Take two St Monica Trust’s chefs, a specialist in historical dining, add a recipe that is over six hundred years old and serve together for a fundraising lunch in support of a good cause.
The St Monica Trust’s Catering Development Manager, Adrian Kirikmaa, Westbury Fields Head Chef, Gary Ford and top local chef, Tim Denny from the Star and Dove, served dishes based upon authentic recipes from 14th Century for diners at the Arc Café.
The Arc Café
Located in the undercroft of St Mary Redcliffe Church, the Arc Café is a community project which provides a wide range of education, training and employment opportunities for volunteers who are in recovery from addictions.
Said Addiction Recovery Agency Marketing Manager, Chloe Diamond: “People who are clean and sober may want to work but are lacking the necessary experience and qualifications to find employment.
“Our volunteers can work in the café and gain a customer service BTEC, food hygiene qualification, get barista or till training and working with the public can really help build their self-esteem.”
“Over 90% of our volunteers are still clean and sober, 40% are in full time employment and 90% have gone on to study other college courses.”
A recipe that dates from 1390
All sixty tickets for the fundraising lunch were sold within days of the date being announced.
Diners lucky enough to have got their hands on a ticket were welcomed with a glass of ginger buttered beer, followed by braised organic pork belly with butter poached turnips and fried spinach, based on a recipe that dates back to the year 1390.
Dessert was slightly more modern affair with Nesselrode Pudding being served. Made from ice cream flavoured with chestnuts and cherry syrup, the dish dates from the Victorian era and was a popular alternative to Christmas Pudding.
Said Adrian Kirikmaa: “As an organisation, the St Monica Trust is always looking to get involved with the local community and we’re delighted to be supporting the Addiction Recovery Agency.
“We’re passionate about food and as a chef, it’s been fascinating to recreate these historical dishes under Tim’s guidance.
“Just like at our retirement communities, all the food served at the Arc Cafe is freshly prepared on the day using locally sourced produce and it’s a great place to come and get a bite to eat.”
A fantastic venue
The Arc Café was opened in 2012 by the Addiction Recovery Agency (ARA) which has helped more than 40,000 people with alcohol, drug, gambling and mental health problems since it was formed in 1987.
Said Chloe: “We’re very grateful to the St Monica Trust for their support and Bristol Meat Trader and Total Produce for supplying the food.
“The £750 raised by the event will go towards the running costs of the Arc Café.
“We also hope that the fundraising lunch will help raise the profile of the Café as a fantastic venue to come and eat or have a coffee in a unique historic setting.”