Mince Pie Project: More chefs to take part in 2012

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Which chef will knock last year's winner Ashley Palmer-Watts off the top of the mince pie leaders' board?
Which chef will knock last year's winner Ashley Palmer-Watts off the top of the mince pie leaders' board?
The number of chefs involved in the Mince Pie Project, an event introduced last year to raise money for industry initiative Galvin's Chance and homeless charity Crisis, has increased this year with 84 of the industry's finest ready to bake their take on the festive treat. 

This year will see a number of new names, including Nathan Outlaw, Simon Rogan and Clare Smyth join some of last year's participants, such as Marcus Wareing and Angela Hartnett in putting forward their winning mince pie recipe. 

To compete, each chef must cook 50 mince pies made to their own recipe ready for auction at noon on 11 December. The auction will stay open for 72 hours, during which time people will be encouraged to bid as much as they can for the pies they prefer. 

Hotting up

Last year's winner was Ashley Palmer-Watts, whose deep fried mince pies fetched £1,000 and Hartnett said competition was already hotting up between the chefs taking part this year as they attempted to raise the most cash and take home the 'ultimate mince pie bragging rights'. 

"It’s all about charity, but secretly every chef wants their mince pies to raise the most money," she said. "Ashley Palmer-Watts came up with a great idea last year, so he will be the man to beat." 

Pete Butler of Live & Let Dine and founder of the Mince Pie Project, said he was pleased so many chefs had come on board this year. 

‘We ran the project for the first time last year and it was more successful than we could ever have imagined," he said. "We’ve got some great new chefs lined up this year, as well as a few surprises along the way. We can’t wait for it to start." 

All proceeds from the event will be divided between Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people and Galvin's Chance, the into-work programme initiated by Chris Galvin and Fred Sirieix of Galvin at Windows.

The initiative aims to give disadvantaged young people aged between 18 and 24 access to training in the hospitality industry with a view to finding them employment in a front-of-house role in a restaurant or hotel. 

Bids will be able to be made at www.themincepieproject.com​ from 11 December. 

Some of the chefs confirmed to take part so far this year include: 

  • Paul Gayler - Apsleys at The Lanesborough
  • Alyn Williams - The Westbury
  • Andrew Fairlie - Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles
  • Marcus Wareing - Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
  • Simon Rogan - L'Enclume
  • Nathan Outlaw - Restaurant Nathan Outlaw
  • Michel Roux Jr - Le Gavroche
  • Angela Hartnett - Murano
  • Michael Caines - Gidleigh Park
  • Philip Howard - The Square
  • Clare Smyth - Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
  • Raymond Blanc & Benoit Blin - Le Manoir
  • Hayden Groves - BaxterStorey
  • Alexis Gauthier - Gauthier Soho
  • Andre Garrett - Galvin at Windows
  • Bruce Poole - Chez Bruce
  • Martin Wishart - Restaurant Martin Wishart
  • Michael Wignall - Michael Wignall at The Latymer
  • Graham Hornigold - Hakkasan
  • Tim Anderson - MasterChef winner
  • Russell Brown - Sienna
  • Giorgio Locatelli - Locanda Locatelli
  • Kevin Love - The Hinds Head
  • Jack Boast - Cafe a Vin
  • David Everitt Matthias - Le Champignon Sauvage
  • Mark Poynton - Alimentum
  • Will Holland - la Becasse
  • Tristan Mason - Restaurant Tristan
  • Andreas Antona - Simpsons

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