Accor's inaugural event 'Kitchen Battles' was a culinary success, raising over $32K for Cure Kids.
Taking place last Friday in Pullman Auckland's Princes Ballroom, 'Kitchen Battles' was attended by over 500 guests including All Black Jerome Kaino, celebrity fashionista Colin Mathura-Jeffree and 'The Block'winner, Ben Crawford.
Pop star, Lizzie Marvelly, kicked off the night with a pitch perfect performance of her newly released song 'Collisions' from her latest EP, before joining famed kiwi Chef Michael Meredith and Dollop Kitchen owner, Julia Crownshaw as an official judge for the night.
Host Jesse Mulligan entertained the crowd as the Accor hotel GMs and local suppliers tried every trick in their repertoire to skew the voting in their favour. From plate smashing to Brazilian dancers, this competition was a no holds barred contest where any and all tactics were embraced.
“There was definitely strong rivalry between the hotels”, says Chef Michael Meredith. They have truly put everything on the line to be crowned the winner which made it a very entertaining night to be part of”.
“Julia, Lizzie and I had lots of fun interacting with the stall owners and judging the dishes. It was all about having fun, says Michael, “I have to say though I don't think we have ever been offered so many complimentary room nights in exchange for winning votes – it was hilarious”.
In the end there could only be one winner and Julia Crownshaw of Dollop Kitchen was quick to share what won the judges votes on the night.
“As judges we all bought our own experience and expertise to the table” says Julia Crownshaw. “There was a lot of talent shown on the night, but in the end it was a consistent combination of flavours and simplicity and that won our vote.”
That winning vote was awarded to 'Roberto's', a Mexican taco food stall led by General Manager of Pullman Auckland and Head Chef for the night, Rob McIntyre.
“We were very happy to get recognised for our culinary skills by the esteemed judges”, says Rob McIntyre, “In fact I believe the bottle of Tequila is on its way to the judges at present”.
Close Runners-Up were Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour and their Greek stall 'Zeus's Kouzina', with the 'People's Choice Award' being received by Novotel Auckland Airport for their 'Big Bad Wolf' pork inspired food stall. The full costumed 'three little piggys' being a crowd favourite on the night.
Cure Kid's Philanthropy and Fundraising Manager Dellwyn Stuart who attended the night was full of praise for the fundraising effort.
“We are so grateful to have Accor as one of our key partners and supporters”, Says Dellwyn, “This event was so much fun to be a part of and with the end result being over $32K raised for Cure Kids, it was a great success”.
Plans are already underway for next year's event with the intention to build on the momentum and success from this event.
“This year's event was such a great success”, says Pullman Auckland GM, Rob McIntyre, “We are looking forward to hosting the event again next year and raising even more funds for this fantastic charity.”