Food for Thought- Crossing the Tasman and Unifying Industry
A coming together of hospitality excellence to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
Since 2014, the annual Food for Thought charity dinners, have founded a unique collaboration of emerging and talented hospitality professionals to create exceptional dinners for a higher cause. The core theme to Food for Thought is encouraging conversation around the dinner table or through hospitality to ease the weight of the stigma around mental health.
“These dinners were sparked by my own experience, having personally faced this. My hope is to help broaden the awareness of the support that’s available – to not only my peers, but to the wider community, for all those who suffer in silence.” Says Mal Meiers
In 2018, off to back of the first international event in Auckland scheduled for October 21st, the concept will evolve to include not only emerging hospitality talent but include established chefs to mentor and make a unified statement that as an industry we are ready reconnect with one another and start a conversation that could change a life.
This Novembers Food for Thought events aim to bring the industry together as one through the introduction of the mentor program in Sydney as well the involvement of both established and emerging chefs across the other events.
Brisbane and Melbourne this year will host tasting menu style events in each city with the help of Australia’s best producers across its food and beverage offering put together by some the best professionals each city has to offer. This years, Sydney event will see executive and head chefs from venues like Quay, Bennelong, Aria and Icebergs mentoring Food for Thought chefs to show that as an industry we are taking the issues surrounding mental health seriously. The night will see Food for Thought chefs recreate a dish from some of the mentors as the canapes served, as well as the introduction of the targeted industry R U OK? hospitality campaign and training resources the 2017 Food for Thought campaign helped fund.
From 2018 onwards, all moneys raised by Food for Thought will go towards continuing to help R U OK? and sharing the message of conversation as well helping fund the invaluable crisis support and suicide prevention services provided by LifeLine Australia.
“After 5 years the conversation is just beginning, but we need to work together as an industry if we want make serious change. Hospitality is only the tip of our industries “iceberg,” awareness needs to be considered as it is with a sense of paddock to plate with our producers often more at risk and isolated”. concludes Mal Meiers
Brisbane: 12th November 2018
Where: Billy Kart, West End $140 for 6 courses with beverage pairing
Who's cooking? Mal Meiers- Subo/Food for Thought, cott Webster- Billy Kart, Will Cowper- OTTO Brisbane, Ben Williamson- Gerard’s Bistro, Shayne Mansfield- Botanica, Zac Sykes -Celissa/Beirne Lane
Sydney: Monday 19th November 2018
Where: The Rooftop, Marrickville $140 for 8 piece canapes and beverage
Melbourne: Monday 26th November
Where: IDES, Collingwood $160 for 7 course with beverage pairing
Who's cooking? Mal Meiers- Subo/Food for Thought, Jo Barrett- Oakridge, Julian Hills- Restaurant Navi, Peter Gunn- IDES, John Rivera- Lûmé, Ross Magnaye- Rice Paper Sister, Khanh Nguyen-Sunda
Industry Mentors Food for Thought
Chefs Justin North- Concept Hospitality, Paul Farag- Fish Butchery, Rob Cockerill- Bennelong, Matt Bugeja- Kneading Ruby, Joel Bickford- Aria, Mal Meiers-Subo/FFT, Monty Koludrovic- Icebergs, Troy Crisante-Quay, Rob Kabboord-Quay, Aaron Teece-Studio Neon, Hamish Ingham- Banksii, Alex Prichard-Icebergs, Jane Strode honouring Jeremy, Sarah Knights- Automata, Joshua Gregory- EXP. Restaurant