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Masterchef star Kenny Tutt launches first vegan menu at Pitch in Worthing

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A MASTERCHEF winner has launched his first vegan menu at his seaside restaurant.

Kenny Tutt, who won the hit TV show in 2018, has created a completely plant-based weekly menu at Pitch, his restaurant in Warwick Street, Worthing.

For The Love Of Plants was launched for Veganuary and is now available at the restaurant every Wednesday evening, alongside the usual seasonal à la carte menu.

Kenny said: “We’re thrilled to launch our first vegan menu but it means so much more to us than Veganuary.

“We’ve spent a great deal of time carefully planning the menu, which has quality produce from the local area, as we know there is a real demand for plant-based dishes.

“You don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy this menu.

“The reaction so far has been wonderful.”

Kenny said the menu is in line with the restaurant’s ethos, which is to make the best of local produce.

He said: “Rather than just doing it for one month in January, we have taken the dishes which were the most popular and are continuing it every week.

“I didn’t want to use meat alternatives, but instead showcase how good a potato can be, for example, or how much flavour you can get in a roasted aubergine.”

Kenny said the menu “goes all around the world” and includes dishes such as middle-eastern baba ganoush, Italian courgette cannelloni, ratatouille and Asian-inspired vegetable dishes with tofu and sesame.

He added: “We’ve also done some great desserts.

“We did a slow roasted pineapple which was cooked for eight hours, and we paired it with a coconut ice cream.

“It just goes to show you can make just as delicious food, with a bit of time.

“When my chefs and I all sat down to try the menu, we did not miss the meat.”

Kenny said he has learned a lot in the process of creating the menu, including how to make a vegan butter, and it has been an “exciting challenge” for him as a chef.

He said: “You learn a lot about the alternatives you can use.

“I think the hardest thing for a lot of people going vegan, or the hardest thing for me at least, is the dairy side of things.

“There are some OK vegan cheeses but I’ve not yet tried a really good one.

“We created a vegan butter with things like coconut oil and turmeric, and it’s definitely better than a lot of margarine out there.

“You still get that buttery feeling when you cook with it.

“You just have to play around with ingredients.”

Kenny said he thinks there is a general trend towards plant-based diets, and a greater awareness around how food is produced.

“I think people are much more conscious of where their food comes from these days.

“I try not to encourage anyone to take a really militant approach to what they eat or don’t eat.

“I think it’s about having a more careful response to the way all food is produced, such as choosing more sustainable options and not battery farming.”

Pitch is Kenny’s first restaurant, and he also runs a cookery school there, offering classes and talks about various types of cooking, including vegan dishes.

He said: “We do all sorts. The other day we did a talk on our local fish and sustainability.

“I love doing that side of things.

“People get to learn about it and then we all eat together.

“Some people will say they can’t cook, but anyone can.

“The classes are very laid back.

“It’s important to make people feel comfortable.”

Pitch will celebrate its first anniversary in May and Kenny said the team has some exciting events coming up.

He said: “We are really thankful to all the people in Sussex who have supported us so far.

“Dietary requirements can be frustrating for restaurant-goers, but we always do our best to come up with things people like – sometimes on the spot.”

Pitch restaurant and cookery school is open between Tuesdays and Sundays for lunch and dinner, with a new vegan menu available every Wednesday evening.

The vegan menu is £25 for two courses or £30 for three courses, with an optional vegan wine “flight” tasting for £25.

To book a table, visit www.pitchrestaurant.co.uk.

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Taxi Ola firm leaves Brighton

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A TAXI business has pulled out of Brighton and Hove before it even took its first booking.

Ola – a “ride-hailing app” considered a rival to Uber – was granted an operator’s licence for one year in May last year by Brighton and Hove City Council.

But the Indian firm, which already operates in Merseyside, Reading, South Wales, the South West and the West Midlands, has told the council that it now has no plans to operate in Brighton.

Ola UK Private director Karl Lutzow, 41, made the case for the newcomer at a council licensing panel hearing.

And the company even took an office in Queen’s Road, Brighton.

But Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, who chairs the council’s Licensing Committee, said: “The market is too full.”

She said that Brighton and Hove was “overwhelmed” with drivers from Lewes which has had the highest increase in applications in the whole country.

Councillor O’Quinn added: “They are all Ubers because it’s easier to get a Lewes licence.”

In Brighton and Hove all licensed drivers must follow the council’s stringent regulations – known as the Blue Book – when operating as a taxi or private hire driver.

One of the conditions that Councillor O’Quinn pushed for was to ensure that all Ola drivers were licensed in Brighton and Hove.

She also insisted on tight restriction to prevent Ola drivers from outside Brighton and Hove picking up fares and competing unfairly with local drivers.

Ola was approached for comment.

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Worthing greengrocers closes after 95 years

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A FAMILY greengrocers has closed its doors after 95 years of trading.

Paul Brown started working in the shop run by his grandfather and father when he was just eight.

Paul, his sister Caroline Knowles, wife Kate and son Matthew said they had “mixed emotions” as G A Brown and Son in Worthing opened for the final time on Saturday.

Paul said: “It has been sad serving our last customers.

“People have been so kind to us. Over the years our customers have become our friends.”

Paul’s grandfather Charles Brown started the business in 1925. When Charles’s father Graham was born in 1933 the family lived above the shop, in Brighton Road.

Paul used to run home from school aged just eight to help his father serve customers – and started working full time from 1978.

In recent years Paul has turned to supplying the restaurant trade but when he was made an offer for the business the family decided it was time to hang up their aprons.

T G Fruits will be taking over the catering side of the business. Paul will remain during the changeover and the shop will become a new business.

Paul, 57, said: “I have really enjoyed it over the years but it’s hard work.

“With the catering trade I can be on the phone to customers at 10pm and then at the markets at 3am.

“I’m looking forward to a rest and a change.

“Over the years I have been supported by many great staff and family members.

“I’ve worked with my sister for 25 years. My wife and son also work here.

“It’s fantastic to work as a family, but it’s time for a change.”

Loyal customers were sad to see the shop close.

Wendy Faithless said: “I just love the quality of the fruit and it’s a shame they’re closing but I really wish them well in the future.

“The staff here are all so nice and helpful.”

Another shopper said: “This is very sad.

“They were one of the few greengrocers which actually purchased directly from Covent Garden market.”

Paul’s wife Kate said: “It’s been mixed emotions serving our last customers.”

Paul thanked his customers for their support over the years and said: “In recent years, with shopping habits changing, I have concentrated on supplying the catering trade, building a large customer base from many of the best local hotels, restaurants, cafes etc.

“Recently, I was approached about selling the premises and have agreed with a firm to take over the catering business and so it is with some sadness that the shop will soon close after over 90 years of trading.

“I am very pleased that T G Fruits will be taking on my catering customers.

“They are a larger family business who I have dealt with for decades and I will be helping them in this. I have always found them a good, reliable company and would thoroughly recommend them.

“The business was started in around 1925 by my grandfather, Charles Brown. During the Second World War he was called up into the Marines so closed the business until his return.

“In the 1950s he purchased number 26 Brighton Road, making it into one large shop.

“My father, Graham Brown, was born in 1933 and from an early age he helped in the shop and eventually ran it with my grandfather. I started helping in the shop in the early 1970s, joining full time in 1978.”

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Pubs and bars can open for extra two hours to mark VE Day

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PUBS, clubs and bars will be able to open for an extra two hours to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Venues which are licensed to trade until 11pm, will be allowed keep serving until 1am on Friday May 8 and Saturday May 9.

The order will also apply to premises licensed to provide entertainment such as music, dances, plays and films.

Commemorations and community events will be held across the country to remember the heroism of armed forces personnel and the contribution of ordinary citizens to the war effort.

The early May bank holiday has been moved from Monday May 4 to Friday May 8 to mark the anniversary.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “VE Day events across the country will see the nation come together to pay tribute to the heroes who fought for our freedom and supported the war effort at home.

“Pubs are at the heart of our communities and this is a great opportunity to raise a glass to mark this historic occasion.”

Past national occasions where the government has extended licensing hours have included the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

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