HUGH Laurie, Raymond Blanc, Philip Pullman and Donny Osmond may not have much in common.
Helen and Douglas House Hospice in East Oxford, however, has brought all four superstars together for a good cause.
The actor, chef, writer and singer have donated gifts to be raffled at the launch of a sizzling new cookbook packed with recipes inspired by the hospice.
On Monday, Oxford Fine Dining cooked all 30 recipes for the publication while being photographed for its pages.
Chef Martin Bridgeman coolly served up the tempting meals under heat from the ovens and the glare of the camera as lights flashed away.
And children who receive respite care from the charity taste tested the food as part of the book’s creation.
Oxford-based business consultants Oxera is behind the project and staff devised the idea to raise £5,000 following a visit to the hospice in Magdalen Road.
Staff pitched in with menu ideas centring around family meal-time, to emphasise the importance of family time.
Oxera spokeswoman Sally-Ann Lyon said: “It was amazing to watch the cooks in action. And the support is hotting up. We currently have prizes from Hugh Laurie, Raymond Blanc, Philip Pullman and Donny Osmond and I still am waiting to hear from some more. “Having the celebrities on board means that we are getting people more interested in volunteering, and it’s looking like we may have a £20,000 lot to auction and also a return trip in a private jet, but we’ll have more details of that closer to the big day.”
The book’s launch is scheduled for April 12 with an event at Oxford Golf Club in Hill Top Road featuring all of the parties involved.
Celebrity auctioneer Thomas Plant will be on hand to help put items under the hammer and help add to the total.
The hospice, which celebrated its 30th birthday last year, provides respite care to children and young adults in and around Oxfordshire.
Spokeswoman Lin Beekar said: “The wonderful smell of baking often greets you when you walk through the doors at Helen and Douglas House.
“We are very pleased to be benefiting from the sale of this cookbook and thank the staff at Oxera for undertaking this project, and the many other local companies who have given their services free of charge or offered sponsorship.”
Local businesses will feature in the book alongside the recipes, and it is hoped that with 1,000 copies printed the £5 fee will help hit the target.
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