Suffolk chefs raise more than £20,000 for Ukraine
Tessa Allingham Photos: Richard Allenby-Pratt
- Credit: Richard Allenby-Pratt
Hosted by Suffolk New College, supported by the compassion and generosity of the county's people and food suppliers
Two Suffolk chefs, Maria Elia and Nicola Hordern, have raised more than £20,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, at a sell-out dinner at Suffolk New College, Ipswich.
Maria and Nicola worked with Suffolk-based journalists Tessa Allingham and Linda Duffin, director of service industries at Suffolk New College Mike Mulvihill, and events manager Aimee Jay, to organise the event in just two weeks.
The chefs led a brigade of students under chef-lecturer Dan Russell-Poole, and a line-up of Suffolk professionals, to cook for 100 guests at Chefs’ Whites restaurant at the Suffolk Centre for Culinary Arts. Among the guests was Elizabeth Hughes, mayor of Ipswich, who spoke movingly about the Ukrainian community in the town.
The professional chefs were Nick Claxton Webb (executive chef, Adnams), Alan Paton (executive chef, Stoke by Nayland hotel), Harvey Thompson (sous chef, Tuddenham Mill), Nick Claxton Webb (executive chef, Adnams), private chef Mike Keen, Grant Newland (chef patron The Kings Arms, Haughley) and Sam Sturman (chef patron The Brewers, Rattlesden). A student front of house team led by Zoe McKechnie was supported by Yann Aubourg (restaurant manager, The Swan, Southwold).
Ingredients and drinks were donated for a four-course feast that celebrated Ukraine, its people and its food. The menu included pampushky garlic bread made by Pump St Bakery, zeleniy borsch, slow-roast Dingley Dell pork with sauerkraut, and St Jude curd, polenta and walnut cake with bay leaf ice cream. Local businesses and individuals donated generously to a raffle and auction, run by Lacy Scott auctioneer Ed Crichton, in which the star prize – a week in Tuscany – raised £4,000.
Every penny raised from ticket sales, raffle and auction, will go to the DEC. “To raise over £20,000 for the DEC appeal is more than we ever thought possible," said Maria. "It’s thanks to the generosity of so many people, and the power of teamwork that it was possible.”
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Nicola said they had been overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone involved in the evening. "A huge thank you to our suppliers who between them donated all of the ingredients for our menu, our brilliant brigade of chefs from across the county, and especially to the hardworking students and staff at Suffolk New College. We couldn’t have achieved this without them.”
Linda said it showed how compassionate and generous the people of Suffolk are. "I’ve never been so proud to live here. The money we’ve raised will help to save lives and alleviate suffering for the victims of this cruel and needless war. Thank you, everyone.” Tessa said: “I’m so proud that we hosted this event just two weeks after the idea was first mooted – and to have raised £20,000 is beyond our wildest dreams.”