California dreaming…and an Aussie chef who needs all your support.
Firstly I am really truly disappointed to report I was unable to get a second of time to myself in the past 10 days to do a blog post for you all before I head away to the US tomorrow
I so wanted to but working 100+ hours per week for past 4 weeks equated to it being totally impossible. I have been caught up 7 days a week on shoots; writing, prepping, cooking, styling and shooting my Delicious contributor editorials for June and July and also the very final stages of the book’s design stage (yes, I know it seems to be going on f.o.r.e.v.e.r.!) BUT it is well and truly designed and finished from my end, when I come back from the States in 3 weeks I excitingly get to see the proofs before if goes off to be printed finally. This also will free me up hugely when it comes to getting my posts back on track, I think post this USA holiday is going to be a very exciting time for WKA! I’ll be scheduling a monthly WKA shoot into my workload and be photographing a month’s worth of photos and recipes which will get uploaded every Friday evening. The past 2 months of madness has also given me time to mentally work out how I can avoid not having a new post at least every week.
On the upside I myself am SO excited to be heading away for 3 weeks and getting some great content for my big USA post in late May and a well deserved break. Remember all those pics so many of you sent me? Don’t worry I’ll be including the ones I feel are a great fit in this post so I do still have them in the forefront of my mind and plan to turn them into something really special. I will post when I can in the coming weeks ~ via my iphone and ipad.
There is one thing I really felt I had to do before I head off tomorrow is mentioned that yesterday I was emailed by a woman called Diane asking me if I might mention something on my blog…
Last Christmas I read one of the saddest and most horrifying stories which happened in Noosa, 1.5 hours north of Brisbane. Matt Golinsky who is a well known, popular and hugely talented chef here in Australia, shockingly awoke on Boxing Day to find his house fully engulfed in flames, and in it were his 3 beautiful daughters and wife, who died in the blaze. To be honest I am welling up typing this as I remember thinking how heart-breakingly sad and shocking this tragedy was and how on earth you could possibly psychologically cope with the realisation of losing your entire family. Matt survived after trying so hard to save his family but he couldn’t, and has been left with 3rd degree burns over 40% of his body. I feel so much for this guy, I just don’t know how you’d cope… If anyone is keen to attend this dinner which is being held next Wednesday I would highly encourage you to please do so, it will be an exceptional evening with some incredible food and high profile guests. I know if I was here I’d be going and bringing some friends, it’s for such a worthy cause.
WINNER OF THE TASTING INDIA BOOK BY CHRISTINE MANFIELD IS…… *DRUMROLL*…
Gayle can you mail me @ email@example.com to let me know where you are and send me your address so I can post it to you when I get back. Thanks.
I’m delighted too to announce Tasting India has just won the category for best Culinary Travel Cookbook and was the overall winner of Cookbook of the Year on the IACP Awards in New York last week (see Eater.com for complete list of winners).
Steel Bar & Grill ‘Plates for Mates’ Sydney Benefit Dinner
In support of burns victim and celebrity chef, Matt Golinski and burns research organisation, The McComb Research Foundation.
Nine of Australia’s top chefs are lining up to lead the Sydney charge to support burns victim and celebrity chef, Matt Golinski and burns research organisation, The McComb Foundation, at a benefit dinner to be held on Wednesday 18 April at Steel Bar & Grill.
The 9 chefs lining up to cook at the dinner are Janelle Bloom, George Calombaris, Manu Feildel, Jacqui Gowan, Damian Heads, Jared Ingersoll, Mark Jensen, Alastair McLeod and Warren Turnbull.
The “Plates for Mates Sydney Benefit Dinner” is one of many events being held throughout Australia as part of the national fundraising initiative “Plates for Mates” which was conceived by a group of Australia’s leading chefs as a way to express their care, concern and support for friend, celebrity chef and caterer, Matt Golinski. Matt tragically lost his wife, Rachael and their three daughters, Starlia, Willow and Sage Golinski in a home fire in Noosa on Boxing Day 2011. Matt sustained third degree burns to over 40% of his body and remains in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Funds raised from Plates for Mates will go to the Matt Golinski Recovery Fund Trust (a trust set up to assist Matt’s emotional and physical recovery), and shared via a donation to The McComb Foundation (a charitable organisation set up by plastic and reconstructive surgeon and former Australian of the Year Dr Fiona Wood to aid burns research).
Plates for Mates is an initiative conceived by chefs Janelle Bloom, George Calombaris, Damian Heads, Manu Feildel, Alastair McLeod and Gary Mehigan, all are close personal friends of Matt – they sent out a plea to the hospitality industry and naturally with Damian at the helm, Steel Bar & Grill was the first Sydney based restaurant to get on board.
Executive Chef of Steel Bar & Grill Damian Heads said “When I heard about the terrible tragedy on Boxing Day I felt totally helpless, Matt Golinski and I have been friends for years and I know what a devoted Dad he is, he absolutely adored his wife and daughters. The other chefs and I came up with trying to engage the entire hospitality industry not only to help Matt, but also helping raise funds for medical research into burns care, which will help people everywhere.
“There are events rolling out all over Australia, an event might be just donating .20c to the price of a coffee for a month, or asking all bookings for a $1 donation and matching it during April. Others are doing big sexy events like this dinner. I guess it doesn’t get much bigger than 9 of the leading chefs in Australia all cooking at a benefit dinner at Steel Bar & Grill”.
Network Ten personality Colin Lane and rugby personality Wendall Sailor will feature at the event at Steel Bar and Grill while comedian Steve Philp will help keep the tone balanced between poignancy about the sadness of the circumstances with ensuring guests have a sensational night.
“In our business we are asked constantly for donations for charities, and as an industry we are ‘hospitable’ by nature, Matt Golinski is a highly respected member of the hospitality industry and this is a terrible thing to have happened. While it is horribly sad, it’s great to see so many of the food and hospitality industry banding together to help one of their own. Really we didn’t even have to ask and people were offering to help” Damian said.
Funds raised from the Plates for Mates initiative will go to helping Matt and also as a donation to the McComb Foundation. The hope is that sufficient money will be raised to fund a research fellowship named for Matt’s wife and daughters. Former Australian of the year and founder of The McComb Research Foundation, Dr Fiona Woods, was delighted about the initiative.
“Burns injuries are horrific and take years of painful surgery and treatments to recover from, and then there are the psychological aspects to recovery, which in Matt’s particular case could be especially difficult”, Fiona said.
“The Plates for Mates initiative will help raise much needed funds which will be used to pay for specialist research into burns care.”
While the focus for Plates for Mates is centred on restaurants and cafes, any business or group can participate – so far there are school tuckshops, colleges, restaurants, cafes, suppliers as well as many private individuals having BBQs and dinner parties in their own homes and charging their guests to attend and donating that, and many non-hospitality businesses are doing simple things like staff are making and bringing in morning tea and selling that to colleagues and donating the proceeds.
“Every little bit helps and we hope the public get behind this initiative by supporting businesses who have registered to participate in Plates for Mates during April” Damian said.
To find out more about Plates for Mates, or to make a donation go to the official website www.platesformates.com.au. To find out more about the dinner at Steel Bar & Grill go to http://steelbarandgrill.com
Venue: Steel Bar & Grill
Address: 60 Carrington Street, Sydney
Phone: 02 9299 9997
Event: Plates for Mates Sydney Benefit Dinner
Price of tickets: $250, pre-payment required
Date of event: 7pm, Wednesday 18 April
About Matt: Matt Golinski, a native of the Sunshine Coast, completed his apprenticeship at Chevaliers Restaurant in Milton, Brisbane in 1994, before travelling around Australia and the world to broaden his culinary knowledge. On his return from overseas, he moved back to the Sunshine Coast, and took up the position of head chef at Ricky Ricardo’s restaurant in Noosa, where he spent six years creating Mediterranean inspired menus with an emphasis on the use of local suppliers and producers. Matt is a past president of the Noosa Convivium of Slow Food, a worldwide movement dedicated to the preservation of food traditions, sustainable farming and fishing. Matt is also one of the 12 chefs who regularly feature on the Network Ten television program ‘Ready Steady Cook’.
About the McComb Research Foundation: The McComb Foundation was established in 1999 by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Ms Fiona Wood (FRACS) and scientist Marie Stoner. It was named in honour of internationally-respected plastic and reconstructive surgeon Mr Harold McComb (FRACS). Inspired by Harold McComb, the McComb Foundation will pursue surgical excellence through innovation in research. The aim of the Foundation is to advance the research and development of innovative tissue engineering technologies. The vision is to improve the quality of outcome for burn patients, improving patient quality of life, and a return to pre-injury condition. The McComb Foundation Inc shall use all of its charitable resources to ensure that: “The quality of the scar must be worth the pain of survival.” (Fiona Wood FRACS AM)