Some of Australia’s leading chefs and food personalities have rallied to support restaurateur (and Turkish MasterChef star) Somer Sivrioglu in a bid to raise desperately needed funds for Türkiye and Syria’s earthquake survivors.


“So many friends and colleagues have lost their families and homes through what has been the worst natural disaster in recent history,” says Somer, who these days spends several months a year in Istanbul filming and running a restaurant there. “It’s so touching for me to see the Australian food community cooking together to assist our people in need.”


Joining Somer (known locally as the talented chef/restaurateur at Anason and Maydanoz in Sydney) is Syrian-Australian author and chef Sharon Salloum (3 Tomatoes, Ashbury). She too is deeply upset by the tragic events of recent weeks.


“This month marks 12 years since the beginning of the civil war in Syria,” Sharon says. “Those affected by the earthquakes were mostly Syrians already displaced by the war. It is an essential need I have as an Australian Syrian to be a part of something that aims to support the people of this region.” 


With Melbourne-based TV and radio host Matt Preston as Master of Ceremonies, a spectacular dinner will be held on Sunday, March 26 at Sydney’s Rockpool Bar & Grill. This has been made possible due to the incredible assistance of Hunter St. Hospitality and Rockpool Bar & Grill Culinary Director Corey Costelloe.


“When we were asked if we could support this very worthy cause by cooking at the event, we decided to go one step further and host it at Rockpool Bar & Grill,” Corey says. “It’s a fabulous feeling to be pulling together as a chef community in Australia to help those who have been devasted overseas and we endeavour to raise as much funds as possible for those in need.”


Rallying from Melbourne also are Türkiye-born Coskun Uysal from Tulum and Lezzet restaurants – who has already been working tirelessly to raise funds for his compatriots – and Shane Delia (Maha, Maha North, Maha East and Jayda) who was quick to add his support.


Acclaimed Brisbane-based chef Ben Williamson (Agnes) will fly in to work alongside serious Sydney culinary talents including Jez Wick from Refettorio OzHarvest, Lauren Murdoch from Pearl Catering, Hamish Ingham from Redbird Chinese, and favourite TV face, Colin Fassnidge (@byfassnidge and of course, MKR) and Federico Zanellato (Lumi, Restaurant Leo and ELE).


Lucky guests will be treated to a special, intimate feast based on some of the country’s best produce – also donated by a number of top suppliers.


It’s a wonderful way to show solidarity with families and friends – including those of Somer’s Istanbul colleagues – devastated by the loss of loved ones and their homes. Weeks since the magnitude 7.8 shocks hit the region in early February, survivors are dealing with a lack of food, shelter and basic services, freezing temperatures, and the ongoing fear of additional tremors. More than 50,000 people have been killed so far.


Tickets are $750 per head, including drinks from 6pm, 10 shared courses.


Halal options are available and dining will commence after sunset (at 7pm) in line with Ramadan fasting tradition.


All money raised will go to UNICEF Australia who are deeply active in the region, focussing on children’s needs.



A very special dinner for Türkiye and Syria

Sunday, 26 March 2023

Rockpool Bar & Grill, 66 Hunter Street, Sydney

6pm for 7pm dinner

$750 per head, drinks included, halal options available

Bookings available here

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