Stars plate up to help mate
EVEN celebrity chefs like Matt Golinski can get star struck.
The hospital-bound Tewantin man was humbled by a surprise visit from some of the biggest names in Australian cooking last night ahead of the launch of a national fundraiser to benefit both him and a charity for burns victims.
My Kitchen Rules star Manu Feildel, MasterChef names George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan and Ready Steady Cook faces Janelle Bloom, Damian Heads and Alastair McLeod paid Matt a visit at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
For some of them, it was the first time they had seen their friend since the house fire which hospitalised him with third degree burns and claimed the lives of his wife, Rachael, and children, Sage, Starlia and Willow.
The surprise came before the launch for Plates for Mates - a national fundraiser running throughout this month to benefit Matt and the McComb Foundation.
For their drop in, Mr Feildel brought along a dish from the launch dinner at Brett's Wharf in Hamilton, Brisbane - braised beef chucks "a la bourguignonne".
"We wanted to plate it up for him, but he had just eaten," Mr Mehigan said.
"He was in a good state of mind. I was surprised by his resilience."
Ms Bloom, who first met Matt on the set of Ready Steady Cook eight years ago, said she was delighted to once again see her friend's "piercing blue eyes and a smile that could light up a nation".
"It was tough going in there to see him, but he was so spirited," she said.
"As nervous as we were, the spirit in that room was absolutely phenomenal."
Ms Bloom said everyone had been delighted to see Matt's strength and determination.
"We're all here for him to support whatever it is Matt wants to do. He's determined to get well as fast as he can," she said.
Ms Bloom said the Plates for Mates launch was a "celebration of life".
More than 200 people were present at last night's launch dinner.
A family spokeswoman for the Golinski family last night said Matt's recovery was progressing well and that he had recently started eating solid foods.
Funds raised by Plates for Mates will go directly to the Matt Golinski Recovery Fund and shared via a donation to the McComb Foundation.
To find out more or to donate directly visit platesformates.com.au.