Krimo's Shortlisted Again...

In the wake of our win in the Hartlepool Business Awards back in May I was encouraged to enter the North East England Tourism Awards. (Taste of North East England)
I sent off my entry without really expecting to get anywhere. North East England encompasses a very wide area full of delightful eating places from the Scottish Borders to Yorkshire. I was really surprised when I received the letter announcing the good news.
But it really seems like a feeling of deja-vu. Just like in May when I honestly doubted that we would win, I once again do not feel very confident.

Restaurants are encouraged to use local ingredients and local suppliers to support the local economy.
We have used the same local butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers for most of our 24 years in business and have always trusted them to supply us with nothing but the best ingredients, which happen to be grown, reared or caught within the region.
Most days, our fishmonger, Hodgson of Whitby Street sends his boats past Krimo's out to the North Sea to net some of the best fish around, from cod to marckerel, langoustines to crabs.
The beef and lamb that go to make our delicious dishes are reared on local farms from the Scottish borders to North Yorkshire.

We will find out in September if we have won. If we do, then we will go to London to represent the North East next Spring.

Krimo's Walking on the Moon...

Forty years ago! When I was sixteen in 1969, I could never have imagined that I would live another forty years... Moi, fifty six? Never! That is totally ancient!
I saw the Moon landing by chance.
We did not have a telly and I had no idea that the Americans were heading for the big round of cheese in the sky. Our daily newspaper reported mainly on very mundane stuff. A cat stuck up a tree. The opening of a new shoe shop in town. Vietnam.
I came across the Moon landing by chance.
My mother woke us up at around 3am.
Not to watch the landing. No, no... A simple coincidence. We had to catch a coach at 5am to go to Collo a couple hundred miles away to spend a month's holiday at my uncle's.
Excited, we all got up without a moan, had a cup of milky coffee and a chunk of buttered baguette with Mother's delicious quince jam. A quick wash and we headed for the station.
At 4am, the town was very quiet.
The only noises came from the cafés on the Square. Their owners were already busy furnishing their terraces with plastic tables and chairs.
As we passed the last café before the station, my eye caught sight of the television above the counter. The black and white picture of Neil Armstrong taking big steps on the Moon.
I was truly moonstruck but my mother only allowed me to witness a few bounces before she dragged me away, threatening to leave me home with my Dad for another week. I left Neil Armstrong bouncing and followed my mother to the Med.
My Grandmother later laughed at my tale. "It's a lie! They would've been burnt alive! Just look at it glowing."
The holiday was a dream but that morning has stayed with me ever since.

Portofino's Thanks...

We often get Thank You cards from customers who have enjoyed their visit to one of our restaurants, but this is a new one.

There was a retirement party at Portofino on Friday night. There were 33 guests.
They must have really enjoyed themselves because below is the card we have received, signed by all the members of the party.
As soon as I arrived at work, Nicole, the assistant-manager showed me it, full of pride for a job well done.

It is my turn to say: "Thank you for coming to our restaurant, enjoying both food and service and not only that, but making our staff totally proud of themselves by sending them this card!"

Business Class...

I was invited to judge a Hartlepool schools competition which involved Expochef and six finalist teams. The kids had to research and then market a new food product. The offering ranged from fruity smoothies, fishcakes to stir-fries and healthy yoghurts.

The enthusiasm shown by the schoolchildren was infectious. All had meticulously researched the ingredients, the packaging and various forms of marketing.

I was one of a few chosen "dragons" whose arduous task was to choose the winning team after the presentation and a thorough "grilling".

The initiative was well supported by the town's Mayor, Stuart Drummond.

Krimo's Future Celebrity Chefs?

Every Spring and Summer, our 3 restaurants welcome a host of schoolchildren on work placement for one or two weeks. Every year, we seem to be getting more and more.

Most of our kitchen and restaurant staff are now used to catering for these young kids, eager to experience restaurant life first hand.
Whether they embark on a catering career or not, they will have at least got a taste of working in teams, performing under pressure, having a laugh, etc...
Work experience usually means filing, cleaning or making tea among other boring things.

I gather that many of those placed with us tend to go home to show off the skills they have learnt. Making pizzas and pastas, from scratch!
I cannot begin to imagine how pleased their mothers would be at having to clean up the kitchen after them...

Krimo's Last Laugh...

This weekend, sunny Hartlepool played host to an amazing number of visitors from all over.
Parades, fancy-dressed entertainers, cookery demonstrations, fairground attractions, music and comedy shows, etc...
Hartlepool showed that, given the weather, it can be a very attractive town with lots to do.
The weekend finished with a comedy evening, headlined by Sean Lock.

Hartlepool Dockfest... A success!

Dockfest is up and running for the weekend.
The weather is beautiful and holding.
Music, food, fun...
The comedian Sean Lock winner of a coveted British Comedy Award for ‘Best Live Performer will be headlining the festival on Sunday 5th July.

Krimo's Web Designs...

In Spring 2008, I took a course in web design. Last month, I was invited to collect the certificate below. I could not make it though I wish I had, because the ceremony would have meant wearing a robe, hood and mortarboard.

So, I used my artistic licence to fit myself with a customised graduation dress.