The fundraiser, in the Beach Club, was a special evening of gourmet food and outlandishly fine liquor prepared by Russell Blaikie (Must Winebar Perth) and his team of award-winning celebrity chefs, who share a common passion for surfing. Attended by 220 people, the evening raised more than $55,000 for SurfAid’s mother and child health programs in Indonesia.
The Surfing Chefs, who all donated their work, served up an exquisite multi-course canapé menu sourced from local produce.
Besides Carroll, the chefs were: Russell and Sam Blaikie (Must Winebar, Perth), Ben O’Donoghue (Billykart Kitchen, Brisbane), Aaron Carr (Vasse Felix, Margaret River), Dany Angove (Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River), Jake Drachenberg (Hay Shed Hill, Margaret River), Herb Faust, Adam (Leno) Jennings and Meg Hatswell (Herb Faust Food, Perth), Tony Howell and Matt Black (Aravina Estate, Margaret River), Paul Iskov (Yoda – Fervor Food, Perth), Eamon Sullivan and Scott Bridger (Bib & Tucker, Perth) and Dean Williams (Sandalford, Swan Valley).
Russell Blaikie came up with the concept of Surfing Chefs for SurfAid in 2011 and the series of events has now raised more than $130,000 for SurfAid. Blaikie was full of praise for newcomer Carroll. “TC’s willingness to jump in, roll up the sleeves on his new chef’s jacket and prep away with the team of chefs was the stuff of legend,” he said.
“Tom was pretty savvy in the kitchen and could handle a razor sharp knife, but he still managed to cut himself, although he seemed to be wear the Band-Aid as a badge of honour, his rite of passage into a commercial kitchen complete!”
Blaikie said the crew of top chefs was blown away by Carroll’s approach to the night. “He was thrown into an intense environment; a massive kitchen at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel and 13 professional chefs cooking 10 amazing dishes for 220 people.
“Tom jumped in and played his part marvellously, taking any chance to tuck in to the dishes we were putting up. We could see by his probing questions and response to the flavours he was tasting that he has a deep passion for food.”
Blaikie added that having Ben O’Donoghue on board was a sensation. “Ben generously donated a true collectable that was auctioned on the evening – the board he surfed in two series of the groundbreaking show Surfing the Menu, signed by co-star, celebrity chef Curtis Stone.
“Ben cranked out his amazing black pepper prawns on a barbecue set up in the crowd, swapping stories with TC and giving a great weight of celebrity and great food to the night.”
Blaikie said there was no doubt Carroll has found a great bunch of new mates in Surfing Chefs, with bucket loads of genuine admiration flowing both ways. “The local chefs are guys who are at the top of their game in the West, they are a band of brothers who would do anything for each other, while running the best kitchens in the state,” he said.
Tom Carroll said it was a great learning curve to be exposed to such a challenge. “It’s always cool watching genius in action and there was plenty of it there on the night with all the chefs coming together,” he said.
“They were very jovial but at the same time there was competition so they were showing what they had. For me doing just the rudimentary cutting, cleaning and prepping was a great opportunity to taste every dish – sometimes more than once! And now I know why all the guests were so stimulated.”
SurfAid’s Corinne Habel said it was a great night for the humanitarian organisation. “A fantastic combination of perfect weather, fabulous food and a bevy of amazing chefs and surfing royalty in Tom Carroll. It was a packed house at the stunning Cottesloe Beach Hotel,” she said.
“On behalf of the entire SurfAid team, we are enormously grateful to Russell Blaikie and all the chefs, their restaurants, the sponsors, vendors, volunteers, all our supporters who attended, and everyone who pitched in to make the event an extraordinary success. Together we raised more than $55,000 for SurfAid’s programs in Indonesia. That money will save a lot of lives.”
Watch Storm Surfers, Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones, as the travel to some of the wildest, coldest and heaviest surf spots in the world: