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7 May, 2021

Top Chefs collaborate for a tasty fundraiser

SOME of the city’s top chefs will combine their gastronomic talents to serve up a delectable menu at this year’s 5-Star Chefs for Charity gala dinner.

Executive Chefs Graeme Miles - Pullman Casino (Tamarind), Dave Hart - Pullman International Cairns, Mayor Bob Manning, Aaron Habgood - Shangri-la, and Karel Polis - Hilton Cairns

Initiated last year as the signature fundraiser for the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal, the inaugural event raised over $26,000 to provide food hampers for people needing a little extra help over the festive season.

Organisers are hopeful of toppling that achievement at this year’s dinner, which will be hosted by the Shangri-La on 24 July.

“Last year, the appeal raised a record $114,000, which would not have been possible without the support of our media partners,” Cr Manning said.

“Nor would we have reached this total without the wonderful generosity of our community, who, during our city’s most challenging time, dug deep to give to those most needing something to smile about at Christmas.”

Those attending this year’s 5-Star Chefs for Charity dinner will be treated to a delectable four-course dinner, prepared by the culinary expertise of the head chefs from Hilton Cairns, Pullman Cairns International, Shangri-La and the Pullman Reef Casino.

Each chef will prepare one course for the menu, which will feature two entrees (one seafood), a main and a dessert, with beer and wine included.

Cr Manning encouraged those attending to embrace the theme of white in celebration of Christmas in July, when dressing for the event.

“While in the Far North we don’t celebrate a ‘White Christmas’, it’s great to have some fun, put on something white and embrace the concept for such a worthy cause,” Cr Manning said. 

Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns General Manager, Ross Miles-Cadman, was thrilled to be hosting the event in 2021 after the success of last year’s event.

“Christmas in July is always good fun and the chefs preparing this year’s dinner have enjoyed creating a menu that celebrates the flavours of the Far North by using some of our region’s best ingredients,” Mr Miles-Cadman said.

“Cairns people are famous for pulling together during tough times – the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal is just another example – and I hope our 5-Star Chef’s for Charity event continues thriving to assist those members of our community that need a little extra support.”

The event will kick off at 5.45pm with canapes and cocktails (by Three Wolves) at the Shangri-La’s poolside terrace, followed by the four-course gala dinner in the ballroom. There will also be live entertainment, auctions and raffles.

All services and products have been generously supplied by each hotel, regional suppliers and business as an in-kind donation.

The dinner will be limited to 130 guests, with all proceeds from the ticket sales to be donated to the appeal for this year’s food hampers.

Tickets are $165 per person and bookings can be made online at

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