News – New cook book is launching to support refugees around the world

I love food, not so much cooking, but if I do. I usually have a cookbook to hand, and this one supports a charitable cause so what more could I want?

cookbook

 

“This Cookbook Belongs To Us”, compiled by Bearwood and Kings Heath Action for Refugees, brings you stories of food – of making, sharing and enjoying – to show the importance of welcome, friendship, tolerance and love for refugees in our community. The book is dedicated to all the people who call Birmingham and Smethwick home, and to those fleeing their homes and seeking refuge in new ones.

Birmingham and Smethwick have welcomed those escaping conflict and persecution since the early 19th Century, offering sanctuary to individuals and families. Fostering a culture of welcome and extending a hand of friendship to those forced to flee their homes, where it is most deeply needed. The region is home to individuals and families from Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central America.

This Cookbook Belongs To Us is a collection of recipes; from Birmingham to Damascus, each with a different and personal story behind it. It is for everyday home cooking but can also be used to find inspiration for those special occasions – rustle up a quick post-school/work dinner with Mujadarah, Arabian Buttered Eggs for a lazy Sunday brunch, creating “The Best Lamb in Ethiopia” for a dinner party with friends, or baking up some delicious Syrian Toffee Apple Cake for a special birthday treat or just plain old elevenses (any day!).

Food plays a vital and powerful role in migration and in welcoming new communities. The familiar smells and tastes of a favourite dish providing comforting replenishment – a reminder of cultural ties to home but also a potent way of connecting with new and undiscovered places and in constructing new identities.

The sharing of new tastes, ingredients and techniques cannot be seen more clearly than in Birmingham and the Black Country. They have diverse, multi-cultural neighbourhoods with many different communities and with a wealth of ingredients and cuisines available locally in supermarkets and restaurants: from fine dining (Birmingham has no less than five Michelin starred restaurants) to street food and cafés celebrating cuisines from South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and beyond.

The book can be pre-ordered online now:

http://actionforrefugees.bigcartel.com/product/this-cookbook-belongs-to-us,

the book will be available to buy from 25 November from a range of stockist across Birmingham and the Black Country and will be sold at craft fairs in time for Christmas. The pre-order cost is £10 (£12.50 afterwards) with all profits going towards the Aegean Solidarity Network and the vital projects they support.

The official Kings Health launch will take place at ENKI gift shop, (Kings Court, B14 7JZ) on the 5th December, 10am – 5pm where you can sample sweet treats from the book and festive refreshments; there’ll be some fun crafts for the children too. The Bearwood launch will be on the 2nd December, 7.30pm – late, at the charity Barn Dance at the Corks Club (Bearwood High Street, B66 4BT). Tickets can be purchased on the door (£5 / £2.50 concessions) for a night of fundraising, fun and Flying Scotsmen, featuring The Ceilidh Band. All money raised goes towards supporting refugees.

ACTION FOR REFUGEES

Bearwood and Kings Heath Action for Refugees were set up in September 2015 in response to the current crisis and are part of the Action for Refugees network. They are volunteer-led groups engaging local individuals, groups and schools in helping refugees and asylum seekers through fundraising, awareness raising and advocating for refugees locally. They fundraise for the Aegean Solidarity Network and proceeds of this book will support refugees in transit through the grassroots projects they fund.

For more information visit https://actionforrefugees.org

AEGEAN SOLIDARITY NETWORK

Aegean Solidarity Network Team UK (ASN), a UK registered charity, launched in September 2015 after witnessing first hand the desperate plight of refugees and people fleeing conflict arriving on the Greek island of Leros. The group is dedicated to supporting all people escaping life threatening conflict landing in Greece by supporting safe places to stay, safe spaces to talk, provisions of food, dry clothes, and education amongst many other needs.

The ASN team are passionate about what they do and have all spent time working “in the field” or have been involved in refugee support extensively since summer 2015.

Funded solely by donations, ASN seek out volunteer-run initiatives. They ensure that the projects they support are volunteer run so that donation has maximum positive impact in supporting refugees.

For more information visit the website https://asnteamuk.org/

News: The BEAST Comes to Birmingham

So, there’s something Bouncy and Beasty coming to the neighbourhood, so I thought I’d let you know.

image004

THE WORLD’S LARGEST INFLATABLE OBSTACLE COURSE LANDS IN BIRMINGHAM

FRIDAY 8th – SUNDAY 17th DECEMBER, 10.00am – 11.00pm

#TheBouncyBeast

Tickets are now on-sale today for the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course, The Beast returning to the UK at the NEC, Birmingham this December. At an unbelievable 272m long, The Beast is the ultimate nostalgic bouncy castle experience for adults. Unleash the beast this December and run, bounce and dance your way around the phenomenal 32 obstacles open to the public for eight days only – the perfect office, family or group party!

image002

Take on The Beast and enjoy a feast of Birmingham’s finest street food vendors washed down with craft beer, cocktails and prosecco on tap. Live DJs will combine with an extraordinary sound and lighting show that will complete the most ridiculously fun day out you could possibly imagine.

The Beast is the brainchild of UK promoters Nick Zuppar & Joe Arditti. Nick and Joe said:  “The Beast London was such an unbelievably huge success with 20,000 bouncy revellers through the doors, we’re bouncing with excitement to bring it to Birmingham for the first time ever for the ultimate party occasion this DecemberYou have to see it to believe it!”

Tickets are limited and expected to sell out very quickly so don’t miss out by booking yours today. The Beast sessions are ticketed and will run throughout the day in 30 minute blocks from 10.00am to 11.00pm, with morning sessions for kids, from Friday 8th December – Sunday 17th December. Spectator tickets are also available and will gain access to the food, drink and party areas which will be open throughout.

 TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE: www.ilovetobounce.com and www.theticketfactory.com

Date: 8th-17th December 2017 (not 11th and 12th Dec)

Venue: NEC, Birmingham

Address: National Exhibition Centre, Halls, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT

Prices: £20.00 (+ £2 booking fee)

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in Birmingham you might want to know about.

 

News: Unda’s Saturday Kitchen arrives at Bar Opus

 

I’m a big fan of Bar Opus, it’s location being a few steps away from the office and I’ve been a fair few times, so I was happy to hear about their newest regular event:

Next Saturday (11th November)  will be the inaugural Unda’s Saturday Kitchen, where guests will be able to join in the fun and let your inner chef skills shine.

Chef Unda will show each participant how to cook and present 3 different dishes, of course while enjoying a complimentary Bellini.

 

Unda-Pop-1024x683

 

Unda’s Saturday Kitchen

Pull up a chair at our open kitchen, sip a Bellini and allow chef Unda to show you how to cook and present 3 different dishes professionally, then use your new found culinary skills to wow your friends at your next dinner party!
Bi-monthly from Saturday 11th November, £25pp, 11am-12pm
Bellini on arrival, 10% off lunch at Bar Opus.
*Introductory offer: £20pp for first class on Saturday 11th November*
Limited to 6 places per session.
You can book via Telephone on 0121 289 3939
img20160914184850

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in the food scene in and around Birmingham you might want to know about.

News: Cocktail Collaboration at The Plough – Harborne

Rob Wood is one of my favourite Brummie Cocktail Construction maestros with a passionate attention to detail and a focus on curious taste collaborations with a twist so it’s great to hear he’s working with The Plough on their new cocktail highball menu…

The Plough in Harborne has launched a cocktail list in collaboration with Robert Wood, one of the best bartenders in the UK. Taking in seven carefully curated highballs, the drinks are made fresh in-house and have been designed to take no longer to make than a spirit and mixer.

The list which will be takes in ubiquitous ingredients alongside lesser-known flavours. The Coconut & Ginger highball contains Coconut rum, Yuzu (a Japanese fruit) and root ginger beer whilst the Elderflower & Pink Grapefruit highball contains pink peppercorn.

Robert Wood, who is a former Drinks International Bartender of the Year and Cocktail Challenge ‘Supreme Champion’, said, “Everything The Plough does has a unique twist and I wanted to maintain that theme with the development of the cocktail list. It was important that we created cocktails that people would be happy to try in a pub setting and imperative that they could be served as quickly as possible without scrimping on quality or flavour. We worked closely together to develop a list that was accessible whilst pushing boundaries. The result is a selection of really great cocktails that can be made in under 30 seconds.”

James Thewlis, Development Manager at The Plough, said, “When we began considering the introduction of a cocktail list at The Plough there was only one name that sprung to mind. We knew that Robert would be able to develop a list that was innovative yet relevant to our customers. The list complements our offer perfectly; the drinks are so fast to build yet fresh and the response we’ve had so far has been fantastic.”

The list of Highballs available:

  • RASPBERRY & HIBISCUS – Hibiscus vodka/framboise/cream soda
  • BLACKCURRANT & GARDENIA – Gardenia gin/cassis/oolong soda
  • GREEN APPLE & MATCHA – Apple liqueur/fino sherry/green tea soda
  • JAPANESE PLUM & CHERRY BLOSSOM – Jinzu gin/umeshu/cherry blossom
  • RHUBARB & ROSEHIP – Rhubarb gin/rose wine/rosehip/prosecco
  • COCONUT & GINGER – Coconut rum/yuzu liqueur/root ginger beer
  • ELDERFLOWER & PINK GRAPEFRUIT – Pink peppercorn vodka/pink grapefruit/elderflower

All priced at  £7.00

Menu designed by Robert Wood @inrobwetrust

News: Square opens new Birmingham pop-up shop offering free events and masterclasses for local businesses

So, there’s something SQUARE coming to the neighbourhood, so I thought I’d let you know.

 

testimonial2.gb-676ef749ab329f2d854dd0e88a6b42eb

A new pop-up shop is opening today in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade. The first of its kind in the UK, the Square pop-up will run until the 16 September and follows in the footsteps of Square’s first physical store in New York, which opened last month.

The pop-up will offer a selection of products from local businesses across the West Midlands region, and representatives from Square will be there to answer questions about products and services.

Great_Western_Arcade_Temple_Row

Open daily, local business owners will also be able to pick up a free Square Reader if they visit the pop up shop and sign up for Square in September.

OPENING HOURS:

Square’s pop-up shop will be open from 4th – 16th September from 09:00 – 18:00 Monday to Saturday and 11:00 – 17:00 on Sundays.

In addition, Square will host a series of free events and masterclasses for local business owners at the pop-up:

FREE EVENTS:

  • Thursday 7 September at 18.30: Alternative style blogger and salon owner Ree Ree Rockette will share tips on the importance of social media for small businesses and how to build an online following.

  • Sunday 10 September at 14.00: Local creative community Badego will be host a meet up and record a podcast episode featuring businesses who have grown thanks to technology like Square.

  • Monday 11 September at 18.30: Chef and best-selling food writer Gizzi Erskine will share what she learned from building her food business.

  • Thursday 14 September at 18.30: Birmingham Brewery Company’s Paul Hardwood will talk about the challenges and joys of giving up your job to follow your dream – in his case to launch a ‘Brummie Beer’ range – a tasting of which will be held after his talk

WHERE: The Great Western Arcade, Unit 6, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B2 5HU

 

hero.extra-large.gb-9a1e2cf785f13203bab7a50b636f85ad

With Square, businesses can take card payments with no monthly contracts or hidden fees, and get their money the next business day. It takes minutes to get started, and sellers can quickly and securely begin accepting chip & PIN and contactless payments from Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Square’s card reader costs £39 +VAT, but to celebrate Square’s first UK pop up shop, local business owners can get a free Square Reader if they visit the pop up shop and sign up for Square in September.

For more information visit www.square.com/westmidlands

 

News: There’s something mooing on at The High Field

 I’ve been to a few Peach Pubs in my time (here, here, and here), so it’s nice to hear about their charitable foundation and their work:

Pub goers popping into The High Field in Edgbaston are being asked to put their change from buying a round – or any cash they can spare – towards Herds for Change, a project aimed at delivering vital and sustainable change in the Mara, Kenya.

This week and until the 3rd September the pub has declared it Peach Foundation Cow Week, when The High Field and its sister pubs owned by Peach Pub Company are aiming to raise £250, or more, each to buy a cow for the Maasai community in Kenya as part of Herds for Change, the latest fundraising campaign carried out by its charitable arm, The Peach Foundation.

The goal is to raise £130,000 to buy a breeding herd of eight pedigree bulls and 400 cows for the Enonkishu community in the Mara.  The profits will be ploughed back into the community and used to support the livelihoods of local families.

Each cow costs £250 and regulars and new faces alike coming to The High Field are being asked to donate their change or whatever they can to help raise the money – there’s a special cow money box on the bar for collecting donations.

Herds for Change high res

“This is an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of people living in the Maasai community in the Mara, Kenya, a part of the world where the ecosystem has become increasingly fragile,” says Sarah Robinson, general manager of The High Field. “Global warming, lifestyle changes and the mismanagement of land all pose a serious threat to the wildlife and the communities who live in the Maasai.

“Over the years here at Peach we have played a part in supporting the Maasai tribe, the wildlife and the community’s traditional way of life, helping to create a hippo sanctuary and plant a forest. Now, we are moving onto the next important chapter in the bid to safeguard the long-term future of the Mara and its people. We are creating the Peach Herd and raising money to buy cows for the Maasai community, and we want Edgbaston to be able to provide at least one, if not two cows!

“So we’re asking everyone who pays us a visit over the next couple of weeks to let us hang onto their change for the cause or put whatever they can into the cow money box on the bar so we can make Herds for Change a big success and make our mark in the Mara,” she says.

After collecting money to buy the herd, a team from Peach and some of its suppliers will be travelling out to Kenya to buy the cattle and deliver them to the Enonkishu community on 9th September.

To make a donation, please pop into The High Field today or go online to https://mydonate.bt.com/events/herdsforchange/

To find out more about Herds for Change and why the Enonkishu community needs help, please take a look at the short video here Peach Herd 2017 Introduction Video 6 mins YouTube

The High Field is at 22 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DP.  Tel: 0121 227 7068. www.highfieldedgbaston.co.uk/   Highfield@peachpubs.com  @_TheHighField  www.facebook.com/TheHighFieldEdgbaston

 

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in the food scene in and around Birmingham you might want to know about. Pictures supplied by Pracey PR.

News: Meringue-You-Can – Meringue making at The Crown Inn, Hallow

Now this is something a little different. Though I blog about food so much, I’m not an amazing cook. Patisserie is something I know next to nothing about apart from making a half decent flapjack. If this sounds like you and you want to change it, and you’re free on Tuesday 5th September, read on…

 

Elle Townsend.jpg

Ever wanted to truly master the art of meringue making? Keen to conquer perfect peaks and piping techniques? Ever wondered what the difference is between French, Italian and Swiss meringues? The Crown Inn in Hallow, Worcestershire will hold its first meringue masterclass on Tuesday 5th September.

The masterclass will be run by Bakery Product Developer & Pastry chef Elle Townsend, who has designed award-winning cakes for the likes of Harrods, Fortnum & Masons and The Conran shop.

The masterclass takes in a demonstration of fool-proof techniques including:

  •  An overview of the meringue landscape including the difference between French, Italian and Swiss meringue and tips such as ingredients and products to guarantee success
  • A demonstration taking in fool-proof techniques, how to add colour and creativity and baking trouble-shooting
  • An opportunity to have a go at piping techniques to create various effects under Elle’s expert guidance
  • And of course, tasting! Elle will bring a selection of her award-winning meringues for guests to taste

DSC09765

 

Elle’s passion for food began at Nottingham Trent University, where she realised she could combine her love of baking with her passion for craftsmanship. Following stints in hotels and restaurants, Elle began working with artisan patissiers before moving into product development and cake design, working with Harrods, Fortnum & Masons and The Conran Shop.

DSC09752

Tuesday 5th September, from 7pm. Tickets are £20 and include a glass of Prosecco on arrival.

To book your ticket simply call The Crown Inn on 01905 640 408.

 

Follow The Crown Inn’s story here:

Twitter: @crownhallow

Instagram: @thecrowninnhallow

Facebook: @crowninnhallow 

 

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in the food scene in and around Birmingham you might want to know about.

News: There’s a new garden area ‘Hopping Up’ in Sutton Coldfield at Brewhouse & Kitchen

Regular visitors and residents to Sutton Coldfield will no doubt already know about the Brewhouse and Kitchen, which has been open for the past few years. They’ve now extended this into their new Hop House Garden with a pizza shack amongst the new features.

There’s also a Facebook competition too!

More info below:

BrewhouseKitchen_Sutton_0018

With a fire pit, pizza oven shack, 15 litre serve yourself keg table, outdoor games and cosy covered areas with Wi-Fi and individual power sockets, the Hop House Garden has something for everyone to enjoy this summer season.

The arrival of the all new pizza oven shack offers a mouth-watering new menu, bringing everything from classic margherita and pepperoni choices, to spicy slices for the more adventurous types, including Thai Me Up, a creation covered in Siracha Thai chicken, red onion, red chilli and crispy beansprouts.

BrewhouseKitchen_Sutton_0054

In line with the new garden and pizza menu, Brewhouse & Kitchen will also be tapping its first Hop House Garden beer, a welcome addition to an already impressive selection of on-site brews.

BrewhouseKitchen_Sutton_0064

To celebrate the launch, Brewhouse & Kitchen will be running an exclusive competition on their Facebook page from this week, giving lucky diners the chance to win a seat at the Keg Table and pizzas for up to 10 people each week for four weeks. Customers can check Facebook for details on how to enter.

BrewhouseKitchen_Sutton_0097

Melvin Symmons, General Manager at Brewhouse & Kitchen Sutton Coldfield, comments: “We’re so excited to be opening our Hop House Garden and launching our new menu!

“There’s nothing quite like this in Sutton, and we can’t wait for customers to come and enjoy the delights of the new pizza shack, cosy up next to the outdoor fire pit, and pour themselves a pint of our brand new beer from the Keg Table!”

The launch of the Hop House Garden will be taking place on Friday 18 August from 5pm, giving customers a first glance at the garden with free pizza, live music from Electric Pollen, beer tasters and much more to enjoy.

For more information visit: http://bit.ly/2vXUsy5

 

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in the food scene in and around Birmingham you might want to know about.