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Wareing to take over Petrus tenancy in split with Ramsay – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

27 May 2008 by

Wareing to take over Pétrus tenancy in split with RamsayMarcus Wareing has split from his mentor Gordon Ramsay, with whom he has worked since 1993, and taken over the contract for the two-Michelin-star Pétrus restaurant at London's Berkeley hotel. Rumours of a rift between the two first emerged more than a year ago. A source close to the deal said Ramsay had been set to dismiss Wareing, who decided to make his own bid for the new lease on the restaurant when he realised this. Maybourne Hotel GroupRead the full article in the Daily Mail >>

Women should withhold sex to make men cook, says Oliver
Jamie Oliver says women should punish husbands and boyfriends who refuse to cook by denying them sex until they get active in the kitchen. "Men are driven by sex," explained the celebrity chef, who has been appalled to find how few men in the Yorkshire town of Rotherham - where he is making a Channel 4 series - can cook. He reckons he can halve the weekly food budgets of the families he is working with to £60 by teaching them to cook real food. Oliver believes basic cooking skills should be part of the school syllabus and has criticised the government for reneging on a £500m plan to improve school dinners by failing to ring-fence the funds. He also fears that 60% of packed lunches are worse than school meals, with children as young as five living off reheated McDonald's meals and Red Bull cans. Oliver, who has supported free-range chickens, hinted he would champion pigs in his next animal welfare campaign. - 25 May, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Hilton president plans to accelerate international growthIan Carter, the newly promoted president of global operations for Hilton Hotels Corporation, plans to accelerate the group's expansion under owner Blackstone, which paid $26b (£13m) for the company. "This is the biggest single investment Blackstone has made," said Carter. "This is an important vehicle for growth. We've got 3,000 hotels now and we're growing at 250-plus a year, but we'll accelerate that." He believes the group will also achieve Ebitda growth of at least 10% a year. Expansion will come from management contracts and franchises rather than acquisitions. Carter has focused on rejuvenating the core Hilton brand, as typified by the edgier style of hotels at Tower Bridge in London and Deansgate in Manchester, and pepped up the brand through a marketing tie-up with the McLaren Formula One motor racing team. He is also looking at suitable properties from other Blackstone hotel investments such as LXR and Alliance Hospitality to convert to the Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria and Conrad brands. - 24 May, Read the full article in The Times >>

"Greedy" top restaurants charging more than five times the trade price on wines
A Daily Telegraph investigation has accused leading restaurants of greed after finding they were charging up to five times what they had paid for low- and mid-range wines. The biggest mark-up was found at Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-star Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, which was selling a 2005 Bourgogne Aligote for £58 when its supplier, Berkmann Wine Cellars was quoting a price of just £12.12 a bottle. Raymond Blanc's two-Michelin star Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons, in Great Milton, Oxon, was selling a 2006 bottle of Corbière La Tour ChÁ¢teau Grand Moulin for £26, against a trade price of £5.37. Other restaurants found to be enjoying huge mark-ups included Jamie Oliver's Fifteen in Cornwall, Marco Pierre White's Yew Tree, the River Café in Fulham, Rick Stein's Seafood restaurant in Padstow, and Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in Claridge's. Only Antony Worrall Thompson's Lamb restaurant near Henley-on-Thames escaped criticism. It was selling bottles of 2006 Gracia sauvignon blanc for £13, just £5.47 more than the trade price of £5.25. The restaurants said the large profit margins were necessary to cover other costs such as staff, wine storage and, according to a spokesman from Le Manoir, the "dining experience". 24 May, Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph >>

Police question two more men over Exeter restaurant bombing Police are still questioning two men seized outside a café in Plymouth on Friday lunchtime in connection with the partial bomb explosion in the Giraffe restaurant in Exeter's Princesshay centre on Thursday. One was arrested when 10 armed officers descended on the café while the other was detained to help with inquiries. Nicky Reilly, the 22-year-old convert to Islam suspected of transporting the bomb to the restaurant by bus, has had an operation believed to involve skin grafts after suffering eye and facial injuries. The volatile device, which would have released a giant fireball if it had ignited properly, contained sodium hydroxide, paraffin and nails and was designed to detonate when shaken. Two other devices were found nearby. Police believe extremists took advantage of Reilly's low IQ and history of mental illness to radicalise him. - 25 May, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >>

By Angela Frewin

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