Chef Barney Wrobel on holding a charity dinner at Wolvercote Village Hall to highlight the plight of the homeless and raise money

My final pop-up dining event of the year, Hiddn Kitchn – In a Village, is taking place where I live – in Wolvercote.

I moved there with my wife, Gemma, and our two infant daughters 18 months-ago and we absolutely love it.

We were immediately made to feel part of the community, so where better a place to have a Christmas pop-up but in the Wolvercote Village Hall?

As part of the Wolvercote community we want to help look after those who have fallen on difficult times, so for every ticket we sell we are donating a meal on Christmas Day for those who have no-where to call home.

We have already been able to supply twenty meals and we are hoping to quadruple that amount over the next two weeks.

We are working with the Porch Centre in Cowley which provides meals and support all year round.

Our donations will enable their Christmas meal to be extra special and, being a local charity, it fits with our fundamental belief that local works best.

We bring people together to explore tastes and have fun, at the same time we like to make our community more aware of what we have around us in terms of produce and supplies.

I showcase what can be done with local ingredients which are always seasonal and locally foraged or sourced.

I try to contact anyone who has any sort of local produce whether it’s a guy with a cow or someone who grows something in their back garden.

We are very community-minded.

We love holding pop-ups in unexpected places, anywhere from a mid-summer night in a field to a disused chapel.

Our customers love the excitement of visiting somewhere unusual and quirky, some follow us all over the country.

From my point of view, I love the freedom that pop-ups give me to experiment and have fun.

Although I don’t want to give too much away about the food at the pop-up, one of the highlights will be a dish featuring Jacob’s Ladder which is my favourite cut, an extension of the rib of beef, and slow cooks beautifully with almost any flavour you choose to put it with.

I’m using seasonal mulling spices and quince from our local Wolvercote Tree Group.

The dish will also feature butternut squash in the form of a terrine with brown butter and a few other classic bells and whistles, not to mention the vibrant herbaceous shoots grown by Tom Astor of 18 Anholt Road Ltd.

Our Wolvercote pop up Hiddn Kitchn - In a Village will be a collaborative event: The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) is creating a welcome cocktail for us, whilst each of the four courses will be paired with carefully selected wines, supplied by wine connoisseurs Grape Minds, an independent wine-shop recently set up in Summertown.

While studying in Edinburgh, I became enthralled by the alchemy at play in professional kitchens.

Moving to London, I developed my career working alongside some of the most critically acclaimed chefs in restaurants, events and catering, including Jamie Oliver and Tom Aikens.

It is these experiences that drive my ambition to bring exceptional fine dining to a more private and personal environment.

I am driven by how seasonal flavours work together, often drawing from the powers of fire and fermentation.

There will be elements of fermentation at Hiddn Kitchn – In a Village.

My aim always is to create menus that delight and inspire.

I like food that is unpretentious and what underlies everything I do is my respect for my ingredients and their provenance.

We plan to transform the village hall into a magical space, dark, mysterious and leafy, with quantities of greenery from another local supplier and glowing lights aplenty.

We can’t wait for the challenge of producing innovative fine dining, packed with seasonal flavours, with top service and friendly presentation.

I hope it will be a delicious celebration for all.

Looking into 2019, we will continue with our community-driven projects.

We have taken on an allotment plot on Oxford’s Port Meadow and next year will see it used as a learning space for children on our cookery classes, alongside our private dining, pop-up and one-off, weddings, festival and charity fundraising excitements.

We wish a very merry seasonal celebration to all from everyone at Hiddn Kitchn.

The Hiddn Kitchn In a Village events take place on Friday 21 and Sat 22 December in Wolvercote Village Hall. Book at:

To donate to the work of The Porch, go to