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Hospitality charity Only A Pavement Away has raised £3,000 since launching the ‘Tom Aikens Charity Cookery Challenge’ fundraising initiative earlier this month.
The challenge was launched following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, which has resulted in roughly 500 people being left homeless across London. Due to the closures of pubs, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality industry businesses, a significant number of hospitality colleagues are now sadly in this group, with others falling into destitution and unable to pay bills.
The project calls on participants to cook a meal in five minutes, donate £5 to the Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign, nominate five friends to pass on the challenge, and share their videos to social media with #fiveminutefeast and #hospitalityagainsthomelessness. Following its launch, the challenge has seen the involvement of several well-known chefs and restaurateurs including Michelin-starred chef and Gascon Connection group co-owner Pascal Aussignac and Sartoria Mayfair Chef Patron, Francesco Mazzei. Former MEP and British Beer & Pub Association CEO Emma McClarkin is the latest high-profile figure to ‘accept’ the challenge and pledge their support.
Following on from the success of the challenge, Only A Pavement Away has chosen to launch the Tom Aikens Charity Cookery Challenge cookbook, which will feature a selection of recipes submitted for the challenge from chefs to the everyday consumer. The cookbook will be made available to Only A Pavement Away members for free, to enable them to cook fast and easy meals that are affordable, and will be available to purchase for a small donation to the charity for non-members in the coming months.
Tom Aiken said: “It’s brilliant to see how popular the Cookery Challenge has become and it’s been a real treat to see the unique dishes that have been created in response to the brief. The Cookery Challenge is fundamentally about having fun in the kitchen, while supporting a fantastic cause at the same time to help those in the hospitality industry who are now struggling to make ends meet as a result of COVID-19. I can’t wait to see more entries come in over the next few weeks and to continue working closely alongside Only A Pavement Away once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.”
The Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign has continued to earn support from a number of new hospitality suppliers and companies in recent weeks, including Craft Union Pub Company who has donated £1,501 through its ‘Over The Rainbow’ challenge contribution. All money raised for Hospitality Against Homelessness will go towards supporting both members and non-members of Only A Pavement Away, to help them out of destitution and get them back into roles within the hospitality industry, once government lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Founder of Only A Pavement Away, Greg Mangham, said: “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the hospitality industry hard, I’ve been truly overwhelmed by the support we have received in recent weeks. I would like to say another huge thank you to everyone who has got involved with the Tom Aikens Cookery Challenge and to all of our friends and partners in the industry for their generous donations to the Hospitality Against Homelesness campaign. We are already making a difference to the lives of so many individuals across the capital, and with your support we can continue to reach so many more who need our help at the current time and in the months ahead. Hospitality isn’t just in the community, hospitality IS the community.”