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Food & Drink

New business is delivering chef-quality BBQ boxes directly to your doorstep

Perfect for those post-lockdown summer barbecues

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A new Stockport business is putting every failed cook’s barbecue woes to bed with its high quality, chef-prepared barbecue boxes.

Now, everyone loves a back garden barbecue with their family and mates on a hot summer’s day – but I can say with confidence that no one enjoys the prep, the cooking and the clean up of these garden bonanzas. 

But all you barbecue-phobes out there need not to fear, because a new business born out of Stockport is now delivering chef-prepared BBQ boxes across the whole country. 

Sou Chef was launched just five weeks ago by Charlie Bown, who has an extensive background in the world of restaurants and food delivery. For its wide selection of barbecue boxes, Sou Chef works closely with restaurant suppliers, butchers and chefs who have a combined experience in the field of over fifty years.

The inspiration behind Sou Chef is simple: Using the industry recognised cooking technique known as Sous Vide, the aim is to serve and deliver high quality food without the fuss and mess of a typical home-cooked barbecue.

Their food is home delivered ready-marinated in recyclable, temperature-controlled packaging directly to customers’ doorsteps along with tailored cooking guidelines – from there, all you’ll need is a barbecue, oven, pan and a big appetite to enjoy.

There are four different barbecue boxes on offer, all of which take between thirty to thirty-five minutes to cook: The Big BBQ Feast box contains nine different items such as twenty-eight day aged chateaubriand, slow-cooked barbecue pulled pork, tandoori marinated chicken legs (a personal favourite) and a selection of honey roasted vegetables and rosemary roasted potatoes. This box typically serves six people.

The BBQ Essentials box, on the other hand, contains – you guessed it – all your barbecue essentials such as twenty-eight day aged ribeye and sirloin steaks, Sous Vide barbecue ribs, vegetables, potatoes and a portion of pickled red cabbage, which is made up of eleven ingredients and slowly reduced in red wine and balsamic. This will cover four people. 

For the couples out there, there’s also the Luxury BBQ for Two box, which contains slow cooked barbecue ribs, twenty-eight day aged chateaubriand, roasted vegetables and potatoes and a selection of peppercorn and Dianne sauces. 

And last but not least, there is the BBQ Dinner Date box consisting of slow cooked barbecue ribs, twenty-eight day aged ribeye steaks, honey roasted vegetables, garlic and rosemary potatoes, pickled red cabbage and a selection of peppercorn and Dianne sauces.

The boxes give amateur chefs the perfect opportunity to show off their culinary skills to friends and family, and don’t require any last minute trip to the supermarket – they provide everything you could possibly need for the perfect barbecue.

They can also be delivered across the whole country – all you need to do is select your delivery date, where you’ll then receive a one hour delivery slot on your chosen date. Delivery is Tuesday-Saturday.

For more information and to order your own chef-quality barbecue box, visit the official Sou Chef website here. 

Food & Drink

Greater Manchester chippies forced to close because of heat as kitchens reach 44 degrees 

The rain doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?

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Chips @ No.8 / Facebook

A full week of scorching temperatures across Greater Manchester has resulted in the closure of a number of our favourite fish and chip shops.

Throughout the last week, Greater Manchester has endured blistering conditions, with temperatures reaching highs of 30 degrees celsius.

Yet, while many have been enjoying the unusually warm weather in local parks and beer gardens, our chippies haven’t been faring so well.

Charlie’s Fish & Chips Urmston M41 / Facebook

Popular restaurants Charlie’s Fish and Chips in Urmston and Chips @ No. 8 in Prestwich had to close their doors this week when temperatures soared in their kitchens.

Chips @ No 8 was named one of the best chippies in the UK in the recent Fry Magazine Awards.

But locals haven’t been able to visit since Tuesday after the kitchen’s vital fan stopped working, meaning the temperature reached a staggering 44 degrees celsius. 

A sign in the window of the Prestwich business, signed off with a smiley face, read: “The kitchen supply fan has chosen today to give up.

“When the temperature in here reached 44 degrees celsius… So did we! Gone for an ice cream.”

Over in Urmston, meanwhile, Charlie’s posted on its Facebook page: “Closed today due to extreme temperatures. Health and safety comes first!

Though fans of the restaurants need not fear because, now that temperatures have cooled somewhat, they are both back open from today. To check their opening times, visit the Chips @ No.8 Facebook page and the Charlie’s Fish & Chips Urmston M41 Facebook page.

While there’s no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures here in the UK, gov guidance suggests a minimum of 16 degrees celsius or 13 degrees celsius if employees are doing physical work.

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Food & Drink

A new waterside wine and cheese bar with an outdoor terrace is coming to Manchester

Because there’s no such thing as too many wine and cheese bars

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Higher Ground / Facebook & Gerald England / Geograph

The team behind Manchester’s pop-up restaurant concept, Higher Ground, are bringing a brand new waterside wine and cheese bar to Manchester.

Based in New Islington, Flawd will specialise in natural, low-intervention wine and local beer, served alongside cheese and charcuterie while also featuring an outdoor terrace beside the bustling Islington Marina.

The aim is to shine a spotlight on small-scale wine producers and to ‘make natural wine approachable to anyone and everyone,’ while also creating the ideal venue for ‘after work drinks, an aperitivo before dinner, or a few drinks before a night out in surrounding neighbourhoods.’

Higher Ground / Facebook

There will also be a heavy focus on quality bottles of wine to share with friends.

On the food side of things, Flawd will be serving a selection of British cheeses, charcuterie, and ferments from Curing Rebels in Brighton, whose selection includes ‘Brighton salami’ and salmon pastrami.

Joseph Otway, co-owner, said: “We really just want to open a neighbourhood wine bar for the growing New Islington community.

Higher Ground / Facebook

“To create a space for people to drink great wine, relax and have fun.”

Higher Ground is made up of Joseph Otway, former head chef at Where The Light Gets In, and Richard Cossins, formerly general manager at Fera at Claridges in London.

They have spearheaded the trend of natural wines, small plates and Scandi style dining that is making waves through Manchester.

Flawd will be open from Wednesdays to Sundays in September. An official launch date is yet to be announced. 

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Food & Drink

‘Best restaurant in the world’ named and it’s only a short drive from Manchester

I know where I’m dining this weekend…

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Lakeland Retreats & TripAdvisor

An intimate restaurant came out on top of a worldwide review of restaurants in the 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards, created by review website Tripadvisor, and guess what?

It’s located a stone’s throw away from Manchester.

The Old Stamp House, an intimate restaurant situated in Ambleside, Lake District, stood out among businesses from across the globe, including its two-Michelin star neighbour L’Enclume, which was placed in a humble eighteenth spot. 

The elusive restaurant was opened in 2014 by brothers Ryan and Craig Blackburn, who work as the head chef and restaurant manager respectively.

The Old Stamp House Restaurant / TripAdvisor

It is housed in the former office of poet William Wordsworth, and seats just twenty-eight customers at a time.

It was awarded a Michelin star in 2019, has been named the Cumbria Life Restaurant of the Year, as well as receiving three AA rosettes.

A description on the Michelin Guide’s website reads: “The Old Stamp House is as quirky as its name implies. It sits in the centre of Ambleside – which in turn sits within the heart of the Lake District National Park – inside the cellars of an old house where William Wordsworth used to work as the Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland.

“It’s a tiny place, split over two low-ceilinged rooms which are hung with local art.”

KFTAYLOR / TripAdvisor

Using ingredients inspired by Cumbria heritage, the restaurant’s specialities include potted shrimps, cauliflower and spiced mead velouté, Yew Tree Farm Herdwick hogget, peas and locally foraged wild mushrooms, and a rum tart with brambles, pear and Cumbrian gingerbread.

Very posh, as you can see.

The North of England was also victorious in the National Parks category, where both the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District placed in the top twenty-five.

Check out the full 2021 Travellers Choice Awards winners, and visit the Old Stamp House’s official website for further details and bookings.

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