If someone asked you to cook a meal for 120 people at no cost whatsoever, you would probably think ‘why and how the hell would I do that?’

If someone asked you to spend six days climbing to the top of the tallest free standing mountain in the world which is also in reality a HUGE volcano at 5,800 metres, Kilimanjaro, you would probably again politely want them to disappear.

I have to admit; I am either crazy or stupid enough to be doing both of these things. Thankfully I am a chef so the first of those mad actions actually comes naturally to me. The latter however, does not. In fact I have never done anything like this in my entire life.

The best bit about all of this hard work though is that local charity Helen & Douglas House will be receiving all of my rewards for eventually getting to the icy peak this September.

I am currently the acting head chef at Hertford College in the city centre of Oxford. I have been a chef for about 14 years now, so cooking and working in kitchens is not a problem for me. It is a fun job and I am extremely lucky to be able to do something I love, which is why I think it’s about time for me to be taken out of my comfort zone and thrown into the heart of Africa.

I have been working in Hertford College for one year and have built great relationships with colleagues and suppliers during this time and come to discover just how generous and charitable people can be. It is these relationships that have very generously enabled me to put on a huge event that will help me to raise money for my Kilimanjaro adventure in aid of Helen & Douglas House.

Hertford College has very kindly given me the use of their facilities so that I can put on a fundraising meal on Saturday, March 12. The event is going to consist of a three-course meal made with food all donated by a few extremely kind suppliers. It will be cooked by myself and a few friends and served by my amazing girlfriend and a team of her very kind friends. This means that there will be no cost at all towards the whole event, meaning that every penny raised by money on tickets for the night will go straight to Helen & Douglas House.

The exciting part of the meal from a chef’s perspective is that it will be a bit of a Ready Steady Cook night, seeing exactly what food has been donated and creating a high end three course banquet with it. This is the kind of experience that really gets my adrenaline pumping.

A few of the suppliers include Philip Dennis, who has kindly donated salmon to create something for a starter. Aldens butchers have kindly donated me some chicken for a main course and Roots of Oxford have donated anything I need (as long as it’s not 10kg of truffles). Braziers Dairy is helping with the dessert and Rumseys Chocolates have been amazing and donated some of their handmade chocolate truffles.

The list could go on and on, as many others have donated to the raffle which will take place on the night.

After the meal the college has also kindly given me use of the bar where diners can mingle and discuss what they have just eaten, hopefully all good feedback, but constructive criticism is always welcome. Most importantly though the chefs can live the rock’n’roll work hard, play hard lifestyle and join everyone for a couple of beers afterwards, I am sure they will be well deserved (although my training won’t approve).

It is an honour to know so many families will be helped by the kind gestures of the college and all of the suppliers who have made this amazing event possible.

I am afraid tickets sold out in just three days but if you wish to donate still please visit my just giving page at www.justgiving.com/Ben-Gibbons2