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Chefs Day feast offers a culinary treat for local charities

On October 20, French culinary masters Le Cordon Bleu Australia teamed up with former MasterChef contestant Courtney Roulston and charity partner Our Big Kitchen to cook 1,000 healthy, gourmet meals for Australians in need.

Local Redfern charities including the Salvation Army, Wagec Women’s Shelter and Tribal Warriors each received 200 meals donated by Le Cordon Bleu Australia. Newtown Greek Community Centre and Bear Cottage also benefited from the carefully constructed menu designed around the International Chefs Day theme of healthy food for the future, with a touch of sweet indulgence from Le Cordon Bleu Australia.

Danny Salsbury, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Salvation Army, said the Salvos’ 200 meals would be handed out to people in need across the CBD.

“To provide a little Le Cordon Bleu culinary flair in the meals we give to Aussies in need will certainly help brighten their day.”

For MasterChef alumni Courtney Roulston, the chance to spend her day cooking and giving back was an opportunity she was thrilled to be part of, “When I was asked to be involved in this amazing initiative, I jumped at the chance to lend a hand.

“As a chef, I can’t think of a better way to spend International Chefs Day than by giving back to our community.”

Alan Bowen-James, Executive Dean, Le Cordon Bleu Australia said that after a challenging 18 months for many Aussies, chefs using their culinary skills and experience for a good cause seemed like the perfect opportunity to give back to those who have been doing it tough.

“It really is in the spirit of what it means to be a chef – the happiness that comes from cooking delicious food and seeing the smiles on the faces of the people who get to enjoy it.”

The team of over 20 chefs and volunteers were led by Le Cordon Bleu Australia’s Sydney Program Manager Karen Doyle to prepare the 1,000 three-course meals.

The menu included:

  • Entree: Pomegranate glazed pumpkin, organic quinoa tabouli, radicchio and heirloom tomato salad, hummus and sumac flatbread
  • Main: Pistachio crusted barramundi, beetroot relish, rosemary roasted potatoes, crispy sprouts and confit tomato
  • Dessert: Sour apple cake, coconut walnut crumble, and lime coconut custard

A partner of Le Cordon Bleu Australia, Our Big Kitchen is a community run, non-denominational industry kitchen located in Bondi which prepares meals to be distributed to those in need across Sydney. Last year the team at Our Big Kitchen distributed over 200,000 meals to disadvantaged Australians.

Our Big Kitchen has had a long-standing partnership with Le Cordon Bleu Australia having taken on a number of its interns over the years, so it was the ideal fit as a charity partner for this event.

Founding Director of Our Big Kitchen, Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin, said he was humbled to see Le Cordon Bleu Australia and Courtney Roulston offering their expertise to prepare meals for Aussies in need.

“I know all of our charity partners will be very grateful to receive the healthy meals the team is cooking today.”

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