As the shutdown continues, many industry leaders have found themselves in the unthinkable position of cooking not for customers but to feed unemployed temporary visa holders who have run out of savings, and increasingly, food.
This week, chef Neil Perry will bring his newly launched Hope Delivery by Rockpool initiative to Melbourne. Launched last week in Sydney in conjunction with food charity OzHarvest, the program aims to produce 1000 meals per day for the vulnerable.
Perry has been working on the project for three weeks and is thrilled with the Sydney success so far. From Thursday they will start out making a baseline of 250 meals in Melbourne per day, which they will increase as they secure extra funding.
"We had to make sure the number was sustainable at the level we are at now," says Perry, but he is confident that will rapidly increase. "We are working with our infrastructure and great suppliers, so for $25 we are able to produce 10 meals."
A website, rockpoolfoundation.com, is due to launch this week, and will allow for contributions from the public.
Hospitality visa holders wishing to receive meals can collect from Rockpool Promenade from Thursday.