Nomad’s executive chef Jacqui Challinor has impressive pulling power. Feeling powerless in the face of the ongoing bushfires ravaging the country, she decided to call around some local chefs to see if they’d like to help her raise money to support those affected by the fires.
She received a resounding yes from chefs at 35 top Sydney venues, including Aria, Ester, Firedoor, Fred’s, Icebergs Dining Room + Bar, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Sixpenny, and announced on Monday January 6 that they will be joining her for a one-off dine-in brunch and bake sale at Nomad Up the Road on Sunday January 12. The initial plan has since expanded because of an overwhelming response – the bake sale has moved to GoGo Bar in nearby Chin Chin and a rooftop lunch at Paramount Recreation Club has been added. One hundred per cent of proceeds from the day will go directly to the Australian Red Cross.
Beginning at 10am, Cook for the Bush’s special brunch (which has now sold out) will see chefs collaborate on a custom à la carte brunch menu that’s available until 3pm, as well as a range of takeaway baked goods, available until sold out. Two-hour timeslots for the rooftop lunch can be reserved from 12pm to 6pm, and the $250 ticket includes roaming canapé-style dishes.
The list of chefs mobilised to help is growing but includes Danielle Alvarez (Fred’s), Aaron Ward (Sixpenny), James Vile (Biota), Nic Wong (Icebergs Dining Room + Bar), Andy Bowdy (Saga) and Colin Fassnidge (My Kitchen Rules), as well as Duncan Welgemoed from Adelaide’s Africola.
There's also Aaron Ward (Sixpenny), Alessandro Pavoni (Ormeggio), Alex Herbert (Ikea), Alex Prichard (Icebergs Dining Room + Bar), Graeme Hunt (Chin Chin), Hamish Ingham (Banksii), Ibrahim Kasif (Stanbuli), Jarrod Walsh (Hartsyard), Jason White (Firedoor), Joel Bickford (Aria), Julian Cincotta (Butter), Martin Boetz (Cooks Co-op), Max Smith (Cho Cho San), Michael Nicolian (Continental Deli & Bistro), Michael Rantissi (Kepos Street Kitchen), Nathan Brindle (Ester), Sam Kane (Bert's), Stefano Marano (Apollo), Sujet Saenkham (Spice I Am) and Travis Harvey (OzHarvest).
“We’ve all been feeling so helpless,” Challinor says. “It’s hard to know what to do and how much difference one person can make, but coming together like this means we have the capacity to raise some serious money and hopefully make the road ahead a little easier for those who are suffering.
“I originally planned for a small à la carte menu, but the response from everybody has been so overwhelming. I’ve got so many chefs I can’t fit them all in the kitchen – hence the bake sale.”
An online silent auction will run concurrently, giving those who can’t attend the brunch the opportunity to bid for restaurant vouchers and experiences through the restaurant’s website or social media pages. Bids can also be made at the three participating venues on the day, with the auction concluding in the evening of January 12
“Cooking is what we all do best, so why not use it to do some good for our community?”
Challinor tells Broadsheet further details will be confirmed as the week progresses. “I’m on the phones as we speak to see if we can get a mobile blood bank set up in Harmony Park. People can donate blood and then come on over for a sugary treat.”
Cook for the Bush is on Sunday 12 January at three participating venues. Brunch is now fully booked, but lunch bookings are open and takeaway sales will still be available from 10am until sold out.