Dine on the Wild Side – George Calombaris & Friends

As someone who is passionate about food and causes, there are few things I enjoy more than a good fundraiser. Last night through my work with the organisation, I attended a fundraising dinner for Zoos Victoria – the body responsible for Melbourne Zoo, Healsville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo. After pre-dinner drinks in with the seals, guests were led to the newly built Leopard Lodge reception centre at Melbourne Zoo by a scuba-clad trio and orangutan puppet! It was a pretty amazing evening out at the zoo so I thought I’d share my images from the evening, enjoy!

The pre-entertainment leading guests to dinner in the new Leopard Lodge reception area at Melbourne Zoo.

Very cute orangutan puppet also kept guests entertained

George Calombaris opens proceedings for Dine on the Wild Side talking about his passion for Zoos Victoria and their causes to save habitats such as promoting the use of sustainable palm oil.

Once seated, guests were treated to a six-course degustation by George Calombaris and his chef friends:
Phillippe Mouchel, P M 24: Chou farci of snails, liquorice, consomee, herbs
Matt Moran, Aria: Cured Ocean Trout with konbu, fennel & yuzu
Joe Grbac, Press Club: Slow-cooked green egg, Bannockburn chicken, horiatiki of corn, pita and marouli, roast chicken consomme, almond sponge, popcorn foam
Shane Delia, Maha: Twice-cooked line caught snapper, corn custard, basil gel, crab zalzet, sujuk powder
Travis McAuley, Hellenic Republic: Yoghurt braised lamb neck, vegetables lathera, smoked feta
Adriano Zumbo, Patisserie: Elephant’s Revenge

Me wearing Melako beads which you can buy at Melbourne or Werribee Zoos or online just in time for Christmas!

I’m wearing a dress from American Rag, handbag from Witchery and shoes by Camper in the Olivia style. I’ve accessorised with beads from Zoos Victoria’s Beads for Wildlife Program – stay tuned for more of my styling of these beads inspired by the December issue of Vogue that is currently on sale now!

A pretty great night all up, do you enjoy attending fundraising events and if so do you have any that you can recommend to BusiChics?


  1. I love your outfit Cheryl!! Haven’t been to American Rag for a long while now. I got a suede jacket from them once – still have them. And I do love those gorgeous beads. As always – GORGEOUS!! As for fundraising events, I think there’s one for the Leukemia Foudation – a ball, can’t remember the name exactly but I’ll find out. Have heard that it’s lots of fun too!

    • Thanks Norlin- I actually went to a masquerade ball for Leukaemia last week and wonder if it’s the same ball- it was a lot of fun!

      Yes American Rag has been around Melbourne for a while but the one at Southgate has just had a refurb (like the rest of the complex)- definitely worth checking it out! It’s my go to for vintage dresses that I can wear to work: in fact, I hope to pick up my latest one tomorrow! I like that they offer a tailoring service to get the pieces just right.

      And yes I love my zoo beads; did you get some yourself last year? They make such good gifts and have a great story behind them. I can’t wait to share more:)

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