Chef warming hearts and stomachs

CELEBRITY chef Darren Simpson will not be the only one smiling after the Variety of Chefs event next month which raises money for the Hunter Region’s sick and disadvantaged children.

The northern Irish chef, who moved to Australia in the late 1990s and has manned the pans in noted restaurants across the country as well as pursuing a career in television, will headline the six-course Italian degustation dinner on March 2 at Newcastle City Hall. All proceeds raised go to Variety – the Children’s Charity in Newcastle.

‘‘I really think children are the future in general – whether able bodied or disabled – it’s about bringing a smile to their face,’’ Simpson said. ‘‘It’s so easy to give back, all it takes is a little bit of my time, which can make a big difference.’’

It will be the first time the gastronomic event has been held in a regional area. It has raised more than $400,000 during its four years in Sydney.

‘‘Hopefully this year’s will be the first of many,’’ Simpson said. 

Carrington Place’s Scott Webster and noted chef Dominique Rizzo will join Simpson cooking on stage. John Paul Young joined and the All-Star band will perform, as well as singer and actress Maria Venuti.

Tickets are $180 a person, which includes matching wines. Visit varietynsw.org.au/varietyofchefsnewcastle or call 49654911. Tickets available until March 1.

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