Weekend on a Plate

The weekend digested: copyright disputes increase among healthy food brands

All the news, reviews and trends from 1-2 February, including Manchester’s buzzing food scene and London’s top vegan spots reviewed.

2 February 2020
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Food news

Pasta Evangelists raises £3.5m

Fresh pasta meal delivery firm Pasta Evangelists has raised £3.5m from funds including Pembroke VCT and Guinness Asset Management to expand across the UK. Pasta Evangelists was set up four years ago and is backed by Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, as well as The Times restaurant critic Giles Coren.


UK government to impose full customs checks

According to The Guardian, the UK government could impose full customs checks on all goods coming into the UK from the European Union. “We are planning full checks on all EU imports – export declarations, security declarations, animal health checks and all supermarket goods to pass through border inspection posts,” a senior Whitehall source was quoted as saying. “This will double the practical challenge at the border in January 2021.”


Co-op staff launch equal pay claim

More than 400 Co-op staffers have kicked off an equal pay claim against the supermarket, with female warehouse workers claiming they are paid less than men for the same work. The law firm representing the group, Leigh Day, believes up to 50,000 current and former employees could be entitled to launch a claim.


Food trends

Manchester’s buzzing food scene

The Independent takes stock of the food landscape in Manchester this weekend, after the city was awarded its first Michelin star in 40 years. “Food here is generally of an exceptionally high level, with restaurants everywhere you turn and a buzzing culture of dining out,” writer Ibrahim Salha says. Salha believes Manchester’s abundance of food halls has played an integral role as to why there is now a wave of renowned chefs setting up shop in the city. Tom Kerridge’s Bull & Bear, in the Stock Exchange Hotel, is put under the microscope. “The food more than matches the opulence of the setting in quality, but it’s mostly conventional enough,” Salha writes.


Health-focused copyright spats

In the Financial Times is a look at how a rise in the number of health-conscious consumers has also given rise to more copyright disputes. According to a sample of 100 resolved trademark disputes taken from the Intellectual Property Office, food and drink disputes rose from 2% in 2018 to 8% in 2019, with vegan products accounting for a growing proportion.


Food reviews

London’s top vegan spots

The Financial Times has put together a list of what it deems the top spots for vegan eats in the UK’s capital city, including a “hearty vegan breakfast” at the Wulf & Lamb, a working lunch at the Gate and “creative texture combinations” at Vanilla Black.

image credit: Getty Images

Best of the rest

Meanwhile, The Telegraph’s food critics picked out their favourite restaurants of those which are outside of the M25, such as Edinburgh’s The Lookout, Kent’s The Pig at Bridge Place and Stratford-upon-Avon’s The Woodsman.


Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen, 460 Hackney Road, London E2

“Filipino street-food joint that doesn’t play by the rules,” is how The Guardian describes Hackney’s Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen, which recently launched its Sunday-only sharing feast. The menu includes “pleasing bowls of aubergine kare kare (a curry of turmeric, coconut and peanut) and crisp pata (pork hock with liver sauce), as well as daikon noodle salads, satay duck hearts on skewers and plenty of jasmine rice and adobo-glazed chicken wings.” The food, atmosphere and service are marked seven, seven and nine out of 10 respectively.

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