Disclosure: I was invited as a guest
It’s always said that prevention is better than cure, but it’s often the harder of the two. However for Anglicare Victoria, it’s one of their three guiding pillars, prevent, protect and empower, as everyday they look to protect the futures of children, young people, families and adults. They do this by providing services such as foster care for children in negative home situations, offering gambler’s help for families and providing residential care - amongst many other services.
Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure of joining in on Anglicare’s biggest fundraiser for the year, at the Dinner with Angels gala dinner. At this dinner, Melbourne’s top chefs donate their time, produce and experience, to help raise funds for children living in foster care.
Held at the Peninsula in the Docklands, the setting was lively and it’s always great fun to arrive and try to guess which table you might be seated at. All while sipping away on some beautiful Dalzotto Prosecco (one of my favourites) and browsing the silent auction items - they had digitised the silent auction this year which made it quite entertaining as we watched the bids go up on the screen through the course of the evening!
This time, my friend Caryn and I were lucky enough to be sitting at the Merricote table!
But before that, some light entertainment, and speeches from the CEO and chairman, who reiterate the importance of the evening and share some of the enlightening experiences they’ve had, and some of the amazing success stories as well.
But before long, the main event was served to our table - starting with individual entrees. The Merricote table started with absolutely stunning ocean trout pastrami with cultured cream, blood orange and rye. The colour of the cured ocean trout was just amazing, so vibrant and rich in colour, but so sweet and refreshing in flavour. The cultured cream was amazingly moreish, and added a nice richness to the dish.
Mains are a sharing affair, Merricote serving up a beautiful pork dish with the most beautifully noisy crackling, with poached red wine pair - I adored the sweetness with the richness of the pork. Classic, but for a reason! The pork was paired with gorgeous dutch carrots with almonds and raddichio salads as well.
Following mains, the live auctions start, which is probably one of my favourite parts of the evening - one day I’ll get to join in…! Always get a couple of laughs, and amazement about how generous people are.
The chefs also line up for their group photo, and it’s really a best of the best in Melbourne - where else are you going to get this many of Melbourne’s chefs, from some of the best restaurants all cooking at the same time?
To cap off the night, a modern take on apple crumble (which I devour) and some live music and dancing before we call it a night.
An enjoyable night, incredible food, and all for a good cause. There’s something for everybody, but most importantly, support and resources being made available to the work that Anglicare Victoria do to help prepare and empower the people they work with.