The annual Melbourne Starlight Five Chefs Dinner left the palates of guests star-struck on Friday 30 May, proudly sponsored and hosted by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for the third year in a row.
Five incredible courses were created by five of Melbourne’s best chefs, raising more than $420,000 on the night for the Starlight Children’s Foundation in support of Australia’s seriously ill children, teenagers and their families.
Featured chefs included Shane Delia (Maha), Adam D’Sylva (Coda and Tonka), Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino), Scott Pickett (Estelle and Saint Crispin) and Robin Wickens (Royal Mail Hotel). MCEC’s Executive Chef Tony Panetta also served up a delicious array of canapés.
More than 600 guests experienced the impressive food and wine offering among a sea of coloured lights installed by MCEC’s technology team, while the in-house kitchen team were all hands on deck, preparing and plating up the night’s dishes.
MCEC Executive Chef Tony Panetta said: “We work on such a diverse range of events, but there is always something special about this one and our team are extremely proud to be involved.
“We thoroughly enjoyed working with the five chefs and their assistants in preparing the night’s incredible menu.”
Estelle and Saint Crispin’s Head Chef Scott Pickett said: “I’ve known Tony Panetta for many years and the food that he and his brigade produce continues to get better and better.
“For such a large scale operation, Tony and the MCEC team are always raising the bar to new heights.”
Between courses guests heard remarkable stories of inspiration and hope from Starlight families as they took part in the charity auction excitement, all for a special cause.
Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO Louise Baxter said: “We are so 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 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 programs seven days a week.
Established in 1993, the Starlight Five Chefs events have impressive alumni of some of Australia’s best chefs and wineries.