When ten of Brisbane’s busiest chefs give up a Monday night you know it will probably be for a good cause.
Last night chefs and CEO’s from leading Brisbane businesses worked together to feed 300 less fortunate people in our community. Oz Harvest has been running this event in Sydney for some years but this was the first time in Brisbane and the Royal International Convention Centre on the RNA grounds accommodated everyone in one large space.
The chefs were asked to prepare the same entrée with provided ingredients but could then choose their own main course. For dessert the chefs were provided with a soft individual meringue and could serve that however they liked. Working with each chef was three CEO’s who had the experience of preparing the dinner and serving it to the diners. Chefs had to prepare thirty portions for each course.
Ronni Kahn came up with the inspired idea of rescuing food that would otherwise go into land fill and putting it to good use in meals for the needy. The Brisbane office of Oz Harvest collects food from the southeast corner and delivers it to charity kitchens the same day – food that would otherwise be wasted. Since Oz Harvest began it has delivered in excess of 45 million meals to over 800 charities in Australia.
Oz Harvest CEO Cook Off is a fund raiser for the organization and each CEO is asked to raise money through their participation. Caroline Jones, owner/chef from Three Girls Skipping in Graceville and head chef Ann Gard headed up a team that also included Mark Woolf, CEO Tattersall’s Club, Simon Hancox, Grant Thornton Australia Limited and Geoff Batkin from Wesley Mission. Woolworths generously donated many of the ingredients for the dinner.
The barbecues were fired up and bread was grilled, mushrooms roasted and prime rib fillet steaks were cooked to perfection. The first could was Bruschetta with tomato and basil and another with mushrooms and feta. Caroline’s main course was a hearty steak and vegetables – rib fillet with béarnaise sauce, crusted kipfler potatoes with wilted spinach, chargrilled mushrooms and crisp buttermilk onion rings. As with all of Caroline’s food, the plates were very generous and the diners polished them with relish.
One lovely man brought his beautiful ginger cat to dinner – well behaved and just loved being patted during the evening. Caroline gave a box of biscuits to each of her group of diners to take away and also generously gave a cake to her CEO helpers on the night to share with their staff today.
Dessert had to include a meringue and the Three Girls Skipping version had crushed raspberry cream and fresh raspberries and finished with white chocolate and raspberry bark and rose petals.
State Manager for Oz Harvest in Queensland, Cameron Hickey and his team are to be congratulated for organizing last night. It raised much need funds for the cause and hopefully will encourage more CEO’s to sign up for next year.