Fun and fundraising – CookUp 500, a great evening where Adelaide’s finest chefs and food personalities got together to support OzHarvest.
Last week I took part in CookUp 500, a major fundraiser for OzHarvest here in Adelaide – the most successful food rescue organisation in South Australia. I’ve been sharing the love for OzHarvest since it’s launch in Adelaide in 2011 and at various events and milestones since then.
The organisation has grown significantly since it’s launch and now has four food rescue vans collecting and delivering food across metro Adelaide from Gawler to Aldinga, with the addition of OzHarvest Barossa now collecting from the Farmers Market every week. With the help of 250 volunteers, OzHarvest now rescues, on average, 150,000 meals per month and also runs two education programs – NEST (Nutrition Education Sustenance Training) and Nourish – where they train and mentor disadvantaged youth through certified hospitality training.
CookUp 500 gave guests the chance to team up with some of Adelaide’s best chefs and get down to work cooking up rescued food into 500 meals to be distributed to the needy. Held at Bowden’s great new facility, Plant 4, and facilitated by OzHarvest’s charity partnership with Clipsal 500 Adelaide, everyone got busy chopping, slicing, cooking and then packing as donated food, which would otherwise have been thrown into landfill, became 500 gourmet dinners.
The evening was enormous fun, jollied along by our MC, the ebullient Max Mason of The Henry Austin restaurant. Once we had finished cooking and packing, we all headed upstairs to enjoy dinner and a refreshing drink or two while the major fundraising part of the event took place.
An impressive range of items were auctioned off by Toop & Toop Real Estate’s Tim Threadgold during the course of the evening. These exclusive opportunities ranged from various private dining experiences, cooked by the likes of Duncan Welgemoed, Adelaide’s Coal Cellar + Grill at The Hilton and Bree May, a live art piece painted by artist Tom Buchanan on the night and a Scalextrics Set signed by Clipsal 500 Adelaide Drivers. They raised a resounding $31,840 – meaning that OzHarvest will be able to rescue and deliver more than another 63,000 meals to people in need across Adelaide.
It’s a great feeling to be able to contribute back to the community and I’m very proud to be able to do so alongside some of the very best of Adelaide’s food community. OzHarvest has a very active Facebook page. If you’d like to help out, keep an eye on it to keep up to date with their busy calendar.