Charity Dining Club – Review

Held over four evenings, Charity Dining Club is an opportunity for our aspiring chefs to showcase their skills, whilst getting experience in catering for large groups in a fine-dining environment.  All proceeds for this  bi-annual event go to local charity, Bank Youth Project, who do fantastic work in the community.

We’ve had some wonderful feedback for this event.  One of our diners, John from Teignmouth, took the time to write to us about the evening he spent as our guest.

“I’ve just returned home having spent the evening at your dining club, and felt that I had to get in contact to thank you for the wonderful time my wife and I had.

Now, I could hardly describe myself as a ‘foodie’, but I know good food when I taste it, and I have to say, we were both absolutely blown away by the quality of the dishes we enjoyed.

Braised lamb shoulder, confit fennel, pea puree, violet artichokes, anchovy beignet and lamb jus.

Every single little detail was perfect, every mouthful eye-rollingly beautiful, and you could tell the love and care that had gone into each course.  My wife is, by her own admission, a fussy eater, and our tastes in food tend to differ wildly.  Yet both of us devoured each course with equal admiration.

Initially, being the frugal type, I was unsure of booking.  I don’t like to part with £59 unless absolutely necessary.  I’m so glad I did.  In fact, the quality of the ingredients being used in each dish, and the matched wines, makes it an absolute steal.

We will both certainly be attending again in the future.

I also want to take a moment to thank the students who took care of us as waiting staff.  Considering they are training to be chefs, and not in the service sector trade, I thought that all did remarkably well and really added to the enjoyment of the evening.

Nothing was too much trouble for them, and they were all very approachable and friendly.  I’ve certainly had less professional service in some fine-dining restaurants, so an extra well-done to them.

Thank you once again.  We look forward to booking again in November.”

Thank you very much to John, and to the many others who have taken time to send us your kind feedback.

Chicken and Morel Boudin with Asparagus, Broad Beans, Wild Mushrooms and Chicken Jus.

A total of £1,710 was raised this time around, and Peter Brewer, Bank Youth Project Trustee was in attendance on the final night, to be presented with a cheque by our Chef Operations Manager Rob Spencer.

Peter told us about some of the great work they do in the community and highlighted how “the vital support” Ashburton Chefs Academy gives them has helped young people in the area.

“BYP is a centre for young people aged 10-19 who live in and around Ashburton.  We are a charity and rely for all of our funding from donations and grants.

We do this against a background of massive cuts in local authority expenditure on youth services.”

Peter then gave us specific examples of people BYP have helped.  These included help with homelessness, family problems, treatment for drug addiction, and overcoming learning difficulties.

Chilled rice pudding with Poached Rhubarb, Rhubarb puree, Rhubarb gel and Ginger Crumbs.

One former attendee of BYP is now a youth worker themselves and “help[s] children as I was helped.”

We’re very proud to be supporting BYP in all their work.  Thank you for everyone who came along to support them, and our students.

We hope to see you again next time.

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