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Our round-up of what's pulling at the PubChef team's heartstrings this month Malt matches British cheese and whisky matching. The British Cheese...

Our round-up of what's pulling at the PubChef team's heartstrings this month

Malt matches

British cheese and whisky matching. The British Cheese Board has teamed up

with whisky writer Dave Broom to devise whisky and cheese pairing suggestions.

Among our favourites are Talisker 18 with extra mature Cheddar. The smoky, sweet whisky balances out the saltiness of the cheese, while the high volume of alcohol cuts through the fat and opens up its flavours.

Another perfect pairing is the Glenmorangie Original with Somerset brie. This light whisky has accents of passion fruit, orange and vanilla. When sampled with the brie, the creaminess and saltiness comes through.

Try Glen Elgin 12-year-old with creamy Lancashire cheese. This whisky has a fruity, sweet flavour and works well with the texture of the cheese creating a subtle and pleasant taste.

Britain produces over 700 varieties of named cheeses and there are over 2,500 brands of whisky worldwide. With such a variety on offer, there is certainly scope for offering your customers some winning combinations.

Curry and cider

You may associate beer with curry but now Merrydown cider is being positioned as a good accompaniment to the dish.

The company reckons the cider, which is made from the juice of crisp eating apples and Champagne yeast, makes a great match for Britain's favourite food.

The campaign was launched at Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Benares in London. Food and drink writer Joe Wadsack matched Merrydown's ciders to a seven-course tasting menu from award-winning chef Atul Kochur.

Matches included terrine of confit duck leg with crisp fennel bread; curry leaf and tarragon infused crab rillet matched with Merrydown Vintage Dry. Merrydown Gold was matched with cilantro chicken on masala basmati, goujons of John Dory in a crisp gram flour batter and roasted rump of lamb on rosemary chickpeas.

Licensees can take advantage of the curry

and cider link by ordering free curry-orientated PoS. For more information call 0800 9173450 or visit



Dried and tested

Ocean Spray Craisins. These sweetened, dried cranberries are a big hit in the US and have now arrived across the pond. As well as a healthy alternative to a bag of pork scratchings, they can be used in the kitchen. Think cranberry and ginger upside-down cake; cranberry roast chicken and sweet potatoes; cranberry and sesame honey-glazed pork and summer leaves with grilled goats' cheese and cranberries. For more ideas, see


A bit on the side

We're not usually big fans of fussy side dishes, jars for this, boats for that, ramekins for the other... but occasionally we really appreciate that little extra. The Larwood & Voce in West Bridgford, Nottingham, was serving up pollock and beef dripping chips with a little jar of tartare sauce. The pork belly came with its own jar of apple sauce, too. Not only does it eliminate the possibility of slopping on sauce that the diner doesn't like, it also takes away the mess of sachets and is more hygienic to store than sauce in open ramekins, because the jars have lids. They're a bit like Bear Grylls — practical and attractive.

Benefit of HeinzSight

Heinz has launched an interactive website

to help support licensees' businesses.

The site's key task is to match individual businesses with the best products for

their businesses. A virtual shopping basket is then accompanied

by suggestions on how to make casual dining menus more appealing, more profitable and more successful. Members can also take advantage of a dedicated ideas area which includes tailored menu inspiration, merchandising know-how and promotional solutions.

For more information, visit HeinzSight at www.heinzsight.co.uk or call 0800 575755.

Chef cards

The Food Standards Agency has launched chef cards to help people with food allergies or intolerances when they're eating out. The credit-card-sized cards are filled in to let the chef know which foods the customer needs to avoid. In the UK, about 10 people die every year from an allergic reaction to food and many more end up in hospital. In most cases, these reactions are caused by something eaten in a restaurant or takeaway.

Sawday's pub guide

The new issue of the Alastair Sawday's Pubs & Inns of England and Wales guide is out now, featuring more than 850 independently-inspected pubs. The guide, edited by David Hancock, features 140 pubs with rooms. A digital edition is available for sat navs.

It costs £14.99. For info, see www.sawdays.co.uk.

Eggcellent competition

British Lion Eggs are looking for a chef with the "Eggs Factor". A £5,000 prize is being offered to the winner. Entrants will be judged on their ability to poach an egg and create a signature dish featuring eggs, which can be cooked in under 10 minutes. The competition will culminate in a cook-off during British Egg Week (6 to 12 October).

Enter at www.eggrecipes.co.uk/eggsfactor.

The closing date is midnight on 3 August 2008.

Hooked on classics

A look at how pub chefs are putting the cool into classics

Pub: The Highwayman, Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire

Dish: Herdwick mutton shepherd's pie, creamed white onions and capers 

Price: £10.50

Dishes a week: 50 in spring, more in winter

Special because: The mutton mince and capers create a rich, hearty flavour

General manager Carl Dilks says: "Customers love this because it's good, hearty British food, like granny used to make. We serve it with a side of HP sauce. Classic."

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Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

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