If you’ve been following along, you would have realised by now that I love food; if you’re new then perhaps the name of this blog gave me away? I like to consume food and consume a lot of it I do. With the ever growing number of restaurants in London, it’s impossible to stop… yes, I blame this city, not my insatiable hunger or anything like that. However, as is the case with most vices, there is a far less glamorous downside. In this case, it’s the way our eating habits seem to suck the life out of our bank account.
The reality is we regularly spend £100ish on a meal for two, this still makes me shudder when I randomly do the naughty expat thing of converting it back to Kiwi cash, but in the London bubble that’s probably the norm for many people. Thankfully, more often than not, this gets us top notch nosh otherwise I think a certain someone would have given me a stern talking to by now… but rarely does it also help provide someone else in the world a much needed meal.
Last week we spent an evening with a few of our friends at Auction Against Hunger, a wonderful event run by the charity Action Against Hunger. They work tirelessly to help save the lives of malnourished children in many of the world’s most destitute areas, providing families with access to clean food and water. Held at Street Feast’s Dalston Yard, this event brought together some of London’s top chefs, street food stalls, and beverage companies for an extremely successful night of food and fundraising.
Like the rest of London life, the food scene here is frenetic. Restaurants are constantly thinking of new, sometimes outlandish, ideas to woo diners, while we customers are lapping it up. Both sides of the market are so desperate to stay relevant, either being the next big trend or the first to taste test it, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic purpose of food- that is, to nourish.
Yours truly is as guilty as the rest of them. As I was devouring my pork belly Yum Bun or savouring the delicate flavours of The Dairy’s smoked eel, the irony was not lost on me- here we were eating food from some of London’s finest, fundraising for some of the world’s poorest. It was a salient, albeit tasty, reminder of how lucky we are to have food in such abundance and quality.
Yes, we were well fed and watered throughout the night, but on this occasion the food took a back seat to the overwhelming display of generosity by the chefs, restaurateurs, vendors, volunteers, and guests. Time and resources were donated, vast sums of money were parted with for amazing auction lots, all resulting in a spectacular amount of £126K being raised!
So as you can see, we all took the evening’s order to ‘eat and donate plenty’ very seriously- cannot wait to do it all again next year!
Our only disappointment of the night? Being outbid right at the last minute for what would have been an experience to remember- dinner with Fay Maschler! Hope that lucky devil who won it and his partner in crime have a fabulous evening, I’ll be forever jealous!