Food & Culture

Some of Brisbane’s best chefs are banding together for a one-off fundraising dinner for flood-impacted farmers

The tremendous line-up of chefs is cooking at a special dinner at Gerard’s Bistro on March 30.

By Jordan Kretchmer
Chefs' abilities to adapt, take instruction and work as a team are what keep a great kitchen firing. So it's no surprise – but still seriously impressive – that mere days after the commencement of Queensland and New South Wales' catastrophic floods, a bunch of talented chefs have rallied together to host a fundraising dinner.
Adam Wolfers and Juliette Markovich of Gerard's Bistro will play hosts for the evening, joined in the kitchen by Louis Tikaram (Stanley Restaurant), Oscar Solomon (Yoko Dining) and Fin Burgess (Essa Restaurant). The talent doesn't end there, with Alex Gregg (Agnes Dining), Sarah Baldwin (Joy), Will Cowper and Gianna Ephraims (Otto) also joining in on the fun.
It's a seriously high calibre roster, and tickets are $300. Given visiting just two of these restaurants would easily ring up a bill much greater than this, this is an excellent (and charitable) chance to do a best-of-Brisbane-dining tour, all in one sitting. All proceeds raised will go directly to farmers, enabling them to re-purchase seeds, tools and equipment, much of which has been ruined by recent flooding.
"These farmers are among a cohort of small plot farmers who supply restaurants with their specialty produce," says Wolfers. "Most sustained severe damage and loss and most will struggle to rebuild," says Wolfers.
Yoko Dining's Nikkei ceviche dish. Photo: Nikki To
Queensland has been at the mercy of the elements, and the funds raised from the night will be vital to help farmers begin to clean, rebuild and re-establish their livelihoods. Small scale farms and local producers supported by the event include Falls Farm, Neighbourhood Farm, Loop Growers, Russel and Brady and Noosa Reds. Each chef will offer a snapshot of cooking from their own restaurants, while also working in unison to provide a beautiful meal. Take for example Yoko Dining's head chef Oscar Solomon who will serve a Nikkei (a merging of Peruvian and Japanese techniques) ceviche dish, a recent addition to the Yoko menu.
"Of course I'm excited to bring a bit of Yoko flex to the table. This dish in particular is one of a new generation of dishes at Yoko that represents our direction," says Solomon. "I have this native tamarind vinegar that I use, which is from one of the farms we are raising money for, Loop Growers."
Alongside chefs generously giving up their time, suppliers will also be contributing including Thai Hoa Grocer, Westholme Wagyu, Inala Seafood Market, Fish FactoryFino Foods.
Tickets for the March 30 event are available here (and selling fast).