Rebecca Varidel
21st Aug 2015

It's been in the back of Chef Jeremy Strode's mind for sometime to organise this massive initiative to support the important work of R U OK? It's taken three or so years he tells me. But the story goes back much further as sadly he lost a chef back in the late '90s when he had the restaurant Pomme.

“We, as an industry, are becoming much more aware of the need to know how our employees and workmates are going, not just in the workplace but outside too. The hospitality industry is renowned for its unforgiving nature, adding pressure personally and on our relationships. Having the foresight and taking the time to have a conversation with someone you may or may not know and asking if they’re ok, is a wonderful thing" Strode advised.

Strode also confided that the days of yelling and screaming in a commercial kitchen, and went on to say bullying even, are thankfully over. And added he [and the Merivale brigades] now have the tools to know when to ask R U OK?

Beyond that Strode has bought together an exceptional line-up of some of Australia’s best and brightest culinary masterminds for an extraordinary evening in aid of one of the country’s most unique charities.

Aya Larkin, Board Director, R U OK?, said: “It’s great that Jeremy Strode, Merivale and the hospitality industry are getting behind the R U OK? Campaign. So many meaningful conversations happen over a shared meal and this is a wonderful way to shine a light on the message. This is an industry, like many others, where looking out for one another is very important. The calibre of those generously lending their talents and time to this event will leave a lasting legacy.”

The R U OK? Dinner, presented by Merivale will be held on Tuesday September 8th at Sydney’s Ivy Ballroom, raising money for the not-for-profit organisation whose vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.

Captained by the revered Jeremy Strode the exceptional line-up of chefs will form groups of two or three to collaborate on a set course. The result will be an impressive seven-course feast, passionately prepared by all chefs who are donating their time and expertise to this not-to-be-missed epicurean extravaganza, accompanied by an array of wine and live entertainment.

Ben Greeno - Paddington Arms, Merivale (Sydney)
Brent Savage - Bentley, Yellow & Monopole (Sydney)
Ben Shewry – Attica (Melbourne)
Colin Fassnidge – Four in Hand & 4 Fourteen (Sydney)
Dan Hunter – Brae (Victoria)
Dan Pepperell – 10 William St (Sydney)
Danielle Alvarez – Paddington, Merivale (Sydney)
David Swain – Fino (South Australia)
Darren Robertson & Mark Lebrooy – The Three Blue Ducks (Sydney)
Greg Malouf – CLE (Dubai)
Ian Curley – The European (Melbourne)
Jane Strode – Bistrode CBD, Merivale (Sydney)
Jeremy Strode – Bistrode CBD & The Fish Shop, Merivale (Sydney)
Jonathan Barthelmess – Apollo & Cho Cho San (Sydney)
Luke Burgess – ex-Garagistes (Tasmania)
Morgan McGlone – Belles Hot Chicken & Bar Clarine (Melbourne)
Thomas Lim – Goldies (Los Angeles)

Service will be orchestrated by the best of the business, led by Merivale’s own Food and Beverage Director, Frank Roberts. The Ivy Ballroom and all event staff are donated by the event’s presenting partner, Merivale.

Clara Davidson- ex-Bistrode, Bibendum Wines
Charles Leong – Wine Guru
Chris Young – ex-Pomme Restaurant
Frank Roberts – Merivale
Gio & Enrico Paradiso and Marco Ambrosino - Fratelli Paradiso & 10 William St
Herve Dudognon – Mr Wong, Merivale
Jane Hyland - Four in Hand & 4 Fourteen
James Ingram – Merivale
Jerry Jones – Mr. Wong, Merivale
Johnny Rockstar – Bennelong
Laura Mege – The Fish Shop, Merivale
Lucinda Booth – Bistrode CBD, Merivale
Paul Meredith – ex Bistrode
Qwan Ling Chew – Ms.G’s & Fish Shop, Merivale
Sam Christie - Longrain, Apollo & Cho Cho San
Simon Denton - Isakaya Den

Wine will be provided courtesy of Jeremy’s favourite local wineries and importers including Andrew Guard, Bibendum, Crawford River, Curly Flat, Garagistes and Tim Stock. All produce is kindly supplied by Cooks Co-Op, Feather & Bone, Nicholas Seafood’s and Vic’s Meats. The event will be MC’d by comedian Paul McCarthy.

Tickets are on sale now www.ruok.org.au/chefsdinner