29 Jul 2017
Royal International Convention Centre (Royal ICC), Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Queensland, Australia
$250 / person

Variety of Chefs will showcase guests an exclusive culinary experience with a decadent four course menu and premium wines to match.

It’s more than just a dining event, it’s an experience!

A formal and elegant gala dinner incorporating four talented Australian culinary greats donating their time for Variety and preparing the exquisite bespoke courses that will take your taste buds on a journey around the abundant regions of Queensland.

Each course is matched with its own carefully selected premium wine, making the whole night a culinary delight not to be missed.

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Meet The Chefs

by Sean Cummings – Executive Chef, Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane QLD

The Royal ICC’s internationally experienced Executive Chef, Sean Cummings, has been with the venue since it opened in March 2013. Sean was formerly Executive Chef at the Park Hyatt Melbourne and before that worked under Harvey Nichols at the prestigious Oxo Tower Restaurant in London.

Driven by the region’s quality local produce, Sean and his team create seasonal menus that feature award-winning ingredients.

The Royal ICC is owned and operated by the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA), which has a unique historical 140-year association with Queensland farmers and producers through the annual Royal Queensland Show (Ekka).

The Royal ICC has benefitted greatly from this connection to local farmers and producers and we pride ourselves on showcasing the best of the best Australian ingredients. We’re fortunate to have this direct access to some of the best produce there is, which we incorporate in our event menus.

Entree by Nick Holloway – Head Chef & Co-Owner, Nu Nu Restaurant, Palm Cove QLD

Nick Holloway leads a young, energetic and passionate team of chefs who are dedicated to showcasing the best produce our region has to offer in both new and innovative ways.

Nick’s recognised talents have seen him featured as a guest presenter at many high profile events including the Noosa Food and Wine Festival, Delectable Queensland, Brisbane Masterclass along with The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival to name a few. His culinary passion, creative dishes and engaging stories captivate audiences.

Nick was also featured as a guest chef in 2015 and 2016 series of Masterchef.

As Palm Cove’s only absolute beachfront restaurant, the highly acclaimed Nu Nu restaurant provides the quintessential Topical North Queensland dining experience.

The recent relocation of Nu Nu to this new and unparalleled location adjoining the Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore has breathed fresh energy into its well established and much lauded brand.

Nu Nu offers spectacular views of the Coral Sea, framed by lush palm trees. With previous recognition from Gourmet Traveller as Regional Restaurant of the Year, Nu Nu is the ultimate tropical beach restaurant destination in Australia.

Main by Richard Ousby – Executive Chef, Stokehouse Restaurants QLD & VIC

At just 33 years of age, Richard Ousby already has several major awards under his belt. In 2012 Richard took out the title of the San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Young Chef of the Year, winning out over a high calibre of contestants from across the globe, at the competition held in Venice. Prior to this, he was also named the 2011 Electrolux Australian Young Chef of the Year.
Richard joined Stokehouse Q in late 2012, where he became head chef in early 2013 and quickly rose to the top rank of executive chef for Stokehouse restaurants in 2015.
With the Stokehouse St. Kilda rebuild now complete, Richard splits his time between both Melbourne and Brisbane overseeing both venues.

Stokehouse Q embodies ‘relaxed elegance’, thanks to the up-market dining style that is complemented by youthful, attentive and knowledgeable service.

The menu is inspired by flavours from the Mediterranean and greater Europe, cued by the freshest local produce, curated by some of Australia’s most talented young chefs.

The experience is made complete by the restaurant itself, Brisbane’s most photogenic venue, and the unsurpassed river and city views.

Main by Ben Williamson – Head Chef, Gerard’s Bistro, Brisbane QLD

Finding his way through restaurants across Perth, Sydney, Bahrain and Brisbane, Chef Ben Williamson is no stranger to travel and immersing himself in the cultural delights that inspire the culinary traditions and great cuisines of the world.  From completing his apprenticeship in Perth and relocating to Sydney, the turning point in his young career was accepting a role with Gulf Air to create and deliver the in-flight menu for first class passengers. Based in Bahrain, the role with Gulf Air gave Ben the rare opportunity to broaden his horizons and explore the fundamental passion and spirit Middle Eastern cultures share, resulting in fantastic food and culinary creativity.

Through Ben’s dedication and culinary vision, Gerard’s Bistro has received multiple accolades and notable mentions including The Gourmet Traveller and The Weekend Australian’s Hot 50. Ben has personally been nominated on several occasions through different industry awards for Chef of the Year and has appeared as a guest chef challenger on Master Chef Australia. This year, Ben was awarded Chef of the Year in the 2017 Queensland Good Food Guide and Gerard’s Bistro picked up it’s second chef’s hat.

Hidden down a James Street laneway much like a Middle Eastern Bazaar, Gerard’s Bistro is a hidden treasure and an indulgent experience for food enthusiasts alike.

The restaurant’s modern décor features a textured yet relaxing environment and is a masterwork of the Moubarak Brothers, Elie, Mel and Johnny, the avant-gardes behind Moubment Group. Gerard’s Bistro offers a Modern Australian tapestry of flavours woven with inspiration from the great cuisines of the Maghreb and Middle East. Guests are encouraged to share the menu in a banquet experience, complimented by a unique and imaginative wine and drinks list.

Since opening 4 years ago, Gerard’s Bistro together with Head Chef, Ben Williamson has received multiple accolades and notable mentions from various reputable publications including The Gourmet Traveller, The Weekend Australian’s Hot 50, Financial Review – Best Restaurant Queensland. Most recently Ben was awarded Chef of the Year in the 2017 Queensland Good Food Guide and the bistro picked up its second chef’s hat.

Dessert by Cameron Matthews – Executive Chef, The Long Apron Restaurant, Spicers Clovelly Estate, Montville QLD

The force behind culinary experiences at Spicers Retreats and The Long Apron Restaurant, Cameron is acknowledged as a leading industry figure who is a devotee of supporting local and dynamic producers.  He has gained a host of awards over his career, and is regularly invited to present at a number of internationally recognised food festivals and major charity events.

Cameron shares his valuable time and experience by mentoring the Executive Chefs at all Spicers Retreats who in 2016 have accumulated the dining accolades of ‘7 Hats’.

Cameron has held the positions of Executive Chef de Cuisine of Brisbane’s iconic Siggi’s Restaurant, and Executive Chef of Restaurant Lurleen’s at Sirromet Winery – which received the honour of being voted both ‘Best Tourism Restaurant’ and ‘Best Winery Restaurant in Australia’ by the Restaurant and Catering Association under his leadership.

Cameron has also been dedicated to research, development and implementation of sustainable and environmental practices within The Long Apron and other high-end restaurants and in November was awarded a prestigious 2016 Churchill Fellowship. In pursuit of furthering his knowledge, Cameron will take residence this year in and study at a targeted range of quality restaurants in Spain, USA, Denmark and the UK who currently excel in sustainable best-practice.

Awarded two Chef Hats in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Queensland Good Food Guide, two Chefs Hats in the 2015 and 2016 Australian Good Food and Travel Guide Chef Hat awards and ranked in the Top 100 Restaurants in Australia by The Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Long Apron continues to deliver European-inspired menus with flair and élan.

Friendly, personal service adds to the relaxed atmosphere and there’s even the opportunity to get together and share a delicious meal as a group over our French Table.

Wines paired by Sommelier, Ramon Arnavas – Stokehouse Q

With over 15 years’ experience in the wine industry, Ramon Arnavas has recently stepped into the Head Sommelier position at Stokehouse Q, in the wake of Ben McNair’s appointment as Beverage Manager for the Van Haandel Group.

In June 2017, Ramon has been asked to be an Associate Judge at the Royal Queensland Wine Show after showcasing his talent as an Associate Judge for the RASQ Toowoomba Wine Show and Mediterranean Challenge in 2016. And as though this wasn’t enough, for the past year he has been writing a monthly column for UK Magazine, Glass of Bubbly – a premium online magazine for news on champagne and sparkling wines.

Most recently, Ramon was chosen as one of twelve individuals within the wine industry to attend the 2016 Len Evans Tutorial, ‘The most exclusive wine school in the world’ – completed in November 2016.

Your Emcee

Liz Cantor – Presenter Seven Network 

Liz who was once a professional surfer, can now be seen weekly as the presenter for the live Lotto draws, and after five years with The Great South East, 2015 saw her move on to travel show Queensland Weekender.

She is also a presenter on popular outdoors show Creek to Coast and makes regular appearances on the weather and Beach & Surf report for 7 News.

Liz makes regular appearances on Breakfast shows for Gold Coast radio stations and currently presents the weather for 7 News Gold Coast, Sunday and Monday evenings.

Introducing our Roving Reporter

Kylie Lang – The Courier-Mail

Joining us on July 29th as our Roving Reporter is the very talented Kylie Lang from The Courier-Mail. Kylie will be bringing us updates from the chefs in the kitchen and from the guests in the room!

Kylie is Associate Editor of The Courier-Mail and a news commentator on television and radio. A passionate foodie, Kylie has been the Food and Wine Editor of The Courier-Mail, the Editor of Qweekend Magazine and the longest-serving Editor of Brisbane News. She is a regular contributor to national travel magazines and enjoys public speaking, recently presenting a TEDx talk on social media.

Kylie holds a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, an Honours degree in Japanese from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Queensland.

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