On the evening of Thursday, April 4th, the Refettorio kitchen was brimming with a cast of all-star chefs cooking a feast for 70 guests. More than 20, led by chef Brett Graham of the two-Michelin starred, The Ledbury**, created a surplus menu to celebrate spring for our first in-house fundraising gala dinner. Each course was generously accompanied by wines thoughtfully matched and donated by Liberty Wines.
The evening celebrated the work of Refettorio and the support that we receive from well-known chefs who can (and do) feed a full room with kitchen scraps and misshapen vegetables.
Supporters of the charity started with snacks made from kitchen surplus: Arancini and scotch eggs made with pullet eggs (which are what the hen lays when she’s still learning). The guests then sat down to the first course of trout ceviche from Neil Campbell of Rovi. Neil has brought his zero-waste mentality from Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store to Rovi, where he leads a plant-focused kitchen for Yotam Ottolenghi’s empire.
Wasted sourdough bread with whipped pork fat and shallots was brought by The Bread Factory and used to mop up the caper juice from Robert Chambers of Luca’s Squid Ink Bucatini with Hake collar. This briny dish brought the seaside straight to the Refettorio, even on a rainy April day in West London.
The savoury dishes concluded with Sally Abé of the Harwood Arms serving Berkshire Muntjac. This was accompanied by an onion and beer emulsion, along with wild garlic and root vegetable mash. This is just the sort of comforting but studied dish that diners have come to expect from Abé’s Michelin-starred kitchen at the Harwood Arms, which is owned by Brett himself.
When Adam Byatt of Trinity’s Toffee Apple on the table, a silence settled over the room as diners savoured this mouthwatering apple dish with a lavish side order of Prune Kernel Ice cream. However, the silence didn’t last long because a lively auction, with items such as a daylong experience in Chef Brett or Chef Sally’s kitchens, got everyone involved. Thanks to the charisma of Toby Brown, Earl’s Court’s most famous real estate celebrity, the auction raised £19,260- thank you Toby!