Culinary team lending skills to Fiji disaster fundraiser

Fundraising for Fiji ... chefs Emmil Matic, Warwick Brown​ and Alec Yac. Image: AUT

By Melanie Cooper 

Auckland University of Technology culinary graduates will be working side-by-side with some of New Zealand’s top chefs this weekend to help raise money for Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Winston.

The four plate menu for Flavours of Fiji has been created by Robert Oliver and leading Auckland chefs Ben Bayly (The Grove & Baduzzi), Gareth Stewart (Nourish Group), Mark Southon (O’Connell St Bistro), Michael Meredith (Meredith’s & Eat My Lunch initiative) and Sid Sahrawat (SIDART and Cassia).

The prep work for this weekend’s Flavours of Fiji fundraiser will take place in AUT’s production kitchen where the culinary graduates will work alongside the chefs to prepare the ingredients for 5000 meals to be served at The Cloud in Auckland this Sunday. The AUT team will also work at The Cloud.

AUT executive chef Warwick Brown, who has helped develop the event with industry colleagues, says in the wake ​​of last month’s cyclone the people of Fiji are desperately in need of money to help get back on their feet and he is pleased AUT can play a part in helping them.

“We have a diverse community of staff and students at AUT and many links to the Pacific, and we wanted to do our bit to help with Fiji’s recovery.”

Emmil Matic and Alec Yac, both graduates of AUT’s Diploma in Culinary Arts, say it’s a great chance to give their time to a good cause and to showcase their culinary skills.

Yac says he’s looking forward to working with the Pacific ingredients and flavours.

“Food is a great way to share culture and in a previous event where we focused on Pasifika dishes I could see the crossover with my Philippine culture, flavours and cooking traditions,” says Brown.

“Our production kitchen will be an exciting place on Saturday as we prep those meals and I really hope everyone comes down to The Cloud on Sunday to enjoy some incredible food and get behind the cause.”

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