Leading the front of house team were Janene Pretorius and Johanna Wimmer of the Ivy Collection and Kelly McCarthy from Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton, York,  while Tom Kerridge’s team took charge in the kitchen, led by Chris Mackett, development chef at the two-Michelin-starred Hand of Flowers in Bray and Chef owner Ashley McCarthy also from Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton.

Ashley, who has featured in Channel 4’s ‘Extreme Chocolate Makers’ and Channel 5 ‘Wonderful World of Chocolate’ recently had the task of designing Chocolate tablepieces that were bought by the guests with all monies donated to the cause. The tag line ‘Putting together the pieces with a helping hand into hospitality’ helped Ashley design 26 different solid chocolate hands holding elements significant in the hospitality industry, with aspects of jigsaw pieces up the hand.

The Cook & Dine event raised £20,000 in total.

OAPA assists vulnerable people who have experienced challenging circumstances such as being homeless, spending time in prison, or readjusting to life outside the forces, helping them find employment in the hospitality industry.

Charity founder Greg Mangham added: “This event is all about raising awareness and money for Only A Pavement Away so that we can help more people to get back on their feet through a career in our thriving industry.

“The idea behind today was to showcase the fact that no matter your background, you can be part of a great team. And no matter who you are, in this industry we work together, we cook together, and we dine together.”

By working with charities including Crisis and Shelter OAPA has so far placed 65 candidates with 44 employers.

Mangham added: “It’s absurd that so many people don’t have a roof over their heads or that ex-offenders often leave prison with just a few pounds in their pockets and nowhere to go. Often, people just need a helping hand and a chance.”