Event showcase: A Variety of Chefs

A Variety of Chefs is a very special event that we are delighted to showcase. Now in its seventh year, the fine dining charity ball is held to raise money for Variety – the Children’s Charity, a national not-for-profit organisation committed to empowering Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or who have special needs.
 
The Australian Technology Park (ATP) is a proud sponsor of the event, supporting the cause by lending their amazing venue facilities to the event. Over 500 guests packed the venue this year and were treated to a ‘mind-blowing gastronomic’ experience. With the support of Sydney-based catering company, Bayleaf Catering, some of Australia’s top restaurant chefs created a menu and a whole lot of entertainment, to delight the guests. The event raised in excess of $235,000 on the night and would not have been possible without the generous support of all the sponsors involved.
 
This week we take a look at this exceptional event, which uses a brilliant concept to engage its audience and raise much needed funds for children in need. 
 

The venue

The event was held in ATP’s Exhibition Hall. The large open space, raw industrial architectural features and the ability to install production from the ceiling, makes the venue perfect for hosting gala events that demand a WOW factor. 
 
The sold out crowd of over 500 guests fitted nicely between the pillars lining the event space, and with the clever set design and large projection screens by Norwest Productions, no one missed a minute of the entertainment. 
 
Another bonus of using ATP’s Exhibition Hall is the ease of showcasing vehicles – for this event, sponsor Ferrari Maserati showcased two beautiful cars for the evening.
 
Variety of Chefs gala dinner at ATP


Industrial venue for gala dinner events - ATP


Venue suitable for displaying cars - ATP

The styling

Varity's Event Manager, Claudia Milunsky, put together an event that looked as stylish and sophisticated as the guests in attendance. Building on the kitchen theme, Claudia worked with Neat Floral to put together table arrangements using fruit and vegetable produce donated by Sydney Markets. Event Hire Services provided the furniture and décor, adding to a super stylish look! 

Donated fruit and vegetables used to style gala event at ATP


Fresh produced used to style tables at gala dinner

The menu

This event is all about the dining experience! Chefs from some of Australia’s best restaurants provided their expertise on the night by each creating a signature dish for the four course menu. Each dish was presented with matching wines. Bayleaf Catering supported the chefs and were instrumental in pulling the night together. 
 
The menu included…
 
Trio of Tapas from Movida’s Frank Camorra and Ivalu Otaiza
Trio of Tapas from Movida’s Frank Camorra and Ivalu Otaiza


Ravioloi di Margo con Burro Fuso from Pendolino’s Nino Zoccali
Ravioloi di Margo con Burro Fuso from Pendolino’s Nino Zoccali


Crispy skin Hiramasa Kingfish teriyaki from Sake’s Shaun Presland
Crispy skin Hiramasa Kingfish teriyaki from Sake’s Shaun Presland


Slow braised beef rib from La Luna’s Adrian Richardson
Slow braised beef rib from La Luna’s Adrian Richardson


Soft Meringue with vanilla mascarpone from Jonah’s Logan Campbell
Soft Meringue with vanilla mascarpone from Jonah’s Logan Campbell

To round out the evening, Bayleaf Catering created an interactive dessert buffet featuring a delicious selection of fromage and chocolate.
 
Fromage & chocolate buffet


The entertainment

The event was hosted by Channel Nine’s Today Show stars Sylvia Jefferies and Tim Gilbert. This fantastic duo were accompanied by a stellar line-up of celebrity chefs, live music and entertainment, special guests and irresistible money-can’t-buy auction items.
 
The celebrity chefs got in on the action too, performing a series of cooking demonstations on stage. Guests were even given the opportunity to bid to win a place in the kitchen on the night! 

Channel Nine’s Today Show stars Sylvia Jefferies and Tim Gilbert

An event highlight was when Adrian Richardson showed the crowd how to blow up a sausage casing which he then proceeded to fill with the help of some guests. 

Adrian Richardson makes sausages at event

Junkyard Beats, a unique act of performers using recycled materials (for this event Kitchen themed) to create an energetic show.

Junkyard Beats perform at gala event


Sincopa Trio play at Variety of Chefs event


The charity

Variety – the Children’s Charity set out to raise $200,000 and, with the help of their generous supporters and the suppliers who worked on the event, far exceeded this target. An allocation of funds raised will be contributed to Variety’s Smile Program, which provides medical support to children with rare diseases and conditions, including therapy to children like Eva (pictured), who was in attendance on the night. 

Katherine, Eva’s mum, said “The importance of the Variety grant meant that we could keep doing Eva’s occupational therapy sessions. Seeing Eva walking independently for the first time… we were ecstatic. We weren’t expecting anything like this for a couple of years.”
 
The other portion of funds raised on the night will go towards several other Variety programs aimed at helping children gain independence mobility, communication, and self-esteem through practical equipment such as wheelchairs, wigs, walking frames, communication devices and much more.
 
Variety of Chefs is an annual event held in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. For more information about the events click here

Variety Club of Australia Gala Dinner raising funds for kids


A big thank you to the team at Australian Technology Park for sharing such a wonderful event with us. Congratulations to Claudia from Variety - the Children's Charity and all of the fabulous suppliers involved for producing a very successful event. 

Credit: All images by Jem Cresswell

P.S. Want to share an event you have worked on? Get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.