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‘Beyond Food’ at October Court Lunch

Published on: 7 October 2019

New Master Tim Dumenil certainly set out his stall at the October Court Lunch by inviting award winning chef, author and social entrepreneur Simon Boyle as the first guest speaker of his year.

Everyone knows the Butchers’ Hall reputation for serving great tasting meat, great food and wonderful fellowship at its monthly Court Lunch. While October was no exception, Liverymen and their guests were also taken on an exciting journey to hear and understand the value of food, as a catalyst for social change. 

New Butchers' Liverymen at October 2019 Court Luncheon
The Master, Tim Dumenil pictured with new Liverymen: Julian Pickles, Martin Edwards, Mark Harper, and Nick Allen.

During lunch the Master took wine with new Liverymen Julian Pickles, Nick Allen, Martin Edwards and Mark Harper wishing them many happy years as members of our Livery.

In proposing the toast to the guests, Barry Gamble thanked Liveryman Jim Gaffney for donating the succulent Racks of Lamb enjoyed by all before welcoming guests Mark Winston, Master of the Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers, and Simon Boyle.

In drawing attention to the latter’s multi-faceted career in the food industry Barry set the scene for an illuminating and exciting response.

Simon Boyle’s achievements are varied, including getting invaluable meat experience in the kitchens at The Savoy, acting as a Culinary Ambassador for Unilever, working on cruise ships, presenting unsuccessfully on Dragon’s Den, as well as volunteering to go to Sri Lanka in 2004 to help after the Tsunami. 

Simon Boyle, chef
Special guest, Simon Boyle.

There’s no doubt that Simon’s experiences in Sri Lanka kindled his desire and passion helping others, the result of which is his establishment of the charity, Beyond Food Foundation, and the acclaimed London Bridge restaurant, Brigade where he uses food as a catalyst for social change. The concept offers vulnerable people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, the opportunity to learn valuable skills through food, helping them to move into stable, fulfilling and long-term employment.

In concluding to a spell-bound audience, Simon acknowledged that the hospitality industry is key in that it’s one of the last industries where all the skills must be learned “at the bottom of the ladder before you can get to the top.”

All in all another inspirational Court Lunch enjoyed by all.