Leeds chef's Christmas lunch for homeless

A TOP Leeds chef once again served up a festive feast to some of the city's most destitute residents in support of the YEP-backed StreetSmart campaign.

Richard Walton-Allen, head chef at Harvey Nichols' Fourth Floor Cafe, yesterday presented a three-course Christmas lunch to 70 of the most vulnerable and homeless clients at St Anne's Resource Centre (RAISE.

This is the fourth year that his restaurant – which raised 14,000 for StreetSmart last year – has provided the annual meal.

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Richard said: "It's a way for us at a critical time of the year to support the charities benefiting from StreetSmart.

"It's also a way for our staff to see a different side of life and it's actually an invaluable experience.

"Each year our customers show their commitment to the tune of 14,000 so we know we have to match that with our own efforts."

Customers eating out at a participating StreetSmart restaurant between November 1 and December 31 are asked to donate 1 per table at the end of their meal.

This year all proceeds will be split between Caring for Life, Simon on the Streets, St George's Crypt, Teen Challenge, RAISE at St Anne's and Create, which all work with the homeless in Leeds.

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In 2009 a record 21,000 was collected in Leeds – more than any other city outside of London, and more than Manchester's and Birmingham's totals combined.

Isobel Worswick, RAISE centre manager, said: "It's really generous of Harvey Nichols to do the Christmas party again this year. It benefits us not only because of the excellent food they are providing but it substantially reduces the cost to the service."

Richard also spent four hours in freezing temperatures delivering Harvey Nichols homemade soup, sandwiches and mince pies to the homeless at a Simon on the Streets soup run last week.

Participating restaurants are: The Olive Tree at Rodley, Far Headingley and Chapel Allerton; Salvo's and Salvo's Salumeria in Headingley; Casa Mia Grande and Casa Mia Cafe at Chapel Allerton; Fourth Floor Cafe at Harvey Nichols; The Living Room on Greek Street; Casa Mia Millennium and Kendells Bistro, which are all in Leeds city centre, and La Rosa Restaurant & Bar at Pudsey.

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