UPDATED 8 SEPTEMBER: The event has been rescheduled and will now take place on Sunday (10 September) at 1 pm and on Monday (11 September) at 6 pm. Tickets are available here.
JULY 11: Canberra-born chef Reece Inkpen had been working in London when he got the news that his mum Liz had been diagnosed with a glioblastoma grade four brain cancer.
Reece returned home to spend time with family, and caught up with his old workmates from Pilot restaurant: co-owners Ross McQuinn, Dash Rumble and executive chef Mal Hanslow.
“We caught up over a beer and Ross had offered me a job within five minutes,” Reece told Region.
“A few weeks ago I told Mal I was thinking about doing a fundraiser and he said, ‘Let’s do it here at Pilot’.”
The result is Reece’s Pieces: a pop-up fundraiser for charity Peace of Mind, which offers support to brain cancer patients and their families. Reece explained that this organisation had really helped his family following his mum’s diagnosis, and he wanted to do something to give back.
The pop-up will run over two sessions with a Sunday long lunch, and a Monday night dinner at Pilot restaurant in Ainslie on 16 and 17 July.
The multi-course meal will feature locally grown ingredients in a menu designed by Reece. He says he’s excited to get back to cooking with Australian produce after years of working in the UK. The menu will feature Australian seafood, local meats and fresh produce from local not-for-profit supplier Southern Harvest Association.
He describes the menu as “stuff I like to cook” but explains that he will also include a nod to his mum’s love of cereal.
“It’s hilarious how obsessed she is with cornflakes! So dessert will be cornflake ice cream in a choux bun. It’s kind of like an ice cream sandwich.”
Dash Rumble explained that she and Ross were “one hundred per cent” behind Reece’s idea, and wanted to help however they could. While Reece has got the kitchen under control, Dash has organised drinks and staff for front of house.
“The wine list is looking really good, it’s going to be a lot of fun with a lot of things by the glass. There are so many distributors and producers who have donated stock, which is so amazing,” Dash said.
The team has reached out to the broader hospitality community around Canberra to see if anyone is interested in volunteering and they’ve ended up with something of a supergroup of local hospo legends who will be donating their time to the event.
“Of course, as a fundraiser there’s a really serious element to it, but I think it will also be a lot of fun for us, and for the people who attend as well,” Reece says.
Dash agrees: “Everyone can just drink some great wine, eat a lot of food and hopefully we’ll raise heaps of money for a good cause.”
Reece’s Pieces will take place at Pilot Restaurant in Ainslie on Sunday, 16 July at 1 pm and Monday, 17 July at 6 pm. Purchase tickets here.
Tickets are $140 per person and include three snacks and five courses.
Learn more about Peace of Mind on its website.
Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.