Marco Pierre White is to open a new restaurant in Sheffield.

The new Marco Pierre White restaurant, which will be a Steakhouse Bar & Grill, will open at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Sheffield Park and is expected to start welcoming guests towards the end of June.

Dubbed the godfather of modern cooking, the famed chef and restaurateur has led the UK restaurant scene for over 25 years and is regarded by many to have single-handedly dragged it to be regarded as one of if not the world’s finest food destination.

Having helped kick-start the careers of many famous chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jason Atherton, all of whom trained under him, he has now confirmed that his latest addition will be at the popular hotel that’s located in the leafy suburb which is just five miles from the Peak District National Park.

Famed for his no-nonsense approach, he is looking forward to bringing his brand of dining to the region with the restaurant comprising everything you would expect from a traditional steakhouse but with the superior quality synonymous from arguably Britain’s greatest chef.

The new Steakhouse Bar & Grill will replace the venue’s Piano Restaurant, and follows a deal between Vine Hotels, which owns and operates the venue, and Black And White Hospitality, which is the franchising arm of Pierre White’s restaurant business.

Bringing to life Marco’s own philosophy of what he describes as ‘affordable glamour’ the Steakhouse Bar & Grill is exciting and bright dining experience includes signature steaks, timeless English and French classics that are simply cooked

The menu is exclusively curated by Marco himself and typically includes a mix of childhood favourites and modern-day delicacies which uses the freshest ingredients.

The team is now getting the new venue ready to open later in the year which will be in the venue’s main restaurant improving further the level of facilities and service in line with the high expectations of today’s business and leisure guests.

Garin Davies, chief executive of Vine Hotels said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have someone of Marco’s calibre open one of his restaurants at DoubleTree by Hilton, Sheffield. It clearly demonstrates our commitment to continually bring the best to the venue and we can’t wait for the summer.

“It’s a hugely exciting addition that will, we believe, offer a first-class dining experience and complements not only the accommodation but also the conferencing, banqueting, weddings and leisure facilities.

“The arrival of Marco will now reinforce this position and raises the bar in terms of what people can come to expect at restaurants in the region and we look forward to welcoming guests when it opens.”

Nick Taplin, Chairman and CEO of Black And White Hospitality and business partner to Pierre White added: “This is fantastic news for Sheffield as well as Black And White. The Steakhouse fits perfectly with DoubleTree and we already have a number of hugely successful restaurants trading under this popular Hilton brand.

“Black and White Hospitality has a very strong portfolio and our business model of aligning the restaurant brands with hotels is one that has proved very successful in the UK as we approach our 50th venue.”

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The Corporate Chef Interview
David Ferguson is Head Chef at the Belmont Hotel in Leicester, which offers a choice of ten meeting rooms and suites, the largest space accommodating up to 200 delegates. He recently took some time out from his busy kitchen to talk food…

How long have you worked as a chef, where did you train and how long have you worked at the Belmont Hotel?
I have been working as a chef for 19 years , starting at Nairn’s in Glasgow in 1998, where I worked my way up to pastry chef during my four and a half years there.
I joined the Belmont Hotel back in July 2016 and we have just gained our first AA rosette for the restaurant.

What do you enjoy most?
I love being able to constantly look at ways to change and improve the menu and create exciting new dishes, as well as trying to challenge the local restaurant scene and push fine dining in Leicester.

What should event organiser’s consider when planning food for their event or conference?
I would suggest keeping the menu simple in order to cater for their guests’ special requirements. For conference buffets we always provide a hot meat and vegetarian options along with a selection of salads. We offer a naughty option for dessert along with fruit as a healthy alternative!

Do you have a fine dining option at the venue, if so what type of cuisine do you offer?
We do offer a fine dining experience, which allows guests to choose up to three courses from a set menu. Our dishes and cuisine has an underlying British feel, with a few modern elements to excite diners and bring classic flavour combinations into the 21st Century.

What’s your favourite dish on the menu at the moment?
It’s a new dish we’ve recently added to the menu. It’s rump of lamb, served with cucumber, onion, mint and preserved lemon. While we have played on a classic combination of lamb with mint, the dish also has a few modern twists with the cucumber and lemon, which brings an element of freshness. The dish is full of flavour but it’s light to eat. We’re lucky that we work with some great suppliers who provide us with high quality, fresh ingredients, which really is important in bringing together a good tasting plate of food.

Have you found delegates are wanting different things now – healthier options, food for energy etc?
Yes this is a popular request and one my kitchen and I always try to accommodate – I try to keep my cooking clean and crisp.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced when producing food for an event?
Probably ensuring that the menu created is suitable and based exactly on what the customer requires. It has to be special and bespoke to them.


Head chef prepares for take-off at new Convive restaurant

head chef prepares for take-off at new Convive restaurant 2

A head chef with over 17 years’ experience of cooking Mediterranean food has been appointed to ensure a new £2m Leeds restaurant gets off to a flying start when it opens in February 2017.

Leeds-born chef Francis Cowlam (32) who, outside of the kitchen is also in training to be a pilot, has been appointed by managing director of Weetwood Hall, Martin Hicks, who is behind Leeds’ newest restaurant venture, ‘Convive’.
Convive is a new build authentic Mediterranean restaurant that will bring a Mediterranean lifestyle to the suburbs of Leeds.

The new restaurant is part of the University of Leeds-owned Weetwood Hall estate but retains an independent identity of its own, open to customers looking for a high quality dining experience outside of the city centre as well as guests staying at the popular hotel complex.

Francis Cowlam has previously worked as head chef at a number of leading Mediterranean and Italian restaurants in the region including Piccolinos, Gusto and Blackhouse Bar & Grill as well as a number of independent smaller Italian restaurants where he developed his flair for Italian inspired dishes. Francis also lived in Spain for over two years working in authentic, family-owned restaurants cooking for locals and tourists.

At Convive, Francis will lead of brigade of 12 chefs and manage the brand new, state of the art £450k kitchen. He will work closely with respected Leeds restaurateur Martin Pickles who has been appointed as Convive’s head of operations. Francis’ first recruit is talented sous chef Najam Ur Rehman, who was previously at Brasserie Blanc in Leeds. Prior to this Najam was resident in Lombardy, Italy for over 15 years, where for the past three years he ran his own restaurant working with some of the world’s leading chefs.

Francis said: “This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can’t wait to get everything in place ready for opening in a few months’ time. The vision and investment at Convive is on a scale like nothing I’ve ever seen before and I’m really looking forward to asserting my Mediterranean influence on the menu, creating an authentic and unforgettable dining experience. The freshness and vibrancy of the food and the fact that we’ll be sourcing locally as much as we can and applying a Mediterreanean twist means we’ll be supporting lots of great suppliers on our doorstep. Working with Martin Hicks, a great visionary businessman, the team is relishing the prospect of adding something exciting and new to the dining scene in Leeds.”

Managing Director of Weetwood Hall and Convive, Martin Hicks, said: “This is an exciting time in the 25 year evolution of Weetwood Hall as we prepare to launch Convive. Francis is an outstanding head chef and fits the bill perfectly for Convive. His inspiration is Leeds’ own Marco Pierre White and Francis aims to emulate his style and flair whilst bringing his own passion, personality and experience to the role. He is already assembling a team of chefs that has an impeccable track record and after almost 20 years’ experience in Italian kitchens, has lots of great contacts of his own that will help the restaurant team soar. This experience will be invaluable especially when we begin our innovative chef exchange with genuine Mediterranean restuarants across Europe. Francis and his team will ensure that we deliver unrivalled food quality to match the relaxed, convivial dining experience we are creating.”

Convive is a 120 seat restaurant and bar where guests will be able to enjoy a full dining experience including an alfresco area under a retractable roof within the gardens. It will be twinned with Mediterranean restaurants across Europe creating inspiration through innovative chef swaps and ingredient sourcing on quality food and drink. Many ingredients used in the kitchens will be sourced from local Yorkshire farmers.
head chef prepares for take-off at new Convive restaurant 2
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British Food Classics Take Centre Stage with the Launch of the Townfields Restaurant at the Best Western Cresta Court

Townfields Restaurant at Cresta Court Hotel Altrincham Manchester
The contemporary Townfields restaurant, the newest addition to the Best Western Cresta Court hotel in Altrincham, south Manchester, has opened its doors this month with a menu that features succulent grill dishes alongside traditional British classics and a sprinkling of spice-led favourites from chef, Simon Hardman-Taylor’s, recipe collection.

Simon Hardman-Taylor joined the Best Western Cresta Court hotel team last month, bringing with him over 20 years of experience from kitchens such as at the five-star Lowry Hotel, Copthorne Hotel Salford Quays, 3 AA Rosette winning Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire and Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes Restaurant.

Omlette Arnold Bennett, Asparagus and Lemongrass Soup and spicy Prawns Pil Pil make inviting starters. They share billing on the menu with Simon Hardman-Taylor’s signature dish of slow Braised Shoulder of Lamb served with glazed Baby Vegetables and Dauphinoise Potato, a classic Beer Battered Cod with a Minted Pea Puree and triple cooked Chips, and a grill section offering 28 day matured Steaks, succulent Lamb Barnsley Chop and a Charred Jerk Salmon Supreme in a classic Caribbean Jerk Marinade with a Coconut Puree and Lime Rice.

Dessert lovers will have a choice of a Lancashire classic of homemade warm Eccles Cake served with Clotted Cream, a warm Chocolate Brownie or a selection of local Dunham Massey Ice Creams – made only a few miles from the kitchen door.

£175 000 has been invested in creating this new 100 seat restaurant, located at the front of the Hotel, and its contemporary interior design features plush shades of azure alongside accents of white, cream, brown and gold. Seating is in a range of round booths as well as traditional chairs and tables, making it idea for intimate dining occasions or larger family or business gatherings.

The Townfields restaurant is open daily from 5.30pm. It offers a Kids Eat Free deal for children aged under 13 years ordering from the children’s menu. (One adult main course must be ordered and the offer is available for a maximum of four children per dining family.)

To book call 0161 927 7272, email, visit or tweet @CrestaCourt

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