Too Many Critics Chefs | Action Against Hunger

We turn the tables on restaurant critics in London

This year’s Too Many Critics was held at the stylish Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch on Sunday 28th June.

By Action Against Hunger

Jun 29 2015

Top chefs and restaurateurs played the UK’s food critics at their own game last night, as they watched how well they coped in the kitchen when the tables were turned at Action Against Hunger’s Too Many Critics event. Critics Bill Knott, Charles Campion, Lisa Markwell, Lucas Hollweg and Adam Hyman and were put through their paces cooking for 100 guests under the watchful eyes of chefs Neil Borthwick and Angela Hartnett.

This year’s host, food critic Joe Warwick, kept the guests well entertained and the nights auctioneer, Christie’s Nic McElhatton, helped to drive up the prices in the live auction to raise vital funds towards our work! The night was a huge success raising £33,532 towards providing malnourished children with healthier futures.

Chefs and food industry professionals  who enjoyed watching the critics efforts included Neil Rankin (Smokehouse & Bad Egg), Nieves Barragan-Mohacho (Barrafina), Cyrus Todiwala (Café Spice Namaste), Jose Pizarro (Jose, Pizarro & Pizarro Broadgate), Pascal Aussignac (Club Gascon), Shaun Searley (Quality Chophouse), James Knappett (Bubbledogs & Kitchen Table), Tom Hunt (Poco), Alfred Prasad and Bruno Loubet (Grain Store).

"Too Many Critics is one of our most entertaining nights of the year, and one of my favourite events to work at, and this year’s event was no different – we had five fantastic critics under the watchful eye of Neil Borthwick and Angela Hartnett at Merchants Tavern. The amazing open plan kitchen means that they were on show at all times, especially as we had a gaggle of some of London’s top chefs sitting at the kitchen counter watching their every move." said Elizabeth Charles, head of special events for Action Against Hunger.

Neil and Angela ran a tight ship though, all of the food was served exactly on time, with the dessert even coming out of the kitchen early, and we got great feedback from our guests - despite a rumoured chicken-related drama! We’re thrilled with the amount that the night raised, and really hope that all of our guests enjoyed their evening.

Follow all the activity from the evening on Twitter using #TooManyCritics and @ACF_UK.

Huge thanks to our headline sponsor Velocity and Galvanina for helping to make this event possible. 

Pictures from the night

Our amazing critics - including Lucas Hollweg, Bill Knott, Lisa Markwell, Joe Warwick and Adam Hyman - cooked up a storm at the Merchants Tavern last night. 

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The critics were given a taste of their own medicine as their culinary efforts were scrutinised by chefs including Neil Rankin (Smokehouse & Bad Egg), Nieves Barragan-Mohacho (Barrafina), Cyrus Todiwala (Café Spice Namaste), Jose Pizarro (Jose, Pizarro & Pizarro Broadgate), Pascal Aussignac (Club Gascon), Shaun Searley (Quality Chophouse), James Knappett (Bubbledogs & Kitchen Table) and Bruno Loubet (Grain Store).

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As well as a top class meal, diners took part in a fast paced live auction of money can’t buy prizes. 

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Our wonderful ambassador, Bill Knott, serves Lake district farmers chicken under the critical eyes of Alfred Prasad and Pascal Aussignac.

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Cyrus & Pervin Todiwala from Café Spice Namaste were amongst last night's guests at Too Many Critics.

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John Nugent, Jose Pizarro and Angela Hartnett celebrate the winner of a luxurious stay at La Maison during the live auction. 

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Guests place their bids on the silent auction to help raise crucial funds for malnourished children around the world. 

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Founder of CODE, Adam Hyman, and The Sunday Independent's Lisa Markwell prepare the main.

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Guests, critics and chefs enjoyed a Champagne Taittinger reception before being led to the dining room for the three course meal cooked by some of the industry's top critics. 

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Photo Credit: © Samuel Hauenstein Swan for Action Against Hunger (@sambronx_photo)