The head chef of London’s Papillon restaurant, David Duverger, has raised £5k for charity after auctioning himself to cook Christmas lunch for the highest bidder on eBay.
The auction finished with William Edwards, managing director of corporate services company Brunel, winning the lot with his bid of £4k, although he generously raised the final amount to £5k.
“We make a charity donation every year and £5k was the amount we were prepared to go to on eBay,” he said. “So although I won it for slightly less I decided to give him the full amount.”
When Duverger found he was unable to return to France for Christmas to see his family, he decided to auction off his services to raise money for charity Children with Leukaemia, after his nephew sadly died from the illness seven years ago. It was this charitable aspect that caught the attention of Edwards, who won the lot after an incredible 34 bids.
“Unfortunately I was diagnosed as having bowel and liver cancer earlier this year,” Edwards explained. “I’m in remission now, and having Christmas at home, but when I saw what Duverger was doing, I thought it would be a lovely idea to kill two birds with one stone. Also my wife’s ecstatic, she’s cooked 33 Christmas lunches now, so it’s nice for her not to worry about it.”
Duverger said he was ‘looking forward’ to spending Christmas at Edwards’ home in Hanbury, Hertfordshire, and will be bringing along the Papillon sommelier to help out. “William is a lovely guy,” he said. “I think we’re going to have a great Christmas together.”
Duverger will be cooking a traditional French Christmas lunch, with Champagne and canapes, foie gras terrine, braised turbot with Champagne sauce, Bresse chicken stuffed with truffles and a winter vegetable ragout, and a French yuletide log for dessert.