If you’re a Londoner, you’ll soon find your favourite fast-food joint may not be as satisfying as it used to be. The imminent launch of the Healthier Catering Commitment scheme is looking to the capital’s fast-food businesses to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in their food to help the unwary and frankly dim keep slim. If you live elsewhere in the country (and bear in mind the South-East has the lowest obesity rates in the UK) carry on gorging – no-one cares.
Fugu fans – rejoice. Tokyo are relaxing their ‘stringent’ rules on sales of the deadly puffer fish; where once a chef required special training and a licence to prepare and sell this Japanese delicacy, the powers-that-be have decided that, as death rates have fallen to an all-time low, you no longer require the afore-mentioned licence to process and sell. Um… isn’t that just asking for trouble?
Blah-blah Michelin. Yes we know we’ve been banging on about it, but there is truly trouble in the state of Denmark as world-renowned Noma is denied its third star – again. Michelin claims (yawn) ‘it’s all about the food’. We – and the rest of the world say – clearly not.
Austrians have got their Hosen in a twist over the political incorrectness of some of their most traditional dishes. ‘Zigeunerschnitzel’ (gipsy schnitzel), ‘Mohr-in-Hemd’ (Moor in a shirt – a chocolate and cream dessert), ‘Negerbrot’ (N- bread, a kind of dark bread) and even pasta alla Puttanesca have brought them out in a bit of a sweat and some groups are calling for a change of name. We’d love to know if you think they have a valid argument – do the names even have any meaning any more?
Julian Fellowes must be having a fit. Marco Pierre White has allegedly applied to register Downton Abbey Hotel as a trade mark. Given that he already owns the Carnarvon Arms near Highclere, where Downton’s filmed, it seems likely he’s looking to direct a little interest his way. But we wouldn’t bank on catching Maggie Smith or hot Cousin Matthew in there any time soon.
Finally the service industry is starting to recognise its own part in customer satisfaction. Front-of-House for De Vere Hotels, Matt Shiells-Jones has written the ultimate guide for receptionists in how to treat customers. Here’s hoping that sections such as Complaint Handling, Arrivals and Departures and Telephone Skills are well-thumbed.
If you have any smokin’ food news you’d like to share, then scribe away.