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Variety cooks up a storm for children in need

MORE than 200 guests enjoyed a uniquely Tasmanian experience in September, raising much-needed money for charity as they celebrated the state’s finest produce, wine and live music at the inaugural Variety of Chefs Gala Ball.

Hosted by ‘The Chef and The Showman’, Paul Foreman and John X, in Wrest Point’s Tasman Room, Variety of Chefs saw guests treated to a four-course degustation cooked by four of the state’s top chefs.

Gourmet meals by Craig Will, Oli Mellers, Terry Barrett and Andre Kropp were matched with premium Tasmanian beverages from the likes of Bream Creek Estate, Nocton Vineyard, Derwent Estate and Old Kempton Distillery.

Dressed in black tie with fancy hats and fascinators, guests put the fun into fundraising as they were entertained by on-stage cooking demonstrations, live crosses to the kitchen, and music from top Tasmanian live acts The Embers and The Bad Dad Orchestra.

The event, which raised more than $20,000 for Variety, doubled as the launch of the second stage of the Variety Creative Arts Program, which will be delivered at Clarendon Vale Primary School during term four.

Delivered by an accredited arts therapist, the program uses creative arts therapy to more effectively support children who may be recovering from trauma or other adverse life experiences.

The program will be delivered as small-group workshops held in a safe and welcoming environment, offering children a creative means for self-expression that supports their emotional well-being and development.

Variety Tasmania chief executive officer Mohammad Aldergham said a pilot program based at the Hobart Women’s Shelter during the July school holidays had yielded encouraging – and in some cases, almost instant – results.

“Our goal is to help children feel heard and understood and we believe this program will deliver on this goal,” he said.

“Variety Creative Arts is an innovative and exciting program that will provide children from disadvantaged and low socio-economic backgrounds with a means for self-expression and enable them to process their experiences in ways that facilitate change.

“We believe this innovative program shows what Variety Tasmania expects of itself – to unlock the potential of Tasmanian children moving forward.”

For information on the 2020 Variety of Chefs event, visit www.variety.org.au/tas/events or phone 62484888.

Caption: Variety Tasmania chief executive officer Mohammad Aldergham with chefs at the inaugural Variety of Chefs Gala Ball. Photo credit: Barefoot Photographer.

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