This weekend we (about 40 of the Belazu team) took a trip up to the Thame Food festival which takes place in the beautiful, historic market town of Thame, Oxfordshire. We partnered with Chris Wheeler, head chef of Stoke Park on a mission to raise lots of money for our charity – The Belazu Foundation.
Chris brought the key personnel and expertise and together with some energy from the Belazu team we opened a pop-up restaurant, serving an all-day Mediterranean feast to over 190 people with a beautiful menu crafted by Chris using a range of our ingredients.
No better man to put up the Belazu Ingredient Company sign than our George
We borrowed the lovely Christchurch Methodist Church on Upper High Street and spent Friday night transforming the place into a restaurant fit for Chris and his maitre d’, Tariq, to perform their magic. Thame’s beautiful market place provided the perfect atmosphere and back drop for the pop-up and we were greeted by an enthusiastic local crowd, keen to see how their local church was going to be transformed into a cutting edge eaterie.
Tables were laid, menus printed, wine and beer cooled and deliveries of ingredients arranged. Chris and his team prepared fantastic meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Tariq led the 20 strong front of house Belazu team by providing much appreciated (and needed!) expertise.
Thankfully Saturday morning arrived with beautiful sunshine so setting up our market stall within the main festival area was a pleasure. We loaded our stand with a tonne of our ingredients for people to taste and buy. It was great to meet so many people who had a genuine passion for food and welcomed our ingredients with such enthusiasm.
All the proceeds raised from the market stall and pop-up have gone straight into our charitable foundation including the generous tips that were kindly donated by the Belazu team to further the cause. Our Belazu Foundation was set up in 2012 to formalise donations we had been making to a range of causes close to our heart. We support 3 rural schools in Morocco and the subsequent education of around 350 women and children as well as the Isis Academy in Oxfordshire which is a Special Academy for children and young people up to the age of 18 with complex special educational needs.
We want to say a massive thank you to Chris and Stoke Park for their support and generosity and similarly to the 40 or so Belazu team members who gave up their Saturday’s to help out.