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Three-Course Masterclass Supports PMSF UK

Friday, 17 October 2014

There was an excited buzz in the Arts Centre as guests took their seats for a culinary masterclass. Over the last two years, local chef Mike Harrison has cooked for royalty, sports stars, and TV personalities, but for one night only he was cooking for guests of the Old Girls’ Association.

Guests enjoyed a delicious three course dinner with each course demonstrated by Mike Harrison beforehand

Wine was provided by Horwich wine merchant T. Wright Wines, and three different wines were served to match each course: a fresh, softly sparkling Lunetta Prosecco on arrival; a round and rich Matteo Braidot Pinot Grigio to accompany the starter of asparagus spears with slivers of olive bread, parmesan snow, hazelnuts and its own dressing; and a fruity Les  Volets Pinot Noir from Languedoc Roussillon, which perfectly complemented the duck breast or vegetarian roasted mushrooms, both of which were served with a cherry and tamarind flapjack and Asian sauce. For dessert, Mike served a delicious panna cotta dessert with infused fruits and honeycomb.

Old Girl Natalie Seymour of T. Wright Wines described each of the wines, giving guests an added dimension to their enjoyment of the meal.

After the meal, coffee sponsored by Starbucks was served. Paul Williams, owner of the award winning Choc Amor at The Chocolate Rooms, gave a tasting session of chocolate petit fours, including the highly unusual orange jalfrezi flavour!

The Old Girls’ Association organised the event to raise awareness for Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation (PMSF). Phelan-McDermid syndrome is a rare genetic disorder which affects the transfer of messages within the brain. Some individuals with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome cannot speak, can have autism or autism spectrum disorders, and experience low muscle-tone which may mean that they require a wheelchair.

PMSF is particularly important to Mrs Natalie James, an Old Girl who is now the Head of Food Technology at the Girls’ Division. Charlie Kay, the son of her childhood friend Kathryn, was diagnosed with the condition a few months after he was born. Since then his parents have been working to set up a UK branch of PMSF, and to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

The food masterclass was a huge success and raised £1,772.00 for PMSF UK.

Over £1,000 of this total was thanks to the evening’s raffle, which was held after an emotional speech from Kathryn Kay, explaining the condition and how the money raised will help other families with recently diagnosed children.

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Andrew Kay and Kathryn Kay, Natalie Seymour, Paul Williams and Mike Harrison sample the Choc Amor petit fours

Andrew Kay and Kathryn Kay, Natalie Seymour, Paul Williams and Mike Harrison sample the Choc Amor petit fours

Mike demonstrates the starter in front of a rapt audience

Mike demonstrates the starter in front of a rapt audience

Mrs Natalie James and Headmistress Sue Hincks present the cheque for PMSF UK to Kathryn and Andrew Kay

Mrs Natalie James and Headmistress Sue Hincks present the cheque for PMSF UK to Kathryn and Andrew Kay