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FOOD & DRINK

#CookforSyria Charity Dinner 2019

A one-off charity dinner by an all-star, all-female lineup of Australia's best chefs, sommeliers and front-of-house staff.
By Matt Abotomey
May 28, 2019
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#CookforSyria Charity Dinner 2019

A one-off charity dinner by an all-star, all-female lineup of Australia's best chefs, sommeliers and front-of-house staff.
By Matt Abotomey
May 28, 2019
  shares
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As governments around the world continue to drag their feet resettling refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict — which has entered its ninth year — it falls once more to the non-political professions to show the government where the hands go on the humanitarian clock. This time, it's hospitality's turn.

On Monday, August 12, UNICEF Australia will once again partner with some of the country's best chefs for a charity dinner celebrating Syria's strong culinary traditions. The dinner is part of nationwide fundraising campaign called #CookForSyria, with money raised going to UNICEF Australia's Syria Crisis Appeal for Children.

Surry Hills' Nomad will host the posse of gastronomers as they prepare a banquet comprising their signature dishes with a Syrian flourishes. And this year, the all-star lineup of chefs, sommeliers and front-of-house staff is also all female. Saint Peter's Julie Niland, Palisa Anderson from Chat Thai, Isabelle Caulfield from Poly, Shannon Martinez from Melbourne's Smith & Daughters, Icebergs' Jaci Koludrovic, Claire Van Vuuren from Bloodwood and Nomad's own Jacqui Challinor are just some of the big names you'll see in the kitchen.

Tickets are a steep $295 per person — but, remember, it's all going to a good cause — and include a four-course Syrian feast and matching wines, chosen by two top female sommeliers: Sixpenny's Bridget Raffal and wine consultant Samantha Payne. Expect service to be at the top of its game, too, as Momofuku Seiobo's Kylie Javier Ashton and Nikki Friedl from Africola will be running things on the floor.

It may seem on the surface like you're paying for the food, but 14 professional chefs jammed into a single kitchen also suggests a night of great theatre.

While the top guns will have their turn on August 12, UNICEF Australia is encouraging anyone with passing knowledge of an oven to contribute throughout August and September, too. Restaurants and cafes can produce a limited edition Syrian versions of favourite dish, donating $5 from each one sold to the charity. For those who deal in culinary delight on a slightly smaller scale, bake sales are your recommended course. While you're waiting for the oven to pre-heat, you can read more and register here.

To reserve your spot at the one-off dinner, make a reservation via the Nomad website.

Image: Nikki To

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