The high-profile auction saw the UK’s best chefs and restaurateurs come together to offer once-in-a-life time culinary experiences to raise funds for those whose livelihoods are at risk of disappearing as a direct consequence of the pandemic.
The dining public played its part too, digging deep and bidding generously on eclectic selection of experiences, including getaways, tours, cooking masterclasses and chef’s table experiences.
Top lots included a meal at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and a stay at the Mandarin Oriental’s Royal Suite; a weekend for two in Barcelona including a meal at El Celler de Can Roca, a dinner, stay and masterclass experience at Moor Hall and a private masterclass for four at Core by Clare Smyth.
Other hotly contested lots included a tour of Chinatown with celebrated chef Andrew Wong; a foraging experience followed by dinner with The Black Swan at Oldstead’s Tommy Banks; and a private cooking masterclass with Tom Aikens.
A number of chefs offered to cook within people’s homes, including Masterchef star Monica Galetti, Morstan Hall chef Galton Blackiston, and Rochelle Canteen’s Margot Henderson.
“The hospitality industry needs support more than ever before, so we’re thrilled we’ve been able to raise substantial funds to help,” says Estrella Damm UK country manager James Healey.
“Not only did the Estrella Damm Top 100 Auction benefit the industry it also showcased the best of the best restaurant experiences and we can’t thank those involved enough.”
“The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards has always been about celebrating and rewarding the UK’s best restaurants and this year we were able to give back and encourage others to do so.”
“We’re incredibly indebted to the team at The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards and the wonderful foodies whose amazing generosity raised an incredible £117k to support hospitality people whose livelihoods are disappearing,” says Hospitality Action chief executive Mark Lewis.
“Since the start of the pandemic we’ve already awarded over 3,500 grants so far this year to families facing destitution and we’re preparing ourselves for further calls for our help as job losses look set to continue. The money raised will help put food on the tables of the most vulnerable hospitality families impacted by the current crisis.”