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After the festive rush, it’s a quieter time for many in hospitality. It’s good and bad - a chance both to catch their breath and but also worry about what’s to come in this challenging year ahead.

Here at CODE we’re starting to collate our long-list of names for consideration for our annual report on the 100 most influential women in hospitality, to be published in the spring edition of CODE Quarterly (don’t forget, you can subscribe to the magazine here).

It was fantastic to see three of last year’s entrants recently receive honours. An expert panel makes the final choices, but if you want to highlight someone, please feel free to email:

Have a good week


El Gato Negro

We’ll have to wait till summer to get the full details, but El Gato Negro founder Simon Shaw (above) has announced the team are to open a middle eastern concept restaurant in Manchester. It will be in the basement of the former Reform Club on Brown Street and have a similar atmosphere to the tapas restaurant already operating - and it joins their Portuguese site too, Canto, in Ancoats.

Blind Tiger

It’s great news from pub operators Blind Tiger, who plan to add two new sites to their existing 13 before the end of next month. Figures were strong over the festive season and so expect Stockport and Liverpool city centre to appear within weeks. With 15 buzzing pubs open or opening, though, come on guys, get on your social media game - no tweets or Insta posts yet?!

Kuits NRB Top Fifty

Just in time to lift the January gloom, nominations are now open for the Kuits NRB Top Fifty - an awards dedicated to the best hospitality operators in the north. It’s certainly been a boom year for some, although challenging for others but it’s great to see the accolades will continue - now with the legal company Kuits’ sponsorship. Nominations are open till 22 January; enter here.

Roux Scholarship

Meanwhile for young chefs, there’s still time to enter the prestigious Roux Scholarship competition. The noted Australian chef Peter Gilmore has been appointed honorary president of the judges for the Roux Scholarship 2019. He will head the team – which includes Angela Hartnett, Sat Bains and Michel Roux Jr - appraising the chef entrants for the prestigious prize. Entries are open until 31 January.


Last week healthy fast-food people Friska opened its third Manchester site on University Green; it’s the operators’ 11th location… Also in Manchester, The Meatless Farm Co has launched a pop-up offering veggie and vegan street food at The Hatch on Oxford Road…

... and closing

Restaurant 92 in Harrogate has closed its doors - after just three years and despite a recent positive review from the Observer’s Jay Rayner. CODE wishes chef Michel Carr well and looks forward to hearing what he does next…

Paul Heathcote

Industry veteran Paul Heathcote is to open a new restaurant this year, planned for April, in Bolton. At one point Heathcote had 12 restaurants, before closing the last back in 2016, but his catering company is to take over the Albert Halls site for a high-end offering. The name and exact opening date haven’t been announced, but he has promised “traditional northern dishes”.

Nisha Katona

Congratulations to Nisha Katona. Just a few days after receiving an MBE for services to food, the Mowgli founder has announced that she's about to open a second site in Manchester. We like Katona describing the Indian menu as “perfect brain food”, appropriate for the large student population of the Oxford Road area.

New Opening, Orasay

Orasay is a new restaurant, launching March 2019, by chefs Jackson Boxer & Andrew Clarke. The 50 cover dining room in Notting Hill will showcase the exceptional produce of the British Isles, with a particular focus on the seafood of the pure, rich waters off the Western Isles of Scotland.

Restaurants can be the most amazing, rewarding and fulfilling places to work. Come cook and serve beautiful food and make people happy.

Click here to read more

New Opening, The Standard

We embrace, we create, we innovate; The Standard never stands still. Be part of our unconventional, bold, irreverent, evolved and personal takeover of London.

Join us at our Open Days on the 23rd & 24th January as we seek to cast a team of diverse and dynamic F&B professionals to join acclaimed Chef’s Peter Sanchez-Iglesias and Adam Rawson

Click here to read more

The Dumbwaiter takes a dim view of January get-thin-quick schemes but was a fan of Tom Kerridge nipping into a bookshop to stick his face over Gemma Atkinson’s on her new diet and fitness title – cue instant waist and six-pack.

Pity poor Gizzi Erskine, on holiday in Asia her phone went tonto with people telling her the Beckhams were eating at her healthy London fast-food pop-up Filth. It's the only filth that famously OCD David can stand, we assume.

So the World’s 50 Best Restaurants is going to have a panel made up of equal numbers of male and female judges this year (see above). The Dumbwaiter says - what took them so long?

restaurant of the week
Fika Bar & Restaurant
offer of the week
Flight Club Darts Manchester

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