Baking with Melanie Andrews
The Emerald Isle is my brief this week.
So many Celebrity Restaurants and Hotels etc all over the world and most have never set foot in them.
Are they worth the hype or are they seriously overpriced and overrated just because of a signature over the door.?
I have a feeling I know the answer but we shall see.
I personally feel that Ireland itself is a seriously underrated little Island as regards to the quality of food and the standards of Hospitality. I am a seasoned traveller and never have I returned to a country so often to be repeatedly overwhelmed by it's people,food and Hospitality.
My question would be - Does Ireland really need the big names to impress when absolutely everywhere from small tearooms to inns to Hotels and B&Bs are already impressing?
See my answers here or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or the Newspspers/Magazines in real time.
The Hospitality Critic " AKA Melanie Andrews MBE" is making waves in Iceland and all over the world this year. With over 40 years experience in The Hospitality industry ,she pulls no punches (Quotes The Stateman ) .
This Industry professional travels extensively all over the world and is embarking on a Canadian/American Tour in early 2019 . She has a well documentated love affair with Ireland ( Although not her home country) and proposes all sectors of the Hospitality Industry could learn much from this small but most hospitable island.
We are hoping to shadow her movements on her next tour and we wait with baited breadth for her honest and professional opinions on all things "Hospitality"
See her short but to the point reviews on Facebook at The Hospitality Critic.
The Great Craigard Bake-Off was an outstanding success this year, sponsored by The Scottish Baking Awards. Over 500 entries, over 5 different categories, were whittled down to 60 for the final Bake-off on the 11th November 2018 at Craigard Tearoom in Helensburgh.
The 5 different categories were as follows:
Sugarcraft Chocolate Novelty Cake Homebaking and Bread.
The 4 judges were :
Mastercraftsman- Sean McVey from The Breadwinner bakery in Edinburgh
Masterbaker- Melanie Andrews MBE from The Scottish Baking Awards
Multi Award winning Chocolatier- Shona Sutherland from Taystful
Multi Award winning Cake Artist- Anna Dillon Dillons Cakes
The winners in each category were as follows:
Bread - Lily Greig
Novelty -Zuzka Miles
Sugarcraft - Sharon Morrison
Homebaking- Seema Joshi
Chocolate- Gayathri Prakash
Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to our fabulous judges who gave up their spare time freely to encourage and promote Scotland's great new Bakers. Roll on 2019.
The Helensburgh baker, entrepreneur and founder of the Scottish Baking Awards, Melanie Andrews MBE, tells Shereen how cakes and pastries don’t need to be the dietary bad guy; and why teaching skills to local youngsters is one of her many passions.
Super excited to be announcing my Gastronomic Road trip in early 2019 now includes USA. I will be taking in Toronto ,The Canadian via rail to Regina and onwards into the Rockies ,Banf and Jasper( Possibly Vancouver ) by car. On the return journey through USA taking in Dakota, Minnesota,Wisconsin,Chicago Indiana,Ohio Pennsylvania and onwards to the Big Apple - New York. I will be critiquing every venue ,food and all hospitality along the way as usual . I leave New York on QM2 for the transatlantic crossing back home.
The opportunity to write reviews for major UK Newspapers and magazines including my own website as "The Hospitality Critic" is an honour.
Melanie Andrews MBE.
It was quite a day at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh on the 4th July 2017. I was here to meet Her majesty the Queen to recieve my MBE. The weather was typically dreich and wet but nothing on this earth could have dampened my spirit. There are very few people on this earth that i respect , admire and bow too and Her Majesty the Queen is at the top of that list by a long shot. There will never be another like this remarkable lady - Never. Honoured .
Absolutely great to read in The Guardian, that Jay Rayner is now singing from the same Hymn Book re Restaurant Desserts being a last resort on a Menu . I have been writing about this for years and now finally the rest of the world is catching on . I have earned my reputation as a Food Critic by actually owning ,running and currently working in the Food industry with my chain of 4 Restaurant's over a 43 year period . Being a Masterbaker myself is thoroughly depressing when you are presented with liquid desserts at the end of a great meal . Hence this year as you all know, I have put my money where my mouth is, and set myself the year long challenge to review Scotland's Michelin star and Bib Gourmand Restaurant's dessert course to prove or disprove my view. All these reviews can be seen at www.scottishbakingawards.co.uk and in print at Bite Magazine and Helensburgh Advertiser. This weekend I am returning to 21212 in Edinburgh to see what Paul Kitching has to offer . At the end of July 2017 my synopsis of all these Restaurant's in Scotland will be sent to all National and Local Newspapers, Radio and Media . The results so far are not as you would expect !
It was an absolute honour to meet and eat at Tom Kitchins place this weekend in Edinburgh . The Kitchin Review is now live at the www.scottishbakingawards.co.uk website under Hotel/Restuarant review tab. You can also read this review in Bite Magazine or Helensburgh Advertiser in due course.