Praise for Patrons as gala dinner hailed a success!
On Friday 6th July, we held our second Patrons' Gala Dinner, which took place in the beautiful grounds of Norwich Lower School, by kind invitation of Norwich School. We could not have wished for a more perfect evening with glorious sunshine, which allowed our guests to enjoy their Adnams drinks reception and mouth-watering canapes courtesy of Chris Coubrough and his team from the Flying Kiwi Inns, in the grounds of the school, before taking their seats in the stunning marquee for the main event.
The evening was a unique opportunity to enjoy the combined culinary expertise of our patrons and champion – Kate Barmby, Chris Coubrough, Richard Hughes, Richard Bainbridge and Nick Mills - in one meal! For those of us privileged enough to be allowed behind the scenes, one of the highlights was to see these amazing chefs all working together in the kitchens as a team, and helping one another with each course! However, it could not have been possible without the incredible generosity of our headline sponsor for the evening, Norwich Cosmetic Clinic. Long-time supporters of Norfolk Food & Drink, owners Bijan and Donna Beigi, who offered their generous support and brought their team from the clinic to enjoy a fabulous night with us,
So we began with a starter, created by Richard Bainbridge, Chef Proprietor of Benedicts Restaurant, was Benedicts Cheese & Onion Crisps - Thornage Hall Potatoes, Baron Bigod Cheese Mousse, Burnt Onion Powder & Chives.
Creating the main was Chris "Buzz' Busby and the team at Brasted’s who served a delicious dish of Sautéed Norfolk Quail Breasts, Peer Potato Pearls, Tender Stems, Fresh Broad Beans, Woodshrooms, Pea Custard & Red Sorrel.
Dessert was created by Richard Hughes, Chef Proprietor, The Assembly House, Norwich and owner of The Richard Hughes Cookery School and Head of Pastry Mark Mitson, with help from Kate Barmby, tutor at The Richard Hughes Cookery School and Champion of Norfolk Food and Drink.
As if that wasn't enough, we finished with a sumptuous Norfolk Cheese Board featuring Baron Bigod, Fielding Cottage, Ferndale Cheeses, Mrs Temple and Nortons Dairy with accompanying Norfolk Chutneys supplied by Candi’s Chutney. This was served with coffee courtesy of Java Bean Coffee and Nelstrops PX Fortified Wine kindly donated by The English Whiskey Company.
Each course was introduced by our Patrons who spoke passionately not just about their dish, but the county's food and drink industry as a whole, and were followed by an introduction to the wines, which were generously sponsored by wealth management experts NW Brown. We were lucky to be joined on the evening by James Davis, Commercial Director for the Adnams’ beers, wines and spirits team, who is one of only 369 Masters of Wine in the world.
Our thanks also to the amazing Chris Bailey, who did an incredible job as our Master of Ceremonies; The English Peony company, who provided the most beautiful table arrangements; Tommy Winn, singer and guitarist, who provided the fantastic entertainment; and so many local companies who donated so generously to our exclusive auction of prizes money can't buy.
This is an important fundraising event for Norfolk Food & Drink, as we are a not-for-profit organisation, which receives no public funding, so we are entirely dependent on sponsorship and fundraising. So a huge thank you to everyone who helped make this possible and we very much hope to make this a regular event on the Norfolk food and drink calendar.