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Issue Date:- 1 April 2009

The Northern hospitality

THE Northern Hospitality Awards, held on Monday, 30 March 2009, saw a top Merseyside chef pick up an award – Marc Wilkinson, chef patron at Wirral-based Fraiche won Best Chef sponsored by Steelite.

The great and good of the Northern hospitality industry gathered in the splendid surroundings of the Hilton Manchester Deansgate for the fourth Northern Hospitality Awards. Over 250 guests celebrated and applauded the best of the industry as the nine awards – Best Bar, Chef, General Manager, Hotel, Newcomer, Pub, Restaurant, Wine Offering and the coveted Special Achievement award – were announced. Without exception, the winners were thrilled to be called to the podium to collect their award from Nigel Barden, compere and food & drink presenter on BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans’ Show.

The winners are as follows:-

Best Bar ~ Residence Restaurant & Bar, Nantwich

Best Chef ~ Marc Wilkinson, Fraiche, Wirral

Best General Manager ~ Jason Harding, The Lowry, Manchester

Best Hotel ~ Clow Beck House, Darlington

Best Newcomer ~ The Church Green, Lymm

Best Pub ~ Kirkstile Inn, Cockermouth

Best Restaurant ~ Ramsons Restaurant, Ramsbottom

Best Wine Offering ~ The Angel Inn at Hetton

Special Achievement ~ Andrew and Jacquie Pern, The Star Inn, Harome

Marc Wilkinson from Fraiche said:- “I have been back in the North of England for five years. At Fraiche I am creating my own vision of modern cuisine, pushing dishes and our customers’ experience to new heights, putting Merseyside on the culinary map. It’s good to be home.”

Thom Hetherington, Managing Director of Moorfield Media, the awards’ organisers said:- “This year the standard has surpassed our expectations and the judges have had a really tough job. The current economic climate makes award ceremonies such as this all the more important – the industry needs its moment to congratulate the best of its colleagues and peers. The Northern hospitality industry certainly has a lot to celebrate and be proud of.”

This year the awards ceremony moved to the Hilton Manchester Deansgate where the guests mingled at a cocktail reception and then enjoyed a delicious four-course dinner created by the hotel’s head chef David Gale, a finalist for Best Chef.

The 2009 Northern Hospitality Awards were sponsored by Brown-Forman Beverages, Steelite, BLEND Recruitment, Boutinot, Northern Restaurant & Bar, Restaurant Association part of the British Hospitality Association, Russell Partnership, and Hospitality Action.

Parents are top of the class

LIVERPOOL’S very first ‘Super Parents’ graduate with first class honours.

Eighteen local families where among the first in the country to complete the pioneering FAST family programme, and they celebrate their graduation Tuesday, 31 March 2009.

Liverpool was selected in December 2008 as a UK pilot city for the hugely successful FAST initiative, which was developed in the USA. It aims to restore family and community values and bring parents and children closer together, as well as tackling social issues such as drugs, teenage pregnancy and anti-social behaviour.

Over the last eight weeks, parents of pupils at Broadgreen High, Holly Lodge and New Heys have gone ‘back to school’ with their children. They have received family training from American experts which has given them the tools to become better parents as well as helping other families build stronger relationships.

The programme has seen families working together, through games, workshops, exercises and discussions, to help empower parents as role models and re-establish family roles.

Having completed the course, the parents can themselves become trainers, sharing ‘good parenting’ with other families and helping place schools and families at the heart of community life.

The ‘Super Parents’ will join their children at a special graduation ceremony at Broadgreen High School. American trainers from FAST and council staff will present them with their certificates.

The city council’s executive member for education, Councillor Keith Turner, said:- “FAST is a really unique approach to developing stronger, more secure families and communities – and it works. It’s fantastic that Liverpool is leading the way with this fantastic initiative and I’d like to congratulate all of our graduates. They are a great example of how thriving, safe, cohesive communities really do begin at home.”

The programme, co-ordinated by FAST in partnership with the city council and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, has been such a success that it will be rolled-out to five more Liverpool schools in April 2009. It is expected that 13 secondary schools will have signed-up to the scheme by the end of the year.

Ultimately, it is hoped that FAST will provide families across the city with a strong network through which they can turn to other families in the community for help and support.

And it is hoped that the scheme will help combat issues facing families in modern society such as family dysfunction, social
isolation, anti-social behaviour and the breakdown of community values.

Elspeth Bromiley, family therapist for children and adults, said:- “FAST is proving to be a massive success in Liverpool. It’s already making a huge difference to the lives of many local families, creating a real sense of community and helping parents connect with their children and with other families.

We’re delighted that the first of our families have completed the programme and we’re looking forward to the scheme going from strength to strength in the coming months.”

Further graduation ceremonies will take place at Holly Lodge Girls College and New Heys Community Comprehensive on Thursday, 2 April 2009, when 16 more Liverpool families will receive their FAST certificates.

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