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Summer Social at The Food Chain

On Thursday 3 July, we hosted a formal dining event from our Acorn House kitchen – the Summer Social.

Patrons, volunteers and supporters of The Food Chain enjoyed a luscious Persian feast courtesy of the exceptionally talented Saima Khan, Head Chef at The Hampstead Kitchen.

This was the first event of its kind to be held at Acorn House, the space from which we deliver two of our core nutritional services for people living with HIV in London (Eating Positively and Eating Together). Following a successful evening’s fundraising, we’re assured that it won’t be the last. Tombola ticket sales, auction bids and a flurry of very generous donations (including gift aid) ensured that Summer Social proceeds for The Food Chain reached the grand total of £6322.This is an excellent amount that will help support our new weekend Eating Together service, which launches on the weekend of 26 & 27 July.

The Hampstead Kitchen regularly hosts socials and the idea for this event was inspired by April’s ‘Social Sitdown’; a fundraiser organised by Saima and West Elm which raised £218 for The Food Chain. For our Summer Social, 49 guests were treated to several servings of similarly delectable Persian mezze, expertly presented and delicately prepared by Saima with a fantastic four in tow - Food Chain volunteers Barry, Claire, Alison and Fred. Saima’s menu was as diverse as it was delicious, with a wide range of flavoursome dishes on offer to satisfy the taste-buds of every guest. A generous donation of ‘Rich Fine Wine’ - courtesy of our arctic adventurer Richard Brierley - was the perfect accompaniment to the delicious mezze, served throughout by Sophie, our newest member of staff, and Helen, another super Food Chain volunteer. A tombola and an auction, meanwhile, kept guests occupied between food and drink helpings, with Richard also starring as our excellent auctioneer.

Among the 49 guests were Food Chain Patrons Jay Rayner and Allegra McEvedy, who are well-known for their huge contributions to the world of food but better known to us for the energy and support they give The Food Chain. We were truly delighted to welcome Jack Monroe to Acorn House for the first time too. The only thing we regret is not being able to share the evening with more of our supporters, but there will be a special occasion for that later in the year (Thursday 6 November – save the date!)

It was difficult for us to resist sharing Saima’s Summer Social menu (follow the link at the bottom of the page). The fantastic array of aromas, flavours and colours which filled our kitchen that evening is still enthralling our senses! If you like the look of what was on offer, please visit The Hampstead Kitchen website for more information.

Our Acorn House kitchen is nearly two years old. In that time we have hosted many events from the space additional to our weekly nutritional services, including quiz nights, receptions and ‘pop-up’ picnics. Until 3 July, we had never been able to hold a formal dinner at Acorn House, and this was only possible because of others. We therefore have many people and organisations to whom we wish to express our gratitude:

The Hampstead Kitchen, Cllr Jonathan Simpson Former Mayor of Camden, Richard Brierley, West Elm, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Jay Rayner, Allegra McEvedy & Jack Monroe for their support.

Claire Coutinho, Alison Ford, Helen Forde, Fred Lee, Barry Johnston, Phillipa Munro & Sophie Pelham Burn for volunteering.

Headrooms and Diesel for providing items free of charge on the evening.

Avenue Restaurant, D&D, The Grown Up Chocolate Company, Kathrin Pranga-Wells, Mestizo, Orlebar Brown, Virgin Trains, Whole Foods Market Camden, W Hotels and 5outof5 for donating tombola or auction prizes.

Summer Social - Menu