More than a million dollars was raised for the OCRF at the Exposure Gala, with the 1920s conjured in Gatsby style and an American-themed menu by a line-up of big-name chefs.
It wasn't quite West Egg but we partied like it was 1922 at the Great Gatsby-themed Exposure Gala for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation in Melbourne recently. Gourmet Traveller presented the ball, proudly we must say, along with the Grand Hyatt, whose Art Deco ballroom was dressed by Basil Griffiths and his team at the By Design Event Group to mirror the glittering party scenes in Baz Luhrmann's movie.
Television presenter Catriona Rowntree channelled Daisy Buchanan in a Rachel Gilbert gown to host her 10th Exposure Gala, and in her mind "the most glamorous and elegant of them all". There was dancing, lots of dancing, from the opening performance by Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance to guests shaking their tails later in the evening to The Chong Lim Band.
Hostesses dressed by Witchery and coiffed and made-up by L'Oréal Paris welcomed in style, while the big names in the kitchen created the American-themed menu. The European's Ian Curley kicked off with canapés in the form of crab cakes with toasted corn and lobster rolls, served with the 2007 Yarrabank Cuvèe, before an entrée from MoVida's Frank Camorra of Manchego and asparagus custard with mojama and Marcona almonds. Guy Grossi delivered a scallop-based twist on the American classic oysters Rockefeller (get the recipe for Guy's scallops Rockefeller here) before a dish of roast quail, foie gras and Waldorf salad from the Grand Hyatt's Jason Camillo - all matched to Yering Station wines. Cutler & Co's Andrew McConnell closed proceedings with a rich chocolate dessert called Long Island Gold. Good food and good times may be the Gourmet way but raising money, and lots of it, was the raison d'être of the night. Tiffany & Co donated the mystery door prizes and auctioneers Antony Woodley and Andrew Morello made a lively double act working the floor to sell items, including two business-class air fares to Dubai thanks to Emirates, accommodation packages to MONA, Qualia, Palazzo Versace, Andara Resort and The Surin Phuket, plus products by Louis Vuitton and Waterford Crystal. (See the full list of sponsors below.)
The OCRF's premium platinum partners Witchery and L'Oréal Paris came to the party, the former bringing a jumbo cheque for $1.15 million from its White Shirt and Silver Gift campaigns, while the latter sponsored two research fellows. They were presented to OCRF chairman and co-founder Associate Professor Thomas Jobling and Liz Heliotis, the OCRF's chief executive officer and co-founder, who explained the foundation's mission is to find an early-detection test for ovarian cancer. "And we're getting closer and closer - the end is almost in sight," she said.
- Lobster rolls
- New York strip croûtons
- Crab cakes, toasted corn
- Gruyère-goat's curd puffs
2009 Yarrabank Cuvée
Ian Curley, The European
- Manchego and asparagus custard with mojama and Marcona almonds
2009 Yering Station Marsanne Viognier Roussane
Frank Camorra, MoVida
- Scallops Rockefeller
2011 Yering Station Chardonnay
Guy Grossi, Grossi Florentino
- Roast quail, foie gras, Waldorf salad
2010 Yering Station Village Shiraz Viognier
Jason Camillo, Grand Hyatt Melbourne
- Long Island Gold
NV Yarrabank Crème de Cuvèe
Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co