Big-hearted chef’s emotional message after 48 hours cooking for families in need

Andrew Dutton, 41, gave up his Christmas day to cook 24 three-course meals for a number of struggling families in Warrington – saying it was his best Christmas yet

Andrew Dutton
Andrew Dutton gave up his Christmas to cook 24 delicious three-course meals

A chef who spent 48 hours straight cooking Christmas dinners for struggling families says it was his best Christmas yet.

Andrew Dutton, 41, gave up his Christmas day to cook 24 three-course meals for a number of struggling families in Warrington.

The event took place at The Cheshire Cheese pub in Latchford on December 25 in collaboration with Warrington charity, Helping Hands Orford, Poplars and Hulme.

Andrew described how he spent two days preparing for the dinner, saying: “I literally did do 48 hours straight, I started on Thursday and finished at six o’clock in the morning on Christmas Day.”

Despite the hard work, Andrew emotionally wrote on Facebook that it was his best Christmas yet, reports CheshireLive.

The event took place at The Cheshire Cheese pub in Warrington

He wrote: “After a 48 hour straight through shift beginning on Thursday at 8pm, we are done.

“Beer is cracked, Comfies are on, cramp, burns, bloodshot eyes, lots of cleaning up to be done.

“BUT, I literally don’t care.

“This is my 41st Christmas and by FAR the best one.”

He made a leek and potato soup, Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, and a choice of sticky toffee pudding or chocolate sponge puddingfor the attendees.

Andrew was struck by the kindness of the public, writing that he “met the most amazing people” and “witnessed acts of generosity from SO SO many”.

He worked 48 hours straight – and now has big Easter plans!

He explained: “The pub was open to the public til 3pm, so a few of the locals were still finishing drinks by the time we started arriving.

“And then, just from nowhere, they started putting their hands in their pockets and leaving money behind the bar.”

Warrington business, Stand Out Socks, donated 70 pairs of socks to give as gifts to the attendees. A 16-year-old baker, Nataliah, made and distributed cupcakes to the families, which Andrew admits were “incredible”. Other members of the Warrington community chipped in to help Andrew create the spectacular three-course dinner.

“It was just an amazing community experience,” he said, “Throughout it all, they were just so grateful and happy, it was a really nice atmosphere.

“Everyone was overjoyed with the day. It went on for longer than expected because we just couldn’t make up for such a nice time.”

He emphasised that it was a “dead normal, easy-going Christmas dinner”, where the guests all mingled like they had known each other for years.

Andrew made sure each guest received a present, which came out of his own pocket. Parents were given a £100 Amazon gift voucher as a Christmas present, and the children were given a Kindle 10, gift voucher and Stand Out socks. Hampers made up of prosecco and five-cheese and crackers were also gifted.

Touched by the impact of his actions, Andrew has pledged to continue to help raise money for struggling Warrington families.

He has set up a GoFundMe for Warrington Foodbank, and is planning to host a similar, bigger event for Easter weekend.

Andrew said: “We realised it is the start of many! Next year will be bigger and better, we are already planning Easter now.”

Plans for a marquee, barbecue and Easter Egg hunt for the children are already being toyed with by Andrew and the people behind the Christmas dinner.

The chef said he wants to make “loads and loads of lamb and new potatoes” for Easter festivities in 2022.

Donate to the cause here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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