Food News

The restaurants and cafés that are donating to the Australian bushfire crisis

Dining out? With the help of the hospitality industry, you could do your bit to assist national relief efforts.
Rural Fire Service firefighter Trevor Stewart views a flank of a fire on January 11, 2020 in Tumburumba, Australia.

Rural Fire Service firefighter Trevor Stewart views a flank of a fire on January 11, 2020 in Tumburumba, Australia.

Sam Mooy/Getty Images

The news headlines of late are a cavalcade of destruction and devastation brought on by the ongoing Australian bushfire crisis. Since November 2019, the bushfires across the country have claimed more than 20 lives, destroyed thousands of homes, razed through millions of hectares of forest and impacted an estimated 800 million animals living in the wild.

Several organisations are accepting donations to help communities affected by the crisis, including the Australian Red Cross and the National Bushfire Appeal established by The Salvation Army and Bendigo Bank. Funds can also be donated to the volunteer firefighters at the frontline of the crisis, including the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria, and the Country Fire Service Foundation in South Australia.

The crisis has hit during the Australian summer, a traditionally busy period for the hospitality industry. From brewing up flat whites for firies to donating the proceeds of a dinner service to fire-impacted First Nations communities, chefs, baristas and restaurateurs from across the country have rallied together to support fundraising efforts. In addition, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has kickstarted the Instagram hashtag #restaurantsforrelief to compile the industry’s fundraising events and campaigns.

If you’re dining out this season, here are the restaurants, café and bars that are doing their bit to support those affected by the fires.

This article will be updated as more venues announce their fundraising initiatives.

National

Australian Venue Co, various locations

What: $1 from every schooner, and $2 from every pint, of XXXX Gold sold at its Queensland and Northern Territory venues, and of Furphy sold at its venues in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia. You’ll find the full list of Australia Venue Co venues here.

When: Until 1 February.

Funds donated to: National Bushfire Disaster Appeal established by Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army.

Gelatissimo, various locations

What: $1 from every scoop of gelato stores at all 48 stores across the country. You’ll find your your nearest Gelatissimo here. The company has already donated $50,000 to St Vincent de Paul Society and Blaze Aid.

When: Saturday 18 January.

Funds donated to: Vinnies Bushfire Appeal.

Rockpool Dining Group, various locations

What: Diners have the option to add a gold coin donation to their bill at any of the hospitality group’s 85 restaurants. This is on top of the $150,000 already donated by the group.

When: Until Monday 27 January.

Funds donated to: NSW RFS, Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland, CFS Foundation, CFA, and one of the organisations as suggested by the Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Online

Buffet Bushfire Relief Raffle

What: Content creation company Buffet is hosting an online raffle, and prizes include dining vouchers to A Tavola, Ragazzi and The Apollo, wines by DRNKS and workshops with Cornersmith. Raffle tickets start from $50 each. To purchase tickets, visit bushfirereliefraffle.com.

When: Until Friday 31 January, noon.

Funds donated to: RFS, WIRES Wildlife Rescue and Red Cross.

Good Pair Days

What: All proceeds from their Bushfire Support Box, a selection of three wines that have been purchased from Adelaide Hills wineries (Turon, Golding, Tomich) whose vineyards have suffered from the bushfires.

When: Until sold out.

Funds donated to: Red Cross.

The Bushfire Support Wine Box is $90 and can be purchased at goodpairdays.com

Joy, Brisbane

What: The pocket-sized restaurant is auctioning an exclusive dinner for 10 diners. All funds raised by the highest bidder will be donated. Bids to be placed on Joy’s Instagram post..

When: The highest bidder will be selected on Tuesday 14 January, midnight.

Funds donated to: NSW RFS and Red Cross.

Meatsmith

What: All proceeds from online sales of their rare-breed glazed hams. Hams can be purchased at meatsmith.com.au.

When: 23-25 January.

Funds donated to: CFA and Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Merivale

What: The hospitality group’s CEO Justin Hemmes has already donated $500,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service, and is inviting the public to join Merivale’s push on Facebook to reach a combined fundraising target of $1 million. Donate via Merivale’s Facebook.

When: Until the fundraising target is reached.

Funds donated to: RFS.

Neil Perry Cooks for You

What: Up for auction is a private three-course dinner for 10 guests, cooked in your home by chef Neil Perry himself. (The location of the dinner must be in Melbourne or Sydney.) Bids can be placed at airauctioneer.com.

When: Bids are open until Friday 17 January, 4pm.

Funds donated to: Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Patrick of Coonawarra

What: 50 per cent of online sales at patrickofcoonnawarra.com

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated: CFS.

Pipit, Pottsville, NSW

What: All proceeds from the restaurant’s raffle for a Pipit after-hours experience, which includes dinner for eight people and a kitchen tour. Raffle tickets are $100 each. Tickets can be purchased at pipitrestaurant.com.

When: Until Wednesday 22 January.

Funds donated to: Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities and WIRES Wildlife Rescue.

New South Wales

Arthur Restaurant, Surry Hills

What: 100 per cent of sales of every House Spritz sold.

When: Until 19 January (this may be extended).

Funds donated to: NSW RFS.

Bathers’ Pavilion, Mosman

What: All proceeds from a four-course fundraising dinner with matching wines. Tickets are $220. Call 9969 5050 to book.

When: Monday 20 January, 6.30pm.

Funds donated to: RFS, Red Cross and WIRES Wildlife Rescue.

Belles Hot Chicken, Barangaroo, Darling Square and Tramsheds

What: The fried chicken chain is offering $2 wings at all its restaurant locations, with $1 from every wing sold donated to bushfire relief efforts.

When: Friday 17 January.

Funds donated to: Red Cross, WIRES Wildlife Rescue and Wildlife Victoria.

Bills, various locations across Sydney

What: $1 from the sale from every serve of hotcakes, the café’s most popular dish.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: NSW RFS, CFA, Red Cross and WIRES Wildlife Rescue.

Bopp & Tone, Sydney

What: All proceeds from Bopp & Tone’s Bushfire Benefit which includes a shared feast, drinks and entertainment. The restaurant will also hold a raffle and silent auction on the night.

When: Saturday 1 February, 7pm.

Funds donated to: The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, Red Cross and WIRES Wildlife Rescue.

Tickets start from $150 per person, and can be purchased at boppandtone.com.au.

Continental Deli, Newtown

What: All sales from every ricotta and blueberry cake sold.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: To be confirmed.

Lankan Filling Station, East Sydney

What: All profits from sales of their cashew curry.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities.

Liquid & Larder group: Bistecca, The Gidley, Grandma’s and Wild Rover

What: All tips will be donated to the family of Samuel McPaul, a volunteer firefighter with the NSW RFS who lost his life while on duty.

When: 13-18 January.

Funds donated to: the RFS’s fund for McPaul’s family.

Lotus Dumpling Bar, Dawes Point

What: $1 from every dumpling order sold. The restaurant is also running a raffle, where the grand prize includes a dumpling-making class for two and a $200 dining voucher. Raffle tickets can be purchased in the restaurant.

When: Until Friday 31 January.

Funds donated to: RFS.

Madame Shanghai, Darlinghurst

What: All proceeds from each dish of their olives and prawn crackers sold. The restaurant is also running a raffle, where the grand prize includes a dumpling-making class for two and a $200 dining voucher. Raffle tickets can be purchased in the restaurant.

When: Until Friday 31 January.

Funds donated to: RFS.

Nel, Sydney

What: $5 from every order of their summer Australian-themed dégustation.

When: 14 January – 4 April.

Funds donated to: Rural Aid.

Salumi Deli, Harris Farm, Leichhardt

What: 100 per cent of sales on the day.

When: Saturday 18 January, 8am-8pm.

Funds donated to: RFS, Red Cross and WIRES Wildlife Rescue.

SoCal, Neutral Bay

What: 50 per cent of sales from their All You Can Eat Taco event. Tickets cost $40. Bookings are essential and can be made at socalsydney.com.au.

When: Monday 21 January.

Funds donated to: The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal.

Solotel Group restaurants including Aria, Bea at Barangaroo House and Chiswick Woollahra

What: All proceeds from select menu items. For more details about participating Solotel restaurants and their select fundraising dishes, visit solotel.com.au. This is in addition to the $260,000 already pledged by Solotel’s owners Matt Moran and the Solomon Family.

When: Friday 10 January to Sunday 9 February.

Funds donated to: RFS.

Solotel Group bars and pubs including Goros, Public House Petersham, Smoke Bar and The Erko

What: All proceeds from food and beverages sold during its Bushfire Relief Hour. For more details about participating Solotel venues, visit solotel.com.au.

When: Friday 17 January, 5pm-7pm.

Funds donated to: RFS.

The Union Bank, Orange

What: 100 per cent of funds raised from their Bushfire Benefit Dinner, a five-course meal with matching wines ($180) featuring chefs from Sisters Rock, Philip Shaw Wines, Charred and more. Bookings are essential and can be made at eventbrite.com.au

When: Sunday 26 January, 5.45pm.

Funds donated to: RFS and Red Cross.

Victoria

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival’s 10 for 10 campaign

What: For $10,000, some of the country’s best chefs will cook a four-course meal in a private residence for 10 guests. The chefs who are donating their time and talents include Hugh Allen (Vue de Monde), Shannon Martinez (Smith & Daughters) and Shane Delia (Maha). For more information, visit melbournefoodandwine.com.au.

When: Until sold out.

Funds donated to: Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival’s Restaurant for Relief events

What: A series of fundraising dining events at Melbourne’s top restaurants, including a three-course meal for eight guests at Grossi Florentino, with a welcome by chef Guy Grossi ($4,000); or a seven-course meal for 10 diners at Di Stasio Città ($8,000). For more information, visit melbournefoodandwine.com.au.

When: Until sold out.

Funds donated to: Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Bar Lourinhã, Melbourne

What: $2 from every oyster sold.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: Red Cross and NSW RFS.

Belles Hot Chicken, Melbourne and Fitzroy

What: The fried chicken chain is offering $2 wings at all its restaurant locations, with $1 from every wing sold donated to bushfire relief efforts.

When: Friday 17 January.

Funds donated to: Red Cross, WIRES Wildlife Rescue and Wildlife Victoria.

Builders Arms Hotel, Fitzroy

What: All pay wave donations made at the bar.

When: 10-27 January.

Funds donated to: CFA.

Carolina Group: Bar Carolina, Tetto di Carolina, Cantina Carolina, Marameo and Il Bacaro

What: Diners will have the option to add $2.50 to their bill. All donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, by the Carolina Group.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: CFA.

Dhaba at the Mill, Gisoborne

What: All proceeds from a special all-you-can-eat curry and rice dinner for $25 per person.

When: Thursday 23 January.

Funds donated to: Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities.

Embla, Melbourne

What: 50 cents from every glass of wine sold.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: CFA.

Horn Please, Fitzroy North

What: All proceeds from a special vegetarian buffet dinner for $25 per person.

When: Thursday 16 January.

Funds donated to: Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities.

Lesa, Melbourne

What: 50 cents from every glass of wine sold.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: CFA.

Osteria Ilaria, Melbourne

What: $10 from every Negroni sold.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: Red Cross.

Prahran Markets, South Yarra

What: Prahran Market Trader Fundraiser, a set of market stalls by Prahran Market traders including Hagen’s Organic Meats, Q Le Baker, Gary’s Meats, Maker & Monger, Market Lane Coffee and Blackhearts and Sparrows. All proceeds will be donated to bushfire relief efforts.

When: Saturday 18 January, 11am-3pm.

Funds donated to: Victoria Bushfire Appeal.

Pt Leo Estate, Mornington Peninsula

What: Cash donations made to the CFA helmet located at the restaurant’s front desk. The Gandel family, owners of Pt Leo Estate, will dollar-match these donations. This is in addition to the $1 million in donations already contributed by the family.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: CFA.

Sunda Dining, Melbourne

What: The Melbourne restaurant is selling jars of their much-loved Vegemite curry (as served with their roti) for $15, with 100 per cent of proceeds will be donated to bushfire relief organisations. Email [email protected] to pre-order your jar, and pick it up at the restaurant from Friday 17 January.

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, Zoos Victoria and Wildlife Victoria.

Tipico, Windsor

What: $1 from every pasta and pizza dish.

When: Until 26 January.

Funds donated to: Vinnies Bushfire Appeal.

Vue de Monde, Melbourne

What: All proceeds from a fish and chips lunch with chefs Hugh Allen (Vue de Monde) and Josh Niland (Saint Peter), with seafood produced donated by Bruce Collis.

When: Monday 20 January, from 12pm until sold out. Walk-ins only, no bookings accepted.

Funds donated to: Red Cross.

Wine and Cheese Fest, Port Melbourne

What: 25 per cent of all general admission tickets sold from 10-20 January. General admission tickets are $50 (plus booking fee) and can be purchased at wineandcheesefest.com.au

When: The festival is held on Sunday 8 March.

Funds donated to: Wildlife Victoria and WIRES.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B66yj2aAt-_/

Queensland

Mr Percival’s, Brisbane

  • All profits from every Felons Brewing Co Natural Ale sold in January and February will go towards WIRES and the Queensland Fires and Emergency Services (QFES).

  • $1 from every drink sold in January will go towards WIRES and QFES.

Labart, Burleigh Heads

What: 100 per cent of sales of their tote bag ($35).

When: Throughout January.

Funds donated to: Red Cross.

Little Big House, South Brisbane

What: All proceeds from food and beverages sold during their Bushfire Relief Hour fundraiser. This is in addition to the $20,000 already pledged by Matt Moran and the Solomon Family of the Solotel Group, the hospitality empire that runs Little Big House.

When: Friday 17 January, 5pm-7pm.

Funds donated to: Queensland Rural Fire Volunteer Brigades Donation Fund.

Riverbar & Kitchen, Brisbane

What: 100 per cent of proceeds from sales of their peri-peri grilled chicken burger.

When: Until Sunday 9 February.

Funds donated to: Queensland Rural Fire Volunteer Brigades Donation Fund.

South Australia

SA4SA Bushfire Appeal Gala Dinner and Auction

What: All proceeds from a three-course gala dinner, including live music and entertainment. The gala will also host an auction, where prizes include dinner packages by Duncan Welgemoed (Africola), Emma McCaskill (Sparkke at the Whitmore) and Ben Cooper (Chin Chin).

When: Friday 31 January, 7pm-11.30pm. The silent auction is taking online bids now until Friday 31 January.

Funds donated to: SA Bushfire Appeal.

Tickets to the gala dinner are $160. For more information, and to participate in the auction, visit app.galabid.com/sabushfires/items.

Western Australia

Bib & Tucker, North Fremantle

What: All proceeds from a fundraising dinner with Scott Bridger (Bub & Tucker), Kenny McHardy (Manuka Woodfire Kitchen), Scott Brannigan (Bread In Common). Tickets are $110 for dinner, or $140 with matching drinks. Bookings are essential and can be made at bibandtucker.net.au (select the “Fire Relief Collaboration Dinner” option).

When: Monday 20 January, 6pm.

Funds donated to: Red Cross and WIRES Wildlife Rescue.

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