Gourmet food fundraiser recipe to success for RNLI

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A seven-course gourmet food evening in aid of the RNLI has turned out to be the recipe for success, raising over £6,500!

Portrush Lifeboat Station’s new medical adviser Dr Martin O’Kane organised the fundraising event with a difference with the help and support of Gwynne Fletcher at 55 Degrees restaurant in the town and a host of other sponsors.

The event was entitled ‘A Seven Course Winter Warmer Tasting menu with Wine Flight Tasting in Association with United Wines’ and the whole ethos of the evening was the chance to sample fine food and wine, with a short explanation before each course about the wines being served. All wines were donated to the fundraiser by United Wines.

Tickets were limited to 130 and were sold out in a matter of days, and everyone who attended on the night agreed that it was a fabulous fun evening that needed to be repeated.

Music and entertainment at the start of the evening was provided by a local band Many a Son who entertained the company over a lovely array of beautifully made canapés served with Prosecco.

The fish and main courses were sponsored by Lynas Foods, Keenan Seafood, First for Fruit and McAtamney’s Butchers. The seven-course meal showcased the culinary skills of the Head and Design Chefs at 55 and included seabass, duck, belly pork all beautifully presented. The trio of desserts and the cheeseboards were a perfect way to round off the meal before the raffles and auctions took place.

The raffle prizes included a one signed Graeme McDowell shirt, tickets for the Belfast Giants as well as a £100 voucher for the Bushmills Inn.

The auction prizes included a four ball at Holywood Golf Club, a VIP box at the Belfast Giants for 12 people, one of Sara O’Neill’s stunning Eadach silk scarves, a beautifully designed jacket by new local artist Ailis Rhodich of Bibbidy Bobbity, dinner for two cooked in your own home by Gary Stewart of the Distillers Arms and dinner for eight again in your own home by Darren Benham, the Design Chef at 55.

There was also a specially commissioned painting by local artist Adrian Margey, which sparked a bidding war.

The evening was rounded off by dancing to the wonderful Brown Sugar.

Dr O’Kane said: “I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this fabulous evening of fun, craic and wonderful food. I am overwhelmed by the amazing generosity of everyone who contributed to this fabulous evening. All the local support from the suppliers of the food

and wine and especially the team at 55 Degrees who gave of their time so generously as well as donating several raffle prizes. I am delighted to be able to hand over £6550 to the volunteers at Portrush Lifeboat Station.”

Judy Nelson from the Station commented: “This was a truly fabulous evening with great food, great prizes and terrific music. The crew are amazed at the continued generosity of the local community for the RNLI. We would like to thank Gywnne Fletcher and his team at 55 Degrees and all the sponsors for a great night.”