Kai We Care charity pop up

There comes a point in life when no matter what you’ve done, achieved or experienced, you have a desire to give something back. I guess this increases exponentially, when you’re part of an expat community and your country of birth undergoes some major transformation or indeed, a tragedy.

Kai We Care

Kai We Care

With news and information from around the world, available at the click of a button or seeing it “breaking” on social media platforms, the urge to help or assist in any way becomes somewhat more immediate.I have never been to New Zealand, nor have I been to Japan. Yet both have recently suffered tragic earthquakes. I’ve seen some of the results from the Asian tsunami – or what remains of some of the places and the water marks still left there – and it is mind numbing. The sheer devastation is something your mind struggles to comprehend.

The power of social media platforms – with Twitter being one of the favoured ones at present – is simply awe-inspiring. A chance conversation between Mat Follas and Dave Ahern on their contribution to the relief efforts in Mat’s former homeland of New Zealand, exploded on Twitter from a small ‘pop up restaurant’ to the forthcoming behemoth that is being held on the 4th April in London.

Food and wine suppliers from across the United Kingdom contributed to the momentum. Brigades of chefs volunteered their services and pushed it even further. Donations of auction prizes have flooded in. front of house professionals too, have got in on the act. To say the response has been overwhelming, is an understatement.

I have been roped in as head chef for the event and it is both an honour and a privilege to be able to contribute, albeit in a small way.

For one night only, 5 Michelin-starred chefs, together with a host of multiple AA-rosette winners and TV chefs will combine their love of food and their sense of duty in being able to give something back to the City of Christchurch.

The event takes place on Monday 4th April 2011 and will be hosted in the elegant rooms of One Moorgate Place, London. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The deputy NZ High Commissioner, Belinda Brown, will open the event, along with a message from the Mayor of Christchurch, which will be broadcast later in the evening. A leading All Black rugby international will lead the Haka against the chefs.

Mat Follas commented: The power of social media and the ability to engage with the community of London and the wider United Kingdom in organising this charity event is magnificent. Simply to watch it all unfold”.

He commented further: “the outpouring of support for my homeland of New Zealand is humbling and I am extremely proud in being able to give something back to them”

Dave Ahern commented “It is amazing how even in the most trying of times people’s generosity of spirit and wish to help those affected by events like those in Christchurch shines through. This event would never have been possible without the incredible hard work of so many people, most of whom had never met before but have put their shoulder to the wheel in an attempt to make this unique event a superb success, because of their efforts we have gone from hoping to raise a few hundred pounds doing a simple supper club to targeting £100k on the night.”

He commented further: “ There are no words of gratitude that can adequately convey the huge thanks owed by myself and Mat to everyone involved and we know now with your continued help and support this will be an incredible success.”

A soupcon of the chefs cooking for the 9-course banquet is as follows:

  • Michelin-starred and multiple award winner, Simon Hulstone kicks off the evening with a tasting of beetroot
  • Michelin-starred chefs Adam Gray and Dominic Chapman combine forces for rare breed pork and truffle
  • Michelin-starred Russell Brown splashes out on saffron-poached prawns
  • Triple AA-Rosette holders Mark Poynton and Russell Bateman work their magic with New Zealand lamb
  • Michelin-starred Matt Tomkinson is on dessert

These dishes are complemented by Steve Groves canapés; Alex Wood’s ‘eggs and soldiers’; Marcus Bean and Johnnie Mountain’s take on cheese; along with Edd Kimber and Luke Mackay’s version of macaroons and petit fours.

Tickets for the event are selling fast and those wishing to attend or be part of Kai We Care should get in touch to the address details below.

The website is:  http://kaiwecare.weebly.com/ and the link to the menu is on there.

The Email: KaiWeCare@gmail.com

Twitter @KaiWeCare or http://twitter.com/kaiwecare

Kai We Care was envisaged by Dave Ahern (http://twitter.com/CorkGourmetGuy ) and Mat Follas (http://twitter.com/matkiwi ).

“Kai (the Maori word for food) We Care”

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