Magic Breakfast - Fuel For Learning
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MAGIC DINNER 2015: Fundraiser on 15th June



Hoi Polloi presents...


Created by 7 top London chefs

Hosted by Laura Jackson & Alice Levine

In aid of Magic Breakfast charity


Magic Breakfast will hold its inaugural Magic Dinner at Hoi Polloi, Shoreditch, on Monday 15 June, hosted by Laura Jackson & Alice Levine, with dinner cooked by seven of London’s most exciting chefs.

In the kitchen alongside Hoi Polloi’s head chef Braden Charlesworth will be Isaac McHale (The Clove Club), James Lowe (Lyle’s), Nuno Mendes (Taberna do Mercado & Chiltern Firehouse), Lee Westcott (Typing Room) and Andy Oliver & Mark Dobbie (Som Saa), each cooking a signature course.

Magic Dinner will be a fundraising feast for Magic Breakfast, a national charity with its origins in Hackney. The charity delivers free, healthy breakfasts to over 17,500 school children in deprived areas who would otherwise be too hungry to learn.

100 tickets, priced at £100 each, are now on sale with all proceeds going directly to the charity.  In addition to an incredible menu, guests will enjoy some of Hoi Polloi’s legendary cocktails as well as wines by Fields, Morris & Verdin. Guest should also, in true Hoi Polloi fashion, expect a little unexpected entertainment.

At least 500,000 children in the UK go to school hungry each day (Source: Nutrition Bulletin). A hungry child cannot concentrate, missing out on core, morning lessons and a chance at educational success.

Magic Breakfast works with 440 schools, but has around 300 schools on its waiting list requesting urgent food aid. Funds raised from Magic Dinner will enable the charity to start working with the most critical of these waiting list schools.

Carmel McConnell, founder and CEO of Magic Breakfast, said: “Poverty and hunger should not be a barrier to a child’s education and we can change that for as little as 22p per child per day. I am passionate about helping each child achieve their potential so am indebted to the amazing chefs, Laura Jackson, Alice Levine and all the staff at Hoi Polloi for giving their time so generously to help Magic Breakfast solve the problem of child hunger as a barrier to learning in this country”.

Magic Dinner is being supported by The Independent on Sunday. The paper’s editor, Lisa Markwell, said: “I’m in awe of everything Magic Breakfast does to battle child hunger in Britain and so I am thrilled to be involved with the Magic Dinner at Hoi Polloi. As well as The Independent on Sunday partnering up for the event, I’m personally rolling up my sleeves. Food and writing are two of my favourite things, so to be able to combine them by editing a special newspaper for the event is a challenge I can’t wait to get my teeth into…”

James Lowe, the head chef of Lyle’s: “I’m excited to be cooking for Magic Dinner, it’s such a great way to raise awareness for the charity. I think it’s fitting to be cooking with the best chefs in East London seeing as how the charity started in Hackney”.

Lee Westcott, Executive Chef of Typing Room in Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel: “I wanted to get involved in Magic Breakfast charity as I truly admire what it is all about. I think education is so important for how it shapes us in our future lives and having hungry kids at school is never good for their concentration levels”.

Tickets can be purchased here:





For media enquiries please contact Sophia Dettmer on 07803 800164 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For additional enquiries about the event itself please contact Natalia Ribbe at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



About Magic Breakfast

Magic Breakfast delivers free, healthy breakfast food to 440 schools in England, giving over 17,500 children fuel for learning each school day. With the generous support of food and logistics partners, each breakfast costs the charity just 22p a day per child – about £10 per term.

Headteachers at the charity’s partner schools report better concentration, behaviour, attendance and attainment among children receiving Magic Breakfast food. The charity also advises schools on nutrition, food hygiene, on the setting up of reading schemes, and on how to reach the most vulnerable and hungry children and families in the school community.

Magic Breakfast wants to apply its successful model to solving the problem of child hunger as a barrier to education for good by 2020. This means reaching more schools and providing resources to all hunger hit schools.




About Jackson & Levine

Jackson & Levine is a joint venture from Laura Jackson and Alice Levine.  Both working in TV and Radio they found common ground over their lifelong love of food whilst sifting through clothes at a jumble sale.  They then decided to take on the world of food themselves and the eponymous supper club was set up in late 2013.  Since the supper club was founded the girls have hosted bespoke events for numerous fashion brands, collaborated with Jamie Oliver, written a food column for Company Magazine and now are bi-monthly contributors on ELLEUK.COM.

Laura and Alice have some on-screen projects in the pipeline and are excited about taking Jackson & Levine on the road in the summer to some of their favourite festivals.


About Hoi Polloi

Hoi Polloi is a modernist brasserie for a forward-thinking Shoreditch, open from 7am daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late supper, nightcaps and all the bits in-between. Hoi Polloi’s to the point menu, under the watchful eye of Head Chef Braden Charlesworth, is all about seasonal cooking that makes use of quality English ingredients, common sense and good taste.  Address: 100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ.


About the Chefs

Braden Charlesworth is the recently appointed head chef at Hoi Polloi at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch.  An Australian chef with British heritage, he is a keen forager and gardener and is passionate about cooking as locally and seasonally as possible.  Prior to joining Ace in 2013, Braden was head chef at Flemings in Mayfair.

James Lowe is the head chef of Lyle’s in the Tea Building in Shoreditch. Formerly part of the chef collective the Young Turks, he went on to work as Head Chef of St. John Bread and Wine.  Lowe offers a seasonal British menu, drawing inspiration from his travels and always looking at ways to collaborate with chefs around the world.  His Guest Series has become a popular stalwart of Lyle’s, having hosted James Henry of Bones in Paris, Elena Reygadas of Rosetta in Mexico and Junya Yamasaki of Koya in London.

Isaac McHale is the Head Chef of The Clove Club in Shoreditch Town Hall.  His restaurant offers a cool, modern approach to British food, with all the elements of the menu locally sourced and changing daily, and the restaurant also boasts a selection of meats which they cure in-house.  Isaac’s previous experience in kitchens includes The Ledbury, Noma and as 1/3 of the chef collective the Young Turks.

Nuno Mendes is a Lisbon born Michelin star chef and founder of multiple restaurants in London.  His home country, Portugal, as well as his extensive experiences abroad have been a constant source of inspiration for his cooking. He is a pioneer in gastronomy and always searching for innovative and inventive culinary techniques and experiences.  After being at the helm of The Loft Project and Viajante, Nuno went on to open Chiltern Firehouse in 2014.  However it is his most recent project, Taberna do Mercado, which opened to the public 11th May 2015, which is a true reflection of his culinary passion.

Andy Oliver & Mark Dobbie are the co-head chefs of Som Saa currently residing in Climpsons Arch. They met in London in 2009 at the Michelin starred Nahm restaurant under the tutelage of the legendary David Thompson and since then have continued to deepen their understanding of Thai food and culture. Andy went on to work at Bo.Lan in Bangkok, Nahm London and then at the Begging Bowl in Peckham. Mark meanwhile rose to become head chef at Pok Pok in New York and was instrumental in them winning a Michelin star in 2014.

Lee Westcott is Executive Chef of Typing Room in Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel.  His background includes working with Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens as head chef of his restaurant for two years, as well as stages at Per Se and Noma. Typing Room is his first solo venture, where he showcases the best in seasonal and local British produce.


The Menu

1st Course – Braden Charlesworth: Spring onion, buttermilk, spiced aioli;

2nd Course – Lee Westcott: Celeriac, fermented mushroom, pear & hazelnut;

3rd Course – James Lowe: Raw scallop, cabbage juice and seaweed;

4th Course – Isaac McHale: Smoked Wild Sea Trout, Horseradish;

5th Course – Nuno Mendes: Iberico Pork, red pepper paste and clams;

6th Course – Andy Oliver & Mark Dobbie: Fermented rice and duck egg custard with sweet Thai snacks.


About Fields, Morris & Verdin

Fields, Morris & Verdin has evolved from a small agency and retail wine business in Chelsea through organic growth and acquisition to become one of the UK’s foremost wine importers and distributors serving the UK restaurant trade.  Since the company’s earliest days their focus has been on working with family owned wineries, whose wines echo their sense of place and who see themselves as custodians of a wine legacy for future generations. This long-term focus on working with the best, and not necessarily the most fashionable, has led to today’s unique portfolio that contains many of the world’s finest wineries from, at the last count, 14 countries.


1 YEAR, HALF A MILLION MAGIC BREAKFASTS: Children at Scunthorpe Primary School thank Players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their breakfast club funding

Tuesday 24th March, 2015: Children at Scunthorpe primary school, Oasis Academy Parkwood, thanked players of People's Postcode Lottery this morning for their breakfast club funding. Players have doubled their award to Magic Breakfast this year - to £200,000 – which supports breakfast provision in 62 schools in the North of England.

Before the funding, the club only had 20 children coming along each morning. Now 80 children start their school day with a healthy Magic Breakfast of porridge, bagels, cereals and fresh juice.

At least 500,000 children in the UK go to school each day too hungry to learn (Source: Nutrition Bulletin). A hungry child can’t concentrate and can be disruptive to the rest of the class. It is estimated that, on average, 66 million minutes of teaching time are being lost every morning dealing with hungry children (Source: Quaker “Feed Their Future” Report, January 2015). Magic Breakfast delivers free, healthy breakfast food to 430 schools in England (7 of which are in the DN postcode region) giving over 17,000 children fuel for learning each school day.

For many pupils at Oasis Academy Parkwood their school’s Magic Breakfast club is a vital source of nutritious food (43% of pupils at Oasis Academy Parkwood are eligible for Free School Meals). Attending breakfast club increases concentration, attainment and attendance, helps with social skills and can play an important part in reducing malnutrition and obesity.

Tracey Norriss, Principal, Oasis Academy Parkwood: “Magic Breakfast has provided us with the opportunity to extend the school day and provide our pupils with the best start to their school day. The overwhelming response from parents, pupils and staff is a real positive one, with parents saying that their children love attending the breakfast club and they know they are getting a healthy and filling breakfast. The pupils love the food and activities and the staff have seen a real difference in the children’s concentration and behaviour when they attend Breakfast club. This has become a real positive and enjoyable part of our school life and we would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for the funding to enable us to embed this fantastic initiative”.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: It is lovely to see the positive difference that eating a healthy Magic Breakfast makes to a child’s day and we are delighted to be able to double the award from players this year to ensure that even more children across the North of England benefit”.

As soon as breakfast had been eaten at Oasis Academy Parkwood this morning, a team of older children, who help out as breakfast buddies, led a dance troop of breakfast club pupils. Millie (age 9), one of the breakfast dance leaders said: “We wanted to find a way to keep all the little ones entertained so decided to lead a dance troop and each term we choose a new song. I get so many hugs from children that my back hurts!”

The children then cut a healthy cake made by Magic Breakfast's nutritionist to celebrate the success of the breakfast club and thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for making it possible.

Looking forward to some thank you cake



Thursday 19th March, 2015:  The Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, joined pupils at St Eugene de Mazenod Primary School’s Magic Breakfast club in the London Borough of Camden this morning to see how a healthy breakfast settles children and helps them to concentrate in their core morning lessons.


Magic Breakfast delivers free, nutritious breakfast food to 17,000 children daily in areas of England where children would otherwise start their school day too hungry to learn. The charity has over 180 partner schools in London, 9 of which are in Camden.


Magic Breakfast supplies porridge, healthy cereal, bagels and fresh orange juice to primary, secondary, PRU and SEN schools where more than 35% of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals. The charity has received funding of £1.1 million from the Department for Education to set up breakfast provision in 184 schools, but has more than 270 schools on its waiting list and is anxious to reach them as soon as possible.


Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: It was absolutely fantastic to join Magic Breakfast at St Eugene de Mazenod school. Having a healthy breakfast is a crucial way to start the day and helps ensure children can concentrate ahead of lessons. It was great to sit down and have breakfast with some of the children, and hear from them what they liked most about it. I am delighted that the Department for Education is supporting what is clearly a brilliant initiative”.


Carmel McConnell, Founder and Chief Executive of Magic Breakfast, said: “We are delighted with this show of support from the Secretary of State for Education at St Eugene de Mazenod Primary School. Our partnership with the Department for Education, corporate and charity partners ensures that thousands of previously hungry children are able make the most of the most important lessons, which are taught in the morning. Given that half a million children are in families which cannot afford to feed them, our hope is that we can quickly scale up our operation and accelerate the Magic Breakfast programme to help all hunger-hit schools”.


Greg Donohue, Associate Headteacher of St Eugene de Mazenod Primary School, said: “The provision of a healthy breakfast has made a significant difference to the school’s punctuality attendance figures. Children who have had a Magic Breakfast are calm and ready to learn. The school will continue providing breakfasts to children who need them, many of whom come from disadvantaged homes”.


Carmel McConnell: “I am very pleased to have been able to showcase the work of our partner school, St Eugene de Mazenod Primary, rated Outstanding by Ofsted, which has embedded a healthy Magic Breakfast as part of their school day”.

Education Secretary visits St Eugene de Mazenod's Magic Breakfast club





Monday 16th March, 2015: Travel writer Hannah Stuart-Leach took a break from her 400 mile walk from Chepstow to Scotland this morning to visit children at Faith Primary School’s Magic Breakfast club in Liverpool.

Hannah, from Bristol, started her walk on 1st March, at Sedbury Cliffs, the southern end of Offa’s Dyke Path, and estimates it will take her between 30 and 40 days to arrive at her (so far unnamed) destination, 400 miles away in Scotland. She says it’s an “experiment in slow travel, experiencing my own country on foot, as our ancestors did. I'll stop when the GPS says I've travelled 400 miles north.” So far she has braved torrential rain and a blanketing of snow, but has seen some stunning sights and met some lovely people along the way.

Hannah is using her walk as an opportunity to fundraise for three charities, Magic Breakfast, Child Poverty Action Group and Alzheimer’s Society. Magic Breakfast delivers free, healthy breakfasts to schools where pupils would otherwise start their lessons too hungry to learn. The charity feeds 17,000 children each school day, in 430 partner schools throughout England, 17 of which are in Liverpool.

While they tucked in to their cereal, porridge and bagels, Hannah told pupils at Faith Primary’s Magic Breakfast club about her journey so far and explained about the importance of good nutrition in keeping her energy levels up throughout the day. Hannah lived in South Korea for 5 years and brought some dried seaweed, sauces and chopsticks with her to show the children what South Korean children eat for breakfast. She said they were not too keen on the smell!

Hannah said the children were very interested in her retractable walking stick and water holder, and were really keen to give her tips on the best places to visit in Liverpool. She said they, impressively, knew exactly where their school was on her map and was even offered a bed for the night at one child’s gran’s house in Formby.

Hannah: “It’s so nice to see that the pupils at Faith Primary School get so much benefit from their Magic Breakfast club, especially socially. Thank you to staff and pupils for making me feel so welcome. It was a great morning spent with a really friendly and interesting group of children”.

Dot Cunningham, from Faith Primary School: “Magic Breakfast has made a huge difference to the children at Faith Primary. It enables us to provide healthy, nutritious breakfasts to children and give them the best start to the day we possibly can. Huge thanks to Magic Breakfast to contributing to our school and allowing us to provide this facility for free”.

To get to Faith Primary, Hannah walked through Chester, to Birkenhead, then took the ferry to Liverpool. It was her first visit to Liverpool and she said she’s been really impressed. She is now on her way to Formby, joining part of the Trans Pennine trail in her continuing bid to walk 400 Miles North.

You can follow Hannah’s progress via her blog, Facebook and Twitter @400MilesNorth.


Going without breakfast is leaving kids distracted and tired in the classroom

· Four in five teachers say mornings are more stressful because their pupils haven’t eaten breakfast
· On average, 66million minutes of teaching time are being lost every morning during the Rumbling Hour, the equivalent of 8.9million days a year
· Quaker launches ‘Feed Their Future’ report and campaign today with Magic Breakfast, surprising Peckham school with an inspiring breakfast time lesson from Carol Vorderman

HUNGRY kids arriving at school without breakfast are leading the nation’s teachers to dub 10.30am as the ‘Rumbling Hour’ and say it’s the most stressful point of their days, according to research conducted by Quaker*.

More than 500,000[i] primary-age children go to school every day without breakfast and teachers say it leaves them distracted, tired and needing attention, with 68% of teachers saying they can identify if a child has eaten or not just by observing their behaviour.

In fact, the Quaker Feed Their Future report reveals that on average 66 million minutes of teaching time[ii] are lost every morning due to hunger – the equivalent of 8.9million full days a year[iii].

During this ‘Rumbling Hour’, teachers said that hungry children:

· Struggle to concentrate (76%)
· Are sleepy and lethargic (54%)
· Disrupt other children in the classroom (44%)
· Demonstrate lower levels of creativity and focus throughout the day (44%)
· Try and find something to eat (10%)

Alison Lennox, Professor of Public Health Nutrition from the University of Surrey, said: “Since the 1930s numerous studies have looked to explore the impact that breakfast has on our ability to focus, concentrate and learn. It is only now that we are really beginning to understand the effect that breakfast has on a child’s attention at school, their grades and their behaviour in the classroom. The trend of children missing breakfast is increasing, which is directly impacting children in schools to perform at their best – academically, socially or creatively.”

Quaker today launched its 2015 Feed Their Future campaign as part of its five year partnership with Magic Breakfast – the charity set up to provide free breakfasts to primary schools as fuel for learning – with the aim of inspiring learning and raising funds for the charity.

Carol Vorderman today launched the campaign with a surprise lesson during a Magic Breakfast club at Rye Oak Primary School in Peckham where children were treated to a very special interactive session with Britain’s favourite maths whizz. Carol hosted the club, quizzing the children on nutrition-based maths whilst two teams raced the clock on a giant obstacle course to solve numerical problems, all in order to encourage feeding their bellies and brains.

Carol Vorderman, said:  “We all know that primary school children are like sponges – absorbing every nugget of information. I’m extremely passionate about and have been actively involved in education and learning for decades, it is the greatest gift we can give our children. The state schools I went to back in the 60s and 70s changed my life and that of my family, for which I will always be grateful. Research showing that education can be adversely effected by not having breakfast is extremely concerning.  Today we gave children a lively start to the day with a good brekkie, but every morning should start with a full tummy to help them thrive, concentrate, grow and be inspired.”

Quaker and Magic Breakfast currently provide 16,000 children with breakfast every morning to help get kids off to the best start of the day and nourishing learning. Since 2009, Quaker and Magic Breakfast have provided 673,429 bowls of porridge.
Carmel McConnell, founder of Magic Breakfast, commented: “Hunger is a very real problem in this country. We constantly hear from our partner schools the devastating impact this can have on a child’s ability to learn, and without an education their future life success is at severe risk. This research and the Feed Their Future report confirms and supports what we see every day and makes sure the spotlight is shone on child hunger. We can’t ignore this problem any more – it’s time to put an end to it and work to ensure every child has the right nourishment and fuel for learning.”

The campaign will help raise awareness of the importance of breakfast as the first meal of the day, and encourage the nation to join together with Quaker and Magic Breakfast in a mission to help feed kids in the mornings. This will include TV advertising – shown at 7.20am on Monday 19th January which will also include a text code, to donate (OATS14) as well as on pack support. Quaker and Magic Breakfast will also be taking over schools up and down the UK to give primary kids an inspirational start to the day and provide some food for thought.

More information on the Quaker and Magic Breakfast ‘Feed Their Future’ campaign can be found at Text 70070 stating “OATS14 £3” to donate £3 to Magic Breakfast, which equates to almost one month of breakfasts for one school child.
The full Feed Their Future report can be downloaded
[i]Breakfast consumption in UK schoolchildren and provision of school breakfast clubs. A Hoyland, KA McWilliams, RJ Duff & JL Walton: Nutrition Bulletin (2012), 37: 232-240
[ii] Calculation based on 1,000 teachers who reported that 15 minutes of teaching time is lost during the Rumbling Hour, with 4.4 million children in primary education this equates to 66million minutes lost per day
[iii] Based on a calculation of 4.4millon children multiplied by 15 minutes of time lost per child per day during rumbling hour, multiplied by 195 (the number of school days a year) and divided by the number of minutes in a day
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