Action Against Hunger was set up over 30 years ago with the aim of ending child hunger. In recent years they have held a range of food-based events bringing together some of the country’s top chefs to raise crucial funds to support their work. I had previously attended their Auction Against Hunger event at Street Feast’s Dalston Yard, with some of London’s hottest chefs (Nuno Mendes, Issac McHale, José Pizzaro and Tomos Parry, to name but a few) taking over the space to produce amazing street food, so I had high expectations for this Too Many Chefs dinner. Held at Islington’s The Drapers Arms, the evening was hosted by chefs Neil Rankin (best known for Smokehouse and Bad Egg) and Robin Gill (of Clapham’s The Dairy), alongside Nick Gibson from The Draper’s Arms.
The evening started off with a selection of canapés from Gina Hopkins, head chef at The Draper’s Arms. Pig’s trotters and spring onion rolls were followed by black pudding and broad beans, and then deep fried Ogleshield cheese and gooseberry (my favourite of the three). Our first full course of the evening was from Lee Westcott of the Typing Room, whose star has been on the rise from the day his restaurant opened. His dish of roasted celeriac, fermented mushroom, pear and hazelnut, had an understated elegance about it, no showy ingredients or techniques needed here. It was the simplicity of the dish that surprised me – I hadn’t expected to enjoy quite as much as I did – and I’m really looking forward to visiting the restaurant later this summer to try more of his food.