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  • Mise en Place

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

  • Mise en Place

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

    lady chef
  • Mise en Place

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

    chef, waiter
  • Mise en Place

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

    bar man

Posts Tagged ‘industry news’

The Future for Foodservice:Why Caterers Must Adapt for Changing Industry Desires

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

miliband-greggs_2179492bHaving weathered the economic downturn, output in the catering and hospitality sector was forecast to grow by an annual 2.5% in 2013, and the number of people taking apprenticeships in the industry has more than doubled in the last four years with more than 35,000 people starting in 2011 – 2012.

2012 was a year of highs and lows for the catering industry. As wide-scale patriotism gripped the Nation with the Queen’s Jubilee and Olympic Games inspiring a focus on home-grown, sustainable produce, the government caused nationwide outrage with its introduction of the 20% ‘pasty tax’.

As recent years have seen the foodservice sector dented on a number of fronts, notably the VAT increase, a preoccupation with discounting, and an intensifying government focus on healthy eating in the face of rising obesity levels, the pressure is on for the industry to prepare for future trends and take advantage of emerging growth opportunities.


The Olympic Games presented a unique opportunity for the UK to transform catering standards at major events; to showcase British, sustainable and ethical food. The focus was on balancing affordability and practicality with being socially sustainable.

In 2012, just over 25% of meals and snacks consumed out of the home were purchased with some form of promotion. However, to adapt to the expected pressures from food inflation, in future caterers must respond by increasing prices and shifting their focus from low-cost to quality and value.

Though in the wake of the turbulent economic times, British consumers have become more controlled spenders, industry trends show that they do want to spend their money on good quality products, particularly from a provider they trust.

An example of this is the renewed interest in chicken. As prices of beef, pork and lamb rise, consumers are shifting their attention to ‘specially’ reared chicken such as hand-reared, corn-fed, heritage or heirloom, preferring to opt for good-quality value.

Understanding the Market

Moving forward, the main focus for the industry will be to better understand the consumer and to cater specifically for evolving needs and expectations.

gluten-freeCoeliac UK recently reported that the gluten-free market alone is thought to be worth £100m a year to the UK’s catering outlets. In addition, families with children are accountable for 56% of food service sales, and 75% of adults take into account their children’s preferences when choosing where to eat.

These statistics highlight how important it is for the catering industry to know their market, monitoring competitors and build their offering.

Contrary to popular belief, healthier eating doesn’t seem to be establishing itself as a trend, and less than 3% of respondents in an NPD survey reported this as a primary motivation.

The food service sector must learn from the recession that adaptation is invaluable to survival. According to research by the NPD Group, British consumers are still eating out more than anywhere else in Europe, with the market poised for a steady 1 – 2% growth year on year. But to sustain this expansion, the industry must prioritise evolution to cater for changing consumer preferences.


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Eat My Words – Damian Wawrzyniak

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

In this weeks addition we have been joined by the extremely driven and unsurprisingly busy Damian Wawrzyniak. This Chef has many pies to keep him busy. Damian runs The Fine Art Of Dining . He had a hand in looking after the Olympics 2012 after refining his skills all over the world. Educated and experienced from working at the ”worlds best ” – NOMA restaurant. You can now find him popping up at restaurants everywhere, running around consulting on all things food related and of course cooking…at live demonstrations in fact! Head over to the website to book your seats and guarantee yourself a personalized pop up with a difference. Follow Damian on Twitter.

We love the site and the services on offer, please tell us more about how things are cooking at The Art of Fine Dining…

We are Cooking Great, thanks! Busy with Restaurant Consultancy and Pop Ups. After my work experience at Noma and a few (sixteen!) years in very busy kitchens across the whole of Europe, FAOD have got reputation of quality, great prices and fantastic service. We are still getting more and better but being a chef it is all about pushing to the limits! Potato Skins are our latest ‘push’.

Who inspired you to become a chef and what’s your favourite thing about the job?

My dad is a chef. Since I could walk I was spending all my time with him in the kitchen. I was always jealous as he could chop faster than me and now I’m nearly as fast as he is. My inspiration is my wife and without her I would not be able to do what I am doing. My wife is always supporting me and now she is also running part of our business (restaurant interior design). The favourite thing about the job are always satisfied guests!

Whats your favourite local restaurant and favourite meal?

I love @m1lkcoffee, very small Coffee / Restaurant in Balham! I adore their Smashed Avo dish and they do have BEST COFFEE IN THE WORLD!

Who inspires you now and who would you really like to work with?

Rene Redzepi is the person who is inspiring me. His love for food is huge! He is also a very nice guy. I would like to work with Simon Rogan.

Best piece of advice to someone wanting to be a chef?

Don’t do this for money…

Where would you like to go locally to eat in the future that you haven’t tried yet?

Scotland, maybe not locally but I would like to go there to get ingredients, cook it and then eat it.

What food, if any, would you like to try but haven’t got around to yet?

Real Japanese

Where was your last great dining experience and why?

Joel Robuchon in London. Chef made dessert for me which is not available in London Branch but only in New York – that was a treat for me. Class!

What do you have planned coming up that we need to know about?

We have set dates for my Pop Up Restaurants including :

20.04 Cambridge – Eight Courses
11.05 Balham / London – Eight Courses
06.06 Cambridge / Eight Courses

My food will be also available whole week between 28.07 – 05.08 at Aura in Mayfair / London. All information are available on our website – www.fineartofdining.co.uk . We also have on offer Culinary Courses including RAW Cooking and Chef at Home services. We are always happy to create something new for our clients.

Thanks Damian!

Posted By Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment


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Eat My Words – Sat Bains

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

This week we are delighted to chat to the talented and much loved Chef Sat Bains. His book ‘Too many Chiefs, only one Indian’ has been named ‘Best In The World’ at this years Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. We’re not surprised! If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, you’re missing out!

Restaurant Sat Bains based in Nottingham not only has a main dining room but you can enjoy a Chefs table  in an anteroom off the main restaurant kitchen which seats from 4-6 people. It’s totally exclusive with a door that slides open into the kitchen where you’re served by Sat or the chefs themselves. It’s very interactive and great fun. Then there’s the Kitchen Table which is in a private building across the courtyard from the main dining room with private access from the car park if you want, it seats 4-6 and for this you have your own dedicated chef cook your dishes in front of you. That way you can see each component ingredient being cooked and how they plate the food too. Finally there’s the Kitchen Bench which is brand new and bang slap in the restaurant kitchen’s new Pastry section, it seats up to 4 people and gives you a full on view of how a professional kitchen at 2 star level works. Head to the website to make your booking, order Sat’s book and enjoy everything Sat Bains! Follow Sat on Twitter!

Here’s what he shared with us…

What’s been the best thing to come out of the launch of your book? How will this affect your cooking?

Getting our restaurants philosophies and DNA on paper, and of course winning Best designed cookbook in the World wasn’t bad either…. It was a brilliant journey working with brilliant people like Anthony from Face Publications, the designers for the book. John from Darkwater did the photography and the results say it all.

Many chefs look up to you as their Chief! Who’s YOUR top faves and what have they taught you?

I love what Heston has achieved through perseverance and determination to create one of the best restaurants in the world. Ferran Adria for his pure Genius, I was very lucky to eat there twice at Elbulli. These were life changing experiences and what he and the team at Elbulli have shown is possible is incredible. Its such a shame that more chefs didn’t get his message, to create means not to copy. He’s probably the most copied chef in Modern History.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to become a chef?

Give yourself a 10 year plan and stick to it, assess it every year to see if you’re on track and if not, do something about it. Don’t just sit on your a*#e waiting for something to happen, it f*@$#!g won’t!!!!

Whats your favourite thing to cook? Favourite thing to eat if someone else cooks and who would you want to cook?

I love cooking meat and game when in season, and I love eating vegetables as I think they are actually harder to get right. My favourite thing for someone to cook, or prepare for me even is Sashimi by a Japanese Master. I was very lucky to have this in Chiba last year and it was a masterclass of simplicity, craft and respect of the ingredients.

What food, if any, would you like to try but haven’t got around to yet?


Where was your last dining out experience? How was it?

Le Manoir, last week, very good!

What’s the plan – where do you go from here?

I try every single day to be a little better, to push my team a little further on their paths to fulfil their potential.  To extract a little more flavour from every single ingredient that comes into the restaurant and to be more in tune with my surroundings. To create a World Class Restaurant where you can only ever taste a dish we have created here in Nottingham, and to relish this brilliant journey of Gastronomy I have found myself on…….as I feel very privileged indeed.

Thanks Sat!

Posted By Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment


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Eat My Words – Dan Catford

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

We have been joined this week by highly creative and passionate Head Chef at  The Lamb at Angmering Dan Catford. You can follow what Dan gets up to on his blog that includes many scrumptious treats for your eyes and mouth.  Keep a look out for him being featured over at Visionary Dining in the coming weeks. You can find  him on Twitter

What made you want to be a chef and what’s your favourite thing about what you are doing now ?

I always had a love for food. My earliest memory would be standing on a stool helping my nan peel roasted peppers for a party my family where having. My passion for food then grew and thought the most natural path for my career would be to become a chef.
My favourite part about the job, especially at The Lamb at Angmering, is being able to have a free reign of the kitchen. Being able to put dishes on that I like and that I can tweak and play with to get a great menu. I love the buzz of a Saturday night service when your full and that first check comes on , it’s like going into battle !

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far and what do you have in the pipeline?

My biggest achievement so far would be getting this head chef job so early into my career at the lamb ! I have a few things in the pipeline that I hope to achieve though one being getting a rosette for the lamb and second hoping to start up my own venture one day starting off with my pop up restaurants around Sussex and surrounding areas cooking modern British food in a relaxed atmosphere. I also have a photo and video shoot with visionary dining.com which I am very much looking forward too.

Which chefs inspired you growing up?

My biggest influence in my career would probably be my executive chef from bailiffs court hotel, Martin Hadden. Martin taught me everything and suppose could say made me the chef I am today. But other chefs that inspire me now are Tom Kerridge, Tom Aikens, Paul Ainsworth, Heston Blumenthal, Simon Rogan and Ernst Van Zyl

Where was your last dining out experience? How was it?

My last dining experience was at a local Tex Mex restaurant called limings which was not great at all to be honest ! Starters were good but mains where poor and not value for money

What’s your favourite local restaurant and favourite meal?

My favourite local restaurant for everyday meal would be a little Thai restaurant called Lemongrass who make a damn good massaman curry ! For a special occasion I love the pass at South Lodge Hotel. The food I had there last time I went was easily best meal I’ve had. Matt Gillan is a great chef and rightly deserves his star and four rosettes.
My favourite meal, although I spend my time cooking fine dining food with the best ingredients, would have to be chicken enchiladas, nachos and guacamole.

Who inspires you now and who would you really like to work with?

Everything inspires me from my wife to be, to my great sous chef Richard Cook, to seasonal produce, the great chefs I’ve already mentioned and the world around me. I’d really like to work with Tom Kerridge as he is an amazing chef, to have two Michelin stars for a pub is outstanding and would love to learn from someone that skilled, plus he looks like a good guy to work with.

Best piece of advice to someone wanting to be a chef?

Be passionate, listen to everything you hear in a kitchen whether it’s the head chef telling you, or a kitchen porter, you can learn from everyone. Be patient too, you do not leave college and instantly walk into a kitchen as a sous chef on good money. It’s a bloody hard job but if your passionate and dedicated it all pays off eventually !

Favourite thing to cook? Favourite thing to eat if someone else cooks and who would you want to cook it?

My favourite thing to cook is probably a really nice fresh piece of fish. Nothing better than crispy skin and flaky juicy flesh. My favourite thing to eat is either;- my fiancée  Shelley’s spaghetti bolognaise or my mum’s roast dinner. It’s heard everywhere around the world but you can not beat your mums cooking

Thanks Dan!

Posted By Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment


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Eat My Words – Gary Hunter

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

This week we have the pleasure of being joined by Gary Hunter – The Head of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Food and Beverage service at London’s Westminster Kingsway College. Gary also writes professionally and is Chocolate Ambassador for the United Kingdom. Here’s what he had to share..

You can follow Gary on Twitter

Check out London’s Westminster Colleges websites here and the link above.

What do you consider your biggest achievement so far? Any plans for the future?

My biggest professional achievement so far is the building of the Westminster Kingsway College Culinary and Hospitality School to being a leading education and training centre for the hospitality industry. The size and diversity of the team has doubled since I have been Head of Department and the specialism that each teacher brings to this team is truly inspiring, current and relevant. Seeing our students graduate each year, with the skills and experience they have attained at the college, and going on to become great chefs and ambassadors for hospitality is a great achievement.We have lots of future plans at the college, such as the new refurbishment project which will transform the Vincent Square site in approximately three years. This means that we have to have a team capable of delivering up to date skills for hospitality to match our location and environment. There are so many strategies associated with this to develop Westminster Kingsway College’s true potential and live up to our heritage. It’s an exciting time to be here!

What’s the most important tip or bit of advice to give someone wanting to enrol at Westminster and embark on a life in the food & beverage industry?

To do their very best at school, even though they may not be particularly academic or enjoy the school environment. But also to research the industry and the college so that they are fully aware of the standards we operate to and expect from our students. They are second to none! Finally, go online as quickly as possible to download and complete the application form, even if you are not too sure which course you want to apply for, because we can explore this at interview so that you can select your best option.

Favourite local restaurant and meal?

I guess London is local to me so I’ll go for The Wolseley for a brasserie style that has service with a smile and a ‘can do’ attitude. The food is very good too and I can start with breakfast, have elevenses, then lunch, afternoon tea and a nice supper without leaving the table!

Last enjoyable restaurant experience – where, what and meal?

Taking my wife and two daughters to Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons for lunch earlier in the year. The setting, service and food is unbeatable and I wanted my daughters to really experience this first hand. I also love taking my wife there for a weekend, just as a little treat for the both us once a year or so. All the stresses of life seem to melt away as soon as I drive into the grounds!

Favourite thing to cook and who would you like to cook for? Favourite things to eat if someone else cooks and who would you have cook?

I love to cook with good local ingredients such as a Label Anglaise Chicken (derived from the old Cornish Red) from Temple Farm in Essex, Salt Marsh Lamb from Woodbridge or Walton-on the Naze, North Norfolk Samphire and Cromer Crabs and Lobsters, plus a really good single origin chocolate. I would love to cook for Paolo Di Canio, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Trevor Brooking and Julian Dicks! I love my wife’s cooking – she really is a great cook – so it would have to be her cooking everything I’ve just mentioned and of course a great chocolate pudding or dessert.

Most admired chefs growing up, most respected now and who to look out for in the future?

Growing up it would have to be the Roux Brothers, because they opened the world of cuisine and possibilities to me. Marco is another great influence and is still so very underrated even today.
For the immediate future; look out for Ollie Dabbous, who opened Dabbous in Fitzrovia and his head chef Ross Gibbens, also for Mark Froydenlund – head chef at Restaurant Marcus Wareing and alumni of the college.
For the medium term future; Ben Murphy an ex- Professional Chef Diploma student of Westminster Kingsway College – he will go very far!

Where would you like to go locally to eat in the future that you haven’t tried yet? What food, if any, would you really like to try but haven’t got around to yet?

There are many restaurants opening around London that I need to try but Viajante is high on my list. Last year I travelled to Japan, Shanghai and South Korea and lovely the food out there. But I know that I only skimmed the surface of what these countries have to offer and want to try more – especially in Japan.

What’s your favourite chocolate?

There are many types of chocolate which I adore, from different producers too – but Madagascan chocolate produced from the cacao plantations in the Sambirano region and within the Ambanja district.
The chocolate from Original Beans who also look at conservation as well as farming is beautiful and some of the best I have eaten.

What’s inspires you to keep writing books? Anything in the pipeline?

I love writing and when people tell me that they were informed or inspired by a book that I have written, all the pain and heartache of that process is so very worthwhile. We have the second edition of the Professional Chef Level 3 being published in March and we are very excited about that because it really covers a wide ranging set of topics that no other educational culinary book at the level covers. There is an on-line book that accompanies it too, which is interactive and balances out the book really positively. I have other books that publishers have asked me to write, so I guess I’m going to be a very busy chef over the next couple of years!

Great Thanks Gary!


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Eat My Words – Ben Mulock

Monday, February 18th, 2013

We have been joined today by the talented Ben Mulock – Sous Chef at the Opera Tavern situated in Catherine Street, London. Ben caught our attention tweeting about Bikes for Boobies, cycling London to Paris in aid of Breast Cancer…with pink hair. Here he tells us more…

You can taste Ben’s cooking  at  Opera Tavern . Follow Ben on Twitter to keep updated on his training. If you would like to sponsor Ben and donate to a worthy cause, please visit his Just Giving page.

How did you get involved? Who are you doing it with and what will you be eating during your training?

While I’m training it’s a lot of protein and plenty of fluids –  lots of grilled chicken with lots of veggies. On the nights before training rides I’m demolishing big bowls of pasta and big hearty stews. I wanted to raise money for breast cancer care because unfortunately, a number of friends and family have been affected by breast cancer and the charity does great work in supporting people. The trip is organised by @skylineoverseas and I’m doing it with people from all backgrounds who are raising money for various charities.

What are your cooking plans for the future? Anyone you’d really like to work with?

I think my plans for the immediate future are getting my own  restaurant and exploring a slightly different concept style to that which I am working in now. I love tapas and this is service style which I believe I  am likely to continue for the rest of my career.  I would quite like to work with Adam Perry Lang, I’ve always enjoyed his style.

Last restaurant you ate at that you really enjoyed? Where? Why?

That would have to be Zoilo by Diego Jacquet. It’s an Argentinian small plate restaurant really close to Selfridges. I really love Diegos approach to food, every single plate was perfectly balanced.

Which Chef have you enjoyed working with the most? Best advice?

There’s two really, I got a great lot of discipline  and work ethic installed in me whilst working under Ian Rhodes at Le  Talbooth when I was a Comi which I think has kept me pushing while working  in the industry. And secondly Ben Tish the Chef Director of Salt Yard Group for giving me the freedom as a sous working with Jamie Thickett to develop my own style of food and plating. And the best advice I was ever given was go with your gut and Always work with people that will push you.

Chefs most admired growing up? Now?

I always admired Pierre Koffmann’s style and honesty holds true and to this day I remember the first time he came to Opera Tavern with Richard Vines and I got to shake his hand. I also have huge respect for Jason Atherton, not only is Pollen Street Social one of my favourite places, the food and atmosphere he creates there for me are truly excellent.

Favourite local restaurant and meal?

I love the Begging Bowl on Bellenden Road, Peckham.  It’s all good and very simply presented.

Best piece of advice that you’d give someone wanting to be a chef?

Keep at it! It takes years of graft but I can think of no other job that could give me the same level of satisfaction.

Favourite thing to cook?

I really enjoy working with all the different cuts of iberico pork, braising collar is currently my favourite. I really enjoy a good braise, slow cooked shoulder of lamb with cavelo Nero and truffle mash would make me a very happy bunny!

Favourite thing to eat if someone else cooks and who would you want to cook?

I really enjoy a good roast especially if its cooked by friends on a Sunday after work, nothing can beat that!

Where would you like to go locally to eat in the future but just haven’t had the time?

I haven’t been to the Delauney yet which is really local to work and I really should get myself down there!

Thanks Ben and GOOD LUCK!
Photo courtesy of Paul Wynch Furness


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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 – Sam Harrison

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Sam’s has been open for about 7 years now, I am sure that time has flown! What has been your greatest achievement in that time?

I was so proud of when we opened the doors initially and was able to welcome people in to my own place. It makes you very proud when you receive good reviews from the likes of AA Gill and Fay Maschler. We were very chuffed to win Time Out Best Local Restaurant and The Evening Standard Best Value in London. I think one of the greatest achievements for any small business has been to try and ride out the recession and just survive- makes me very proud that I am able to employ 65 staff across my two restaurants.

We think it’s great that you have such a dedicated ethic towards sustainability and are transparent about your suppliers. Is this something that you are continually working towards and if so how?

I think that this is very much an ongoing process. It is something I work on with both my Head Chefs every time we are looking at new dishes for the menus. I think it is very important to work very closely with suppliers and see what you can achieve together.

What was the last restaurant you ate at? And what did you think?

Last week I had dinner at Electric Diner in Notting Hill. I thought the design, buzz and atmosphere were spot on. It just felt like somewhere you wanted to hang out. I also had a great Bloody Mary and cheeseburger.

What is the best advice you have ever been given, and by whom?

I am very lucky to have three very supportive business partners. Rebecca Mascarenhas (Sonny’s Kitchen & KitchenW8) is the most involved and has been invaluable with advice. Rebecca has taught me to not get swayed by your vision- it is very important to listen to other peoples opinions and feedback, but sometimes you have to go with your gut and know what you are trying to achieve is right for you. Restaurants are as simple as warm food, cold beer, the right price and a great smile- all the rest is cosmetics

Rick Stein is involved in Sam’s and you worked for him for years. How has he helped shape your own career?

I love working for Rick and Jill Stein down in Padstow and they both taught me so much. They are both so passionate about their business and hospitality in general. They so focused on the customer experience and always looking for ways to enhance this. I think I probably was a workaholic anyway (hard not to be in this business) but Rick and Jill’s work ethic rubbed off on me!

What is your favourite local restaurant?

I love Franco Manca for a great pizza. The pizza is damn good, its very affordable and very quick. Boys Thai is my local Thai and do great food. I love the spice and heat and sometimes they really crank up the chills!

What is the favourite thing on your menu at the moment?

I am trying to eat as much fish as possible and so a big fan of Head Chef Mark’s- Chargrilled Whole Sea Bream, Curly Kale, Lemon Creme Fraiche. Also I think Mark has done a great stater of Lambs’ Belly Fritters, Pumpkin Puree and Salsa Verde.

Did you enjoy your time in Australia? There are some amazing restaurants in Sydney, did you have any favourites?

I loved Sydney- what a lifestyle. I lived ten mins walk from the beach and could go for a swim before heading in to work. At one of my jobs we would go surfing in the afternoon, between lunch and dinner service. So many great restaurants in Sydney- many had an influence on my own places- here are three of my favourites.




What annoys you most in the hospitality industry at the moment?

I think a lot people have forgotten the importance of hard work and biding your time- careers don’t need to happen over night :) Because of the number of restaurants opening, a lot of people seem to get promoted too quickly and often don’t have the skills to match the level of employment they are seeking. Experience is so important and I am always pleased to see CVs where people have stuck at jobs and not moved around every six months.

Thanks so much,

Posted By Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment


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Eat My Words – plussixfive – Superclub

Monday, August 6th, 2012

plusixfive - is a pioneering Southeast Asian supperclub and the one and only Singapore supperclub in London. Set up to generally dispel myths of Singapore Food - No, they do not eat curry powder flavoured luminous radioactive yellow Singapore fried noodles. And also generally challenging the boundaries of what people eat – they have served up traditional Singapore favourites from pig offals (cheeks, brains, stomachs) to fish head curries to astonished and converted foodies all round.

Its been featured in the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/in-the-know/london-dining/9369027/secret-dining-club-london.html), Business Times Singapore, Singapore Airlines magazine, TimeOut London (http://plusixfive.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/we-are-in-timeout-come-on-really-stop-it/ ) and by several of our favourite bloggers here at Mise . It was was recently crowned 2nd place in NomNomNom 2012 a Masterchef-style competition judged by Anna Hansen MBE and Martin Morales of Ceviche.
So if you are craving food you cannot find in London (kueh pie tee and lorh ark) or stuff u can find in London but just doesnt really hit the Singapore spot (beef rendang) or something with a bit of a twist (tehtarik ice cream/ cornflakecookies, gula melaka ice cream sago)… Then plussixfive is the superclub for you, follow them on twitter @plusixfive

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

Viajante. We went for lunch and at 35 pounds, I cannot think of
anywhere I have eaten for better value. It was advertised as a three
course meal but by the end of it, we were served about 9 over courses
including all the amuse, pre-desserts, petit fours and bread. Oh and
that bread. Geez. If they started a Viajante Bakery selling nothing
but that potato bread, they probably could have listed on the stock
exchange by now. It was remarkable. The first thing you realise when
you pick it up is how light it was. And with a hopelessly thin crust
and light as a feather chewiness, it was possibly, no heck, it was
DEFINITELY the best bread ive ever had. I would go back JUST for the
bread. If Viajante is reading this, I would do anything to learn how
to bake that.


Which is your favourite local restaurant?

Eagle at Farringdon is probably my favourite local. I think it was the
first gastropub in London and I have been going there for the better
part of the past 5 years. Its friendly, unpretentious and reliable
food, bit messy and noisy, slightly wonky chairs and tables but
absolutely and totally charming.

Super Clubs are a great way to try new food and meet people in a relaxed environment, what made you want to start one?

I started this here predominantly because I was sick and tired of
people asking me what Singaporeans eat and always assuming we eat
Singaporean fried noodles (his strange UK/ HongKong invention). And I
was annoyed that people knew what thai food was… what malaysian food
was… what vietnamese food was but yet had no real clue as to what
Singaporean cuisine was. And also there arent any real Singaporean
restaurants in London too which serve up what I serve and at the
standard which I would expect from a Singaporean restaurant.

Also, I am from Southeast Asia. We love feeding people. I was born this way.

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?

In the restaurant scene, what really gets me is how everyone is now
talking about the provenance of their food as if it would/ should aid
in the taste of the food itself and often using it was an excuse to
raise prices of the meal.

I dont mind knowing where my chicken came from or who harvested the
prawns or how far the carrots travelled to reach me but that should
not be a substitute for the taste of the food itself. Good food should
comfort, excite, and above all, not take itself too seriously. When
chefs/waiters harp on and on the history of the dish in front of me,
it really puts me off. At the end of the day, all we really, really
care about is whether it tastes good. My chicken might have come from
a farmer who massages his 12 chicken every morning and reads them
bedtime stories at night and feeds them hand harvested grain and
charcoal hand distilled water but who gives a crap if whatever is on
my plate tastes rubbish.

If i wanted a good story, I would go watch a movie by Christopher Nolan.

What personal attributes do you think make a good chef?

An incredibly anal/ pedantic/ mildly obsessive compulsive personality
and of course an passion for feeding people which probably borders on
clinically insanity. You also need to love relationships,
communication and human beings. As cheesey as it sounds, cooking and
feeding people is a conversation with the people you are feeding and
it brings communities together. If you have absolutely no regard for
human relationships, your cooking will probably be soulless as the act
of eating will become a mere means of sustenance.

How has blogging changed your perspective on eating out??

Definitely. Previously you would rely on a few top restaurant critics
you read in the papers on where to go and where to eat but you always
wondered if they have the same palate as you. Or whether they got
better treatment because of who they were (especially if they were not
anonymous). With bloggers, some of them are especially down to earth
and are people you can relate to and I have ended up friends with.

And you would always trust your friend’s palate more than that
photoshopped glamour shot photo of the critic you see in the papers.

What are your thoughts on the whole Pop Up Restaurant scene?

Its awesome. Like how graffiti took art from the posh galleries and
made it flat, democratic and free for everyone, most pop up
restaurants give everyone an all-access pass to savour food which they
ordinarily would not be able to.

Especially when you get top chefs from expensive restaurants doing pop
up events for a fraction of the price of what you get in the
restaurant but often of the same high quality and minus the snooty
service, stiff table linen and silver cutlery. Unless you are the
Queen, who needs them.

Current favourite is ex-Roganic chef, Ben Spalding’s StrippedBack.
Restaurant quality food served on rickety tables in the playground of
a children’s school at London fields.

Which Chef (Chefs) do you most admire?

I am not sure I have one. Well definitely not anyone that is famous (yet?).

As cheesy as it sounds, my grandmother and my mom probably inspired me
the most. Their love for others really shone through in their cooking.
And everything I do now, I try to impart and channel a little bit of

People I now admire are friends like Jason
(http://www.feasttotheworld.com) and ShuHan
(http://mummyicancook.blogspot.co.uk/) who cook obsessively and
compulsively and document their recipes religiously.
They dont need to do what they are doing. They are not getting paid
for it. It is not their day jobs. They are at the prime of their lifes
and heck they could be out there having sex drugs and rock and roll.
But instead, their mad intense passion for food drives them to do what
they do.

People always ask chefs what their last meal on earth would be… Instead, if you had to cook one last meal (the last dish ever!) what would it be and why?

I would cook Chwee Kueh

If I were serving Singaporeans, you cannot get more nostalgic then
this. We eat this lard based garlic dried chilli and dried prawn
infused preserved turnip with rice cakes for breakfast. Now that is a
breakfast for champions. Beat that, Eggs Benedict.

If I were serving non-Singaporeans, I love challenging their notions
of what we eat for breakfast and also the texture of what they are
used to. At my supperclub, theres always one person who squelches up
their face and go, “eww! preserved turnip?! on what? a gooey rice
cake?!” But their look of disgust turns to euphoria and surprise when
they take their first bite into the pillowy soft semi translucent rice
cake and crunch on that savoury oily hit from the chai poh (preserved
turnip) and take a wiff of the subtle gentle garlickiness.

Thanks so much!

Posted by Mise En Place International Hospitality Recruitment


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The Great British Pub Awards 2011

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

The search is now on for the UK’s top pubs in the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s Great British Pub Awards 2011.

It’s the time of the year again to enter The Great British Pub Awards 2011.

The awards presented at the Park Lane Hilton, London on the 8th of September are a fantastic way to show off your business to the wider hospitality community.

There are 16 categories for licensees to enter, including Best Entertainment Pub, Best Gastropub Pub, Best Community Pub and Best Tenanted/Leased Pub.

Some of last years winners included Brixton’s, Hootanany which won best live music pub. London’s only other winner in the main categories was The Camden Eye for best turnaround pub of the year.

The 2010 overall winner was The Battlesteads in Ware-on-Tyne, Northumberland, owner Richard Slade said: “Anyone considering entering should go for it — you have nothing to lose. It’s an opportunity to scrutinise your business — to look how far you’ve come, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there.”

TLC Inns won Best Family Pub of the Year 2010. Founder Steve Haslam said: “Winning a GBPA was fantastic for our venue, not only is it great for our business but almost more importantly it was great for our team.”

All entries will be subject to a paper judging process. After this date if successful you will be visited by our on-the-road judging team for a formal site visit. All finalists are invited to the award ceremony in London.

For more information on entering or to request an entry pack please contact Rikki Mudie on 01293 610396, email rikki.mudie@wrbm.com

or visit www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk to download and entry form.

The closing date for entries is 20 May.

Posted by Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment


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