25 November 2007

Interlude Nil, Ezard Nil

This time last week Guy Grossi was king hit and George Calombaris hit his stride.

The air
at the State Soccer Centre in Melbourne's Thornbury was heavy with machismo and the threat of rain after a morning of thunderous downpours. We were at the Heinz Charity Cup, a day of soccer matches fielded by sixteen teams from Melbourne's better known restaurants and their suppliers, to raise money for the Starlight Foundation.

Families and restaurant groupies swarmed the grounds. RRR FM provided background entertainment with an outside broadcast and Damm Fine Food filled the air with the comforting smells of a gourmand's sausage sizzle. Loaves of commercial white bread leant flaccid and lazy against the wall outside the Broadcast team's window and a walking,
giant Heinz ketchup bottle - waving its lid helplessly - was being harassed by spiteful bored children.

The teams gathered onfield, their families clustered under makeshift shelters battling the hot, humid and blustery spring elements. Dogs played and the more rambunctious little tackers wreaked havoc in a Shrek Bouncy Castle.
The broadcasters discussed growing organic lettuces. Onfield, kitchen egos flared and then Guy, Executive Chef of Grossi Florentino and Mirka at Tolarno, got sconed.

Paul Wilson, Executive Chef of The Botanical, was surprisingly nimble on his feet. Moving across the field like a black battle ship, he was a force to be reckoned with. On the side lines, the whisper in the crowd was that Chef Robin Wickens had padded out Team Interlude with ring-ins.

The wog boys from Cecconi's fought tooth and nail with the combined team of Mini & Syracuse. While crouched on the sidelines, a listless apprentice from Jacques Reymond complained that he had an arduous Saturday, culminating in 63 covers and was heading home later to write a 1200 word essay.

The kitchen brigade from The Press Club were impressive performers - Chef George Calombaris played with gusto leading his team to an resounding
seven/nil thrashing of Ezard/Gingerboy. Across the way teams Pearl and Oyster battled the wind that was ripping fiercely at the San Pellegrino banners.

Apparently The European crew was there too, along with Joseph's, Sarti,
Movida and The Grand Hyatt, but as the rain began to fall we escaped the havoc to the relative comfort of the Northcote Social Club for a cleansing ale.

Heinz Charity Cup Results

Semi finals
Press Club Vs Mini/Syracuse 0-3;
European Vs Botantical 0-1;

Final: Botanical Vs Mini/Syracuse 0-2

Since 1988, Starlight Children's Foundation Australia has brightened the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children, and their families, by delivering innovative programs that restore the fun, laughter and joy that serious illness takes away.

Living with illness or injury can cause enormous strain in the lives of children and their families. The pain, loneliness and isolation that sick children feel dominates their lives to the extent that they often miss out on the fun, laughter and normal experiences that healthy children take for granted.

Physical recovery is only part of the solution. Starlight delivers programs designed to make children happy and lift their spirits when they need it most. Starlight brings fun and laughter to children no matter what their illness or where they live.

"Looking after a child with a chronic or life threatening illness requires a comprehensive ‘total’ approach to care, a healing environment that includes entertainment, diversion, fun, laughter and joy. Starlight is a key partner in providing these aspects of care.” Professor Les White Executive Director, The Children’s Hospital

Starlight provides its services Australia-wide and its programs are delivered both in and out of hospital, providing positive distraction to children in their time of need.

Make a dream come true with a donation or through one of the many forms of volunteer work that can assist the foundation.


Vida said...

If only I could remember to do the things I promise my self I will... totally forgot and now it's too late... next year I guess!! Vida x

thanh7580 said...

It looked like lots of fun.

The only question I have is, what did the chefs make of the commerical white bread and sausages containing unidentified meats?

Why didn't the restaurants bring something each, much like our bloggers banquet.

stickyfingers said...

Thanh - every chef I know loves junk food. And not many Aussies can resist "a snag on white bread with dead horse". It is a greasy disgusting - but comforting - snack that reeks of childhood BBQ's where the sugary bread and sauce melds with the fatty sausage. That's why many hardware stores have a sausage sizzle on weekends. It will always attract customers to the store.

Personally, give me a Banh Mi any day over that lot ;-)

In typical European manner, The Press Club seemed to have a spread laid on - but it was for staff and family only.

Totally unrelated, I'm chuffed to find that Mama Ganoush has published a backlink on their new website to my post on their restaurant.

Anonymous said...

G'day Sticky,
Sounds like a fantastic day.
Years ago, circa 1989 The Florentino & Tsindos Bistrot had a soccer 'grudge match' that was more about their Burke St rivalries than any altruistic endeavors.
Neither owner (Ray Tsindos & Branco something?)wanted to get involved until they realised it was a chance to upstage the other.
So out came the team uniforms, the banners & the refreshment marquees.
We at Tsindos got shelacked by the mosty ring-in team, resplendant in Florentine blue, from the Flo.
The food & booze on offer was amazing & I still have a reminder of that gamne in the form of a never-quite healed broken finger!

Vida said...

Thanh, men are not able to multi task, and here you are expecting them to play soccer AND cook your supper, once again I have to say it, YOU ARE TOO HARD TO PLEASE!!! Sticky you better give him another beating before I do!!! Vida x

Vida said...

Damn it, he made me forget why I came by to comment in the first place!!! Sticky, I wanted to know if the icing dress would be lace because I think we would all come to the church at least!!! Oooh la la indeed!! P.S. What is Mr Sticky wearing??? Vida x x x

stickyfingers said...

Gobbler - we stood there watching people limping and looking sore. The kitchen grudges were going hard on the field and only the girls were holding back. Mr Sticky felt it might be good to avoid dining at those venues this last week because of the injuries sustained.

Oh Vida you crack me up - LOL! You're perfectly right. The last thing any of those guys had in mind on their day off was cooking. The food provided by The Press Club looks to have been brought along by family for their team and supporters.

I agree, Thanh is coming across as a perfectionist!

Yes, Chris Montebello said he wanted to make a lace wedding dress from icing for me. Having studied his trade in Paris he says that much of his inspiration for cakes and decorating comes from couture gowns and he is fascinated by antique lace.

Mr Sticky asked if there would be shoes made to match, because Chris has a penchant for many many pairs of high heels? Apart from a boutoniere, Mr Sticky however would not be iced - just me! Very Sticky!

Vida said...

Sticky indeed, Mr and Mrs Sticky!! Vida x P.S. Perfectionist is such a sweet way to put it!!! LOL