Michelin chefs raise £70k for DEBRA charity

Six chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants have raised more than £70,000 for the charity Debra, after giving up their time to host a Great Chefs Dinner in London.

The event, which took place at luxury hotel The Langham’s Roux at the Landau on the 4 February, saw chefs Michel Roux Jr, Andrew Wong, Mark Flanagan, Chris King, Gianluca Fusto and Andrew Gravett donate their culinary skills to the fundraiser.

DEBRA, the only national charity in the UK to support people with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a potentially fatal skin condition, was founded in 1978 by Phyllis Hilton whose daughter suffered from EB. The charity funds innovative research into finding effective treatments and a cure for the condition.

The black-tie event began with canapés and a Champagne reception sponsored by Dumangin Fils followed by four courses, with each chef responsible for one part of the menu created in honour of the occasion.

Paired with wines sponsored by Kent producer Chapel Down, the menu featured a starter of Sandringham game “Pate en Croute” with pickled mushroom salad and roasted shallots followed by an intermediate dish of seared scallop cheung fun with gai lan and fermented, chilli bean vinaigrette, crispy Cantonese pork belly, honey mustard and liquorice soy. The main course was a Quail and foie gras ‘lucullus’ with Jerusalem artichoke, pear and black truffle.  Petit fours were served for dessert.

The dinner was followed by a culinary-themed auction and an opportunity to meet the chefs.

Guests included Olympic silver medallist and the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall, nee Phillips, and her husband, former England Rugby captain Mike Tindall.

Addressing the guests during the dinner, DEBRA president Simon Weston CBE gave an insight into the pain and suffering people with EB experience and thanked the chefs for their involvement. Weston, a Falklands war veteran who survived the 1982 bombing of RAF Sir Galahad, sustained burns on 46% of his body and had to endure ninety-eight operations.

Weston said: “I am delighted that we were able to raise over £70,000 from the Great Chefs Dinner, the meal from the world class chefs was superb and the wine was perfect!  We are very appreciative of the chefs’ support, it is phenomenal that they gave up their valuable time to help us fight EB and raise the profile of the condition.”

Receiving no government funding, DEBRA relies on donations to carry out its work and continue its battle against EB.

Priced at £340 per person, all of the proceeds from the The Great Chefs Dinner will contribute to funding specialist EB nurses who provide vital care across the country.

The charity’s next fundraiser, the DEBRA Butterfly Ball, will take place on the 14 June at Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel, where Pollen Street Social’s Jason Atherton will join forces with La Tante Claire’s three Michelin star chef Pierre Koffman. Priced at £195, tickets can be bought here.

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