Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The National Stroke Foundation - Food For Thought Charity Dinner 2012

1 in 6 people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime.

Every 6 seconds someone, somewhere, regardless of their age or their gender will die from stroke.

60,000 new and recurrent strokes in Australia every year.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to attend the National Stroke Foundation Food for Thought charity dinner. From that dinner, I sampled some amazing food, and learned so much about Stroke, the causes, the signs, the prevention, the recovery and the resilient stories from many survivors. This year, again I was lucky to be invited, and was joined by many fellow food lovers. I was joined by Ashley (whose birthday it was on the night, Happy Birthday), Fi, Simon, Nic and Helen, Lee, Chelsea, Ellie and Kenneth.

Being the second time the Food for Thought charity dinner was being run (and it has also been run in many other states), it ran even smoother and the message about Stroke was spread even more. The Stroke Foundation has released material which you may have seen which show you the signs of stroke. It uses the easy to remember F.A.S.T acronym to show the signs to be aware of. They are:

Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
Arm Can they lift both arms?
Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

It is vital to catch the signs as early as possible as time equates to stopping the damage. Stroke can be very debilitating and it doesn't discriminate. It doesn't just affect the old as we assume, young people are just as prone. The statistics on Stroke are quite surprising and more awareness is needed to help research and care. You can help through donating to the National Stroke Foundation, as well as following their Stroke Facebook page to stay connected with new research, hear other sufferer's stories such as that from Emma Gee and learn more about what you can do to help yourself and your families.

While there was talk about Stroke on the night, the night was also a celebration of good food. The following chefs were involved and donated their time and food for a great cause.

Riccardo Momesso from Sarti - Kingfish and Swiss Chard "Cannelloni"
Leigh Power from Gingerboy - Son In Law Eggs
Michael Fox from Henry and the Fox - Rabbit Terrine with Rhubarb
Mathew Hart from Balgownie Estate - Vine Smoked Spiced Chicken with Apricot Chutney
Scott Pickett from Estelle Bar and Kitchen - Slow Cooked Wagyu Rump with Mushrooms
Nicolas Poelaert from Embrasse - Hazelnut Parfait, Chocolate, Buttermilk

Needless to say that all the food was great. The Kingfish and Swiss Chard Cannelloni may not be the prettiest dish, but inside it had great flavour. I absolutely loved the Son In Law eggs with the fantastic texture and wonderful explosion of flavours. The Rabbit Terrine was a beautiful classic French style terrine but the pickled rhubarb really made that dish even better. The Vine Smoke Spiced Chicken was exactly as described and had a great smokey flavour. I really loved the chutney that was served with it too. My second favourite dish was the wonderful Slow Cooked Wagyu. It was so tender and I loved the black garlic served with it. My favourite dish, as you may have already guess, was dessert of course. I'm such a sweet tooth, and the Hazelnut Parfait was simply stunning. The texture was so smooth and the hazelnut really popped.

During the night we were given the opportunity to visit the kitchens. Wow, what an experience. I've seen the workings of kitchens before but never for a massive function like this event. It was like a smooth well-oiled machine, with each chef adding one element to a dish before another chef swooped in and added some more things. It was a truly amazing sight. The sheer number of dishes lined up on endless tables was unbelievable. I was tempted to sneak a few pieces of food from the dishes but was under keen supervision by my chef mate Scott Pickett.

Throughout the night, I had a great time talking to everyone on my table. Ashley and I may also have broken out into song one, or five times as the live singer was doing a lot of classic songs. I may have seen Lee sing a few bars as well in between snapping photos of her food. Well, actually we were also snapping like crazy at the poor innocent food before devouring it with utter pleasure.

Of course, I had to get an obligatory photo with a chef as I really admire and respect their work. I've wanted to get a photo with Nic from Embrasse a number of times but he was always busy. So I cornered him this time and made sure I got a pic. Thanks to Kenneth for taking this wonderful happy snap.

Finally, here are all the amazing chefs who made the food on the night happen. With them is the National Stroke Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor, who gave a powerful speech and really brought home the importance of being aware of stroke.

Once again, it was a great night with fantastic food (which I love of course) but also lots of great work done with the money raised and also an increase in awareness about Stroke. I'd like to thank Anna Hickey and Diana Kerr for being wonderful hosts who really made sure we were all comfortable and enjoyed ourselves. I hope that my blog post might prompt you to learn some more about Stroke as it may one day save your life or the life of someone you know.

I attended the night with much thanks to the National Stroke Foundation.


  1. Son in law egg was definitely my favourite dish of the night :-)

  2. Great post Thanh. The dessert looks pretty special!

  3. Thanks for all the stroke info - so important to know.

    The food looks fantastic.

    (PS: name dropper... haha)

  4. Yeah thanks for the stroke information. It's important for people to be aware that identifying the early signs makes a fatality more preventable!

    Looking good in the suit too :)

  5. Simon, all the food was very good.

    Anonymous, Agnes, April, thanks. It's important to know about Stroke as it affects so many people.