Antonio Carluccio: it's my name not my food – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

08 December 2008 by
Antonio Carluccio: it's my name not my food – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Antonio Carluccio: it's my name not my food Chef Antonio Carluccio says corners are being cut and standards slipping at the chain he founded and lends his name to, Carluccio's, as it continues to expand. The Italian chef tells Rosie Millard in The Sunday Times that success isn't everything in relation to the restaurant chain's rapid, successful growth of recent years. He also states that the knife incident earlier this year, which left him hospitalised, was an accident saying, "I was not suicidal". 7 December, Read the full article in the Sunday Times>>

Pubs sales at lowest level in 80 years, says report
7 December, Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>
Dioxin contamination sparks recall of Irish pork
The Irish government has ordered a Europe-wide emergency recall of all pork products sold since September after high levels of carcinogenic dioxins were found in pigs slaughtered in the Republic. Britain is the biggest importer of Irish pork, buying 68,000 tons a year. The pigs contained levels of dioxin polychorinated biphenyls (PCBs) between 80 and 200 times the safe limits. Industrial oil is believed to have contaminated an ingredient in an animal feed supplied to 47 farms. They include nine pig and 37 beef farms, but beef products have not been withdrawn. Nine farms in Northern Ireland also used the same contaminated feed. The Food Standards Agency in London is advising UK consumers not to eat any pork products from Northern Ireland or the Republic, but adds that it does not believe the level of contamination poses a significant risk to consumers. - 7 December, Read the full article in the Sunday Times and the Independent on Sunday>>

China becomes InterContinental's second most import market
China has become the second most important country for InterContinental Hotels, which has more than 100 hotels in the country and another 100 in the pipeline. The group believes it has stolen a march on its rivals in China, which still enjoys annual growth rates of 8%. "A generation in China is now making decisions about which brands they grow up with," says Peter Gowers, head of InterContinental's Asia Pacific operation. "People are very brand conscious here. We've been present in China for many years more than our rivals and in the long term we think the prospects for this region are phenomenal.". Chief executive Andy Cosslett believes the group is in good shape to ride out the recession. It has little debt, owning just 16 of its worldwide properties which are franchised or managed, and it renegotiated its $1.2b bank debt facility in April ahead of the financial meltdown. - 7 December, Read the full article in the Independent >>
Knight Frank partners net £46m in bonuses Upmarket estate agent and commercial-property consultancy Knight Frank has bucked the economic downturn and paid its senior staff £46m in bonuses this year. The group's 46 partners have landed an average payout of £780,000 on the back of a 17% rise in turnover to £33.8m in the year to last April, when underlying profits grew from £64.9m to £67m. Although commercial and residential sales have since fallen off, senior partner and chairman Nick Thomlinson remained "cautiously optimistic" about the current year. The group has set up a corporate recovery arm to take advantage of worsening market conditions, while Thomlinson believes the falling pound and tumbling asset prices would soon make trophy commercial buildings attractive to overseas buyers. - 7 December, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>
Credit crunch boosts sales of haggis and offal
Consumer demand for cheaper cuts of meat and offal - including haggis- has soared as the credit crunch bites deeper. Marks & Spencer has reported a 35% rise in sales of haggis, which costs around £1.50 per serving, while other supermarkets have seen growth of more than 10%. However, in 2006 the Scottish Parliament lumped haggis in with burgers and chips on a list of restricted foods for under-fives due to their high fat and salt content. Endorsement from celebrity chefs will help offal sales reach £62m this year, nearly 70% up on 2003, according to estimates from market Mintel. "We do serve offal in my restaurants, but while I like haggis, it's not something I've served, as some of my customers might not like it," commented celebrity chef Tom Aikens. - 7 December, Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

By Angela Frewin

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