PAUL Gayler, executive chef at The Lanesborough, and his ‘Cooks for the Cure’ team has embarked on an ambitious programme of charity events to be held across the UK’s network of catering colleges.
The team, also comprising of Andrew Bennett, Executive Chef of the Sheraton Park Lane, Henry Brosi, Executive Chef of The Dorchester and Simon Young, Executive Chef of Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, has recruited some of the country’s finest chefs to host sponsored dinners at their local catering colleges to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust via The Emily Begg Fund.
The events involve students at each college preparing a three-course meal for up to 170 paying guests, hosted by a respected industry chef and supported by local food and wine suppliers.
To date, Cyrus Todiwala MBE, Chef Proprietor of Caf? Spice Namaste and Great British Menu contestant Bryn Williams, Head Chef at Odette’s, have raised a staggering combined total of £19,000 at their events held at Westminster College, London and Coleg Menai, Bangor respectively.
In addition, Graeme Watson, Raj Mandel, Stephen Scuffell, Tony Cameron, Stuart McLeod, Matt Owens, Steve Carter and Kevin Viner have raised a fantastic combined total of £29,500 for their events held at Leicester College, Bedford College and Cornwall College respectively.
Other ‘Cooks for the Cure’ events taking place at catering colleges during March and April are:
Paul Bates - Waltham Forest
Henry Brosi – Stratford College
Simon Young - Redbridge College
Willie Pike – Ayr College
Colin Bussey – South Lanarkshire College
Ian Morgan – Cambridge College
Martyn Nail – Thurrock College
Allister Bishop - Plymouth College
Kevin Hooper - Guildford College
Roy Thompson – West Suffolk College
Paul Gayler - Havering College & Richmond College
Following the death in November 2006 of Emily Begg, the daughter of a close family friend, Paul Gayler set about helping his daughter Lauren raise funds to go towards a specialist Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) unit planned for Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridgeshire. The total cost of the unit is approximately £2 million.
“During Emily’s illness, the TCT were tremendously supportive and a real source of strength for the whole family,” said Paul.
“Sadly, six young people, just like Emily, find out they have cancer each day in the UK. As fathers and family men ourselves, we feel very strongly about this worthy cause and all funds raised by the ‘Cooks for the Cure’ team will ensure young people with cancer are getting the best possible treatment.
“To date, the team and our peers from the ‘cheffing’ world have completed the Great North Run, the world’s biggest half-marathon, raising £27,000 and organised a spectacular gala dinner hosted by Brian Turner CBE which raised £63,000.
"I am proud to say we are well on the way to achieving our overall target of £250,000 and so far we have raised some £150,000. I would like to personally thank all the chefs, catering colleges and sponsors for their support and friendship that has made this charitable effort possible,” concludes Paul.
If you would like to make a pledge to the Emily Begg Fund, please visit www.teenagecancertrust.org/sponsor/mayqueenappeal.