Hedley & Bennett is Giving Aprons a Makeover

Hedley & Bennett

Aprons aren’t exactly the trendiest of apparel. They’re associated much more with 1950’s housewives than with modern chefs and foodies. Currently, restaurant chefs and cooks still have to wear aprons. But they’re considered more of a necessary tool than an accessory. The traditional boxy fabric creation covered with food stains has done little to help the humble apron’s image. But Los Angeles-based company Hedley & Bennett is looking to change that.

Ellen Bennett, the designer behind H&B, founded the company in 2012 while she was working at a couple of trendy LA restaurants and as a personal chef. She told Entrepreneur:

“An apron is something that every single chef uses besides a knife. It was this thing that we all wore, and it was ugly and gross and weird.”

H&B’s aprons differ from traditional restaurant aprons due to their quality, durable fabric, brass hardware, and well-placed pockets. In addition, the aprons use American made materials and are assembled in H&B’s downtown LA headquarters.

Now, the company supplies aprons to more than 700 restaurants around the world. Even well-known chefs like Thomas Keller, Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali have been spotted wearing them. And Bennett continues working to improve the product by talking to customers and chefs about what they ultimately need and want in a kitchen apron.

It’s a really simple business concept — to improve upon a simple product that people in a certain profession need to do their jobs. Though aprons might not be the most exciting product to build a business around, they are necessary for a lot of people. That gave H&B a built-in market of potential customers.

In addition, Bennett had some of her own ideas for improving the simple apron due to her experience as a chef. And her research with other chefs provided even more insights. So H&B created a simple product that is both practical and stylish. And with just that one product and idea, the company has been able to reach restaurants and chefs around the world.

Since its beginnings the company has introduced a few additional styles and some other products likely to appeal to chefs and the rest of its customer base. But it all started with a simple idea to improve the humble apron.

Image: Hedley & Bennett


HomeFood & DrinksPaan (Betel Leaves): The After-Dinner Sweetener Goes FashionablePaan (Betel Leaves): The After-Dinner Sweetener Goes Fashionable

Paan (Betel Leaves): The After-Dinner Sweetener Goes Fashionable

Image Credits: Instagram/fervilares

I learnt how to make paan from my eldest aunt. Every Sunday, she would open her big silver box, take out the freshly washed paan leaf, break the stem and hand it over to me. As I chewed on the stem, I would watch her lovingly smear a hint of slaked lime paste, sprinkle betel nut that she’d chop herself (she had a special nut cutter for it), add some black cardamom and fold it in gently before popping it in her mouth. She would make one for my grandmother too. That was their Sunday after-meal regime. Sometimes, if my grandmother felt generous, she would pick the smallest leaf from the box and give it to me. It was the best digestive on the planet, they would say.

I grew up in a family of paan-poppers, but no one else was allowed to touch my aunt’spaan ka dabba. The others had to source their customised paans from the local paanwala– some meetha (sweet) and some saada (plain). Plus, there were other requests too – less lime, more nuts, a little sweet, etc. The kids were of course, never given any.  Oddly, we never quite picked up on the habit either, which is why I ate my first meetha paan when I was probably in college. I had discovered the gulkand (the rose petal preserve) by then – a sickly sweet mix that I had read was good for health.

Who would have thought that the paan would eventually become inspiration for nouveaufood that had nothing to do with the original betel leaf!

My first experiment with a non-paan paan was at an Indian restaurant called The Pink Poppadum in Bengaluru about five years ago. They served something called a paan shotat the end of our dinner. It was possibly a blend of sweet paan leaves, cardamom seeds, ice cream or cold milk, and gulkand. I hated it. The idea of having to drink something that deserved the customary chewing, felt like I was betraying an age-old practice. But in little time, paan shots began to appear on the menu of upscale Indian restaurants across the country. Celebrity chefs by then had created their own recipes of paan shots too.

Today a paan shot will probably be considered too basic, given the various kinds of experiments that are going on with the betel leaf and its essence.

There’s of course the paan kulfi, which I have been told has been available in Mumbai for generations. I remember standing near Chowpatty at a local kulfi shop, waiting in queue to try one. By then, my fascination for paan had waned. But it was more about trying something new that I had heard so much about. The slightly granular texture of the kulfidid capture the essence of the paan well, definitely way better than the paan flavoured ice cream I came to eat much later in Bengaluru again. In fact, Pabrai’s at HSR Layout in the city serves a paan ice cream which reportedly has 17 different ingredients includingmulethi (an ingredient that’s good for a sore throat). Rumour has it that one can even find a paan gelato (did I just hear the Italians groan?), though I am yet to find one.

Image Credits: www.foodiye.com/Nishant

Chai Point in Bengaluru, which is the saviour of most chai addicts at work, offers something called a paan kulfi shake. It’s a simple recipe of blended kulfi flavoured withpaan syrup.

Talking about drinking paan, the Novotel Bengaluru had come up with a cocktail called the Swadesh Videsh Paan. It was a giddy mix of white rum, Bailey’s, betel leaf, gulkand, andmeetha paan masala. I am pretty certain that for those who like their cocktails sweet, it would have been a massive hit.

Given that the paan is considered to be one of the best after-meal treats, it was only a matter of time that it got into the dessert books. La Folie Patisserie in Colaba Mumbai makes a decent paan gulkand macaron. I am not sure if it will remind of walking the streets of Varanasi, but it tastes good, provided you can handle the sugar rush.

And then there’s the paan mousse at SpiceKlub in Lower Parel – a ‘fusion’ restaurant. Making the most of molecular gastronomy (and in this country, it often means using liquid nitrogen to its maximum) this dish comes with a paan leaf wrapped around mousse, and then frozen with liquid nitrogen. So, there’s a lot of smoke when it comes to your table, but very little fire.


Barack Obama Hails Earth, Wind & fireplace Founder As idea

Barack Obama Hails Earth, Wind & Fire Founder As Inspiration

Barack Obama has lengthy described himself as a fan of Earth, Wind & fire, who hailed from his adoptedhome of Chicago.
WASHINGTON, usa: President Barack Obama on Friday mourned Earth, Wind & hearth founder Maurice White for his “quintessentially American sound,” hailing the funk legend for bringing collectively loversthroughout racial traces.

Obama has lengthy described himself as a fan of Earth, Wind & fireplace, who hailed from his followeddomestic of Chicago.

Obama, the primary African-American president, invited the band to play an event at the White residencequickly after he took workplace in 2009.

along with his bandmates, “Maurice fused jazz, soul, funk and R&B into a quintessentially American sound that captured millions of lovers round the sector,” Obama wrote on fb.

most effective Maurice may want to make such state-of-the-art songs so catchy. handiest he ought toinspire generations of such various artists.

“And best he may want to get everybodyold and young, black and white — to allow the groove flowthem on the dance floor,” he wrote.

Earth, Wind & fireplace gained over a extensive target market through its feelappropriate dance anthems and in 1979 have become the primary African-American act to sell out Madison rectangulargarden in the big apple.

White, who suffered for years from Parkinson’s disorder, died Wednesday

Mahindra & Mahindra board approves plan to transfer agri-business to its subsidiary

Our agri-business is aligned to our long term vision of delivering farm tech prosperity, says Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group

Our agri-business is aligned to our long term vision of delivering farm tech prosperity, says Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group

The group’s agri-business turnover touched Rs. 900 crore

The board of directors of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) approved a proposal to transfer the company’s agri-business to its 100 per cent subsidiary, Mahindra Shubhlabh Services Ltd., (MSSL) to bring it under one entity for focused growth.

“Our agri-business is aligned to our long term vision of delivering farm tech prosperity. Today, we have multiple businesses under different entities, bringing them all together would provide the right environment to maximize synergies and create value for all shareholders,” said Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, M&M said, “Our agri-business has reached a critical mass now and this new entity would provide an opportunity to fully leverage the potential that these businesses offer and thus function as an end-to-end provider in the agri value chain.

“The transfer of the business offers an opportunity for immense value creation in agriculture. This consolidation will also enable the organisation to focus on agri-business and will allow us to serve the farmers with greater passion,” he added.


The group’s agri-business turnover touched Rs. 900 crore and the Mahindras thought the business should be allowed to grow independently.

The agri-business covers crop care, seeds, seed potato, pulses, edible oil, grapes, dairy products and micro irrigation and has vast potential for growth, according to a company statement.

Q3 net declines 14 %

Mahindra & Mahindra reported standalone net profit of Rs. 808 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2015 compared to Rs.942 crore in the year-ago period, a reduction of 14 per cent.

“Excluding exceptional items, the net profit for the current quarter is Rs.745 crore as against Rs.643 crore in the same period last year, a growth of 16 per cent.” the company said. The company reported a total income of Rs. 11,697 crore compared with Rs.10,033 crore, an increase of 17 per cent.

The net profit of M&M and its 100 per cent subsidiary Mahindra Vehicles Manufacturers Ltd. (MVML) for the quarter was Rs.821 crore against Rs.667 crore, up 23 per cent. The combined entity reported total income of Rs.11,570 crore compared to Rs.9,931 crore,up 17 per cent.

“The combined entity has continued its leadership position in both the utility vehicles segment and the domestic tractor market with a market share of 38.6 per cent and 42.7 per cent respectively. On the back of good customer acceptance of TUV 300 and increased sale of XUV 500 the combined entity sold 58,660 utility vehicles during the quarter which is a growth of 18 per cent,” said Pawan Goenka. It sold 59,883 tractors in the domestic market and exported 2,881 tractors during the quarter. The KUV 100, which was introduced recently, has received 18,000 bookings, he said.

Keywords: Mahindra & Mahindra, agri-business


MWC: Samsung’s S7 & S7 Edge may enter Indian market in March

MWC 2016: Five smartphone scorchers to watch out forWhat Las Vegas is to consumer electronics makers, Barcelona is to mobile phone manufacturers.  If the Consumer Electronics Show, the Nevada-based global trade show held in January, is what most consumer electronics makers turn to annually to get a hand on the most happening trends in the business, the Barcelona-based Mobile World Congress (MWC) has become a must-attend for all handset makers across the world.
The extravaganza at Barcelona this year attracted more than 94,000 people from every corner of the world, filling the halls of MWC and its roughly 2,200 different booths, to feel and witness new mobile technology, including virtual-reality (VR) headsets, smartphones, tablets, wearables, accessories, and apps.
A fleet of flagship devices were unveiled by major handset maker in the world – including top seeded Samsung, Sony,Lenovo and LG. These smartphones and fablets could enter India sooner than expected due to growing importance of the market.
Samsung S7 and S7 Edge, the next set of smartphones from the Korean electronic major’s premium ‘Galaxy S’ series, for example could be launched in India within weeks of its launch in MWC this year.
Other top-slotted brands such as Lenovo, Huawei, Sony and LG too are not behind. While the exact timing of the Indian launch of their devices is not clear yet. Experts say that they could be launched within three to four months.
VR devices and batteries that can be charged faster remained in focus throughout the three day affair this year. While VR has been circling around the industry as an accessory for quite some time now, its growing importance could be traced in Nokia’s plans for professional 360 degree cameras like Ozo.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed on the latent demand for such cameras during the event. Another project he spoke enthusiastically about is a “laser comms system,” which connects users via lasers at a rate Zuckerberg promises is “12 times faster” than traditional means.
Products like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are expected to become mainstream soon. Samsung recently introduced Gear VR in India in partnership with Oculus last month.
Focus on innovation of long-serving batteries is another area of focus which was long due. Chinese smartphone major Oppo showcased the latest Super VooC charging technology, which is able to charge a 2500mAh battery in just about 15 minutes. More such launches will be seen this year with their entry in to Indian market occurring soon, experts said.