a brief talk from the manager welcoming us all and a wonderful meal.

Up until this point (and for the rest of the weekend) there was no hard sell, not even a mention of selling. In essence what the hotel had done was give away over 100 executive spa treatment weekend packages (valued at well over £400 each) and asked nothing more than that the guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Is this a cost effective marketing ploy? I spoke to Jackie head of PR at the hotel about the weekend and their marketing aims.

Jackie was unaware (as are we) of a similar format being used by other hotels (please speak up if you different). They had previously run shorter less dramatic itineraries but decided to try this larger (grander) format and assess the outcome. I asked how they would measure the ROI of the weekend and also if online marketing was integrated. To an extent it is, with all invitees emails on the database and an extensive online follow up campaign to all attendees afterwards. From our point of view, having enjoyed ourselves thoroughly we thought that word of mouth promotions would be one of the best selling tools from such a weekend. Tracking bookings back to the customers involved in the marketing event itself is difficult though. Jackie said that the hotel has allocated 12 months to assess the outcome of the weekend.

Obviously this is not a marketing model that every hotel could use. But for boutique/unique hotels with a lot to offer, spoiling a few potential clients with what you have to offer is a clever tactic to get them (and their businesses) booking functions and rooms. The Grand showed that by doing what they do best and not pushing a hard sell we left the weekend with great things to say. Hopefully for them this results in increased business, we will have to check back in six months see.

Article posted by Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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