Durham Cathedral has hosted its first function in its one-thousand-year history. The annual North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) dinner was held for around 635 guests, in aid of fundraising for the cathedral’s conservation campaign Foundation 2020.
Commencing with a champagne and canape reception in the Cathedral’s stunning medieval cloister, guests enjoyed a recital by renowned Northumbrian musician, Kathryn Tickell. The music was followed by a delicious three course dinner served in the nave and transepts of the Cathedral.
The dinner was a real team effort; as the Cathedral’s executive chef team joined forces with BaxterStorey chefs across the North region to deliver a unique menu, celebrating the very best in seasonal British produce. Guests were treated to:
Salt baked candy beets, whipped goats cheese, charred scallions, sherry glazed grapes, ripped ciabatta and pea cress
21-day aged Hadrian heritage feather of beef, mead poached fondant potato, flat cap mushroom, honey glazed parsnip puree and watercress garnish
Pan seared onion squash and lentil loaf, baked celeriac puree, charred baby carrots, wild garlic cream and English herb salad
Apple calvados tarlet, toasted almond crumble, cinnamon and maple cream and cider-soaked blackberries
The black-tie evening culminated in a keynote speech delivered by renowned architect and television celebrity George Clarke, who reminded guests of Durham Cathedral’s world heritage status and the importance of preserving the building. The evening was a huge success, raising over £75,400 to support Foundation 2020, a donation fund set up to protect the fabric of the building for future generations.
Special recognition goes to our talented culinary teams who went above and beyond to be part of the cathedral’s history. Not forgetting the incredible effort of general catering manager Rich Dos Santos and his team who managed to transform and restore the Cathedral undercroft restaurant back to full operational service ready for the following day.
The event was a fantastic platform for the chefs and front of house stars to demonstrate their skills in delivering fresh, local ingredients prepared and served with great professionalism to industry leaders of the North and UK business community.
Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham said: “The evening was very much a partnership and team effort. We were delighted to welcome the regional business community into their Cathedral and I was thrilled to see how our internal teams worked with NEECC staff and suppliers resulting in such a magnificent occasion. BaxterStorey created a wonderful menu and managed the complicated logistics of the evening with fine precision”.
Scott Morley, regional director at BaxterStorey commented: “It was an honour to be supporting industry leaders and the North and UK’s business community in their efforts to further the preservation of this beautiful building. It was a regional team effort to cater on such a grand scale, and I am extremely proud of the whole team who delivered the first ever function within the Cathedral in its thousand-year history”.