James Cochran launches St Vincent volcano relief fund

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Chef James Cochran launches St Vincent volcano relief fund

Related tags: Chef, James Cochran, Fundraising

Chef James Cochran is looking to raise £10,000 to donate to support the people of St Vincent following the eruption of its La Soufrière volcano earlier this month.

The founder of London fine-dining restaurant 12:51 and fried chicken concept Around the Cluck, whose mother was from St Vincent and the Grenadines, is hoping to work with other restaurants to help raise the funds while his own site remains closed due to ongoing lockdown restrictions.

As St Vincent is named after the patron saint of wine, Cochran is asking those restaurants willing to help raise funds to donate a £1 from every bottle of wine sold from now until 18 May when 12:51 reopens. 

After that date 12:51 will takeover the fundraising effort, with Cochran pledging to match the amount raised by other restaurants.

Alongside that, Cochran will be launching the ATC SVG (Saint Vincent & Grenadine) burger at Around the Cluck this week featuring his buttermilk fried chicken, chicken fat pressed potato, chicken gravy mayo, 12:51 scotch bonnet jam, crispy Red Stripe beer onions and cheese, which will cost £14 with all money made from the sales going to the relief fund.

He will also be auctioning a dinner for two experience of 12:51's signature tasting menu and drinks to whomever donates the most amount of money to the relief fund's GoFundMe page​ before 18 May.

The La Soufrière volcano on St Vincent erupted earlier this month, displacing 20,000 people who are currently being forced to live in overcrowded shelters.

"For those of you who know me you’ll likely know the island and its people mean everything to me," says Cochran.

"My mum was from St Vincent and the Grenadines and so, its culture and heritage has helped shape the man I am today.

 "Growing up in the small seaside town of Whitstable, there wasn’t much of a black or Afro-Caribbean crowd.  My mum was born and raised in a shanty town near Calliaqua in St Vincent and thought it was integral for me to understand my roots. From the age of seven, we would go to visit every other year: the island became another version of home to me where I have a large extended family.

"I’ve got four great-uncles and four great-aunties, numerous cousins and of course, my grandparents were there as I was growing up. It holds so many happy memories for me, and of my mum, who sadly, no longer is with us.

"Now, its people are suffering. They’ve lost everything. Approximately 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and are being forced to live in overcrowded shelters. There is no clean drinking water, food and essentials are running low - it’s devastating. And we want to help."

To view the fundraising page and make a donation, click here​.

Related topics: People, Chef

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