Michelin star chefs cook for fifth annual Meningitis Now Charity Fundraising Dinner

Joseph Allen

Joseph Allen

Chef de Partie 31st January 2018

Michelin star chefs cook for fifth annual Meningitis Now Charity Fundraising Dinner

Now in its fifth year, an all-star cast of chefs will be cooking the menu including Michelin star chefs Brett Graham of The Ledbury who will be doing the main and Matt Worswick from The Latymer who is on dessert; as well as chef patron of Anglo, Mark Jarvis on fish; Rob Kennedy, culinary director for compass group on bread; Dan Cox on veggie amuse using veg from his farm and Shaun Searley from The Quality Chop House on starter.

⭐ If you are looking to donate or are interested in tickets for the event, please email joeallenfourteen@icloud.com

Last year it raised over £10k for the charity and this year the event will take place at Westminster Kingsway on March 23 - tickets are £70 per person. Joe will be taking over The Staff Canteen instagram so if you can't make it you can still see behind the scenes!

Joe's story:
I am in the process of organising my fifth charity dinner in support of Meningitis Now and in memory of my eldest brother Thomas who passed away just over six years ago to acute bacterial meningitis at the age 24. He was a fit and healthy brother who loved life, to travel, and lived life to the fullest. We couldn’t understand how somebody so healthy could be completely struck down by a disease; it really shook our family.

At the time I was in my third and final year of my professional chefs diploma at Westminster Kingsway college about to take my diploma exam. I really didn’t know how i could begin to get back into a routine and continue cooking at college, but with the support of family, close friends and lecturers I went back to college, passing my final exams.
When I got back to college we had just held a fundraiser for the college competition team, two of my good friends suggested to ask if we could hold an event for The Meningitis Trust. The Meningitis Trust gave us a lot of support in the early months and years to come after forming a new charity called Meningitis Now after merging with another.

The first event we organised in a little under three months and it consisted an 8 course meal for 120 people with Brett Graham of The Ledbury, who I had recently done work experience with, sponsoring 3 out of the 8 courses and my former executive chef Helena Puolakka of Skylon sponsoring the other 5. We went on to raise just under £10k for the charity.

Since that first event I have gone on to organise three others consisting of around 8 courses for roughly 130 people and we have raised over £50k in total, but as a family throughout our various fundraising ideas we’ve raised over £100k for Meningitis Now.
This year’s dinner is once again going to be an 8/9 course meal for 120/130 people all of which courses are being sponsored by top chefs and restaurants within the hospitality industry. On the night we run a charity auction of which is hosted by John Taylor, who is an ex-Welsh International and Lions rugby player and a very good family friend.
I have decided to run the London Marathon for the third year in memory of Thomas and help raise continued awareness and funds for Meningitis Now and this devastating disease.

Joe feels that the dinner is always a day of remembrance for his brother Thomas. They have previously had support from some big names including D & D London, Trinity, Phil Howard and more.