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Chefs with Altitude

The team with Farm Africa banner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. (l to r: Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paul Foster, John Freeman and Paulo de Tarso) The team with Farm Africa banner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. (l to r: Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paul Foster, John Freeman and Paulo de Tarso)

Welcome to Chefs with Altitude, the official blog for the Chefs’ Kilimanjaro Challenge which took place in August 2013.

We followed a team of four leading figures from the UK’s hospitality industry as they took on the challenge of a lifetime. Their mission? To climb Africa’s towering Mount Kilimanjaro to raise as much money as they can for Farm Africa.

Renowned UK chefs Ashley Palmer-Watts, John Freeman, Paul Foster and top London Maître d’ Paulo de Tarso swapped the refined surroundings of their elegant dining rooms for the demanding mountain trails leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The team were joined by cameraman Paul Gwilliams to capture on video all the action as it unfolded.

The climb was part of Farm Africa’s Food for Good initiative which is bringing together the food and hospitality industry to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems: hunger.

More media buzz

Our Kili-climbing chefs have featured in a fantastic double page spread in Restaurant Magazine this month. It really captures the scale of their challenge and what they have achieved for Farm Africa. Click here to read the article.

In addition, the chefs have also appeared in the Caterer, Licensee and Hotelier for their appearance at the Restaurant Show in Earls Court on 7 October. At the show an exclusive film of their challenge was unveiled. If you haven't yet seen it, why not watch it on YouTube for yourself.  

The chef’s Kilimanjaro challenge was part of Farm Africa’s Food for Good campaign which brings together leading players in the UK’s food and hospitality sectors to help tackle one of the world’s most pressing problems: hunger.

Thanks to the efforts of all those involved in Food for Good this year, the extraordinary total of £455,325 has been raised.

Chefs a hit at Restaurant Show

Photo: Paul Foster, John Freeman and Paulo de Tarso talking about their Kilimanjaro climb at the Restaurant Show today

It’s been almost 6 weeks since our team of intrepid chefs reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Today, Paul, John and Paulo relived that experience, taking Centre Stage at the Restaurant Show in Earl's Court for the unveiling of a thrilling film about their challenge, followed by a Q&A session.

The chefs were a hit with the audience and the footage of their mountainous challenge proved incredibly inspiring. It showed their journey from start to finish, all the way from the visit to Joyce's fish pond to the emotional arrival at the summit.

We're very proud to be able to share this fantastic film following their journey:

Farm Africa were also present at the event and had their own stand where others in the food and hospitality sector could find out more about our life-changing work and how to get involved with Food for Good.

Farm Africa would like to congratulate the chefkili team for a great display at the Restaurant Show and thank them for their commitment to the Food for Good campaign.

Special thanks also go to Paul Gwilliams for shooting such fantastic footage throughout the challenge and Jon Collins of ON Broadcast for his brilliant edit. 

 

Chefs to take centre stage at Restaurant Show

23 September

Read an article in Staff Canteen on the chefs at The Restaurant Show.

Over three weeks ago our team of intrepid chefs and restaurateurs stood 5,895 metres above sea level at the highest point in Africa. Looking out across the vast and beautiful landscape below Mount Kilimanjaro, they found it hard to contemplate what they had just achieved. Not only had they climbed the equivalent of Big Ben 61 times but they had also raised over £54,000 for Farm Africa through their efforts.

Every moment of this triumphant adventure was captured on video. The short film is soon to be shown in an exclusive unveiling at the Restaurant Show in Earls Court on 7th October. Paulo de Tarso, John Freeman and Paul Foster will present this first screening, before participating in a special Q&A session to help bring their great achievement to life.  

Below is an exclusive snippet, showing fellow team member Ashley Palmer-Watts recalling his emotions during the final stage of the ascent.

And if you missed the triumphant moment when the chefs reached the top you can catch it again through the video clip below.

The chef’s Kilimanjaro challenge was part of Farm Africa’s Food for Good campaign which brings together leading players in the UK’s food and hospitality sectors to help tackle one of the world’s most pressing problems: hunger.

Thanks to the efforts of all those involved in Food for Good this year, the extraordinary total of £375,000 has been raised.

Read our press release on The Restaurant Show.

Video: chefs' emotional celebration on the roof of Africa

10 September

We are hugely excited to have received footage from the mountain, taken by the team's cameraman Paul Gwilliams. We will be producing a film shortly, following the team throughout their amazing journey through Kenya and up to the roof of Africa.

In the meantime, here's a sneak preview of the chefs as they reach the summit of Kilimanjaro, exhausted but elated.

Creating a buzz

3 September 2013

Well, the chefs and restaurateurs are now all safely back in the UK. Yet the buzz of what they achieved is still very much ongoing.

Their astonishing challenge has been featured all over the web including Select Your Franchisethe Grocer, Big Hospitality and the Staff Canteen. It's great to see that the team's efforts have captured the attention of so many.

And we're sure they will secure even more on 7th October when they appear at the Restaurant Show in Earls Court. Following a showing of a short film about their adventure, Paulo de Tarso, John Freeman and Paul Foster will share their experiences and answer questions from the audience. It will certainly provide a unique and fascinating insight into the challenge.  

In the meantime, why not check out our new gallery showing some great moments of the chefs' journey on the mountain. 

There is still time to donate to this impressive achievement so if you would like to help the chefs reach their £50,000 target please click here.

Cheers! Chefs toast success 

29 August 2013

Well they did it. Our team of chefs and restaurateurs made it all the way up to the top of Kilimanjaro and are now all safely back down the mountain. Greeted with a glass of bubbly upon their arrival, the team are enjoying a well earned massage and a long rest.  

Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro is a tremendous achievement and the team were keen to share the experience in their own words.

Paul Foster: "That was the toughest thing that I've ever done. My body completely gave up on me. I could barely put one foot in front of the other but my head was the only thing keeping me going. I was determined to make it to the top. When I actually made it I'd never been so emotional; a sense of relief, pride and pain all at once. I was just so drained, all my feelings blurred into one emotion."

Ashley Palmer-Watts: "I thought day 5 was going to be the hardest day for me, climbing 'The Wall' a steep rocky cliff, with my fear of heights. Feeling tired and with not much sleep we set off at midnight towards the summit. The journey to the top was mentally and physically more demanding than anything I've ever done before. And at a few points I didn't think I was going to make it. But when we reached Stella point after 6.5 hrs with 1 more hour to go, I knew I was going to. With the massive crater on the right and the glacier on the left, the beautiful sunrise coming up really spurred me on to get to Uhuru peak. It was incredibly emotional seeing the whole team at the top and I'm very proud the whole team pulled together and made it.”

Paulo de Tarso: "It was extremely hard. Climbing at midnight in freezing conditions - you go up step by step which is slow but incredibly difficult. When we were summiting we saw a few people who were obviously very ill being rushed down. That was mentally tough. I looked at my watch after only climbing for three hours and it was agony knowing I had another 3.5 hours to go. As the sun started to rise our porters started singing to encourage us on and I started crying. I was so emotional. At Stella point I became very confident I could make it. I was thinking of my wife and kids constantly and knew I had to make it to Uhuru for them and myself. When I got to the summit I was extremely emotional thinking about what we had achieved."

 

Summit to celebrate!

28 August 2013

The team at the highest point in Africa. From l to r: Paulo de Tarso, John Freeman, Paul Foster, Ashley Palmer-Watts

Photo: The team at Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro. From left to right; Paulo de Tarso, John Freeman, Paul Foster and Ashley Palmer-Watts

Our team of intrepid chefs and restaurateurs have made it to the summit of Kilimanjaro!

The chefs trekked relentlessly through the freezing cold night to reach Uhuru peak - the highest point in Africa standing at a staggering 5,895 metres above sea level.

‘What a legendary lot!’ exclaimed the team’s mountain guide Ake after the chefs reached the top of the peak.  

The fact that the entire team made it to the top is a huge achievement. Only 41% of all those who set out to climb Kilimanjaro actually reach the summit at Uhuru Peak. Getting to the top is the equivalent of climbing Big Ben 61 times.

Victorious, the team witnessed a glorious African sunrise over the plains below before beginning their descent back down the mountain.

The chefs are currently at Kibo camp enjoying a short nap before they don their walking boots once again to continue the descent. Although the hardest part is over, the descent is by no means an easy feat as the team will be descending in one day the distance which took them six days to climb!

We are absolutely thrilled to hear that the entire team reached the summit safely and that in doing so have raised an incredible £47,212 for Farm Africa so far.  

Chefs so close to their dream of reaching Kilimanjaro summit

27 August 2013

The #Chefkili team have made it to base camp and are now resting and getting themselves ready for the final push to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The team will start out on their final ascent at midnight (10pm BST tonight) and will push themselves through the night to get to Uhuru Peak and the highest point in Africa at somewhere around 7am tomorrow.

We hope to bring you successful news tomorrow at about midday once we have had a chance to get back in touch with the climbers.

Go Team Kili!

Help the chefs reach their fundraising summit!

The chefs fundraising total currently stands at £47,212.72 - only £2,787.28 away from their whopping £50,000 target! 

The team have already come so far, reaching dizzying altitudes and enduring freezing conditions. And with the greatly anticipated summit approaching tonight, it would really give the chefs a massive boost to hit their target as they reach the peak.

According to Wikipedia, only 41% of trekkers actually reach the Uhuru summit so your support could really make a difference in helping them reach the top.

Farm Africa’s Cathy Wentworth conquered the climb in 2011 and knows exactly what awaits the chefs:

“I really feel for our intrepid Kili climbers this evening as they prepare for the toughest challenge yet – the final gruelling push to Uhuru peak. The 9 or 10 hour trek to the summit was without doubt the hardest mental and physical challenge I have ever undertaken. Walking through the night in freezing temperatures up the steep gravel slopes will test each and every one of the climbers to the limit. But at around 6am tomorrow morning, when they turn and watch the sun rise over the African plains, I’m sure they will feel the same sense of elation and achievement that I did. And the fact that their fundraising target of £50,000 is within their sights will spur them on as they reach for their final goal – the roof of Africa!”

You can show your support and give much needed encouragement to the chefs at this significant stage by digging deep and making a donation today.

Let’s hit that £50,000 mark!

First snaps from the mountain!

Check out the first snaps of the chefs climbing Kilimanjaro in our gallery. The team are doing a spectacular job of taking on this enormous mountain.

 

Beating "the Wall"

26 August 2013

Above the clouds on Kilimanjaro

Day 5 was the day the chefs took on, and overcame, one of the most imposing challenges Kilimanjaro has to offer: "the Wall".

At least, that's what the guides call this section of the trek which had the chefs on their hands and knees at various stages, pulling themselves up over the rocks.

This is how Paulo described a day when the slog of putting one boot in front of another was replaced by some intense and much more technical rock-climbing:

"The climb today was unbelievably steep and it's incredible how high we climbed in just a short space of time. It also felt really dangerous because you knew that you could get badly hurt with just one wrong move. It's also extraordinary to see how long it takes to get from point a to b. We could see the camp - our final destination for the day - from the top of the wall, but we were still hours away. To cope with that took a lot of mental strength to just keep moving forward."

They were all exhausted on reaching camp, but they had one thing to do before they could finally sit down and relax: go and inspect the camp's kitchen that they had been hearing so much about. The kitchen is run by Jackson, and the shock on the chefs' faces as they saw the quality dishes coming out of his tiny, cramped kitchen was something to behold.

Commenting on a lunch  of pepered steak, chips, egg and vegegie salad, Ashley was happy to acknowledge that "today's lunch was the best meal I have ever had!"

Enough said.

Except to say that they are all agreed that they will be showing photos of Jackson's kitchen to their staff next time they grumble about the conditions in their kitchens back in the UK.

 

Roast Sunday lunch by the lava towers

25 August 2013

Spectacular apline desert scenery around Kibo Hut

The chefs are really scaling the heights now, having reached the rather dizzying altitude of 4600 metres this afternoon.

And chefs being chefs, they managed to have a rather special meal in a spectacular setting: a sumptuous Sunday lunch of chicken, vegetables and roasties was taken right next to some pretty spectacular lava towers! Needless to say, the chefs have been "blown away" by how the guides are able to conjure such spectacular food each day. Every meal so far has featured a starter, main course and dessert.

After lunch the chefs came back down to Kibo Hut at 3800 metres to help them acclimatise more gradually to the altitude and the increasingly oxygen-thin air. Getting used to the thin air is especially important for the chefs who are averaging 8.5 hours trekking a day.

But the ever more beautiful views are making all the hard work worth it. They are now enjoying the stark, rarified landscape of the alpine desert zone.

Of course, as the chefs inch their way ever closer to the summit, the uncomfortable symptoms of being at altitude are beginning to set in. John explains:

"The altitude symptoms are some of the worst feelings in the world. You literally feel like you can't move, eat or drink. But you have to hike for 8.5 a day up steep slopes and rocky ravines. You have to force yourself to take in nutrients and it's just so difficult when you feel nauseous. Just starting to feel better now. Acclimatisation is key."

And looking back on today's hike, Paul Foster said:

"Today was a relatively easy day for me in comparison to yesterday and the day before. I feel great and don't feel like I walked for hours today. I feel like I'm getting used to the day to day climbs."

We wish our climbers a good sleep tonight - they're expecting temperatures below zero overnight.

 

"It's like being on the moon"

24 August 2013

Beautiful views from the mountain side

At the end of day 3 of the Kilimanjaro Challenge the chefs have made really impressive progress, climbing up to 4100metres above sea level.

Reflecting on the change in conditions and landscape as they made their way up the towering Kilimanjaro, Ashley said:

"It's like being on the moon. It's just a whole other world."

It's extremely beautiful on the moutainside, if a little chily with the chefs having to sleep in temperatures below freezing, we are told. The chefs have fallen in love with the beauty of Kilimanjaro and have been learning a huge amount about their surroundings from their guides.

Just as well then that the food is proving more than adequate with some very tasty Mexican fajitas and stroganoff on the menu.

Everyone is still in very good spirits, despite the odd headache, which is only to be expected as they climb up into the thinner air.

At the end of day 3 Paulo spoke about their experiences so far:

"The size of this mountain is unbelievable. It's been such a surreal experience climbing on rocks that have been here for thousands of years. The whole team, the porters, the crew are just unbelievable. They carry so much for us and always have a smile on their faces. All in all, it's been a real challenge taking on this mountain but I'm enjoying every bit."

 

 

And they're off!

23 August 2013

Our chefs have begun their epic ascent to the highest point in Africa - the summit of Kilimanjaro. Yesterday it was time for the team to put their nerves to one side and concentrate on overcoming the mountainous challenge. Trekking through the beautiful forest that covers the base of the mountain, the realisation of what was ahead kicked in for UK chef Ashley Palmer-Watts:

“You think you know what you’re doing but then you get to the trail head and realise you have no clue. It’s pretty intense!”

Yet the team got off to a great start and report a successful first day of trekking.

The challenge that lies ahead

Today, the chefs rose early to set off for day two. Climbing to 3600m above sea level, the team emerged out of the forest and into the heath zone where they found themselves literally amongst the clouds. Ashley offered his thoughts about the day’s climb:

“We had a nice early start and it was beautiful going through forest land into the heath zone. It was a pretty steep climb but had amazing views.”

The chefs will spend the night at Shira 1 camp where temperatures will be around zero degrees. Yet despite things getting a bit chilly, the camp will offer their first breathtaking views of Kibo – Kilimanjaro’s highest peak.

The team are right on track and it seems as if the nerves are starting to surpass too. 

As chef John Freeman said, “I feel quite elated about today’s climb and am really excited now. I have lost all the nerves I had yesterday and feeling really confident.”

Farm Africa is pleased to hear that the chefs are doing so well and raring to reach the top! Go team Kili!

Through the chefs' own eyes

23 August 2013

Why not check out what the chefs got up to during the first few days through their own eyes. This gallery captures some of the fantastic snaps the team have been sharing. 

We are excited to hear more about the chefs' first day of trekking very soon!

 

Goodbye Kenya, Hello Tanzania

21 August 2013

The chefs get their first sight of Kilimanjaro as they fly from Kenya into Tanzania

Our chefs have enjoyed an incredible two days in Kenya, visiting Farm Africa's aqua shops project in Kisumu out in Western Kenya. They've learned all about how these shops are underpinning the expansion of fish farming in the region.

But today it was time to fly to Tanzania, and to get ready for their epic ascent to the highest point in Africa at the summit of Kilimanjaro.

If anyone was thinking this was going to be a holiday for Ashley, John, Paulo and Paul, they'd better think again. Getting to the top is the equivalent of climbing to the top of Big Ben....61 times!

As they flew above the clouds towards Kilimanjaro airport, they got their first proper glimpse of the mountain (picture).

boarding the plane for Kili

Paul Foster and John Freeman gave their thoughts as they boarded the plane to take them to Kili:

Paul: "The nerves are starting to kick in now. We haven't had much time to think about the climb ahead as we've been so busy visiting Farm Africa's projects. But I am very excited about the challenge to come."

John: "I am nervous and excited in equal measure. This is definitely the most challenging feat I've ever taken on and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead."

 

Video: chefs arrive to a warm Kenyan welcome

21 August 2013

Why not have a peek at the moment Ashley Palmer-Watts was re-united with Joyce, almost one year after the leading UK chef spent a week living with Joyce in the heart of a fish farming community in rural Kanya.

Ashley has brought John, Paulo and Paul back to Kisumu to see Joyce again before they fly to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro.

 

Photo gallery of the first few days

21 August

It has certainly been a busy and exciting first few days for the Kilimanjaro-climbing chefs.

Check out some of the images from their visit to Farm Africa's fish farming projects in our photo gallery:

 

Reunion! Ashley meets Joyce, one year on

20 August

Ashley talks to Joyce in front of her pond after a joyous reunion one year after the chef originally visited Farm Africa's aqua shops project.

It’s just one day since landing in Kenya and, even before catching sight of Kilimanjaro, the chefs have been toiling away under a blazing African sun, helping fish farmers on a Farm Africa project to bring in their harvest.

First stop was a visit to one of Farm Africa’s aqua shops that are playing such a huge part in supporting fish farming by providing large numbers of farmers with vital training and materials for their ponds.

And then it was a moment that Ashley especially had been looking forward to for a long time. He took Paulo, Paul and John back to the community he visited last year, and shared a joyous reunion with Joyce – the fish farmer who opened her home to Ashley during the chef's visit last year.

And after much singing and dancing, Joyce soon had the chefs hard at work as they found out about life as a fish farmer in Western Kenya. After some very hard and sweaty work hoeing and helping her prepare her land for planting, the chefs took it in turns to help carry water back to Joyce’s home - much to the obvious delight of Joyce!

Then it was down to cleaning the fish and helping Joyce to chop her vegetables for lunch and dinner.

After lunch, it was the moment that everyone had been looking forward to: drawing a net across the pond and harvesting the fish. It was an especially poignant moment for Ashley who last October had helped with starting to dig the pond and who could now look on with pride as the fish were harvested.

Joyce watches on as the chefs help in harvesting the fresh tilapia from her pond

The pond is becoming a central part to the life of Joyce and her community. Not only is it a source of healthy and nutritious food, but it is also providing much needed income. Joyce was able to sell her harvest to the aqua shop owner for 250 Kenyan shillings per kilo.

So who better to describe day 2, a wonderful day of smiles, hard work and reunions with old friends than Ashley Palmer-Watts?

“Today was once again the most amazing experience and I was overjoyed seeing Joyce and her family again. We first started the day by visiting the local aqua shop where Paul, Paulo and John got to learn more about running a shop and fish farming in general. We were all amazed that one shop could reach so many farmers, help them set up their own fish ponds, and they can use the shops for all their farming needs. Last year when I visited Kasim, the owner of the shop, he didn't have a refrigerator. Now he does and is able to buy fish and store them for sale.  We then headed off to visit Joyce. I was very much looking forward to introducing the chefs to Joyce and her family and we received such a warm welcome full of dancing and singing! Whilst we were with Joyce we got the chance to prep her land for planting by hoeing which was extremely tough work! We got to watch her cook, prepare ugali in her kitchen for the lunch feast and most importantly got to help her harvest fish from her fish pond! That was an amazing experience for us to catch the fish in the harvest net alongside the community of farmers and we were truly happy to see how much the pond yielded in fish. I remember when I first helped them break ground back in October of last year and was truly excited to be a part of harvesting, the final step in fish farming. It's been a very emotional day for me and leaving Joyce, her family and her grandchildren Kelly and Nicole was very difficult. They have truly touched my life and I'm so glad I've had the opportunity through Farm Africa to be a part of their lives and to see the success of their fish pond.”

Watch the Big Hospitality video of Ashley's visit to Kisumu last year when he stayed with Joyce for a week.

Chefs snap, tweet and share

20 August

Although only a few days in, the #Chefkili team have already begun to snap, tweet and share all the exciting things they have been up to.

Cameraman Paul Gwilliams captured this great shot of the plane that brought the team safely to Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Paulo was snapped with the Farm Africa jeep shortly after arriving in Kenya:

And Paul Foster tweeted a photo of himself making friends with the local kids during the project visit to the fish pond dug earlier this year.

 

News of the chefs’ challenge is spreading fast and the team were featured in a fantastic article on Big Hospitality’s website yesterday.

We are really excited to hear more from the chefs over the next few days!

Karibu sana! Chefkili team arrives in Africa to a warm Kenyan welcome

19 August

Arrival at Kisumu

From left: John Freeman, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paul Foster, Paul Gwilliams (team cameraman), Paulo de Tarso

The #Chefkili team touched down safely in Nairobi this morning and wasted no time at all in making the very most of their first day together on African soil. 

After a quick transfer, they landed at Kisumu Airport in Western Kenya, near Lake Victoria. The team have come here, before they set off for Kilimanjaro, so that Ashley Palmer-Watts can make a very personal and special return to visit Joyce and the community of fish farmers that he stayed with last year. While staying among the fish farmers on Farm Africa's Aqua Shops project, Ashley saw with his own eyes the real difference Farm Africa is making on the ground. It was this difference that persuaded Ashley to come back this year and take on Kili!

But before the team meets Joyce tomorrow, they have spent this afternoon visiting a fish pond dug earlier this year by a team of 14 women from the UK, working shoulder to shoulder with the Afula Women's Group. The pond has now been filled with a healthy stock of tilapia fish and the chefs spent time hearing from the Afula women about the difference the new fish pond is making to the community as a much needed source of both food and income.

The chefs together with the women from the Afula group inspect the pond that was built earlier this year on the Dig for Good project.

Reflecting on what had stood out for him on his first day, Bar Boulud Senior Maitre D', Paulo de Tarso, said:

"It was at first a very big shock seeing how pervasive the issue of poverty is in Kenya. It particularly was shocking seeing young children in this living situation, and you feel that in the 21st century this should never be happening. However I was truly inspired when I saw just how hard people were working to sustain a living with such little resources they have in the first place. Particularly when we visited the wonderful Afula women today. They were so happy to see us and so grateful for the support from farm Africa. Farm Africa really is trying to fix this endemic issue of poverty and they're doing in the right way - helping farmers provide a living for themselves. I'm very grateful I got the opportunity to see farm Africa's fish farming project today and learning just how much this farming mechanism is changing families lives for the better."

And they're off!

18 August 2013

From Left: Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paulo de Tarso, Paul Foster, John Freeman, Paul Gwilliams at departure gate. Next stop Nairobi!

Our chefs and restaurateurs have finally left the UK for Africa. They have just taken off from London's Heathrow Airport, destination Nairobi.

From there they head first to Kisumu in Western Kenya, where Ashley will introduce Paul, Paulo and John to Joyce and her fish farming community, with whom he spent a week last year getting to learn everything there is to know about our work with fish farmers.

And then, it's Kilmanjaro. All 5,895 metres of it. It's like climbing Big Ben 61 times. And they'll be sleeping under canvas on desolate mountain paths, with just basic food rations to eat, and in thin air as they approach the top. It's a bit different to what they are used to in their own elegant dining rooms!

So why not make a donation to spur them on their way?

Paulo de Tarso (left) and Ashley Palmer-Watts settle back into their seats for the flight to Nairobi

Paul Foster talks mountains in BBC Radio Suffolk interview

16 August 2013

Amidst all the rush in getting ready for departure this weekend and briefing his chefs at Tuddenham Mill, Kilimnajro-climbing chef Paul Foster still found time to talk to BBC Radio Suffolk about the adventure to come.

Listen to the BBC Radio Suffolk interview by clicking the Listen Now icon, then dragging the timeline along to 1 hour 39 minutes into the show.

GO TEAM KILI: UK office gets behind the chefs

16 August 2013

As the chefs' Kilimanjaro challenge approaches, Farm Africa staff in the UK office got together to send out a message of support. We are all very excited about the challenge ahead and wish everyone flying out to Kenya this weekend the best of luck. GO TEAM KILI!  

If you would like to support the chefs in their upcoming challenge then please click here to make a donation.

Sneak peek of support from Knightsbridge's Bar Boulud

15 August 2013

Here is a sneak peek of the card placed on each of Bar Boulud's beautiful tables in Knightsbridge, informing diners about the chefs' Kilimanjaro trek for Farm Africa. 

As you may already know, Bar Boulud's Kilimanjaro-climbing restaurateur Paulo de Tarso organised a discretionary £1 to be added to the bills of diners to raise funds for Farm Africa's Food for Good initiative. 

Massive thanks to Paulo for such wonderful support!

Chefs' Killimanjaro Challenge features in Restaurant magazine 

15 August 2013

We are thrilled that Restaurant magazine, a British magazine concetrating on fine dining, has featured the chefs' Killimanjaro trek in their latest edition. There is a fantastic image of the four followed by a concise piece on their upcoming challenge. Have a look for yourself here (PDF)

Chemex becomes latest sponsor of the Chefs' Kilimanjaro Challenge

8 August 2013

Chemex, a British company specialising in high quality cleaning and hygiene products for restaurants and retail outlets, has become the latest sponsor of the Chefs' Kilimanjaro Challenge. Chemex Director, Sean Derrig, was on hand at Ashley Palmer-Watts' Dinner by Heston Blumenthal restaurant to wish Ashley well for the climb.

Farm Africa is thrilled to have Chemex backing the Chefs' climb.

Chemex Director, Sean Derrig (left). wishes Ashley the best of luck for the Kilimanjaro climb after announcing Chemex's sponsorship

Their sponsorship has been taken up in the press including in the trade specialist whichfranchise.com.

£1 on the bill at Bar Boulud raises whopping £2,000 for Farm Africa 

5 August 2013

We are thrilled to hear from Kilimanjaro-climbing restaurateur Paulo de Tarso that, since a discretionary £1 has been added to diners' bills at his restaurant Bar Boulud, over £2,000 has been raised for Farm Africa's Food for Good initiative.

Huge thanks to Paulo for such wonderful support which is not just raising money but also spreading the word about our work with everyone who walks through the doors at his glittering Knightsbridge restaurant.

Ashley Palmer-Watts talks bikes and Kilimanjaro on BBC Radio Berkshire

2 August 

Ashley with bike after another tough training ride

With just two weeks to go until Ashley flies off to Kenya and Tanzania for the big climb, the Fat Duck cooking supremo has been getting some pretty serious training in. On Sunday he will be taking part in RideLondon, a 100 mile cycling odyssey through London and the Surrey Hills. All the money he raises from the ride will go into the fundraising pot for the Chefs' Kilimanjaro Climb!

You can listen to Ashley talking Kilimanjaro, cycling and what persuaded him to support Farm Africa in a BBC Radio Berkshire interview he did earlier today. Just click the 'listen now' icon, then drag the timeline along to 2 hours and 8 minutes into the show.

 

Football Focus: media coverage for Paul Foster's Cambridge football tournament

31 July

"A five-a-side football competition between some of the UK’s top restaurants and food suppliers including The Fat Duck and Restaurant Sat Bains, has raised over £2,000 towards Farm Africa’s Chefs’ Kilimanjaro Climb led by Ashley Palmer-Watts."

Read the Staff Canteen feature in full.

The Staff Canteen is also featuring Simon Hulstone as its featured chef for July. Simon is chef patron of the Elephant at Torquay and has kindly offered a prize of dinner for four at the Elephant to be raffled off at a fundraising dinner to be held by Food for Good sponsors, Cosine. Huge thanks to Simon!

Big Hospitality have also provided excellent coverage of the tournament, with coverage before and after the tournament.

Carnival atmosphere brings out crowds for chefs' football fundraiser

28 July

Tournament winners Direct meat with tournament organiser and Kilimanjaro=climbing chef Paul Foster

Kilimanjaro-climbing chef Paul Foster's football fundraiser provided everyone involved, from players to spectators and officials, with a wonderful day in the Cambridgeshire sunshine today.

And after starting the day with sixteen teams and 112 players, it was the Direct Meat team (picture) that eventually triumphed in an impressive 2 - 0 win over Freemasons in the final.

The sunshine and stunning lunchtime hog roast undoubtedly contributed to a carnival atmosphere which at times helped encourage some champagne football on the pitch.

And just as successful as the tournament was the fundraising with almost £2,000 raised towards Farm Africa's Food for Good campaign.

Huge thanks must go to all the teams for making it such a splendid day, to the raffle prize donors for offering some exceptional prizes, to Dingley Dell for its fabulous Hog Roast and of course to Paul Foster for making the tournament happen.

Dingley Dell's Hog Roast

Paul Foster talks to BBC Cambridgeshire about football and Kilimanjaro

26 July

Kilimanjaro-climbing chef Paul Foster from Tuddenham Mill went on to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to talk about this Sunday's football tournament and the chefs' Kilimanjaro Climb.

To listen to Paul on the Listen Again option, click here  , then click 'listen again' and drag the timeline along to 54 mins 30 seconds.

Football frenzy

25 July

Just three days to go until some of the UK's finest chefs abandon their kitchens for the day to tackle a bit of fundraising at Paul Foster's five-a-side football tournament in Cambridge.

Chefs are a pretty competitive bunch and there's been no shortage of chat on Twitter and #chefkili about which team will be lifting the prestigious cup (image) at the end of the day.

There's already been some media interest in the tournament.

And the Cambridge News will be down pitchside to report on all the action on the day, and Farm Africa will be there in force too. Keep an eye out on 'Chefs with Altitude' for some great photos and video-clips from the day.

For lots more on the teams and how to get there to show your support, please read our press release.

Big Hospitality previews football tournament and Kilimanjaro Climb

23 July 2013

Kilimanjaro climber and Senior Maitre D' at Bar Boulud out training in London

Big Hospitality, the leading online news site for the hospitality industry, has just headlined this Sunday's football tournament and next month's Kilimanjaro Climb in a major new article published yesterday. The article also shows a video of Ashley Palmer-Watts' trip to Kenya last year to visit a Farm Africa's aqua shops project. And how about this image of fellow Kilimanjaro-climbing restaurateur, Paulo de Tarso, as you've never seen him before!

Chefs' Climb announced to the press 

17 July 2013

The chefs' climb has been announced to the press. Watch this space for articles looking forward to the climb. You can read the press release here.

Chefs in the press

11 July 2013

Dedicated chefs' website, The Staff Canteen, has just published a great article looking forward to the climb.

Football for fundraising

1 July 2013

Paul Foster with a footballKilimanjaro-climbing chef Paul Foster has already got his sights set firmly on the fundraising goal. 

Well before he gets to tackle the world's tallest freestanding mountain, the Head Chef at Tuddenham Mill will be putting his best boot forward in a five a side football tournament to take place in Cambridge on Sunday 28 July.

And just to add a bit more spice to the occasion, all the teams competing are from the UK restaurant scene. In fact, the teams going for glory on the day reads like a list of the great and good of the UK restaurant world: Tuddenham Mill, The Fat Duck, Restaurant Sat Bains, Freemasons, Wild Honey, Alimentum, Walton Hall Hotel, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Goodmans Burger and Lobster, Wellocks, True Foods, Collettes, Hind's Head and Creative Belly and Direct Meats. 

Teams have paid a fee to join which all goes into the fundraising pot for the Kilimanjaro Challenge. 

The action kicks off at 10am sharp on Sunday 28 July at The Manor, Arbury Road, Cambridge CB4 2JF.

So why not come along and cheer on the chefs as they go for glory? Refreshments will be available for a small donation.

As well as enjoying all the action pitch-side, there will also be the chance to win some unique raffle prizes. Prizes donated so far to help the chefs' fundraising effort include: lunch for four at Reading's French restaurant L'Ortolan; a complementary meal and stay at Paul Foster's Tuddenham Mill; vouchers to spend at the Freemasons gastropub in Clitheroe, Lancashire; a full day course at the Taste Academy cookery school; a signed copy of cookery book by Phil Howard, chef and co-owner of The Square in London's Mayfair; and a bottle of luxurious Argan oil.

Looking forward to the day, tournament-organiser Paul Foster said: 

"I can't wait. Chefs are very competitive by nature and having the chance to compete against your peers on a different level is an exciting prospect. It will also be a great way to shout about Farm Africa and the brilliant work they do. The idea was Lee Bye's, one of my old sous chefs. We both agreed it was a fantastic way to generate awareness for the charity and the climb."

And for any of the players or spectators who may have worked up a thirst after a few games, the fun will carry on after 4pm at the Maypole pub: 

20A Portugal St., Cambridge CB5 8AF

See you there!

Dining out on success

24 June 2013

Farm Africa's Food for Good fundraising dinner at London's Galvin la Chapelle restaurant

The Chefs' Kilimanjaro team were star guests at a recent fundraising dinner for Farm Africa's Food for Good initiative. 

Paulo de Tarso, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paul Foster and John Freeman joined Food for Good sponsors and fundraising teams for a glittering evening at London's prestigious Galvin la Chapelle restaurant. The Chefs team met fellow Food for Good sponsors and fundraisers, including the fourteen female senior executives who recently returned from Kenya to the UK in triumph after Dig for Good - another Food for Good challenge in which the fourteen women built a huge fish pond in just three days. Guests heard how the pond - which will be a lasting source of food and income for years to come - will transform the lives of a rural community in a remote corner of Western Kenya.

The dinner was a huge success, raising over £14,000 on the night which took the total raised for Food for Good so far to an extremely impressive figure of just over £250,000. 

And even though it's still almost two months before the Chefs' team board their flight to Tanzania, they have already got their fundraising off to a flying start. One of the raffled prizes to attract the briskest bidding was the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have Ashley Palmer-Watts, John Freeman and Paul Foster cook dinner at the home of the successful bidder for family and friends.....

Paul Foster in the Press

13 June 2013

Kilimanjaro-climbing chef Paul Foster has been interviewed in his local newspaper as he looks forward to his upcoming trip of a lifetime. Read the article in the Bury Free Press