Tag Archives: AC Services
In the very heart of England, Worcestershire borders Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.
Renowned for fruit farming and the cultivation of hops, today only the Vale of Evesham has orchards still worked on a commercial scale.
Banner Foods are based in Bromsgrove, was established over 100 years ago back in 1906 by Sam Banner and his wife. Nowadays the business has three distinct sectors: a farm shop butchery with takeaway food; a manufacturing unit that produces meals for all catering establishments; and most recently a restaurant.
The butcher’s side of the business provides excellent cuts of meat, including lamb in mint and onion gravy, lamb Marrakech with orange, sultana and chickpeas and lambs liver. More exotic meals include curried fragrant guinea fowl breast and rich venison casserole.
Fruits of the Earth
One of the Worcestershire food producers serving the UK is Primafruit is based in Evesham. It is the place for fresh fruit. The company specialises in the sourcing and supply of fresh fruit and works with some of Britain’s best-known retailers and foodservice customers.
Fruit is sourced from around the world and Primafruit prides itself in its excellent relationship with growers and suppliers. The product range includes stone fruit, citrus, grapes, kiwi and pineapples all year round as well as melons and bananas.
No waste is sent to landfill; with a local dairy farm taking significant volumes of fruit waste as cattle feed and compost material.
Ice Cream and Herbs
For those who love ice cream then Bennetts is a familiar name in the county with a delightful selection of traditional and contemporary flavours. All recipes are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free except amaretto, lemon meringue and champagne sorbet.
There are over 50 flavours of truly traditional ice cream to choose from. This made on the farm in Worcester from milk supplied by Bennett’s own dairy herd and fresh double cream from a local independent dairy.
The farm holds 240 Holstein/Friesian cows. In the summer, the cows graze in luscious pastures, set between the rivers Severn and Teme. The creamiest and freshest morning milk is collected, pasteurised and turned into delicious ice cream within 24 hours. There is a huge choice from Banoffee Fudge, Blue Bubblegum, Caramel Honeycomb & Fig Ice Cream, Coconut & Pineapple Ice Cream or Honey & Ginger.
Finally let’s talk about herbs! Red Deer grows fresh herbs in Worcester and then distributes them nationwide. Established in 1986, Red Deer Herbs concentrates on processing herbs and related crops to the highest quality standards. The choice includes red and lemon basil, chervil and chives, lovage and fennel and borage, a taste similar to cucumber.
Worcestershire food producers are the last in the first AC Services series of local food producers in the area it serves. But there are so many good local ingredients, we’ll soon start spotlighting some more.
We also have the Winter Olympics in South Korea and the Invictus Games in Australia and loads of other sporting attractions.
However, 2018 also promises to be a huge year for the Royal family, with an eagerly anticipated wedding between the world’s most eligible bachelor and a glamorous American actress and the birth of the fourth in line to the throne.
Listed below are some sporting and other interesting events in chronological order: start booking those days off well in advance or prepare events for your customers:
Jan 15-28 Tennis Australia Open, Melbourne, Australia
Jan 15 World Religion Day
Jan 25 Burns Night
Jan 25-28 Extreme Sports Winter X Games 22, Aspen, Colorado, USA
Jan 26 Australia Day
Feb 4 Gridiron/Football, Super Bowl , Minneapolis, Minnesota
Feb 9-25 Multi-sports, Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea
Feb 13 Shrove Tuesday
Feb 14 Ash Wednesday, Lent begins
Feb 16 Chinese New Year , Year of the Dog
Feb 28 – Mar 4 Cycling World Track Championships , Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
March 1 St David’s Day, Wales
March 9-18 Multi-sports, Winter Paralympics, Pyeongchang, South Korea
March 17 St Patrick’s Day, Ireland
March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 30 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Sunday
Apr 5-8 Golf Masters, Augusta, USA
April 4-15 Multi-sports Commonwealth Games , Gold Coast, Australia
Apr 14 Horse Racing, Grand National, Aintree, Liverpool
Apr 23 St George’s Day, England
May 16 Ramadan begins
May 19 Royal Wedding , Windsor
May 19 Football FA Cup final. Wembley Stadium, London
May 26 Football UEFA Champions League Final, Kiev, Ukraine
May 27-Jun 10 Tennis French Open, Paris, France
14 Jun -15 Jul Football FIFA World Cup, Russia
15 Jun Eid al Fitr, end of Ramadan
Jul 7-29 Cycling, Tour de France
Jun 14–17 Golf, US Open , New York
Jul 2 Tennis, Wimbledon
Jul 19-22 Golf, British Open , Carnoustie, Scotland
July 20-22 Rugby World Cup Sevens, San Francisco, U.S.A.
Jul 21-Aug 5 Hockey World Cup, Women, London, England
Aug 4-12 Multi-sports, Gay Games, Paris, France
Aug 16-19 Golf, US PGA, Town and Country, Missouri
Aug 18-Sep 2 Multi-sports, Asian Games, Jakarta, Indonesia
Aug 27 Tennis, US Open, New York, USA
Sep 1-9 Rowing 2018 World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Sep 9 Rosh Hashanah/Jewish New Year
Sep 11-23 Multi-sports, Summer Youth Olympics, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sep TBC Multi-sports, Invictus Games, Sydney, Australia
Sep 28-30 Golf, Ryder Cup , Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
Oct 25 – Nov 3 Gymnastics, World Championships (Artistic), Doha, Qatar
Nov 6 Horse Racing, Melbourne Cup, Victoria, Australia
Nov 7 Deepavali (also known as Diwali), Festival of Lights
Nov 24-Dec 16 Hockey (Field) World Cup – Men, Bhubaneswar, India
Dec 7-11 Swimming, World Swimming Championships, Hangzhou, China
Don’t forget that while this is the World Events Calendar 2018, there are lots of local events and celebrations around which to create a theme.
We began 2017 with global uncertainty and sadly, we end the year in the same environment. Donald Trump was inaugurated at the 45th President of the United States and the world speculated. In the ensuing months, unease grew, particularly as the war of words with North Korea escalated. Twitter however, relished his appointment: never has the social medium seen so much attention. Theresa May fared little better with the Brexit shenanigans but at least she kept away from social media!
2016 was the Year of the Grim Reaper, but 2017 also took a few great names, from Fats Domino and Tom Petty to Hugh Heffner, Roger Moore and Cheggers. The creator of Paddington, Michael Bond died within days of the screening of the second film of the world’s favourite bear.
New words and phrases were added to the dictionary. Complicit was named word of the year and fake news and Meghan Markle became familiar to all. However, convefe holds the record as the most puzzling and incomprehensible virally released word of 2017.
In the world of food, Forbes has just released the year’s best food and restaurant trends, evaluated by an esteemed panel of culinary experts, which may find their way over the ocean to our shores.
This year’s trends are generalised around healthy eating, with emphasis on vegan and curative foods as well as sustainable practices. There is also a shift towards ethnic cooking, where second- and third-generation children of immigrant families are taking traditional ingredients and recipes into their own hands.
Activated charcoal powder has become favoured for two reasons: its benefits in detoxification and its ability to turn foods black. Black foods are “a social media darling, the Goth food answer to the recent rainbow and unicorn trend. It also helps that black food and drinks are very Instagrammable.”
Ashes and powders are increasingly being used mainly as relishes, decoration or taste. Various dehydrated substances (vegetables, meat, fruit etc.) are used to splash decoratively onto plates. They also enhance and intensify flavour.
Bring Back the Veg
Vegetables are making a mark in top cuisine with crudités becoming more sophisticated than just mange-tout and baby carrots. When combined with a healthy tasty dip, they have become extremely popular, as have exotic grains. The trend towards gluten free has seen the emergence of maranth, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, teff, black and white quinoa, chia and flax seeds.
Finally, look out for zero-waste cooking. In the US, 40% of food goes to waste somewhere within the food chain. Increasingly, chefs and recipe writers are making a commitment to using all parts of the plant or animal to drastically cut down on waste.
All that is left is for us to wish you an extremely happy and safe Christmas with good company, good cheer and good food. If you need our services over the festive period, check out our opening times. We will see you in the New Year.
Hopefully, you will have ordered the necessary cleaning accessories and have had your oven checked over before the holidays begin.
But rest assured that although we are closed on the key dates, we will have engineers on call on the days in between.
There are a few simple tips to help you look after your oven and ensure that it is running to its maximum capacity. Have a look here for a list of useful tips for cleaning and maintenance.
AC Services Christmas 2017 Opening Times
Here are AC Services Christmas 2017 opening times:
- Thursday 21st December – normal opening hours – 8.30 a.m. to 5.15 p.m.
- Friday 22nd December – 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
- Saturday 23rd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Sunday 24th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Monday 25th December – office closed
- Tuesday 26th December – office closed (can’t face any more turkey)
- Wednesday 27th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
- Thursday 28th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
- Friday 29th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
- Saturday 30th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Sunday 31st December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
- Monday 1st January – office closed.
It’s back to normal working hours on Tuesday 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.
Leave nothing to chance. We understand that you will have a lot to remember for the festive season but don’t forget to order stock parts and cleaning products.
The last date for guaranteed Christmas delivery for an order to be placed is Wednesday 20th December at 5 p.m. We recommend that you CHECK your stock now, to make sure that you have everything you need.
In May 2017, she expanded her company, the Pudding Kitchen from producing her products in the family home into a converted milking parlour and took possession of her biggest asset: a Rational electric SCC WE 61 oven. It was, she readily admits, one of the best decisions she has ever made.
The Pudding Kitchen began from an idea Rachel had 20 years ago for her own little cottage industry making puddings. In 2011, the dream came to fruition and Rachel opened the Pudding Kitchen for people to buy homemade cakes and puddings to eat for themselves or pass off as their own.
The company’s expansion to new premises gave Rachel the opportunity to purchase a new oven and having taken the recommendation from a renowned chef and one of her best customers, she attended a Rational demo with an open mind. The capabilities of the Rational oven convinced her of her need and as luck would have it, an ex-demo appliance became available.
“The initial installation wasn’t without its challenges,” confesses Rachel. “The appliance needed some work to get it into full working order and AC Services rose magnificently to the task. The engineers cleaned and tweaked it until it was fully operational and I couldn’t be happier with it.”
AC Services On Hand
AC Services have been a constant for the Pudding Kitchen and its progression. From a major incident where a power surge took out the oven, the fridge and freezer to repairing small faults and supplying cleaning materials, the company has kept the new oven performing to its capacity.
“The value of AC Services is that they employ real people who know my history,” continues Rachel. “Regardless of the fact that I am a relatively new customer, they are willing to come out at a moment’s notice to check the appliance. Once the warranty on the oven is up, I shall take out a maintenance programme with AC Services so that I can have peace of mind, knowing that should anything occur with the oven, I have full support.”
The Pudding Kitchen’s cakes and puddings are legendary in Somerset. Customers can choose from a number of cheesecakes, such as the silky coffee cheesecake topped with Italian meringue ‘froth’ and chocolate sprinkles or walnut and butterscotch cheesecake, with chopped walnuts throughout. The ginger and mango flavoured cheesecake is infused with warming ginger and swirled throughout with mango, all sitting on a ginger nut base and topped with tiny pieces of ginger stem.
Citron tarts are made with fresh lemons, free-range eggs and locally produced double cream, encased in all butter crispy pastry with the pear and chocolate tart featuring poached pears and shards of chocolate “nestling under a blanket of frangipane and almondy loveliness”.
Roulades come in amazing flavours, such as the beautifully rich, tangy lime and cream filling encased in a light as air meringue, topped with almonds for a crunchy finish and passion fruit and seasonal berries, a meringue roulade filled with vibrant tasting passion fruit curd, fresh cream and seasonal berries.
The company also produces individual puddings and maintains a presence for its homemade desserts in North Somerset at the Midsomer Norton Farmers’ Market.
For details on AC Services Southern and how we can help your catering company with your Rational and Frima equipment, call us on 01452 322222.
Wales has over 78% of its land surface given over to agricultural use. The vast majority of which consists of permanent grass pasture or rough grazing. This has led to the world famous Welsh lamb. Other traditional dishes include laverbread (made from edible seaweed), cawl (a lamb stew) and bara brith (fruit bread).
However there are literally hundreds of Welsh food producers that offer succulent and exotic food to pubs, restaurants and other eateries which are worth a look.
Cider making is big business for Hallets. At their headquarters at Blaengawney Farm, the company uses old traditional methods of cider making from fresh cider apples borrowing a few techniques from wine makers along the way. Ancient oak barrels with cider ageing inside work alongside stainless steel wine fermenters to produce real and draught cider.
“We make a number of different draught ciders and a perry… all of which are pure juice. We ferment each variety of apple separately and then blend into the ciders listed below. Our limited edition ciders are also produced in smaller quantities as opposed to our standard products of Heartbreaker, Blindfold and National Treasure which are available all year round,” says a spokeperson.
If cupcakes are your thing, then Ridiculously Rich by Alana had a good start in life, having won the Apprentice Show and the backing of Lord Sugar. Every Ridiculously Rich cake is meticulously hand-crafted in Wales using the finest ingredients. Gooey Chocolate Brownies, Chunky Rocky Road and Salted Caramel Slices are just a few of the delicious flavours on offer. Originating from a little country kitchen, Ridiculously Rich’s approach in the kitchen is described as “perfectionist, experimental, flavour-obsessed, and motivated by all things indulgent.“
Cheese is everyone’s favourite and Caws Cenarth is a family business started in 1987 in response to Milk Quotas. Six generations of cheesemaking tradition go into the manufacture of the Caws Cenarth cheeses, which include the creamy, fresh-flavoured Caerffili. In fact, it lays claim to being the oldest established producer of Welsh Farmhouse Caerffili. Also on the menu are Garlic and Herb Caerffili, Smoked Caerffili and Brie-like Perl Wen, a creamy blue, Perl Las, and Golden Cenarth, a washed-rind cheese.
Chutneys, curds, preserves, jams, jellies and marmalades are all available at Little Grandma’s Kitchen a family-run business based in St Clears, Carmarthenshire. The company manufactures mouthwatering chutneys, including Mulled Spiced Apple, Caramelised Red Onion, Grumps Spicy Apple and Apple, Carrot & Ginger. For those brave enough, there is the Inferno Chutney with Naga Chilli and Weapons Grade Chilli! All products are made in small batches to retain their individual flavour using seasonal, local produce where possible.
Last of the Welsh food producers today is The Food Assembly at Abergavenny. This is an award-winning food community delivers the best produce from local Welsh farmers and foodmakers. It works via an online market, where customers to place their orders for vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy products, meat, bread, honey and fish. The choice ranges from exotic spices to mackerel fillets to organic meat, all locally sourced.
AC Services (Southern) has again received the SafeContractor accreditation. This seal of approval is issued by Alcumus and is testament to the company’s health and safety arrangements, policies and qualifications of contractors. This third party accreditation scheme confirms a company’s competency in the practice of health and safety.
AC Services received the accreditation following a stringent vetting process which examined all health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.
Indeed there are a further 300 nationwide businesses, from several key industries, who have signed up for a separate scheme to select only accredited contractors for services including building, cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment or electrical and mechanical work.
Seal of Approval
AC Services will continue to use the SafeContractor seal of approval on their documentation and marketing material and will be included on the SafeContractor website, accessible only to registered users and signed up client organisations, enabling them to choose a potential accredited contractor.
Gemma Archibald, Director of Alcumus SafeContractor said: “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place. More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that AC Services has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.”
Helen Hagger, MD of AC Services is delighted but not surprised at the accreditation. “We take health and safety extremely seriously and our organisation has adhered to the highest standards both in the office and in the field when we service our clients. We are proud to consistently employ best practice in our operations and the SafeContractors seal of approval is testament to this.”
Clients often ask AC Services Southern why we recommend a full annual service on their Rational appliances. Surely regular cleaning and standard maintenance practices are enough to maintain the performance of the ovens?
The truth is that however much and however meticulously you clean your oven, like your own car, there is still the need for a regular Rational service to optimise or replace the parts which wear.
So for the diligent as well as those absent-minded oven owners out there, we have a solution. We have been using a new system since April. We now log when ovens are serviced and sending a timely reminder when the next service is due.
At AC Services we like to give back to our loyal customers so read on to see how you can SAVE £10 on online orders. We are the Rational Service Partner for South West England and South Wales. Our team of engineers only repair and maintain Rational ovens and Frima Vario Cooking Centres. That places us in the very safe position of knowing exactly what we are looking for and what we are doing.
Our engineers have over 40 years’ experience between them and as we only work on two pieces of equipment, all the engineers have a van full of Rational original parts. What this means is that in the majority of cases (more than 95%), our engineers will have any parts that may be required so we will be able to quote you the price and fit them there and then, if given the go ahead.
So what happens in a service and how long does it take? Ideally, our engineers will spend at least 1½ hours and often two hours fully checking the appliance. Why so long? Check out the key points on our service checklist.
- Door function tests
- Interior cabinet tests
- Control panel function check
- Exhaust/vent hood function test/commissioning
- Electrical safety test
- Water-drain function test
- Steam generator electrical components
- Gas specific parts
- Gas analysis
- Software update
The second question is cost. Is it cost effective in the long term?
The cost of a full Rational service carried out by one of our fully qualified Rational Engineers starts from £165 plus VAT (depending on age and size of the oven) plus the cost of any parts required, which are discussed and costed before fitting. Any extra hours are charged at £44 plus VAT, in increments of 15 minutes.
A breakdown or repair callout costs £121 plus VAT inclusive of the callout and one hour’s labour, with further labour charged at £44 per hour in increments of 15 minutes. For those who feel this is too much of a layout, just add up the costs of loss of business, of reputation, of loyal customers and of the profit margin should you be unable to use your oven to provide food for customers.
Finally, we love offering our customers discounts. So save £10 per shop on our range of Rational Cleaning, Rinse and Care Tablets for the relevant ovens and Rational Grill Cleaner using the code JUL10 in our on-line store before 12th August 2017.
Wiltshire boasts numerous attractions including Stonehenge and Salisbury Plain. It is a favourite for visitors through its pre-Roman archaeology and rolling hills as well as towns and cities that thrive on tourism.
Hospitality plays a key role for pubs, restaurants and hotels in Wiltshire and the region is proud of its culinary heritage. There are numerous food suppliers in Wiltshire who serve the catering industry and who provide excellent food and beverages, many of them sourced locally.
The Fine Food Company has been supplying speciality food to catering establishments for many years, delivering produce that is sourced fresh and picked by hand directly from speciality food markets and manufacturers.
The company runs monthly promotions on some delicious products, for example this month on offer is exotic flavours from Lovingtons Ice Cream and a Chutney of the Month from The Bay Tree Food Company. Regular food includes prepped vegetables, fresh mushrooms and truffles, fruit purees, charcuterie, terrines, pates and pies as well as speciality poultry and meat.
Offering a personal service and locally sourced produce, is Lovejoys. The company specialises in requests from chefs for specialist crops such as Pink Fir apple potatoes, Ruby Red chard or Stripy beetroot. A statement from the company says: “we are unique in the industry in our desire only to supply within 90 minutes from our base in West Wiltshire”.
Lovejoys also offers its own prep room for chefs with limited time. A large amount of the vegetables are grown exclusively in Bromham and the surrounding area, and all eggs are laid just three miles from the premises. In addition, all milk and cream come from farms in Wiltshire, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset.
Award-winning organic lamb and mutton can be found at Langley Chase Organic Farm. It is reared on a small organic farm in the Wiltshire countryside from rare breed Manx Loaghtan. Langley Chase has already won 19 National Organic Food Awards including Best Organic Meat, Best Organic Lamb and Best Organic Mutton in the UK.
Manx Loaghtan is a distinguished rare breed that is high in flavour and greatly lower in fat and cholesterol than commercial breeds. According to the company, “each lamb and mutton is selected and butchered to each customer’s requirements and delivered direct to the door.” The company also makes chorizo salami, and uses the rest of the animals to make beautiful sheepskin rugs, wool and clothes.
Wiltshire Food & Drink
For food and drink look no further than Ashton Farms, with over 700 lines of fresh, chilled, frozen and ambient foods and an extensive range of soft drinks. This family business prides itself on its customer service, with little touches such as cheese and eggs being still packed on site. Time is spent sourcing the very best quality and time is also spent on building relationships with suppliers.
Wiltshire eateries have an enormous range of food suppliers that can cater for the traditional and the exotic. With the weather in the last week reaching record highs, summer has officially arrived and the great British public are heading outdoors. For catering establishments, offering a wider choice of food has to be an extra incentive to attract visitors!
Look out for the next in the series of AC Services Southern’s spotlight on local food suppliers with South Gloucestershire and Bristol in August.
Organic is a trademark of certain suppliers in this region such as Langford Farm, a family run beef and dairy farm. This has been run organically for over 20 years. Pedigree-sired cattle including Aberdeen Angus, Devon and Hereford provide meat that is grass-fed in natural clover-rich pastures and hay meadows, making the beef beautifully marbled and tender. Complying with the Soil Association and Red Tractor Farm Assurance, the beef is dry aged on the bone for at least 28 days.
Cheese All Round
Of course the region is famous for its cheese. A.J & R.G Barber Ltd is a long-established Somerset cheesemaker producing West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and other traditional cheeses. The Barber family have been making cheese in Somerset since the early 1800´s and currently has about 1700 dairy cows. The company is the sole guardians of the country’s last remaining traditional cheese starter cultures. These are the ‘friendly’ bacteria that begin the cheese-making process giving it the final aroma, texture and taste.
The flagship cheese is Barber’s 1833 Reserve Cheddar with a creamy texture and smooth finish, containing naturally occurring crystals for a crunchy texture. Barber’s Farmhouse Vintage Cheddar is matured for around 18 months, with the Barber’s Farmhouse Mellow Cheddar matured for around four months. The Barber’s Farmhouse Waxed Truckle Cheddar is matured for around 12 months then packaged in black wax for a rounded and rich flavour and creamy texture.
Another cheesemaker of repute is the Glastonbury Dairy. This is farmed by the Clapp family who can trace their roots in Somerset back to the 11th century. Now settled in the Brue Valley, the company is renowned for its cheese and especially its butter. Butter making is a natural part of any cheese dairy. The liquid draining off the curds is collected, and the butterfat separated from the whey as cream. After pasteurisation, the cream is used to make the butter.
Now we all love sauces and Rose Farms of Somerset have an extensive range to suit every palette. The small family-run business offers a wide range of jams and pickles handmade in open pans with no artificial additives. Delicious flavours are available such as honey & mustard and orange & rosemary dressing, mustard with Somerset cider, Harvest chutney, onion and pineapple chutney, and peach and pear jam. Try the range of pickles such as vegetables preserved in brine and spiced vinegar and good old fashioned pickled onions in Somerset cider.
Finally, there is Burns the Bread an award-winning family bakery based in Glastonbury making a wide range of loaves, using both organic and non-organic flour. The company produces a range of baked goods, from Christmas puddings to savoury pastries. Established in 1983 Burns the Bread has quickly become an integral part of Glastonbury’s rich heritage. It produces loaves such as multi seed, French grain, honey and spelt bread.
To find out about other regional food producers in AC Services Southern’s regular series please like us on Facebook or bookmark our site.