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Gordo’s Bits and Bobs

Food, food, London clipboard fascists, food and Gordo’s history of the Manchester world

Written by . Published on October 25th 2010.

Gordo’s Bits and Bobs

Michael ‘Ian Matfin’ Caine at Abode
It’s all been go, go, go for Gordo this month. October is a hard one at ManCon towers normally, more so as Confidential have decided to get a little more involved with the Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF).This had come about through Gordo falling madly and passionately in love with the delightful festival director Siobhan, but this love will have to remain unrequited as he has also fallen in love with her boyfriend Ben.

This could well be described, mind you, as cupboard love as Ben gave Gordo a taste of his birthday steak and oyster pudding, made by Rob Owen-Brown. You can view Gordo’s comments on that one if you haven’t already seen the movie by clicking here.

Additionally, Ben was instrumental in getting Gordo an invite to the MFDF dinner at Michael Caine’s restaurant at MC at Abode. Held in the private dining area, about twenty or so foodies sat down to dinner cooked by the real man behind the cooking there, Ian Matfin. Chef Matfin is one of the four or five cooking in the city centre who is helping produce a step change in hotel cooking. Really excellent ‘fine dining’ coming from them. But, as importantly, brigades being trained properly.

These include Gale, winner of the Chef of the Year Award at the MFDF Gala Dinner, Ollie at The Lowry and Phil Green from City Inn, one to watch. Gordo feels confident that in amongst their brigades are a couple of sixteen year-olds who will come through their systems and show these old buggers how to really do it and gather Michelin stars for Manchester.

Graham Bradford and Gordo were talking on the telephone the other day. It’s been nearly six years since his boss, Scott, did a deal to advertise with Confidential; at that time it was basically Gordo’s blog, with a couple of thousand readers. The Mal had been struggling for a year or so, with the restaurant suffering. Scott and his chef, the truly excellent Mark Bennett, another great chef for training youngsters, set to work and transformed the place.

These days Confidential has over 250,000 people reading them every month, with almost a million different people having looked in over the past year.

Whilst today, Malmaison Brasserie is arguably the busiest hotel restaurant in town. This is the result of a truly eclectic menu; have you seen it recently? Click here. You can’t fault the current chef’s cooking either. Kevin Whiteford is delivering in spades.

David Gale, apart from constructing excellence in the Podium restaurant at the base of the Hilton, is, to Gordo’s mind, currently the king of delivering over 400 covers of class food in the ‘ballroom category’. Gordo has had two fantastic dinners there over the past couple of weeks, firstly at the MFDF awards dinner and then Hilton’s own birthday ball, having been invited by his new pal, Jo Dean. Gordo attended with his Czech mate (geddit?) Stephanie Duskova. Clearly Gordo hadn’t made that big an impression; Jo had forgotten Gordo was coming. She made up for that faux pas mind you, giving Gordo as much booze as he could get down his neck.

Gale’s brigade delivered a good meal, but the pudding was a delight. Just superb. You will find a picture of it on the page somewhere; it was the same on both visits, standout. Whoever is running the pastry section over there is a star.

Bernadette Gilligan, the Hilton Gaffer was looking nothing short of bloody fabulous by the way. Gordo thinks she may actually be warming to him; it’s only taken four years.

Hilton Birthday PartyRadisson and the PA AwardsGordo’s pal and sometimes restaurant review helper Sue Killshaw (aka ‘Killer' to her pals) had roped in Gordo to judge the PA Awards held at the Radisson. The winner was the beautiful Kimberley Stephenson who worked for Ford Campbell, but has just recently moved to SJM to become Simon Moran's PA. She and her boyfriend are Twitter pals of Gordo (you too can enrich your life: follow @gordomanchester).Gordo bought dinner for a team of pals in the excellent Red Chilli (click here) on Portland Street. Kimberly and her boyfriend joined the party.

The next day over at Confidential , Gordo’s boss, Tamar Smith, came into his office. “There’s a Kimberley Stephenson here to see you”, says the lippy one, “she hasn’t got an appointment.” Clearly a case for being whipped to death then.

Kimberly Stephenson

“Send her in”, says a puzzled Gordo.

She walked in with a bottle of champagne as a thank you gift for the unexpected spur of the moment dinner. Listen to Gordo folks, this girl is a little bit of class wrapped up in a big smile.

Armani Store Opens
Congratulations to Mike Ingall and his team at Spinningfields for getting the Armani Store opened at last. The whole area is taking shape and everyone at Confidential is looking forward to the rest coming on line by the end of January.

The party at the store went on ‘till late; amusingly, it turned out that the PR Company being used were from London. They don’t quite understand the Manchester way, so Gordo got to see clip-board fascism taken to the extreme. One poor lad and his very well dressed girlfriend were made to stand about for half an hour whilst being checked out on a T1 connection back to Langley. They were finally let in. Lots of others weren’t.

Even Gordo got a grilling on the way in after doing his paparazzi duties. He was gagging to get knocked back, but couldn’t manager it.

One of the only property developers in Town with money left, the not-so-gentle giant Morgan Leahy, one of Mike Ingall’s best pals, walked up to the four foot six fascist. With two pals.

“Sorry, there are three of you; your invite was for two only”

This was after little Mancini was fawned on as he walked through with twenty Italian mates, all miserable looking buggers. They go round in a pack by all accounts.

The Irish giant that is Morgan Leahy looked at the little girl and tried one more time, but to no avail.

“Right Gordo, fuck this for a lark, I’ll be at my usual table at San Carlo if you fancy some grub”.

And off he went. Not the way to do it guys; If I were to let everyone know that you also brought your caterers up from London to boot, there really would be a backlash.

Ettore, boss of Piccolino off Albert Square and James Gingell, the exec chef over the group, invited Gordo and a few pals to lunch. As always, James can turn the food on and Ettore and his team matches it with their effortless charm.

Cherryl Pinnington, the events manager at Restaurant Bar and Grill was there on the day. This girl is dead fit. Gordo has forgiven her for forgetting to invite him to the charity gig they threw earlier in the month.

Gordo met a lovely lady called Debbie Dowie who is promoting a charity called “boot out breast cancer”. You can follower her on Twitter; @BootOutBC. She’s footballer Ian Dowie’s missus.

Debbie was telling him that they could do some T-shirt stuff for him at one of his events.

“Oooh, will there be plenty of nipple action?” asks the gormless one.

“Of course Gordo, I’ll get a wooden one made...”

Top Girl.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

NortherngeezerOctober 25th 2010.

No suprise that the winner of the PA of the year award is a looker........cynical old me eh.

D KesslerOctober 25th 2010.

Comparing door people with 3rd Reich activists? In Germany, you would get tarred and feathered for that!

GordoOctober 25th 2010.

Whalley, they started it....

D KesslerOctober 25th 2010.

You will find it was the KKK...

John HarrisOctober 25th 2010.

Gordo, my ability to summon up a vicarious resentment on your behalf is limited by the fact I cannot imagine any circumstances in which I would ever want to enter an Armani store, even if they were giving away free food and drink.

Not snobbery (inverted or otherwose), it's just that they would never have anything in my size (including the models)

Eddy RheadOctober 25th 2010.

Dont mean to be a pedant but 'footballer' Ian Dowie hasnt kicked a ball in anger since 1998. I think a better description would be 'footballer manager' which he is and has been for over a decade.

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