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VIDEO| Flair Bartending at work @ Las Vegas!

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NEWS| FnB| Retail| Landmark to enter food retailing arena

Dubai-based Landmark Group will introduce its new food retailing concept Gourmet Station next month at Dubai's Oasis Mall, according to media reports.
The first store will span over a retail space of 7,000 sq ft. Further the company also plans to open six outlets this year and 34 more within next five years.

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The store will offer specialised products across all categories, including tea and coffee, confectionery, groceries, meat and fish.




According to company officials, the company is developing a large concept between 15,000 sq ft and 25,000 square feet and a second a smaller ‘grab and go' concept, anywhere between 100 sq ft and 2,000 sq ft.

The second store will open at Dukkan Qamardeen Souk, The Old Town, Burj Dubai, and will measure approximately 6000 sq ft.

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PICTURES| Tomatoes

KNOW PEOPLE| Master Chef| Charlie Trotter




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From cooking for his friends for entertainment to becoming a living culinary legend, Charlie Trotter has come a long way in life.

Known for his philanthropic nature, Trotter established the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation, aimed at helping people break into the culinary field.

Despite having no formal training in the culinary arts, Trotter has crafted numerous special dinners all over the world.

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About Charlie Trotter

Charlie Trotter opened Charlie Trotter's (Chicago) in 1987 with his father, Bob Trotter as his partner. The restaurant has been open for 21 years.

Chef Trotter did not come from a "food focused" family. His interest in food was developed while he was in college and his roommate, Joel Fish (who was an avid cook) would prepare various courses for his friends to taste. Trotter became interested in what Joel was doing, and soon found himself immersed in the world of cookbooks and preparing meals as a way of entertainment for his friends and roommates!

Mid way through his college tenure (University of Wisconsin in Madison Wisconsin) he decided to take a year off and read every book he could. This included cookbooks. As a way to make a living while on this break from school, Trotter took a job as a waiter. Upon return to college, where he earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in Political Science, he began once again cooking and actually doing small catering parties.

After graduating from college Trotter traveled around the U.S. and Europe to dine at only the finest restaurants. He wanted to learn how the "best" gained that title, and see what the future could possibly hold for him.

He returned to the States and began doing catering parties (tasting menu format) for friends of his family. This was his way to "test the waters" on his culinary skills and his focus on the caliber of service and wine emphasis he desired. After doing this successfully for just over a year, he decided to open Charlie Trotter's --with his now deceased father, Bob Trotter, as his partner.

The figure who most impressed Trotter during his culinary development was Fernand Point (of the famed Ma Gastronomie). Trotter was impressed most by Point's sense of generosity...and to this day it is something which resonates within Trotter's own highly philanthropic nature.

Trotter never went to culinary school, and is completely self taught. His first cooking job was at a restaurant in the North Shore area of Chicago called Sinclair's (of the famous Gordon Sinclair). He was a cook there and worked under many now well-known chefs including Norman Van Aken and Carrie Nahabedian.

Chef Trotter has always had a strong philanthropic sense and his establishment of the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education foundation (which supplies scholarships to those entering culinary programs) as well as the Excellence Program (which allows high school students to come in and experience the cuisine of the restaurant, all the while hearing from various staff members about how they pursue excellence on a daily basis) are two closest to his heart.

Charlie Trotter – a living, culinary philanthropic legend! Although if asked, Trotter himself might say "A legend is an old person who is known for what they used to do – I’m still doing it!" A favorite quote from one of his jazz heroes, Miles Davis.

http://www.charlietrotters.com





NEWS| Mandarin Oriental, Beijing destroyed by fire

MO Statement: We can confirm that the fire at the construction site of Mandarin Oriental, Beijing, which was scheduled to open in the second half of 2009, has been extinguished.
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CCTV, the developers of the hotel, has placed the following statement on their website:

“Beijing Fire Control Bureau says CCTV staff responsible for the construction of the new TV complex, hired staff to ignite large festive firecrackers outside the building, and caused the fire. The move did not receive approval from related authorities. The fire has caused severe damage. CCTV sincerely apologizes for the damage that the fire caused, and the inconvenience it has brought to the public.”

All 64 Mandarin Oriental employees, who are located at an offsite pre-opening office, are safe.

It has been confirmed that a fireman has lost his life and our sympathy is with his family. We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who has conveyed their concern about this sad incident.

It is too early at the present stage to assess the full extent of the damage. We understand that a full investigation is underway and will take time to complete.

Mandarin Oriental has signed a long term contract to manage the hotel and has no ownership interest in the building.





PEOPLE| Our Hotel Was Attacked

Raymond Bickson, MD, Indian Hotels Co. Ltd talks to Perry Garfinkel, from the New York Times about the Taj Attacks. See it here>

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