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Top chefs sign up for CALM fundraising dinner

04 April 2012 by
Top chefs sign up for CALM fundraising dinner

Alyn Williams, Ben Spalding, Jose Pizarro, Russell Brown, Phil Thompson, Mickael Weiss and Mark Poynton are among the big-name chefs that will cook at a fundraising dinner for mental health charity CALM, it has been revealed. The event will be held at Floridita in London's Soho at the end of the month.

Dave Ahern, head chef at Ben's Canteen in Battersea, is the event organiser alongside John Comyn who is in charge of operations. Ahern was spurred into action following the suicide of former Jamie Oliver chef Kevin Boyle, in a bid to combat the stigma surrounding depression in the hospitality industry.

He said: "We want to send a message to those in the industry who are struggling with depression that it's OK to ask for help".

A number of high-end London restaurants, such as Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social, Galvin at Windows and Alyn Williams at the Westbury, will donate front-of-house staff for the dinner, which will be hosted by comedian David Baddiel.

All money that is raised at the event on 30 April, featuring entertainment and an auction, will go towards enabling the CALM helpline to run until 3am every night of the week.

Any excess cash raised will be split equally between the charity and the fund being set up by the Boyle family in Kevin's memory to help young men suffering from depression.

The event is being filmed for broadcast on the Tonight show on ITV 1 at 7.30pm on 3 May.

Tickets are priced at £200 a head and are available from www.skiddle.com.

Ahern and Comyn, alongside former Masterchef Winner Mat Follas, were behind a similar charity event held last year: the Kai We Care dinner, arranged through social media site Twitter, was in aid of victims of the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand.

Twitter propels charity Kai We Care dinner to raise £60,000 for Christchurch earthquake >>

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

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