More than 550 guests enjoyed a colourful evening of food and wine at the Starlight Five Chefs Dinner in Melbourne last night, proudly sponsored and hosted by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for the fourth consecutive year.
A spectacular five-course menu was served up by some of Melbourne’s best chefs, raising $393,000 on the night for the Starlight Children’s Foundation in support of Australia’s seriously ill children, teenagers and their families.
Featured chefs included George Calombaris (The Press Club), Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino), Scott Pickett (Estelle and Saint Crispin), Shaun Presland (Saké Restaurant) and Adriano Zumbo (Adriano Zumbo Patissier), supported by MCEC’s Executive Chef Tony Panetta who served up the night’s delicious canapés.
Between each course guests heard inspirational stories from Starlight families and took part in the charity auction excitement to help support Starlight’s vital hospital programs.
MCEC’s Executive Chef Tony Panetta said: “The night’s success is the result of a fantastic team effort by everyone involved, both in the kitchen and front of house, and it just gets better every year.
“We thoroughly enjoy working with the five chefs and their assistants in preparing the night’s incredible menu, with all hands on deck in our kitchen, preparing and plating up the night’s dishes.”
Guy Grossi, Head Chef at Grossi Florentino said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tony Panetta and his team for the last four years and their ability to deliver high-quality dishes on such a large scale never ceases to amaze me.
“I am honoured to play a role in this major fundraiser for Starlight and thoroughly enjoy being part of the team,” he added.
This year’s theme ‘colour their world’ reflects Starlight’s efforts to bring colour and happiness to children, young people and their families by lifting spirits, building resilience and improving their wellbeing.
Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO Louise Baxter said: “We are fortunate to have the support of such an amazing venue and a dedicated team at MCEC who help Starlight and our five headline chefs deliver a first-class, fantastic experience for our guests.
“We just couldn’t do it without partners like MCEC who donate so much energy, time and detail to help us raise as much money as we can to support hospitalised children and their families around Australia.”
With a child admitted to hospital every minute of every day across Australia, Starlight needs help raising much-needed funds to support its Captain Starlight and Starlight Express Room hospital programs seven days a week.
Established in 1993, the Starlight Five Chefs events have an impressive alumni of some of Australia’s best chefs and wineries.
For more information go to www.starlightfivechefs.org.au or call 1300 727 927.