It has to be said that Michelin starred cuisine and zoos are not likely bedfellows, but when it comes to fundraising for Hospitality Action anything is possible! So last week we hot-footed it down to ZSL London Zoo to be greeted by llamas (would you believe?) to enjoy a fabulous menu devised and cooked by Michelin stared chef Ollie Dabbous of Dabbous London. We arrived and made our way through the zoo to mingle with other diners surrounded by the zoo’s enclosures and their resident wildlife within. As the leading foodservice agency we are lucky enough to go to all sorts of fabulous events and meals, but never before had we been entertained in a zoo, so this was a first for us!
After bubbles and canapés it was on to the dinner, fundraising auction and charity prize draw. Penny Moore, Chief Executive of Hospitality Action, welcomed us with a short speech outlining the good work the charity does. As the hospitality industry’s benevolent fund they help those in need who have worked in the foodservice/hospitality industry, with 70% of those they currently assist suffering from either a life changing illness or poverty. So safe in the knowledge that we were enjoying ourselves in a very worthy cause it was time to eat…
The middle eastern inspired menu was delicious and presented beautifully, Ollie even found time to come out of the kitchen to address the assembled diners and revealed that his first fine dining experience was in fact at Brian Turner’s restaurant, which inspired him to choose a career as a chef. It was fortuitous therefore that Brian just happened to have joined us for the evening. As the conversation and wine flowed the night went by in a flash with good food and good company, but soon it was on to the business of fundraising for this excellent cause and time for the auction and prize draw which Brian Turner managed with his usual charisma and professionalism. All in all it was a great night, for a great cause, which managed to raise a staggering £13,500!
Congratulations must go to Penny, Astrid (who masterminded the evening) and all the team at HA on a fabulous event, as well as to Ampersand catering, Ollie Dabbous, sponsors Oranka Juice Solutions, Wenlock Spring and Jascots Wine Merchants, and of course all those who donated prizes and bid for them.
To find out more about the valuable work that Hospitality Action do visit: http://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/