Off the back of a successful first event last year, chef George Wintle will host the second iteration of Eat The Issue.

The event, to be held at Melbourne rooftop bar Peaches on 18 March, will target the wine-making industry as well as hospitality professionals more broadly.

Chefs Matt Stone (Oakridge Wines), Aaron Brodie (Oakridge Wines), Zac Furst (IDES), Lauren Eldridge (Stokehouse), Jake McWilliams (Pope Joan), Thomas Peasnell (Peaches) and Adam Goldblatt (Peaches) are on board for Eat The Issue Volume II, set to serve up canapes while “speakers” roam the floor talking directly to guests about how they approach mental health.

“By taking this approach I feel as though it almost forces guests to actively think about the issue,” Wintle says. “Although having a speaker stand in front of the room and talk to the entire party can be great, I just feel as though this approach can go over people’s heads and not really get much of a response.”

While Wintle is determined to bring wine-making and restaurant professionals together — “A restaurant without wine…. it just isn’t a restaurant,” he says — it’s not been easy to get people from the industry to attend.

“Wine and viticulture play such a vital part in the hospitality industry so I really want to make this of benefit to the winemakers as well,” Wintle says. “People from the wine industry who may have worked a vintage, worked in a wine room/cellar door and even wine reps and buyers [are invited]. These people still affiliate very closely with the stress and struggles that go into wine.”

Beyond providing a platform for industry professionals to connect with and support each other, Eat The Issue acts as a fundraising campaign for the HEAT (Hospitality Employment and Education) youth program, which is designed as a practical way to engage with young hospitality workers from the ages 16 to 25. The six-month program offers kitchen operation training, career guidance, and ongoing counselling, empowering young workers to kickstart their career in the hospitality industry.

Tickets are available now.


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