Hospitality Business Magazine

Charity on the menu in Fiji fundraiser

image012Fancy dining out on dishes prepared by five of Auckland’s top chefs – for only $20? Even better, your $20 goes to support Fiji’s cyclone relief.

Auckland foodies, many with connections to the islands, are getting together for an unprecedented dining and entertainment event at Shed 10 and The Cloud (Queens Wharf) on Sunday 20 March from 11am to 3pm.

All proceeds from the Flavours of Fiji event go to Oxfam New Zealand which is delivering relief work on the ground in Fiji.

Flavours of Fiji will feature four dishes created by five of the country’s top chefs – Ben Bayly (The Grove & Baduzzi), Gareth Stewart (Nourish Group), Mark Southon (O’Connell St Bistro), Michael Meredith (Merediths & Eat My Lunch initiative) and Sid Sahrawat (SIDART and Cassia).

The menu was curated by Oxfam ambassador, chef and author Robert Oliver, also a contributor of one of the four dishes. Executive chef for Auckland University of Technology’s Culinary School Warwick Brown has provided significant support in terms of facilities.

Chris Upton’s team at O’Connell St Bistro – recently itself devastated by a crippling fire – are offering their services to the cause and Auckland restaurateur Michael Dearth of The Grove will be there to manage front of house.

The celebrated chefs will work in pairs to curate one dish inspired by Fiji and its flavours. The $20 ticket covers entry, one non-alcoholic beverage and four small plates.

The group behind the initiative includes Oxfam ambassador and chef Robert Oliver, Connie Clarkson (Panuku Development Auckland), Antony Suvalko ( and Greig Buckley (Kai NZ & NZ Guild of Food Writers).

Oliver says many of those involved have travelled to Fiji, have worked there or work with Fijians here in New Zealand.

“Thanks to their creative talents and through their hard work and connections they have been able to put together this wonderful family event in very short time.

“It started as a small idea to raise funds within our industry,” says Oliver, “and has grown like topsy thanks simply to the people involved.”

So what’s on the menu? Oliver says the offering is representative of a Fijian magiti, meaning Fijian Feast.

  • A take on the Fijian Hangi called Lovo Pork, created by Michael Meredith and Mark Southon.
  • Kokoda raw fish from Fijian chef Bertrand Jang, Oxfam ambassador and chef Robert Oliver with help from TV star Te Kohe Tuhaka.
  • Kai Idia lamb kofte with curry sauce (Fijian Indian) from Sid Sahrawat and Cassia head chef Lesley Chandra. Vegetarian option available.
  • And lastly, My Kitchen Rules judges Ben Bayly and Gareth Stewart reconnect on a Kailoma dessert – their take on a Banana Caramel Trifle. Kailoma is a term from the Fijian and Euro female settlers, historically known for their fantastic desserts.

Alongside the four food stalls, delivered with support from AUT is a drinks station, music and live cultural performances.

Tickets to Flavours of Fiji are available from Eventfinda and go on sale on today (9 March). Those attending are encouraged to use public transport to get to Queens Wharf.



Panuku Development Auckland

Robert Oliver

Antony Suvalko

Greig Buckley

NZ Guild of Food Writers

Pead PR

Warwick Brown and team at Auckland University of Technology’s Culinary School

Sid Sahrawat & team from Cassia

Michael Meredith & team from Merediths

Michael Dearth, Ben Bayly & team at The Grove and Baduzzi

Chris Upton, Mark Southon and team from O’Connell St Bistro

About Flavours of Fiji

Flavours of Fiji is a food and cultural fundraising event at Auckland’s Shed 10 and The Cloud on 20 March. It is being organised by a group of food industry professionals helping the Fijian people affected by February’s Cyclone Winston. The four plate menu is created by Robert Oliver and leading Auckland chefs Ben Bayly (The Grove & Baduzzi), Gareth Stewart (Nourish Group), Mark Southon (O’Connell St Bistro), Michael Meredith (Meredith’s & Eat My Lunch initiative) and Sid Sahrawat (SIDART and Cassia) with food donated by leading New Zealand suppliers. Live cultural performances, music and other family entertainment takes place between 11.00am and 3.00pm. Tickets are available from Eventfinda and cost $20 per person covering 1 x drink and 4 x plates.