- NEWS & CHAT
The Association of Catering Excellence held its annual Wine Dinner on Thursday 5th February at Painters' Hall, with over 150 guests from the catering industry enjoying a 4 course dinner accompanied by 7 South African wines from Eagles Cliff.
The star prize in the raffle was dinner for 2 at Jason Atherton's City Social restaurant, sited within Tower 42. This prize was donated by Restaurant Associates, and won by Dewberry Redpointâ€™s Managing Director, Andrew Archer. In a generous gesture, he offered the prize to 22 year old apprentice, Gavin Fontaine.
Just 6 months ago, former plumber Gavin was homeless, but thanks to an initiative set up by chef founder Simon Boyle, he is currently undergoing a 13 month programme at Beyond Food Foundation, ACE's chosen charity for 2014/15. Simon attended the dinner with Gavin, to share their story and collect a cheque for Â£2,500 from Jeni Edwards, Chair of ACE. A further Â£2,500 will be donated later in the year. Simon Boyle said:
â€œWeâ€™re very proud ACE chose us as their charity. 3 and a half years ago, I opened Brigade Restaurant in the oldest fire station in London, and since then we have seen over 593 homeless people come through the doors on our Fresh Life programme. The apprentices that go on to work with us will spend 6 months in Brigadeâ€™s kitchen, learning how to make soup, stock, sauces and ice-cream. They will then do a 7 month work placement which should result in full-time employment. We give them good solid skills so they can get out of the cycle of no home, no job, no home. Without the support of people like ACE, we wouldnâ€™t be able to do what we do. ACE's donation will sponsor a homeless person and train them in foodservice, providing them with a new and positive future.â€
Painters' Hall is home to the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, a Company whose roots can be traced back to the thirteenth century and ranked 28th in the seniority of the City Livery Companies.The Livery Hall boasts beautiful art amongst scenes dating back to the 16th century.
The wines were presented by Richard Household, the UK representative for South African wine producers Eagles Cliff. Richard guided guests through a selection of stunning wines, including the award winning Arendskloof Tannat-Syrah and other stars from their portfolio.
Venue caterers, Life's Kitchen provided the menu, with many ingredients donated by ACE Sponsors including the venison from British Premium Meats, water from Hildon House, cheeses from Kff, bread from Bridor, dessert from Vittles and petit fours from Traiteur de Paris:
Crayfish and Queen Scallop Tian
Heritage Tomato and Dill Dressing
Seared Venison Medallion
Potato and Celeriac Dauphinoise, Wilted Greens and Redcurrant Game Jus
Vanilla Panna Cotta
Chocolate Pearls and Blood Orange Syrup
Selection of British Cheeses
Quince Jelly, Dried Fruits and Artisan Biscuits
Freshly Brewed Fairtrade Coffee & Petit Fours