A bad end to the week with news in this morning that the Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotels in Jakarta have been hit by two bomb blasts overnight killing at least nine people and injuring 48.
This was preceded earlier in the week with a report stating that overseas tourist numbers fell by 12% in the first five months of this year.
A challenging time lies ahead for branded coffee chains as well with the collapse of Coffee Republic hailing the start of a tricky period for this market. A study from market analysts Key Note has found that the branded coffee chain sector has come under intense competition as consumers have tightened their belts.
In the restaurant sector, Soho began the week recovering from the fire that broke out in Dean Street last Friday. The fire, directly opposite Quo Vadis, has forced owners Sam and Eddie Hart to close the property for two weeks.
Still in London, revered chef Pierre Koffmann announced that he is set to return to the stove later this year in a "pop-up" restaurant at London department store Selfridges.
The former three-Michelin-starred chef patron of the legendary La Tante Claire restaurant will run the 80-cover pop-up restaurant on the roof of Selfridges for one week in October as part of the inaugural London Restaurant Festival from 8-13 October.
The festival has been created by London Evening Standard’s food critic Fay Maschler and Simon Davis, who together run restaurant consultancy Private View, the festival will be a citywide celebration of dining out in the capital.
The owners of Calcot Manor have been busy – busy buying nearby boutique hotel Barnsley House. The 18-bedroom, privately owned property had collapsed into administration in May, but the Calcot team came to the rescue and are believed to have purchased the property for around £6.6m.
Earlier this week, Prince Charles warned of a future nightmare if overfishing continues to be ignored. Speaking at Clarence House on Tuesday on the 10th anniversary of the Marine Stewardship Council, the Prince told fishing industry leaders, restaurateurs and caterers that he could not understand why, of the 84m tonnes of fish caught every year, seven million is discarded. "Bycatch is immoral and utterly obscene and I cannot comprehend how this can still happen," he said.
A quite incredible story from Germany this week from a chef, who blew off both of his hands in a liquid nitrogen kitchen accident. The young chef, known as Martin E from Stahnsdorf, near Berlin, was experimenting with a recipe involving liquid nitrogen, which is used to freeze food, when the accident happened. However, according to a report in a German newspaper, doctors have now been able to reattach his left hand. "We expect to be able to restore the function of the left hand to between 60% and 70%," one of the doctors told the Berliner Morgenpost.
School may be out for summer, but that hasn’t stopped Laura Doherty, a 12-year-old schoolgirl from Haslingden High School, Lancashire, from being chosen to front the School Food Trust’s Million Meals campaign, which aims to improve children’s health by getting a million more students nationwide eating school meals by 2010.
Enjoying your break from the beautiful game? Well David Hornby of England 2018 Hotels and Hospitality is calling on the industry to get right behind England’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup – and if successful, he says, operators will see the cash rolling in. Now there’s a lovely thought.
Chef Conference 2009 – we have an amazing line-up for this year’s conference with two three-Michelin-starred chefs topping the bill, Heston Blumenthal and Elena Arzak.
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Quote of the Week
Béchamel is the "Walkman’ of sauces: the height of refinement in its day, but now too heavy and not as much fun as it seemed at the time"
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder, Leon, gives his reason for picking custard in his round of May The Sauce Be With You article.
By Amanda Afiya