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MCEC serves up another fundraising success

11 Jun 2015

MCEC serves up another fundraising success Image

By Alana Beitz

The annual Starlight Five Chefs Dinner was held for a fourth consecutive year at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) on May 21 to raise funds and awareness for Australia’s seriously ill children and their families.

More than 550 guests enjoyed an evening of fine food and wine created by some of Melbourne’s best chefs, and contributed to the $393,000 raised to support the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

The five featured chefs for the night included George Calombaris (The Press Club), Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino), Scott Pickett (Estelle and Saint Crispin) Shaun Presland (Saké Restaurant) and Adriano Zumbo (Adriano Zumbo Patissier).

The guest chefs were hosted and supported by the MCEC’s executive chef Tony Panetta, who welcomed them into his kitchen.

“The night’s success is the result of a fantastic team effort by everyone involved, both in the kitchen and front of house, and it just gets better every year,” Mr Panetta said.

Guy Grossi has been plating up his culinary creations at the Starlight Five Chefs Dinner for the past four years at MCEC, and said he always enjoyed working at the venue with host chef Panetta and his staff.

“I am honoured to play a role in this major fundraiser for Starlight and thoroughly enjoy being part of the team,” he said.

Between each course of the five-course meal, the guests heard inspirational stories from Starlight families and took part in a charity auction to raise further funds.

This year’s theme for the dinner was “colour their world”, to reflect Starlight’s efforts to bring colour and happiness into sick children’s lives.

Starlight CEO Louise Baxter thanked MCEC for its support during the fundraising effort.

“We are fortunate to have the support of such an amazing venue and a dedicated team at MCEC who help Starlight and our five headline chefs deliver a first-class, fantastic experience for our guests,” she said.  

The funds raised on the night will go towards the Starlight Foundation’s various programs, such as Captain Starlight and the Starlight Express Room.

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