Chefs cook up $3000 to hospice cause

Marlborough Midweek - - Front Page -

By SVEN HERSEL­MAN The Mas­ter­class for Hospice cook­ing demon­stra­tion held at the Floor Pride Civic Theatre in Blen­heim last month raised $3000 for Hospice Marl­bor­ough.

Two of the chefs who hosted the show Jan Bilton and Robyn Martin pre­sented the pro­ceeds to hospice last week.

Hospice Marl­bor­ough fundrais­ing and events co-or­di­na­tor Sandy In­wood says they are thrilled with the do­na­tion, which will go to­wards their gen­eral run­ning costs.

‘‘We are able to get do­na­tions for in­di­vid­ual projects fairly eas­ily, but get­ting fund­ing for our $500,000 a year op­er­at­ing costs is much more dif­fi­cult,’’ she says.

The show cer­tainly lived up to its hype, with Jan, Robyn and well-known Marl­bor­ough chef Chris For­tune de­liv­er­ing an en­ter­tain­ing and in­ter­ac­tive demon­stra­tion. There were also plenty of give aways thanks to their main spon­sors Sil­ver Fern Farms, Sealord and ASB.

Un­for­tu­nately the show didn’t at­tract the turnout the or­gan­is­ers were hop­ing for.

‘‘We had about 150 people, but we would have loved twice as many.

‘‘It was a fun night though and we feel it went re­ally well,’’ Jan says.

The three chefs are no strangers to live cook­ing shows and pulled off a slick per­for­mance, de­spite never hav­ing done a demon­stra­tion to­gether be­fore. Great dish: Marl­bor­ough food writ­ers and cooks Jan Bilton, left, and Robyn Martin present a cheque of $3000 to Hospice Marl­bor­ough fundrais­ing and events co-or­di­na­tor Sandy In­wood. Photo: SVEN HERSEL­MAN

‘‘There were many things that didn’t go to plan, but that’s cook­ing – we just worked through it,’’ Jan says.

The amount of work that goes in be­fore hand is huge, and a full day is set aside just for prep­ping the in­gre­di­ents, Robyn says. Luck­ily the usual post­demon­stra­tion chore of wash­ing up a car full of dirty pots and pans was less­ened by their back­stage crew.

‘‘We had Jenny Fyfe and Trudy Frew help­ing out be­hind the scenes.

‘‘They were great and made such a dif­fer­ence,’’ Robyn says.

The three would con­sider do­ing a sim­i­lar show in the fu­ture for hospice, but not in the next year.

‘‘We are re­ally grate­ful for the ef­fort they went to and this won­der­ful do­na­tion,’’ Sandy says.

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