Weekend on a Plate

The weekend digested: 50 things Observer Food Monthly loves in the world of food right now

Catch up on the food news from 15-16 February, including the sale of foodservice business Brook Foods and an interview with renowned chef Ferran Adrià.

16 February 2020

Food news

Tesco reprimanded by competition watchdog

Tesco has been reprimanded by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after the supermarket giant allegedly prevented rivals from opening shops nearby. According to the competition watchdog, Tesco was in breach 23 times out of a total of 5,353 land deals and has asked other supermarkets to show their land agreements are not in breach either.


Brook Foods sells to WSH Investments

Irish foodservice business Brook Foods has been acquired by UK company WSH Investments, owner of hospitality and food companies such as BaxterStorey, for an undisclosed sum. Brook Foods oversees more than 25 in-house restaurants for companies, and caters for high-profile events such as the ball at the Rose of Tralee, hosted by Dáithí Ó Sé.


UK and EU to “rip each other apart” in trade talks

According to French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Britain and the European Union are going to “rip each other apart” in talks over a future trade deal. Speaking in Munich, Le Drian claimed it would be difficult to achieve a free trade deal by the end of the year given the differences between the two sides. He added: “I think on trade issues and the mechanism for future relations, which we are going to start on, we are going to rip each other apart.”


EU under fire for promoting meat consumption

Meanwhile, the EU has also come under criticism for spending tens of millions of euros annually on campaigns to reverse the decline in meat eating and trying. Campaigns include those designed to counter official warnings about the risk of cancer from eating red meat.


Unilever-backed Loop to deliver refills of staple goods

Unilever-backed Loop is vying to win the war on plastic through a new online service that will deliver products such as soft drinks and washing power in refillable containers to the front door. Loop launches next month and bills itself as the “milkman reimagined”.


Salted caramel Twix makes UK debut

Mars has finally launched its salted caramel Twix in the UK following launches in other parts of Europe. The product retails at £1 rather than 60p of a traditional Twix, due to the ‘Xtra’ size of the new product.


Food trends

Glasgow’s culinary growth

In its weekly food and drink round-up, The Times looks into the regeneration of Glasgow’s East End, including the opening of raw-food café Dennistoun (“specialising in burrito bowls, sweet treats including ginger-and-rhubarb cake, soup and fancy coffee brewed with Edinburgh-based Luckie Bean”) and early-morning favourite Rawnchy.


50 things we love in the world of food right now

In The Observer’s February Food Monthly, the newspaper picked out the 50 things it loves in food right now, including its favourite people, places and food tech. Highlighted in the latter are the Small Robot Company (“wants to help start a revolution, using robots to replace herbicides, tractors and intensive cultivation”) and Roar Gill coffee (“organic, ethical, carbon-neutral coffee pods”).


Food reviews

Birmingham’s top restaurants

Opheem's Aktar Islam reveals his favourite Birmingham food haunts in The Telegraph this weekend, with the Michelin-starred chef picking out Taiwanese restaurant Tiger Bites Pig for praise. Also on his list is Carters of Moseley and Café Simla.


Muse, 38 Groom Place, London SW1

“The sort of pretentious I live for” is how Guardian food critic Grace Dent describes Tom Aitken’s newest restaurant, Muse. She adds: “Set me a table in Pseud’s Corner: I’ve found my restaurant of the year.” Muse has no precise menu (“a collection of, well, musings”), but Grace picks out Conquering the Beech Tree (“langoustine tail braised deliciously in armagnac and served with rosemary-infused apple, langoustine custard and a ragout of fennel and artichoke”) and Neither Black nor White (“a glorious riff on cauliflower panna cotta, served with cauliflower ice-cream and pickled gold raisins, verjus and caviar”) for particular praise.


Food interview

Ferran Adrià

Ferran Adrià, whose restaurant was voted the best in the world five times, is interviewed in the FT Magazine, following the closure of his infamous El Bulli restaurant nearly 10 years ago. The chef is preparing to open elBulli 1846 which will act as a creativity centre for chefs and other food professionals. “We are building the future for the next generation of chefs,” he says.

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