TOP CHEFS LINE UP FOR SOLDIERS’ BANQUET

DO TOO many cooks spoil the broth? Not in the case of the second Square Mile Salute City banquet in aid of wounded soldiers, backed by media partner City A.M., when 12 of the world’s most acclaimed chefs will join forces to cook a gourmet menu at Guildhall.

Following the success of last year’s fundraising banquet, where Boris Johnson and Jeremy Clarkson were among the 420 guests, the Square Mile Salute 2012 will be held on 22 February, organised by City restaurant and caterers Chamberlain’s Events and hosted by Brian Turner CBE, president of the Academy of Culinary Arts.

“We chefs just love to cook and what better excuse than to do so for such a worthy cause,” said Turner at the Square Mile Salute launch party at The RAC Club before unveiling the culinary line-up, which includes the creative forces behind the kitchens at The Ritz London, Claridge’s and The Savoy, as well as Raymond Blanc OBE from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Maryan Gandon from the Fairmont Monte Carlo.

The primary beneficiaries from the seven-course fundraiser will be Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and The Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund, which was represented at the launch by Alex MacEwen, vice president at BlackRock and chief executive of the charity.

MacEwen, a former officer in The Blues & Royals who was almost fatally injured in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, told The Capitalist: “While we appreciate that the government and the other armed forces charities do a great deal, the Square Mile Salute is a unique event in the City that goes beyond what is already available – it is very encouraging to see how much goodwill there is in the Square Mile towards our cause.”

Also at the launch event was Lieutenant General Sir William Rollo (right), deputy chief of the defence staff, who explained how the funds raised by the banquet will be reinvested in the recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration of soldiers and in the families of those killed or injured on operations. This investment includes building and running personal recovery centres and providing training and educational programmes.

One confirmed auction lot at next February’s fundraiser is a four-night stay at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, where guests can watch the Monaco Grand Prix from a private viewing point on the famous Fairmont Hairpin bend, with an invitation to HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s reception at the Prince’s Palace. Tickets for the event are on sale at £3,500 for a table of ten. See www. squaremile salute. com to book.