This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Red Ball - the annual fundraising ball for the Fight Cancer Foundation, (formerly the Bone Marrow Donor Institute). FCF originally founded with the aim of establishing an Australian bone marrow donor registry but after successfully achieving this some years ago it has broadened its scope to include other programs which support patients with leukaemia and other forms of cancer.
On a recent Saturday night approximately 1400 guests celebrated this milestone at the Crown Palladium ballroom. In attendance were FCF patrons - Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman! Hugh and an 18 piece orchestra performed numbers from his 'Back on Broadway" New York show. It was a great night and Hugh was definitely the highlight!
The room looked stunning. Each table had a gorgeous red centrepiece - all variations of the same theme and all donated by a generous South Yarra florist. Our table was beautiful red gerberas. One table had a gorgeous ball of red capsicums!
The drinks were flowing - wine, beer, champagne or strawberry daiquiris and the meal was beautiful. The wine, donated by Prancing Horse Estate, was superb.
|Tandoori roasted chicken thigh and king prawn with vegetable and pineapple achar, mint chutney and yoghurt raita|
The tandoori chicken entree was a delicious start with just the right amount of heat. The spicy prawn was a nice touch.
|Lamb duo: grilled double cutlet and braised lamb shoulder with coconut sweet potato mash, buttered sugar snaps, port wine jus|
Main course alternated between lamb and fish.
|Hiramasa king fish on Parisian potato puree with grilled king prawn, tomato, artichoke and olive salsa, lemon beurre blanc|
I had the fish and it was divine. Sweet fish, creamy puree, a salsa with just the right amount of contrasting bite. Those that had the lamb were equally impressed. The lamb was perfectly cooked and was meltingly tender. No mean feat with such a large function. A fresh salad accompanied the main courses.
|Mesclun salad with shaved vegetables, tomato confit, fresh herbs and walnut dressing|
Dessert was a Custom Dessert platter. Delicious little bites.
|Sour cream chocolate cake, Lemon meringue tartlets, Raspberry curd tartlets, Fruit tartlets, Hazelnut chocolate mousse in chocolate cup|
And to finish - beautiful chocolates to enjoy with coffee.
But, by far the highlight of the night was the entertainment. Hugh Jackman specifically!
Hugh performed for about an hour and was warm, witty and engaging.
At one stage he was joined by his long time friend, Matt Hetherington, for a duet. Matt, who was a contestant on 'The Voice' this year, also provided the entertainment at the end of the night in the adjoining River Room.
A number of celebrities were in attendance on the night. House Husbands stars Firass Dirani and Leah de Niese, actress Kerry Armstrong and actress/singer Alyce Platt just to name a few. All were very charming and happy to pose for photos.
|Leah de Niese|
|Hugh wowing the crowd!|
Karl Stefanovic was MC for the event and did a great job. As well as a silent auction which was held in the foyer, there was also a live auction conducted with items including a year of Donna Aston Personal Training and an Angus Breeding Bull!
At the end of the live auction, music guru Molly Meldrum announced he would auction his hat, signed by himself, Elton John and Katy Perry. Molly added that the winner of the hat would have to come to his house to collect the prize and put up some Christmas decorations whilst they were there! Great to see Molly joking about his near fatal fall less than a year on!
|Molly Meldrum and MC Karl Stefanovic|