Friday Five: the week's top news

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news

Related tags: Hospitality

This week's main hospitality news stories include Minor's plans for Corbin & King, Jonathan Ferguson wining the Roux Scholarship 2022, and foodservice price inflation hitting double digits.

- Corbin & King's new owner, Minor International, is looking to open a second Wolseley restaurant in the City of London​ under its plans to develop the group's estate. Speaking to BigHospitality​, Dillip Rajakarier, group CEO of Minor International, confirmed that the group, which acquired full control of the Corbin & King business earlier this month​, ousting co-founder Jeremy King in the process, will also be resuming work on pescatarian-focused restaurant Manzi's in Soho, with a view to opening it before the end of the year; with a third site in Notting Hill Gate also in development. All three sites had been secured by Corbin & King prior to Minor's takeover of the business. Rajakarier said: "There’s a short term, medium term and long term plan. In the short term, it's all about stability. It's about creating that exceptional guest experience; investing in people; and investing in the assets. "The medium term is fulfilling our obligations in terms of Manzi's and the other two [restaurants]. Long term, it's global expansion." While Rajakarier was open about Minor's aims to grow the Corbin & King estate internationally, he dismissed suggestions that he wants to roll out the group's different brands, which also includes Brasserie Zédel and The Delaunay, on a mass scale. To read BigHospitality's full interview with Rajakarier, click here​.

Jonathan Ferguson, junior sous chef at The Glenturret Lalique, Crieff, has won the 2022 Roux Scholarship​. The 25-year-old chef beat five other finalists in a fiercely contested final held at Westminster Kingsway College, London, on Monday (11 April). Reacting to the win, Ferguson said: “I’m happy, really happy.” For this year’s final dish, the chefs were asked to prepare a recipe for Chaud-froid of Merrifield duck à l’orange with Chartreuse of asparagus. This included chilled roasted ducks, coated in a brown chaud-froid jellied velouté sauce, served with chilled individual Chartreuse of asparagus.

- Year-on-year inflation in the foodservice sector hit 10.2% in February 2022​, the latest edition of the Foodservice Price Index from CGA and Prestige Purchasing reveals. The double-digit increase was fuelled by challenges including a surge in demand, the lingering impacts of Covid, additional costs of trade after Brexit and increases in energy and packing prices. Adding to the industry's woes, even higher inflation is forecast to come as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adds to challenges. “Inflation now constitutes an existential threat to many businesses in the hospitality sector,” says Shaun Allen, Prestige Purchasing CEO. “The Ukraine war has the potential to drive an extended period of increasing food and drink costs, which if coupled with recent changes to VAT, rising labour costs and potentially falling volumes could well generate conditions worse than during the pandemic. Best in class procurement skills will be an essential part of the operator toolkit in the years ahead.”

Robert Thompson has announced he will become chef-patron at the soon-to-open North House in Cowes​ on the Isle of Wight. The chef, who was previously at Thompson’s Restaurant in Newport, revealed he was joining the Grade II listed townhouse with rooms on Instagram. “Opening soon we can’t wait to welcome guests to North House, both old and new,” he wrote. Boutique hotel North House will have 14 bedrooms as well as a restaurant, bar, library, garden and a residents swimming pool. Details of the menu are yet to be revealed, but Thompson said some ‘teasers’ about the kind of food he will be serving at the restaurant will be revealed soon.

- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2022, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will be hosted on Monday 18 July at the historic Old Billingsgate market in the City of London​. The world-renowned celebration is making a return to London, where it was hosted from 2003 to 2015, in what will be the 20th year of the awards. An events programme hosted throughout the city will culminate in the awards ceremony, that will take place in Old Billingsgate, the capital’s former fish market overlooking the River Thames and Tower Bridge. Highlights of the programme include a series of key events such as the thought-leadership forum, #50BestTalks, and a Chefs’ Feast. New for this year is a 50 Best Collaboration Dining series, where leading chefs and restaurants in London will team up with visiting 50 Best chefs from all over the world to create bespoke menus for one night only The July event programme will also be preceded by several individual award announcements including Champions of Change, The World’s Best Female Chef Award sponsored by Nude Glass, the Licor 43 Icon Award and the American Express One To Watch Award.

Check below for more of this week's headlines, or click here​.

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