After experiencing first hand the work that the staff at Ronald McDonald House do, chef Maurice McGeehan decided to hold a pop-up dinner in aid of the charity.
Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC) offers support and accommodation to families of seriously ill children while they’re being treated in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. The charity receives no government funding, which is why fundraising events like Maurice’s are vital to keep RMHC operational.
To raise some much-needed funds for the charity, Executive Chef at Airbnb Dublin, Maurice McGeehan decided to hold a pop-up dinner with help from some of Ireland’s culinary experts. We spoke to Maurice to find out more about why helping RMHC is so important to him.
“It started three years ago when our son Gabriel was born with a serious heart condition and rushed straight to Crumlin Hospital for treatment. My wife could stay with him, but I wasn’t able to, so I was bouncing around in friends’ and family’s houses, but then the Ronald McDonald House offered to let us stay. I didn’t know much about the Ronald McDonald House at the time but we took the offer and it was so fantastic to get into the house and get all the support that they offered. We were lucky that Gabriel healed really quickly and we got out within a few months, but every day that we were in there we had so much support.”
“When we left, I decided I would definitely go back to help out, so I got the team that I work with in Airbnb to come with me and cook lunches, Christmas dinners and other things. We’ve also done a Valentine’s dinner pop-up for the past three years where we set up a restaurant for the parents to come in and enjoy dinner. Last year’s pop up inspired me to start thinking about fundraiser opportunities, I thought that if we might be able to generate some revenue for the charity instead of just cooking for the parents. I put up a post online about the fundraiser and I got a massive response, that’s how I found the four chefs who will be cooking with me at this dinner. Ironically, Jonathan Keane from Ashford Lodge stayed in the house when his child was sick, so two of us have had direct experience with the charity.”
The pop-up dinner, which will take place this Saturday, March 2nd at Airbnb HQ, will be curated by four of Ireland’s top chefs: Maurice; Niall Hill, formerly of The Butler’s Pantry; Jonathan Keane from Ashford Lodge; Erik Van der Veken, pastry chef and Cacao Barry Ambassador. Each chef will create a different course, using some of Ireland’s finest produce, which will then be paired with a different alcoholic beverage.
Tickets to the dinner will cost €150 per person, which will go straight to the charity.
“I can’t believe the support we’ve gotten, I’ve had chefs, producers and suppliers emailing me constantly to offer supplies or volunteers. Most of the ingredients we’re using are Irish and we’ll be highlighting all the producers on the menu. We’ve had great drinks sponsorship too, including Boyne Brewhouse and Wicklow Way Wines. This means that thanks to our generous sponsors, the event isn’t costing us anything to run, so the entire ticket price will go straight to the Ronald McDonald House Charity. There will also be an auction after the dinner with great prizes available, including a meal for two and an overnight stay at Neven Maguire’s MacNean House. The money raised from the auction will go straight to the charity too, so we’re hoping to raise a good bit on the night.”
There are still some tickets for this event available, so to help out a worthy cause, buy your tickets on Eventbrite now.