Dutch exports are being affected by Brexit and the housing market is struggling to meet demand – DutchReview

Dutch exports are being affected by Brexit and the housing market is struggling to meet demand – DutchReview

19 apr All Day 21 Paaspop/Easter Doll Festival Event Details
Paaspop/Easter Doll, has been going since 1974 and has grown year on year. It went from a friendly regional festival to an internationally recognisable three-day event. Last year 83,000 people more Event Details
Paaspop/Easter Doll, has been going since 1974 and has grown year on year. It went from a friendly regional festival to an internationally recognisable three-day event. Last year 83,000 people attended Passpop to see 230 different acts, on 14 different stages. They also got to try 42 different food trucks, offering a variety of different cuisines from all over the world.
Paaspop has seen acts such as Iggy Pop, Bastille, Nothing But Thieves, The Prodigy, Underworld, Kaiser Chiefs, The Kooks, Fatboy Slim, The Wombats and many more. So, who is going to be there this year?
25 Years Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo • 2manydjs DJ Set • 4shobangers • 80’s Verantwoord • Aap uit de Mouw • Abba Fever • Alex Agnew • The All Star Gary Moore Tribute Band • All Them Witches • Amartey • Amyl And The Sniffers • Arie & Silvester • Atmozfears • Baby Blue • Bizzey • Black Water County • Blood Red Shoes • Brennan Heart • Camo & Krooked • Circus Brothers • Claw Boys Claw • Clean Bandit • Comeback Kid • D-Block & S-te-Fan • D-Sturb • Daddy Long Legs • DAISY • Daniel Caldèras & the Shrunken Big Band ft. Benjamin Herman • Davina Michelle • De Hofnar • De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig • De Lievelings DJ’s van je Zusje • De Staat • The Devil Makes Three • DeWolff • The Dirty Daddies • Donnie & Joost • Dopebwoy • Douwe Bob • Dr Phunk • Dropkick Murphys • Drunken Dolly • EAUXMAR • Ellen Ten Damme • Famke Louise • FATA BOOM • Fiesta Macumba Soundsystem • Flonti Stacks • For I Am King • Freddy Moreira • Frenna • The Gaslamp Killer • GENTA • Handrick • Hannah Williams & The Affirmations • Heavy Hoempa plays Iron Maiden • Hef • Heideroosjes • HENGE • Herrie met Gerrie • Ho99o9 • Idaly • IDLES • Ilse DeLange • Indian Askin • Jailhouse Jimmy • Jameszoo • Jarreau Vandal • Jeangu Macrooy • Jett Rebel • Jiri11 • JoeyAK • Johnny 500 • Jordymone9 • Kovacs • Kraantje Pappie • Kris Kross Amsterdam • La Fuente • LNY TNZ • Louder Than Love • Louder Than Love (Soundgarden tribute) • Lukas Graham • MADUK hosted by Ben Verse • Mash-Up Jack • Mate Power • Merol • Mia More • Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions • Mike Krol • Mike Williams • Mr. Belt & Wezol • Mula B • NAFTHALY RAMONA • Navarone • Nervana • Nicole Atkins • Nielson • Noisia DJ Set • NOMA$ • Nona • Novastar • Ooostblok • Oscar and the Wolf • Passenger • Pendulum DJ Set • Phuture Noize • Ploegendienst • Plunder • Poke • Prime • Puinhoop Kollektiv – The Final Weekend Tour • Puri • Que Pasa! • Ran-D • Rondé • Ronnie Flex & Deuxperience • Rowwen Hèze • Russkaja • S10 • Sam Feldt LIVE • Scooter • Sevn Alias • Singlefeestje • Sir Reg • Sjaak • Sjannies • SMP • Snelle • Son Mieux • Stahlzeit • The Stand-Up Club • The Stand-Up Club • Steel Panther • T & Sugah b2b NCT • Tabanka • TAPE TOY • Ten Times A Million • Terry Alderton • Thijs Boontjes Dans- en Showorkest • Tim Akkerman Sings The Boss • Tim Knol & The Blue Grass Boogiemen • Trobi • Tusky • The Vintage Caravan • Vinylfeestje • Waxfiend • The Wetnecks • White Lies • Winne • Within Temptation • Yonaka • Young Ellens • Yung Felix • Yungblud • Zer00’s Heroes Tickets

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How much does it cost to open a restaurant in Toronto?

Life Food & Wine How much does it cost to open a restaurant in Toronto? By Karon Liu Food Writer This is part two in our How To Open a Restaurant, a series on the realities of opening your own restaurant in a city like Toronto. Last time we explored what it takes to develop a concept . This time, it’s about funding your dream restaurant.
Being good in the kitchen or willing to work weekends and holidays isn’t enough to open a restaurant. You need lots of money.
Husband and wife team Pete Zoutis and Chrystallo Nicholas of Rikkochez, specializing in Cyprian cuisine, on the Danforth. ( Richard Lautens / Toronto Star ) “You can have the concept right, the planning of staff to customer ratios, food costs planned out, everything perfect. But if you do not have deep enough pockets you’ll never be able to realize your idea,” says Pete Zoutis, who co-owns the Middle Eastern-inspired Rikkochez restaurant on the Danforth. “Funding is your number one priority.”
There’s no exact price to opening a 30-seat restaurant, but $250,000 is a good estimate, he says. Unless that’s already in the bank, funding options have to be explored. Some sell existing property, others take out a line of credit, turn to crowdfunding, make friends with a financial backer or a combination of those things. Of course, most people think of a bank when it comes to securing a loan, but what does it take to convince bankers to give thousands of dollars to someone who has never run a restaurant?
Chris works on a dish of Louvi, a black eyed peas dish with squash and greens. ( Richard Lautens/Toronto Star ) About four years ago, Zoutis and his wife, chef Chrystallo Nicholas, wanted to open a cozy, 30-seat neighbourhood spot that showcased Nicholas’ Cypriot cooking, an under-represented cuisine in the city’s dining scene. Among her specialties: a deliciously spiced Cypriot pork sausage called sheftalia served with crispy falafel containing a pleasant acidic zing on a bed of tabbouleh, pita and chunky hummus. There’s also a summery, vegan-friendly bowl called louvi, consisting of black-eyed peas, roasted squash and vegetables, simply tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.
The two did their homework before signing a lease: Zoutis enlisted his old colleagues from his previous career in market research and brand consulting to conduct a phone survey of a thousand Toronto residents. They were asked about their dining habits, thoughts on restaurant design and menu items, typical market research questions for a new food venture.
The couple settled on a spot just across from Chester subway station on the Danforth, a relatively affordable neighbourhood compared to the west-end, and the area also tested well with respondents as a dining destination. The space was briefly a cannabis paraphernalia shop and before that, the Silk Road restaurant, once featured on the renovation show Restaurant Makeover . Monthly rent including taxes, maintenance and insurance was $4,500. The ventilation system and kitchen were intact, saving the couple tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. The bathrooms, floors and walls needed to be redone, however, a counter needed to be built for the kitchen pass, and mould needed to be removed from the bathroom. Altogether, Zoutis estimated he’d need $250,000 to cover the initial costs as well as the first few months of opening where business might be slow and extra money may be needed to cover bills and wages.
For Rikkochez restaurant to break even, sales need to be around $25,000 per month. ( Richard Lautens/Toronto Star ) The $50,000 he had in the bank wasn’t enough, but Zoutis did own a condo in the city in addition to a house they just put a down payment on. He sold the condo for about $330,000 and took a line of credit on his house for just over $100,000 in case of an emergency. Combined with the $50,000 he already had, it was enough for the couple to open their restaurant.
But having property to sell isn’t a viable fundraising option for everyone.
Enterprise Toronto is a program from the city of Toronto that helps small businesses, including restaurants, get off the ground through in-person consultations or through its online resources. On its site, EnterpriseToronto.Desk.Com , are webinars on starting a business as well as listings for in-person seminars on topics such as funding, legal advice and marketing for small businesses (the seminars range from being free to costing $10 or $25). Zoutis himself attended a few of the seminars and did some free one-one-counselling sessions, saying they gave him a better idea of what he and his wife were getting into.
Enterprise Toronto itself can’t fund a business, but its site does list a few funding options such as locally-based angel investors (a group of affluent individuals that fund startups in exchange for a stake in the company), the government’s Canada Small Business Financing Program and microloans (loans that are generally less than $50,000).
Crowdfunding through sites such as GoFundMe and Indiegogo can also be an option for restaurants, says Chris Rickett, manager of Toronto’s economic development and culture division. This is because traditional funding resources such as banks are hesitant to fund an independently owned restaurant, especially from inexperienced owners, he says. Zoutis looked into grant programs, but found out that many of them gave out $5,000 here and $10,000 there, which he says is a good chunk of money for people wanting to develop a food product, but it’s not enough to take over the lease of a restaurant.
The early adapters of crowdfunding did find success when it was still considered a novel way of opening a restaurant and gained attention in the news. In fall 2015, chef Dave Mottershall opened Loka Snacks on Queen Street West after raising $41,000 from diners who were promised meals and swag in exchange for their donation. In 2014, Matthew Kershaw and Erin Dunham opened The Mule in Hamilton after raising more than $100,000 on Indiegogo.
Now, the crowdfunding scene is a lot more saturated. On GoFundMe, there’s a page asking for $160,000 to help a family pay bills and reopen their Indian restaurant in Bloordale after it suffered extensive water damage from a neighbouring fire (there have been zero donations since the page was created in January). Another page is asking for $5,000 to start a Dominican food truck, raised $200 since February 2018. A page for longstanding diner Detroit Eatery, which was destroyed in a fire in January, did however raise more than $26,000 of their $30,000 goal (plus another $800 in a second GoFundMe page ) after its closure made headlines across the city.
If there’s no property to sell or biters on GoFundMe, what are the chances that a bank would give a loan for a type of business that has a notoriously high failure rate?
Louvi is a black eyed peas dish with squash and greens. ( Richard Lautens/Toronto Star ) The Canada Small Business Financing Program is a loan sponsored by the government and given out by banks. Up to $1 million can be given out, with $350,000 of it meant for the purchase of equipment such as appliances, fixtures and furniture as well as renovations. According to Joseph Pisani, director of franchise finance at the Bank of Montreal, the average restaurateurs get from this loan is $300,000.
But the odds of seeing any money are better if the proposed restaurant is a franchise or chain, says Pisani. This is because a chain, be it a Tim Hortons or McDonald’s, comes equipped with food suppliers, operation manuals and a marketing strategy from the franchisor, for example. Brand recognition from the public will mean the restaurant will have a built-in customer base, and the bank would already have a good idea of how the business operates.
The first thing a bank would look at is the applicant’s credit history. If it’s good, the bank would then look at how much money the restaurateur has upfront, independently or from investors (ideally, at least half of the restaurant’s start-up costs would be covered). If it’s an independent restaurant, a very comprehensive business plan is required indicating location, projected profits, how many meals need to be sold in a month to cover all the bills, and what’s the plan if there’s no sales in the first month.
“Many people walk away at this point,” Pisani says. “There are people that are really gung-ho and think they can change the history of the culinary scene but there’s a very, very high failure rate in the restaurant industry. People don’t realize that just because you came from culinary school or worked at the top restaurant means you can run a restaurant. When I ask what your experience is, it better be more than just cooking.”
As a result Pisani says most banks tend to shy away from independent restaurants. Instead, he recommends first-time restaurateurs find a partner who can navigate the business or culinary side of things (and help contribute to the costs). If the partner is an established restaurateur, then there’s a greater chance of getting a loan from the bank, as they have a proven track record. It’s a trend he says he’s been seeing among independent restaurants in recent years: more owners teaming up to combine capital and experience rather than applying for bank loans.
But just because enough funding was raised to open a restaurant, having the money to keep it open in the first months is also essential. Zoutis and Nicholas at Rikkochez came across some unexpected expenses after opening, such as a broken air conditioner ($3,000), fixing the kitchen exhaust system ($2,000) and food waste while they were still figuring out how many customers to expect on a typical night.
Zoutis and Nicholas at Rikkochez came across some unexpected expenses after opening, such as a broken air conditioner ($3,000), fixing the kitchen exhaust system ($2,000) and food waste while they were still figuring out how many customers to expect on a typical night. ( Richard Lautens/Toronto Star ) For Rikkochez restaurant to break even, sales need to be around $25,000 per month. During the summer, it’s pretty close to that figure but during the winter, it’s closer to $15,000 a month.
“I remember in the first year I had to infuse capital into this business, about $5,000 to $10,000 a month to keep the bills paid every month,” he says. “I’m operating at a loss right now but there’s good momentum as it gets warmer and we get repeat customers. It’ll take a couple of years to be profitable and build up a clientele but when it’s your money and you’ve gone through the blood, sweat and tears to open, it becomes the focal point of all your energy. You do what you need to do to make it work.”
Karon Liu is the Star’s food writer and is based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @karonliu

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FNB News – Olives from Spain participates in Aahar & targets India for promotions

admin March 27, 2019 Leave a comment Olives from Spain, which has targeted India as a key market for international promotional campaigns for the fifth consecutive year, participated in Aahar 2019, the food and hospitality show which took place at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan recently, with the purpose of spreading awareness about Spanish table olives and letting key industry stakeholders know about the endless possibilities of this little fruit so that the Spanish olive sector continues increasing the exported volume to the Indian market.
Its participation at the exhibition has proven the versatility of table olives as a nutritionally-balanced snack and as an interesting ingredient to be integrated in the rich Indian cuisines. Besides has conveyed the messages of its quality standards, the different varieties and health properties of the olives. Olives from Spain’s stall at the fair was awarded by the organisers, Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), as one of the best and most original displays at the fair. With an original artwork and design, the stall showcased its key products in the Indian market – green, black and pimento stuffed olives. Visitors to the stall had an opportunity to taste, enjoy and experiment Spanish olives with a twist. The stall also featured the Spanish Olive Marinating Bar. The bar concept aimed to bring closer to the Indian professionals a new way of consuming Spanish olives as marinated olives. This concept, which is traditional in Spain, is still new to India. It allows to prepare, in a very simple way and in a very short time, delicious and healthy snacks by simply topping olives with the preferred herbs or spices, and tossing them up with fresh juices such lemon and extra virgin olive oil.
Visitors could follow three recipes printed on the left wall of the stall to experiment by themselves and learn how to prepare different marinade recipes. The marinating bar proved that there was no one single way to marinate olives, but it was on and on as far as the imagination could reach.
The Olives from Spain programme at Aahar also featured two live cooking masterclasses conducted by its brand ambassador, chef Saransh Goila, at the Indian Culinary Forum Area. It was attended by an audience comprising media professionals, bloggers and chefs. Goila shared key information on Spanish olives, highlighting his long-time passion for the little fruit. He also shared his culinary skills and knowledge on how to blend Spanish olives with the Indian regional cuisines at the masterclass titled Spanish Olives weds Indian Khana, and how to infuse Spanish olives with Indian masalas and chutneys at the masterclass titled Mix, blend, marinate with Olives from Spain.
Spain, the global leader in table olive production, exports olives to over 120 countries. The main markets for Spanish olives are the USA, Italy, Germany and France.
Since 2007, Olives from Spain has targeted other potential markets too. India was then identified as a country where consumption is steadily increasing.
To continue with this positive trend, this campaign is focussed on presenting ideas for integrating olives into the Indian diet and highlighting its potential as a low-calorie and nutritive snack that can be adapted to different palates with many different possible marinades using Indian and Mediterranean spices.
It also focusses on sharing the nutritional benefits and the importance of olives in the Mediterranean diet, which is listed as an Intangible World Heritage by UNESCO.

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Chicken curry dish rooted in Vietnam

Chicken curry dish rooted in Vietnam Front cover of “Vietnamese Food Any Day.” (Amazon/TNS)
By Chris Ross, The San Diego Union-Tribune
6:04 AM A A
Andrea Nguyen came to the United States from Vietnam with her family at age 6. Based now in San Francisco, she describes herself as a “bank examiner gone astray,” and is a food writer, teacher and consultant. She has written six cookbooks about Asian cuisine, one of which —“The Pho Cookbook”— won the 2018 James Beard Award for best single-subject book.
Her new cookbook is “Vietnamese Food Any Day,” which uses ingredients that can be found in regular supermarkets to create Vietnamese dishes at home. She says the book’s approach is based on the Vietnamese term kheo, which means “smart” or “adroit” but in the cooking sense means the recipes are “skillfully prepared with intention and a grounding in the fundamentals.”
“In the spirit of kheo, the recipes are streamlined but not dumbed down,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “They capture the essence of Vietnamese foodways while demystifying and decoding the cuisine for home cooks.”
She says this curry dish, which can be made in about 45 minutes, is one she grew up eating. It’s served with a baguette for dipping or with rice. Chicken, Lemongrass And Sweet Potato Curry
Though Thailand, with its variety of curry pastes, is next door, Vietnamese cooks prefer curry featuring Indian spice blends. Bone-in chicken is typically used, but the curry cooks faster with boneless, skinless thighs.
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 cup coarsely chopped lemongrass (from 2 medium stalks)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped peeled ginger
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Madras-style curry powder (preferably Sun brand)
1/2 teaspoon recently ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
One 13 1/2 ounce can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk, unshaken
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or neutral oil, such as canola
4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds total), each cut into 3 pieces (see notes)
Fine sea salt
1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (white or orange flesh), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (see notes)
3 to 5 fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped
In a food processor, whirl the lemongrass into a fine texture, about 3 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the bowl. Add the ginger and pulse to finely chop. Add the onion and pulse again to chop. Add the curry powder, black pepper, and cayenne (if using) and whirl until you have a fragrant yellow paste.
Remove 1/3 cup of the thick cream at the top of the coconut milk, stir the remaining lighter milk, and set both aside.
In a 3- to 4-quart pot over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the lemongrass paste and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and no longer raw and harsh smelling. Lower the heat, as needed, to avoid scorching. Add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute to meld the flavors. Add the coconut milk and a little water to cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and adjust the heat to gently simmer for 15 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Uncover the pot, add the sweet potatoes, and return the curry to a simmer. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. Turn off the heat, add the coconut cream, stirring it into the sauce, and let rest on the burner’s receding heat for 10 minutes, uncovered, to blend and mature flavors. Taste and season with salt (unsalted curry powder may require an additional teaspoon) and splash in water if the flavors are too strong.
Serve immediately, garnished with the cilantro.
Pair the bold curry with a mild vegetable side, such as sauteed chard. If the curry is too hot, squirt on some lime juice to cut the heat.
Notes: To divide each chicken thigh into three equal pieces, cut the flat side as one piece, then halve the thicker portion. If large thighs are unavailable, use smaller ones and cut each into two pieces.
Orange sweet potatoes used in this recipe can easily become mushy, so monitor the pot if you use them. For a more savory result, choose a potato suitable for boiling or roasting, such as red, white or Yukon gold.
Reprinted with permission from “Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors” by Andrea Nguyen. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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The Influencers: Top 10 Food Bloggers In India 2019

The Influencers: Top 10 Food Bloggers In India 2019 March 26, 2019
What is this one thing in your life about which you cannot stop thinking all day? For many, it must be sleep or maybe their partners. But for the major lot its, FOOD! The very sight of food makes our belly scream!
The evolution of food bloggers who take all of us through a salivating experience with pictures of delicious food has been legendary in this age of digital media where Instagram has been generating business for so many people.
Let us go through the top successful food bloggers in India in no particular order. 1. Eatopian Chronicles by Swati Sucharita
Swati is one who is called as ‘All-in-one’ person. After being a part of print journalism for almost three decades, presently runs her content consultancy and is also a full-time food blogger.
She is known for her in-depth knowledge about the cultural diversity of the different Indian cuisines. 2. Archana’s Kitchen by Archana Doshi
Archana has been an accomplished entrepreneur for the past 9.5 years . In addition to it, she is a software engineer who turned into a food blogger.
She aims to educate her readers about the power of home cooking in building a healthy society through her blog. 3. Belly over Mind by Ankit Gulabani
Whether you’re an amateur cook, a seasoned one, a trained chef, or just someone who likes to look at food but never cook it, Belly over Mind blog is a great place to brainstorm for ideas.
For all the cooking enthusiasts, he is the go-to-guy for some simple yet exotic home meal recipes. 4. Chowder Singh by Mohit Balachandran
Mohit aka Chowder Singh is our real life Munna Bhai because of his life motto “ Drink juice, play carrom and life’s sorted” .
According to him, Indian cuisine is so diverse that even a lifetime is not enough to explore the whole of it. 5. Edible Garden by Nags
Nags aka Nagalakshmi has undoubtedly one of the most creative food blogs featuring anything from old-town classic recipes to delicious quick-bites you crave with your evening tea.
She is really good at serving something delectable to you. 6. Vegan Richa by Richa Hingle
Richa’s wonderful recipe will first make you eat food with your eyes and then with your mouth.
You will love all her recipes ranging from gluten-free and vegan recipes to traditional authentic Indian recipes . 7. Sailu’s Kitchen by Sailaja
Sailaja’s food blog is a guide and ray of hope for a decade for amateur cooks like many of us.
Specialized in Andhra & South Indian food , the blog is for every person who wants to impress others with culinary skills. 8. Sharmis Passions by Sharmilee
Passionate about learning novel recipes, especially, South Indian recipes ? Follow Sharmilee’s blog.
Her simplicity and the step-by-step photography of her recipes makes her loved by all. 9. Divine Taste by Anushruthi
“Feed your body, mind & soul” is what Anushruthi’s blog reads.
Her pure vegetarian sattvic food recipes but exotic food makes people indulge and love her recipes. 10. Padhu’s Kitchen by Padhu Sankar
One of the best food blogs which explain that cooking is beyond just putting together 4 different ingredients.
You will find many mouth-watering pure vegetarian & eggless recipes.

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Self-taught master Bangladeshi chef Salah Uddin of Bengal Tiger shares his success story

Self-taught master Bangladeshi chef Salah Uddin of Bengal Tiger shares his success story By 0 Chef Salah Uddin. Courtesy photo.
For the past 10 years, Chef Muhammad Salah Uddin has been at the helm of one of Seattle’s most popular and loved Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants, Bengal Tiger, located in the Roosevelt neighborhood of Seattle. He immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 1986. “I came here for the same reason everyone else has – to build a better life for myself and my family,” he said. Along the way, he became a community leader, a philanthropist, a successful entrepreneur and one of the most widely recognized Bangladeshi chefs.
Uddin said he’s always loved the taste of Bangladeshi food, especially his mom’s cooking which he grew up eating. Back in Bangladesh, he was an avid soccer player, and every day before he hit the field to play, his mom would whip up traditional Bangladeshi food for him and he would watch her keenly while she cooked. But all the time he was growing up, he’d never even picked up a ladle.
In 1986, he immigrated to LA with that focus to build a better life for himself and his family and found himself helping his uncle run his restaurant business. He learned how to cook South Asian food on the job. For three years in the early nineties, he worked at East India Grill on Beverly and LaBrea.
Then an opportunity came up in Seattle. Uddin moved to Seattle in the winter of 1994. After growing up in Bangladesh and then living in southern California for several years, he was not very happy about the move. “I just did not want to live in this cold weather.” But he had a friend who wanted him to help out at his restaurant, the India Gate Restaurant in Bellevue, so he decided to give it a try. Here, he gained even more experience as a chef and wore multiple hats as he learned how to provide better customer service and quick service.
When his friend’s plans to open a new Mexican restaurant got delayed, Uddin found himself with some rare time off from work so he took a trip to London to visit family and friends, and when he came back a month later, he felt ready to not only revamp his career as a chef but also start his own business. And in pursuing these ambitions, he found himself soon being, as they say, the talk of the town.
Uddin landed a chef’s position at Mughal Palace in Bellevue, and it was here where things for Uddin seemed to take off. Word spread quickly of the chef’s talent. Soon, John Hinterberger, Seattle Times food and restaurant reviewer at the time, called Mr. Uddin to understand how he cooked his food. He even asked for recipes for his special dishes, such as garlic mussels, aloo gobi and lamb tikka. After that, Uddin was featured in The Stranger, Seattle Weekly and other various business journals. Chef Uddin found himself catering to high-profile business-people, such as Bill Gates who would come to eat at Mughal Palace often, and also Bob Ferguson, currently Attorney General of Washington (at that time a King County Councilmember).
After working at Mughal Palace for about nine months, Uddin went to the Sheraton Hotel as a prep cook for Sheraton Hotel in Seattle. Here, he was introduced to non-Indian cooking, and for the first time in his career, he was one of the few employees there that did not have formal culinary education.
“Whereas others spent around $60,000 to go and learn cooking, I was able to surpass expectations based on my hard work, interest and work experience by that point,” said Uddin. “In this business, the main chef is the boss. So David, who was the main chef at that time asked me to go see him. I thought I was in trouble for something, but instead he raised my pay from $9 to $10 per hour. That is a whole dollar raise and was a very big accomplishment! At that time, most other cooks at my level were making $8 an hour.”
In 1997, Uddin got married in Bangladesh, and he also opened a restaurant with the owner of Mughal Palace called Chaman Cuisine, located in one of Seattle’s trendiest neighborhoods, Capitol Hill. Uddin urged the owner to change the menu if he really wanted him to work there again. He pushed for dishes that would be more attractive to the general population. At the same time, he continued to work part time at the Sheraton.
After about four months of doing double duty at Chaman Cuisine and the Sheraton, Uddin proposed that he wanted to become 50 percent owner of the restaurant. That is when he first began his entrepreneurship. Since then, he has only grown and, despite partnership issues and changes, he became the sole owner of Bengal Tiger in 2002.
Uddin has been a hero within his family, relatives, and to over 100 people (Bengali and non-Bengali) that he has provided jobs for. His wife, Farzana Akhtar, strongly supported him and moved to the U.S. in 1998. In 2001, Uddin sponsored his mother, and she moved to Seattle. Since then, he helped close to 40 of his own family members and relatives, including his wife’s family, move to the United States to build better lives.
“They have all started working with me, and now they are all doing very well and are wealthy as well,” he said.
With the goal of offering more authentic Bangladeshi cuisine at Bengal Tiger, Uddin applied and filed for a labor certificate in 2015 to bring a chef from Bangladesh to the U.S., but he’s seeing no results.
“I am a tax-paying, hard-working U.S. citizen. In order to take my business to the next level, I applied to bring an amazing chef from Bangladesh so that we can offer even more authentic cuisine,” he said.
On October 31, 2018, Hira Miah, the Bangladeshi chef Uddin was working to hire in the U.S., went to the embassy to get a visa but has yet to get a response. “This is a very specialized skill, what he does,” said Uddin. “I just do not understand why the government has not yet gotten back to me at all. This is very frustrating, and with the immigration system changing all the time, I am not sure what else I can do.”
Along the journey of his career, Uddin faced a lot of the same barriers as other immigrants – dealing with people of different cultures and initial language barriers being two main ones. But he overcame them all and along the way even learned Spanish. He also never lost sight of learning about the value of customer service from one of his first jobs in Bellevue. He talks to everyone that comes to his restaurants and visits his customers at their tables to ensure that they are more than satisfied. He offers this business advice: “Try to do your own business, whatever it is you want to do. Do not get partners and make sure your business is based on an authentic idea.”
Uddin is also a philanthropist who wants to help care for his community and the world at large. He supported and funded the Rohingya refugee resettlement initiative and donated to victims of the Bangladeshi flood in 2004 and the Nepal earthquake. He supports non-profit humanitarian organizations such as the local chapter of Spreeha, which strives to break the cycle of poverty for underprivileged people by providing healthcare, education and skills training. More recently, he has helped build a house for an impoverished family in his hometown, Sylhet.
At Bengal Tiger, one thing that stands out, considering the chef is Bangladeshi, is that the number of Bangladeshi items on the menu is much less than the number of Indian foods. Uddin said that Bangladeshi foods are limited because it takes much longer time and more intricate spices to cook authentic Bangladeshi food. Once he has additional help from the Bangladeshi chef, he can plan on adding more dishes or change his business structure as needed.
“Bangladeshi food is extremely home-style, and if I do it full-fledged, I want to make sure that I do it right,” he said. “It’s something that could be more easily served as pick-up items or catering only, as it would take a long time to cook it right and wouldn’t do justice when it comes to customer service due to the long wait it may cause in a restaurant sit-and-dine setting. I do have a few Bangladeshi items on my menu, which I urge everyone to try.”
Chef Uddin’s favorite? “The lamb or goat bhuna,” he said, a thickened curry that he describes as “homestyle tasty goodness.”

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Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019: Gaggan loses top spot; Indian Accent only Indian eatery on list – The Economic Times

By Kristine Servando
After four consecutive years topping the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Bangkok’s Gaggan has finally been dethroned.
Odette in Singapore managed to wrestle the title from the iconic Indian-fusion restaurant, famed for its emoji-filled menu. Chef Julien Royer, who named the place after his maternal grandmother, steered Odette to first place from from ninth when it made its debut on the list in 2017. Its menu consists of multiple-course French fare that has included delights such as “seared foie gras, miso caramel, lemon quinoa and Japanese strawberries.”
Raise your glasses for Odette, The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna! #Asias50Best… https://t.co/Qm33gv5nI9
— The World’s 50 Best (@TheWorlds50Best) 1553652752000
Gaggan landed in second place, still retaining the title of Thailand’s best—a bittersweet end for a restaurant that is due to close in 2020 as chef-owner Gaggan Anand plans new ventures in Japan.
Tokyo kaiseki eatery Den; German restaurant Sühring, run by twin brothers in Bangkok; and French-inspired Florilège in Tokyo rounded out the top five of Asia’s Best. Den Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa, who also won the chef’s choice award, said he had introduced Japanese truffles to his dishes over the past year, paired with soup and fish.
Twin brothers Thomas and Mathias Sühring run their German restaurant in Bangkok.
Surprise additions to the 50 Best list include Dewakan in Kuala Lumpur, which becomes the first-ever restaurant in Malaysia to win a spot, and Manila’s Toyo Eatery, helmed by chef Jordy Navarra, which is the first Philippine restaurant on the list since 2017. “In the past year we just changed the menu,” said Navarra. “One of the fun things that we’ve been playing around with is making our own banana ketchup—it’s super Filipino. I think it’s one part of what we are.”
Once again, Greater China sealed its place as Asia’s prime food destination, with 13 entries on the list, including nine in Hong Kong. Hot on its heels is Japan with 12 (with 10 from Tokyo), Thailand with eight entries and Singapore with seven.
French haute cuisine restaurant Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental—Hong Kong’s top-placed restaurant for the past five years—tumbled 14 places to No. 21, making Cantonese restaurant The Chairman the city’s highest-placed on the list, at No. 11. Amber has been closed for renovations since December 2018 and is due to reopen this spring with a revamped menu.
French haute cuisine restaurant Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental.
Chef and culinary director Richard Ekkebus has spent the downtime traversing the world with his team, finding new ingredients and learning new cooking techniques. “We’re still testing new ingredients and dishes so details of the new menu will be revealed closer to the opening. What guests can expect, though, is the same purity of flavors and classic techniques,” he said.
For the handful of restaurants that have consistently ranked among the top 50, innovation is key to staying relevant, their chefs say.
Tetsuya Wakuda, chef of Waku Ghin at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore which now ranks No. 40, said he experimented last year with a new ingredient—the muscle of a fresh pearl oyster. “It is meaty, boasts sweet and delicious flavors and has a unique texture, unlike abalone or scallops,” he said. It’s the star in the dish “poached pearl’s meat with confit of chicken and mushroom,” which has taken a place on the menu alongside house signatures such as “marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar.”
In Hong Kong, chef Hideaki Sato of Ta Vie, which came in at No. 50, said he liked to tweak the flavor of his dishes at the last minute to suit what diners are drinking. He’s been exploring ingredients such as Chinese yellow wine, roselle (a species of hibiscus), dried persimmon and lotus. In New Delhi, chef Manish Mehrotra said he experimented with sorrel leaves, amaranth seeds and fresh mangoes at Indian Accent , which at No. 17 is India’s best restaurant.
Since taking over gourmet Thai restaurant Nahm (No. 22) in Bangkok last year, chef Pim Techamuanvivit, one of four female chefs on this year’s list, said she had designed a new menu, “refocusing on amazing ingredients produced in Thailand.” Fellow Bangkok restaurateur, Chef Garima Arora, won the “Elit Vodka Asia’s best female chef” award for her modern Indian cuisine at Gaa, which debuted at No. 16.
View this post on Instagram @arorgarima talking SPICE and all things nice this morning in good company @chef_bosongvisava @namaesan @fabrizio.fiorani @rgborago @valeria.margherita.mosca @zaiyuhasegawa at #50besttalks #asias50best @theworlds50best
A post shared by Restaurant Gaa (@restaurant_gaa) on Mar 25, 2019 at 3:02am PDT
And executive chef Chan Yan Tak at Hong Kong’s Lung King Heen, ranked No. 38, found unlikely inspiration for one of his latest creations: airplane food. On a flight to Singapore he peeled back the foil cover of his meal and found “long grains that are quite chewy.” He said: “I later learned that it is an Italian pasta called puntalette, so I tried to cook it in the Chinese way and this new twist to fried rice has become very popular at Lung King Heen.”
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is selected and voted on by a panel of 318 food writers, critics, chefs, restaurateurs and foodies across Asia. The awards are held and published each year since 2013 by William Reed Business Media.
Here’s the full list for 2019:
Odette – Singapore Gaggan – Bangkok, Thailand Den – Tokyo, Japan Sühring – Bangkok, Thailand Florilège – Tokyo, Japan Ultraviolet – Shanghai, China Mume – Taipei, Taiwan Narisawa – Tokyo, Japan Nihonryori Ryugin – Tokyo, Japan Burnt Ends – Singapore The Chairman – Hong Kong Otto e Mezzo – Hong Kong Mingles – Seoul, South Korea La Cime – Osaka, Japan Belon – Hong Kong Gaa – Bangkok, Thailand Indian Accent – New Delhi, India Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin – Tokyo, Japan Bo.Lan – Bangkok, Thailand Le Du – Bangkok, Thailand Amber – Hong Kong Nahm – Bangkok, Thailand Sazenka – Tokyo La Maison de la Naure Goh – Fukuoka, Japan Sushi Saito – Tokyo, Japan L’Effervescence – Tokyo, Japan Jade Dragon – Macau, China Paste – Bangkok, Thailand Fu He Hui – Shanghai, China Raw – Taipei, Taiwan Shoun RyuGin – Taipei, Taiwan Jaan – Singapore Les Amis – Singapore Vea – Hong Kong Ministry of Crab – Sri Lanka Wing Lei Palace – Macau Neighborhood – Hong Kong Lung King Heen – Hong Kong Nouri – Singapore Waku Ghin – Singapore Toc Toc – Seoul, South Korea Locavore – Bali, Indonesia Toyo Eatery – Manila, Philippines Seventh Son – Hong Kong Quintessence – Tokyo, Japan Dewakan – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Sugalabo – Tokyo, Japan 48 Sorn – Bangkok, Thailand Corner House – Singapore Ta Vie – Hong Kong From Ramen Worth $100K To $7 Mn Of Cheese Wheels, Crimes Committed For Food of 7 Next Prev Play Slideshow Thieves Ride The Gravy Train 30 Jan, 2019 A father-son duo was arrested for conning five-star hotels in Mumbai. The two would eat and drink and make a run for it, without paying the bill. They aren’t the only people who have entered a life of crime with food as the focal point. ​Sweet Escape 30 Jan, 2019 Last month, a Melbourne man was the victim of one of the strangest burglaries. The thief did not make away with the expensive items in the house. Instead, he just ate all the chocolate. The victim was Quote: d saying, “He ate all my Cadbury Favourites.” The thief also enjoyed several cans of drink, cut his toenails and would have probably fixed himself dinner if the home owner didn’t come home when he did. ​Time For Taking 30 Jan, 2019 Christmas is a time for giving and taking if this incident is anything to go by. A young nurse in the US said Christmas was a “cursed” time in her family after a series of unfortunate events happened around the holiday season. The final addition to the list was when thieves broke into her home and not only stole her children’s presents, but also the turkey, gammon and vegetables meant for Christmas lunch. ​Something Cheesy 30 Jan, 2019 Cheese is globally the top thieving food ingredient. And one of the most sought-after is Parmiggiano Reggiano. In Italy, 330 makers have been the victim of cheese heists. There is a big black market for these delicious cheese wheels and, according to reports, in the past two years, the stolen wheels have amounted to nearly $7 million in worth. ​A Nut Job 30 Jan, 2019 “Anyone offered large quantities [of chocolate] via unconventional channels should report it to the police immediately.” That was the public service announcement that was issued in April 2018 in Germany when thieves made off with a truckload of Nutella and Kinder chocolate eggs. The stolen treats were worth more than $80,000. The police were clueless about the motive of the robbers and suggested they were after the truck the chocolate spread was stored in.Large-scale food thefts are not unheard of in this particular part of Germany, as five tonnes of coffee and a truckload of Red Bull energy drinks were also on the hit list. Next
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✅ Trip Verified | Flying Lufthansa from Munich to Delhi. I should have flown KLM instead but due to bad weather conditions the check-in staff rebooked me to othe flight with Lufthansa. Therefore I got one of the very last seats – middle row – aisle seat, so literally every passenger going to toilet was going around me or crew when serving food. I cannot blame Lufthansa for that. The seat comfort was decent, the aircraft looked new and in a very good shape. Since I flew to India we got an Indian cuisine catering, which was fine as well. Overall the flight was fine, even though we experienced a delay due to Afghan air scape closure but again I cant blame Lufthansa for that. Boarding was chaotic since one had to wait in one line to get stamp at visa and then wait for a real boarding process.

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McDonald’s Says It Won’t Lobby Against Minimum Wage Increases in America

Shutterstock But the company isn’t telling franchisees to pay more, either Politico has revealed that McDonald’s is no longer going to lobby against minimum wage increases at any level of government (federal, state, or local). The giant company also appears to support some kind of increase: a representative for the company wrote to the National Restaurant Association stating that higher wages should be phased in. The company reportedly already pays an average of $10/hour in its corporate-owned stores , however, it does not dictate wages to its franchisee-run stores, which make up the vast majority of restaurants. Plus, the company doesn’t appear to be pushing its franchisees for voluntary wage increases. Some of those franchisees continue to cause headaches for McDonald’s: the company is involved in a five-year-old National Labor Relations Board case stemming from franchisees that allegedly punished workers for campaigning for wage increases. And in other news… Domino’s is getting a pizza ordering platform pre-loaded onto millions of Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC cars (among others) so you can order from your dash, although it seems like choosing pizza toppings while cruising at 65 mp/h may not be the safest idea. [ Mediapost ] Eric Adjepong, the first Top Chef contestant to truly showcase west African food, cooked what would have been his for-the-win dish (were he not eliminated in third place) for the Washington Post . [ WaPo ] Michelin has unveiled its Bib Gourmand picks for Taipei, with representation for Sichuan, Pekingese, Taiwanese, Yunnanese, Zhejiang and Indian cuisines. [ Michelin ] For the first time in a decade, the number of restaurant jobs in New York declined from 2017 to 2018 — capitalist-types blame wage increases, but could it be that living in NYC on $10/hour is not an easy task? [ Crains ] The Times digs into Bourdain-inspired off-the-beaten-path food tours, which are increasing in popularity to a level where even a major cruise line is trying to get into the game. [ NYT ] If you want to mix your love for sportsball and 17th-century status symbols of the Russian royal family, here’s the perfect product: NBA-branded tins of caviar. [ Foodbeast ] A San Antonio councillor-slash-mayoral candidate wrote an apology letter for Chick-fil-A’s hurt feelings after the city barred the chicken chain from its airport this week. [ KTSA ] It’s March 27, not April 1, yet here come the heavy-handed jokey ploys for attention, with California chain Fatburger “rebranding” as Skinnyburger, complete with a burger that substitutes the bread for lean beef, which seems like it’s been done before . [ BusinessWire ] The latest bizarro corporate pairing to know about is Snapchat and… banana company Chiquita? [ Newswire ] Martha Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a very fun fish fry up and sangria party last night. [YouTube]

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Top Things to Do in Mauritius!

Top Things to Do in Mauritius! 25 March 2019 Estimated reading time: 6 minutes 0 Email
Mauritius needs no introduction as it is one of the world’s most loved beach destinations. The island is home to a culturally diverse nation with a wonderful display of influences from across the world. That said, there is a great number of activities to enjoy and participate in when you’ve already done all of the usual. From water sports to adventure travel, there is plenty to look forward to during your stay. Make your trip a wonderful and exciting one with Travelstart’s list of top things to do in Mauritius. Beaches Image courtesy of @wecame_wesaw_weate via Instagram.
The main attraction of this beautiful island would definitely be its beaches! Mauritius is known for its warm waters, fantastic weather and crystal-clear swimming conditions – all year long. Depending on the time of year that you decide to visit, you may even get lucky and have a beach all to yourself! Make sure to visit the sandy oasis of Trou aux Biches, Ile aux Cerfs and Mont Choisy. Have a look at our list of the top beaches to visit in Mauritius. Marine activities Image courtesy of @louisferreira3699 via Instagram
Mauritius is a world-class destination that is known for its impressive coastline and coral reefs. There is plenty to enjoy in the waters of the island, and most of the resorts cater to them all by organizing your equipment and tour guides. Scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, SUP, water skiing and so much more, Mauritius has it all for the water-loving traveller. Many of the bays are ideal for shallow scuba diving, as you can spot colourful schools of fish and live coral, just a few metres deep into the ocean! There are many who visit the island for the sole purpose of diving in Mauritius and enjoy the snorkelling experience of the island. Deep-sea fishing Image courtesy of @sar5un via Instagram
Did you know that deep-sea fishing is one of Mauritius’s famous sports? There is an annual event every year with participants from across the world and is certainly one of the top things to do in Mauritius. Bring your own gear or hire it from one of the many vendors, and make your way to the deep sea on a hired boat. The Indian Oceans surrounding the island is home to white tuna, berracuda, and so much more. Sightseeing
Not just a beach destination, Mauritius has some awe-inspiring natural attractions off East Africa such as the Seven Colours of the Earth at the Chamarel Waterfalls , the Grand Bassin lake, and the extinct Trou auc Cerf volcano. For an easy afternoon, consider visiting some of the local markets of Port Louis and Quatre Borne for your trinkets and souvenirs. Of course, the bays alone are more than enough to enjoy and relax on as the entire coastline is full of stretches of white sand. Adventure Image courtesy of @mauritalian.in.wanderlus via Instagram
There is so much adventure that awaits you in Mauritius! You can decide to how adventurous you’d like to go and choose from a variety of things to do such as zip-lining across the tree-tops in a few of the national park or quad biking through the valleys . There are also numerous trails to explore and waterfalls to discover in Black River Georges National Park. You can also join in a tour group and trek through the national parks to spot exotic wildlife and rare birds. For avid hikers, there are many peaks to conquer, such as Trois Mamelle at 500m above sea level, and Tourelle de Tamarin at 548m, all with wondrous views of the island below. Shopping
Even while on your dreamy vacation, you will probably need to visit a shopping centre! On a quiet afternoon, make your way to the Bagatelle Mall that’s conveniently located in the centre of the island. Here, you will be able to pick up an affordable swimsuit, catch a movie if you’re in the mood and have a bite to eat. The food court is a big draw card of the mall as there is a large variety of options to choose from. Port Louis Image courtesy of @ celinebyblow via Instagram
To enjoy Mauritius the way the locals so, venture out of your resort and head to the city centre of the island, Port Louis . Visit the central bazaar and peruse your way through the various stalls to get a feel of typical life in Mauritius. If you’re staying at self-catering accommodation, buy your fresh ingredients here. Mauritius has all the spices that you can think of, so make sure to get some as gifts or for your own kitchen at home. This colonial city is full of great attractions and there are full-day tours of the city available, taking you to all of the must-see sights in the city. Museums Image courtesy of @journey_wm via Instagram
Learn all about the interesting history of this island with a trip to the National Museum. Having gone through various rulers before gaining independence in 1866, there is plenty to learn about Mauritius. The island nation was once home to the famous dodo, and you can check out the exhibit in its home country. Other interesting museums include The Blue Penny Museum and Stamp Museum too. Local Culture and Cuisine Image courtesy of @islander_eats via Instagram
The local culture of Mauritius is made up of Indian, Creole, Chinese and African communities. There is an immense respect and love for all cultures and faith and this is why it’s such a great idea to spend some of your time on the island, meeting the locals and observing their daily lives. We could certainly all learn a lot from this wonderful nation! Enjoy this top thing to do in Mauritius and indulge in freshly grilled Creole-spiced seafood, tasty curries eaten from banana leaves and even your much-loved dim-sum from China Town. Nightlife Image courtesy of @_todayistheperfectday via Instagram
Enjoy your sundowners with a gorgeous sea view and then head over to one of the many nightclubs found along Grand Bay for a fun night out. The capital city of Port Louis is also known to have some great evening attractions. Mauritius caters to all kinds of nights out and whatever you’re in the mood for you’ll find it. There are classy lounges to don your silver bracelets, beach huts that you can unwind to some reggae music in, jazz bars to listen to live music and chilled-out bars to enjoy. However, you’d like to spend your nights in Mauritius, you’re bound to have a great time.
With so much to see and so much more to do, what are your plans when visiting Mauritius? Let us know in the comments below!
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