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Halloween Hits Ronald McDonald House South Island

What do you get when the Executive Chef from The George Hotel and his team cook for families staying at Ronald McDonald House South Island on Halloween?

One heck of a spoooooky and creative meal!

Brain bhaji, vampire burgers, mummy hotdogs, spooky pumpkin donuts, ghostly mini cakes, and ‘dirt and worms’ were all on the menu for the 30 parents and children staying at Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch on Halloween night.

Ronald McDonald House South Island chief executive Mandy Kennedy said this was the first time Halloween had really been embraced at the House.



Ronald McDonald House staff member Kathy Oakes, a native New Yorker decorates the House each Halloween and this year encouraged the team and families  to get fully involved with the celebration. It was clear that a Halloween themed dinner would be a night to remember for families.

“We really wanted to do something special for the families staying at Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch and when The George Hotel jumped at the idea of being further involved in what we do at the House, this seemed like the perfect opportunity,” Mandy said.

The George Hotel operations manager John Etheridge said the hotel had been involved with



Ronald McDonald House South Island through Christchurch Supper Club – a mystery dining experience fundraiser- for a number of years, but were interested in being involved in other ways.

“We had a meeting a few months back about how we could get more involved and when Halloween came up I said, I’ve got just the man for you – our executive chef Antony Page,” John said.

Antony said he’d never really done a Halloween themed meal before, and sought inspiration from Pinterest and the Women’s Weekly magazine.

“It was like what can we do that would be fun but not too gimmicky, but also provide a decent meal for the families staying at Ronald McDonald House?” Antony said.

His team had a lot of fun bouncing ideas and landing on a menu that would appeal to families. The mains – hamburgers and American hotdogs, was a nod to America, while the desserts embraced the spooky and fun side of the day.


The opportunity to cook for families also gave Antony an appreciation of the volunteer groups who cook for families through the Family Dinner Programme.

“I’m just amazed by the volunteers who aren’t professional chefs, but come in here to cook for up to 70 people each night. It’s not an easy task, but there’s a clear passion for the cause when you see that every night there’s a different group cooking,” Antony said.

John said the opportunity to come into the House and meet families first hand was really special for The George Hotel team.





About the Family Dinner Programme

Cooking is often the last thing families have on their mind after a long day at the hospital.

By taking part in the Family Dinner Programme, your company, organisation or group will ensure that families can enjoy home-cooked, nutritious meals together at a time when they need them the most.

To find out more about the Family Dinner Programme, click here



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