Friday, 2 December 2011

School cookery competition judged by celebrity chef

james mrtin

At the Edgbaston High School for girls, the well-known chef, James Martin, made a special appearance recently as part of the cookery competition using catering equipment. Surely he would have livened up the event and set tongues a-wagging.

You are probably familiar with the sight of James Martin on the telly each Saturday morning, as he entices his viewers into the weekend with ideas and recipes for delicious food. However, he made an entrance in a different milieu recently when he went for the Red Tractor Mmmake it with Mince Challenge 2011. It was, in fact, the cook-up for the regions.

As one would expect from the title of the competition, the aim of the game is to create a dish using beef and lamb made with catering equipment. It is a 6 year old competition, aimed at 11-16 year olds, to encourage them to develop a passion for cooking and also to learn a little more about the origins of ingredients and to provide a better understanding of the components of a nutritious meal.

Who was the winner in this particular heat? Charlotte Heath, from Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls won the category. What did she cook? A lamb and date tagine. Elsa Court from Edgbaston High School for Girls and Jabber Hussain from Hodge Hill Sports and Enterprise College came second and third, respectively.

The overall national winner of this Challenge will be treated to a visit to the BBC Saturday Kitchen and will also go to a Michelin-starred restaurant in London and meet some of the chefs.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Parry Catering Equipment

Parry Catering Equipment

We stock the whole range of Parry Catering Equipment, manufactured by one of the leading catering brands in the UK.

Parry Catering Equipment has over thirty years of manufacturing experience in the professional catering industry and the company focuses on UK based production, supporting the UK manufacturing industry and ensuring that every product is fit for the British commercial catering market.

The range of Parry Catering Equipment is extensive and all products in the range are of the highest quality and offered at great prices.

We offer Parry bain maries, made from stainless steels and with piezo ignition and temperature controls, available in four or six pot options, along with boiling tops, which are either free standing or designed for heavy-duty table top use, with sizes varying from 3-900 mm wide.

Other products in the range include Chargrills, chest freezers, chilled merchandisers, contact grills, chip scuttles, convection ovens, counter top fryers, dual fuel ranges, electric griddles, dumb waiters, free standing fryers, fridge counters, gas griddles and ranges, heated display units and hot cupboards, ice machines, LPG mobile catering equipment, pasta boilers, pizza makers, potato ovens, slices, preparation tables, water boilers and more!

All items in our range are offered with full warranties and flexible financing is available for larger ticket items. Delivery is fast and efficient with our expert installers who will ensure that your new piece of kitchen equipment is installed and ready to go and our friendly customer services team is just at the other end of the line to help.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Britain is the place to be for hotel developments

When it comes to the hotel industry, there is good news for the British. According to recent reports, the United Kingdom could be destined for some serious action in the hotel industry in the coming years who will need catering equipment.

Of course, as we are bombarded at every turn with gloomy economic outlooks and miserable stories of spiraling debt and unemployment, long projections for recovery rates in the markets and other such tales, this is indeed welcome news.

The UK was picked out as the place of choice for development schemes for new hotels, as reported in a Deloitte survey, which has been carried out recently. According to reports, a healthy 46% claimed that they would pick the UK rather than France, Germany, Italy and Spain for their new projects which might need catering equipment. The runner up was Germany, which had almost a third of the votes. France had 16% and came in third place of preference.

There is another encouraging statistic too – according to PKF, the regional hotels in the country had an increase of 2.2% occupancy in September.

However, all is not completely rosy on the horizon. Reported quotes from Nick van Marken at Deloitte has said that the general picture is still uncertain when it comes to the global industry.

As you may well guess, one of the problems in terms of future investment is the issue of confidence in the market. Sadly, although the results of the Deloitte survey are positive, there is still room for improvement in terms of expectations of optimism and investors putting their money where their mouths are.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Another celebrity chef to help revisit school dinners

You may well recall that in 2005, Jamie Oliver launched a new idea on television in his School Dinners series: he was alarmed by the state of nutrition in school dinners made with catering equipment across the country and the links with obesity and the health of the young generation. As such, he started the now infamous Feed Me Better campaign.

Over the subsequent years, the issue of nutrition and school dinners has been re-evaluated by many educational establishments, in an effort to improve the quality of food available to youngsters. However, the 'battle' Is not yet over and there is still plenty of room for improvement. Sadly, it has been said that Britain has the highest levels of childhood obesity in Europe.

Cue a new celebrity chef who is looking to take up the gauntlet: Marco Pierre White.

It has been reported that this Michelin-starred chef has been in talks with politicians to create a new programme for school meals made with catering equipment, where professionals from the catering profession work alongside the in-house school cooks. The chef met with the education secretary, Michael Gove, relatively recently on the subject.

It is likely that the scheme will be test-driven in some pilot schemes initially, possibly starting with specially chosen primary schools. It has been said that White thinks it is important to encourage a real love of good food early in a child's life.

In the meantime, it is also said that Jamie Oliver is hoping to launch the sequel manifesto to improve the quality of food in the UK.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Dudson Crockery

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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Coffee company success despite financial climate

Have you heard of Matthew Algie, the coffee roasting company? It's a Glaswegian company and is doing well, notwithstanding the recession, global downturn and other financial wrinkles thank you very much.

Secretly, many of us will be heartened by this news. So much financial boom time seems to be built on confidence in the market and so forth, that word of increased profits and business success is something to be celebrated.

Matthew Algie is in fact said to be the biggest independent roaster in the UK roasting coffee for coffee machines. Although there has been an increase in the cost of certain items, the company is reporting an upturn in profits. The company put the reason for this phenomenon down to the preference of consumers for a little treat from time to time. They believe that, despite the cutbacks and frugal practices that are being implemented in homes around the country, people are still managing to enjoy a decent cup of coffee made with coffee machines. Life's little treats and luxuries can make hardships more palatable, after all.

So which customers does Matthew Algie supply? The list of clients is said to be rather impressive. Their coffee is sold to various hotels and other retailers including big names such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and the Houses of Parliament.

And how good is business? Apparently there was an increase in the operating profit of the Matthew Algie company in 2010 of 12% and a healthy growth in turnover of about 10%.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

National Coffee Day in the United States

The coffee culture in the United States of America is a strong one – the caffeine beverage seeps into many parts of daily life in the country. And just to celebrate the important role of coffee made in coffee machines in their culture, the Yanks have dedicated 29 September 2011 as National Coffee Day.

What does this mean in practice? Several well-known national eatery chains are encouraging the public to partake in a cup of joe but discounting or offering a free drink to customers.

Coffee is ingrained, to a certain extent, in the American psyche it would appear. In a recent survey, it was revealed that three out of every five Americans who took part in the survey confirmed that they needed a cuppa to kick start their day.

In another survey, it has been reported that some careers are more coffee-centric than others. Participants in the survey disclosed that they feel they need to have a good dose of caffeine to make it through the day. Top of the list were scientists and those technicians who work in laboratories, followed by professionals in the marketing and public relations industry, then administrators or educators.

There have been various surveys which concentrate on the scientific effects of coffee on the body too. One of the most recent ones sought to investigate the connection between depression and caffeine consumption. According to a published report, women who drank between 2 and 3 cups of coffee made using coffee machines each day were statistically less likely to be depressed (although more research is necessary to go into more detail on the subject).

Monday, 10 October 2011

The World's Biggest Coffee Morning

As you've probably heard, the cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support is holding the World's Biggest Coffee Morning using coffee machines on 30 September to raise funds. The charity works to help those who have the disease and also to offer support to those who are close to cancer victims.

As this is a subject that touches many people in the UK, there has been a huge response to the call to raise money. Across the length and breadth of the country, people are organising events large and small, extravagant and quiet, to support the cause and fund-raise for Macmillan.

For example, here are some of the things that are going on:

In Scotland, on 29 September, the local MP of Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) opened his office to his constituents. They were invited to step inside for a cuppa and also to learn about the work done by Macmillan.

In southern England, in West Sussex, a local garden centre is similarly supporting the charity by holding a coffee morning using coffee machines. The Old Barn Nursery & Garden Centre is opening its doors on 30 September during the morning and will be providing complimentary tea and coffee.

In the north of England, things are getting busy too. In Scarborough, for example, a series of events have been organised. On 29 September, the Grand Hotel in St Nicholas Cliff held a gathering and on 30 September, the official day of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning – Samwedges, St Dean's Garden Centre, Plaxton Court and Bon Marche are just a few of the venues in the country to get involved.

Friday, 7 October 2011

M&S support Macmillan Cancer Support

It will have been difficult to ignore the fact that the excellent cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, is on a mission to raise significant funds in the month of September, as part of its World's Biggest Coffee Morning campaign.

The profile of the charity is much-loved and many people in Britain can vouch for the way the organisation has offered support and care for those who are suffering from cancer and also those who are indirectly affected by the trauma of seeing those they love with the disease.

On 30 September, the coffee-drinking campaign will climax and the charity hopes to raise £8.5 million for its causes.

Another much-loved British institution – Marks & Spencer – is also joining in with the worthwhile campaign. As reported in the Daily Mirror recently, the company has its own strategy to get us to sip our coffee and nibble on some cake while simultaneously raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support possibly using catering equipment.

What is M&S doing? They have promised that 50 pence from every cup of coffee which it sells in the M&S cafes on the date of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning (30 September), will go towards the fund. Added to this gesture of goodwill, 10 pence from certain cake products will also be donated to the cause which involved not much in the way of catering equipment. So if you enjoy caffeine, have a conscience and can persuade yourself to indulge with a little Marks & Spencer Victoria sponge cake ( or something similar), why not pop into your local branch next week to support the charity?