Twitter has united chefs and front of house professionals for a charity pop-up supperclub last night that saw more than £60,000 raised to support victims of the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand in February.
The Kai We Care event (Kai is Māori for food) originated from a conversation between former Masterchef champion and owner of The Wild Garlic restaurant in Dorset Mat Follas (@matkiwi) and Dave Ahern (@CorkGourmetGuy), chef at The Ship pub restaurant in Wandsworth, social networking website Twitter.
An initial suggestion four weeks ago to set up a dinner for around 30 guests quickly grew into the dinner for 200 at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, One Moorgate Place, last night.
Around 100 hospitality professionals, including Michelin-starred chefs Russell Brown of Sienna Restaurant, Dorchester, Dominic Chapman, The Royal Oak, Berkshire, and Simon Hulstone of The Elephant Torquay, worked together to produce a nine-course tasting menu.
The front of house team of more than 50 included Giancarlo Princigalli, formerly of Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, Rob Berry of Aramark, and Mike West and Martin Renshaw from Jason Atherton’s forthcoming Pollen Street Social.
Dom Chapman told Caterer he was involved because it was a cause close to his heart: “I have spent a lot of time in Christchurch and it’s a beautiful city. I am also married to a Kiwi so it really did hit a nerve.”
Speaking before the event, Follas said that people have come out of nowhere to help and donate their time and items for the auction.
“It’s great for two reasons. It is great for chefs to meet. They are not TV chefs, but working chefs that are always in their kitchens. It’s a great opportunity for them to give something back. And secondly, I doubt there is a chef that has not worked with a Kiwi in their kitchen. There is a lot of feeling towards Kiwis.”
At last count the event had raised £60,000 which will be donated to the British Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Fund.
For a full round up of the event and the people involved, see next week’s issue of Caterer and Hotelkeeper (15 April)
To view more photos from the event go to Table Talk >>
By Janie Stamford
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