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28 May 2019

Tuesday, 28 May 2019, An all-star line-up of female chefs will come together and support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children in Syria, by creating a special dinner at NOMAD in Surry Hills, on Monday 12 August.

Hosted by UNICEF Australia’s Ambassador for Nutrition Adam Liaw, the dinner is part of nationwide fundraising initiative, #CookForSyria, in aid of UNICEF Australia’s Syria Crisis Appeal for Children. Sophie McNeill, Four Corners journalist and former ABC Middle East Correspondent, is the guest speaker.

 NOMAD’s head chef Jacqui Challinor will collaborate with the country’s top talent and create a four-course menu, incorporating a Syrian stamp on their signature dishes. The line up includes Julie Niland (Saint Peter, NSW), Claire Van Vuuren (Bloodwood, NSW), Emma McCaskill (Sparkke at The Whitmore, SA), Thi Li (Anchovy, VIC), Shannon Martinez (Smith & Daughters, VIC), Sharon and Carol Salloum (Almond Bar, NSW), Jaci Koludrovic (Icebergs Group, NSW), Isabelle Caulfield (Poly, NSW), Federica Andrisani (Fico Dining, TAS), Imogen Czulowski (Africola, SA), Palisa Anderson (Boon Luck Farm, NSW) and Sarah Knights (Automata, NSW). Sommeliers include: Bridget Raffal (Sixpenny, NSW), Samantha Payne (wine consultant, NSW). Running the floor will be: Kylie Javier Ashton (Momofuku) and Nikki Friedl (Africola, SA).

The dinner will kick off at 6.30pm and tickets are $295 each, including a four-course menu with matching wines. All food and wine has been generously donated so that all proceeds raised directly support UNICEF Australia’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

Jacqui says, “This is the second year I have been involved in #CookForSyria and I am deeply passionate about bringing people together over a meal to support this important cause. To be able to feed and nourish the people you love is very special, so it is incredibly meaningful to be able to provide help and hope via this dinner to children and their families affected by the on-going crisis in Syria.”

As the conflict in Syria enters its ninth year, more than eight million children are affected and in need of vital support including clean water, vaccinations, education and psychosocial support. Girls and women are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation with many having fled their homes and seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, or internally displaced in Syria and without their usual support networks.

Adam Liaw said, “Having travelled to the Za’atari Refugee Camp near the border with Jordan and Syria, I have seen first-hand the enormous struggles they continue to face and how UNICEF’s work continues to support them. Food is such a huge part of Syrian culture -- it brings a sense of normalcy to their new everyday routine and provides hope for one day being able to return to their old life.”

The #CookForSyria campaign aims to encourage everyone from top chefs to restaurants, to people at home, to cook and raise money to help children affected by the conflict in Syria. The global movement has to date raised more than $1.5 million to provide vital support for children.

Throughout August and September restaurateurs, chefs, bakers and café owners from around the country are also invited to take part in #CookForSyria by putting a ‘Syrian inspired twist’ on one of their favourite signature dishes (or by creating a new dish) and donating at least $5 from each sale of that dish. The community is invited to take part and anyone can host their own #CookForSyria dinner or event, whether at home or at school, to raise funds for the appeal. For registration please visit: www.cookforsyria.com/au