Cook-off raises funds for Berry St kids
Cooking a four-course meal for a full house of 115 people is challenging enough, but this week head chef Vasilios Donoudis invited four untrained chefs to help him out.
And despite nearly running out of broccolini, the third annual event, at Church Street Enoteca in Richmond, raised a record $29 500 for local children’s welfare group, Berry Street.
Celebrity chefs including Melbourne Victory Coach Archie Thompson, comedian Tom Gleisner, food critic John Lethlean and Berry Street CEO Sandie de Wolf served up a gourmet menu including calamari salad, braised veal and buttermilk panna cotta with blood orange jelly and sorbet.
Head Chef Vasilios Donoudis said they were also joined by four young people from Berry Street, who were looking to get involved in hospitality.
One 12 year-old girl who had been homeless had particularly impressed Donoudis with her work in the kitchen.
“She was really, really into it, it was awesome,” he said.
He said the other young woman helping out in the kitchen was 16 years old and three to four months pregnant.
He said it was great that Berry Street got young people like these involved in the industry they wanted to work in.
The kitchen was being filmed, with a live feed to a giant plasma in the dining area, so the celebrity chefs were on display.
He said the Archie Thompson had been particularly nervous, wanting his wife to come into the kitchen with him.“She had to shake him off like a little kid,” he said.
But at the end of the night all the chefs had a good time, nothing was sent back for being undercooked, and they raised $4 500 more than last year.
“It was excellent,” Donoudis said.
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