Good Food for a Better Cause

I wanted to share something my partner Nathan and I have been working on for many months before landing in London. Following the execution of this event, the support and feedback we have received has been massively humbling, inspiring, and heart-warming. I’ve been reminded that the hospitality industry, no matter where in the world – is a tough one. We may love it, respect it, and be inspired by it – but it shapes us, tests us, and sometimes breaks us. It’s important to acknowledge that and take a moment to practice self-care. Whether it’s physical, mental, or spiritual.

Good Food for Better Cause – The Story.

GFBC was originally created by Nathan Snoddon, chef and founder of Food Story Media, to bring attention to and provide support to the homeless community of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Generous support from sponsors and a positive outcome inspired the second edition of GFBC – this time, in the name of raising Mental Health Awareness within the hospitality industry.

“Mental health is a massive problem that we’ve unfortunately only started to talk about once it’s reached alarming peaks. It’s an issue that’s dear to me, and I’m using the power of networking to shout about it in hopes that it echoes and acknowledge that it’s not a taboo subject.”

Nathan Snoddon

GFBC 2018 was a considerable collaboration amongst chefs, hospitality affiliates and community supporters to organize an exclusive dining experience. It provided an opportunity to join the conversation and network amongst peers to support the cause. Guests included notable industry professionals, mental health advisors, media influencers, foodies and gastro connoisseurs such as of Matt Abe, Felicity Spector, Amanda Street of the Shaw Mind Foundation, Alyn Williams, Merlinda Kammerling of MeMyselfInMind and more.

Hosted at Refettorio Felix at St. Cuthbert’s Centre, a beautiful space designed by Isle Crawford, GFBC was careful in selecting a venue aligned with similar ethics. The collaboration of Chef Massimo Bottura’s non-profit organization Food for Soul which encourages chefs, artists, designers, and food suppliers “to collaborate in building and sustaining community projects” along with The Felix Project – an independent charity – who supplies Refettorio Felix with surplus produce, was the perfect setting for the event, as it reflected the importance of community support.

A six-course tasting, prepared by some of London’s most talented chef’s, showcased the power of teamwork to the guests who had the opportunity to get a glimpse of synergy at the pass. By supporting the freedom of creativity and encouraging the chefs to create dishes that represent them, the menu offered versatile flavors that were paired with virgin beverages prepared by Ale Villa, head barman at Core by Clare Smyth.

The menu style line up featured below was released prior to ticket availability along with snippets of the evenings’ speakers – Ali Kingsley of Refettorio Felix, Richard Murray of Foodchain, Amanda Street of the Shaw Mind Foundation, and live music from Harry Marshall.

First Course

Tom Booton, Head Chef, Alyn Williams and Charlie Tayler, Sous Chef, Alyn Williams

Second Course

Calum Franklin, Executive Chef, Holborn Dining Room and Nokx Majosi, Sous Chef, Holborn Dining Room

Third Course

Kim Ratcharoen, Junior Sous Chef, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Em Brightman, Sous Chef, Murano

Fourth Course

Tom Cenci, Former Executive Chef, Duck & Waffle

Dessert

Nathan Snoddon, Sous Chef, Bonhams Restaurant and Sean Comiskey, Junior Sous Chef, Outlaws at the Capital

Drink Pairing

Ale Villa, Head Barman, Core by Clare Smyth

Ingredient Sourcing

Ingredient sourcing was completed with the help of FoodChain, a company that’s “working to build a more sustainable, efficient and transparent supply chain that both chefs and suppliers love”. In addition there were donations from Paul Rhodes Bakery, Hive & Keeper, Flying Fish Seafoods and Direct Meats.

“When planning the menu for GFBC, we didn’t set out to offer a tasting menu as you would expect. We set out to offer a unique experience within each course,” says Nathan Snoddon who prepared the dessert course alongside decade long friend and Junior Sous Chef at Outlaws at the Capital, Sean Comiskey.

A poignant speech delivered by Amanda Street of the Shaw Mind Foundation touched upon topics that circled back to the inspiration behind the event as she spoke of some of the many tragedies that occurred within the industry. She concluded her speech with mention of an upcoming collaboration amidst herself and Nathan Snoddon called “The Lemon Tree Project” which stemmed from the mutual ambitions to raise mental health awareness within hospitality. Stand by for more info coming soon.

“Being on my own journey of personal development, my beliefs and values very much lie in strengthening and improving the well-being of people suffering from traumatic experiences. I’m eager to partner with people such as Amanda, who can help elevate my ambitions to help and support those people.”

Nathan Snoddon

Tune into Merlinda Kimmerlings podcast here to listen to candid interviews from the chefs themselves as they talk about the vision behind the dish and touch upon their “why” for taking part in GFBC.

“Good Food for Better Cause is not only contributing to raising mental health awareness but also it’s a night to celebrate that times are slowly changing for all of us in hospitality. Mental health is beginning to own a place of importance within the work place and we are beginning to turn a corner which enables us to show a little more compassion and humanity. 
This is the first event I have been to with like-minded people who are passionate about having this conversation and a great caliber of chefs getting involved too. I think this is the beginning of great things to come from GFBC. Thank you for creating a well needed event for our industry,”

says Merlinda, founder of MeMyselfInMind – a platform that provides stress reduction classes geared toward the hospitality industry.

Following the event, Nathan mentions future plans to broaden the outreach in efforts to make a greater impact in supporting the communities that aid those suffering from mental health problems and utilize his passion for the craft of cooking to stimulate the movement.

Grand expansion plans lead the way to New York, where Nathan will continue his culinary development and make further outreach to help those suffering within our industry.


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Alla Malina

Alla Malina

allamalina

I’ve always been in love with all things hospitality as I believe that food brings us together, and drinks keep us together. After some time operating restaurants, I ventured out to my own restaurant consulting company (CHIVE CREATIVE CO.) that focuses on the freedom of creativity in all respects and have had the honor to work with some top tier chefs and companies. I enjoy discussing topics of gastronomy and tapping into the undiscovered corners of the restaurant industry. Also, family meals need to be streamlined.

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