How many Michelin stars can you cram under one roof? The truth is, I lost count after 3. So when I was given exclusive access to the kitchens at 1 Lombard Street restaurant, I took my camera with me to see what I could capture when 4 maestros like Pierre Koffmann, Angela Hartnett, Herbert Berger and Mark Hix joined forces in the name of charity at Action Against Hunger's 'Fine Wine Auction Dinner'.
With a 4-course menu to be prepared and over 180 guests to feed, activity in the kitchen needed to be smooth-running and efficient and I made sure I was there to capture every single step on camera. To my amazement, the Chefs all seemed like old friends and all worked to help each other slice, chop, sear and garnish each others courses. You wouldn't be entirely out of line for believing that Chefs of this calibre would have short tempers and big egos, but you couldn't be more wrong. I had previously had the pleasure of meeting all the Chefs except Angela Hartnett and I was surprised at how incredibly relaxed and down-to-earth she was. To work for Gordon Ramsay is tough enough but to be one of the only leading women in his male-dominated empire, you would have to be tough as old boots. Angela is warm and funny and kept the humour up in the kitchen with tales of when she worked in this very kitchen alongside her best friend that used to work in the pastry department. In fact all 4 Chefs seemed incredibly relaxed on the night and I stopped to chat with each one as they did their thing.
Whilst the kitchen was in full swing, hungry diners chowed down on dishes including Angela Hartnett's 'Vitello Tonnato' and Mark Hix's 'Ling with cockles and sea vegetables'. Chefs, Hotels, Restaurants and Vineyards from around the world donated exquisite, money-can't-buy prizes including a dinner for 16 guests cooked in your own home by Italian Chef supremo Giorgio Locatelli, a VIP dinner at Noma in Copenhagen courtesy of Rene Redzepi as well as art works by Salvador Dali and trips to exclusive resorts and hideaways around the world. Theses incredible auction items helped raised an astounding £227,000 for Action Against Hunger's worthy field projects and aid campaigns.
To read more about this event, click HERE
And to donate or get involved with Action Against Hunger, click HERE