Taking place earlier this week (Wednesday 21 September) at Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden, central London, Cook & Dine, which was the third event of its kind, brought together over 300 hospitality professionals, served by a plethora of industry leaders.
These volunteers included Steve Alton, chief executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, and Emma McClarkin, patron of the British Beer & Pub Association.
OAPA Ambassador and Celebrity Chef Tom Aikens prepared the three-course lunch of the day.
Cook & Dine raised tens of thousands of dollars through table ticket sales, a charity auction and a raffle, which included prizes and auction lots donated by industry companies.
The funds will enable the charity to provide resources in its mission to provide pathways out of homelessness into employment in the hospitality industry.
His goal is to get 1,000 people back on the job market in just under two years and to achieve that, he plans to create a fundraising structure to enable a team of 21 people by the end of the year. next year, costing £878,000.
OAPA CEO Greg Mangham said: “We were delighted with the success of the Cook & Dine fundraising event, which came with the support of so many people in our wonderful industry.
“I would like to thank everyone who participated and partnered with us for their immense generosity.
“From the United Grand Lodge of England who donated the venue again this year, Strand Palace Hotel for providing the kitchen as a waiting kitchen, to all of our amazing sponsors MAPAL, Caterer.com, Asahi, Mr Yum, Zonal and HIT Training, through to our amazing Ambassador Tom Aikens who cooked such a fabulous meal for all of us alongside a fantastic army of volunteers from all over hospitality who served and waited tables.
The success of the event showed how supportive and inclusive the industry is, Mangham said.
He added: ‘All the money raised will support us in our mission to get 1,000 people back on the job market by June 2024.’