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24 April 2014

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Culinary stars out in force at charity dinner

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By Tania Ballantine, News and Online Editor
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Who's cooking dinner? Richard Corrigan - Richard8.jpg8.jpgYou’d think it would be a recipe for disaster: take 20 of the capital’s finest chefs, ask them to share kitchen space and each deliver a meal for a table of 10, then auction them off to the highest bidder. But on Monday 8 March, the annual ‘Who’s Cooking Dinner?’ black-tie event at The Langham went off without a hitch, and saw London’s finest culinary talent pull together to raise funds for Hammersmith Hospital’s leukaemia centre.

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Chefs were only allocated to tables on the night itself, so while some found themselves cooking for affable groups of City high-fliers, others realised their dishes would be coming under scrutiny from the likes of Nigella Lawson, Sir Stuart Rose, Cilla Black and Jeremy Clarkson (who later leapt into action as an impromptu raffle caller).

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After dinner and a light-hearted performance from Catherine Tate, most of the chefs – including a few that put themselves up ‘for sale’ at the very last minute – were auctioned off to cook a 10-person dinner at the winning bidders' homes. While Zuma’s Rainer Becker took the highest bid, of £26,000, Sally Clarke, who normally keeps a low profile at her popular Kensington restaurant Clarke’s, pulled in an equally impressive £24,000, to much cheering and applause. Late entries from Giorgio Locatelli and Richard Corrigan (pictured, above) helped boost the coffers further, while the Galvin brothers, on hearing that the auction’s total was only a few thousand shy of the quarter million mark, interrupted bidding to offer their services to the two highest bidders, bringing in an additional £10,000.

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In total, £380,000 was raised from ticket sales, the raffle and the chef auction, all of which will help in the fight against leukaemia, the most common cancer in children. Since launching in 1999, this event has raised £3.1m for the cause, not including Monday's proceeds.

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For more information or to make a donation, visit www.whoscookingdinner.com.

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Who went for what:

Rainer Becker (Zuma) - £26,000

Sally Clarke (Clarke’s) - £24,000

Mark Edwards (Nobu) - £22,000

Tom Aikens (Tom Aikens) - £20,000

Chris & Jeff Galvin (Galvin la Chapelle) - £20,000 (£10,000 x 2)

Julian O’Neill (The Wolseley) - £20,000

Richard Corrigan (Corrigan’s Mayfair) - £16,000

Angela Hartnett (Murano) - £16,000

Giorgio Locatelli (Locanda Locatelli) - £16,000

Claude Bosi (Hibiscus) - £15,000

Michele Lombardi (Harry's Bar) - £15,000

Peter Gordon (The Providores) - £14,000

Mark Hix (Hix) - £14,000

Jason Atherton (Maze) - £12,000

Tong Chee Hwee (Hakkasan) - £12,000

Tim Hughes (Le Caprice) - £10,000

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For a behind-the-scenes look at the events of the evening, see Square Meal Lifestyle, out mid-April 2010.

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