The Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Institute (GICI for short) raised more than $70,000 at its annual GastroFest event to improve outcomes of gastro-intestinal cancer by funding clinical trials and raising awareness of New Zealand’s most prevalent form of cancer.
GastroFest, hosted by Carly Flynn and held at Auckland’s Nathan Club earlier this month, attracted 200 guests who enjoyed a four course menu created by Geoff Scott (Vinnies), Gavin Doyle (Ortolana), Jason van Dorsten (Café Hanoi), Jess Daniell (Jess’ Underground Kitchen), Brian Campbell (Milse), and Jordan Rondel (The Caker).
“We wanted to create an interactive dining experience that is unlike the typical charity dinner, one that would encourage guests to engage with one another, and with the food,” said GICI Chairman Grant Baker.
Guests were greeted at the door with Moa beer, sparkling sauvignon blanc from Kim Crawford and NZO volcanic spring water. They enjoyed fresh and spicy beef tartare made on the spot by Jason van Dorsten of Cafe Hanoi and delicious pickled fish with chervil butter on crostini from Gavin Doyle of Ortolana.
Chef Geoff Scott of Vinnies Restaurant invited guests to collect and carve a wine-barrel roasted pork loin for their table like an upscale Thursday roast. The main course was followed by decadent gelato sticks created by dessert gurus Milse, along with a selection of delicate and delicious mini cakes created by baking master Jordan Rondel, of The Caker.
“The money raised will allow New Zealand patients to participate in international clinical trials and will help us continue to raise awareness of GI cancers, which affect the digestive system and include cancer of the bowel, stomach, pancreas, liver, and oesophagus,” said Grant Baker.