Four Dorset chefs raised more than £10,000 for a local charity after going head-to-head at the inaugural Great Dorset Menu dinner.

The fundraising event, which took place at Captain’s Club Hotel and Spa in Christchurch, saw the chefs cook for 100 guests to raise money for Room to Reward.

Each chef was given their own course featuring fresh, local produce. 

Mark Hix is a celebrity chef who was born in West Bay and runs the Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis. He was serving up a signature fish course.

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Michael Moirinho of the Summer Lodge Hotel in Evershot, outside of Dorchester, was on dessert duty, whilst Colin Nash of Christchurch served venison as a main dish.

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Alex Aitken of The Jetty in Christchurch took home the prize for his dropped ice cream inspired starter- featuring edible sand, River Avon trout tartare, wasabi ice cream, crispy seaweed and sea vegetables called 'Oops I've dropped my ice cream, it's landed in sand.'

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As well as this, a cheese course from the Book and Bucket Cheese Company and petit fours from Adriana Lisk of Rockwater in Branksome was served up, all paired with wines supplied by English Oak Vineyard, Langham Wine Estate and Baccello.

Further refreshment was supplied by Midas Prosecco, Shanty Spirits, Conker Distillery, Piddle Brewery and Jimmy’s Iced Coffee.

The chefs and sponsors came together to raise money for Room to Reward, a charity based in Christchurch that uses donated unsold hotel rooms as a means for charities and community groups to give thank you breaks to their inspirational volunteers.

The venue, Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa, has been a partner of the charity for over 5 years and provided several memorable breaks to deserving people in that time. Fundraising on the night took the form of a raffle, three envelope prize draws and an auction, as well as donations from ticket sales.

Director of Room to Reward, Adam Terpening said: “We are hugely grateful to everyone who helped make such a fantastic event happen.

“To the chefs who created such a fantastic menu, the sponsors who provided the drinks, Tim and Robert and the whole team at Captain’s Club who have been wonderful supporters of ours for so long, everyone who donated a raffle or auction prize, everyone who bought a ticket and came along we just want to say a huge thank you. We are a small charity and donations like this go a long way to helping us on our mission to recognise and thank more Hidden Heroes,” he added.

Founded in 2015, Room to Reward will work with more than 1,000 hotels across the UK by the end of the year.

Collectively, they have donated more than £1m worth of breaks to more than 2,000 volunteers, nominated by more than 800 charities and voluntary organisations.

To find out more about Room to Reward, the hotels and charities involved and to meet some of the Hidden Heroes, visit: