One of the industry's most popular fundraising events took place at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane last week. Amanda Afiya reports
The annual "Who's Cooking Dinner?" event has been a permanent fixture on the London restaurant scene for more than a decade. The brainchild of chef Peter Gordon, owner of the Providores, and restaurateur Chris Corbin, director of the Wolseley, it was created to raise much-needed funds for the specialist leukaemia centre at Hammersmith Hospital.
The 2011 event, which took place last week at the newly opened Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, raised £431,000 and took the total funds raised by Gordon, Corbin and their band of chefs and waiters to just under £4m since the event's inception.
So how did it work? Twenty leading chefs prepared a four-course meal with accompanying wines or cocktails for just one table of 10 guests who paid £600 per head. They each pulled a name out of a hat to find out which table of 10 they were cooking for. Some of the chefs then went on to auction themselves to cook a private function in bidding guests' homes, with Zuma chef Rainer Becker generating the top bid of £26,000.
With entertainment from comedian Rory Bremner, guests included fashion, restaurant and property tycoon Richard Caring and actors Dougray Scott and Claire Forlani.
All proceeds from the night will go towards funding additional research at the centre, which has built an international reputation for innovation and advances in treatment.
THE STORY BEHIND THE DINNER
In 1994, in Australia, Peter Gordon's sister, Tracey, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. Later that year, Gordon donated bone marrow to her. On the opposite side of the world, having also been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia, restaurateur Chris Corbin was undergoing a bone marrow transplant in Hammersmith Hospital.
Following his sister's full recovery, Gordon decided that he wanted to raise money to help similar families battling with leukaemia and he joined forces with Corbin to create the dinner and make it an annual event.
To find out more about the event or make a donation, go to www.whoscookingdinner.com.THE CHEFS
Below is a list of the chefs who, with their brigades, cooked at the Who's Cooking Dinner? event. For those who took part in the auction, the amount they raised is in brackets.
Tom Aikens, restaurant Tom Aikens (£12,000)
Rainer Becker, Zuma (£26,000)
Claude Bosi, Hibiscus
Sally Clarke, Clarke's
Richard Corrigan, Corrigan's (£18,000)
Mark Edwards, Nobu (£16,000)
Jeff Galvin, Galvin La Chapelle
Peter Gordon, the Providores (£13,000)
Brett Graham and Greg Austin, the Ledbury
Mark Hix, Hix (£14,000)
Philip Howard, the Square (£16,000)
Tim Hughes, Scott's (£16,000)
Pierre Koffmann, Koffmann's (£20,000)
Michele Lombardi, Harry's Bar (£10,000)
Bruno Loubet, Bistrot Bruno Loubet (£17,000)
Francesco Mazzei, L'Anima (£15,000)
Nuno Mendes, Viajante (£18,000)
Julian O'Neill, the Wolseley
Tong Chee Hwee, Hakkasan (£20,000)
Marcus Wareing, the Gilbert Scott (£16,000)