Top UK restaurants go head-to-head for Farm Africa’s charity football tournament

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Farm africa Chef

Paul Foster, Ashley Palmer-Watts, John Freeman and Paulo de Tarso will all be taking part in the charity football tournament
Paul Foster, Ashley Palmer-Watts, John Freeman and Paulo de Tarso will all be taking part in the charity football tournament
Chefs and staff members from 16 of the UK’s best restaurants are donning their kitchen whites for football kits to take part in a five-a-side football tournament in aid of leading charity, Farm Africa. 

Taking place in Cambridge on Sunday (28 July), the football tournament has been organised by Tuddenham Mill’s head chef Paul Foster, with the sixteen competing restaurant teams paying a £70 entry fee to Farm Africa to compete on the day.

"I can't wait,” said Foster. “Chefs are very competitive by nature and having the chance to compete against your peers on a different level is an exciting prospect.

“It will also be a great way to shout about Farm Africa and the brilliant work they do. The idea was Lee Bye's, one of my old sous chefs. We both agreed it was a fantastic way to generate awareness for the charity and the climb." 

Restaurant teams include The Fat Duck, Alimentum, Restaurant Sat Bains, Goodman/Burger & Lobster, Freemasons and Wild Honey. Spectators will be able to enjoy all the action and have the chance to win some raffle prizes which include lunch for four at 10 in 8 restaurant L'Ortolan; a full-day course at the Taste Academy cookery school; and a signed copy of Phil Howard’s cookery book.

Kilimanjaro Challenge

The football tournament kicks off a major fundraising drive for four of the chefs and restaurant personalities, who are next month climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - also in aid of Farm Africa.

Joining Foster on the eight-day trek will be John Freeman - head chef at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Sat Bains; Paulo de Tarso - senior maître d’ at Bar Boulud; and Ashley Palmer-Watts - head chef at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. To raise extra funds, Bar Boulud, Dinner and Tuddenham Mill will be introducing a discretionary £1 addition to diners’ bills in the run-up to the climb.

Last year, BigHospitality accompanied Palmer-Watts on a six-day trip to Kenya, where The Fat Duck’s group executive chef swapped the comfort of his Knightsbridge kitchen with the pots and pans of a typical mud hut kitchen in a village close Lake Victoria.

Video: Chef Africa

Not to be outdone on the Farm Africa fundraising front, Palmer-Watts will also be taking part in RideLondon, a 100km sponsored bike ride around London and Surrey in early August.

Stay tuned to BigHospitality for more news on the Farm Africa Kilamanjaro Challenge, which takes place next month. In the meantime, click here​ to pledge your support for the chefs.

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