Usher does it again
In true Gary Usher style, the restaurateur casually dropped the news that an Elite Bistros pub is in the offing on Twitter. The ‘rebel chef' posted a menu for the venue – the location and name of which remain elusive – prompting celebrations from his legions of fans. Despite hating to jump on a bandwagon, the presence of beer-battered salt pickles with Cheddar mayo has this rat already plotting a course up north.
Mum's the word
For most operators the arrival of a critic is enough to see you break out in a sweat, contemplating Jay Rayner judging the wobble of your custard tart or Marina O'Loughlin decimating your carefully constructed marketing strategy. But for Ryan Giggs, who formed GG Hospitality – the company behind the new Stock Exchange hotel in Manchester with fellow Manchester United alumni Gary Neville – it is not the titans of the national newspapers that give him goosebumps but someone a little closer to home.
While showing The Caterer's Janet Harmer around the hotel, he revealed his mum was set to visit the following day, adding, "she's not afraid to say what she thinks..."
Clare Smyth told this year's The Caterer Summit about the constant refinement and evolution that goes into building one of the UK's finest restaurants and one that attracts a diverse line-up of guests – from rappers to 21-year-olds and some much-loved octogenarian regulars. She also let slip of a team outing to the ballet in order to improve their posture and precision during service. Core by Clare Smith is already a hot ticket, but innovation like this will only serve to further excite guests who will expect a plié as their ‘potato and roe' is presented.
That's the spirit
This week saw a press release land in my inbox announcing the arrival of the world's first AI gin. I assumed, naturally, that this was a gin that would be able to learn the exact point the drinker would go from showing off a creative, off-the-cuff rhumba to sobbing in a stairwell. But no, the makers of Monker's Garkel have used AI to analyse thousands of botanicals to create the recipe for their fragranced concoction. The AI has been named Ginette.
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