Neither of them won, but when Billy Wright and Jack Layer met on MasterChef 2016, it sparked a partnership that is earning them a reputation on London’s demanding food scene as a talented, innovative chef team.
Following an oh-so-Instagrammable collaboration with Waterloo-based pizza maestros Crust Bros that saw them develop a pizza brunch featuring adventurous delights such as the Marmite pizza (Marmite with cheddar, tallegio and mushrooms) and a Kanye-inspired My Beautiful Dark Twisted Ham-stasy (featuring four types of cured pork with egg and truffle oil), the duo have embarked on a new challenge – a 24-hour supperclub.
Taking place at Plum + Spilt Milk, the Great Northern Hotel’s destination restaurant situated in Kings Cross, Billy and Jack will challenge themselves to cook for 24 hours straight to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The event, London’s first 24-hour supper club, will last from 11am Saturday 3 February to 11am Sunday 4 February to mark World Cancer Day (which falls on Sunday 4 February).
Billy and Jack aim to raise £12,000 for Cancer Research UK, which is close to the supperclub kings’ hearts for a good reason: On 22 June 2017, Billy was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer after visiting the doctor with a persistent cough. Doctors found numerous growths on and around his thyroid gland. Thankfully, following a long operation and ongoing treatment, Billy is well on the road to recovery.
Billy and Jack will prep and cook for nine consecutive supper club sittings, seeing them cooking through the night spanning brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night feasting to finish at 11am on Sunday. Each sitting will last two hours and will include a three-course meal, plus nibbles including bread and Marmite butter (‘We’re both Marmite addicts so it’s difficult to stay away from that one,’ says Billy), plus a drink or two.
To keep spirits high, and the menu ever-changing, Billy and Jack will be joined by friends and fellow foodies including Dan Doherty and Jane Devonshire
To keep spirits high, and the menu ever-changing, Billy and Jack will be joined by friends and fellow foodies, including chef, restaurateur and author, Dan Doherty; winner of MasterChef 2016, Jane Devonshire; broadcaster, Marie Claire Food Editor and co-founder of the food & lifestyle brand Jackson & Levine, Laura Jackson; chef and author, Sophie Michell, and chef, food consultant, food writer, and cookery teacher, Ben Tish.
‘It’s been a challenging year for me,’ says Billy. ‘My diagnosis happened to coincide with our first month full time in food as Billy and Jack, but with the support of family, friends and especially Jack, plus all the great doctors and nurses who’ve helped me along the way, it is a year coming to an end in a positive light.
‘The Supper Club we’re planning is a way for us to raise awareness that survival rates from this disease are increasing; and to give back to a great charity that I have supported for many years, but now have even more reason to bring people together for such a good cause.’
Tickets for Billy and Jack’s 24-hour supper club are on sale now. At least 50% of proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK to help fund more research, more treatments and more cures. For details and tickets see designmynight.com
billy & jack’s Top Restaurants
in South West London
Jack has lived in Fulham for three and a bit years, while Billy lives in Clapham and says he ‘wouldn’t live anywhere else’. Here are their top foodie spots in south west London:
- Lily Tandoori: I’m a big fan of my local curry house
- Clapham: If I was going to go out for dinner, Clapham has some amazing restaurants
- North End Road: I love the market with the butchers, three fishmongers, all of the Middle Eastern and Turkish shops
- All of Robin Gill’s stuff: I love The Manor, The Dairy, Counter Culture
- Trinity: If you want to push the boat out you’ve got Trinity
- Clapham: The neighbourhood restaurants in Clapham are second to none