The Staff Canteen Review of the Year 2018

The  Staff Canteen

As 2018 draws to a close, we round up the most read stories of 2018 on The Staff Canteen...

January - Jonny Lake, executive chef of The Fat Duck Group set to leave in March 2018

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The year began with Johnny Lane, the executive chef at the Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Group, announcing that he would be leaving at the end of March. He left to pursue his own personal projects.

This meant that Edward Cooke took over the role as head chef after being Jonny’s sous chef for two years.

February - How do you cope with pressure in the hospitality industry?


One of our blog writers Emma Underwood wrote about how to cope with pressure in the hospitality industry. She summarises that at the end of the day, a meal is just a meal. In comparison to surgery where there can be a potential life or death situation, does it really matter whether your food goes out a little bit late?

On the other hand, she mentions that customers are paying for a personal experience.

March - Food Critic Jay Rayner slams Jamie Oliver over unpaid suppliers.

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In March, Joe Rayner hit out at Jamie Oliver over the news that his steak restaurant company Barby Limited which operated Barbecoa in London owed £6.7million to his creditors and it was very unclear how he was going to pay that back.

At the time of publishing of the article, Barby Limited owed £3.7million to HSBC with a further £3million to unknown creditors.

April - How three chefs from Cornwall are winning the battle against no shows


Three Cornish chefs decided to tackle the problem of no shows in April. According to a report by RezDiary, no shows were costing the hospitality industry up to £16billion a year.

The chefs worked alongside the #StopNoShow campaign which aims to tackle the issue that costs a lot of money but also the impact on morale.

So they implemented the deposit scheme where customers would have to pay a £20 deposit a head to book the table which saw good results.

May - Who are the winners of Bake Off: The Professionals 2018?

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In May, we saw the Bake Off: Professionals, return to our screens and there were 12 teams of two from various hotels, restaurants and businesses around the country. The judges were Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden who are both experts in patisseries.

The winners were Emmanuel Bonneau and same Leatherby from London Hilton on Park Lane. 

June - Chefs revealed for Great British Menu 2018


The Great British Menu 2018 was announced to be on BBC2 in August 13th and for the first time ever, the chef who wins will be crowned the champion of champions when banquet diners vote on their favourite dish in the final episode.

The series celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS with special themed episodes focusing around those heroic staff of the National Health Service.

July - Legendary chefs Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White team up to launch a new restaurant

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For the first time in history, two of the most legendary three-star chefs, Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann announced the opening of a joint restaurant in Bath.

The brasserie included a line-up of dishes that included Gascon and British classics.

August - Joël Robuchon dies aged 73

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On August 6 2018, we heard the sad news that Joël Robuchon had passed away at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer.

His restaurants held 32 Michilen stars across 13 countries making him the most Michelin decorated chef in history.

September - Claude Bosi is the new AA Chefs' Chef and three restaurants are awarded 5 Rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide 2019

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In September we saw Claude Bosi become AA Chef of the Year at the AA hospitality awards. Claude joins an all-star list of accredited and legendary chefs including Tom Kerridge and Nathan Outlaw. This also saw him add five rosettes to his collection.

October - Michelin Guide UK 2019: The full list including deletions


October saw the Michelin Guide UK released to announce which restaurants deserve the accolade of having a Michelin Star and also those who have lost their accolade.

The three-star Michelin star restaurants included, Gordon Ramsay, Fat Duck and The Araki.

Restaurants that lost one star included Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and  Le Champignon Sauvage.

November - Andrew Fairlie announces retirement due to terminal cancer

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It was announced in November that Andrew Fairlie, chef at Gleneagles had been battling with cancer since his diagnosis in 2005.

With this news, it was announced that he was standing down. His kitchen is the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars. 

December - York is the UK’s new foodie hotspot according to Harden's top 100 and the city's top chefs agree!

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Harden's announced that York was the new foodie hotspot in the UK for 2018 and we spoke to several Yorkshire chefs about the announcement.

Tommy Banks chef-owner of Michelin-starred The Black Swan at Oldstead and newly opened Roots in York, said: "It's about time! The north can't be ignored anymore and I think guides and critics have realised they can't be London-centric."

By George Heal

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th December 2018

The Staff Canteen Review of the Year 2018