Raising the profile of the catering industry in East Yorkshire was one of the objectives behind the charity gala dinner held at Tickton Grange, near Beverley, East Yorkshire.
Another was to raise money for two charities, Osprey (Osteoporosis Research in East Yorkshire) and Springboard UK, which promotes careers in the hospitality and catering industry. The event was organised by members of the Hull and East Riding Yorkshire branch of the Association Culinaire Franáaise, with the support of Hull Hoteliers.
Head chefs from some of the area's top establishments catered for 200 people, made up of managers and chefs from local restaurants and staff of schools and colleges. Eric Deblonde, national president of the Association Culinaire Franáaise, also attended. Each guest paid £25 for the six-course menu.
Association representative and senior school catering manager at Hull College, Bernard McCoy, says the menu was chosen to appeal to everyone.
Aperitifs and canapés were prepared by Brian Horseman of the Portland Hotel, Hull, while Chris Pleasant of the Jarvis International Grange Park, Willerby, devised a second course of clear fruit terrine with a tangy kiwi coulis.
The delice of lemon sole with wild mushrooms served on a creamed watercress sauce, by Tim Bell from fish restaurant Cerutti's, in Hull, was one of two dishes that could be replaced by a vegetarian choice. The alternative was a warm salad of mixed leaves and two cheeses, Greek feta and French vignotte (similar to brie), with warm French beans.
Asparagus with tarragon and tomato hollandaise was the vegetarian option offered in place of the roast guinea fowl on a potato galette with fried vegetable strips and Madeira jus, put together by David Nowel of Tickton Grange, Tickton.
A Champagne sorbet by Janet Alison of Staff House, University of Hull, was served after the sole course. A trio of chocolate mousse served with Drambuie sauce completed the meal. This was created by David Leaf of Willerby Manor, Willerby.
The evening took six months of planning. Trial runs of the dishes were made before the big night and presented to the organising committee, with the chefs preparing four versions of each course. For instance, Nowel offered lamb, chicken and pheasant dishes alongside the guinea fowl one selected.
On the night, the meal came together well, says McCoy, with around £4,000 being raised for the chosen charities. Expenses were kept to a minimum because all courses were sponsored by suppliers and the chefs gave their services for free.