Michelin-starred chefs pack a big punch at charity boxing match
Rumble in the Kitchen, a charity white-collar boxing match, was held at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall last night. 22 chefs and personalities from the hospitality world stepped in the ring to raise funds and awareness for charitable into-work programme for young people, Galvin’s Chance.
Two Michelin-starred Chef and Restaurateur Marcus Wareing, of Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley and The Gilbert Scott lived up to his boxing name ‘The Hitman’ and showed his mettle by beating Fred ‘Sugar Fred, the Stinger’ Sirieix – sponsored by Tate and Lyle Sugars – in one of the hardest fought bouts of the night.
Wareing, who was cheered on by his family, appeared on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen on 30th June and talked about his involvement in the event. “It’s great to feel young again doing something like this! There’s been a lot of nervousness in the lead up to tonight. Rumble in the Kitchen has been one of the best charity events I’ve done. It’s been a great experience and in aid of a wonderful cause”.
Sirieix, General Manager at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows and co-Patron of the Galvin’s Chance programme said on Twitter: “Marcus was the better man on the day, but I GOT HIS NUMBER!” Rumble in the Kitchen was the brainchild of Sirieix, a keen amateur boxer.
Monica ‘The Hatchet’ Galetti prevailed over Penny ‘The Mighty’ Mallory, while Will ‘Mad Dog’ Holland was the victor over Matt ‘The Loose Cannon’ Wilkin.
Michel Roux Jr, who was supporting Galetti, his senior sous-chef at Le Gavroche, said “They’ve all been brilliant - I don’t envy anyone going three rounds with Monica!” Chef Roux and Chef Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons were among 220 guests spectating the matches while their restaurant teams served up some of the best Michelin-starred food alongside the kitchens of the Bar Boulud, The Ledbury, Galvin Restaurants and the Royal Automobile Club.
Hosting the evening was Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster and BBC Radio 4’s Nigel Barden. Special appearances included World boxing champion David Haye with his trainer Adam Booth. Clinton McKenzie, former British light welterweight champion was present to cheer on the boxers, whom he has spent time training over the last few months. Other celebrities from the world of sport included former England footballer Graeme Le Saux, and current English Rugby stars James Haskell and Paul Doran Jones.
Emile ‘The Galvinator’ Galvin, who prevailed over Joe ‘Aura Assassin’ Ryan in the opening bout, said: “The experience as a whole has been inspirational. From training with Clinton, through to bringing it all together tonight, in such a great causes, is fantastic. The training went completely out of the window in the first round and we ended up brawling… but settled in and it was a good match.” Joe Ryan, Director of Aura Mayfair, generously hosted a live-stream viewing of the boxing matches in the nearby nightclub as well as an after-party attended by the boxers and their supporters.
All the competitors had built up a friendly camaraderie and this showed through the mutual respect shown amongst the opponents. Paulo “Rocky” De Tarso of Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental said, of his bout with Hayden Groves of Baxter Storey, “The whole process has been so rewarding; I have learned about the discipline needed in boxing and have massive respect for the sport”. Groves credited his trainer Sab from Hotbox in Hertfordshire for the extra time and support he had been able to give to see him to victory in the ring over De Tarso.
Will Holland, a regular guest chef on James Martin’s ‘Saturday Kitchen’ and Central Region champion on BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’, who trained hard and was supported by his coach Andy Hackney of Gymfish, featured in the penultimate bout of the night. Holland was able to justify the frequent travel from his Michelin-starred restaurant La Bécasse in Ludlow, Shropshire to attend training sessions with his victory over Matt Wilkin, Australia’s first Master Sommelier, which was extremely closely fought.
This special event, which so far has raised over £55,000 net, was staged in aid of Galvin’s Chance, Hilton in the Community Foundation’s charitable programme, aimed at giving young people ‘at risk’ the opportunity to train and work front of house in some of London’s finest restaurants and hotels. Last week a graduation ceremony was held to celebrate 14 young people who have overcome barriers, including previous convictions, to secure ongoing employment in the hospitality industry as a result of the project. Galvin’s Chance is delivered in partnership with The Springboard Charity and Westminster Kingsway College and a range of employers including the Royal Automobile Club, Hilton Worldwide, Galvin Restaurants, The Cinnamon Club, Park Plaza, Harrods and others.
Boxing support provided by:
Dedicated to sharing the enthusiasm for boxing with everyone, The Real Fight Club has staged over 100 charity boxing events - some of which have even been attended by members of the Royal Family. Since they introduced White-Collar boxing to the UK in 2000, The Real Fight Club has helped to raise over £1.2 million for charities and non-profit organisations. Founder Alan Lacey has provided management and advice for Rumble in the Kitchen. To find out more, please visit: www.therealfightclub.com
Special thanks to Clinton McKenzie who has trained many of our boxers and held special group training sessions at his ‘Boxercsise’ gym in Herne Hill in south London. Clinton is the British Light Welterweight Champion and fought ‘Sugar Ray’ Leonard in the quarter-finals of the 1976 Montreal Olympics. As British Champion Clinton remained undefeated until his retirement from professional boxing in 1989. For more information about McKenzie Boxercise, please visit: www.mckenzieboxercise.com
Production provided by Production Plus
Videography by Bright Star Productions
Photography by Pellier Noir Photography
Media support by Mayfair Times
Food and drink provided by:
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
The Royal Automobile Club
You can still help
Text 'RITK99 £10' to 70070 to donate £10 to support the boxers or donate via the team justgiving page
See the team fundraising page