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Heston Blumenthal expects sickness verdict within a fortnight – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

26 May 2009 by
Heston Blumenthal expects sickness verdict within a fortnight – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Heston Blumenthal expects sickness verdict within a fortnight
Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal expects the report into the outbreak of sickness at his Fat DuckRead the full article in the Daily Express >>

Novelli loses two restaurants in failed gastropubs Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli has lost two restaurants in failing gastropubs but has opened a new venue in Spain's Costa del Sol this month and is planning a cookery academy in Los Angeles. Sweet Medicine, the company that went into administration in April with debts of £1m, owned the White Horse in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, and the French Horn in Steppingley, Bedfordshire, each with a restaurant called A Touch of Novelli. Although Novelli sold his shares in the company in September, he remained a consultant designing the menus for the restaurants. His company, Novelli Associates, is owed £35,000. Sweet Medicine owed £599,000 to traders, creditors and HM Revenue and Customs while its directors lost £500,000 in share premiums. - 24 May, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Ramada Jarvis looks to restructure or to sell some hotels Ramada Jarvis may need to restructure its £110m debt or sell some of its 42 properties, according to John Jarvis, founder and chairman of the hotel chain. "The hospitality business has levelled out. If we were to do this, a restructuring could look at the whole debt package or we might look at selling] some of the portfolio," he explained. Jarvis floated the company in 1996, where it was valued at £300m, and led a £195m management buy-out backed by Irish venture capitalist Lioncourt seven years later. - May 24, Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

Marriott Hotels is the UK's 17th greenest company
Marriott Hotels International is the only hospitality company to appear in the Sunday Times 60 Best Green Companies list, where it clocks in at number 17. Staff gave the group an 82% score for making the environment an everyday consideration at work, 91% for providing plentiful facilities for walking or cycling to work, 82% for involvement in community initiatives, and 78% for giving employees the power to influence the group's energy use. Marriott aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 25% by 2017 and initiatives include using solar power at 40 hotels; expanding its reduce, reuse, and recycle programmes to include guest and meeting rooms; and working with its top 40 suppliers to provide greener products across the board, including recyclable carpets. Also making an appearance in the Sunday Times List are Luton-based Hain Celestial (10), which sells organic meat and dairy-free brands such as Linda McCartney and Soy Dream, and Coca-Cola Great Britain (34) - 24 May, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Oldham drinkers may have to queue for a pint
Oldham Council is to decide within weeks whether to enforce plans that would compel drinkers in all 22 town centre pubs to queue for their drinks behind barriers similar to those in banks and post offices. The proposal, aimed at tackling alcohol-related violence, will limit buyers to no more than two beers at a time and discourage them from drinking while waiting in line. Derek Heffernan, a Liberal Democrat councillor, said: "It would be the end of buying a round but we have to do something to calm things down. There have been fights and stabbings and it's not right that people going out for the evening have to worry about being attacked." The British Beer and Pub Assocation, however, branded the measures "costly, unnecessary and totally disproportionate" while the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) called them a "ridiculous" "nanny-state response". "People aren't going to want to drink if they have to queue up as if they're in the post office," said ALMR chief executive Nick Bish. - 25 May, Read the full article in the Sunday Telegraph >>

Government advisers blacklist lamb, tomatoes and alcohol to save climate
Giving up lamb roasts and kebabs, greenhouse tomatoes and cutting back on the pints will help combat climate change, say Government advisers who are developing menus that cut out high carbon foods. Farm animals such as sheep and cows emit one third of the UK's emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane, equivalent to 37lb and 35lb of carbon dioxide per 2.2lbs of meat. Meanwhile, the growing and processing of hops and malt for beer and whisky generates 1.5% of the nation's greenhouse gases. Consumers will be encouraged to switch to meats such as pork and chicken, which have a lower carbon footprint, along with potatoes and seasonal native fruits and vegetables - but not greenhouse-grown tomatoes, which produce more than 20lb of carbon dioxide 2.2lb of fruit. "Changing our lifestyles, including our diets, is going to be one of the crucial elements in cutting carbon emissions," said David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change. "We are not saying that everyone should become vegetarian or give up drinking but moving towards less carbon-intensive foods will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve health." - 24 and 25 May, Read the full articles in the Sunday Times and the SundayTelegraph >>

Rick Stein unroots family link to Nazi Herman Goering
Celebrity chef Rick Stein has confirmed a suspected family link to notorious leading Hermann Goering. The relationship came to light in unscreened footage from Stein's attempt to trace his roots for the TV series Who Do You Think You Are?, shown in February. A visit to his third cousin, Paul-Jorgen Stein, in Germany unveiled a newsletter that described a 1938 family reunion in Berlin which included a photograph of Goering - who Stein described as a "snappy dresser". Further investigation revealed a distant relationship to the Goering family by marriage. "It was a relief to see how tenuous the Goering link was," Stein concluded. - 24 May, Read the full article in the Sunday Express >>

By Angela Frewin

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