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Chef Virgil Kahn won a Three Plate accolade from the JHP Gourmet Guide. Asian-styled cooking is what chef Virgil Kahn prides himself on and this year he walked away with a Three Plate accolade from the JHP Gourmet Guide – an honour every chef dreams about. The 37-year-old, who is now the executive chef at the Indochine restaurant on the Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch, grew up in Bonteheuwel and later moved to Mitchell’s Plain. He fondly remembers how he started off his cooking career by baking biscuits, cookies and cakes in his mother’s kitchen.After matriculating from Modderdam High School, he studied at the Granger Bay Hotel School in Cape Town and landed his first position as a chef at the Arabella Westin where he discovered his love for food. He then travelled on yachts, cooking up a storm and returned to South Africa in 2010 and then worked at the One and Only Hotel in Cape Town and later joined the Delaire Graff Estate.This year, the JHP Gourmet Guide awarded chef Virgil and his team the Three Plate accolade – the highest possible in the Guide, and one of only five restaurants to receive it.In many countries restaurants aspire to a one, two or three-star rating. In South Africa, restaurants aim for one, two or three plates, the ultimate accolade. The prestigious plate rating, which equates to global standards of evaluating and rewarding refined and fine-dining establishments, has been lauded for its authenticity, impartiality and credibility. It celebrates the uniqueness of South African cuisine, from classic and conservative to daring and different. Chef Virgil said that he draws inspiration from his fellow chefs and also nature around the estate. While he knows how much effort and knowledge go into building the perfect dish, he also knows how important team-building is. “I draw inspiration from chefs and how they apply themselves. My guys must leave here talking like chefs. They need to know about techniques, fermentation, health trends and life. I want to equip them with all these pieces to empower them. I appoint for energy, drive and fire,” he said. Chef Virgil enjoys a variety of cooking variations but his favourite is Asian-styled cooking. The aromas of lemon grass, coriander, galangal, yuzu, ginger, chilli and other tantalising scents influence his cooking. The father of two said his favourite local dish to cook is roti and curry while he also enjoys Japanese cuisine and various types of salads. His mantra is, “Be the best in that moment.”His advice to fellow youth wanting to pursue the same career is: “It is a difficult career that can be overwhelming. Put everything in and never give up; in the end you will see the rewards.”He attributes his success to the women in his life, namely his mother and wife.
The Liberal Democrats have promised to pump £500m into the legal aid system, increasing the current budget by almost a third.In their 96-page election manifesto, the Liberal Democrats pledge to ‘establish a new right to affordable, reasonable legal assistance, and invest £500 million to restore legal aid, making the system simpler and more generous’.With the current legal aid budget standing at £1.6bn, the pledge marks a substantial investment in the justice system.In ‘Jo’s Plan for the Future’, party leader Jo Swinson also promises to invest £1bn in community policing; to crack down on short prison sentences; to introduce a written constitution; and to create an online crime agency to tackle illegal content and activity online, such as personal fraud and revenge porn.The manifesto also addresses hot legal topics, pledging to halt the use of facial recognition surveillance and to introduce a right to no-fault divorce. On diversity in the justice system, the Liberal Democrats said they would ensure the judiciary, the police and the prison service adopt ‘ambitious targets for diversity’ and provide regular reports to parliament.Labour is due to publish its manifesto tomorrow.
KING Mohammed VI of Morocco presided at a ceremony on July 5 to mark the start of construction of a 117 km line from Taourirt to Nador.Due for completion in 2008, the railway is expected to carry 500000 passengers a year together with 1·5 million tonnes of freight. Stations will be built at Melga El Ouidane, Oulad Rahou, Hassi Berkane, Segangane and Nador, where a double track tunnel will take the line beneath the city. The line will have no level crossings.Cost of the project is 2·4bn dirhams, with 960m coming from the national government and 900m from the Hassan II Fund for Economic & Social Development.
MORE THAN a quarter of ERA’s permanent staff work in the Interoperability Unit, dealing with the TSIs and other technical aspects, as laid down in articles 12 to 19 of the ERA’s founding regulation (Table I).Interoperability Adviser Kai Brandstack says ERA is co-operating closely with the various European and international standards-setting bodies, such as CEN and Cenelec. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in May 2007 ‘giving us access to their work – they have been very receptive to establishing common standards’. A Joint Programme Committee has been formed specifically for the rail sector, and a high degree of understanding has already developed. Brandstack says this collaborative approach has a number of benefits. As the TSIs are defined in European legislation, they have legal weight and ‘very strict change procedures’. It is actually easier to change the European Standards, and ERA is working with the various bodies to get more railway-specific standards adopted. On the downside, he admits that ‘if the standards are included in the TSIs, they become mandatory, but otherwise their adoption is optional.’According to Brandstack, there are five main areas of work within the Article 12 group, where development and revision of the various TSIs is progressing well. The final draft of the TSI for Conventional Railways is due to be completed within 30 months of the mandate being issued in February 2006. Work is also underway to address outstanding issues in the Wagons TSI. Following detailed discussions, a single TSI is being drafted for Traction & Passenger Rolling Stock, rather than the two originally envisaged, plus two sub-packages to be completed by the end of this year.Final drafts for the Infrastructure and Energy TSIs were submitted for economic evaluation in December, and the formal consultation process is expected to begin in April. Work began in February 2007 on a TSI covering Telematic Applications for Passengers – such as ticketing and real-time information systems. Brandstack says an intermediate report was published in December, and the first draft of the TSI will be ready by the end of 2008.An issue of great importance in the Baltic States, as well as other member states in eastern Europe, is the need for some form of interface between the interoperability rules applying to Europe’s 1 435 mm gauge networks and the OSJD technical standards used on the 1 520 mm gauge routes in the former Soviet sphere of influence. ‘We needed to identify differences and find common ground’, says Brandstack. ERA’s 1520 working party has three ad-hoc groups covering infrastructure, rolling stock and operations; an interim report was completed in October 2007 and the final report is due to go to the Commission by mid-2008.Although DG TREN has not formally requested any monitoring work under Article 13, Brandstack says co-operation with the Notified Bodies in different member states ‘is most important’, as it provides ERA with ‘feedback on the field application of the TSIs’. This co-operation means that ERA project officers take part in the NB-Rail meetings (NB-Rail is the common representative body of NoBos). Likewise, NB-Rail representatives will take part in the ERA ‘conformity support group’. At present the NoBos are primarily concentrating on the High Speed TSI, but Brandstack recognises that this area of work ‘will be a huge task in the future’ as the other TSIs are finalised and adopted. Under Article 14, the Interoperability Unit has been asked to prepare a report every two years on how interoperability is working in practice, and the first of these is due to be issued in 2009.Given the slow progress with the TEN-T projects, Brandstack says little work has yet been done on Article 15, other than an initial examination of interoperability issues on the TEN routes for which EU funding has been allocated. ‘The procedures have been established, but we have not issued any reports yet’, he confirms.The certification of maintenance workshops under Article 16 has made more progress, with completion expected at the end of 2008. The idea is that certificates will be valid ‘right across the EU, so operators can get maintenance work done in any certified workshop’. Having put the structure in place, a draft implementation plan and recommendations are due to be ready by mid-2008.The adoption of the Third Railway Package on October 23 – and particularly Directive 2007/59/EC on driver licensing – has brought the issue of Vocational Competencies to the fore. A first meeting of the Article 17 team was held on December 5 to establish common criteria for train crew and cross-border operations, and once again Brandstack expects to see an intermediate report by the middle of this year.The development of a national vehicle register and common specifications for the registration of rolling stock were mandated by Dir 2004/50/EC, and the Article 18 team submitted its recommendations to the European Commission in the spring of 2007; a decision was taken last November. According to Brandstack, the next step will be ‘to launch an IT project covering ownership and technical information’. This may be able to build on the data management structures being put in place under Article 19. ERA has been tasked with maintaining a register of the many documents covering interoperability – such as directives and declarations, authorisations, any national technical rules, and the national vehicle and rolling stock registration databases. Table I. Interoperability activities, as defined in Regulation 881/2004Article 12 Technical support13 Monitoring the work of Notified Bodies14 Monitoring interoperability15 Promoting interoperability on TEN routes16 Certification of maintenance workshops17 Vocational competencies18 Registration of rolling stock19 Register of documents on interoperability
UK: Transport for London has placed a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting expressions of interest in the concession to operate Crossrail passenger services. Potential operators have until the end of April to respond.The concession would be similar to the existing London Overground inner-suburban contract, with TfL specifying service levels, hours of operation and staffing. TfL expects to appoint an operator by late 2014. In May 2015 the concessionaire would take over the operation of stopping services between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield which are currently operated by Greater Anglia. The existing rolling stock would be ‘gradually replaced’ by the new Crossrail Class 345 electric multiple-unit fleet from May 2017. The new Crossrail tunnels through central London would open in late 2018, with the full 118 km cross-London network to be operational in 2019. TfL predicts that Crossrail will transport around 200 million passengers/year when complete. The concession would run for eight years, with an option for a 31 month extension at TfL’s discretion. The concessionaire may be also be required to operate train services and manage stations on routes further out to Reading and/or Ebbsfleet, and/or on additional routes from London Liverpool Street to Chingford, Enfield Town and Cheshunt. This would be dependent on future decisions by the Department for Transport. Crossrail rolling stock could also be used instead of existing EMUs to provide extra peak capacity between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street.’We’re looking to appoint a world-class operator to run a world-class service that will see Crossrail set the benchmark for railway services in Europe’, said Mayor of London Boris Johnson Current planning assumptions for launch of Crossrail services DateSectionNotes May 2015London Liverpool Street – Shenfield Crossrail concessionaire takes over existing stopping service May 2017 Start of gradual replacement of existing rolling stock with new Crossrail fleet May 2018 Heathrow Airport – London Paddington (mainline platforms)Crossrail concession takes over Heathrow Connect service December 2018 London Paddington (Crossrail platforms) – Abbey Wood May 2019 London Paddington (Crossrail platforms) – Shenfield December 2019 London Paddington – Maidenhead Full Crossrail service
POLAND: The EU is to provide €838m of cohesion funding for a project to upgrade a 214·5 km section of the TEN-T network between Chorzów Batory in Śląskie voivodship and Zduńska Wola Karsznice in Łódzkie.Due for completion by January 2023, the project includes subgrade strengthening, track renewals and bridge reconstruction. It is intended to reduce freight transit times by 37 min and passenger journey times by almost 30 min. Access for people with reduced mobility will also be improved.‘Seamless railway connections for passengers and freight will boost territorial cohesion in Poland while ensuring better quality of air in the country in the long run’, said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy, Enlargement Negotiations & Regional Policy, on October 4.
Ethiopians are today celebrating a new year, marking the start of 2010.The country has its own calendar with 13 months, twelve of which have 30 days as the thirteenth month – called Pagumen – has five days which become six each leap year.The just ended year 2009 has been eventful for Ethiopia and its people, for instance, it was the year in which the Horn of African country managed to be elected as a non-permanent member of UN’s Security Council.That year also saw the registration of the Oromo Geda system by UNESCO as the world’s intangible heritage, and the election of Ethiopia’s Dr Tedros Adhanom as Directror general of the world health organization.Unfortunately in the just concluded year, at least 113 Ethiopians lost their lives following a dumpsite landslide in Addis Ababa.Ethiopia is one of few countries in the world with its own unique calendar. Each year on 11 September, people come together in large numbers to celebrate the start of a new year.Families are known to gather to hold festivities to mark the start of the year, making merry and exchanging gifts.A lot of Ethiopians have taken to social media to express their joy and to wish their friends well as the new year begins.https://twitter.com/JsCallMeTee/status/907231727499833344https://twitter.com/Yonny_t/status/907230484333305856https://twitter.com/irenechristien/status/907217313853820928https://twitter.com/derromusaada/status/907210022433775617
Reported by admin Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) North Farmington High seniors have embraced a hilarious tradition that made the Class of 2018 famous.The graduating students are allowed to dress in costume for their identification badges. They’re posting photos of the badges beside the character portrayed on Twitter, with the #NFID19 hashtag.Last year, Twitter aggregated the #NFID18 posts as part of its “Moments” series, and news outlets across the country covered the story. Here’s this year’s crop of creative student IDs:
ERZIA announced that they have joined DREAM R&D EU funded program with the objective of researching and developing advanced, cutting-edge technologies for wireless high data rate communication links able to cope with the requirements of future cellular networks beyond 5G. The kick-off meeting took place in Espoo, Finland hosted by the Project coordinator VTT.ERZIA designs and manufactures microwave and mm-wave amplifiers and integrated assemblies for high performance and high reliability applications. With ISO9001 & 9100 certifications, ERZIA products are present at the five continents, airborne platforms and space missions, covering from DC to 119 GHz. Click here to see ERZIA’s broad range of amplifiers.