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News & Views

London School of Hospitality honours ‘Brilliant’ student

Southall’s Brilliant Restaurant joined forces with Thames Valley University’s London School of Hospitality and Tourism to honour a student who has excelled in culinary arts management at a ceremony attended by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc. Twenty five year old Jonathan Burridge received the aptly named Brilliant Award, spon- sored by Brilliant Restaurant, in rec- ognition of ‘outstanding performance’.

Jonathan is a student on the BSc Culinary Arts Management course and was encouraged to enrol by his employer whilst working as a ban- queting intern in Washington D.C. in the United States. He says he particu- larly enjoys gaining experience in the University’s own student-run Pillars Restaurant, as well as the opportunity to work with visiting celebrity chefs such as Heston Blumenthal.

Offering courses that range from a BTEC Extended Diploma in Hospitality to BA (Hons) International Hotel Management and a PhD in Hospitality, the London School of Hospitality and Tourism at Thames Valley University is renowned for the quality of its teach- ing and employer engagement. In 2010 the University was awarded the pres- tigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its achievements.

Belfast restaurants face winding up order

A High Court winding-up order has been made against Bengal Brasserie (NI) Ltd which operates two restau- rants in Belfast, following a peti- tion by HM Revenue and Customs Commissioners.

The two restaurants, which are among

the largest curry restaurants in Northern Ireland, were reported to be running normally, pending resolution of the court proceedings. It is believed the problems centre around work car- ried out to one restaurant two years ago and which creditors have been chasing payment for.

According to court papers the petition was granted after hearing evidence from solicitors for the petitioning debtor, the debtor company and the administrator. It was ordered that Bengal Brasserie (NI) Ltd be wound up under the provisions of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

London curry chains rescued once again

Administators have been called to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s restaurant chain, V8 Gourmet. Finbarr O’Connell and Nimish Patel have been appointed joint administrators and are continuing to trade the company, and the sites of its sub brands, and are said to be working hard to secure the jobs of all 264 employees. In May 2011 HM Revenue & Customs petitioned for a winding-up order and

Spice Business Magazine

this triggered the decision to put V8 Gourmet, which produces a range of ready-meals and chutneys sold in outlets such as Tesco and runs res- taurants including the Bombay Bicycle club Tiffinbites, VAMA and airline catering arm, Khana. The Bombay Bicycle Club and Tiffinbites chain of restaurants were bought by V8 Gourmet in 2009 but the company has not been to turn them around. In March, V8 Gourmet entered emergency talks with its lenders and investors after HM Revenue & Customs petitioned for it to be wound-up. The last set of accounts filed at Companies House show V8 made a pre-tax loss of £2.6 million in 2009, with sales of £10.4 million. Ms Shetty, who pumped £6 million into the com- pany and held a 33% share of the busi-


ness, stepped down as a director at the end of last year.

As Spice Business was going to press it was reported that a ‘mystery buyer’ had bought the V8 Gourmet Group, acquiring 100% of the share capi- tal in the business. If confirmed the deal, which included all trading sites as well as the concessions in Harrods and Selfridges, will see the group continue to trade secure the future of all employees. Along with 17 res- taurants, the buyer has also acquired V8 Gourmet’s catering arm Khana by Vama,and events arm Silk Events. It is understood that V8 Gourmet’s new owner will invest in the group’s current operating structure to trade the group as usual.

July/August 2011

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