AUT volunteer students and staff teamed up with well-known Kiwis last night to serve the homeless a gourmet dinner at the Auckland City Mission.
They surprised 80 mission guests by cooking a four-course meal and waiting on their tables. Singers Tiki Taane and Jordan Luck provided the entertainment.
The surprise dinner was to celebrate the Cooking 4 Change cookbook that comes out on August 26. The cookbook features 101 New Zealand celebrities and their favourite recipes.
The book is the brainchild of iconic New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell and his business partner Christian Kasper and TV presenter Erin Simpson.
Kasper approached AUT culinary arts lecturer Renny Aprea about creating a menu and cooking it. Aprea and volunteer culinary students gave up a Sunday to prepare the food and then helped serve it on the night.
Meanwhile AUT’s Hospitality Services transformed the Auckland City Mission dining area into a quality restaurant, transporting tables, table settings from AUT.
Celebrities including Shortland St actor Jacqueline Nairn, model Colin Mathura-Jeffree, designer Trelise Cooper, jeweller Sir Michael Hill, Warriors players, broadcaster Leigh Hart, Labour leader Andrew Little, MP Jacinda Ardern, comedian Urzila Carlson and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt pitched in to serve a creamy pumpkin soup, beef wellington with potato gratin, fruit crumble for dessert and a cheese board.
All profits raised from sales of the cookbook will be donated to Auckland City Mission, Paw Justice, Starship Foundation, and Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.