Jeffrey is a well known celebrity chef in Asia and Australia, he insists he is just a humble, inspiring and competent cook. This was Jeffrey’s fourth visit to the Club. Former AG, qualified accountant and international businessman, he assesses himself as a self taught “cook” who has been able to indulge his passion for cooking over the past twenty years. His fund raising started some eight years ago. Since that time he has raised some $1.8m for charities and is now a multi-award winning chef who has been recognised in many countries for his outstanding work in raising funds for charity with his dinners. His guests included His Excellency the President of Indonesia and HRH the Crown Prince and Princess of Pahang State, Malaysia. He has also received the Centenary Medal by Australian Governor-General in 2003. The Ken Scheller (RI Past Vice President) Award Committee has also recognised his work with two commendations. Presentation – Ignite your passion (RC of Rosanna) – Power Point Presentation. During his AV presentation, Jeffrey showed us several mouth-watering delicacies which he recommended should be enjoyed with a glass (or two) of a nice Pinot Noir. His strict requirements are simple meals, tasty and fresh ingredients and passion. As for his Rotary involvement…’Rotary is Passion, Passion is Rotary’. In defining his passion for cooking, Jeffrey instanced a meeting with fishermen at Lakes Entrance some time ago. These men all had expensive boats, the latest in gear and spent days fishing the surrounding waters. For what? Not very much! But they had a passion for fishing and the experience was more important than the result. As Jeffrey said, “Passion is what makes things great.” Jeffrey gave us the recipe for his fund raising dinners. Take 10 to 12 guests, two or three Rotary volunteers, three or four assistant chefs, stir in a $200 donation plus $50 for the food and some BYO wine and presto, there you have it. A typical dinner means starting preparations on the Thursday by buying all the ingredients fresh, starting the preparations of the meals on the Friday, transporting the food to the venue on the Saturday, serving, and during and after the meal washing some 280 plates and glasses. Married with two adult children, his primary satisfaction is the opportunity of pursuing his passion for cooking and the friendships which that creates with fundraising being a happy consequence. Jeffrey could arrange a Club dinner, but alas his dance card is booked until November 2015. In closing Jeffrey described himself as just a ‘humble cook’…yeah, right! Humble, yes, just a cook, don’t think so!
Reporters – Barrie Williams, Don Hamilton 25th June 2014