Sunday, March 6, 2011

Christchurch Crisis

My good friend Chef Gary Miller lives in Christchurch.   After the first earthquake in September, the restaurant where he was the Executive Chef was demolished.   He quickly re-grouped and moved on... fast forward to now.   With devastating aftershocks that destroyed the city, his restaurant in now the crisis center for the government.   With all that is going on, he took time out to write this note to me....
Thank you for your messages, at this time it really is pleasing to receives messages from friends and family from afar. The situation and challenges that lay ahead of us here in Christchurch are many, but like all great communities we are resolute in our resolve to overcome these and come out of this a better place.

Though we may lament the loss of our city as we knew it, we realize that we have a very rare opportunity to now build a new future for ourselves, the buildings that we have lost are now consigned to being part of our memories and past, but in a situation such as this sentimentality must take a back seat.

The people and communities of our city have and continue to rally round with support, comfort and togetherness. One thing that has really come to the fore is the sense of togetherness brought about by the sharing of food - so many people talk about bringing the family together around the table whilst enjoying the simple pleasures of a good meal. Here in Christchurch food and the sharing of is bringing many communities together. Whether it be a simple offering of corn on the cob or a BBQ, food helps create a central point where people can come together, talk of their days experiences, swap stories and also pass on info of who needs help and who can help.

I have been involved in numerous assistance roles, mainly centered round food, either securing it for various groups or helping volunteer groups to establish, set up and organize kitchens that can then bring comfort and food to their communities.

How did your pilot filming go? is there any footage that can be viewed on line, sure would like to see it.

For now take care, carry on with your good works, keep spreading the message of the joys of cooking and stay safe.
To honor Gary and all the people affected by the earthquake, please consider a donation to the New Zealand Chef's Association - Earthquake Fund Raising Dinner.
New Zealand Chefs Association – Earthquake Fund raising Dinner

We have all watched with horror and disbelief as Christchurch crumbled.
Feeling grief for our families, friends, colleagues and strangers and we all want to help in some way.
As chefs, we can do what we do best, which is to cook, create and provide hospitality and raise funds for those affected
Please send this email to your own business and personal contacts, make up a table of 10 and join us to make this a wonderful event.

Saturday 2nd April 2011 @ 6pm
SkyCity Convention Centre - New Zealand Room
The cost is $300 per head or $2500 per table (10 per table)
5 course dinner, with entertainment and a charity auction

Some of our Canterbury chefs will be participating in the event.

The numbers to book a table or offer auction items is 0800 692 433 or 09 6222 748.
 I will ask Gary to set up a Paypal account to make donating easier for State-side people, but for more information, send me an email at

One more point - take a look at these before and after images of Christchurch.  It will certainly take away any hesitation to donate! 

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