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NSPCC Schools Services Banquet Dinner 2015

NSPCC Schools Services Banquet Dinner 2015

by Eliot Collins 11 December 2015

Eliot Collins fills us in on who was cooking what at the 2015 NSPCC Banquet Dinner and why it’s such an important event for us at Great British Chefs.

Eliot is Chef Partnership Manager at Great British Chefs.

Last Wednesday 2 December marked the fourth year that Great British Chefs and the NSPCC have teamed up for the Schools Services Banquet Dinner. Each year since 2012 has seen four fantastic chefs from across the UK come together to produce a tasting menu for a winter gala, providing a chance to both celebrate the start of the festive season and to contribute to a very worthy cause.

After speaking to an NSPCC ChildLine volunteer a few weeks ago, I realised just how important it is to have a support network available for children who are not fortunate enough to have that support and care at home. Although often associated with cases of abuse and neglect, he also mentioned that many children are now calling the careline with fears relating to the current international situation, showing that the service is a vital resource for the next generation, providing information and reassurance as much as help and care, and one that we at Great British Chefs are very proud to continue to support.

With this is mind, it’s not surprising that every year our chefs are clambering over each other to contribute to the event. Not only is it a chance to demonstrate their culinary flair, but a fantastic feast also helps promote a charitable feeling when it comes to guests donating to the cause.

The Guildhall
The Guildhall
The kitchen team from Mosimann's
The kitchen team from Mosimann's

This year followed a slightly different format to before, as we shifted venues to the Guildhall of London, home of the World’s Fifty Best Restaurants awards. We also welcomed for the first time one of our Great Italian Chefs, Teresa Buongiorno from Caravigno in Puglia. This meant that the very efficient team at Mosimann’s prepared a total of five courses for 380 guests under the watchful eyes of five of Europe’s most talented gastronomes.

Starting things off, chef Michael Wignall (representing the South East) produced an exquisite pigeon pastrami before we travelled to Italy for Teresa’s pink gnocchi with basil and ricotta. Flying the flag for fish (and Scotland) was Brazilian-born Marcello Tully from the Isle of Skye who produced a classically-inspired and elegant sea bass, crab and squid ink dish. A taste of the North West came from Lancashire legend Paul Heathcote MBE, who served perfectly pink duck with sweet apples and wintry leeks and celeriac. Although Welsh-born and bred, chef James Sommerin’s dessert was inspired by Italian cuisine. The classic flavours of a tiramisu were combined with almond ice cream and honeycomb in a white chocolate dome, dusted with a final flourish of cocoa.

 
 

In total, this led to guests enjoying 1900 plates of food created by five chefs with a staggering seven Michelin stars between them! Not to mention the 1520 glasses of wine also consumed… The celebratory atmosphere was completed by sensational seasonal decor from Firehouse Productions, creating a festive feeling that resulted in over £200,000 in donations raised for the NSPCC.

Joining us at the dinner were many of the chefs who had taken part in the event over the last four years, including Paul Foster, Adam Stokes, Adam Simmonds, Robert Thompson, Josh Eggleton, Martin Wishart and Mark Dodson. It was an honour to have them and we look forward to welcoming them back for the fifth event in 2016.

A big thank you goes out to all involved in putting together such a brilliant event, with notable mentions to John Worth, Claire Orbell and the team at NSPCC; Anton Mosimann and Helmut Struppl of Mosimann’s catering; Liz McKeown and Aimee Cozens of Gusto Events; Mike Harper and the team at Firehouse Productions; and Noel Murphy and Casey Gutteridge for the fantastic photography on the night. Of course a huge thank you also to the Guildhall and all the guests, donors and supporters of NSPCC and Great British Chefs.

Photography Credit

Images on this feature are courtesy of both Casey Gutteridge and Noel Murphy

 
 
 

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NSPCC Schools Services Banquet Dinner 2015

 
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