A formal and elegant gala dinner incorporating five talented Australian culinary greats donating their time for Variety and preparing delicious courses to take guests taste buds around the world, each course matched with its own premium wines, making the whole night a culinary delight.
EVENT MCs – SYLVIA JEFFREYS & TIM ROSS
ENTERTAINMENT – JAMES REYNE
MEET THE CHEFS
Brian Logan – Sokyo, Head Chef
Brian began his career in the north-east of England at the Michelin starred 21 Queen Street before moving to Scotland, France and London.
Where the buzz of Tokyo meets a Sydney beat. Award-winning chef Chase Kojima draws on his Japanese training to create an impeccable union of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary flavours that are sure to delight your guests. Sokyo features slick black polished wood, dark modern tones and fish scale textures. This hyper-modern Japanese theme is carried through to oversized anime graphics placed over the main bar.
Gabriele Taddeucci – Balla, Head Chef
Taddeucci started his career as a pizza hand in his home city of Lucca back in 1994. His work as a chef has taken him from Italy to France, Switzerland, the US, UK and here in Australia.
After a stint of working at Sydney’s Hotel West in 2004/2005, Taddeucci moved in 2008 to work alongside chef Massimo Bianchi to open Uccello at Merivale’s Ivy. Most recently, he was Head Chef at Merivale’s The Beresford. Joining The Star as Head Chef in 2011, Gabriele brings an innate passion for traditional Italian cuisine.
At Balla, head chef Gabriele Taddeucci is proud to present a delectable menu created following authentic Italian traditions. Everything is made in-house using mainly organic ingredients, sustainable seafood and free range meats. The majority of dishes are gluten free and can be adapted to any kind of dietary requirements. Let Gabriele treat your guests to exquisite Italian cuisine served in a beautifully designed, light-filled space, surrounded by stunning harbour and city skyline views.
Justin North – Hotel Centennial, Executive chef
At the beginning of 2014 Justin joined the Sydney based Halcyon Hotels as executive chef to oversee the kitchen for their recent acquisition and of one of the eastern suburbs’ favourite locations – The Centennial. Re-branded, re-furbished and relaunched as Hotel Centennial, the venue has received a loyal following of locals and those who come from farther afield to sample Justin’s take on contemporary hotel dining.
Hotel Centennial is a public house and dining room in Woollahra NSW. It has been a long-time fixture in eastern suburbs society and was originally established to mark the centenary of the foundation of Australia in 1888. The venue received an extensive refurbishment in April 2014 by new owners Halcyon Hotels and overseen by award-winning design group Luchetti Krelle. In 2014 the sophisticated interiors won the AHA award for best redeveloped hotel in Sydney and feature an eclectic mix of furniture, antiques and contemporary art.
Dany Karam – BLACK Bar & Grill, Executive Chef
Dany began his international culinary journey in his home country of Lebanon, where he trained for five years including a stint as Senior Chef de Partie Chef at Beirut’s award-winning restaurant La Centrale.
He then moved to Nice France where he honed his skills and further expanded his understanding and approach to modern cuisine at Michelin starred restaurant , Particulier. After moving to Australia in 2009, Dany joined The Star as Junior Sous Chef at the hatted Astral restaurant. Dany has since introduced his strong innovative force and fresh approach to BLACK Bar & Grill.
Black Bar & Grill perfectly marries a contemporary Australian grill and rotisserie with a stylish wine bar and million-dollar views of Sydney Harbour and the city. Chef Teage Ezard creates classically inspired menus influenced by the great American grills and contemporary European cuisine.
Buddika Gunawardana – The Star, Executive Pastry Chef
Buddika began his career in his home country of Sri Lanka where he worked at the famous Mount Lavinia Hotel.
Buddika’s career later moved to Dubai where he won an Emirates Culinary Guild giving him the opportunity to train in Europe for a year – spending 6 months in Germany and another 6 months in Switzerland.
Buddika’s international culinary career which spans over 15 years has seen him work across the globe as well as here in Australia working at The Westin in Fiji, The Intercontinental in Saudi Arabia, the Hyatt in Perth and the Sheraton here in Sydney. Buddika joined The Star as Executive Pastry Chef in 2014.