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News in brief

Shepherds Purse in S&L deal

Yorkshire cheesemaker Shepherds Purse has created a new variety for the Slug & Lettuce's menu. A new soft cow's milk cheese with Italian herbs and garlic that used in a warming rustic bake, which has red peppers, sun-blushed tomatoes, will be included on the new autumn/winter menu. The cheese has been introduced at all 46 sites and follows the success of Slug & Lettuce's collaboration with Shepherds Purse in supplying its award-winning Yorkshire Blue for a selection of dishes. Jason Danciger, head of food and marketing at Slug & Lettuce, said: 'Food integrity is high on the agenda for us and, wherever possible, we like to source food developed locally in the UK. Yorkshire Blue has proved to be a great success with our diners so we approached Shepherds Purse to work with us on creating our very own cheese. We're particularly excited about the results and eager to see the reaction from our customers when they try out the new cheese and our specially-created winter dish.'

Booker going back to Basics

Booker has launched a Booker Basics range of essential catering products at new lower prices. Fifteen products are included in the promotion, including 2.27kg bags of frozen chips for 99p and 20 litres of vegetable oil for £9.29. Booker chief executive Charles Wilson said: 'This is part of our plan to offer better products, prices and services to our customers.'

3663 opens state-of-art depot

3663 First for Foodservice has opened a multi-temperature depot at Kingswood Lakeside Business Park in Cannock, Staffordshire. The new state-of-the-art depot promises to be one of 3663's most advanced facilities among its 42 sites, serving pubs, restaurants, hotels and catering outlets across the UK. 3663 depot general manager Steve Clayton said: 'The 150-acre site is able to stock more lines with the ability to accommodate a 40% growth on the existing business and provide improved surroundings, more space and a better environment for staff.'

BPC develops Chip Week kit

The British Potato Council (BPC) has developed a new promotional point-of-sale kit to help pubs boost sales of chips during National Chip Week, from 13 to 19 February. With 2006 being a World Cup year, the theme of the promotion is football. The free kit includes a chip week quiz, posters and bunting. BPC marketing executive Caroline Evans said: 'National Chip Week is the perfect opportunity to encourage your customers to enjoy some tasty chips. The quiz is a bit of fun for your customers, but you could also put some chip specials on the menu, such as a bowl of tasty chips topped with melted cheese and barbecue sauce or garlic mayonnaise.' To order a free kit and for more information on National Chip Week, visit or call 01865 782260.

ExCel serves up Hotelympia

Hotelympia takes place from 19 to 23 February at the ExCel conference, functions and exhibitions centre in London. Among the attractions are a salon culinaire, a pavilion showcasing regional food and drink from Britain, the 'skillery', where masterclasses and demonstrations will be run by chefs such as Peter Gordon, Cyrus Todiwala and Prue Leith, and the opportunity to see new food and drink, equipment and tableware products from more than 1,000 exhibitors. For further information, visit

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