Going veggie - is it right for your business?

There is no denying it - as a country, and as a planet, we eat too much meat and poultry.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do maths: we eat billions of tonnes of animal flesh a year and the amount of food needed to feed these animals is epic, which has an affect on the environment as well as our bodies. Mass production of meat and poultry goes against the welfare of the animals and the humans eating them. 

Things won't be able to continue much longer in the current way.

We're not suggesting that the whole world should go vegan either. Hell no. Sure, PETA would be happy but it's not a realistic choice for most people. A wiser suggestion however is for us to eat better quality meat, less often. A £1.50 chicken from Asda, no matter how low your income, is not doing anyone any favours.

It's interesting then to see food businesses shift to meat free offerings altogether, with the most recent doing this being Pavillion Bakery. With outposts on Broadway Market, Victoria Park and Columbia Road, as well as Newquay in Cornwall, as of Monday 24th July 2017, they will no longer serve meat at any of their sites.

In a long post on Instagram explaining their decision, owner Rob stated:

" I have made a decision to stop selling meat at the Pavilion . Having debated and reduced meat products over several years I have finally decided to pull it completely and concentrate developing menus based around well sourced plant based food. I have really loved serving you all, but I feel small decisions made by many will help improve our environment and our society . I have been running the Pavilion for ten years and feel the challenge of the next ten should be focusing on reducing waste, purchasing from organic growers, understanding and using food for health through education and working with community groups we can support our beautiful diverse neighbourhood.
My decision was not made lightly and I hope you continue to visit and enjoy all the old favourites! "

Why not eh? If you're a business owner and feel that strongly and passionately about what you're serving then why not give your customers no choice in ordering meat? If what you're serving is still delicious then they'll continue coming back.

We spoke to Rob who told us:

" I've been running the Pavilion for ten years and I've attempted to stop selling meat products before but it's a huge part of the turnover. It came to a point where I didn't want to contribute any more to the suffering and bad karma of the meat industry. I believe the business is about contributing and solving problems, I want my next ten years to be filled with health and love. No meat equals a better world - that's my motivation. "

In the coming years, it will be interesting to see if more food operators will turn full-on-veggie and whether for some, it's through necessity and not choice. In the meantime, keep eating meat sure, just give your local butcher a go.

 


Written by Dominic Rowntree, published 20 July, 2017


How to take the perfect profile pic

You might think it's bleedin' obvious how to take the perfect profile pic, but take it from us, some people haven't got a clue.

With venues looking at your profiles daily, it's super important they look the best and up to date. A GOOD profile pic will help you get work, so here are our top tips:

1) NO FILTERS
Sure, filters are fab for Snapchat but it may be hard for potential employers to take you seriously when you have butterflies flapping around your head or rainbows pouring out your mouth.

Filters

2) SMILE
Cheer up, it might never happen! You're trying to show off your bubbly personality and a smile goes a long way. If you need inspiration, take a look below..

Smile

3) NO ACCESSORIES
Don't cover your pretty lil face with sunglasses and hats and balaclavas - people want to see you for you! 

Eyes

So there you have it, take a great profile pic and you've got the best chance of getting a shift in some of London hottest food and drink venues. 

National Restaurant Awards 2017 - the complete list

The Hurlingham Club hosted Restaurant Magazine's annual National Restaurant Awards sponsored by Estrella Damm last night. A big congrats goes to The Sportsman in Seasalter, a Michelin starred pub, which wins Restaurant of the Year a second year in a row. If you haven't been yet, bagging a reservation may have just got a little harder!

See the full 100 list below..... 

1. The Sportsman
2. The Ledbury
3. A Wong
4. Som Saa
5. Barrafina Adelaide Street
6. Casamia
7. The Clove Club
8. Elystan Street
9. Kiln
10. Hedone
11. The River Café
12. Lyle’s
13. Hoppers
14. The Palomar
15. The Fat Duck
16. Restaurant Sat Bains
17. L’Enclume
18. Coombeshead Farm
19. The Dairy
20. The Walnut Tree
21. The Waterside Inn
22. Gymkhana
23. Claude Bosi at Bibendum
24. The Elephant
25. The Raby Hunt
26. Midsummer House
27. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw
28. Brawn
29. Bulrush
30. 64 Degrees
31. Primeur
32. The Coach
33. 108 Garage
34. Temper
35. Chez Bruce
36. Noble Rot Restaurant & Wine Bar
37. Frenchie
38. Le Gavroche
39. Padella
40. Clipstone
41. The Hand & Flowers
42. 40 Maltby Street
43. The Quality Chop House
44. The Little Fish Market
45. The Man Behind the Curtain
46. Trinity
47. Sticky Walnut
48. Bocca di Lupo
49. The Smoking Goat
50. Lake Road Kitchen
51. The Crown
52. Adams
53. Gidleigh Park
54. Hispi
55. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
56. Jikoni
57. P Franco
58. The Black Swan at Oldstead
59. Typing Room
60. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
61. Margot
62. Timberyard
63. Black Axe Mangal
64. Blacklock Soho
65. El Pastor
66. Holborn Dining Room
67. Pollen Street Social
68. Street XO
69. Bao Soho
70. Moor Hall
71. Paul Ainsworth at Number 6
72. Quo Vadis
73. The Marksman
74. The Pony & Trap
75. Rochelle Canteen
76. The Seahorse
77. Freemasons at Wiswell
78. El Gato Negro
79. Hawksmoor Air Street
80. Kricket
81. Sosharu
82. The Star Inn
83. The Hardwick
84. Wine & Brine
85. Box-E
86. Morito
87. Restaurant Andrew Fairlie
88. Norn
89. Ondine
90. Portland
91. Lorne
92. Murano
93. The Beehive
94. The Kitchin
95. St John Bread and Wine
96. Simpsons
97. Forest Side
98. Pizarro
99. The Pig
100. Gunpowder


Written by Dominic Rowntree, published 13 June, 2017


Hospitality: it's a charitable business

 

Charity work takes place across all industries but one which sees a particularly large amount of people looking out for other people is the world of food and drink. 

Restaurants like Pilau, founded by George Pitkeathley, have been serving Indian wraps and rice boxes to hungry punters for over a year now. George explains his link with a charity called 'Akshaya Patra'...

"Its pretty simple really, every time someone eats at PILAU either Goodge Street or Soho we donate a meal to a child in India.

We do it though our project called 'Feed Yourself - Feed a Child' in partnership with Akshaya Patra and have already fed over 30k children. Our aim is to feed over a billion and we won’t stop until we’ve done so!"

One such charity which is aided by a huge array of London restaurants is Action Against Hunger. We spoke with Emma Cullingford, their Head of Food-related Fundraising, who told us...

"Action Against Hunger has been working with the hospitality industry for almost 20 years. We are incredibly grateful to have the support of many of the UK's top chefs and restaurants from Raymond Blanc, Ken Hom and Angela Hartnett, to Hawksmoor, Pho, Carluccio's and MEATliquor.

We are the hospitality industry's charity of choice because there is a strong link between the fantastic restaurant culture we enjoy here in the UK and the life-saving work Action Against Hunger does around the world.... It's about food. We can come together and turn our passion for food into a positive life changing impact to those in need.

We simply wouldn't be able to carry out our life-saving work in 47 countries without the fantastic support of the hospitality industry."

Someone who regularly raises money for this, and other, charities is Nick Gibson, landlord of The Drapers Arms in Islington. Yearly, he donates the takings from one of the pub's busiest nights of the year, Valentine's Day, to the charity named Shelter, which helps victims of domestic violence. 

In a world where things aren't always pleasant, and good doesn't always seem to prevail,  the constant devotion to helping others that comes from the hospitality industry is something that should make us all very proud.

 


Written by Dominic Rowntree. Published 5 June, 2017


Welcome to the Work Revolution

It’s all change over here at Talent Deck, well, mainly because we’ve changed our name.

Bye Bye Talent Deck.

Hello Work Revolution.

But why?

We wanted a name that reflected our ethos of hiring staff flexibly, putting the control in both the hands of the worker and the venue.

Along with the new name, we’ve given the app a snazzy  makeover with our new branding. And after listening to your feedback we've made everything much easier to navigate. For venues, the ‘publish’ button has moved to make it easier to see and the overall 'get worker' flow is clearer. 

For workers: the redesigned dashboard means your profiles look SWISH, the ‘schedule’ and ‘availability’ buttons are now side by side and the whole app is easier to navigate.

And it's a nice name right?

Right!

As far as you are concerned, everything stays pretty much the same - all you need to do is update the app in the app store or if you're using us on an android device or on the computer, just log in as usual. 

Welcome to the Work Revolution.

 

London Food Month is coming...

If you've not heard about London Food Month, "a month-long celebration of food" from the Evening Standard in collaboration with Creative Directors Grace Dent and Tom Parker Bowles, then you must have been living in a cave.  

It's set to be any foodie lover's DREAM.

So what can we expect?

One of the main events will be a two week-long night market, aptly named Night Market - think Street Feast but bigger - in Perks Fields near Kensington Gardens. The only downside: it's paid entry - £15 per person  (you can pre book tickets here) but with over fifty vendors currently confirmed it's sure to be worth the dollar.

The other side of LFM is a collection of events, over 400 in fact, ranging from a 'Young Chefs' Dinner' with Claude Bosi at Bibendum to an 'Icon of London' dinner with Fergus Henderson at St John.

Sara Adams, owner of Kensington Street Kitchen, explains what LFM means to her. "We're so excited small businesses like KSK can stand alongside the big restaurants in this month long programme. Such a brilliant way for us to showcase our food"

LFM have also teamed up with The Felix Project, a charity which works with food suppliers to reduce food waste and gives food which would otherwise go in the bin, to those desperately in need of it. 

LFM runs from 1-30 June. For more info, visit londonfoodmonth.co.uk.


Written by Dominic Rowntree, published 18 May, 2017

 


This month's restaurant goss

It's all been going on in the world of London restaurants recently so we thought we'd keep you in the loop with our highlights and lowlights from the past couple of weeks. 

One of the more shocking announcements was Simon Rogan leaving Claridge's hotel after a 3 year stint being in charge of FERA. They announced the kitchen will now be overseen by Rogan's protege, Matt Starling, operating under the same name. 

Good news for taco lovers; the hit that was Santo Remedio in Shoreditch has launched a Kickstarter to reopen their Mexican restaurant somewhere south of the river. The guys at Pidgin in Hackney are opening a new dim sum restaurant on Heddon Street called Magpie. And Rawduck are opening Little Duck - The Pickelry in Dalston, specialising in, you guessed it, pickles.

Chick 'n' Sours are to open a free range fast food chicken shop on Baker Street, which will even serve breakfast (woo hoo!), journalist Adam Coughlan is announced as Eater's new UK editor and Fay Mashcler reveals her 50 favourite restaurants

Critic wise: Grace Dent is still in love with Legs in Hackney a year on, Jay Rayner enjoys being sailed down the river during dinner at the London Shell Co and Marina O'Loughlin doesn't expect to but does like Pomona's in Notting Hill.


If you want to keep up to date with all the restaurant gossip than we'll have our monthly catch ups right here on the blog. 


Female Guest Chef Series at J Sheekey

Any spotlight on women in professional kitchens is a good thing in our book - which is why we’re particularly pleased that Guardian Food have brought back their Female Guest Chef series and we've got the low down for you...

Where? 
The Atlantic Bar inside the old school gem that is J Sheekey (owned by Caprice Holdings of Scott’s, The Ivy and Sexy Fish fame).

Who’s cooking? 
Anna Tobias has already had her night but Rachel Roddy will be cooking her Italian influenced menu onTuesday 9 May and TV chef Ching He Huang will be mixing modern and traditional Chinese methods on Tuesday 27 June. 

What we ate:
Langoustines in garlic butter, mussels in escabeche and an interesting dish of cod tongues (which have a sweetbread-like texture) and cheeks. The highlight is a simple plate of asparagus topped with grated bottarga (that’s salted cured fish roe) followed by a thick wedge of lamb cutlet with broad beans and Jersey Royals. 

The vibe:
Jolly and lively - we sit next to the open kitchen which adds plenty of drama to proceedings.

The verdict:
Anna Tobias featured in the Observer Food Monthly’s annual list of 50 trends, people, places and food to look out for in 2017 - and it’s easy to see why. Her cooking is simple and straightforward with an emphasis on flavour. Lovely stuff. 

To book, visit jsheekeyatlanticbar.co.uk, or phone 020 7240 2565


Written by Dominic Rowntree, published 2 May, 2017


Spotlight on: KERB Camden

 

With over 34 different street food traders serving 7 days a week 364 days a year, KERB Camden has plenty of decent grub ON offer.

We've tackled the difficult task of choosing our top 6 eats:

1) Burger & Beyond
@Burgerandbeyond

It's the 45 day aged beef they use in their patties that make these burgers so bloomin' delicious. We suggest going for a double (£10) and giving it a good squirt of tangy ketchup to cut through all that richness. Lovely stuff. 

2) Killa Dilla
@killadillaldn

These quesadillas are one of the most filling things you can get at KERB. Crispy pork belly with mozzarella, pickled red onions, pickled chillies and green salsa is the stuff of dreams. Ask for lots of their spicy mayo too.

3) Kolkati
@kolkati

Have you ever heard of anything better that spicy paneer in an egg fried paratha wrap? Well we haven't. It's the most exquisite blend of spices and textures. They do masala chicken too.

4) Baba G's Bhangra Burger
@bhangraburger

How about a lamb jalfrezi burger? Or a crispy chicken tikka burger? Or a Naanwhich? These guys have flipped tradition on its head and made the messiest, hugest, most tastiest burgers you're likely to find. Bring a wet wipe.

5) Square Root Soda
@squarerootldn

OK, OK this isn't food but these small batch sodas (made in Hackney) are the perfect thing to wash down all those burgers. The Cucumber one is a taste of Summer.

6) Oh my Dog!
@ohmydog_hotdogs

Heritage breed frankfurters with toppings like North Carolina style free range pulled pork, melted cheddar and homemade barbecue sauce make these some of the tastiest sausages you can get your hands on.

 

Written by Dominic Rowntree, published 25 April, 2017