This week’s exclusive Diary includes more news on Adrian Fawcett post Punch; GBK inspiring Noel Gallagher; the impressive scale of Buffallo Trace distillery; and Jon Bon Jovi’s community restaurant venture. Bedding down Former head of Punch leased Adrian Fawcett has been busy since stepping down as chief executive officer of General Healthcare Group, the biggest private healthcare provider in the UK, earlier this year. Linked with the vacant CEO slot at M&B, Fawcett is now the chairman of Silent Night Group, the UK’s largest bed manufacturer and earlier this month became chairman of the advisory board at EuroSite Power, the utility solution provider. Ronayne moves on Another movers and shakers update: Diary hears that Ian Ronayne, operations director at Punch Taverns, is to take a role at rival pubco Enterprise Inns, working closely with chief operating officer Simon Townsend. Ronayne previously held top jobs at Coors including MD and FD of its European business and later director of sales at Molson Coors UK. Good catch. Buffet bonanza Red Hot World Buffet (RHWB), which is currently generating private equity interest, will open its latest site today in Cardiff. Diary hears the new site will feature 35 chefs cooking up to 300 dishes at 10 live stations from nine cuisines from around the world, and will include the group’s first dessert station. During its openings week the restaurant will be able to supply 550kg of rice, 1,100 pizzas, 1,200 litres of ice-cream, 800 crème brulees and 9,000 Japanese prawns. It will also feature a 35 feet long 100% recycled paper “flying dragon” that is also six foot wide with a wing span of 18 feet. Talk about a focal point! What’s the story GBK glory It’s not every day that a leading figure and business in the eating out sector gets named checked in a number one album. Step forward then Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) and long-time director David Sykes who have claimed that honour in ex-Oasis man Noel Gallagher’s debut album. Said album uses artwork in its sleeve that includes GBK’s early piece of marketing “Stunned That Something So Simple Can Be So Good”. Soul singer Talking of the famous, Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi fame has opened up a pay-what-you-want restaurant called Soul Kitchen in New Jersey. He said: “The Soul Kitchen is meant to serve people in need, who then donate their time in our community in exchange for a nutritious meal for themselves and their families, as well as to those who can afford to contribute each is just as valuable to our success.” A case of “I’ll sleep when I’m fed” then! Ramsay’s Plane Talking Was Gordon Ramsay being a touch ironic when he named his new restaurant airside at Heathrow Terminal Five Plane Food? Diary had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast at the eatery before flying out to the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky, courtesy of its UK distributor Hi Spirits. It certainly wasn’t 'plane' to members of the party what was meant by one dish on the menu, Eggs Norwegian (FYI: basically Eggs Benedict with salmon). Also a first for Diary was a £1.50 “cover price” per person charged to the bill, and not included in the tip, presumedly for the pleasure of being given a seat. Nevermind, Diary can report that food and service were top notch. Come on in, the whiskey’s great The Buffalo Trace distillery is quite a place. The vast site produces two and a half billion cases of whiskey each year, of which 80% is consumed in the US. It also boasts the record of the oldest distillery in America, dating back to 1787; it even kept going during prohibition by producing medicinal whiskey. But probably the most impressive thing is the vast fermentation tanks, which at 92,000 gallons each, are said to be the biggest of any spirit maker in the world. Diary was half amused, half disturbed, by the presence of a “no swimming” sign next to the massive vessels. Apparently it’s impossible to swim in the containers anyway because of the consistency of the liquid. Not, presumedly, that anyone would want to go for a dip anyway. Alcohol: a taxing problem both sides of the pond Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace’s master distiller, provided an interesting insight into the differences between the US and UK when it comes to alcohol tax. A reduction in ABV of its whiskey by five percentage points in the US means a saving to consumers of roughly 25 cents. Over here, a similar drop in alcohol strength can reduce the price of a bottle buy as much as £2-£5, due to what Harlen called our “punitive” tax policies. It’s not all rosy for the Americans, however. Separately, Diary was told that individual states employ widely different approaches to taxing the demon drink, with some applying a tax at the point of production, wholesale and retail. Diary wonders whether we may one day face a similar scenario in the UK, should the Scottish National Party succeed in gaining control of taxation north of the border.