VegfestUK Bring New Flavours to Brighton for First Event of 2019
VegfestUK Bring New Flavours to Brighton for First Event of 2019
VegfestUK Bring New Flavours to Brighton for First Event of 2019 February 15, 2019 featured
As one of Europe’s leading food, health and lifestyle events, VegfestUK has become synonymous with the very best in vegan living.
After launching ten years ago in Brighton, the festival is returning to the Brighton Centre on March 23 rd /24 th 2019 to kick off the first of their UK dates, bigger, bolder and more delicious than ever.
With 230 stalls offering the best in ethical lifestyle products, live cookery demos, a compassionate art exhibition, Kids area and live music, the festival will be bringing new features to their lengthy programme; including a Yoga and Wellness Zone run by revered community group, Yogific, Radical Veganism lectures and the Animal Think Tank, hosted by prominent campaigners on the subject of Animal Justice.
Always at the helm of the newest vegan cuisine, the festival is also adding to their international offering of plant-based delicacies with brand new caterers; the dirty vegan junk food of Feral Food Store, complete with Southern fried seitan burgers and Smoked tofu rinds, Plantain vegan patties and Jerk soya from Brownins, Simply Vegan’s Tofish & Chips and Fake & Kidme pies, along with fragrant Indian street food delights from Simply Veg, have all been added to their sumptuous Food Village.
Already preparing to attract record-breaking crowds, VegfestUK have announced dates for their always-epic London event, which will fall across October 26 th /27 th 2019 for their biggest event in the city to date.
Advance tickets for VegfestUK Brighton are on sale now with BOGOF offers until the end of February 2019 – https://brighton.vegfest.co.uk/tickets/ The Magazine:
Oldbury balti house owner admits food offences after shock peanut find
Oldbury balti house owner admits food offences after shock peanut find A former Oldbury balti house owner pleaded guilty to food offences at Birmingham Magistrates Court. 0 comment A BALTI house’s former owner was ‘playing with human life’ by falsely advertising a dish as peanut-free, a court heard.
Reza Ul-Islam – the former director of B68 Indian Cuisine Ltd, trading as B68 Indian Cuisine and Takeaway – pleaded guilty to food offences at Birmingham Magistrates Court on February 7.
Tests had discovered the outlet’s lamb korma and rice dish – advertised as peanut-free – contained enough of a trace of peanuts to give someone with an allergy an anaphylactic reaction.
Ul-Islam, 26, from Birmingham, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £1,995 plus a victim surcharge of £85.
In passing sentence, magistrates said they were taking the matter very seriously because Ul-Islam had been “playing with human life”.
They added it was his “lucky day” that custody was not the sentence as he had pleaded guilty and had no other offences.
Sandwell Council’s trading standards team uncovered the potentially fatal situation at the takeaway on Hagley Road West in December 2017.
Officers were testing food served in takeaways and restaurants to check bosses were complying with strict rules on food allergens and food labelling.
Tests discovered the lamb korma and rice dish which was sold as being peanut-free actually contained over 40g per kg of peanuts.
Experts said this would easily be enough to cause an anaphylactic reaction – which can result in death – in someone allergic to peanuts.
Officers said it was not known how the meal became contaminated with peanut as Ul-Islam had failed to co-operate with trading standards during the investigation.
Forty premises were visited across Sandwell between September and December 2017 and three sold meals that contained dangerous levels of peanuts.
A further two meals tested contained trace levels of peanut but not at a high enough level to cause a reaction.
Businesses are legally required to warn customers about any allergens in food.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection Councillor Elaine Costigan said: “It’s shocking to think of a business serving food to members of the public putting someone’s life at risk in this way.
“We’ve all heard of the tragic but thankfully rare circumstances of people who have died or become seriously ill after they’ve eaten something without knowing it contains a substance they are allergic to.
“Our trading standards team does vital work in keeping us all safe when we’re eating out and I want to congratulate them for bringing this prosecution.
“I dread to think of the consequences had someone with a peanut allergy eaten this dish.”
Adil’s kitchen – Mail Today News
Actor Adil Hussain who loves to cook says acting and cooking have the same basic principles. With over a 30-year stint in acting, Mail Today finally discovered his ‘recipe’ for picking roles that have won him not just the National Award (Mukti Bhawan) but international awards.
While films like English Vinglish, Mukti Bhawan, Reluctant Fundamentalist and Life of Pi, made him an internationally recognised name, Assamese actor Adil Hussain’s choice of characters back home have been no less intriguing.
With over a 30-year stint in acting, Mail Today finally discovered his ‘recipe’ for picking roles that have won him not just the National Award (Mukti Bhawan) but international awards, such as the Amanda Award – Norway’s national award – last year for What Will People Say. The film is also the official Norwegian entry to the Oscars.
Today, for the second time, he will be ‘playing’ chef at the Sikkimese restaurant Nimtho during lunch service from 1 to 4pm, cooking some of his favourite dishes, such as a Kashmiri mutton dish made without garlic and onion, a “friend’s mother’s pepper chicken recipe, very different from the typical Kerala dish” and an Assamese fish cooked in naturally alkaline water called khaar, which you won’t find in any part of the country apart from Assam and Meghalaya.
Hussain said he started cooking because he wanted to “eat the good food only my mother made”.
“I loved the food my mother cooked. I questioned her a lot and cooked. Slowly when people started liking what I was cooking, my culinary interest piqued,” the actor told Mail Today. “I started sharing living space with some Actor who loves to cook says acting and cooking have the same basic principles friends in Guwahati after I left home and we all had to cook because we couldn’t afford someone to do it. So one cooked more because one didn’t like food others cooked because it wasn’t like one’s mother. So I went back to my mother to learn the nuances, the secret ingredients, the order of spices, techniques” His travels further fuelled his appetite – not just for the food but to learn how they were cooked. But, he’s never jotted down a recipe. “I just watched and remembered. Then I cooked it till I found that particular taste.
Sometimes, you won’t have ingredients you need around you, so you learn to improvise so the taste maybe different. But when even the ‘improvisation’ is appreciated by people who eat, you continue to cook. That’s how I created my collection of pan-Indian cuisine,” said Hussain.
Even though he has “absolutely no intention” to become a professional chef – he’s too busy with his acting – he chose to cook at Nimtho as the owners are friends. “Debang and Binita Chamling requested me to cook in their restaurant. So I agreed to ‘dare’ to cook for people I didn’t know. It’s a daring act because when you cook for friends they love you any way, even if it isn’t good. The fact that I love being here made all the difference because I had to be comfortable in the space that I would cook in.”
And to top it, Hussain feels acting and cooking are very similar.
“Cooking starts from the time you start thinking of cooking. Similarly, when you are looking at a script, you start breathing life into a character you’ve decided to play. The ‘ingredients’ of the character must be found within themselves and what I’ve seen around in the society. So it’s almost like cooking, baking and marinating. You slowly let it brew and then deliver,” explained Hussain. “The fundamental principles are same. In cooking once you’ve found the ‘script’ (what you want to cook), then you find the ingredients of each ‘character’ or the dishes. But the recipe may not be fixed because the ginger that I buy in Delhi and in a Goalpara Market in Assam, are totally different because the soil, climate, all are different. One needs to check each and every ingredient. So every time you cook it will be a new dish. So everything influences in the process of creating a dish or a character. Doing the same play for 10 years – like I did Othello – is like cooking the same mutton dish for 10 years. But each time it’s different and hopefully better.”
ALSO READ | Netflix announces web series based on investigation of Nirbhaya rape case ALSO WATCH | India Today Conclave East 2017: I have a pan-Indian face, thankfully did not face certain situations, says actor Adil Hussain
Want a vacation where you can explore the outdoors while eating international cuisine? Try Utah.
Seven of Colorado’s best summer staycations you should book now
But Provo doesn’t need cocktails to stay up late. Many of the BYU campus museums remain open till 9 p.m. on weekdays, as do the shops and restaurants. On a Thursday night, in the dead of winter, I stood on tiptoes to read the chalkboard of flavors at Rockwell Ice Cream Co. The following evening, I set out to hear live folk music at Pioneer Book but ended up in line for country dancing lessons and later at a crafts table surrounded by fragrant oils and paints. (These activities do seem to support the county’s controversial nickname, Happy Valley, and I did feel fairly joyful ending the day with new toiletries and dance moves.)
The culinary scene, meanwhile, is partially influenced by the Mormon tradition of international missionary work. Members who leave for proselytizing return to Provo with expanded palates. You can play spin the globe in the historic downtown district, stopping on pho, Belgian frites, sushi, Indian, Czech pastries, Mexican fruit pops or kronuts in a French bakery. Of course, the natural attractions that preceded the pioneers are equally integral to the Provo experience. Depending on the season, you can fly-fish on the Provo River, boat on Utah Lake, and ski, snowboard and hike in the Wasatch Range. Bring a date, or go solo – Mother Nature doesn’t care about your relationship status. Go
Local faves Provo Canyon is pictured on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
Hop on the Provo Canyon Scenic Byway, also known as Highway 189, and watch civilization fade away in the rearview mirror. The 24-mile route runs from Provo to Heber City; don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t reach the endpoint. Several parks will draw you in and out of your car, such as Mount Timpanogos Park and South Fork Park, which links to the Great Western Trail, the epic trek from Canada to Mexico. The Provo River runs parallel to the road, and you can often see anglers standing in the water, waiting for the blue-ribbon trout to bite their flies. In Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the 607-foot-tall Bridal Veil Falls unleashes curtains of water in the summer and freezes over in the winter, becoming a Spidey course for ice climbers. About 16 miles up, Deer Creek State Park offers activities for every weather system, including stand-up paddling, zip-lining, ice fishing and camping – in case you want to prolong your return to that other world. Antique gas station signs and pumps are on display at AAA Lakeside Storage in Provo, Utah. The storage facility also hosts the Museum of Petrolania. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
You don’t need to own a car, or know the words to “Route 66,” to appreciate AAA Lakeside Storage and Museum. The vintage gas station signs, pumps and automobiles were amassed by the storage company’s owner, who scours the country for new acquisitions. Among his finds: a Polly Gas pump frozen in time and price at 32 cents per gallon; a Bob’s Big Boy statue with protruding belly; and a green Volkswagen bug that might cause you to punch the nearest shoulder. There is also a P-51 Mustang fighter plane with a Flying Tiger shark mouth that pretend-growls at visitors and a 1942 white halftrack used during World War II. The tour is self-guided, so unless you’re a baby boomer, you might need to call your grandpa to fill in the blanks. However, the website does provide information on select objects, such as the Roman Column Wayne Model 491 pump, which it describes as “the fanciest and most beautiful gas pump ever built by the Wayne Pump Company.” One person’s pit stop is another person’s passion.
The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, on the Brigham Young University campus, doesn’t count homo undergradutis among its 3 million-strong collection of mammals, crustaceans, birds, insects, arachnids and plants. However, it does display the equally fascinating liger, a hybrid cat named Shasta from the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, as well as an 8-foot-tall Kodiak bear that greets guests with a tinny growl. The research institute, which opened in 1978 and completed a renovation in 2014, is more than the final resting place for its subjects. At least once a day, staff members hold a live critter show. During my visit, the handler trotted out a cockroach, a corn snake named Reggie and a frog called Lemon, who is not allowed to fraternize with his brother, Lime. “They have been known to eat something too big and choke and die,” she said to an auditorium full of parents and children too squirmy to fully comprehend the implications. The university is also home to the Museum of People and Cultures, the Museum of Paleontology and the Museum of Art, which is currently exhibiting Pulitzer Prize-winning photos from the Newseum and towering willow branch sculptures by Patrick Dougherty. Stevens Nelson, the director of the Provo Pioneer Village, gives a tour of the village on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in Provo, Utah. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
On a tour of Provo Pioneer Village, Stevens Nelson doesn’t temper the truth. “When they got here,” said the museum director, “life was hell.” The open-air historical attraction focuses on the period from 1849, when the first Mormons landed in Provo, to 1869, when the railroad arrived. The seven original buildings demonstrate the early inhabitants’ will to survive, and sometimes in style. In the Turner Cabin, porcelain tableware and figurines adorn the shelves and a framed picture of hair art (yes, the stuff that sprouts from your head) hangs by the front door. The cotton coverlet in the Haws Cabin features a decorative chenille star pattern. “The women civilized this place,” Nelson said. “They made it happen.”
To learn about their food prep, visitors can peek into the Corn Crib, where the ears were dried and then ground into cornmeal. The village also owns several wagons and handcarts that the poorest settlers pushed to their new life. In the summer, a working blacksmith practices his trade near the oxen lift used to shoe the beasts of burden. Before exiting, take a peek inside the outhouse for a cheeky surprise. Eat
Local faves T.J. Garrett, a cook at Sweet’s Hawaiian Grill, adds sesame seeds to teriyaki noodles at the restaurant on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Provo, Utah. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
Homesickness has an upside: authentic Hawaiian and Polynesian food thousands of miles from its roots. The founders of Sweet’s Hawaiian Grill are originally from Tonga (Mom, whose name is Sweet) and Samoa (Dad), and they lived in Hawaii before moving to Provo for law school. Missing the cuisine of the islands, they started serving plate lunches nearly 30 years ago. Their kids now run the show, but the classic meal has not changed much: two scoops of rice, a choice of macaroni salad or pineapple with li hing mui seasoning and one to four proteins – including kalbi ribs, katsu fried chicken, teriyaki barbecue chicken and kalua pig. The restaurant rotates its specials and themes, such as Saturday’s poke bowl. Beverages dive deeply into tropical flavors. Try the Otai, a Tongan smoothie with mango, coconut milk and ice, or an infused kava drink created by BYU students. Omai Crichton, the daughter often found behind the counter, also makes leis that she sells in an adjoining space. It’s the statement piece that says, “Aloha, Provo.”
What do you get when you combine Czech and Texan culinary influences? Czech-Tex? Nope, Hruska’s Kolaches. The Eastern European breakfast food arrived in Provo on the wings of three Texan siblings attending the university. The dough is based on a recipe from their grandmother, and the fillings are as bold and assertive as a Texan oilman. The sweet pastry resembles a Danish in appearance but not taste; the savory variety looks like a dinner roll with a bun in the oven. The teeny bakery with the pear-themed decor (“hruska” means “pear” in Czech) opens at 6:30 a.m. By the noonish closing time, only the tags describing the 24 flavors and two specials remain. On a weekday morning, empty trays mocked patrons for not arriving earlier. We missed out on la bomba carnitas; chocolate, peanut butter and banana nut; bacon, egg, cheese and jalapeno; and raspberry Nutella, to name a few. A few maple pecan and mixed berry remained, but the kolache clock was ticking.
Guidebook musts The Hog Jowl Tacos are a highlight at the Black Sheep Cafe in Provo, Utah. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
Chef Mark Mason cooks what he knows — Native American and Southwestern dishes — and what he picked up from watching cooking shows on PBS. Before opening Black Sheep Cafe with his two sisters, Mason lived with his family on a Navajo reservation in Arizona and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota. (The siblings have since sold the business, but Mason still holds the head-chef title.) That formative experience turns up in such dishes as hog jowl tacos on blue corn tortillas and Navajo tacos with green chile pork or red chile beef. The green chile also shows up on the frites and in a stew. All of the sauces and breads are made on-site, including the nanniskadi, which kicks the burger bun to the corner. The restaurant has a full bar with bottles of high- and low-alcohol beer, though who needs booze when cactus pear lemonade is in the house?
With more than 1,000 games, you could easily end up eating three square meals, plus snacks, at Good Move Cafe. The board game restaurant, which serves diners from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weeknights and till midnight on weekends, encourages eating while playing. If you’re stumped by all the choices, the staff is happy to recommend a dish (the Cowboy Burger, Meeples Mac and Cheese) and a game (Telestrations, Photosynthesis). If you dribble, say, gooey cheese from the Grilled Parcheesi onto the Sorry! board, don’t fret: “That’s why we have a budget to buy new games,” said Dave Moon, who owns the place with his son, Shawn. On Wednesday nights, the cafe holds tournaments, and you can take the Jenga Burger Challenge. Eat a stack of three burgers chosen off the menu to win a free burger for a future visit. Before opening wide, you might want to hit up the Hungry Hungry Hippos for some tips. Shop
With the exception of ironing, if your preferred activity ends in “board,” you can satisfy all of your provisioning needs at Board of Provo. Founded in 2004, the shop specializes in skateboards, longboards, splitboards and snowboards. You can find all the big names in the industry, such as Burton, Capita, Volcom, RVCA and Emerica footwear, plus crucial hot-tub attire such as flip-flops and board shorts. John Hales and his wife, Ellis, practice what they sell and know the riding landscape well. After a morning on the slopes, John was bantering with customers while perusing a catalogue of hooded ninja suits by Airblaster. When I asked them for recommendations, they suggested the Provo Recreation Center’s skate park and the Provo River Parkway Trail for skateboarding and Sundance Mountain Resort for snowboarding. Then Ellis offered to suit me up. A goat stands on the back of Shirley Hamblin while she performs child pose during a goat-yoga session at Shade Home and Garden on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Orem, Utah. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
When designing Shade Home and Garden, in nearby Orem, Todd Moyer looked across the Atlantic for ideas. The Utah native wanted to replicate the European garden centers he had toured with his English wife. He envisioned a pastoral escape from the city, where customers could leisurely shop for their window sills and front yards. Moyer describes the store’s aesthetic as “modern farmhouse,” assuming your barn is in the desert (cactus and succulents) or Kyoto (bonsai trees). In addition to fauna, the store carries decorative planters, straw baskets with pompoms and pillows with cactus designs. In the cooler months, a herd of goats turns the greenhouse into a yoga studio. The Goga Guys use treats to encourage Nigerian dwarf goats to climb on practitioners. That sound above you isn’t infinite consciousness but Tootsie and Butterfinger crunching on graham crackers.
The Shops at Riverwoods is home to some familiar faces, such as Williams-Sonoma, but ignore those. Instead, seek out the unfamiliar names. Lime Ricki, for one, is a swimwear company founded by three sisters from Utah. Their designs – fashionably high bikini bottoms, wrap fronts, Dalmatian spots – transform women of all body shapes and modesty levels into sirens. Katie Waltman learned to make jewelry from her grandmother while in high school. She opened the Provo store in 2014 to showcase the delicate pieces adorned with her signature flourish, feathery leaves. Pebbles and Twigs carries new and consignment pieces that will up the cozy factor of your house, and Heirloom Art & Co. peddles in small indulgences, such as an Arches National Park puzzle, a giant fly-shape swatter and bird call boxes. For your commitment to local retailers, reward yourself with a cocomel cookie from Suss Cookie Co., a riff on the Girl Scouts’ Samoa. Pioneer Book in downtown Provo, Utah, has a collection of Mormon nonfiction. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
Open since 1980, Pioneer Book fills its two-level shop with used, signed and rare books, without a whiff of mustiness. The ground floor contains every category of literature except fiction, which dominates the stacks upstairs. For regional reading material, check out the books filed under “Western, Americana, Utah and Native American,” or the entire wall of Mormon nonfiction. Blue index cards designate customer and staff picks, and if you find your reviewer soul mate, congrats! (Mine are Tori and Black C.) The store runs an annual reading challenge –“book with red cover,”“book by an author born over 100 years ago,”“book with a strong female lead”– and the winners earn a $50 store credit. A backroom upstairs showcases local art and hosts folk music jams. As a warm-up before the show, go hang out in the “Music” section. Stay
Local fave A bedroom in the Waltzing Matilda suite at the Aspenwood Manor is pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
The family behind Aspenwood Manor created the Airbnb-esque accommodations with particular travelers in mind: Their guests do not need frequent housekeeping (once a week will do), a front desk (no keys, just door codes) or room service (full kitchen included; vending machine downstairs). The 20 luxury suites occupy two stately buildings near downtown and range in size from 220 square feet to 1,110 square feet. Each room is named and decorated after a destination close to the family’s heart. Waltzing Matilda, which has a secret passageway in the eaves, honors the clan’s patriarch, who grew up in Australia. Monocacy Estates, which comes with a built-in playhouse, gives a shout-out to Maryland, where the family previously resided. A daughter studied abroad in Austria, hence the Vienna room, a posh three-bedroom fit for a Habsburg. (Three-night minimum required for all rooms.)
Guidebook must The bathtub in the Library bedroom at the Hines Mansion Bed and Breakfast is pictured on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
The namesake of the Hines Mansion Bed & Breakfast worked in mining and real estate and as a pharmacist and saloonkeeper. His hard work paid off, as you will witness when you step inside the opulent Victorian manse dating to 1895. You might first notice the chandelier, a prop from “Gone With the Wind,” or smell the chocolate cookies cooling on the counter. All nine rooms feature jet tubs, and one (the Library) has a spiral staircase that leads to a soaker with skylight views. With such dreamy names as Victorian Rose and Secret Garden, I was hardly surprised to meet around the breakfast table newlyweds and a couple celebrating their fifth anniversary. I stayed in the Seaside Retreat, the original location of Spencer and Kitty Hines’ bathroom, but wished I had known about the Lodge room’s Butch Cassidy connection before booking. (The outlaw allegedly sneaked in through the door to evade the sheriff of Salt Lake City, whose cousin, a friend of Cassidy’s, owned the place.) Ghost stories are up to the guests’ imagination, but whenever an electric issue arises, innkeeper Michelle Schick will say, “Kitty, knock it off.” When the front door code didn’t work, I knew exactly who to blame. Explore
Local fave Rings are pictured in the Art Studio workshop at Sundance Mountain Resort on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
I first spotted Robert Redford in the hallway leading to the Tree Room, one of five drinking and dining venues at Sundance Mountain Resort. He was cuddling a golden eagle, and I am pretty sure everyone who passed by the wall of photos wished they were that raptor. In 1969, the celebrity benefactor bought the Provo Canyon land that morphed into the year-round playground. Sports enthusiasts can ski and snowboard in the winter and then switch gears to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding in the warmer months. The fire pits are seasonal, but the zip lines operate in all four. Most of the noncardio activities take place in the village, such as the Owl Bar, a watering hole that honors both Butch Cassidys (the real scofflaw and the Redford one), and the Art Studio, where artists teach guests to make pottery, jewelry, soap and other crafts. The General Store stocks their creations, as well as clothes, blankets, housewares and other goods that possess the Sundance spirit. As a souvenir, grab a free Sundance catalogue. Signs posted outside select locations ask guests to refrain from taking photos to protect the privacy of others, but the advisory does not mention asking for an autograph.
Guidebook must Jon Startup, production manager at Startup’s Candy Co. pours toffee at the store on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in Provo, Utah. (Evan Cobb, Special for The Washington Post)
The Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau’s walking tour covers more than 70 sites, including many in the Provo Downtown Historic District. Where do you start? No. 1, Provo Town Square, seems obvious, but I decided to begin with No. 71, because I am a sucker for sweets. Startup’s Candy still occupies the 1900 building that produced the country’s first filled candy and Magnolias, a forebear of the breath mint. The confectionery is open weekdays, one of the few places on the list with public access. (Most are private homes.) The LDS Tabernacle (No. 65) suffered fire damage 112 years after its dedication and was turned into a temple. Only Mormons with an ecclesiastical recommendation can enter the sacred space, but everyone can stroll the parklike grounds. On Center Street, the main strip for eating, shopping and entertainment, I supplemented my education with historic plaques. En route to the Soap Factory, I learned that Brigham Young set up his first school nearby. Most likely, the academy didn’t teach its students how to make soap in emoji and Star Wars shapes, but modern-day Provo will.
Ming cooks up a storm on holiday cruise
Ming cooks up a storm on holiday cruise
Sekou Hendrickson Published Feb 12, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 12, 2019 at 6:34 am) Serving culture: Fred Ming taught the chefs about local cuisine by explaining Bermudian history and how it affected the food (File photograph) Feeding the crowd: veteran chef Fred Ming prepares codfish creole with pancakes for passengers on board the Oceania Cruise (Photograph supplied) Bermudian chef Fred Ming Five-point plan for the perfect poop
A chef turned his holiday cruise into a lesson on Bermudian cuisine when he was invited to team up with the on-board catering team.
Fred Ming, a veteran chef and former Bermuda College lecturer, entertained passengers on board the Oceania Cruises Nautica with cooking demonstrations and lessons on island cuisine.
The 74-year-old and the ships chefs gave three demonstrations in which they prepared recipes from his original cookbooks as meals for passengers.
Mr Ming said: Most people were very receptive to the recipes. They wanted to know how to get a copy of my cookbook and now I have so many names and addresses of people who want a copy.
He added: People particularly enjoyed the codfish creole with pancakes, just because it was something unique.
Mr Ming booked the month-long cruise around the Indian Ocean as a way to spend his Christmas holiday.
He said: I went to a travel agency in Bermuda to pick up some papers for the cruise, and someone said Mr Ming, we have the culinary director of the cruise ship in the office and Id like you to meet him.
I gave him one of my cookbooks that I had in my car and when he recognised me, he said oh, youre a famous chef.
When I got on board the ship they gave me all of these perks and lined me up with the chefs for the demonstrations.
Mr Ming said he taught the chefs about Bermudian cuisine by explaining Bermudian history and how it affected the local food.
Many of the ships chefs also bought copies of his cookbooks.
He said: The chefs were delighted to be a part of the team. They were very receptive and open-minded.
Mr Ming added that demonstrations were an important way to showcase the unique Bermudian culture.
He said: I think its good to let people know what we have because some folks feel that we hardly have anything.
I think that we still get associated with the Caribbean … I wanted to show them some of the unique things that we do here.
Mr Ming said he made an impact on the cruises passengers and would consider similar demonstrations in the future.
He added: They even invited me to come back on the ship.
Sunjae Sharma of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts talks about their growth plans in India
Sunjae Sharma of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts talks about their growth plans in India Reviewed by Momizat on Feb 14 . Hyatt Group of Hotels was amongst the first global hospitality majors to enter the hospitality segment in India. Thirty-five years and 30 hotels later, Sunjae S Hyatt Group of Hotels was amongst the first global hospitality majors to enter the hospitality segment in India. Thirty-five years and 30 hotels later, Sunjae S Rating: 0 You Are Here: Home » features » Sunjae Sharma of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts talks about their growth plans in India Sunjae Sharma of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts talks about their growth plans in India Posted by: Your Name Posted date: February 14, 2019 In: features | comment : 0
Hyatt Group of Hotels was amongst the first global hospitality majors to enter the hospitality segment in India. Thirty-five years and 30 hotels later, Sunjae Sharma, VP–India Operations, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts talks about his ambitious plans for the group, dealing with high attrition rates and the trends of the future.
Which are the big growth markets for Hyatt in India? Hyatt’s journey in India began in 1983, with the launch of Hyatt Regency Delhi. From being one of the first international hospitality chains to establish operations in India over 35 years ago, the brand has exemplified how [hotels can] adopt the best of local culture, even while maintaining international hospitality standards.
Over the years, we have observed a paradigm shift in the way people travel, the cities they travel to, and the reasons they are travelling for. Our growth has been in sync with this dynamic shift. Most of our eight brands in India have a multi-brand presence across several cities. From travel to business and leisure, these cities have driven our expansion plans. Markets such as Bangalore and Kochi are also key to our expansion plans.
People are increasingly travelling to Tier II/III cities for business, leisure and religious reasons. Even if these are smaller cities, travellers want the same standard of hospitality they are used to in larger ones.
For over three decades, we have focused on brand-led experiences with innovation at the core of our growth strategy. India holds a significant place in Hyatt’s global pipeline, third only to the US and China.
We look forward to partnering with owners who want personal, flexible relationships, and [desire] to stand out in a slightly overcrowded market. Our loyalty program, World of Hyatt, is a strategic initiative that drives the relevance of our connection to our customers—leading to greater engagement and resulting in a larger overlap between what we do and what they need. This works as a ‘sticky factor’ and drives greater share of the wallet, so that we’re a more relevant and integral part of our guests’ lives. Beautifully designed spaces offer interesting images for the social media.
We believe that destinations and hotels have a symbiotic relationship. For us, growth and development are as much about developing talent and creating job opportunities, as it is about expanding our presence in the market and foraying into new destinations. We understand that millennials prioritise rich experiences and exploration of the unknown—and we are focusing on them more than ever. Our Hyatt Centric brand, [which has in its portfolio] Hyatt Centric MG Road Bangalore and the recently opened Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa, and our lifestyle rewards program, Hyatt Dinning Club, are examples of our commitment towards millennial travellers. Leisure travel within the country is growing immensely and we see a huge potential in the resorts market.
What hospitality formats are you looking for in Tier II markets? Expansion in the Tier II markets have been the key aspect of Hyatt’s strategy over the past few years. State capitals across economically advanced and/or progressive states offer immense potential for expansion. Other cities that are economic engines are also on our expansion agenda. We are currently present across various Tier II markets such as Goa, Hyderabad, Pune, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bangalore, Raipur, Hampi and Rameswaram.
While domestic business travel has increased, we are also witnessing a fillip in leisure travel. Concepts such as staycations and weekend getaways are getting more popular. Hyatt Place, as a brand, offers a stylish, comfortable and value-driven stay option for business travellers and families, and is relevant across a wide spectrum of markets. We are also excited about the prospects of the Hyatt Regency brand in the more affluent Tier II markets, as [it offers] facilities for business, premium weddings, conferences and social events.
Ultimately, it is about the right brand-fit and market opportunity. For us, 2018 was a milestone year. We opened Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty in April, a 264-room waterfront urban resort is the third Grand Hyatt-branded hotel in India and the first Hyatt property in Kerala. We also launched our seventh brand in Bangalore. Hyatt Centric MG Road Bangalore, which opened in May 2018 and offers 143 contemporary rooms for guests.
How would you analyse Teir II markets in terms of infrastructure, business opportunities and challenges? We are looking at state capitals or other key cities that are of prime commercial importance for states that are economically advanced. Before thinking about development in a new city, it becomes imperative for us to analyse its domestic and international connectivity, the infrastructure that it has to offer, and the urban planning within the city or town. We are careful in our due diligence and ensure that we understand the lay of the land in detail.
Hyatt recently bought over Two Roads Portfolio. What value does this add to your portfolio? Both Hyatt and Two Roads believe in delivering distinct experiences to discerning travellers. With Alila, Destination, Joie de Vivre, Thompson by Hyatt, and tommie by Hyatt added to our lifestyle and wellbeing offerings worldwide, we now have 19 premier brands. With this acquisition, we have forayed into 23 new markets and have added 74 operating hotels to our global presence. Hyatt is establishing a new dedicated lifestyle division to combine the operations of Two Roads’ and Hyatt’s lifestyle brands. We will be adding Alila Diwa Goa and Alila Fort Bishangarh to our India portfolio this year. Two Roads’ brands are expected to join the World of Hyatt loyalty program soon, providing a whole new world of hospitality experiences for our members by allowing them to earn and redeem points across more leisure-focused stay options. The design is marked by floor-to-ceiling glass walls framing the scenic backwaters of the Vembanad Lake.
Why did it take a while for Hyatt to expand its footprint in India? When Hyatt started its India operations, domestic brands dominated the Indian market. Over the last 35 years we’ve had a distinct and differential strategy from other players and have grown with a specific intent. We want to be in destinations our guests are travelling to, and are mindful of our expansion into new markets. Our endeavour is to be ‘the preferred hospitality brand’ and not just a brand with the most number of hotels. Since 2005, we have grown tremendously and added over 25 hotels to our portfolio.
Two of the biggest challenges that hoteliers face are asset management and high attrition rates. How is the Hyatt Group dealing with that? From the very beginning in India, we have maintained an asset-light strategy. Our growth in the market is fuelled by management contracts. Only recently have we begun to adopt a selective franchising model with some of our most credible third-party operators.
Attracting the right talent and retaining them are big challenges. The hospitality industry specifically has been viewed as a difficult place to work in, because of long work hours and schedules that match a business which operates 24/7. At Hyatt, our culture encourages a familial environment and we’ve designed the workplace experience to help our colleagues be their best selves.
This has determined our practices—from recruitment and selection to on-boarding, development and career management, and even work-life balance. Fostering a culture of care where colleagues can feel a sense of belonging is key to retaining them. Leadership development is also a critical factor in fostering retention—leaders are trained to create a culture of care and inclusion, and act as coaches to their teams. They should be ‘learning leaders’ who understand that learning never ends—both individually and with their teams.
‘The Good Taste Series’ is a great example of how we keep our colleagues motivated. The global culinary competition celebrates Hyatt’s culinary talent. It provides employees a positive competitive platform, where like-minded colleagues come together to produce innovative dishes. Through this series, participants receive the opportunity to showcase their talent, flair and artistic skills in a light-hearted environment—even as they get noticed across Hyatt globally.
We have taken bold decisions to enhance the work experience of our colleagues, including a five-day work week (8 days off in a month), work rosters published a minimum of seven days in advance so that colleagues can plan their schedules and have a better work-life balance, adherence to working hours so they leave on time, and a ‘Global Family Assistance Policy’ which includes paternity leave.
How tech-ready are the Hyatt hotels? How have you used technology to transform guest experience? At Hyatt, we understand that in this one-touch era, technology is ever-changing and so is consumer behaviour. We view technology as an opportunity to scale care.
With our investments in technology, we endeavour to make big differences for our colleagues, guests, meeting planners and owners. Freebird, Hyatt’s friction-free Internet authentication allows for a one-time central authentication, making future internet usage at any Hyatt property a seamless event. We are constantly adding digital platforms to our offerings, whether it is making bookings through our direct channels such as the website or our World of Hyatt application that enables people to make bookings instantly over their phone. We use GEM and Colleague Advantage for our Colleagues, Event Concierge app and Hyatt Planner Portal for Planners, and Mobile PAW for our Owners.
While modernisation and technological advancement is going to be a continued journey, human touch is very important to us.
What are the innovations implemented, whether in guest service, front office, or F&B services, across hotels of the Hyatt group? Empathy, ideations, prototyping are now common terms in the vocabulary of our associates and leaders, and design thinking is a core component of our day-to-day operations.
At Andaz Delhi, innovation is visible in the F&B offerings and the experiences we are creating. Venues such as Hong Kong Club and AnnaMaya are great examples of the effective application of design thinking and innovation at the conceptualisation and delivery stages. Progressive lifestyle uniforms, electric cars, modern design studios for events, raising awareness and mindful eating at AnnaMaya, a magnificent variety of bespoke gin infusions in Juniper Bar, photo walks and Delhi Hero experiences to bring to life ‘401 Reasons To Fall In Love With Delhi’, recruiting through videos and at creative locations, are all just a few examples of innovations at Andaz Delhi.
AnnaMaya is a modern European Food Hall in India, and is inspired by the colours and flavours of India. Alongside the unique food, interesting artisanal produce is available for sale. The menu is designed around consciously-sourced ingredients from local artisans who directly or indirectly contribute towards the well-being of society. The Hong Kong Club offers perfectly prepared dim sums, tasting menus and signature small plates inspired by Hong Kong-Cantonese flavours. The newly opened Colony Clubhouse & Grill at Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty is a re-imagined old-world grill that promotes sustainable seafood practices. Its culinary philosophy is fuelled by ancient cooking methods of cooking over open fires, smoking grills and burning embers.
At Grand Hyatt Mumbai, we are changing the concept and service delivery with the introduction of Guest Experience Managers. This has taken customer service and engagement to an extremely personal level. New concepts such as the Grand Brunch have catapulted our F&B offerings to an all-new height.
Hyatt Regency Delhi was the first hotel to promote authentic cuisine with ethnic chefs, as well as import produce from the country of the cuisine’s origin. The hotel introduced Italian and Japanese cuisine to India and was a social gathering hub with the Polo Bar and Lounge, La Piazza and TK’s. China Kitchen and its sister, China House in Mumbai, are both award-winning Chinese restaurants that have carved a name for themselves for serving the authentic Sichuan cuisine in India. The award-winning The Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt Chennai offers a unique dining experience with its spread of Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, North Indian, Italian and Western cuisines. Hyatt Regency Delhi also continues to be an innovator in other aspects. Google Dobbie is our virtual Concierge that is seeing trial runs in a few suites at the hotel. We will be formally introducing it soon.
The freedom to try prototypes and ideas allows our teams to be creative and not fear the judgement of their peers. This unfettered way of working is the bedrock of innovation and creativity that can be seen across our hotels.
Is the hospitality industry ready to rationalise the aggressive undercutting that brings down ADRs? This is a very dynamic phenomenon. For any given market, the rates in the industry are largely defined by the cumulative effect of various factors such as supply and demand, the specific time period in consideration, and what is happening in and around the market in that timeframe. It is a market-driven scenario and a ‘one-size-fits-all strategy’ doesn’t apply here. We believe it is a demand and supply cycle.
At Hyatt, all our premier brands are at the high-end of their respective segments, and this provides tremendous opportunity for us considering the evolving industry. There are industry dos and don’ts and there are price points that each hotel can work within. It is important to constantly improve and innovate our products and service delivery.
How does the Hyatt Dinning Club differ from other loyalty programmes? At Hyatt, we understand that guests value holistic experiences which move beyond the hotel and standard dining rewards programs, with incentives not just limited to restaurants and spa treatments. The incentives could include anything—from watching a movie with their loved ones, enjoying the thrill of para-mounting, taking a micro-flight over the city, or going on an adventurous one-day trek.
Developed and curated in India, ‘The Hyatt Dining Club’ is a simple and smart lifestyle rewards program. Its simplicity is reflected in its structure—there are no tiers or points, and one annual fee provides benefits and discounts at all Hyatt hotels across India.
The Hyatt Dinning Club was developed and designed around insights gathered during an in-depth research conducted by Kantar IMRB and Coral Research Services Growth. With partners like Xoxoday and PVR Cinemas, the program offers exclusive deals in the entertainment and adventure space. Seamlessly digital and smart, the program has secure online enrolments, with every membership linked to a unique mobile number. PayTm, India’s largest digital payments platform, is the exclusive official payments processor for the program.
How have Hyatt group hotels redefined experiential travel? AnnaMaya at Andaz Delhi has a European-style Food Hall and a diner that serves food which is seasonal and made with local produce.
We constantly strive to curate offerings that give our guests the opportunity to extend their hospitality experience within and beyond Hyatt. With the Hyatt Place audience, who look for a seamless and productive trip, it is as simple as [conversation with] a real person who understands their needs. Some want to travel to the local market with our chef and cook a meal with like-minded people at the Park Hyatt Master of Food & Wine event. Others want to discuss the local art scene at an Andaz Salon gathering. Globally, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, we are providing unique experiences that we believe people want to share with their friends and family. Our Hyatt Centric-branded hotels are always located in the heart of the city, bringing the best of the outside in, and serving as the perfect launchpad for exploring all the hidden gems and hot spots the destination has to offer. In 2018, we announced the launch of FIND, a curated unforgettable experiences programme designed to help eligible World of Hyatt members to experience destinations in a locally-relevant way. FIND experiences include bespoke activities related to dining, fitness, adventure and restoration. For instance, while at Andaz Delhi you can learn calligraphy from an expert; at Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty the experience takes you on an adventurous toddy-tapping session.
Over the years, is there anything you have begun doing differently, decisions that are spurred by your learnings about the market? Our learnings have positively influenced our my day-to-day problem-solving approach, forward thinking and creating differentiators. They fuel my strategic thought process and business perspective. From ‘The Hyatt Dining Club’ to our Hyatt Centric brand, recently launched and catering to the needs of modern millennial-minded travellers who seek exploration and discovery of the destination, or the launch of FIND—everything reflects those learnings. We launched Andaz Delhi in 2016, driven by the philosophy of ‘Arrive a visitor, Depart a local’.
What have the failures been and what have you learnt from them? I see hurdles as opportunities and not failures. It is a mindset that I encourage, because that keeps us alert and enables us to push the boundaries. I believe that nothing worthwhile comes easy and naysayers are always out in full force. You can dwell on your failures—or learn from them and keep evolving. I tend to lean towards the latter.
What are the measures the government has taken to ensure the growth of the Indian hospitality industry? Government initiatives and policies have helped the hospitality industry in several ways. With the ease of visa-on-arrival from multiple countries, the influx of international tourists has increased. Initiatives such as smart cities have also opened doors for future growth, which, we feel, can only bolster the tourism and hospitality industry.
What are the current trends in the hospitality industry? Technology and changing consumer behaviour are the most important factors influencing current hospitality trends. I’m going to break this up across a few separate sub-trends. It is important for hotels to understand millennial travellers. They are frequent travellers who rely on technology to make their experiences seamless, seek personalised interactions and are spontaneous. Health and well-being are lifestyle trends. Travellers expect innovative wellness options, ranging from healthy F&B offerings to air purification, spas and yoga spaces within the hotels they travel to. The popularity of social media is not only causing hotels to become more involved in destination promotion and self-promotion, but is also influencing the experiences hotels curate, both inside and outside the property, to create social media-friendly moments. Travellers look at hotels as home away from home. A personal touch in this era of technology has become even more important. Every hotel has a personality that comes to life through its unique guest interaction protocols and service offerings. Travellers are more conscious of the impact of their actions on the environment. By implementing energy-conserving techniques such as solar panels, gas-saving magnets, rainwater harvesting, responsibly-sourced toiletries, sensor-based lights and air-conditioning, towel and bed linen reuse policy, hotels are going green.
From small plates to pies, Britain’s best cities for eating out
From small plates to pies, Britain’s best cities for eating out Telegraph Travel experts Isaac At’s small precision-cooked set menus are a highlight of the Brighton restaurant scene More Britain’s restaurant scene has never been more exciting. Our cities, and the neighbourhoods within them, are developing their own distinctive culinary characters, drawing on tradition and local produce, but spun in new ways by dynamic chefs. From small plates to pies, Indian to Italian, it’s enough to make us hungry for our next weekend break. Here’s our definitive guide to the best homegrown cities for foodies. London The London restaurant scene is one of the world’s best, and it runs the gamut from great British institutions that have been around for decades to trendy no-reservations spots that open faster than you can keep track of. It should come as little surprise that innovative and impressive chefs from all over the world are keen for a place at the (dinner) table here. Pull up a stool at a long steel counter to watch as Northern Thai dishes are cooked over open flames, sink into your leather booth and press the button for champagne to enjoy with lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, or order a whole spread of small plates inspired by Italy’s diverse regions. If you’re serious about food, you’ll find London has plenty to offer. Manchester Manchester’s restaurant scene is thriving, with independent establishments serving imaginative dishes and big-name chains pulling out all the stops to impress. One of the joys of dining in this multicultural city is the range of dishes on offer, whether you fancy a spicy Indian breakfast, an ethically sourced British pie or a high-end tasting menu with paired wine. And neighbourhoods have their own culinary characters, from trendy Ancoats where innovative independents are constantly springing up, to the luxurious business hub of Spinningfields, and the city’s more relaxed suburbs. Brighton Gone are the days of good-but-staid establishments, second-rate pizza parlours and soggy fish and chips. Brighton today has an increasingly sophisticated restaurant scene that easily outshines other seaside resorts. The trend in many is to emphasise locally sourced ingredients, and that’s all to the good, given Sussex’s burgeoning vineyards, artisan cheesemakers and organic farms. There’s plenty of variety too, from a tiny Italian joint serving silky homemade pastas to a café serving southern Indian street food. Story continues Edinburgh Edinburgh’s thriving restaurant scene stretches from cheap, chilled cafés to sophisticated modern dining rooms, all fuelled by Scotland’s excellent natural larder. It’s also one of Britain’s top gourmet destinations when it comes to counting Michelin stars. From a decadent bowl of Orkney lobster thermidor macaroni cheese to the best fish and chips in town, there is no shortage of fantastic foodie experiences in the Scottish capital. York It wasn’t so long ago that there were only a handful of expensive restaurants in the city to get excited about. Now, York’s fine food scene is vibrant, modern and fresh, with new restaurants with a hipster flair – but still a reassuringly Yorkshire identity – setting up shop along the cobbled streets. Here’s an insider’s guide to the best places to eat in York, including seriously impressive British dining, quality Korean barbecue, new takes on gastronomical greats and where to find the best espresso. Belfast Belfast may not be considered a world-renowned culinary capital, but it certainly can’t be overlooked: the fine-dining scene is very much thriving, with Michelin-starred OX and EIPIC the undisputed marquee names. Slightly lower on the price meter are up-and-comers EDŌ and The Muddlers Club, which is so good a Michelin star may very well be in its future. Then there’s the delicious and affordable seafood: thanks to the depth and cold temperatures of the Northern Irish seas, the city enjoys an abundance supply of fresh fish; some might even argue that it has the world’s best fish and chips. Oxford Oxford’s food scene has improved enormously in recent years with the city’s top-end but somewhat conservative old guard now joined by a host of bright and lively restaurants, trendy pubs where the food outshines the booze, and small but stellar independents serving up authentic Asian cuisine to avid local fans. For a quintessential Oxford experience, head to the Cherwell Boathouse in summer where you you can eat out on the deck, listen to the soft splash of punts on the river and enjoy ambitious but well-balanced fare. It’s also well worth making the trek out of the city centre to get to some of these lesser-known gems. Glasgow Tales of deep-fried Mars Bars have faded into urban legend. Glasgow is bursting at its culinary seams with award-winning chefs and young pretenders competing with innovative cuisines to suit every taste and budget. Classic restaurants in the city centre and the West End have upped their game to match a lively new scene between them in the Finnieston district, and there are encouraging signs of a culinary revival south of the river. Fresh fare from Scottish hills and sea lochs is as good as it gets and even haggis is given the nouvelle cuisine treatment. Bath Bath used to suffer from a dearth of good, affordable places to eat. But a foodie transformation (and the acquisition of a Michelin star) has taken place at a number of the city’s restaurants, pubs and, thanks to the wealth of fabulous local produce available, Bath’s independent city and farm cafés are thriving. Vegetarian and vegan eateries are also increasingly winning locals over, as are the city’s international street food stalls, new small-plate restaurants and supper clubs.
Openings and Closings: Perry’s Steakhouse Debuts in River Oaks, Verandah Indian Opens
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Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille , 1997 West Gray, opened February 11. The stunning two story restaurant and bar takes over the space that was previously a California Kitchen and as many Houstonians of a certain age remember, a hopping Birra Poretti’s. The location in the River Oaks Shopping Center is the first Perry’s Steakhouse within the 610 Loop. Founder and owner Chris Perry said in a press release, ” We are thrilled to open our first Perry’s Steakhouse located within the inner loop of Houston. Houston is our hometown and thanks to the support of the local community, we’ve come a long way from our butcher shop beginnings.” Perry’s Steakhouse glows in the River Oaks sunset. Photo by Steve Chenn Continue Reading
We are all a little more sophisticated and some more well-heeled, which is a good thing if you are stepping out in River Oaks and stepping in to Perry’s Bar 79, which takes up the entire first floor of the new design. The main dining room is located up an elegant staircase, lit by a multi-globed glass chandelier. Beverage Director Susi Zivanovic told the Houston Press that there is an elevator for those who cannot navigate the stairs or prefer a less daunting exit after a few cocktails.
For patrons wanting a drink after work and a little nosh, Social Hour 79 in the bar area runs Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $9 select cocktails and bar bites. Settle in at one of the comfortable bar stools, a table with your pals or an outdoor patio spot and enjoy a refreshing Lemon Bubbles made with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Caravella limoncello, fresh lemon juice and topped off with Chandon Brut. For margarita lovers, a smoky rita rimmed with habanero salt satisfies. Sliders 79, Beef and Bleu, and escargot are a few of the offerings on the bar bites menu. Perry’s Bar 79 offers a taste of the upstairs dining experience to come. Photo by Steve Chenn
The corner building makes for pleasant views of the surrounding area from the second story dining room, which has private dining spaces as well. There is also a small patio area wrapping the building with a dozen small tables for enjoying cocktails and bar bites, like the pork chop bites, a sampling of Perry’s famous seven finger pork chop cut into more manageable cubes. Speaking of the infamous pork chop, Perry’s restaurant group is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year by giving away a year’s worth of Pork Chop Friday lunches. Check out its Facebook page and Instagram for more details. Verandah reflects the evolving cuisine of India. Photo by Ruben Courtade
Verandah Progressive Indian Restauran t, 3300 Kirby, debuted February 11 in the Upper Kirby/River Oaks area as part of the Kirby Collection, a mixed-use development. It is the first inner loop location for chef/owner Sunil Srivastava and wife Anupama. The couple previously owned and operated Great W’Kana in West Houston, a restaurant that has made the Houston Chronicle’s Top 100 list every year since 2011. Great W’Kana, however, has closed in order for the couple to focus on the new venture. Chef Srivastava is still smiling despite some delays in opening. Photo by Ruben Courtade
Srivastava is renowned for his signature kebabs like the plantain kebab and the galouti , which is a minced meat kebab. The cuisine at Verandah will reflect the evolution of Indian food, covering regions across the country. While the menu will be ever-changing, the chef will continue to offer his signature dishes as well. Many of the ingredients will be locally sourced including some vegetables from the owners’ home garden. Verandah’s decor combines elegance and color. Photo by Ruben Courtade
There will be a semi-private space for a chef’s table plus a glassed-in semi-private room for parties and meetings, with a set-up for audio and visual equipment. While the restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, it is still in its soft opening phase and is only open for dinner service at present, according to the Houston Chronicle . Chef Monica Fallone and husband Luis Mancera are rebranding Borgo. Photo by Leah Wilson Photography
Mina Ristorante , 3641 West Alabama, will open in April 2019. Chef Monica Fallone and husband Luis Mancera are changing their fast casual, European gastro-market, Borgo Food Station, into a dine-in Italian restaurant, reflecting their Italian and European roots.
The transition from Borgo into the destination Italian eatery will begin mid-February. Erin Hicks is the designer, with a look to a chic, intimate dining space of 2,000 square feet. The menu will be inspired by Borgo’s fresh ingredients and will include antipasti, house-made pastas, classic entrees and desserts. The wine list will offer traditional and organic varietals.
Fallone and Mancera have a culinary background that spans three continents and 30 years, including successful concepts in Miami and Carracas, as well as consulting work in Latin America and Europe.
Mancera says, “Both Monica and I were raised in families where everything revolved around the kitchen, which is considered to be the soul of the home.” In April, diners will be able to experience some of that Italian soul food.
Squable , 632 W.19th, is expected to open later this spring, according to CultureMap Houston . The new restaurant will take over the vacated Southern Goods spot with James Beard award-winning chef Justin Yu of Theodore Rex and Bobby Heugel, owner and co-founder of Anvil Bar and Refuge, leading the venture. The powerhouse duo behind Better Luck Tomorrow, which made Bon Appetit’s Top 50 Restaurants this past year and the Top Ten for 2018 in Food and Wine magazine, are bringing along some of their top talent as partners. Mark Clayton, who worked with Yu at his former tasting restaurant Oxheart and Drew Gimma, baker extraordinaire, formerly of Common Bond and currently at BLT, will join Yu and Heugel in creating the new concept.
Terry Williams who oversees operations for Anvil and BLT will also be a partner and general manager. BLT bartender Anna Wilkins, formerly of Eight Row Flint and Julep, will take on the role of head bartender when Squable opens.Veteran sommelier, Justin Vann, will create the wine list.
The new restaurant will feature European-style dishes with American and Texan touches. Handmade pasta and oysters are a couple of highlights to be expected. Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Trattoria Italian Restaurant , 10219 Cypresswood, is coming soon. That’s all we know.
Me’lange Vietnamese Restaurant , 311 West Gray, opened mid-January. The restaurant offers standard Vietnamese dishes like pho , banh mi and vermicelli bowls plus Chinese, Thai and Korean menu offerings. For late night Montrose party people, the restaurant often stays open into the wee hours of the morning, so a hot bowl of pho or beef stew might nip a hangover in the bud.
Ramen Okidoki , 10603 Bellaire Boulevard, opened February 2 in Saigon Houston Plaza, taking over the spot occupied by Lim’s Chicken. The ramen concept is originally out of Astoria, New York.
Fans of Lim’s will still be able to enjoy Lim’s popular chicken wings, listed as Lim’s x Okidoki on the menu. Ramen slurpers have choices in how much heat they would prefer, though Yelpers are saying the R U Okidoki, a chicken broth based ramen delivers more of a kick than the spicy pork tonkatsu . Nearly everyone agrees that the pork chashu in the ramen is especially good.
Diners can begin with the typical edamame starter or opt for the more unusual takoyaki , a dish of pancake balls made with octopus.
La Macro , 1040 West Cavalcade, will open this week in the space previously occupied by Mam’s House of Ice, according to CultureMap . Owner Saul Obregon has made this venture before with a brick and mortar including a spot that closed down in 2014 due to issues with the light rail, then another spot on Washington Avenue as a bar. Obregon went back to serving trompo tacos from his food truck at Raven Tower and for private events.
Now, he’s found a spot in the Heights that fits better with his desire to be family-friendly. The restaurant will serve the al pastor pork tacos from the rotating spit (trompo) plus street tacos, burgers, tortas and quesadillas. If you want to go hog wild, try the Trompi burger. It’s a beef patty topped with white cheese, grilled onions and pork trompo.
Another draw for families will be the snow cones and ice cream. Obregon has brought in friend Rene Ramirez to help him with the frozen treats side of the business.
A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Obregon’s family came to the United States when he was eight years old. After a career in welding, metal art sculpting, and mechanical design and engineering, he opened the first Taqueria La Macro in 2012, exciting fans of the Nuevo Leon-style tacos de trompo . La Macro is named for the Macroplaza, a large grand plaza, park and meeting place in Monterrey. Fried chicken sliders make for a more perfect union. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
The Union Kitchen , 4057 Bellaire Boulevard, has a new chef and a new menu. Jesse Esquivel, formerly of Perry’s Steakhouse and Grande Luxe Cafe, will serve as executive chef and has already revamped half the menu, bringing back some old favorites and rolling out some fresh, new items as well.
On the returning side, regular customers will be happy to see the prosciutto arugula pizza, which will be cooked in the newly installed Peerless stone oven. Paul’s BBQ Sandwich and Mama P’s Baked Brie are also coming back. New dishes include bayou pasta linguine ,Reuben egg rolls and shrimp and grits at dinner, plus lunchtime offerings like short rib grilled cheese and salmon and basil pesto risotto. Prosciutto arugula pizza is back at The Union Kitchen. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters. SHOW ME HOW
Philadelphia, PA South Indian Fusion Wedding by Studio Nine Photography
Philadelphia, PA South Indian Fusion Wedding by Studio Nine Time to get into some post-ceremony fun! After a long day of emotions and solemnity, Mounica and Evan threw a beautiful wedding gala at the elegant Ballroom at the Ben ! With a wonderful décor design from JP Decor that included a romantic stage draping, lavish furniture, and must-see floral centerpieces! This cute couple had a blast at the reception, thanks to M4U Events ’ music that ensured the crowd also had a blast! Maharani Mounica looks so captivating in a fiery golden lehenga designed with amazing hair and makeup by Sonia C , she joined her well-suited husband who really flaunted a dreamy style! Mirchi Mt. Laurel did a wonderful job serving a mouth-watering traditional dinner and guests were back on the tables to enjoy a sweet moment with the delicious cake created back by Bakers of Buffington ! You can’t expect any less when you have the expert help from Tum Hi Ho Events , always going beyond expectations! There is much more to check out from this wonderful fusion soiree in our complete gallery by Studio Nine Photography + Cinema , be sure not to miss anything out! How did you meet your Groom and when did you know he was “the one”? Evan and I met in Philadelphia in the Spring of 2014. He was in his last year of dental school and I was in my third year of medical school. Our first date was at our now favorite wine bar in the city – Tria. We really hit it off and looked forward to spending more time together. I knew he was “the one” when our relationship seemed so effortless. It was also when he was moving back to Tampa after graduation for work, and we both knew without hesitation that we felt committed to one another and that we would do long distance. I then moved down to Florida after graduation for residency. The rest is history! Tell us how you went about planning your wedding, and your overall experience with the Venues, Hair & Makeup, Outfits, Decor Theme, and all of the other important details. Planning our wedding felt extremely overwhelming at first. We didn’t know many vendors or really even where to start. We were also attempting to combine different elements into a traditional Indian wedding, as my husband is Cuban-American. Luckily, I had a long engagement and started with online websites, Pinterest, Indian bridal magazines, Instagram, and just asking around for advice. I also went to a bridal show for some inspiration. My mother and sister did a lot of research and ended up planning a lot of the details – including venue, food, decor theme and more. My aunt Shravani in India also helped immensely with the planning and coordinated outfits, invitations, and more. I had in mind that I wanted to book Studio Nine for photo/video based on their previous work, and started there. We went back to Philadelphia for a quick trip and toured different venues. We fell in love with the Ballroom at the Ben and thought it would be perfect for our wedding. After that, we just spent time contacting different vendors for the day of coordination, DJ, hair and makeup, decorators, etc. We went with people who we felt had a lot of experience, were responsive, and the easiest to work with. They were all extremely professional and our guests raved about every single one! How did you select your bridal lengha or wedding dress? Did you have a favorite color in mind? I knew I wanted the classic colors of gold and red incorporated into the decor and into our outfits. I wanted something timeless and romantic. My mom and sister went to India for a week and went shopping with my aunt in Hyderabad. They all have great taste so I trusted them to pick out my wedding outfit, and they did a great job. They bought a deep pink Kanjeevaram (silk) Sari in Hyderabad. My reception outfit was from Shyamal & Bhumika. We saw it online, messaged them through WhatsApp, and did the measurements via facetime! They shipped it over and it fit perfectly. What was the most enjoyable part of the planning process, and why? I felt that the planning process was very stressful, but at the end of the day, it was all worth it. My parents, sister and I were able to spend a lot of time together planning. It was also fun to introduce our culture and traditions to Evan’s family, and they embraced everything wholeheartedly. We also had a large number of family and friends that helped us execute our vision. Without all of those people, we would not have been able to pull it off. It was amazing to see them all step up and help my parents the weeks leading up to the wedding. What did your guests particularly love about your Wedding? All of our guests told us they had a great time at all of the events – and it really showed! They appreciated how organized everything was, thanks to Tum Hi Ho Events. Our DJ/emcee from M4U Events was amazing and the dance floor was never empty. Mirchi Mt.Laurel also did a great job with the food, especially incorporating some American elements into traditional Indian cuisine. Overall, we felt that this day was not just about us but really about everyone who attended and supported us throughout our relationship. We wanted everyone to feel welcome, enjoy new traditions/customs, and have a great party. There was nothing but joy and good vibes over the weekend, and we are grateful for everyone who made it so fun and enjoyable. Was there a really special moment in your wedding that constantly replays in your mind? My favorite parts of the ceremony were the “Thalambralu,” when we showered each other with rice and flowers. I also loved the ending of the ceremony, “Sapthapadi” when we took our seven steps around the fire. It felt very spiritual and peaceful. My favorite parts of the reception were our first dance. We also got married on Father’s Day, so after I danced with my dad, we asked all the fathers and daughters to join us on the dance floor. Everyone danced to “You’ll be in my heart” to Phil Collins. Looking out and seeing so much joy and love on the dance floor made me extremely happy. For events other than your ceremony, please tell us as much as you would like about the decor, style, dances, and all the special details. We started on Friday night with a combination Sangeet/Mehndi ceremony. We decided to make this a “Cuban” themed sangeet as Evan is half Cuban. The décor had lots of tropical elements, and flower arrangements were done by Evan’s father, Frank Prado. We put forth our best Bollywood effort, and the groom’s side also participated with salsa dancing and ended with a Conga line. The following day, my side had the “pellikuthuru” ceremony at my house. This was followed by lunch at our local clubhouse. On the same day, as much of Evan’s extended family was new to the area, they all gathered for a Bus tour of Philadelphia in the morning. Evan’s father had rented out a double-decker city tour bus that showed our guests the historical and must-see modern sites. They ended with lunch at Pietro’s on South Street. Sunday, June 17th, was then the big day. Everyone gathered with Evan at Washington Square Park for the Baraat. Evan was on his horse, and everyone paraded down Walnut Street, took a right onto 9th street, and ended at the venue. They had Cuban hats, maracas, and personalized sunglasses on the way. We encouraged everyone on both sides to participate and they had a blast. We had had the ceremony and lunch, followed by the reception in the evening. Do you have any words of wisdom for Brides-To-Be? Enjoy the ride, even if it’s a stressful one. I would also say to be open to compromise, as everything ends up falling into place at the end, and it will be a wonderful day. Anything else you want to tell us? We’d love to hear all about your other details! (jewelry, mehndi, venue, cake, bouquets, etc.) Venue: Ballroom at the Ben – Philadelphia – we loved the central location of the ballroom and its traditional, classic, timeless beauty. Ott, our maitre’d, was also amazing and made sure everything went perfectly! Photo/Video: Studio Nine Photography – Zach Blum and team, and they did an excellent job. Coordination: Tum Hi Ho Events – Kept everything running smoothly and on time! This was absolutely one of the best investments we made towards our wedding and could not have imagined the day without them. Entertainment: M4U Events – kept the dance floor packed all night! We had quite a few people tell us it felt more like a concert than a reception. Florals: JP Decors, New Jersey – They did a beautiful job with the mandap and flower wall, as well as the bouquets and centerpieces. We had hot pink, ivory, and regular pink roses, as well as hydrangeas and orchids. Catering: Ceremony and Reception: Mirchi Mt. Laurel–New Jersey – Lunch was more South Indian brunch style, with pasta and burgers as well. Dinner was Indian, including fish, goat and chicken curry dishes. We also had an Indian staple – Biryani, as well as samosas and chicken and lamb kebabs. Cake: Bakers of Buffington – Downingtown, PA – We had a four-tier cake – each tier had a different flavor. Flavors were carrot, red velvet, chocolate chip and marble with various fillings Invitations: Gampa Brothers – Secunderabad, India Seating Chart: Declaration of Invitations – Bryn Mawr, PA Brides Hair and Make up – Sonia Chaudery – Instagram: @soniacmakeup
If you are seeking the best and most creative weddings make sure to come back on Monday! Have a wonderful weekend, readers! STYLE
Notes on the endangered tawilis and taklobo
Notes on the endangered tawilis and taklobo Feb 15, 2019 The Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has included the freshwater fish tawilis (scientific name: Sardinella tawilis) in the global list of endangered species. Tawilis can only be found in the waters of Taal Lake in Batangas province. “Within Lake Taal, there are major threats to fish diversity and this species (Tawilis) due to overexploitation, pollution and competition and/or predation with introduced fishes, resulting in continuing declines in habitat quality and number of mature individuals,” the IUCN said in a statement. Late last year, the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity reported that the Ark of Taste International has likewise listed tawilis in the “catalogue of endangered heritage foods of the Philippines.” A species is considered endangered when it is seriously at risk of extinction. The inclusion of tawilis in the endangered list is a “wake-up call,” said Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). Not only is tawilis only found in the Philippines, but it is also the only freshwater sardine in the world. “(Tawilis) is found in the third largest lake in the country with an area of more than 66,000 hectares and average depth of 60 meters,” said Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III, a fishery expert who popularized tilapia as the country’s most popular fish after bangus. “The fish was landlocked with the formation of Taal Volcano, about 100,000 years ago, which separated the body of water from the sea.” Taal Lake is a tourist destination as has been described as “a lake within a lake and a volcano within a volcano.” PRIDE OF SOUTHERN TAGALOG Although small, about six- to seven-inches long, tawilis is the most dominant fish catch in Taal lake. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Research (BFAR), a line agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said the fish is caught by gill net, beach seine, ring net and motorized push net. People who have tasted the fish said tawilis is really mouth-watering. Dr. Aristotle Carandang, chief science research specialist at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), considers tawilis as “the pride of Southern Tagalog.” “Tawilis is best eaten as dried (for frying), deep fried (eat everything), and as pinais (paksiw na nakabalot sa dahon ng saging). There are also bottled tawilis sold in supermarkets,” Carandang said. “I love the deep-fried style,” said Dr. Richard T. Mata, a physician from Panabo City who never fails to order tawilis whenever he goes to Tagaytay, a town overlooking Taal Lake. “They always say that the beauty of tawilis is that you can eat the whole fish without removing the bones. My son loves it, too.” OVERFISHING In addition to raw consumption, tawilis is also processed into various food products. It is one of the many fish species dried, salted and sold as daing in the country. They are also smoked and bottled in oil, and sold commercially. Overfishing has been cited as the primary culprit on why it has become an endangered species. “The major cause of the drastic decline in tawilis catch is overfishing, wherein the rate of human exploitation of the fish surpassed the ability of the fish to replenish itself,” commented Dr. Guerrero, who used to be the director of the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development. The Marine Wildlife Watch in the Philippines (MWWP), in an infographic that was posted in its Facebook, reported that the tawilis population has decreased by at least 50% in the last decade. It said that the reported total catch of tawilis was 1,672 metric tons in 1998. The total catch of the fish dropped to 240 metric tons in 2005 and further dipped to 107 metric tons in 2010. TEMPORARY BAN The use of illegal fishing gear has also contributed to the its demise. “The illegal use of trawlers and ‘superlights’ to attract the fish at night in the past almost wiped out the species,” Dr. Guerrero claimed. Experts are one in saying that something must be done to save the tawilis from extinction, owing to its rich cultural and historical significance, not to mention its pride of place in Philippine cuisine. “Ecologically, without tawilis, Taal Lake will become less biodiverse, unbalanced, and less resilient to environmental changes,” explained Dr. Arnel “AA” Yaptinchay, MWWP founder and director. Once tawilis is gone from the waters of Taal Lake, it will be gone forever. “If lost, it can never be replaced again,” Dr. Yaptinchay reminded. Several things can be done to keep tawilis thriving. “Address all the threats simultaneously,” Dr. Yaptinchay suggested. “Government needs to step in and regulate activities in the lake and manage fishing activities by introducing closed seasons for tawilis, and probably even a temporary ban until a non-detriment finding is done.” According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a “non-detriment finding” is a conclusion by a scientific authority that the export of specimens of a particular species will not impact negatively on the survival of that species in the wild. “More biological and ecological studies should be conducted, especially in culturing the species,” Yaptinchay added. Here’s a good news. Dr. Maris Mutia of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute has already submitted her recommendation for a closed season (period of no fishing) during the peak spawning time of the tawilis to the Protected Area Management Board and the local government unit where the lake is located. Aside from tawilis, there are other sardine species like Sardinella lemuru and S. gibbosa (usually canned or dried) that also need to be properly managed. Sardines are one of the cheapest seafood-source of protein for most Filipinos. In addition, they are part of the marine food chain being a major forage species of many predatory fish species, mammals, and cetaceans. “We need to make sure that there is science-based management of sardines, do more scientific studies on the matter, and implement conservation measures to ensure that we will have sardines forever,” pointed out Oceana Philippines, a non-government organization trying to save the world’s oceans. GIANT CLAMS Another marine species that thrives in the Philippine waters is the giant clam, locally known as taklobo and known in the science world as Tridacna gigas. It may not be endemic to the country, but the Philippines is one of the few countries where it lives. This bivalve mollusk can be found most in the coral reefs of South Pacific and Indian Ocean. It is also present in the South China Sea. Giant clams are the largest living bivalves as their size can reach up to 1.5 meters. They are described as “solar marine species,” which means they need the sun to grow, survive and thrive. Most of them prefer to live in shallow waters, particularly in coral reef areas that make them vulnerable to poaching and exploitation. “The giant clam gets only one chance to find a nice home,” according to a report released by the National Geographic. “Once it fastens itself to a spot on a reef, there it sits for the rest of its life.” Giant clams may be bottom-dwelling behemoths but they are also on the brink of extinction. “Populations of wild giant clams are declining rapidly in various countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines,” revealed Endangered Species International. It is not surprising therefore why giant claims also appeared in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Giant clams are also included in the CITES list. To save the giant clams, the government included the species in the Philippine Fisheries Code (Republic Act 8550). The Code prohibits the act of collecting, selling and exporting giant clams. Should anyone be caught violating the law, the person will be fined administratively, “three times the value of the species, or P300,000 to P3 million.” In addition, the person committing the unlawful act will be imprisoned from five to eight years and a fine equivalent to twice the administrative fine, and forfeiture of species. Like the tawilis, giant clams are harvested for food. “Though the soft body parts account for about 10% of the body weight, it is nearly pure, healthy protein,” said Oceana, an international organization trying to protect the world’s oceans. “Giant clams are being protected through the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs),” said Dr. Guerrero. MPAs restrict human activity for a conservation purpose, typically to protect natural resources. In addition, artificial spawning of giant clams has already been done by the Marine Science Institute (MSI) of the University of the Philippines at the Bolinao Marine Laboratory in Bolinao, Pangasinan. Over 40,000 giant clams are reportedly living at the Silaqui Ocean Nursery in the said province. SUCCESS STORY In Davao Region, another success story was initiated by the Davao del Norte State College (DNSC) which manages the Marine Reserve Park and Multipurpose Hatchery at Barangay Adecor in Kaputian District in the Island Garden City of Samal. Preservation efforts commenced in 1999 when the area was declared a marine park. It got a major boost when MSI provided the much-needed support through its Giant Clam Enhancement Program. Today, more than 3,500 giant clams are thriving in the 14-hectare marine reserve park. In response to the call for conservation and increasing interest among the locals and international tourists on giant clams, DNSC launched the community-based Taklobo Tours Project. It started in 2013 and now it is one of the island’s tourist destinations. “Awesome and inspiring marine sanctuary that protect several species of giant clams,” commented one tourist. “With our snorkel masks on, we were led underwater by a certified guide to witness firsthand these amazing sea creatures. We also learned about their habitat, life cycle and feeding. A definite must-see.” There’s still hope for giant clams, after all. “To save our giant clams, we should protect them in the wild from poachers (particularly foreigners) and promote their sea farming,” suggests Dr. Guerrero. Share this: