How restaurants are reacting to Vegetarian Month

March is vegetarian month. Recent news shows that an estimated 29% of evening meals in the UK are vegetarian or vegan. These numbers only seem to be increasing, but just how is the hospitality industry reacting? Wayne Redge reports

Reports show that sales of meat-free ready meals were up by 15% in January compared to 12 months before. Vegan numbers went up from 150,000 in 2006 to 540,000 just a decade later, with 1.2 million vegetarians in addition to this in the UK. Not only that, but there has been an uprising of ‘flexitarians’, those who reduce their meat consumption by choosing to have meat-free days. As a result, evidence shows that 25% of people in Britain have cut back on how much meat they eat. With all of these figures on the rise, the transitions to a meat-free way of living aren’t just a ‘fad’.

Signs of the hospitality industry acknowledging these statistics has come with many different reactions. Nando’s, the Afro-Portuguese chain restaurant known for its chicken, has been consistently adding to its range of vegetarian and vegan options over the past few years. The spiced chicken giant has now announced that two more vegetarian dishes will be added to its menu: golden brown halloumi sticks served with a pot of sweet chilli jam dip to start, alongside a new main of Veggie Cataplana (a South African inspired stew dish.)

A host of vegetarian restaurants are also popping up, giving people who have adopted this lifestyle a lot more options. Run by former mentee of Gordon Ramsay, Minal Patel, “Prashad” is a 2 rosette and Bib Gourmand standard Indian cuisine restaurant. The personalised and crafted menu boards created by Smart Hospitality encase an all vegetarian menu that has been the talk of popular review site, Trip Advisor, since the restaurant opened its doors. Receiving the “Most Talked About Restaurant On Trip Advisor Award” and a “Certificate of Excellence” on the site, it is proof of the popularity that a vegetarian restaurant can receive by focusing its efforts towards a collective audience.

January of this year saw a mass of high-profile restaurants trying out full vegan menus or dishes for ‘Veganuary’. Harvey Nichols brought a full vegan menu to its OXO Tower restaurant in the shape of a three course vegan meal and vegan wine list. Upon opening their menu cover, guests were welcomed by the sights of Grilled Tofu with Miso and a Poached Pear and Blackberry Dessert.

tom-aitken-vegan-burger

Even Michelin Star chef, Tom Aitken took part in his Tom’s Kitchen restaurant . Teaming up with vegetarian burger company, The Vurger Co, he served up a hoisin glazed mushroom patty with pak choi, red cabbage and crunchy spring onions ( pictured above). Due to the success of this vegan burger, he has adopted a vegetarian burger to his main menu since then.

The amount of vegan festivals has seen a massive increase too, with at least 75 festivals lined up for 2018 in the UK alone. The festivals are a celebration of the natural lifestyle whilst also introducing its participants to new vegan restaurants and foods that they may not have tried before. Restaurants are creating pop ups at these events to promote themselves to the vegan following and gain some new supporters.

So, with the popularity of no-meat lifestyles on the rise, it is clear that restaurants have an opportunity to increase their offerings and enable themselves to appeal to a wider clientele. If 25% of evening meals being eaten are meat free, would restaurants do well to make 25% of their offerings meat free? It might even serve as a cost effective alternative whilst not compromising on quality.

Wayne Redge is marketing assistant, Smart Hospitality Supplies

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Food additives are a cause of obesity, says Mike Duckett MBE FIH

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Mike Duckett MBE FIH, centre, meets HRH The Prince of Wales

The hospitality industry has a responsibility to promote healthy eating habits, writes Mike Duckett MBE FIH, the ambassador for good hospital food and the former award-winning head of catering at The Royal Brompton Hospital, London.

“I have always worried about the amount of chemical additives added to food during manufacturing and the number of alien ingredients used to extend the colour and the shelf life of food, especially ready frozen meals. I have been very vocal in expressing my concerns which were confirmed recently when I visited the local hospital here in Surrey.

I was disturbed to hear of two eight-year-old boys who were hospitalised with severe pain from type-one diabetes. The senior nurse on duty told me that the main cause was their poor diet and lack of a variety of healthy food.

We therefore as the hospitality fraternity  have a collective responsibility to ensure that the food we serve is healthier.  We should persuade those who manufacture meals to be more aware of the steps needed to reducing high levels of obesity.

Statistics show that we are eating out more regularly and that we tend to eat more in a restaurant than in the home environment. This raises one important question. How safe is it to eat out these days? Recently we have heard that a major meat supplier was told by the FSA to stop supplying, a popular pub chain received a zero rating for hygiene,  and food factories change best before dates on food.  We also hear of customers dying from eating food that cause allergies. It makes you wonder if eating out is taking your life in their hands.

Hospitals, care homes, meals on wheels services and the general public are in the habit of purchasing  ready frozen microwave meals. These meals are high in fat, sugar and salt. Scientists have warned that emulsifiers – the chemicals widely used in processed foods including ice cream, bread and chocolate – may be a key cause of obesity. These emulsifiers are used to make smoother textures in foods such as peanut butter, sausages and mayonnaise. They are understood to be chemically active long after we digest them and they increase hunger and therefore we eat more.

If we are going to take the growing obesity epidemic seriously, we need an urgent look at what is being used in our food manufacturing and in the type of food and ready meals we serve our customers and campaign for the use of fresh local ingredients from as near the point of service as possible.”

The Menu Museum

menu museum logo large(1)A Brighton-based academic is bringing a unique archive of menus to the attention of the wider international hospitality industry and education practitioners with the aim that it will remain free to users and continue to grow.

The Menu Museum is an interactive online menu archive that facilitates research and teaching in menu design, pricing and food and beverage trends. It currently features more than 640 menus and has over 1,500 users.

Ioannis Pantelidis FIH, principal lecturer in hospitality and culinary arts at the University of Brighton, started the website with his colleague Ken Woodward. Pantelidis says: “I had a big collection of restaurant menus that I was using for food and beverage management-related modules, so I had numerous folders that I used to carry to my classes. When I came to Brighton I started teaching a module with Ken. He had his own collection, so when we put the two together we had about 500 menus which we scanned and uploaded onto the website. Since then a further 140 menus have been uploaded by users, which is great.”

The collection includes a menu replica from the Titanic (1912) and a 19th century menu from the Dorchester Hotel, London.  Menus can be searched for by country and year of origin. Once registered, users can upload their own menus or collections of menus.

BU_23NOV17_AW_047

Pantelidis adds that the website continues to be a work in progress and wants to bring it to the wider attention of the international hospitality community in order for it to grow.

The website can be an important teaching aid. Pantelidis has used it to compare a 1970s Dorchester menu with its equivalent today. He says: Students are able to explore the differences – how the pricing strategies differ, the design and the types of dishes on the menu. I want to keep the website free and I want the community to use it.”

The Menu Museum won the 2017 Teaching Innovation Award,  presented by
The Council of Hospitality Management Education, in association with the SHARE center.

The Menu Museum received initial funding from the European Union. Subsequently both the Savoy Educational Trust and Trigger Solutions have helped with server hosting and maintenance costs.

BU_23NOV17_AW_050adjustedFor further information about supporting the Menu Museum, please contact:
Dr Ioannis S. Pantelidis FIH – Principal Lecturer
Admissions, recruitment, marketing & WP leader
School of Sport and Service Management
University of Brighton,  Darley Road, Eastbourne, BN20 7UR
Tel:  +44 1273 64 4748   Email: isp12@brighton.ac.uk

 

The Menu Museum

menu museum logo large(1)A Brighton-based academic is bringing a unique archive of menus to the attention of the wider international hospitality industry and education practitioners with the aim that it will remain free to users and continue to grow.

The Menu Museum is an interactive online menu archive that facilitates research and teaching in menu design, pricing and food and beverage trends. It currently features more than 640 menus and has over 1,500 users.

Ioannis Pantelidis FIH, principal lecturer in hospitality and culinary arts at the University of Brighton, started the website with his colleague Ken Woodward. Pantelidis says: “I had a big collection of restaurant menus that I was using for food and beverage management-related modules, so I had numerous folders that I used to carry to my classes. When I came to Brighton I started teaching a module with Ken. He had his own collection, so when we put the two together we had about 500 menus which we scanned and uploaded onto the website. Since then a further 140 menus have been uploaded by users, which is great.”

The collection includes a menu replica from the Titanic (1912) and a 19th century menu from the Dorchester Hotel, London.  Menus can be searched for by country and year of origin. Once registered, users can upload their own menus or collections of menus.

Pantelidis adds that the website continues to be a work in progress and wants to bring it to the wider attention of the international hospitality community in order for it to grow.

The website can be an important teaching aid. Pantelidis has used it to compare a 1970s Dorchester menu with its equivalent today. He says: Students are able to explore the differences – how the pricing strategies differ, the design and the types of dishes on the menu. I want to keep the website free and I want the community to use it.”

The Menu Museum won the 2017 Teaching Innovation Award,  presented by
The Council of Hospitality Management Education, in association with the SHARE center.

The Menu Museum received initial funding from the European Union. Subsequently both the Savoy Educational Trust and Trigger Solutions have helped with server hosting and maintenance costs.

For further information about supporting the Menu Museum, please contact:
Dr Ioannis S. Pantelidis FIH – Principal Lecturer
Admissions, recruitment, marketing & WP leader
School of Sport and Service Management
University of Brighton,  Darley Road, Eastbourne, BN20 7UR
Tel:  +44 1273 64 4748   Email: isp12@brighton.ac.uk

Institute of Hospitality Endorses Training Programmes for the Homeless

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Providence Row bakery trainees celebrate the endorsement of their training programme by the Institute of Hospitality.

The Institute of Hospitality has endorsed training programmes that help people affected by homelessness enter the catering industry and turn their lives around.

The catering and bakery training courses are provided by Providence Row, a charity that works with more than 1,400 homeless and vulnerably housed people a year in East London, offering an integrated service of crisis support, advice, recovery and learning and training.

Peter Ducker FIH, chief executive, Institute of Hospitality, says: “Endorsement by the Institute of Hospitality demonstrates that Providence Row’s training courses meet a wide range of essential criteria and benchmarks relating to quality standards and quality learning outcomes.”

Dominic Gates, Enterprise and Training Manager, Providence Row, says:  “We’re absolutely thrilled to gain this prestigious endorsement as it’s a fantastic acknowledgement of our team’s great work offering catering and baking training to people affected by homelessness, substance misuse and mental health issues. In the last seven years, we’ve developed a traditional ‘soup kitchen’ into a supported training kitchen, offering people quality training to help them move away from homelessness and back into employment.”

Providence Row Charity has been helping vulnerable people for 160 years. It has been running the Catering Trainee Scheme for the last seven years, having worked with over 200 trainees, food designers, and nutritionists and over 20 professional chefs at Andaz Hotel Liverpool Street and other catering establishments. Providence Row has two full-time chefs with catering backgrounds. In addition, Andaz Hotel Liverpool Street provides workshops and work experience placements for trainees.

The Institute of Hospitality offers an endorsement service to training providers for the recognition of quality professional development and training.  

 

Southern Branch celebrates student achievements

Three students received the accolade of “Student of the Year” at The Institute of Hospitality Southern Branch’s Student Awards Gala Evening at the exclusive Lainston House Hotel, near Winchester on 2nd May.

Over ninety people attended the event, which was hosted by the celebrity chef, Steven Edwards, and featured the top college students from Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire who competed for prizes in the Chef, Pastry Chef and Front of House categories.

  • The Chefs’ Forum Award for Chef Student of the Year went to Reegan Graff from Kingston Maurward College.
  • The Yate Supplies Pastry Chef Student of the Year was won by Jessica Edwards from Bournemouth & Poole College.
  • The AA Front of House Student of the Year was Carmen Darmanin from Eastleigh College.

The evening  included a sumptuous three course meal prepared by the chefs at Lainston House using meat provided by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), organic fruit and vegetables from Sunnyfields and wine from Nyetimber and Bancroft.   Further sponsorship was received from the Institute of Hospitality and  Halton Foodservice.

“The competition was very close; the judges had a very difficult time choosing the winners.  It was a spectacular evening – there was a real buzz going around the room the whole night; and when the winners were announced it was electrifying!”, explained Tom Goss MIH from the IoH Southern Branch.  “We are thrilled with the high level of support that we have received from the industry and the colleges”.

In addition to Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester, Bournemouth & Poole College and Eastleigh College, entrants came from Brockenhurst College, Highbury College, South Downs College and Basingstoke College of Technology.

Press Release LOGOS jpegThe full list of finalists is as follows:

FRONT OF HOUSE
Carmen Darmanin
VTCT Diploma in Food and Beverage Service Supervision (Level 3)
Eastleigh College
Kiera Diment
Advanced Apprenticeship in Customer Service  (Level 3)
Kingston Maurward College
Jamie Duncan
VTCT Diploma in Food Service & Supervision  (Level 3)
Basingstoke College of Technology
Jack Gadd
C&G Diploma in Hospitality Supervision (Level 3)
Brockenhurst College

CHEF
Jane Doma
VTCT Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery (Level 3)
Eastleigh College
Daniel Field
NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery (Level 3)
South Downs College
Hannah Fisher
VRQ Advanced Diploma Professional Chef (Level 3)
Bournemouth and Poole College
Reegan Graff
Intermediate Apprenticeship in Hospitality & Catering (Level 2)
Kingston Maurward College
Precious Smith
NVQ Professional Cookery (Level 3)
Highbury College

PASTRY CHEF
Molly Scarlet Ash
C&G Advanced Diploma in Patisserie and Confectionary (Level 3)
Highbury College
Jessica Edwards
VRQ Advanced Professional Patisserie and Confectionery (Level 3)
Bournemouth and Poole College
Shannon Foreman
VTCT Diploma in Professional Patisserie and Confectionary (Level 3)
Eastleigh College

“We want people from everywhere”

brexitAn important ingredient of the UK hospitality industry’s success has been relatively little interference from government, writes Derek Taylor OBE FIH. Brexit could change that.

Italo Zangiacomi was the manager of the Piccadilly Hotel in London. Hector Zavatoni was the banqueting manager at the Savoy. Cesare Maggi was the restaurant manager at the Ritz. They were among the 470 Italians who died when the Arandora Star, taking them to internment in Canada in July 1940, was torpedoed in the Atlantic.

The cream of the British hotel industry perished in that disaster 77 years ago; eight hundred and sixty five in all lost their lives and only thirteen bodies have ever been recovered. There is an annual mass at St. Peter’s Italian Church in Clerkenwell every July to remember the calamity and in 2010 a memorial cloister garden was opened at St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church in Glasgow. There are other memorials too.

Italy was an Axis power, but even so, the reputation of their hotel and restaurant staff was so good that top banqueting managers in the 1960s were still expected to be Italian. When the Welshman, Bryan Evans, was appointed banqueting manager at the Savoy, the chair of the company and future Lord Mayor of London, Sir Hugh Wontner, insisted that he be known as Evangelo Brioni.

We owe a great deal to a large number of foreigners who embellished our industry. We certainly don’t want the government to now inflict some petty chauvinist restriction on our great multi-cultural hotel and restaurant world. We want to take anybody from anywhere who can do the job well.

You’ve seen ice work, butter work and sugar work. Who invented it? George IV’s chef, Marie-Antoine Carême, can take a lot of the credit.  Carême came over from France after Waterloo and set standards never seen before.  We have great traditions as an international industry. It is right to remember another Frenchman, Alexis Soyer, from the Reform Club, who died in the Crimea feeding the troops in the War against Russia. Or where would we have got à la carte from, if Auguste Escoffier hadn’t come up with the idea with Cesar Ritz at the Carlton. The language in top kitchens in 1945 was still French. Bedroom lighting owes a great deal to Ritz. In fairness, excellent British hotel marketing was home-grown.

Ever since the Second World War, the hotel and restaurant industry in this country has steadily progressed. At exactly the same time traditional industries – ship building, coal mining, steel manufacturing – have gone down the drain. So to what can we attribute our success? Well, almost total neglect by successive governments has been an enormous help. Admittedly, they picked us out for special taxation in the 1960s because we weren’t making anything. Agreed, they nearly bankrupted us with the Grant Scheme in the early 1970s, but overall they have let us get on with it and we have flourished. Now they are threatening to interfere again.

There is a question mark over whether we should welcome overseas immigrants after Brexit.

Well, let me tell you one thing. If you were going to deport everybody with a foreign ancestor from this country, there’d be hardly anybody left. The Britons were shoved out of the East side of the country by the Anglo-Saxons in the 8th century. You’ll still find some in Cornwall, but not in Devon.

We are all foreigners – Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Flemings, Huguenots, Poles and many others. Only the Vikings went home. Immigrants are usually the pick of the crop. Even the prime minister’s family benefited from being allowed to emigrate. In the 16th century, her ancestor, John Spooner, emigrated to Holland and died there.

Bring it up to date. Only 50 years ago we weren’t in the Common Market and the British hotel world was desperate for staff. Brian Worthington, one of our best human resources directors, went down on his knees at the Home Office and begged them to let him bring in the staff we needed from – the Phillipines. Having assured themselves that our natives wouldn’t work in the industry, the Home Office acquiesced.

It’s no use  people saying that if the people from overseas are shut out the British will do the jobs. The only way in which the industry has kept up its standards of service is by recruiting from everywhere. Because of international influences, we are better cooks – we get Michelin stars now – and better managers. Admittedly, we are brilliant entrepreneurs, housekeepers, hall porters and barmen. We have one problem; how many parents hope that when their children grow up, they will be restaurant managers and chefs? They do in Switzerland, Italy and France.

I once asked Lord Forte, a great hotelier, why the British didn’t cook as well as the continentals. He explained: “It’s not part of the culture. In Britain we – we garden.”  And so we do – better than anybody else in the world. We also cook pretty well now – but foreigners laid down the ground rules and there is more we can do to improve many aspects of our business.

Dear Mrs. May, you have a whole string of problems at the moment. Why don’t you continue to let us get on with it. Our damp island is fifth in the world tourist rankings. We do a lot better than the football team. Please continue the traditional government policy of leaving us alone.

Derek Taylor OBE FIH is an internationally-renowned expert on hotel marketing. His eighth book Revolutionary Hotel Marketing is published by the Institute of Hospitality and available from Amazon