Something Fishy Going on at Sage Gateshead…

baordFollowing a recent training day at the Centerplate head office, the catering team at Sage Gateshead have been fully embracing the Fish! Training philosophy, with energy Garry with Vintage Troublelevels and performance at an all-time high!

The winner of our Big Fish Award was Garry for his excellent performance during the recent Vintage Trouble concert. He was responsible for organising the band’s rider and keeping the band fed and entertained for the whole evening (see picture on the right). His service was so impressive that he was requested for the Ben Folds rider for his show with the Northern Sinfonia.

The Fish! philosophy has been inspiring a lot of developments in our Sir Michael Straker Café. It started with a simple idea of adding a personal touch by getting staff polaroids on chalkboards, with pictures of our chefs for our specials board coming soon so customers can see who has created the dishes.


We’ve had staff members Alex and Esther pitching new iced coffees to our Café Manager, Arran who decided to start selling them straight away! This has inspired other members of the team and given them confidence to pitch their own ideas for the café – most notably Ellen, who brought in her homemade iced tea for the team to try and it is delicious! So far she’s created 8 different flavours, which are selling very well in the North East heatwave – she even gets her deserved recognition on the chalkboard sign.

Summer Drinks Range

On August 13th we’re hosting the Sage Gateshead summer BBQ to say thanks to all of our staff for their hard work and with more Fish! developments in the pipeline, expect to hear more news from us very soon, including a recap from the Summertyne Americana Festival!

Staff Board


Chips! Glorious, Chips!

Chips 1Yesterday saw National French Fries Day hit our calendar!  Once upon a time, the UK was more of ‘chunky chip’ loving nation, usually accompanying our beloved battered fish! As a result of the larger surface area, these are actually a much healthier version of the ‘fries’. But thanks to the growth of fast food chains,  it would seem today we are becoming more partial to a plate of traditional ‘French’ fries.

There is no definite origin of the French Fry – with both the Belgians and the French claiming ownership. The Belgians are so passionate about the food that Bruges has it’s own Friet Museum; the first and only museum in the world to be dedicated to potato fries. The musuem claims to give visitors the ‘fascinating history of the potato’, as well as an exploration of the different condiments with which fries are served.

Here is Belgium’s version of events as told in their Friet Museum…

Chips 2The Belgians invented the fry in the 18th century and during World War I, their troops introduced the fry to the Americans. The Americans then assumed that the French speaking Belgians were in actual fact, French, and so the myth of French Fries began.

This story is strongly disputed by the French, natually, who claim that it was they who invented them. You decide…

Although the Americans eat 30 pounds of French fries each year, and more than a ¼ of their potatoes sold are used for fries – the Belgians are still reported to consume more fries than any other country. Proud of the dish they invented perhaps? Who knows…



Wimbledon Food and Drink

StrawberriesTwenty five thousand bottles of Champagne and 112,000 punnets of English Strawberries later and Wimbledon is coming to an end once again, until next year.

Spectators have been enjoying the tastes of pastries, ice cream, sandwiches and some good old fish ‘n’ chips; as well as consuming 23,000 bananas over the course of the two week championship. Yes, 23,000!

The strawberries which are picked the day before and delivered at 5.30am every morning, are washed down by 200,000 glasses of Pimms, 25,000 bottles of Champagne, 100,000 pints of beer, 250,00 bottles of water and 300,000 teas and coffees!

Sticking with the traditional Strawberries and Cream theme (7000 litres of cream has been served over the tournament), we have created a Strawberry and Cream Frappucino recipe. Easy and simple to make, this refreshing, cool drink is a perfect addition to your summer barbecues and picnics.

For the Love of Chocolate

Choc 1

Finally… the day we have all been waiting for; when we can gauge our faces with chocolate and simply say “What? It’s National Chocolate Day!”, in response to the disgusted looks aimed our way.

Yes, 7th July is officially National Chocolate Day, so we thought we would study this tasty treat in greater detail to discover – what is so good about chocolate? It turns out a lot more than you might think…

For over 1500 years; from the earliest record of chocolate in the Central American rainforests, we have been hooked. Cocoa is actually a Mayan word which translated, literally means ‘Food God’.

Chco 2It was believed to be of divine origin and no wonder with all these benefits. Now we’re not talking Galaxy and Dairy Milk here; professional chocoholics will protest that with the tiny amount of cocoa that these bars actually contain, it’s a surprise they call themselves chocolate!

Any chocolate over 60% reduces blood pressure and the chance of getting Diabetes. As well as easing persistent coughing (opens up the lung airways) there is also a very good explanation as to why we love the feeling that eating chocolate gives us and why many of us call ourselves ‘chocoholics’ …

Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine and thus enhances a chemical to be released in our body, which our brain naturally produces during states of emotional ‘euphoria’ – quite simply like when we fall in love. Also, the smell of chocolate releases Theta waves – which triggers relaxation. Good to know, hey?

So, Happy National Chocolate Day! Go and eat with peace in your mind that, actually, it’s really doing you some good!


World Cup at Sage Gateshead


ImageWhile we’ve been left disappointed by England’s performance in the World Cup, at least we have some mouth-watering food to distract us! At Sage Gateshead we are celebrating the unique and varied cuisine from all 32 countries who qualified for Brazil 2014. Every day during the world cup we are offering a special burger or sandwich of the day.

Representing the hosts is a chargrilled steak sandwich with fried onions and a mango and lime salsa; despite Spain’s early exit you’ll be able to enjoy a homemade beef burger seasoned with Mediterranean herbs and topped with chorizo hash and tomato salsa and for Australia we have a burger topped with grilled pineapple, pickled beetroot and a fried egg!

ImageSo which is your odds-on favourite for the cup? With Holland’s 100% record, perhaps their burger topped with gouda, homemade slaw and candied bacon. Or maybe a late run of form from Switzerland with their chicken sandwich topped with a mushroom cream, goats cheese and served with polenta wedges? Chile have qualified for the second round, and their burger topped with avocado, grilled goats cheese, tomato and pebre sauce could see them go far!

So pop in over the next few weeks and see what special we’re serving! If you have more of a sweet tooth, our football wow cake and our delightful chocolate pistachio football pitch cake will be on the counter of the Sir Michael Straker Café! 


Centerplate’s World Cup Squads

At Centerplate HQ we are counting down the minutes until the World Cup. Our sweepstake has been organised (I’m Columbia), the match planner has been pinned up in the marketing office and I’ve bet all of the petty cash on Shola Ameobi for the golden boot.

I’ve also spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to come up with 22 food and drink themed footballers from those heading to Brazil. Would also have liked to find space in the squad for Marouane Farfelle-ine (action man bow tie pasta), Ramireggs, Paul Chocolate Log-ba and Nikica Jelly-vic, but there was fierce competition for places in midfield.

Team 1
Coach: Didier Des-champignon



Team 2
Coach: Joachim Love Hearts


Father’s Day with Centerplate!

RAF Guiness CakeIt’s nearly the time of the year where Dads get their recognition and reward for all they do for us! In return for all their hard work, why not bake them one of our special Father’s Day treats from our resident baking expert Terry Price?

His recipes for Jack Daniels Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate and Guinness Cake are the perfect treat for dads this Father’s Day! These scrumptious treats are also for sale at our heritage and leisure sites!

Or if you’d prefer to leave the hard work to us, a number of our venues are hosting special Father’s Day events with delicious menus and special treats for the dads, including pitchside tours!

For more information on our events, click the links below:

Tottenham Hotspur & the Matthew Project



For the final three months of the season, our team at Tottenham Hotspur were busy scrambling around for all the bottle tops they could find in the name of charity. Over 8,000 plastic bottle tops were collected, washed and stored at White Hart Lane for the Matthew Project; a charity who work with adults, young people and communities affected by drug and alcohol addiction.

The charity recycles huge amounts of plastic and in doing so, reduce the need for landfills, which in turn raises revenue for the project. the project’s varied services provide those in need with professional advice, information, counselling, support, care and education.

Their work takes place in schools, youth centres, police stations, courts, within local communities and in individuals’ homes; working with those dealing with addiction, but also concerned parents, carers and children.

We are delighted to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause and we are already looking into ways we an help the project across many more of our sites in time for next season!

For more details about the Matthew Project, including details about how you can get involved, click here.

National Barbecue Week: Centerplate’s Guide to the Perfect BBQ


Bank Holiday Monday was also the beginning of another very special holiday. This was of course, National BBQ Week! While England can’t always guarantee the right weather, follow our grilling guide and when conditions permit, you’ll be fully prepared to host the ultimate barbecue!

Now, your shopping’s out of the way and you’ve managed to shield the wind for long enough to light the last disposable barbecue Tesco had in stock. It’s time to get some meat on! Without sausages and burgers, you can’t call it a barbecue; they are the absolute minimum requirement. So get these on the grill and out of the way quickly to whet guests’ appetites.

Variety is key to ensuring visitors return to your grill. Chicken drumsticks and thighs, lamb kebabs, belly pork, steaks and chops are all viable options, subject to availability. At a push, maybe some sort of fish, but don’t alienate anyone. There’s currently a lot of noise being made by fans of ribs, but in Britain do we have the patience, and more importantly grill space, to incorporate them into our barbecue staples? I’m unsure.

Of course, meat can only get you so far. Although it involves some forward planning, homemade rubs and marinades are the true testament of a master griller. Don’t take my word for it, listen to Rob Rainford; host of Licence to Grill (finest TV show ever made) and author of Born to Grill (I’m assuming the finest book ever written), for everything you need to know about rub creation and application.

Unfortunately, your work is not done. A forgotten, but integral, part of a good barbecue is the condiments. Do you need mayonnaise and ketchup? Of course! But if these are the only two bottles at your disposal, you’re going to have unimpressed guests. The full range of BBQs, mustards, mayos, relishes, steak sauces and burger sauces can and should be explored (and combined).

As an afterthought, you may want to have some side dishes to brighten up the meat and bread combo on your plate. Corn on the cob is always a winner, someone’s always keen to knock up a potato or pasta salad and haloumi skewers are a real eye opener. Anything more ‘exotic’ (I’m looking at you couscous) is unnecessary.

One final debate to settle before you start grilling – cheese slices are perfectly acceptable at barbecues. Grated cheese is too messy, causes an extra job and won’t melt quickly enough. Pack of 30 should cover it.

National Vegetarian Week: Are you taking the challenge?

ImageFrom 19-25th May, the Vegetarian Society are challenging the public to become a vegetarian, even if just for a week, to see if they can become inspired to make a change by the tasty, varied and fresh produce we grow in the UK!

ImageResearch has found that around 2% of people living in Britain are vegetarian, and while this number remains fairly constant, the numbers of ‘meat reducers’; those who are consciously making an effort to eat less meat is steadily on the rise. Whether this is due to ethical reasons, health benefits, or just people’s eyes being opened to the wide variety of fresh fruit and veg on their doorstep, the exciting potential of vegetarian dishes we can make with fresh local produce is certainly something to celebrate!

So if you fancy giving up meat for the rest of the week, here’s a selection of what’s currently in season!

Cucumbers, rocket, spring onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, new potatoes, baby carrots, aubergine, broad beans, radishes, courgettes, asparagus, chicory, celeriac, cherries, strawberries, lemons and gooseberries!

ImageDid you know the first vegetarian cookbook was written in 1812? If you’re still struggling for inspiration for what to make, why not try some of our chefs’ recipes below!

Lancashire Cheese Bomb and Vegetable Soup

Chargrilled Summer Salad with Squash, Aubergine and Artichoke

Pear and Chicory Salad with Walnuts and Stilton