Hickory News

Here’s the latest from Hickory
ISSUE 5 • JAN/FEB 2018

Find out how Hickory are celebrating and supporting the Year of Young People with investment in scholarships and modern apprenticeships to support their future managers. Discover how you can support Scotland’s pledge to ban single use plastic by making your own events sustainable. Development Chef Robbie Gleave gives us the lowdown on the best produce for spring and a sneak peek at our new, Spring 2018 seasonal menu. Plus read about Hickory’s Deputy MD Stephanie’s appointment to the Women in Tourism board as well as the planned conversions to Newhall Estate, a stunning new venue within the Hickory portfolio.

The Year of Young People

We’re celebrating our own fantastic team as part of 2018’s Year of Young People.

We are dedicated to supporting our young team members, from encouraging them to apply for relevant training courses and HIT scholarships to giving them the opportunity to shadow senior members of the team and receive mentoring. We want to help them develop further and encourage their professional growth as we grow our managers of tomorrow.

Toward the end of last year our Senior Account Executive, Nicole, was named ‘Rising Star’ and received a scholarship for HIT Scotland at the Business Women Scotland & Women in Tourism Awards. Not only that, but another 4 of our young team members have reached the interview stage for 2018 HIT scholarships. Jon, Andrew, Dawn and John all submitted impressive applications and were rewarded with interviews. We’re keeping everything crossed for them at the upcoming HIT Emerging Talent Conference where scholarships will be announced and are delighted that so many young members of our team are proactive and constantly striving to achieve.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the YOYP programme we have appointed our new Events Administrator, Amber, via the modern apprentice scheme. Modern apprenticeships are Vocational Based Qualifications, so Amber will be fulfilling her role whilst completing coursework.  This is great opportunity for young people to earn while they learn, with the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification. We’re delighted to be giving a young professional the opportunity to enter the world of work!

New Venue Alert – Newhall Estate

Impress your guests at one of Scotland’s newest venues to hit the market, Newhall Estate.

Located on the southern foothills of the Pentlands and with a stunning converted coach house due to be completed for summer 2018, Newhall Estate is perfect for corporate away days, weddings or private parties. With a whole host of activities available on the estate from clay pigeon shooting to 4×4 driving, archery and even mini highland games, there’s something for everyone. As an approved catering partner Hickory will work with our clients briefs to provide outstanding catering to suit your event, from talking point canapés to luxury sit down meals. Enquiry link.

Find out more about this amazing venue > https://hickoryfood.co.uk/venue/newhall-estate/

Stephanie appointed to Women in Tourism board

As an advocate for diversity in the workplace and as part of a 3-year diversity plan during 2017 Stephanie led Hickory to win Best Place for Women to Work at the Business Women Scotland Awards & Women in Tourism Awards, as well as Employer of the Year at The Business Women Scotland Awards.

Stephanie’s vision is to drive awareness and make Scottish tourism and hospitality a serious career option, with good pay, good benefits, and with a framework to support women to excel into leadership roles.

Commenting on her appointment to the Women in Tourism Board, Stephanie adds:

“I’m thrilled to be joining the organisation at an exiting and relevant time, the industry is on a trajectory for change and I am looking forward to working alongside WIT’s impressive line-up of entrepreneurs and business leaders to improve the framework for our future tourism leaders. I’m a huge advocate of diversity in the workplace and drive this culture always. I’m passionate, motivated and highly ambitious for myself and the companies and organisations that I’m involved with, and I’d like to offer this same enthusiasm to support the development of WIT.”

With her passion for the hospitality and tourism industry and her dedication to creating an industry which women can excel in, we know Stephanie will be an asset to the board!

Green Gatherings

With Scotland pledging to ban single use plastic by 2030, looking after the environment is moving to the top of everyone’s agenda. We’re finding that more and more of our clients are looking to host sustainable, green events.

We champion green events at every opportunity via our Green Tourism Gold award, and are fully commitment to reducing waste, developing sustainable business practices and being environmentally friendly. Clients know to expect outstanding food with a dedication to the environment too.

Here are our top tips for hosting your own green event;

  • Go paperless: When inviting your guests choose to send e-invites instead of traditional paper invites. This is not only more sustainable but you’ll save money on printing and postage, electronic replies make it easier to track who has RSVP’d and you’ll save time!
  • Sustainable venues: Many venues have environmental policies which are readily available. Use these to determine which matches your environmental principles. Check if they have a Green Tourism award as this is a great marker of a company’s commitment to sustainability. We work with countless sustainable venues who focus their efforts on creating first class events with a green agenda. If you’re looking for one, get in touch with our team who can recommend some fantastic, green venues.
  • Responsible Travel: Try to choose a central location for your event that everyone can easily access via public transport or on foot. This is an easy way to reduce the event’s carbon footprint.
  • Keep it local: You’ve got the venue, but what about the food? Choosing locally sourced, seasonal food will help to make the event an all round sustainable success! Being based in East Lothian we have access to one of Scotland’s finest larders, allowing us to source our ingredients from literally round the corner. From fish from Belhaven Smokehouse to ice cream from Di Rollo and herbs foraged from the locations and gardens where we deliver events, we not only guarantee quality but support the local supply chain and keep food miles low.

What are we doing to help create sustainable events?

  • Ditching the plastic: We are moving to paper straws across our events and venues – a simple but impactful move. The same goes for plastic bottles. Our water is from our purifying water dispenser which provides the best quality water from the most local source. We have reusable branded glass bottles for pure chilled and sparkling drinking water without the single use plastic.
  • Simple serving: When it comes to ‘going green’ sometimes the simplest swaps have the biggest impact. We’re removing sachets of sugar from our events, replacing them with classic sugar bowls. This creates less waste and our clients love the vintage feel of a proper sugar bowl.
  • The Green Team: Behind the scenes at Hickory we have a team of motivated individuals from across the business who form our Green Team. They monitor and review our sustainable environment aims and provide advice on opportunities to help the business to further reduce our environmental impact.

If you’re interested in creating your own Green Gathering, get in touch with our team who can help you put together an unforgettable event – https://hickoryfood.co.uk/contact/

Seasonal Sensations

Our Development Chef Robbie Gleave gives us the lowdown in our latest blog on the best produce for spring and a sneak peek at our new, Spring 2018 seasonal menu.

Here’s what he had to say…

“Rhubarb! Straight off the top every time when thoughts turn to slightly warmer and brighter times (here’s hoping!) Even before February hits, this culinary beast of a perennial is showing its colours and sending its ruby fingers upwards to find the new season and reach for the light. I grow rhubarb, and am quite frankly amazed every year that something that appears to be so dead and spent, pops back to life with increasing vigour. It’s a super-strong plant with lots of attitude and seems to relish the neglect I give it! The more I ignore it the more it seems flourish, delivering some of the most colourful and big flavoured ingredients from the garden. Seeing this plant begin to return from hibernation is for me the heralding of the new season and knowing that the rest of kitchen garden plants will soon be on the menu.

Our food should change a little during Spring. We love the big comforting winter casseroles, broths, puddings and rich (often boozy) warming sauces but the new season’s ingredients will lead us towards dishes that are a little lighter feeling. Our local riverbanks and walking trails will soon be under a blanket of wild garlic which we regularly feature amongst our dishes alongside the staples of new season asparagus, purple broccoli and, as we get further into spring, the start of some baby vegetables. I get weekly updates from Caroll’s, the ‘potato people’, and I am told of an astonishing variety of potatoes available throughout the year and get samples as they are harvested. Some may have rosy flesh like the Red Emmalie which would make a perfect Valentine’s mash or the Pink Fir which is great for little slices steamed and finished in sizzling butter.

Phrases like ‘spring chicken’ and ‘spring lamb’ instantly jump to mind when thinking of Spring produce. These are regularly used in seasonal menus where ingredients can be at their freshest and most tender, taking prime cuts and lightly grilling or flash frying.

We regularly keep in touch with our fishmongers to get advice on what is best from the sea at different times of the year. Spring should see megrim sole, brown crab, langoustines and clams and these will be used to fuse with the other produce available to build lighter super-tasty dishes.

So, with all this in mind, here are a couple of menu thoughts currently on the development bench that would work perfectly at a spring celebration.”

  • ‘Just-a-Taste’ pre-starter of mouth-watering roasted langoustine with pickled radish, cucumber salad and a coarse mustard emulsion
  • Brown crab, razor clam and asparagus salad with pak choi in a tamarind and ginger dressing
  • Dukkah spiced grilled loin of lamb with sauté of Pink Fir potatoes, wilted wild garlic, little carrots poached in orange juice, creamed celeriac and fresh herb consommé
  • Rhubarb and rosewater ripple cheesecake jar with candied almonds, caramelised chocolate crumbs and a honeycomb choc ice

If you’re looking to host an event this spring, get in touch with our team who can help you to create the perfect menu. https://hickoryfood.co.uk/contact/

Hickory Showcase

To round off a great 2017 we hosted an incredible sensory evening at Edinburgh’s stunning Assembly Rooms.

Working closely with YOURgb Events, we transformed the Ballroom into an enchanting autumnal forest. Using real evergreen trees, fairy lights, rustic wooden tables and chairs and autumnal foliage our vision of an intimate, informal dining experience came to life.

Find out from our Sales, Planning and Event Design Manager, Corrinne, how the team visualised and created the spectacular event. https://hickoryfood.co.uk/hickory-sensory-tasting-evening/

Hickory Bars – Coming to a Festival Near You!

Cork’s are popping at Hickory Bars HQ as we’ve found out that we’ve been awarded the contract to run the bar at this year’s Borders Book Festival!

From 14th – 17th June our Botanical Garden Bar will be serving the best gin cocktails made with our favourite local gins. We can’t wait to see you all there!

Looking ahead to the rest of 2018, expect us to be dazzling you with our signature cocktails, wowing you with our wine lists and blowing you away with our choice of local, craft beers. We’ll be building our unique pop up bars, marquees and botanical garden at events across Scotland this summer so be sure to keep an eye out for us and pop in to say hello and enjoy your favourite tipple.