Regular readers will know that I do a bit of cycling. The day that I post this, I will be taking part in the 2015 Paris2Nice Cycle to raise funds for an Irish national suicide charity. It involves 75 cyclists from Ireland riding over 700 kilometres, with a number of us taking on the dreaded Mont Ventoux as part of the exercise. This is the 5th year of Paris2Nice and, to date, the endeavours have raised well over two million euro for a number of worthy causes.
One of our fundraising events was the Wine and Dine event hosted by Kevin Hui at his China Sichuan Restaurant in Sandyford, south Dublin. Kevin has done a huge amount for Paris2Nice. He’s that kind of person. When we were discussing how we could make the event that bit different, Kevin suggested that we could have a multi-course evening with appropriate wines. He also floated the idea that I might like to have a hand in preparing one of the courses. This caused me some trepidation. Why? Because some of Ireland’s top chefs have and are cycling in Paris2Nice. Many would be there in the crowd of 140 generous souls, all supporting the great works. I’m just a bloke who cooks at home. What if I made a mess of it (as I often do)? The bar (or should that be dining table) is set pretty high.
I have previously devised a para-Oriental Sous Vide Pork Fillet. It’s a delicious dish. Kevin suggested that we could use it for a course at the dinner. I produced a couple of samples and then Kevin got me to work with Chef Andrew at the China Sichuan.
We (he) slaved hard to make it something special that would be suitable for paying customers. Customers who were there to support a great cause. I think we (he) got it right.
There’s no recipe on this post. You can have a look at my original here. Chef Andrew has lifted this from “pretty good for a home cook” to “Wow, that’s delicious!”
I have thought a lot about why Kevin would ask me to produce a course rather than any of the (other) leading Irish chefs who have been and are part of Paris2Nice? He did it for me. It was an incredibly generous gesture. One that I really, really appreciate.
I loved my experience with Chef Andrew in the China Sichuan kitchen and I know that I will be a better cook for it.
But, that’s the thing about Paris2Nice, it seems that everybody who gets involved gives a lot of themselves, usually quietly and without fuss. Kevin, like so many others, does a huge amount, encouraging, cajoling and assisting. It seems no-one wants anything out of it for themselves. Everybody is there to help and support each other and I think that’s why we all get so much back. Thanks Kevin.