Muse chef-patron Tom Aikens has teamed up with hospitality charity Only a Pavement Away (OAPA) to launch the ‘Tom Aikens charity cooking challenge' and raise money for its Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign.
The Caterercovered the launch of the campaign last month following a report that central London was seeing a "surge" of newly unemployed restaurant and pub workers forced to sleep on the streets due to coronavirus closing businesses.
The cooking challenge invites participants to cook a meal in five minutes, donate £5 to the campaign, pass on the challenge to five nominated friends, and share their videos on social media, tagged with #fiveminutefeast and #hospitalityagainsthomelessness.
All money raised will go towards supporting both members and non-members of Only a Pavement Away to help them out of destitution following the Covid-19 crisis and get them back into roles within the hospitality industry.
Aikens said: "I'm delighted to be a part of a charitable project that plans not only to help those in need now, but also to support them into the future as well. To be able to encourage people to take part in this challenge for such a great cause is an amazing feeling and I'm thrilled to be able to help in this small way."
Along with Aikens, the Thomas Franks Foundation is contributing to the project by donating 2,000 meals this week, as well as 25 microwaves, to ensure that those who have been placed into accommodation have some form of cooking facilities.
Frank Bothwell, founder of the Thomas Franks Foundation, said: "Our charity was established to provide relief for the disadvantaged, so teaming up with OAPA has enabled us to deliver quality food supplies to the OAPA kitchen hub and to ensure that freshly-cooked, nutritious meals go directly to those most in need."
Founder and chief executive of Only A Pavement Away, Greg Mangham, said: "We've seen first-hand the effect that Covid-19 has had on the hospitality industry, and the work that we do has never been as vital as it is now. It has become very clear to us that hospitality is the community, so we urge everyone who can, to get involved."
OAPA was established by hospitality consultant Mangham in 2018 to help those living on the streets, as well as ex-offenders and vulnerable veterans, find employment in the hospitality industry.