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Special Scrum Dine With Me serves up a superb evening

Wooden Spoon’s 10th anniversary Scrum Dine With Me saw Tamara Taylor take the title, as her Kentish lamb was voted best dish at Cinnamon Kitchen on 8 October 2019.

The former England lock and Wooden Spoon Durham honorary president, served up the main course to over 100 guests at this special edition of the foodie fixture, hosted by the children’s charity of rugby, which helped raise a fantastic £10,000.

Tamara Taylor serving up the winning dish at Scrum Dine With Me

Scrum Dine With Me is a unique event where personalities from the world of rugby cook off against each other. The four-course fundraising feast helps to raise vital funds for children with disabilities, or facing disadvantage.

Taylor’s fierce opponents on the night were former Leicester Tigers player Miles Benjamin, Harlequins’ Alex Dombrandt, and last year’s champion former England and British & Irish Lion Lee Mears. The harsh critics for the evening were MC and Wooden Spoon lead ambassador Ollie Phillips, TV chef and owner of Cinnamon Kitchen Vivek Singh, and Mark Sansom, Content Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Lee Mears, Tamara Taylor, Miles Benjamin, Alex Dombrandt and Ollie Phillips at Cinnamon Kitchen

First up to the plate was Miles Benjamin serving up his Keralan spiced stir-fried shrimps with green mango and coconut (sponsored by Sidley Austin). For the middle course Alex Dombrandt’s green spiced Guinea fowl breast with paprika raita (sponsored by Peter Brett, now part of Stantec) was voted second place. The winning main course was presented by Tamara Taylor (sponsored by Gateley PLC), her Kentish lamb, with Rajasthan spiced corn sauce proved a hit with the guests, however the votes may have been swayed as it was her birthday. Finally, reigning champion Lee Mears dished up a delightful ginger toffee pudding with cinnamon ice-cream (sponsored by Irwin Mitchell), a fitting ending to a fabulous evening at this amazing venue. Spirits were high, and an array of songs were performed by Lauren Fitzgerald, and then the whole room sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Tamara Taylor.

Lee Mears preparing the final course for our guests

We would like to thank everyone who attended this event and helped to raise money for children with disabilities across the UK and Ireland. Also, a huge thank you goes to the sponsors of the night and all of the staff at Cinnamon Kitchen, including Vivek Singh, and Mark Sansom and Ollie Phillips.

Wooden Spoon’s next Scrum Dine With Me champion will be decided on Tuesday 24 March 2020. To reserve your place, please contact Ian Lindsay by email ilindsay@woodenspoon.org.uk or call on 07760 383716.