That's no helicopter, it's a banqueting-sized blender
Good to see von Essen bounce back after rumblings last year about the painfully long time it took to pay its suppliers. You may remember that Caterer spoke to a few companies that had stopped trading with the group - one threatening to take his fish van down to its hotel in Bath and "make a noise in front of the tourists".
All is apparently now well, though - von Essen (it insists on the classy small v) has just laid out £12m on four new helicopters for well-heeled guests. Ouch.
We presume the choppers are a sound business proposition and not a vanity project by chairman Lord Andrew Davis. After such a huge investment, there surely can't be any suppliers still awaiting payment, can there? Feel free to drop us a line at the e-mail address below.
Come for a holiday, you'll enjoy it - or else…
Any restaurant owners fancy a site in an exciting new European hospitality venture? The 8,000sq m project is in a 1930s building in the prime area of a busy capital city.
Although the blurb assures us that it will become a "destination attraction", the city in question is actually Tblisi in Georgia. And the traditional 1930s building was once, er, the Stalin Holiday Centre.
The Soviet dictator ruled with an iron fist and based his regime on a cult of personality. Hmm, a few possible chefs spring to mind…
It's a tough job - and he's keeping it for himself
Charlton House top chef David Cavalier has been busy this summer. In the contract caterer's latest newsletter, he regales us with a 1,700-word travelogue from the West Country listing the copious amounts of food and drink he guzzled.
He certainly wasn't shy with the portions. "I opted for the six-course luncheon menu [at Rick Stein's Seafood restaurant] to make a direct comparison with Fifteen," he tells us. Apparently the Pavlova was "very pleasing".
The insightful conclusion? "Although the food at the Seafood Restaurant was probably better than Fifteen, I felt the whole meal experience at Fifteen was better," he opines. Is this supposed to inspire enthusiasm or jealousy in the ranks?