20 November 2012 - The weekend's Diwali Banquet at the prestigious Cinnamon Kitchen was a huge success, raising almost £34,000 for international humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger.
Lucky guests sampled some of the finest Indian cuisine London has to offer, prepared by a top chef line up of Vivek Singh (Cinnamon Club), Abdul Yaseen (Cinnamon Kitchen), Sriram Aylur (Quilon), Shelina Permalloo (MasterChef winner 2012), Anjum Anand (food writer and broadcaster) and Sameer Taneja (Benares).
Vivek Singh, who cooked a lamb course with saffron sauce and anise pilau, said: “As lots of people celebrate Diwali it is only right to spare a thought for thousands of children around the world who do not have access to food. Action Against Hunger does fantastic work and I have been involved for ten years. As a chef it means a lot to me.”
Host for the night, TV presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli, entertained guests throughout the evening and acclaimed Tabla player, Mitel Purohit, performed with his fusion band S-Funk, as diners tucked in to a five course feast in celebration of the festival of lights.
Hardeep Singh Koli said: “When you are in a country like ours where people are very passionate about food you can often forget that there are people around the world struggling to eat a meal. We are lucky to eat the food we eat.”
A live auction and a state of the art silent auction were held, with bidders helping to raise £33,995 for Action Against Hunger’s life-saving work around the world. The event was held as part of the annual Love Food Give Food appeal, which aims to turn people’s passion for food into action against hunger.
This year, the UK Government is matching all public donations made to the appeal before 30th November, meaning that last night’s efforts will be effectively doubled, helping to reach twice as many children.
Masterchef 2012 winner, Shelina Permalloo, who prepared a dessert of tropical tapioca with coconut, rose and palm sugar, said: “I absolutely believe in Action Against Hunger and like a lot of people in the food industry, I feel that we have an ethical responsibility to support causes like this.”
Action Against Hunger’s event organiser, Lizzie Charles, said: “We all had a fantastic evening at the Diwali Banquet and are thrilled with the funds we have raised, which will help our teams around the world to save children’s lives and improve families access to food and clean water. We would like to thank the Cinnamon Kitchen for once again playing host to the event, all of the amazing chefs who took part and Hardeep for guiding our guests through the evening. Love Food Give Food is all about turning passion into action and every single one of our guests did that by being there last night. A huge thank you to all of them.”
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