From entire food business models devoted to making a positive impact, or a bake sale in aid of charity, food philanthropy is a delicious ways to improve the world, and this week we saw another example of how food can improve people’s lives for the better.
Lorraine, who co-owns Gourmet Food Parlour with her business partner Lorraine Byrne, treated 90 paying guests were treated to a champagne reception, with live jazz music and a three course meal cooked by a mystery celebrity chef.
The discerning judges on the night were Sean Gallagher, entrepreneur and former Presidential candidate, Keith Mahon, founder of TheTaste.ie, and Daniel Davey, co-founder of Food Flicker.
After much speculation, at the end of the evening the mystery chef was revealed to be GAA superstar Paul Flynn.
Footballer Paul is more at home kicking points on the football field, but in this case he scored an equally impressive 4 stars in the kitchen.
Along with Paul’s cooking, diners were then treated to an array of luxury donated prizes through a raffle and auction which raised €6000 for the charity on the night.
Including tickets sales, a total of €15,000 was raised.
The money raised will go towards paying for specialist treatment for MS not available in Ireland for Gemma Kearns, a 32 year old teacher from Kildare.
Speaking about the value of this contribution to the treatment fund, Gemma’s father Vinny said:
“At 19 years of age Gemma was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Over the last 13 years she has suffered many debilitating symptoms including vertigo, balance issues, kidney problems, chronic heat intolerance and vision disturbance. There are no medications available in this country that can stop the progression of this disease.”
“With highly active MRI scans Gemma fears her future of the unknown. Unfortunately it is highly likely that MS will claim Gemma’s independence, mobility and take her future away, with little our health system can offer to stop this illness.”
“Thankfully, HSCT, a stem cell transplant and Chemotherapy, could help halt the progression of MS. This treatment is not available in Ireland and is only on trial in the UK. Gemma does not meet the criteria to be referred to the UK under the Treatment Abroad Scheme.. but has been accepted to go to Puebla, Mexico on July 17th for a 28 day HSCT treatment that will allow her to live a life free from MS.”
‘The ‘two Lorraines’ established Gourmet Food Parlour in 2006. Their first restaurant opened in Dún Laoghaire ten years ago, and they have since opened three more stand-alone restaurants in Malahide and Swords. In addition to a contract catering business, they operate kitchens in both House on Leeson Street and 37 Dawson Street in Dublin city centre.