Star Ball Canberra was established in 2006 and has now raised over an amazing $2.3m for Starlight.
Thank you to everyone that attended this ‘year’s biggest family dinner’ at the brand new location, the National Arboretum!
Master of Ceremonies
Australia’s premier funk/R&B vocal group CDB performed at the Ball and did not disappoint!
As teenagers, they were part of Melbourne’s South Eastern urban scene and Signed to Sony Music in their mid-teens. “Let’s Groove” reached #1 on the ARIA chart and was best selling Australian single of 1995. CDB toured the world, playing with Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey, performed in Seoul to a live audience of over 100,000 and broadcast to 17 million worldwide, and counted Julian Lennon and Tommy Emmanuel among their fans. Gary, Brad and Andrew went on to write and/or produce songs for Guy Sebastian, Ricki Lee, Jessica Mauboy, Jade MacRae, Natalie Bassingthwaighte., Disco Montego, Tina Arena, Mahalia Barnes, Anthony Callea and Mr Timothy. Danny took three years off to travel around the world before forming a duo with Laura Mitchell. A few years ago, CDB were asked to reunite to play some charity shows — and stayed together.
Canberra’s best kept secret, Singer-songwriter Amber Nichols, performed at this years Star Ball. Amber recently lit up televisions across the nation with her soul stirring rendition of the London Grammar Hit Strong. Her blind audition on The Voice Australia had all five coaches turning their chairs for a chance to work with the talented songstress and the nation declaring she had the “voice of an angel”.
Jason Roses is focussed on exceptional results and outstanding service. Born and raised in Canberra, he has wasted no time in showing his professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm, establishing a proven track record that includes multiple local and international awards garnered right from the outset of his career.
Jason is currently a director of Luton Properties and leads one of Luton’s busiest offices in the Luton Group. The Luton Office was recently awarded Office of the Year 2017.
Jason’s fresh approach and strong motivation to exceed his client’s expectations mean he constantly delivers ‘first class’ service, evident by his many delighted repeat clients and recommendations. Jason is also recognised by his peers as one of Canberra’s leading auction agents, winning REIACT’s Auctioneer of the Year (2010 & 2012) and People’s Choice Award (2012).
Classically trained in French culinary arts from Taylor’s University in the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Anand Ramakrishna (AK) brings a unique perspective to Malay and South East Asian cuisine driven by a passion for method, process and provenance that is part of the DNA of XO.
AK’s approach to food is influenced by coming up through some of the most well respected kitchens in Malaysia (including the Mandarin Oriental and Hilton hotels in Kuala Lumpar) before cooking at Stella Blue in Dee Why and taking the reigns as head chef at Stella Italian Kitchen on Collaroy Beach. Experience in Asian and European cuisine in large and small room dining settings quickly established AK as an open minded and highly adaptable young chef known for his keen eye and playful approach to placing traditional cuisine in a modern Australian landscape.
Most recently, AK has been instrumental in the development of innovative food programs for well-known names in the Canberra and Sydney dining scene including the Chairman group’s flagships Malamay and Lanterne Rooms as well as opening the Lodge and Dinner by the Cakeman in Lane Cove.
Opening XO in 2015 is the culmination of a life-long dream that ties together the threads of a career that has traversed the geography and culinary spectrum of South East Asia, Europe and Australia. Now firmly rooted in Narrabundah, AK is passionate about exploring the potential of Canberra region produce, creating dishes with his now well-recognised XO signature.
Ben Willis was born in and started his career as a chef in Canberra. After completing his apprenticeship in Canberra, he moved to Sydney and worked at Bennelong at the Opera House prior to travelling overseas.
While overseas, he gained experience at a number of restaurants, ranging from a small gastro pub to a Michelin starred London restaurant, Chez Bruce.
After nine years of working around the world, Ben returned to Canberra where he and his wife took over Aubergine, in the Canberra suburb of Griffith.
His approach to Aubergine’s menu is unique and he is motivated to keep the ideas and creativity in the menu evolving by liaising regularly with farmers, producers and artisans in the region. Ben is guided by what produce is at its best on the day and this, in turn, determines the key ingredients on Aubergine’s menu.
Aubergine has consistently received high praise, including two SMH Chef Hats for the last four years. This year it was listed in Gourmet Traveller’s top #100 restaurants (83) and was ranked #1 in their list for the ACT. Aubergine was also ranked #89 in The Financial Review’s ‘Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants’ list.
In 2014, Ben opened a new, all-day eatery, Temporada. Temporada instantly gained awards and was awarded one SMH Chef Hat and The Canberra Times Restaurant of the year.
Having a chef, such as Sean McConnell, an avid vegetable gardener and mushroom forager that thinks about food as a way of showcasing good ingredients pretty much ticks all our boxes right there as far as we’re concerned.
These loves of gardening and foraging are reflected in Sean’s very seasonal menus and his habit of working directly with the producers of the ingredients he prepares.
He thinks up foods that encourage sharing and thus shared experiences. The emphasis on sharing probably comes from Sean’s front of house experience (where the enjoyment of the food is first and foremost as opposed to the emphasis being on the dish itself as is often the case in back of house) and his, until now nomad lifestyle.
You can taste these loves at the Monster kitchen and bar. Since its inception, Monster has received a number of accolades listed in Gourmet Traveller’s top #100 restaurants (93) and ranked #90 in The Financial Review’s ‘Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants’ list.
Janet Jeffs is Director and Executive Chef of Ginger Catering, based at the National Arboretum, Canberra. Her interest in cooking, farming and sharing a passionate enthusiasm for regional, seasonal and ethical produce was manifested during her career as a young chef with culinary legend Maggie Beer, and an apprenticeship with Cheong Liew, one of the 10 most influential chefs in the world. Janet was recently made an ambassador for Australian Tourism in the ACT, she lives in bucolic bliss on a heritage property near Braidwood where she raises rare breed beasties, gardens and plans self sufficiency.
Ginger Catering has built a proud record of excellence in the industry since our establishment in 2002. Creativity and professionalism have shaped our approach to becoming Canberra’s premier caterer. Preferred by Australia’s best event organisers, we are the choice for high profile corporate and public sector events. Our extensive experience includes our contribution to developing the leading venues of the national capital, including the National Gallery of Australia, Old Parliament House and now, the National Arboretum Canberra.
Starting at the Taj Mahal Hotel in India Kotesh Khandala’s career moved quickly to a Scholarship with Le Cordon Bleu in London where he was awarded seven scholarships with distinctions for achievement of excellence in the skill of Patisserie
From there he gained a wealth of international experience having worked in Michelin star restaurants throughout London- starting as Pastry Chef de Partie with Gordon Ramsays One Michellin Star Restaurant The Savoy Grill and then to Head Pastry Chef at Michelin Star restaurants Hakkasan and Nobu.
After moving to Melbourne Kotesh held the position of Head Pastry Chef with the Rockpool Group at Rosetta and Spice and Temple (2 Chefs Hats) and then onto Vue de Monde with (3 Chefs Hats).
Kotesh joined Ginger Catering in January 2017 as Executive Pastry Chef. He is Canberra’s most exceptional Pastry Chef who has started to leave a mark on Canberra diners from his arrival to Canberra in 2015 at Sage Dining.
Kotesh has a level of classically trained and complex creativity to his work which brings a taste of unexpected excitement to the diner.
The committee would like to thank the generous sponsors and supporters that continually contribute to Star Ball Canberra and special mention to all of the amazing 2017 sponsors.
A variety of sponsorship options are available for 2018. If you would like to contribute to Star Ball Canberra, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details and available opportunities.