Great British Chefs has been raising money for the NSPCC each year since 2012, and this year they wanted to make it bigger and better than anything done before. The annual winter gala is always a great night for everyone involved, with chefs eager to show off their culinary skills for a great cause, but 2016's event, held on 8 November, was more successful than anyone could've imagined. The event was held at The Guildhall in London and catered by the team at Mosimann's, who made it possible to serve the 470 guests without a single hiccup. An incredible £275,000 was raised for NSPCC Childline in just one night, as philanthropic foodies enjoyed a night of amazing food, fine wine, good company and the chance to bid on some truly special prizes.
The menu was a unique, exclusive collaboration between four British chefs and one Italian chef, all holders of a Michelin star and experts in their field. James was joined by Simon Hulstone of The Elephant in Devon, Geoffrey Smeddle of The Peat Inn in Fife, Mark Jordan of Ocean at The Atlantic in Jersey and Francesco Apreda, the head chef of Imàgo in Rome, who has made his name by effortlessly combining Italian and Indian flavours into incredible, nationally recognised dishes.
The chefs created a five-course banquet, each one cooked by a different Michelin-starred chef using the best ingredients available - a dream come true for any foodie, and every dish was received enthusiastically. Serving 470 guests simultaneously is no mean feat, and the chefs were certainly rushed off their feet in the kitchen, but everything went smoothly and the entire menu was presented seemingly effortlessly in the dining room.
James was up first, bringing some East Yorkshire ingredients down from his home county with him. The perfect seasonal starter with flavours of damsons, sloes and pease pudding, the ballotine of ham hock and Yorkshire pheasant set things off on the right track.
Throughout the evening, guests were able to bid on various lots in a silent auction, kindly donated by chefs and businesses who wanted to help raise money for the NSPCC. Tom Aikens, Pierre Koffmann, Vivek Singh, Alyn Williams and Marcus Wareing might not have been in the kitchen on the night, but they each offered incredible dining experiences for the evening which helped to raise a substantial amount of money.
As well as the chef experiences, bidders could compete for a private box at Ascot Racecourse, a meal on board the historic Belmond British Pullman train, six magnums of wine from Les Caves de Pyrene, steak knives from Goodfellows, a Big Green Egg, an incredible experience at The Boundary Hotel, a Lavazza coffee machine, sous vide equipment from SousVide Tools and wines from Naked Wines – all of which were all snapped up quickly.
To read more about Great British Chefs and their NSPCC dinner 2016 visit