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Fearnley-Whittingstall loses Tesco chicken vote – for more hospitality stories, see What the weekend papers say

30 June 2008

Dorchester Group doubles profits in 2007Read the full article in the Sunday Telegraph >>

Fearnley-Whittingstall loses Tesco chicken vote
Celebrity TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall lost the vote to make Tesco improve its animal welfare policy but succeeded in getting chickens to dominate the agenda at the supermarket's annual meeting in Birmingham. Fearnley-Whittingstall criticised Tesco for sourcing 75% of its chickens from the intensive poultry product industry. Nearly 10% of shareholders voted for his resolution, although he had been aiming at 20%. "We got a very significant showing with 9.88% and with abstentions it is bound to be over 10% - and Tesco cannot ignore that," commented Fearnley-Whittingstall. He added that his campaign had achieved a great deal and that Tesco had made some "significant changes" such as upgrading some elements of its production to more ethical practices. - 28 June, Read the full article in the Independent >>

Trump children behind luxury Manhattan hotel/condo
Three of Donald Trump's children by his former wife Ivana ((Donald Junior, Eric, and Ivanka)) are behind Trump SoHo, a new 45-storey luxury hotel being built in downtown Manhattan. The luxury hotel/condo project will sell hotel rooms to visiting businessmen and wealthy foreigners but will only allow them to use the rooms for 120 days in a year. The hotel will rent out the rooms the rest of the time to generate income for investors. Facilities will include bedrooms fitted out by Fendi, his and her Turkish baths, a library, and a top-floor bar 480 feet above the city. So far, 60% of the units have been sold. Rooms cost $3,000 a square foot, with the cheapest studio priced around $1.2m. - 29 June, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Northern councils invest in five-hole shaker to cut salty takeaways
Six Northern councils are giving away salt shakers with just five holes instead of the traditional 17 in a bid to slash the amount that fish and chip shop customers sprinkle on their food. Gateshead Council spent 15 days researching the issue of over-salty takeaways, where it revealed that some customers were pouring more than half their daily allowance of salt over their chips. It found a five-hole shaker reduced salt amounts by 60% yet still gave a "visually acceptable sprinkling". The council commissioned Drywite, a West Midlands catering equipment company, to make the shakers and bought 1,000 for £2,000, which it handed out free to local fast-food outlets. - 28 June, Read the full article in the Daily Mail >>

Chinese restaurateurs keep £9m of customer's £10m will
The owners of a Chinese restaurant have won the right to keep £9m left to them in the will of a wealthy customer after five nephews and nieces claimed that she was demented when she made the will. Golda Bechal, who died in 2004 aged 89, left £10m to Kim Sing Man and his wife Bee Lian after forging a 20-year friendship with the Mans, who run Cantonese restaurant Lian in Witham, Essex. Although a judge ruled in favour of the Mans keeping all the money in December and ordered the nieces and nephews to pay £450,000 in costs, the relatives (whom Bechal described as 'hooligans') forced a hearing this month to contest the judgement. The hearing was stopped on its second day by mutual consent and a secret deal struck in which the Mans are believed to have retained 90% of the bequest. - 28 June, Read the full article in the Daily Mail >>

Ducasse defection to Monaco sparks tax row
Leading Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse, has become the latest French celebrity and captain of industry to go into exile to avoid paying the country's punitive wealth tax. Ducasse, whose 21 restaurants in eight countries have won him a record-breaking 14 Michelin stars, has become a Monégasque, or citizen of Monaco - where he earned his first three-Michelin-star rating for the Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. His decision has triggered a noisy political row over the tax of 0.5% to 1.8% levied each year on assets above £500,000. French exiles in Monaco can only avoid paying the tax if they become citizens but only a few dozen are admitted each year by Monaco's Prince Albert. Ducasse denied giving up his French nationality purely for tax reasons, citing the support and Mediterranean inspiration he found in Monaco as key factors. - 29 June, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

British chefs slam Martha Stewart ban from UK
Leading British chefs have slammed the decision to refuse American domestic guru Martha Stewart entry to the UK as "an enormous joke" and "a blow to British business". Stewart, who served five months in a US jail in 2004 for lying to investigators about a share sale, was forced to cancel a series of business meetings and promotional events in the UK. "The idea that this woman is a threat to national security is risible. She is America's foremost female chef - their answer to Delia Smith - and our decision to turn one of the most powerful women in America away on grounds of national security is simply absurd," said Antony Worrall Thompson. - 28 June, Read the full article in the Independent >>

Young people make rosé French's top-selling wine
Growing popularity among young people has seen sales of rosé overtake white wine for the first time in France, with a similar boom taking off in Britain and the USA. At least one in five bottles of wine sold in France is now a rosé, compared to one in 10 a decade ago, while pink wine sales are estimated to exceed half of all bottles sold in France during the summer. Rosé sales topped 22% in France last year at the expense of white wine, which dropped to 18%. - 28 June, Read the full article in the Independent >>

By Angela Frewin

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