Shucks! Why oysters continue to rock our world

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Shucks! Why oysters continue to rock our world

It’s a magical mollusc, a beautiful bivalve, salty snack that is lauded as an aphrodisiac. There’s no doubt that oysters, once a peasant food, are now among the ultimate delicacies for foodies.

They’ve long been linked to amour - Aphrodite , the Greek goddess of love was born from the sea in an oyster shell. Her son, Eros, was the god of love; and Casanova, the legendary 18th century lothario, was said to eat 50 for breakfast.

Whether they are a powerful aphrodisiac or not, oysters are an enticing choice on any menu. They’re also good for you: known as a multivitamin from the sea, they are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, and iodine.

If oysters are your passion, Opus, the multi award-winning restaurant in Cornwall Street, Birmingham, is the place to dine - it sells more oysters than any other restaurant in the city and serves only Carlingford rock oysters. These outstanding oysters are cultivated in the waters of County Lough in Ireland and are renowned for their sweet, rich and nutty flavours.

And paired with the finest Champagne, Carlingford rock oysters are the perfect way to kick off any celebration.

Every Friday and Saturday from April 21 and throughout the summer, Opus is tempting diners with a pearl of an offer: a complimentary dozen Carlingford rock oysters with every bottle of Champagne purchased. Order a half bottle of Champagne and you’ll receive a half dozen of Carlingford rock oysters. The offer is available for tables up to 16 diners.

For details, visit www.opusrestaurant.co.uk or telephone 0121 200 2323.

 

How to serve oysters

Raw or grilled, these are our favourite ways to eat oysters:

  1. Plain and simple - add a dash of tabasco, horseradish or lemon juice to your fresh, just-opened oysters and enjoy.

  2. Herb butter - Finely chop mixed herbs with butter, lemon zest and a little lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Grill unopened oysters for about two minutes, then pry them open with a shucking knife (don’t use your kitchen knife). Top them with a little herb butter and serve.

  3. Oriental sauce - mix minced garlic, finely chopped ginger, mirin, chopped spring onions, finely chopped red chilli, sesame oil and drizzle the sauce over freshly opened oysters.

  4. Chilli and ginger - grate a little fresh ginger, mix with rice wine vinegar. Add finely chopped red chilli and fresh coriander and stir in a little sugar. Top your oyster with this delicious sauce and enjoy.

  5. Mignonette sauce - mix finely minced shallot with red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over oysters.

  6. Angels on horseback - wrap oyster meat (removed from the shell) in pancetta, Parma ham or bacon and roast for about six minutes.

PR By Clive Reeves PR Birmingham

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Heavyweight race sponsorship from truck dealer

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Heavyweight race sponsorship from truck dealer

Midlands-based truck dealer Guest Truck and Van has renewed its sponsorship of the Reid Freight racing team, which has entered a custom-built IVECO Euro Cargo into the British Truck Racing Championship.

Supplied with parts and expertise from Guest’s locally branded Sherwood Truck and Van branch, along with other local engineers, the truck has been hand built at the Reid Freight depot in Stoke-on-Trent.
  
Truck racing is one of the most spectacular sights in motorsport and with more than 1000hp and acceleration outstripping many road-going sports cars, the trucks are nothing like those you would see hauling freight around the motorways. 

Driver Simon Reid, who is racing the number 89 truck, has a day job in the Reid Freight family business, but enjoys some success in truck racing. He said: “Truck racing is exhilarating and as the driver, I get to do the best bit, but building a truck and supporting it through a season of racing is pure teamwork. 

“Some of our own engineers are part of the team, as well as local experts who help with their own particular skills. There is a lot of Stoke-on-Trent expertise that goes into that truck.”

With 13 branches across the centre of England, Guest Truck and Van is the UK’s largest IVECO dealer network. Managing director Rob Spittle said: “It’s great to be involved with the Reid Freight team again this season. For us, the sponsorship isn’t just about money, it’s about the collaboration, involvement of our team and the thrill of racing. 

“There’s something exciting about seeing a truck in the Guest and Sherwood livery out there competing with some much bigger teams and knowing that it’s because of a collaboration of local businesses working together that has made it happen.”

The next British Truck Racing Championship meeting is at Pembrey in Wales on 22nd and 23rd April. 

PR by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham

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Birmingham Muslims raise £1.2 million for Syrians in need

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Birmingham Muslims raise £1.2 million for Syrians in need

Green Lane Masjid & Community Centre (GLMCC) has today (Friday 7th April) presented a £1.2 million cheque to international humanitarian aid charity Human Appeal, after just eight months of fundraising from within Birmingham’s Muslim community.

Centre Manager Amer Ijaz presented the cheque to Othman Moqbeel, CEO at Human Appeal, in a small ceremony at GLMCC.

In 2016, Birmingham Muslims helped GLMCC to raise one of the largest amounts by any local charity, supporting aid projects in Syria and Lebanon. The charity’s most significant appeal, the Syria Bread Project, aims to provide 42 million life-saving meals to Syrians facing and fleeing violence in the war-torn country.

In 2015, Task Force GLM (Green Lane Masjid) visited Syria to ask what they needed most; they responded with ‘just bread’. In 2015, the charity provided 18 million meals to people in Syria.

The money raised in Birmingham in 2016 will go to provide 3,000 tonnes of flour which will be transported into the country and used to provide bread to those in need. Funding will also provide essential winter supplies and bread for Syrian refugees in Lebanon who have fled the war.

Donating a proportion of wealth to the poor and needy is an essential part of Islam. This tradition is known as Zakat, a religious duty bestowed upon Muslims, and sees members of the Birmingham community donating significant sums of money to support projects at home and abroad throughout the year.

Facts:

  • There are over 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian aid in Syria

  • It is estimated that over 400,000 people have died in Syria

  • Through the Syria Bread Project, £280 feeds 6000 people

  • Task Force GLM has over 200 staff on the ground in Syria and Lebanon

  • Task Force GLM has a 100% donation policy

As one of the country's most forward-thinking and innovative mosques, Green Lane Masjid & Community Centre works relentlessly to fundraise and help its community. Along with their 6,000 congregants, Green Lane has spearheaded programs such as food banks, knife banks, careers advice, and a professional counselling and mentoring service.

To learn more about GLMCC and its initiatives, please visit http://www.greenlanemasjid.org/

PR by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham 

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Head in the Clouds for Colmore Tang Construction

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Head in the Clouds for Colmore Tang Construction

Birmingham-based contractor Colmore Tang Construction is implementing a state-of-the-art top-down construction method to tackle the rising demands on the housing industry. 

The approach, named Work Your Way Down (WYWD), involves the construction of developments by beginning at the top. The revolutionary new approach is being implemented by Colmore Tang Construction on its high-rise residential and commercial properties across the West Midlands.

The current housing shortage in the UK means that contractors are under sky-high pressure to build new properties as quickly as possible and with minimal disruption. By starting the project at the top, WYWD Construction takes up no space at ground level until the last few floors are built. This reduces noise pollution and impact to surrounding buildings, road networks and pedestrian routes.

A study by the NHBC Foundation, published in June 2016 found that 98% of the organisations had used or considered the use of a Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) approach on at least one of their developments in the past three years. 

WYWD Construction has been recently approved after regulatory changes to aerial rights, with Colmore Tang Construction receiving certification to begin this type of development.

Neil Walters, Managing Director at Colmore Tang Construction, said: “This is the future of construction. We are constantly met with demands to build more and more properties at the same time as minimising disruption to the local area. WYWD Construction means that we can tackle these sky-high demands effectively whilst minimising ground space and noise pollution. We can’t wait to utilise this approach across the majority of our sites”. 

To find out more about WYWD Construction and Colmore Tang Construction, visit http://www.colmoretang.com/

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Imperial change for vessel manufacturer

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Imperial change for vessel manufacturer

Pressure vessel manufacturer Zilmet has announced that post Brexit, it will revert to imperial specifications for all of its UK supplied products. The company which is the leading supplier of heating system expansion vessels to the UK market, is best known for its CAL-PRO range.

Zilmet’s distinctive red vessels are a feature of a huge percentage of UK heating systems and will become available from one to 190 gallon capacities, with a maximum system pressure of up to 70 psi. 

Managing director Stuart Gizzi said: “Whilst the metric system was sensible and allowed standardisation of specifications and production right across Europe, there was never any problem when Great Britain worked in pounds, feet or inches. I admit that anyone aged under 50 might find it a bit more challenging working in multiples of 12 or 14 but anything that encourages people to think can’t be a bad thing.   

“The manufacturing change will probably result in a slight price rise, but we expect that this will not exceed a few shillings per unit.”

In another change, customers will be able to specify whether they would like the red, white, or blue finish.

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All secrets safe in self-destructing notepad

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All secrets safe in self-destructing notepad

In a world filled with hacking, code cracking  and cyber-warfare, British stationery brand Nu: has developed a self-destructing notepad to keep your inner feelings and missile coordinates safe from siblings and enemies.   

The nuclear notepad, Nu: Agent has been developed with secret service agents and is the foolproof place to store your deepest, darkest secrets and confidential data. Holding the likes of MI5 secret intelligence to the crushes of teenage girls, the Nu: Agent is the perfect place to keep your information secure from prying eyes. 

Nu: Agent is equipped with a bulletproof sleeve that can withstand the impact of a 9mm caliber round travelling at up to 358 m/s (1175 ft/s), similar to a Type II bulletproof vest. 

The Nu: Agent implodes if an intruder tries to breach its invisible military-grade security system, that features a special chemical combination that combusts upon contact. The interior pages are made from indestructible stone paper, allowing secret agents on an assignment, or teenagers at swim practice, to store classified information on a waterproof and non-tear surface. Identical paper is used in other Nu: non-self destructing products.

Information cannot be infiltrated by anyone but the owner. The Nu: Agent works to stop intruders in their tracks and only allows access through cutting edge fingerprint recognition. Inspired by the self-destructing messages in Mission Impossible, the Nu: Agent ensures that your secrets are secure.

Sharp, George Sharp, a former MI6 agent, says: “The Nu: Agent is an essential accessory for complex missions. The rise in online hacking is a big concern for the intelligence community as lots of our top secret information is stored digitally. Having a Nu: Agent that only I can access means the information cannot be infiltrated by enemies and will destruct if attempted. I am working with my superiors to ensure that every agent is equipped with one after training.” 

Nu: Agent will be available to purchase today and is available in a range of colours from camouflage to coral.

For more information, visit www.nuco-international.com 

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OABeliebers to gather at Conference Aston

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OABeliebers to gather at Conference Aston

Birmingham’s largest residential conferencing venue, Conference Aston, is hosting a Justin Bieber conference for 60+ OABs (Old Age Beliebers) from across the West Midlands, after discovering his popularity with the elderly in the region.

The conference is celebrating all things Bieber with a host of stations and activities devoted to the 23-year-old Canadian star. 

Activities taking place over the three hour conference include the ‘What do you mean?’ hearing station, ‘Love Yourself’ confidence workshop, and a ‘Sorry’ station where OABs can spill their life’s regrets. Justin Bieber’s Purpose album - a firm favourite with the senior citizens - will be played on induction loop for delegates with hearing aids. 

Doris Evans, 71 from West Bromwich, said: “I’ve loved Bieber from his baby to bad boy stages. No-one expects me to like Justin Bieber but I think he’s a talented young chap. His music makes me feel so young. Me and my friends listen to him whilst playing bowls and doing aqua aerobics. He makes our joints feel supple and gets our hearts racing”.

Muriel Josephs, 80, said: “After the conference, me, Irene and Gladys are going to get matching tattoos. We’ve always wanted them but have never been brave enough. We were going to get one for Elvis, but we love Justin Bieber more. We’re going to get ‘Bieber’s Babes’ on our lower backs”. 

The conference is taking place on Saturday 1st April, 3-6pm. 

For more information, visit www.conferenceaston.co.uk

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Finalists revealed for Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2017

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Finalists revealed for Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2017

Finalists have been revealed for this year’s Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY), with 18 young professionals from across the city’s professional services sector in the running to be crowned BYPY 2017.

BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship event, BYPY celebrates the city’s finest talent across six award categories, with one category winner taking the highly-coveted title of Overall BYPY Winner. For the first time, this year’s winner will also receive an Executive MBA from Aston University worth £20,000.

BYPY 2017 Finalists:

Property & Construction

Charles Jones - Christie & Co
Michael Parker - Gleeds
Steve Townsend - Associated Architects

Legal

Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard - Thursfield
Victoria Ball - Trowers & Hamlin
Matthew Sharp - Wright Hassall

HR, Recruitment & Training

Rob Markwell - Pitch Consultants
Alexandra Barre - Idex
Katy Hanby - KPMG

Finance

Adam Rollason - Higgs & Sons
Chris Taylor - Jasper Corporate Finance
Andy Lee - NatWest Bank

Marketing & Comms

Ria Blagburn - GrowBeyond
Nathan Wallis - Wesleyan
David Glenwright - JC Social Media

Technology

Glenn Karlsson - Green Frog Power
James Nestoruk - Stickee Technology Ltd
Dan Rice - Turn Partners

Finalists have also been revealed in the Aspiring Talent category, which celebrates a standout individual aged between 16 and 24 and with the calibre of entries so high, the judges have increased the category to four stand-out finalists. The award for Inspiring Leader, given to someone who has shown unwavering commitment to the city, will be announced at the awards ceremony, taking place on Thursday 18th May at the ICC.

Aspiring Talent Finalists:

Zara Fortt - BMet
Sarah Fraser - Deloitte
Luke Billings - Aston University
Brogan Kent - KPMG

Mike Colledge, Committee Chair for BYPY 2017, said: “BYPY highlights the incredible talent that the sector has to offer, and never has this been more apparent than in the standard of entries that we received this year. Our sifting panel has carried out one of the toughest jobs in the BYPY process, and our finalists are some of the most driven and successful individuals l that we’ve seen over the last 17 years. They will all now face our judging panel, chaired by Sir John Peace, before one is crowned BYPY 2017 on 18th May.  It’s a tough process, but one that has taken previous finalists and winners on a whirlwind journey of success.”

This year’s event is being supported by Headline Sponsor Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet).

Tickets for BYPY, which takes place on Thursday 18th May at ICC Birmingham, can be found at: http://bpsbirmingham.co.uk/bypy/

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About BPS Birmingham and Birmingham Young Professional of the Year

  • BPS Birmingham is the membership organisation of choice and the voice of the business professional and financial services (BPS) sector in Greater Birmingham. It represents, promotes and connects its members, their firms, the sector and the city region.

  • BPS Birmingham Future is the membership network for the emerging leaders of the professional services sector; young professionals with drive, momentum and passion.

  • Future’s flagship event is Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY), which recognises and rewards talent under 35 years old across six key categories: Finance; HR, Recruitment and Training; Legal; Marketing and Communications; Property and Construction; and Technology. As well as a stand-out 16-24 year old in an ‘Aspiring Talent’ category and an ‘Inspiring Leader’.

  • BYPY17 is taking place at the ICC on Thursday 18 May. Headline sponsor for this year is BMet. Squire Patton Boggs is this year’s Inspiring Leader sponsor, the Mailbox sponsors the Legal Category, Deloitte sponsors the Finance Category, BNP Paribas sponsors the Marketing and Comms Category, and SimkissGuy is sponsoring the Drinks Reception on the night. BYPY has also teamed up with Style Birmingham Magazine, and is being supported by 5874 and Hollywood Monster as creative and print sponsors.

PR by Clive Reeves PR, Birmingham

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Stationery brand Nu: launches photographic competition to find its 2018 notebook covers

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Stationery brand Nu: launches photographic competition to find its 2018 notebook covers

Creative photographers in London are being sought by British notebook brand Nu:, which has launched a nationwide competition to find three striking images to use on its 2018 collection.

Photography fans of all abilities are able to submit their snaps, both amateur and professional, to be considered for the front and rear covers of the brand’s newest notebooks, which will be stocked in high-street retailers across the country.

Pictures can be of any subject, whether that’s of local landmarks, skylines, landscapes or abstract still-life photography, however selfies are unlikely to make the cut.

Entries must be submitted by Monday 24th April, after which a shortlist of nine of the most impressive pics will be revealed on social media. Facebook and Twitter followers will then be asked to vote for their favourite picture, with the three most voted for being taken through to production and distribution - landing on store shelves in 2018.

Louise Spencer-Stevens, Product & Marketing Manager at Nuco International, said: “Every time we choose to update or introduce a new range to our portfolio, we first think about our customers and what they most want to see in a notebook. Whether that’s a bold new colour and pattern or improved paper quality, we aim to always better our products to suit their needs.

“When we decided we wanted to introduce a feature photography range, we initially struggled to decide on exactly what each should represent and which pictures we should choose. So we thought that it would be best to open the floor to our customers, let their creativity shine and encourage them to share their best photos with us. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then having your photo adorning the cover of notebooks in schools, offices and homes across the UK is no mean feat.”

Entries can focus on any subject, but must be in portrait orientation. As long as entries meet the minimum requirements, photographers are encouraged to submit images from any device, including smartphones and DSLR cameras.

Photographs should be emailed to socialmedia@nuco-int.com by Monday 24th April.

Terms & Conditions:

Images will need to be submitted as PSD, TIFF or PNG files and must be A4 (210 by 297 mm or W2480 x L3508 Pixels) in size.

Entries must be sent by email to: socialmedia@nuco-int.com

Deadline for entries is midnight on Monday 24th April 2017. The nine finalists will be revealed on Nu:’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) on Wednesday 26th April 2017. Voting for the three winners will open immediately and will close on Wednesday 3rd May 2017. The three winning pictures will be announced on the morning of Thursday 4th May 2017.

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Selfridges Birmingham marks a half a century of ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’

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Selfridges Birmingham marks a half a century of ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’

Selfridges Birmingham is celebrating 50 years since the iconic Heinz slogan ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ was launched with an exclusive commemorative collection available this week in the Birmingham Selfridges Foodhall.

To mark 50 years, shoppers will be able to purchase the limited edition anniversary cans that feature 50 variations of the ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ slogan, originally created by Maurice Drake in 1967.   

Selfridges’ Birmingham General Manager Sam Watts says: “We are so excited to celebrate a great  milestone for such an iconic brand. It is truly amazing to see how an effective and innovative marketing campaign can make such an everlasting impact on society 50 years on and we are truly honoured to be apart of it.”  

The limited edition Beanz Meanz Heinz can has been exclusively designed for Selfridges to showcase the brainz and boldness of the classic campaign. All of the artwork and variations were created in order to illustrate what the slogan means to UK households across the country.

Heinz Beanz spokesperson Francesca Mattiussi says: “Every day, two million people sit down to enjoy Heinz Beanz, whether that’s on toast, with a jacket potato or served alongside other dinner favourites. We wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the advertising slogan ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ by offering up some modern twists that people can enjoy.

“We take huge pride in the production of Heinz Beanz, from the laser technology that scrutinises every single bean to the top secret spice recipe we use for the sauce. Maurice Drake’s slogan summed it up perfectly because, when you put that level of care and attention into every single can, only Heinz Beanz will do.”

The anniversary collection will be exclusively available in the Birmingham Selfridges Foodhall this week for £2.

For further information visit www.selfridges.com.

PR By Clive Reeves PR Birmingham

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