Last Friday, comedy-lovers and curry-connoisseurs alike were in high spirits, at Itihaas’ Comedy Rum-Ball. Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens welcomed 270 guests, who came together for an evening of eating, drinking, and entertaining. Hosted by BBC Celebrity MasterChef finalist and famed comedian, Hardeep Singh Kohli, those in attendance not only raised the roof, but also vital funds for local homeless project Let’s Feed Brum. Altogether, the generous attendees donated a phenomenal £10,475 to the cause.

The second event of its sort, the comedy and curry night was designed to give back to those in need, using its first sold-out success as its inspiration. The Rum-Ball brought together the best in the business, with Itihaas’ head chef Pavneet Sangwan and Ampersand’s head chef Phil Bradley working with Hardeep to create the bespoke fusion menu. Joined by rum specialist, Alessio Franzese from London’s famous Rum & Sugar, the four-course meal saw each plate paired with a taster of the special spirit. A menu including salmon and goats’ cheese samosas, duck dosa salad, masala mackerel, and Jaipur mess, was meticulously matched with a measure of rum intended to complement the fusion flavours. Compered by the tongue-in-cheek Hardeep, the evening ticked every box, with sugar, spice, and all things nice.

Rum and comedy weren’t the only things to keep guests occupied between courses: a charity raffle and auction also ensured that invitees were entertained. The auction’s star prize of a luxury day sailing the Solent aboard the Rum Runner boat was coveted by the crowd, bringing in a generous bid of £1,900. Both the raffle and the auction saw all proceeds go to Let’s Feed Brum, making an incredible £10,475. These funds will help ease the lives of those on the streets, by providing food, drinks, and essential supplies. To put the total in to perspective, the money could fund 2,095 sleeping bags or 146,650 cups of tea and coffee.  

Raj Rana, managing director of Itihaas and co-founder of Let’s Feed Brum, was particularly pleased with the night, saying:

“As one of the directors of Let’s Feed Brum, it was tremendously important to me that the night went well. However, I am absolutely blown away at how successful it was. The other directors and I are truly overwhelmed at the total raised, which has surpassed all our expectations! On behalf of us all, I want to say an enormous thank you to all that came and made the night as magical as it was – thanks to your kindness, we can make a difference to hundreds of people that are living on our streets.”

Plans are already in place for the next curry and comedy night, expected to take place in September. To make sure you get your tickets before they sell out, keep an eye on the Itihaas website. In the meantime, you can also get behind the Let’s Feed Brum cause by volunteering, donating, or fundraising: just visit the website to find out more.

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