Asian Correspondent » Manchester Metropolitan University Department of Food and Tourism Management Asian Correspondent Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:36:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What happened to just serving good food?… do we really need to dress it up? Wed, 25 Sep 2013 18:36:06 +0000

All week I have been feeling under pressure to write this weeks Hospitality blog. Induction week has been so busy as we have moved faculty, and therefore need to orientate new students, and returning students, who haven’t seen our shiny new resources in all their glory. This left me little time for research on a pet topic for this week.


So….. thank you so much to the “moan in’ on radio 5 live which must have left a spark that was fanned when I read the article in Forbes about the Four seasons new food truck (link below).

Basically one chap was moaning about paying GBP 13.95 for soggy fish and chips in a mid-budget hotel. Apparently his fish came on a plate, the peas in a separate mug and the chips were in a novelty fryer basket – apparently this was the hotels attempt to justify the hefty price tag. In his closing arguments he moaned that he was plating the meal for them!


The Forbes article is critical of Four Seasons culinary reputation but has some praise for the “quirky” nature of their offering, have a read yourself for more detail.

However, I have a different view. Truly good food does not have to be dressed up with fancy accessories to justify its price. My wife and I save up every year and on our anniversary we go to a restaurant that is listed in the top 50 in the world. This year we went to Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, we had the seasonal tasting menu with matched wines and the bill was in excess of GBP 600 for the two of us. The food was exquisite and the experience worth every penny. Every dish was served on plain crockery of some sort – it was the food that did the talking.


So come on mid market restaurants and hotel chains, by all means serve good honest dishes like fish and chips, homemade pies – even a good old fashioned mixed grill if you want (I’d certainly buy it), but do it well and at a reasonable price without the fancy accessories that todays savvy consumer can see right through.

Stewart Morrell!


]]> 16
What on Earth is a MOOC? Mon, 16 Sep 2013 15:08:18 +0000

I now know that a MOOC is a “Massive Open Online Course”, and after reading a few articles on the subject I began to think about the possibilities for contactless course delivery. For nearly a year now, I have been discussing with colleagues the benefits (or otherwise) of online or distance Education. As the recipient of an online post graduate degree in Marketing, I speak with first hand knowledge of what it is like to receive tuition in this manner.


Personally, I am able to work on my studies at a time that suits me and my family (two children under six), there is sufficient input  from the host university and I can engage in stimulating debate with fellow students via forums that are initiated and moderated by the relevant module tutors.


But is this enough? Especially at undergraduate level where as educators we  have a pastoral duty to develop and expand the learning styles of our students. Also, they generally come to us straight from the family home so they have to cope with being independent as well as what is arguably a tougher academic regime that relies on them developing their own work ethic which balances more personal freedom with the need to “up the ante” as far as studies are concerned.


We also need to consider the pedagogical value of relationships, both between student and lecturer and students and their peers. It is surely much harder for an educator to inspire students over the internet. Rapid exchanges of information are harder too! A question, instead of being answered immediately during a seminar needs to be thought about, composed into an email or forum post, the lecturer must then read it, compose a reply and of course decide whether it is important enough to be shared amongst the whole cohort. If it does need to be shared, what is the best medium for sharing? There is arguably not much room for spontaneity.


The pragmatist in me says that, whilst online or distance education has its place in society, that place must be considered carefully and its merits carefully considered on a module by module basis. I’ll let you decide where you think it fits.


]]> 0
Employability week a win/win for students and Industry Mon, 03 Dec 2012 12:13:38 +0000

After five weeks of solid teaching, the Hollings faculty paused for breath, academically speaking, and focussed on the one thing that students and Industry have as a number one priority – EMPLOYABILITY.

Over 3,000 hours were devoted to seminars, workshops and networking sessions so that students could hone their employability skills. Sessions included CV building, interview techniques and motivational talks by Industry Leaders.

On the Wednesday a careers fair was held where our Industry partners were given stands to network with students and identify future employment/graduate training opportunities.

The week was vital for students to link their studies with their overall aim of gaining employment at the end of their course.

Watch this space as Employability week promises to be bigger and better!

]]> 0
Hospitality courses to teach smoke, mirrors and magic! Sun, 04 Nov 2012 11:44:53 +0000

Fois gras lollipops and ratatouille with chicken custard, some of the culinary recipes to be taught within the unit.

With the ever increasing popularity of cookery programmes on British television, and their reliance on the science of molecular gastronomy, Manchester Metropolitan University are increasingly reliant on new technology to deliver increasingly more diverse practical skills to students.

As a result, the Hospitality Academic team are collaborating with their colleagues in the department of Food Science to conjure up new academic units that join these two strands together.

MMU has invested thousand of pounds in new equipment and lectures will soon be making use of equipment such as dehydrators, gyratory machines and 96 drop spherification modules as well as industrial smoking machines and state of the art temperature controlled water baths.

The aim of the new units will be to provide collaboration between disciplines as well as giving students the opportunity to widen their sphere of employment opportunities.

Watch this space as the courses develop further.

]]> 1
Starting the academic year 2012/13 – Induction week Sat, 03 Nov 2012 15:25:30 +0000

The last month has been a blur while we have planned induction week for our first year students and welcome back activities for those returning from the summer vacation.

First year students were given tours of the faculty, introduced to the academic and support team, shown how to access library resources, the on-line learning portal, plus many more while most were still settling in to life in a new city…..perhaps being away from the family for the first time. This made it the perfecr opportunity to introduce students to the student support team, led at Hollings by Juliette Leeks. Students can access personal advice, extra-curricular support with academic tasks, plus help with languange and course transition.

Students recieve information about University life from a number of sources.

Special sessions were held for our International students, helping them to aclimatise to life in another country, sometimes a new culture even.

Lots happening and this is only day one!

Second and third year students were welcomed back to campus with introductions to new members of the academic team and given a brief introduction to the subjects that they will be studying this year. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of finding a suitable placement for next year, for those students in their second year. The team from our Placements office, led by Senior Lecturer, Nicky Smith gave students detailled information about the requirements of the placement year and the many companies that we work with, worldwide, to provide excellent placements for our student cohort. As an example we have placement students in Europe, South east Asia, Australia, Canada and North America……. there is even a placement student in Ghana this year!

Wednesday was more relaxed, we held an induction cafe in the Garden Restaurant where students could come in, talk to academics about their course and have a bite to eat. We also invited some major local employers to talk to those students who wished to find part-time work whilst studying.

Mint Recruitment have found a number of supervisory jobs with Manchester City FC, the English Premier League Champions






]]> 0