Barclays And Baines Wilson LLP To Do Battle In The Kitchen

A competitive Cumbrian charity fundraising event makes a welcome return this autumn having missed two years because of the pandemic.

Kitchen Rivals will see business law firm Baines Wilson LLP and Barclays do culinary combat at Lake District Hotels’ Inn on the Lake, Glenridding.

Two eight-strong teams will cook and serve a three-course meal to 90 invited guests who each pay what they feel the meal was worth. 

The team that raises the most wins.

This year’s proceeds will be shared by Cumbria Community Foundation, Carlisle Eden Mind and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s children’s hospice.

Kitchen Rivals has raised £90,000 for Cumbrian charities since 2016.

Joanne Holborn, employment partner at Baines Wilson, came up with the idea as a way of supporting local causes.

She will lead the legal team serving the food while head of partnership Sean Logue is in charge in the kitchen.

Joanne said: “One of the reasons Kitchen Rivals is such an entertaining evening is that people get to see us in a different setting that is nothing like the office environment.

“We even have TV cameras in the kitchens so the diners can watch the food being prepared there’s no hiding place. We are grateful to Lake District Hotels for letting us loose in the outstanding Inn on the Lake.”

Lake District Hotels is a family-owned group that has hosted Kitchen Rivals since its inception.

Dani Hope, a director of the company, said: “The chance to help three local charities was too good to miss. We have our own charity of the year, this year it’s Jigsaw, and Kitchen Rivals provides a great opportunity to support them.”

Group executive chef Mark Harris is devising the menus, which will have a festive twist, while James Watts and David McGill, head chefs at the Inn on the Lake and Lodore Falls respectively, will oversee the teams on the night.

Likewise, front of house staff from the Inn on the Lake will train and oversee the legal and banking teams to ensure service runs without a hitch.

Dani added: “They take it very seriously and are very competitive, both teams are desperate to win, which makes it really good fun.”

The lawyers enjoy bragging rights over the bankers as Baines Wilson won the last two encounters in 2018 and 2019.

Barclays is determined to exact revenge, a dish best served cold, of course, at this year’s event on November 10.

Barclays’ relationship director Abi Bailey, a veteran of Kitchen Rivals, leads the chefs while her colleague Graham Duckworth orchestrates front of house.

Abi said: “It’s an excellent event that raises a considerable amount of money for local charities, which is why Barclays is pleased to be involved.

“You’re certainly out of your comfort zone.

“There’s a lot of adrenalin and it can be quite stressful but you’re helping those charities and it is great fun. You’re doing something totally different.”

There will be a raffle and auction alongside the formal black-tie dinner.

Prizes in previous years have included glamping breaks and a trip to Morocco. WCF has already donated a three-night glamping prize again this time.

Businesses and individuals able to donate prizes can email Joanne Holborn at