Category Archives: News
Why bother attending other shows when the Source Show 2019 offered “everything a food or hospitality business could want” all in one place! The show was held at the Westpoint venue in Exeter from 6 to 7 February. As the South West’s largest show of its kind, it has expanded by 35% over the past two years.
Source Show 2019 offered a range of products and services, from produce to furniture and innovative equipment as well as this year’s kitchen design trends and the most advanced business services. Visitors and exhibitors flocked to the show, not only from the South West, but from other parts of the UK and internationally.
The Source Show 2019 gave visitors the opportunity to discover quality local products with fascinating provenance stories and to meet passionate producers and knowledgeable suppliers face-to-face. This year was no disappointment with a spread of comparative tastings, networking opportunities and inspirational experiences; and a fair few new faces on the exhibition market.
The Newcomers’ area showcased new companies from the South West that have never exhibited at a trade show before. Exmoor Distillery is a small family run distillery located in the Somerset countryside. Here all products are distilled, bottled, labelled and distributed including the premium quality Northmoor Gin first launched in July 2018.
Just Desserts is an independent rural business delivering artisan cakes and slices to cafes, delicatessens, farm shops and outdoor caterers throughout Somerset and Devon. It uses organic flours, free range eggs and locally sourced ingredients.
The Wholesome Baker produces luxury, light and tasty pastries from a Master Baker with 35 years experience. There is the option of ready baked or ready to bake with all products freshly frozen to encapsulate the flavours. New for 2019 are gluten, sugar free and vegan product options.
Recipes for success were served up in the Demo Kitchen with advice, inspiration and culinary innovation on display. Students mingled with experts to create some mouth-watering menus. These included Cornish hake, celeriac and apple with a Somerset cider sauce from Sophie Kennard, South West Student/Apprentice Chef of the Year at Devon & Exeter College and The Swan, Bampton.
Overall South West Chef of the Year and South West Professional Chef of the Year, Tim Kendall countered this with a dish of duck with blackberry, celeriac and endive and John Dory, Jerusalem artichoke, jasmine and sorrel. There were also multiple talks, demonstrations and tastings of the nation’s favourite tipple, gin, as well as a pasty crimping competition and a butchery masterclass.
Next year’s show is already scheduled for 6-7 Feb 2020 and if this year is anything to go by, it will be a roaring success and bigger and better than ever before. For details on exhibiting and visiting, visit the Source Show website.
Here are some interesting facts that you may not know about the Great British pub industry. Not only are there 49,500 pubs in the UK but beer and pubs contribute £22bn to the UK’s GDP. They generate £13bn in tax revenue with the sector supporting around 900,000 jobs. At any given time, 0.7% of the world is drunk which makes 50 million people drunk right now!
Last week, Olympia played host to PUB19, the only dedicated show for the UK pub industry. With 200 exhibitors and a host of seminars, PUB19 offered an important opportunity to keep up-to-date with the latest trends, share ideas, network and gain inspiration. First launched in 2015 to celebrate the UK pub industry’s innovations, products, trends, services and people; PUB brings together key trade associations, decision makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, pub owners and pub companies.
Pub19 Talks and Workshops
This year was a huge success, with great attention paid to the talks and workshops. These ranged from improving the pub experience, using social media and offering the latest in pub food trends. One talk that proved popular was entitled Profit is in the Kitchen held in the PUB Trends Bar, in partnership with Fever-Tree. It focused on making sure the kitchen is as profitable and efficient as possible to make food enticing, appetising and current.
Another insightful talk came from Tim Martin, veteran pub landlord and founder and chairman of Britain’s largest pub chain, J D Wetherspoon. Growth in the Face of Adversity shared his views on the recipe for success, deserting social media and the impact of Brexit. With uncertainty ahead, he motioned the changes that must be met whatever the outcome of the move.
The Taste Table was particularly popular. Tastings emerged as the most popular consumer experience for pub-goers according to the 2019 PUB Trends Survey. The hands-on sessions were aimed at those looking for advice, training and inspiration around great food and drink.
The sessions were targeted at keeping visitors up-to-date with the latest trends. They included tastings of alcohol free spirits, or distilled botanicals. This is one of the fastest growing segment of the entire drinks industry; with the value of alcohol free spirits sold in the UK growing from £17.5 million to £25.9 million in the year to June 2018. However, there was probably more attendance at the gin tasting event!
More Useful Facts
To end, here are a few more facts to digest: around 13 million tourists visit pubs every year. 82% of the beer sold in the UK is made in the UK. 20 million pints of beer are enjoyed every day brewed from the 1113 breweries operating in Britain. And my particular favourite: there is a cloud of alcohol in outer space which is enough to make four trillion-trillion drinks. Let it rain.
PUB20 is already in place for next February. So be sure you book the days to visit or exhibit well in advance.
Gloucestershire lies close to the Welsh border with the River Severn flowing through it and the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest. Food production from this county has always been prolific, from lamb and pork to elvers and eels to cheese and pickles. Today, the food industry in the county is thriving and varied.
The award-winning Severn & Wye Smokery is one of the finest fish markets in the country. It sells a whole host of seasonal British and international fish as well as shellfish and the smokery’s own smoked haddock and kippers. After a three-year renovation project, Severn & Wye Smokery opened The Barn in October 2017. The former derelict outbuildings have been transformed into a foodie destination. This now encompasses a restaurant, bar, fish market, deli, gift shop and café.
Initially starting with smoked wild salmon and smoked eel from the rivers Severn and Wye, the business has grown to produce a full range of smoked fish products. So popular is the product range that the company sends weekly shipments to Italy, Germany, Greece, Dubai, Bahrain and France. The production techniques and smoking processes are still very traditional with grading, filleting, curing and cutting still mostly done by hand.
If you are looking for something a bit more exotic, TruffleHunter is the UK’s leading supplier of fresh truffles and truffle products. Located in the Cotswolds, the company produces truffle oils, minced truffles, truffle salt, truffle honey, truffle mustard and truffle mayonnaise. It sources truffles from the finest truffle regions across Europe, as well as from Somerset and Wiltshire.
Trufflehunter began in the UK in 2010 and today supplies restaurants throughout the UK and much further afield. The main markets are the UK, Germany, USA, Japan, Singapore and India. All truffle products are produced in small handmade batches in the Cotswold factory.
Mustard Through the Ages
An artisan product that was featured in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, is Tewkesbury mustard. The Tewkesbury Mustard Company is now the only true producer continuing a tradition that dates back to the 16th century. The product range is hand-made in a small kitchen in Tewkesbury. Legend has it that Tewkesbury Mustard Balls covered in gold leaf were presented to Henry VIII when he visited Tewkesbury in 1535.
Renowned for their excellence since medieval times, these balls were sent all over the country. The ingredients are simply local grown mustard seed, mixed with an infusion of horseradish. This is steeped in water, milk, cider or cider vinegar until it was workable. Now, Tewkesbury mustard is still as popular as ever.
Specialising in porridge and couscous, Wolfys is the brainchild of Kitchen Garden Foods, traditional preserve makers. It was launched in the summer of 2013 after a challenge to find a hot, filling and tasty snack for a festival caterer. Each pot of Wolfys has another little pot hidden under the lid. This is jam, marmalade or honey in the porridge and chutney or relish in the couscous. Everything is made by hand in Stroud. Everything is vegetarian and the couscous is vegan.
Gloucestershire food producers prove that in our region there is a wealth of local suppliers of all types of food. And those producers also supply internationally such is their quality.
The headlines are currently dominated by Brexit, the snowy weather, the great American stand-off and the Oscars. But what is making the headlines in the world of food and drink?
There is a greater call of allergen labelling following the death of a schoolgirl from an unlabelled baguette. Proposals unveiled by environment secretary Michael Gove would see all prepackaged food labelled to help the UK’s two million food allergy sufferers decide whether they can safely eat it.
There are celebrations down in Devon as a popular fish and chip shop has been crowned as the best chippy in the UK. Krispies Fish & Chips in Exmouth has “battered its way to the top” winning the coveted award as UK’s best fish and chip shop at the National Fish and Chip Awards 2019, organised by Seafish. Krispie’s is owned and operated by husband and wife team Kelly and Tim Barnes, offering “true excellence in the fish and chip industry” with factors such as “sustainability, menu innovation, catering for special dietary requirements, customer service and marketing activity” all part of the judging process.
It’s also been getting spicy down in Devon with the humble ketchup being the focus of attention. The South Devon Chilli Farm has been listening to market research and is giving fans their signature chilli twist to the UK’s favourite condiment. Three new delicious chilli ketchups – cool jalapeno, smoky chipotle and hot habanero –have been added to the range as an alternative to the tomato option. Presented in a smart glass bottle, the range is suitable for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets and contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Over in Taunton, the newly-introduced ‘bleeding’ vegan burger has been a new year triumph for TGI Friday. The completely meat-free burger, which was one of the most talked about burgers in the USA last year, is high in protein and has zero cholesterol. As well as beetroot, which gives it the iconic bleed, the flame-grilled burger is made from coconut oil, mushrooms, herbs, plant proteins, and spices.
Terry McDowell, TGI Fridays’ head chef, said: “Friday’s flame-grilled, hand-crafted burgers are one of the most popular dishes on our menu and now everyone can enjoy their legendary taste, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, trying to cut down on meat, or anything in between!”
Over in Wales, the Welsh government has just published a consultation considering a range of proposals to encourage people to change their eating habits and be more active. As well as banning energy drinks to under-16s, other measures in the ‘Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales’ include “restrictions on the positioning of products in stores, restrictions on the amount of marketing of certain products in stores, restrictions on promotions and discounting of certain products in stores, mandatory calorie labelling for food purchased and eaten outside of the home.” If you want to be heard then respond to the consultation.
And staying in Wales, following the huge success of the inaugural event in in 2017, BlasCymru / TasteWales returns March 20 and 21 2019. The show will bring together buyers, producers and food industry professionals for this signature international food and drink trade event and conference, held once again at the world-class Celtic Manor Resort.
I’m sorry but this week we simply have to talk about Brexit planning.
Over the last two years the only thing that most people have been certain on with Brexit is that the day of departure is 29th March 2018. Now the politicians may this week, or next, attempt to change this but with 67 days to go, it makes sense to plan.
Good business planners look at any situation and attempt to work out the absolute worst scenario, the best scenario and the others in between. For UK catering businesses these vary widely, but most can find a sensible middle ground for their own business with a little thought now.
Shutting Up Shop
Option number 1 is that the situation on 29th March and the weeks that follow that the best option is to shut down for a month. This is an approach that a number of car manufacturers are taking such as BMW and its mini production in Oxford.
If you’re considering this option you conserve all your resources and then make an orderly grand re-opening in May. The positives may also include allowing you to do that refresh of paint that you’ve been putting off. The negative that there may be a trust or reputational hit to your business in your local area or those to whom you supply.
Whatever happens after over 40 years of increasingly integrated trade and an international focus on just in time delivery, delivery times will spin quickly out. If the Manston lorry trial in January proved anything it is we are still underprepared for the impact on freight. However the Brexit food packs of freeze dried ingredients is an overreaction the other way.
Big food manufacturers have been quietly stockpiling key ingredients for the last few months. This is why UK warehouse space is now almost at capacity. Time for regular catering businesses to consider:
- How many of your ingredients are locally grown and sourced. Over the last few years AC Services has showcased various regional providers to provide choice.
- The key word in the point above is grown. We often assume that we can just ask our supplier for x not thinking that x must come from abroad. With the extremes of weather, we have increasingly seen shortages of basic products like lettuces or potatoes. Time to ask yourself if I run out of vanilla pods what will I do?
- When did you last have your machinery serviced? Catering equipment is an international business so the part that is needed may have to be shipped from elsewhere in Europe. It’s a good idea to do this in February so you’re ready.
Brexit provides an opportunity for an event. Not least because it falls the same weekend as Mothering Sunday and the beginning of British Summer Time. We’ll leave the menu choices to your personal preferences. But whatever you do start thinking and planning now for March 29th to minimise the adverse hidden effects Brexit could have on your business this spring.
Rational UK enjoyed a steady year in 2018 despite the ramifications, as yet unknown, of Brexit and global economic uncertainty.
The amalgamation of the Rational combi-steamers and Frima VarioCookingCenter® units under the umbrella Rational brand has successfully operated for almost a year. It has done what it promised by providing a complete solution for kitchen requirements from a single, reliable and reputable source. Everyone involved in the merger has applauded its successful and seamless implementation.
In the meantime, Rational UK is continuing its physical presence across the country with many shows and exhibitions already booked for 2019.
Locations include The Professional Kitchen Show at the NEC Birmingham in January; the Source Show in Exeter in February; and Expowest in Cornwall in May. Rational UK will also be exhibiting at the Restaurant Show and the Takeaway Expo in London later in the year. It’s always good to stop by the stand and find out what’s new for Rational UK.
As with industry as a whole, Rational UK’s future plans will be influenced by the outcome of Brexit. As an authorised Spares Partner at AC Services, we are keeping a wary eye on what might be impacted when the March deadline arrives. Currently some parts are guaranteed to be shipped from Germany within 24 hours. But whether this will change post-Brexit remains to be seen. And if it does what that will stretch to in the short term is anybody’s guess. We are committed to trying to maintain our current high spares supply levels.
To avoid post-March delay and to help us gauge the increased stock levels needed, we recommend that services are booked now. We can then create suitable buffer stocks of high-demand items to continue to offer our customary seamless service to all our customers. In addition, we’ll know what has been replaced recently in our customers’ units and what might need replacing later in the year. We can include this in our stock calculations to minimise disruption.
AC Services Team Update
On a more personal level, we are happy to report an excellent 2018. Our personnel are key to our continuing growth. Denise returned last year after ten years to the role as Service Administrator. Carolyn has been in her role as Accounts Administrator for a year. Kelly returned from Maternity Leave last year.
At our Christmas Party held at the Egypt Mill, Nailsworth we celebrated Senior Engineer Jon working for AC Services for 20 years. Helen said “20 years’ service is a remarkable achievement in most industries. But particularly amongst catering business that have seen significant change over that time. I’m glad we have Jon’s professionalism, experience and dedication to rely on”
What can we look forward to in 2019? Not only is it an odd year which means neither Olympics or FIFA World Cup, there are major changes ahead politically, for good or for bad, who knows? But what is certain is that there is a full card of sporting events to keep everyone on their toes for the next twelve months including other World Cups. This year brings us to end of the first two decades of what some of us still refer to as the new century.
There are a number of key dates that should go in your diary: from 30 May, the World Cup Cricket will take place in England. For those who love the sound of leather on willow, it continues for two whole months followed by the Ashes between Australia and England.
Liverpool hosts the Netball World Cup in July and the women’s FA Cup final is in May. Towards the end of the year, the Rugby Union World Cup will be held in Japan and November see the Para-athletics World Championships in Dubai. Then it’s Christmas.
Month-by-month Sports Calendar
13-20: Snooker – Masters , London
13: Netball – Quad Series, Echo Arena Liverpool
14-27: Tennis – Australian Open, Melbourne
17: Basketball – NBA London Game
21-1 Feb: Para-alpine skiing , Slovenia and Italy
23-27: Cricket – West Indies v England, First Test, Barbados
25: Hockey – FIH Pro League, Spain
27: Basketball Cup finals , Birmingham
31 Jan-4 Feb: Cricket – West Indies v England , Second Test, Antigua
1: Rugby union, Six Nations and Women’s Six Nations
3: American football, Super Bowl 53, Atlanta, Georgia
5-17: Skiing World Championships, Sweden
16: Athletics – Indoor Grand Prix, Birmingham
23: Football, Women’s League Cup final
23 Squash World Championships, Chicago
25 Winter sports World Championships, Canada
3-10: Wheelchair curling, World Championship, Stirling
6-10: Badminton – All England Open Birmingham
8-10: Short track speed skating World Championships, Bulgaria
12-15: Horse racing, Cheltenham Festival
14-17: Para-cycling World Championships, Netherlands
16: Rugby union, Six Nations final weekend
16-24: Curling Women’s World Championship, Denmark
17: Formula 1, Season starts
19: Basketball, BBL Trophy final, Glasgow
22: Football Euro 2020 qualifying, England v Czech Republic, Wembley
25: Football Euro 2020 qualifying, Montenegro v England
30: Athletics World Cross-Country, Denmark
5-8: Cricket opening round, County Championship matches
6: Horse racing Grand National, Aintree
6-7: Football – FA Cup semi-finals, Wembley Stadium
7: Rowing – Boat Races, London
11-14: Golf – The Masters, Augusta
13: Boxing – Anthony Joshua, Wembley Stadium
14: Formula 1 – Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
16-21: Swimming – British Championships, Glasgow
20 Apr-6 May: Snooker – World Championship , Sheffield
21-28: Table tennis – World Championships, Hungary
28: Athletics, London Marathon
1: Football – Champions League semi-finals
2: Football – Europa League semi-finals
2-5: Cycling, Tour de Yorkshire
4: Football – Women’s FA Cup final, Wembley Stadium
15-19: Taekwondo – World Championships, Manchester
17-19: Diving – London World Series
18: Football – FA Cup final, Wembley Stadium
18: Football Women’s Champions League final, Budapest
25 May-7 June: Motorsport Isle of Man TT
26 May-9 June: Tennis – French Open, Paris
29: Football – Europa League final, Azerbaijan
30 May-15 July Cricket World Cup in England
30 May-2 June: Golf – US Women’s Open, South Carolina
1: Football – Champions League final, Spain
1: Rugby union – Premiership final, Twickenham
1-5: Equestrian Badminton Horse Trials
7 Jun-7 July: Football Women’s World Cup France
10-15: Cycling – Women’s Tour of Britain
14-16: Canoe slalom – World Cup series, London
15 June-13 July: Football – Africa Cup of Nations
15-16: Motorsport – Le Mans 24 Hours, France
17-23: Tennis – Queen’s Club Championships, London
20-23: Golf – Women’s PGA Championship, Hazeltine
23-30: Tennis Eastbourne International
1-14: Tennis Wimbledon
6-28: Cycling , Tour de France
7: Football – Women’s World Cup final, France
12-14: Formula 1 – British Grand Prix, Silverstone
14: Cricket – World Cup final, Lord’s
18-21: Golf – The Open, Royal Portrush
21: Netball – World Cup final
1-4: Golf – Women’s British Open, Woburn
1-5: Cricket – England v Australia Ashes Test Edgbaston
10: Football Premier League season starts
14: Football – Uefa Super Cup, Istanbul
25 Aug-1 Sept: Rowing – World Championships, Austria
25 Aug-1 Sept: Judo – World Championships Tokyo
26 Aug-9 Sept: Tennis – US Open New York
1: Cricket – Super League Finals Day Hove
7-15: Surfing – World Games Japan
8-15: Cycling – Tour of Britain
10: Football – Euro 2020 England v Kosovo, Wembley
13-15: Golf – Solheim Cup, Gleneagles
20 Sept-2 Nov: Rugby union – World Cup, Japan
21: Cricket – T20 Blast Finals Day, Edgbaston
4-13: Gymnastics – Artistic World Championships Stuttgart
6: Horse racing – Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Paris
2: Rugby union – World Cup final, Yokohama
7-15: Para-athletics – World Championships, Dubai
12-15: Golf – Presidents Cup, Melbourne
Month-by-month Non-Sports Key Dates
It looks like the weekend of 30th-31st March is destined to be an all-change weekend with tensions rising due to the clash of the clocks going forward and the risk of being late for Mother’s day lunch!
- 25th January, Burns Night
- 14th February, Valentines Day
- 1st March, St Davids Day
- 5th March, Pancake Day
- 17th March, St Patricks Day
- 29th March, Brexit Day
- 31st March, Mothers’ Day and BST begins
- 21st April, Easter Sunday
- 6th May, First day of Ramadam
- 4th June, Eid el fitr
- 16th June, Fathers’ Day
- 26th August, Late Summer Bank Holiday
- 27th October, British Summer Time ends
- 1st November, Start preparations for Christmas 2019
At AC Services Southern we look forward to helping you successfully cater for these events with well-serviced Rational appliances.
Sometimes things go wrong. The best laid plans and all that can be thrown into total disarray for the most unforeseen reasons and, having carried out a recent poll amongst close friends, maybe I can make you understand the importance of pre-empting Christmas disasters.
Most of us can cook: although we may not in the league of genius then again, we all have at least one recipe which we claim as our signature dish. Most of our knowledge has been gained either by practice, by copying or by experience but sometimes however careful you may be, things go wrong.
Take Doris for example. Her first attempt at Christmas dinner could so nearly have ended in disaster. She planned everything to the letter, from ingredients to cooking times to presentation. On Christmas Eve, it horrifically dawned on her that her oven was too small for the Jurassic-proportioned bird she had so naively ordered from Mr Cleaver, the local butcher. Mr Cleaver had assured her that a 25lb turkey would be perfect for the four of them.
Luckily, a relative offered to cook the bird and bring it round on the day which would have worked perfectly had Edna not indulged in a few breakfast eggnogs causing her to trip and drop the bird on the road outside. With nothing else to do, they quickly scraped it up, transported it unseen to the kitchen and spent half an hour picking out the most obvious stones and debris. Surprisingly given the circumstances, Doris’s first Christmas dinner was deemed a triumph. No-one was any the wiser until many many years later.
Light Bulb Moment
Then there was the occasion when Chardonnay ran out of shallots while preparing her famous signature gravy at her sister Ava-Louise’s house. She asked sister if she had any more, eliciting a puzzled response.
“No, sorry, I forgot to buy shallots.”
“But I’ve just peeled loads of them!”
“Eh? Where did you find them?”
“In a bag on the floor, next to the fridge.”
“WHAT?? Those are my spring flowering bulbs I bought from the garden centre last week!”
“Alexa, are daffodil bulbs poisonous?!”
They’re not by the way.
Praise to the Caterers
I’ve muddled through over the years but this year, I am praising the caterers for the following reason. Having been lumbered with hosting Christmas dinner this year, I decided to ask the guests, all family, for their preferred choices.
My eagerness to please soon turned to horror as it dawned upon me that I was in no way, shape or form cut out for mass catering. Within our close-knit family, one is fully-fledged vegan, two vegetarian, one caffeine intolerant, two lactose intolerant and one is borderline type 2 diabetic. One suffers from coeliac disease, one from Crohns, another can’t eat gluten and two won’t eat ANY vegetables WHATSOEVER. Put any form of nuts within smelling distance of the mother-in-law and one of us will need to be sober enough to apply an epi-pen.
A frantic group chat to sympathetic friends solved the problem. Last minute booking for twelve at the local hotel it is. I am simply not prepared to take the risk. Let the experts take the strain.
So if you are eating out this season, make sure you appreciate what it takes to cater for a diverse clientele in terms of training and learning and applying the knowledge to produce mighty fine food for all. And if you are a caterer, just make sure the Rational oven is Christmas ready!
Have a wonderful Christmas from the team at AC Services (Southern).
NB All names have been changed to ensure a happy family Christmas!
So the big day is not far away, for which the country stocks up on totally unnecessary items for the festive period just in case they are needed. It’s amazing what you find on your shelves in February.
But rejoice, it’s at least another year before we hear those dreaded words again – Black Friday – and to put it in a political context, it’s only two more Brexit ministers till Christmas.
Shops have initiated Operation Santa Claus Frenzy and kids are busy writing lists using the Argos catalogue as a template.
If you followed my advice, you will have ordered the necessary cleaning accessories and booked to have your oven checked over before the holidays begin. If you haven’t, then get on to it today. Put it on that list! For those who live by the chaos theory, although the offices are closed on the key dates, we will still have engineers on call on the days in between because we know that sometimes bad things happen at the worst possible time. But just in case you are in any doubt, see below for clarification of our Christmas working hours.
AC Services Christmas Opening Times 2018
Here are AC Services Christmas opening times for 2018:
- Thursday 20th December – normal opening hours – 8.15 a.m. to 5.15 p.m
- Friday 21st December – normal opening hours – 8.15 a.m. to 5.15 p.m
- Saturday 22nd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Sunday 23rd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve – office open – 8.15am to 3 p.m
- Tuesday 25th December – Christmas Day, CLOSED
- Wednesday 26th December – Boxing Day, CLOSED
- Thursday 27th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
- Friday 28th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
- Saturday 29th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Sunday 30th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Monday 31st December – office open – 8.30am to 3 p.m
- Tuesday 1st January – CLOSED
It’s back to normal working hours on Wednesday 2nd January.
If you have an emergency with your appliance telephone 01454 322222 and press the appropriate option so we can help you as quickly as we can. If you have a non-urgent issue, leave a message for when the office is next open.
Importantly, don’t forget to order stock parts and cleaning products. The VERY LAST DATE for guaranteed Christmas delivery for an order to be placed is Wednesday 19th December at 5 p.m. We recommend that you CHECK your stock now, to make sure that you have everything you need.
The BBC Good Food Shows have kicked off the season. Last week, it was the turn of the NEC to host one of the most eagerly-awaited food shows of the year.
With Christmas just around the corner, the flagship Winter Show offered a feast for visitors of produce and entertainment. Top chefs joined exhibitors to present a veritable smorgasbord of culinary delights. These included demonstrations, new products and fabulous retail opportunities.
The Birmingham Winter Show combined the UK’s greatest cookery experts, with plenty of festive inspiration and live entertainment in the Big Kitchen and other stages. Greeting visitors to the NEC was the show’s new contribution, Street Food. Brand new for 2018, delicious street food made a successful appearance at the Show. An army of street food vendors in the outside areas, brought a huge selection of ready to eat food for all visitors.
The Big Kitchen is always the highlight of the show. Here top celebrity chefs cook festive recipes and share tips for seasonal winter foods. Tom Kerridge and Michael Roux Junior were just two of the famous names demonstrating their skills to the public. The highlight was the demonstration by everyone’s favourite Bake Off judge, Mary Berry.
This year, the Big Kitchen was sponsored by Travelsphere, who offered additional free themed sessions to the menu. This included a taste of India with Cyrus Todiwala, chef patron of Cafe Spice Namaste, award-winning Pan-Indian restaurant in London and also Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen and The River Restaurant (in Goa). A taste of Spain was presented by José Pizarro described as the Godfather of Spanish cooking.
BBC Good Food Stage
Barney Desmazery hosted the BBC Good Food stage. There, he offered live interviews into our favourite chefs’ success and seasonal advice from some local foodie experts too. The sessions involved an interview with Nadiya Hussain and a masterclass from Stacie Stewart.
The BBC Good Food Pop-Up Restaurant offered a sit-down meal, of two or three courses, inspired by some of the most popular seasonal dishes from the country’s leading food website, www.bbcgoodfood.com. The succulent menu presented delights such as:
- chicken, leek, smoked bacon and apricot terrine with watercress salad,
- baked goat’s cheese with beetroot, honey and thyme and
- main courses including garlic cheese-stuffed turkey breast wrapped in pancetta, with parmesan roast potatoes, buttered sprouts and glazed carrots.
The Winter Kitchen, sponsored by Magimix inspired by a range of seasonal dishes for the festive season with contributions from Mary Berry, James Martin, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith amongst many other top chefs. Complementary to this was the Skills School where a number of experts shared their secrets from knife skills with Zwilling to sourdough masterclasses.
At AC Services Southern, we think it’s always a good idea to attend the Good Food Shows. These help us to learn new trends and to judge consumer reactions. That way our business never gets stale.