Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: chef Sat Bains starts a samosa business with his mother; organisers plan a second Hospo Demo, and sommelier Jan Konetzki gives his take on the latest restrictions.

Sat Bains to launch takeaway Punjabi food operation with his mother: Sat Bains is switching things up at his two Michelin-starred kitchen in Nottingham. Deciding not to offer a delivery service with his usual fare, the chef has launched a new takeaway Punjabi food business with his mother Tarsem. Called #MommaBains, their range of home-made samosas and curry will be made available at several chip shops around the UK, including Rick Stein’s outlets in Fistral and Padstow, Galton Blackiston’s No.1 Cromer in Norfolk, and Nottingham and East Midlands branches of The Cod’s Scallops.

Businesses claim £849m through Eat Out to Help Out: The government released sales statistics from its Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August this week. Businesses claimed a total of £849 million, providing over £160 million discounted meals. 55% of those who claimed operated primarily as a restaurant, while 28% were pubs.

Second Hospo Demo planned: The organisers of the Hospo Demo in October are planning a second event next month. Due to be held on 7 December at Parliament Square, the organisers said the decision was made after the new tier restrictions “make hospitality the scapegoat once again”.

Hospitality supports Covent Garden’s ‘gift for good’: London’s Covent Garden has launched the ‘gift for good’ charitable auction to support homeless charity Only a Pavement Away this Christmas. Among those offering lots are Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express, Frog by Adam Handling, The Ivy Market Grill and Balthazar.

Leon draws up CVA plans: According to Sky News, healthy fast food chain Leon is exploring plans for a company voluntary arrangement. The chain, which was co-founded by Henry Dimbleby, who is heading up the government’s national food strategy, is believed to be in the early stages of discussions.

Former Fifteen Cornwall staff get pay-out: 70 former employees of Fifteen Cornwall, which shut last year, have received a pay-out of over £200,000 after a legal challenge. The staff members argued that they were not given the required notice after the business announced its sudden closure last December. It was founded by chef Jamie Oliver in 2006, but later run by the Cornwall Food Foundation charitable trust.

Gordon Ramsay burger restaurant in Harrods to open next month: Gordon Ramsay Burger is to officially open its doors in London’s Harrods on 4 December. The brand’s first outlet outside of Las Vegas, the restaurant will serve burgers, snacks and fries, including spicy chicken wings, truffle parmesan chips, and milkshakes.

Mark Hix to take on Dorset pub: Chef Mark Hix is set to open Grade II-listed 16th century pub The Fox Inn in Corscombe on 10 December after acquiring a 12-year lease. Hix’s five restaurants went into voluntary administration earlier this, something he has said was not his decision.

Ex-Restaurant Story head chef to open Soho chicken bar: Hot Dinners reports that Angelo Sato, the former head chef at London’s Restaurant Story, is to open a yakitori chicken bar in Soho. Called Humble Chicken, the eatery will focus on using every part of the bird, from ‘comb to tail’. It’s due to open in January.

London pizzeria Zia Lucia collaborates with brewery: Zia Lucia is set to launch a new range of beers in collaboration with Brighton-based Laine Brew Co as the business gets ready to open its new Wandsworth site on 11 December. Founders Claudio Vescovo and Gianluca D’Angelo helped to create beers designed to complement each of the four pizza doughs used by the business. The first beer due to be launched will be Birra Cabriolè, an unfiltered 4.6% ABV lager. Other beers in development are a black lager and gluten-free alternative.

Opinion:

Jan Konetzki

Jan Konetzki, consultant sommelier and director of wine for the Four Seasons, says: “I still find the level of ignorance towards the hospitality industry from our government shocking. They are jeopardising people’s livelihoods, careers and health by using our industry as a scapegoat. When furlough ends many jobs won’t exist anymore because thousands of companies will fold without solid business coming through their doors.”

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