One of the hospitality industry’s leading charities Hospitality Action raised over £20,000 on Wednesday night (1st November) at a fundraising dinner cooked by Michelin-starred Tom Kerridge at The Betsey Wynne pub in Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire, one of the Oakman Inns & Restaurants portfolio.
An eight-lot auction, a host of glittering raffle prizes and the sale of over 100 tickets to the exclusive dinner ensured a hugely successful event which was organised by Oakman Inns’ Chairman, Mike Smith, Tom Kerridge and the charity.
Established in 1837, Hospitality Action, the Hospitality Industry Benevolent Organisation, offers vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis. They support people suffering from life-altering illnesses or who might be experiencing the effects of poverty, bereavement, addiction or domestic violence. They provide support for the old and retired who may have become isolated.
In turn, the charity is supported by countless leading names from the hospitality industry, including Tom Kerridge, who prepared a delicious meal for the 100 guests which included a mouth-watering menu of Parsley and Lovage Soup with Smoked Eel, Confit Orange & Brown Bread Croutons, Lamb Suet Pie with Clotted Cream Mash and Whiskey and Rye Pudding.
Mike Smith said: “Hospitality Action is a wonderful charity that makes a real difference to the lives of so many people in our industry who are facing challenging times. A huge thanks to Tom and all the Oakman team whose magnificent efforts helped us raise such a significant sum of money.”
Joining Tom and Chris Mackett, Head Chef for Events at The Hand & Flowers, in the large open, theatre-style kitchen were Oakman’s award-winning Chef Director, Ross Pike and The Betsy Wynne’s Head Chef, James Norie. They were also joined by a brigade of Oakman Chefs – Will Newman (Beech House, Solihull), Andy Hampson (Beech House, Beaconsfield), Meryam Toubi (Beech House, St Albans) and Dan Moss (Banyers House, Royston), who were all completing Oakman Inns’ first Culinary Development Programme. They are pictured being presented with their certificates by Tom and Ross.
Penny Moore, Chief Executive of Hospitality Action, said: “My greatest thanks to everyone at Oakman Inns who made this dinner possible. The team were wonderful to work with and the night itself was a huge success with just over £20,000 raised! I would also like to thank Tom Kerridge and his fantastic team for the time and effort they spent ensuring everything went to plan. The food was delicious, and everyone was in great spirits. The money raised will go towards helping those most in need across our industry and for this I am very grateful.”
James Norie and The Betsey Wynne’s General Manager, Jack Ashmore, have been helping to drive the growing reputation of the recently refurbished Betsey Wynne which has become a renowned all-day destination in the Aylesbury Vale thanks to its Mediterranean-inspired menu prepared with fresh produce, some sourced from the Swanbourne Estate itself, and its glass-fronted, vaulted restaurant enjoying striking views across the county.