OzHarvest 10th Birthday Party

Author: Maggie Scardifield

The OzHarvest warehouse in Sydney was abuzz on Monday night as founder and CEO Ronni Kahn welcomed 700 friends, volunteers and supporters to join her in celebrating the charity's 10th anniversary.

"Goodness, kindness and generosity have rolled my way continuously for the last 10 years," said Kahn, as she welcomed guests to "the best birthday gift anyone could ever hope for" - the new OzHarvest headquarters on Maddox Street in Alexandria.

The 500-square-metre space comes complete with a massive kitchen, which was put to good use on the night by OzHarvest volunteers and guest chefs. "Although we've had wonderful premises all along, they just didn't embody everything that OzHarvest is," Kahn said. "This place really does, and I have huge plans for our new home."

Since starting OzHarvest in 2004, Kahn and her team have rescued more than 10 million kilos of food which otherwise would have gone to landfill. "It equates to over 30 million meals being delivered," said Kahn, "free of charge, to people who need them most."

The birthday celebrations included the launch of the second OzHarvest book, Urban Harvest (ozharvest.org, $60, hbk), which includes recipes from chefs such as Guillaume Brahimi, Neil Perry and Matt Moran.

And, in true OzHarvest fashion, Kahn assured us that any leftovers from the birthday bash wouldn't go to waste, either. "Any leftovers will be going to about 30 of our different agencies in Sydney, so there will be no shortage of people we can share this with."

The food There was a distinct growers' market vibe, with lamb on the spit from Feather and Bone and Vic's Meat, cooked in-situ by chef Jared Ingersoll; and a paella prepared with seafood donated by Fine Fish and Fish Tales. Canap├ęs included meatballs by La Scala, arancini from Gatto Matto, and kofte made by OzHarvest ambassador Somer Sivrioglu, from Efendy. The huge Will Studd cheese station was also a highlight, with butter from Pepe Saya and Brasserie Bread rounding out the offering.

The drink Fesq and Company wines, Where the Wild Things Grow smoothies, Young Henry's beer and cider, Vittoria coffee and Trolley'd cocktails made using produce from the Good+Harvest community garden.

We loved Blowing out the candles on her Sweet Art birthday cake, Kahn said the OzHarvest birthday wish was a big one, but not impossible. "In the next 10 years I don't want to be standing here telling you that Australia still wastes 8 to 10 billion dollars per year worth of food. I want to put the food-rescue business out of business." We'll raise a glass to that.

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