Last month our vegan and vegetarian canteen and live music venue Wildflower and Ghost Notes teamed up with So Vegan and Help Refugees to host a banquet of Middle Eastern inspired vegan food.
How did the collaboration come about?
We first met met Roxy and Ben from So Vegan when we opened Wildflower, and soon started talking about potential projects we could work on together. When we found out about their connection with Help Refugees the idea of a fundraising supper club quickly started taking shape, with our head chef Joseph Ryan suggesting a Middle Eastern theme – as well as being particularly pertinent to Help Refugees work, it’s also a cuisine that’s been a huge influence on Joseph’s cooking.
The menu at Wildflower is a true representation of simplicity at its best. Simple, fresh, clean and sustainable where possible with big, bold flavours. Vegan and vegetarian cuisine perfect for those looking for more than falafel and lentils. However, talking about lentils, the Red lentil dal with coconut yoghurt, pickled chilli and flatbread is a favourite and has recently been put back on the menu due to popular demand (and a few protests).
The evening consisted of 2 sittings, both sold out, followed by live music.
“Given the duality of our space here at Levels we were also really keen to incorporate Ghost Notes, our music venue, and organised a special edition of our Tuesday night improv session The Spaces In Between. For this event we were really lucky to welcome Puma Blue, whose only other London show this year will be his headline show at SCALA in October.” – Russell Porter.
Puma Blue headed up a band with Solomon Douglas on bass, Ellis Dupuy on drums and Charlie Stacey on keys, with a very special appearance from Farhood, an MC who first came to the UK as an asylum seeker around 8 years ago and has since worked on projects with God Colony, Kelpa and M.I.A.
Perhaps the most powerful part of the performance was Farhood’s decision not to MC, but instead sit down and speak to the audience, telling them exactly what it meant to seek asylum. “Raising money is fantastic,” he said “but talking to someone, acknowledging their existence as a fellow human, is worth even more when the rest of the world ignores you”.
The night was a huge success, raising more than £1500 for Help Refugees at a time when they really need it – to give some perspective, £5 pays for a week’s worth of fruit and vegetables for a child living in one of the Greek refugee camps.
“It was a privilege working with the guys at Wildflower and Ghost Notes. We think it’s such a brilliant venue and it was the perfect place to host a supper club in support of Help Refugees. Everyone involved made an enormous effort to make it a truly memorable evening, and we know all the money raised is going to make a huge difference to those who need it most.” – So Vegan.
“We’d just like to thank everyone who came and ate, everyone who helped, and special thanks to Ben and Roxy for helping us make it all happen.” – Wildflower and Ghost Notes team.
“Thank you to everyone involved in making this incredible evening happen and to all those who bought tickets. The event is a blueprint for the perfect community fundraiser – bringing people together with delicious food and music. We rely on our amazing supporters coming up with creative ways to raise funds in order to continue the work we do so this really does mean the world to us”. – Help Refugees.