Celebrities and guests celebrated the 11th Anniversary of The Gastronomic Evening with performances by headliner comedian Hal Cruttenden and British boy band Blake, raising money for children in the UK who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London, 5th June 2013.

The Gastronomic Evening featured a six-course menu designed by Henry Brosi, The Dorchester’s Executive Head Chef. Wines were carefully selected for each course by Master of Wine, Conal Gregory. The 400 guests at the sold-out event were entertained by performances from Variety’s celebrity supporters, Hal Cruttenden and Blake.

The exquisite menu featured Halibut smoked salmon wonton and Casterbridge beef. The evening’s wines included Bollinger Special Cuvée Champagne and a 2003 Chateau Villa Bel Air. While dining on these culinary delights, guests enjoyed a performance by the world renowned British boy band, Blake, charming the audience with numbers including ‘Nessun dorma’ and ‘Jerusalem’.

Hal Cruttenden rounded off the evening with a side splitting routine, concluding an evening to be remembered. Most importantly, over £200,000.00 was raised with the help of an exciting live auction presided over by Charlie Ross. The highlight of the auction was a fabulous money-can’t-buy trip via private plane to world-famous châteaux in Bordeaux with Stephen Williams of The Antique Wine Company.

A very special guest, Matthew Keam, attended the evening along with his parents, Deborah and Michael Keam. Eighteen year old Matthew, a Variety Young Ambassador, has Cerebral Palsy but with the help of a Variety lightweight wheelchair his mobility has increased significantly and made a huge difference to his life, allowing him to now take part in sports like wheelchair rugby. Chief Barker of Variety, Laurence Davis said, “It was an honour to be joined by the Keam family and listen to them share just how much Variety has helped improved Matthew’s quality of life”.

Lionel Rosenblatt, Chairman of the Gastronomic Dinner Professionals Committee said, “It is both an overwhelming and humbling experience to see more than 400 guests completely filling the ballroom at The Dorchester to help raise money for Variety – the dividend for the hard work is to raise more than £200,000 on the night for the sick, disabled and disadvantaged children whose lives Variety helps to improve”. The Professionals Committee dedicate many hours to create this splendid evening.

The Gastronomic Evening is just one of the many ways in which Variety, the Children’s Charity, raises money for children who are disabled or disadvantaged, and is in its eleventh year of success.