Brain Food

by John Lawson

with guest chefs; Raymond Blanc, Robin Gill & Ollie Dabbous

Saturday 27th October 2018

John Lawson is reuniting with his teacher and mentor Raymond Blanc for this intimate dining experience to raise awareness and much needed funds for Brain Tumour Research Campaign. They will be joined by fellow Raymond Blanc protege Robin Gill, owner of The Diary, Sorella and Counter Culture and Ollie Dabbous who recently opened 'Hide' in Piccadilly.

After John Lawson discovered his brain tumour, his entire world changed. He moved from high profile celebrity chef to brain tumour survivor. He created ‘FOOD by John Lawson’ with health and well-being in mind. Now just over one year on, they are celebrating their first birthday with a fundraising event for Brain Tumour Research Campaign Charity. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s, and yet it is the most underfunded area of cancer research. Little is known about these tumours, and research is greatly needed.

This one off event will start at 12pm on Saturday 27th October with each chef creating a dish from seasonal ingredients which actively benefit the brain. Aiming to raise in excess of £10,000 each chef will create a beautifully presented and full of flavour dish free from gluten, dairy and refined sugars for guests to enjoy.

Missed out on this event? why not join in with our silent auction, help us raise as much money as possible to support this cause. Experiences include ‘A day on the pass at Le Manoir’

Find out more


About the Chef's

Raymond Blanc OBE
Chef Patron, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Raymond Blanc is acknowledged as one of the world’s finest chefs. Completely self-taught, his significant influence on British cuisine has brought scores of awards.

Born in Besançon, France, Raymond’s passion for cooking was inspired by the local terroir and his mother - Maman Blanc - whose dedication to the seasons formed the basis of Raymond’s food philosophy.

In 1972, Raymond arrived in Britain to work as a waiter. One day, when the cook was ill, Raymond took over the kitchen and at that moment, his career was born. Raymond soon opened his first restaurant - Les Quat’Saisons - in Summertown, Oxford. Triumph swiftly followed.

It was in 1984 however that Raymond fulfilled a personal vision when he opened Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire.  A stunning hotel and restaurant in harmony, today, Belmond Le Manoir is the only UK country house hotel to have retained two Michelin stars for the past 33 years.  It is also home to the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School, welcoming keen cooking enthusiasts from around the world.

Although entirely self-taught himself, Raymond has championed and nurtured some of the country’s most respected chefs in his kitchens. Some 34 of these protégés have gone on to win Michelin stars for themselves, including such names as Marco Pierre White, Michael Caines MBE, Ollie Dabbous and Bruno Loubet to name a few.    

In 2007, Raymond was appointed an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen. In 2013, he was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honour, the highest French decoration.

Raymond Blanc in Essex, Raymond Blanc and John Lawson

Ollie Dabbous
Executive Chef & Co-owner of Hide

Ollie knew he wanted to be a chef from the age of six and spent school holidays cooking in London, Florence and Paris to gain experience. But it was to be his time in the kitchens of Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons where he learnt his craft. He also worked at Hibiscus, Mugaritz, Noma, WD-50, The Fat Duck, L’Astrance, Pierre Gagnaire and Texture, before he decided to launch his own restaurant in partnership with mixologist Oskar Kinberg.
Opening in Fitzrovia in January 2012, Dabbous’ success happened virtually overnight, something that is rare in the capital. Just days after it opened, Fay Maschler, the Evening Standard’s legendary restaurant critic, awarded it an almost unprecedented five stars, deeming it a “game changer.”
Maschler wasn’t alone in her praise. The late AA Gill raved that "It was as close to perfect as I've eaten for a long time," while esteemed food writer Tom Parker Bowles described Ollie as a man who “crackles with talent and makes fascinating food you really want to eat.” Even the New York Times got in on the act, describing Dabbous as “one of the hardest reservations to land in the city.”
Needless to say it came as no surprise when the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star just months later.
Autumn 2014 saw the publication of Dabbous: The Cookbook. Published by Bloomsbury, it won the Gourmand World CookbookAward, Best Chef Cookbook 2015.

Ollie Dabbous and John Lawson, Ollie Dabbous as guest chef in leigh-on-sea

Robin Gill
Owner of The Dairy, Counter Culture & Sorella

With a career commencing at Dublin’s La Stampa Restaurant, Robin Gill then made the move to London where he worked at Marco Pierre White’s three-Michelin-starred, The Oak Room. Next, he ventured to
Italy to work at two-Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890 on the Amalfi Coast, a restaurant with its own farm.
From Italy back to the UK, when a two week placement at the infamous Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons alongside Raymond Blanc turned into a four year stay.
In 2013 Robin opened The Dairy in Clapham, closely followed by The Manor and Counter Culture. Robin’s most recent project, in January 2018, was the relaunch of The Manor as Sorella. 

Robin’s ventures have received awards and recognition across the board, most notably, The Dairy reaching number nine in The National Restaurant Awards and reaching the top 50 in the Good Food Guide.  The Manor was named number one Best New Opening in the Time Out guide and received a top 10 rating in the Evening Standard. Just 3 weeks after opening, Counter Culture was awarded a coveted 5 Star review in Time Out London. The article quotes "every so often a restaurant comes along that has me reaching for a sixth star". Robin and Sarah won The Evening Standard’s Best Restauranteur Award in 2016. Robin personally received the 2016 Good Food Guide Chef of the Year award, was named amongst the OFM top 50 and has received nominations for the GQ Chef of the Year and The London Restaurant Festival.


About the Event

With the first table at 12pm and last sitting at 9.30pm, each guest will enjoy two hours in the restaurant. The menu includes four courses with snack, bread and treats in addition. Bubbles will be served on arrival, followed by wine pairing matched to each course. Each of the four chef's will present their dish at the table.

Each ticket is priced at £150 per person, booked as tables only.
A table of two is priced at £300, table of 4 at £600 and a table of six is £900.
All profits will be donated to Brain Tumour Research Campaign. Tables are limited and must be booked for and paid in advance, tables are non refundable however the name of the guest may change with prior notice.

cool restaurants in essex, best restaurants in essex, places to eat in south east essex


Reservations for this event will be taken from Wednesday 1st August, reservation lines will be open 10am until 4pm.
Full payment will be taken over the phone or in person at the time of booking, tables cannot be reserved without payment.

Call 01702 840904 on 1st August between 10am- 4pm*

*We are not accepting booking via social media, website or email, only via the telephone on the date specified.

Our restaurant is located in Leigh-on-sea, if you are visiting the area, we have some recommended places to stay here

About the Charity

The Brain Tumour Research Campaign was founded in 2004 and aims to raise public awareness of the desperate need for brain tumour research; to lead a fundraising campaign to support research into and treatment of brain tumours and to assist the emergence of an international Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence, based at Charing Cross Hospital in London. Run on a purely volunteer basis, 100% of the donations go directly to the research projects, with all administrative costs being borne by the volunteers. Since its creation, £2.75 million has been raised and invested in a unique translational programme taking research from laboratory to clinical research, with the aim of finding new treatments for this long-neglected cancer.

We are very proud to be the nominated charity to benefit from this exciting and prestigious event and hope that it will take us a step further towards our goal of finding a cure for this devastating disease which has until recently received less than 1% of national cancer research funding despite having the lowest survival rates of any cancer in this country.

Brain Tumour Research Campaign 12-15 Hanger Green London W5 3EL
Phone: 020 8601 240
All profits from this event will be donated to Brain Tumour Research Campaign Registered charity number 295895.

More information about the charity and the amazing work they do can be found here