The Great Dorset Menu A Culinary Celebration of the Best of Dorset
Dorset-based charity Room to Reward, is teaming up with some of the region’s most renowned chefs to create an exciting new culinary event inspired by the best of Dorset's produce. This is the Great British Menu, but with a twist - it’s all about Dorset!
‘The Great Dorset Menu’ is taking place on November 10th, 2023, at the prestigious Captain’s Club in Christchurch. Four talented Dorset chefs will be going head-to-head to be crowned the Dorset champion. A decadent evening overlooking the Avon River, Mark Hix (Oyster & Fish House), Alex Aitken (The Jetty), Colin Nash (The Retreat) and Michael Moirinho (Summer Lodge) are all taking part. Each chef will be given a course with fresh, local produce and an exciting range of delicious dishes served to guests. The cheese course will be designed by Peter Morgan from the Book and Bucket Cheese Company and the Petit Fours will be served by Adriana Lisk, Head Pastry Chef at Rockwater.
Conker Gin, Shanty Vodka, Midas Prosecco, and the Piddle Brewery, will host a lavish drinks reception. Followed by a 5-course dining experience designed to showcase the diversity of Dorset's food scene, with dishes ranging from locally sourced seafood to artisan cheeses and handcrafted desserts.
In addition to the incredible food, the event will also feature live music and a silent auction, with all proceeds raised going to Room to Reward, a charity that offers unsold hotel rooms as breaks for volunteers in recognition of their invaluable contribution.
Adam Terpening, Charity Director at Room to Reward, says: "We are very excited to be launching The Great Dorset Menu. This is a unique opportunity to experience the best of Dorset's food scene whilst raising vital funds for our small charity. Every penny raised will make a huge difference to all charities, communities, and the hidden heroes that do so much for them. We are incredibly grateful to the partners we work with and the support that they offer us”.
Tim Lloyd, Managing Director of The Captain’s Club adds: “We are thrilled to host this prestigious event here at the Captain’s Club Hotel, and our kitchen brigade are looking forward to working with this esteemed group of Dorset chefs to deliver an exceptional evening promoting all that is Dorset, all in aid of such a worthy charity as Room to Reward.”
Tickets for the event are on sale for £100 per person (the cost includes a £50 donation to the charity) - and can be purchased here. The maximum number of people per table is 10. The event is limited to 100 guests, so early booking is recommended.
For further information, please contact Kate@roomtoreward.org.
About Room to Reward
Room to Reward is a unique charity created to give something back and say ‘thank you’ to volunteers who give up their time and make a difference to those in need. Up and down the country, there are so many people helping, caring and loving others. Our simple initiative takes a wasted asset and uses it to recognise these Hidden Heroes.
Room to Reward partners with hotels across the U.K who donate their anticipated unsold rooms. Charities and community groups then nominate their Hidden Heroes for a well-earned short break.
Over 800 hotels throughout the U.K. have joined the initiative. Collectively, they have donated in excess of £1,000,000 worth of breaks in unsold rooms to more than 2000 inspirational volunteers from over 850 charities and community groups.
Together, we’re making a little bit of a difference to those who make a difference to others. See more at www.roomtoreward.org
About the Chefs
Alex Aitken, Chef Patron, The Jetty
Michelin star chef Alex Aitken, Chef Patron at The Jetty is one of the South of England’s most respected chefs. Alex has a passion for local ingredients, which is evident in his outstanding seasonal, fresh food.
Mark Hix, The Oyster & Fish House
Mark is frequently lauded as one of Britain’s most eminent restaurateurs with an unrivalled knowledge of ingredients with provenance. He is an award-winning author and food writer with 12 cookbooks to his name. He was recently appointed Director of Food and Drink at London’s Groucho Club.
Colin Nash, The Retreat
Colin began his career at the young age of 13, helping his mum in local restaurants in Christchurch. After school, he wasted no time enrolling in Bournemouth and Poole Catering College, one of the best colleges in England. This led him to Langans Brasserie in the heart of London, his first taste of pressure in a busy kitchen.
As the years went by, he developed a passion and understanding of what he wanted to achieve by working in various hotels and restaurants along the way.
He prides himself on fresh local and seasonal foods and likes to add the occasional twist. “A good meal is like a good movie, exciting you along the way” he quotes.
Colin is renowned for his relentless pursuit of innovation in his kitchen, with over 30 years of experience. One of the most exciting chefs in Dorset, winning many awards over his years in the kitchen.
Michael Moirinho, Head Chef, Summer Lodge
I started my career in the Western Cape, South Africa. Since relocating, I have worked at ‘Clos du Marquis’ in Hampshire, the two-star Michelin restaurant, ‘Relais de la Poste’ in France, and settled at Summer Lodge in 2010. I’m hugely inspired by the changing seasons and our location in the Dorset countryside. The incredible abundance on our doorstep is reflected in the menus, and as a team, we bring our passion, ideas, and our love for cooking to every dish.
The Book and Bucket Cheese Company
Peter Morgan is a self-taught Cheese maker that launched his own company in 2019.
Since that day, his imaginative take on using traditional methods paired with local modern twists has elevate cheese beyond that of a cheese board to something that becomes the centrepiece of so many dishes.
The accolades have kept coming, Food Producer of the Year, Dairy Producer of the year, UK Best 100 Taste Awards 2023 and the one he’s most proud of Winning Gold at the World Cheese Awards in 2021.
Adriana Lisk, Head Pastry Chef, Rockwater Restaurant in Branksome. Founder, Bella Louise Cakery
Preparing and making food has always been an essential part of my life. I have wonderful memories growing up in the rural heartland of Brazil where food is made lovingly from scratch. It’s an all-day communal affair, where stories are shared with family and friends while splitting peas, stirring great pots of stew, or making compotes and jams. To this day, it is something I dearly miss. Food is a massive part of me, and sweet food especially.
I moved to the UK in 2005 and soon after had a great opportunity to work in a professional kitchen.
I went to Bournemouth and Poole College to study patisserie and have worked in great places such as Le Petit Prince Patisserie and The Italian Villa (at Compton Acres).
At present, I am the Head Pastry Chef of the Rockwater Restaurant in Branksome, a teacher at Flavours School of Cookery in Pokesdown, and I also have a small cake business, Bella Louise Cakery.