I don’t have to remind people of the shocking and saddening events that occurred in Christchurch New Zealand on the 22nd of February last.
We all sat stunned as the pictures of the earthquake were broadcast round the world. New Zealand is a proud and prosperous country but in moments its second largest city, Christchurch was devastated. Its iconic cathedral lay in ruins, the proud symbol of the city reduced to rubble. As sad as it was to see, its a building, and buildings can be rebuilt, the lives however that were just as devastated may be far harder to repair.
Last Monday I was chatting on-line to Kiwi chef and Masterchef winner Mat Follas, it was just a general chat about maybe meeting up for a beer later than evening as Mat was going to be in London overnight. Needless to say we began to talk about the earthquake and I said if there was anything he was doing to raise funds then I was more than happy to help. The idea of a supper club was mentioned and we figured that we could do a supper club or pop-up for 20-30 people with Mat doing most of the cooking and me putting my event management background to use organising it. Then we both Tweeted the idea and everything changed beyond recognition.
Within 30minutes the 30 people idea was a distant memory, the numbers increased and the offers of help of all sorts flooded in. From chefs wanting to cook, to producers offering their best products to be used for the menu, to people who were happy simply wash up or wait tables.
I grabbed hold of a friend of mine John Comyn, who has kindly offered to take care of the admin on this, and we met up with Mat in a very late night pub in Borough about half past midnight to try and make sense of it all, the numbers were mind-blowing, the offers of help were humbling and the task facing us was daunting but one thing we agreed on was that we would take this as far as we possibly could and raise as much money as possible. I immediately recruited chef Grant Hawthorne to oversea the technical side of the meal and let us know exactly what was achievable with what time, personnel and produce we had to work with.
There is so much talk of social media these days and how it is changing the world and to be honest it is something I have always had a somewhat sceptical view of but now I see just how true it is. Twitter has taken this to a place we never even dreamed of. From a 30 person supper this is where we now stand.
The date choosen was the 4th of april, this is the soonest we could pull this together but more importantly it is the last day of the tax year so the tickets for the event and the raffle can be written off against this years tax bill! You can also go nuts at the auction safe in the knowledge that if you don’t spend it the government would only waste it!
200 guests attending a 7 course dinner cooked by a variety of very highly rated chefs, including the likes of
DominicChapman, Head Chef at The Royal Oak and Michelin Star holder
Mark Poynton, Chef Patron at Restaurant Alimentum, 3AA Rosettes and listed in the UK’s Top 60 Restaurants
Russel Brown, Chef Patron at Sienna and Michelin Star Holder
Alex Wood, Head Chef at St Stephens Club London
Adrian Oliver, Chef Patron of Margot’s Padstow
Mathew Tomkinson, Head Chef at The Montagu Arms and Michelin Star Holder
Darren Goodwin, Head Chef at Losehill Hotel and Spa
Not only that but
Mat Follas and Dhruv Baker winners of the last 2 series of Masterchef will be cooking alongside these guys
Just like Steve Groves winner of Masterchef The Professionals and now working alongside Toby Stuart at Roux Parliament Sq.
We even have Celebrity Masterchef winner Lisa Faulkner and Master Chef Judges Jon and Gregg on hand to help out on the night.
I can’t even begin to list the prizes that will be auctioned or raffled on the night, full details will be on the website soon but if you have been following us on Twitter @KaiWeCare then you know there are some truly amazing things already offered by so many generous people.
We plan to stream the auction and raffle live as well as make the raffle tickets available to those who won’t be able to make it on the night.
The ticket price will be £150 per person and include wine.
A full menu will be up on the site in the coming days once all the chefs have had a chance to swap ideas and steal the donated ingredients from each others courses!
We will also show the incredible quality of the produce and who so generously donated them.
The auction too is surpassing all expectations and a catalogue of items and those who were wonderful enough to give them to us will be available to view so you can be prepared to get your wallet out on the night. We are hoping to allow people bid via Twitter who are watching the live stream
Vanessa Kimbell contacted me and insisted that she be allowed organise the raffle, those of you who know her know how hard it is to say no to her and those of you who don’t just take my advice it’s pointless, just buy the tickets, it will be far easier and the prizes which will be announce shortly will be mind blowing.
What I ask now is this, those of you who have blogs will you please reprint this on your sites and put the links there for those who wish to contact us.
Thank you all for your help and amazing support, it is ye who have changed this and helped make it what it is, Mat, John, Grant and I have merely tried our best to cling on.
There will be far more to follow but for now all I can say is that we are staggered and humbled by the out pouring of generosity
Aka @CorkGourmetGuy on Twitter