How can a dinner change the course of a person’s life? In this headline Sydney Town Hall event, a stellar crew of cooks, writers and storytellers join hosts Annabel Crabb and Adam Liaw to reveal the dining experience that reshaped their destiny, from superbly cooked meals to epic failures and other memorable moments. Sharing the stage are Shaun Christie-David, Matthew Evans, Rosheen Kaul, Asma Khan, Sam Neill, Nat’s What I Reckon, Jennifer Wong, Alice Zaslavsky, and Damien Coulthard with Rebecca Sullivan.

Supported by ARA.

This event is fitted with assistive listening systems.

Shaun Christie-David (Australian)

Shaun Christie-David

Shaun Christie-David believes everyone deserves the same opportunities, and he's making it his mission to make that a reality. Over the past 15 years, Shaun has been able to combine his passion and knowledge of social enterprise together with his experience in corporate partnerships and fundraising to drive positive change in marginalised communities. Shaun owns and runs multiple social enterprises including Colombo Social, Kabul Social, Anything But Humble and more, which has employed over 150 people from marginalised communities. Shaun also founded Plate It Forward a charity which has donated over 400,000 meals in Sydney and beyond. Shaun has been awarded accolades including the inaugural Time Out's Hospitality Future Shaper, an AMP Tomorrow Maker and a Westpac ChangeMaker, and in 2021, Plate It Forward was the recipient of the Community Human Rights Champion by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Matthew Evans (Australian)

Matthew Evans

Matthew Evans is a Tasmanian food writer, television broadcaster and chef who lives and works on Fat Pig Farm, a soil-to-stomach regenerative farm and restaurant. He's been the host of six series of Gourmet Farmer and two documentaries on SBS TV. Matthew is the author of over a dozen books on food, including On Eating Meat, and his latest cookbook The Real Food Companion. His book SOIL is a hymn to the remarkable, and underappreciated bit of Earth that gifts us life.

Rosheen Kaul (Australian)

Rosheen Kaul

Rosheen Kaul is head chef at Melbourne’s Etta Restaurant, where she cooks a menu as culturally diverse as she is. Originally from Singapore, Rosheen spent her formative years training at prestigious restaurants Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Ezard and Lee Ho Fook. In 2022 she released her first cookbook Chinese-ish with Murdoch Books.

Asma Khan (International)

Asma Khan

Asma Khan is an award-winning chef, best-selling cookbook author and the owner of London's famed Darjeeling Express restaurant. She sits on the London Mayor's Business Advisory Board and is an Honorary Fellow at Oxford University. Asma is the first British chef to be profiled in Netflix's Emmy nominated Chef's Table and the first chef to be featured on Vogue's list of 25 most influential women. Best known for her all-female kitchen team and her commitment to social change, Asma is an unstoppable force in the hospitality industry and beyond.

Sam Neill (International)

Sam Neill

Sam Neill was born in 1947. He has appeared in almost 100 feature films and dozens of TV series in a career spanning half a century.

Nat’s What I Reckon (Australian)

Nat’s What I Reckon

Comedian, musician and mental health advocate Nat had a fan base already in the hundreds of thousands when he rocketed to global prominence with his isolation cooking content. Nat's openness about his mental health struggles has resonated with champions the world over, amassing a dedicated audience of over 3.5 million thanks to his sweary, no-nonsense approach and underlying message of kindness and inclusivity. His first two bestselling books were both shortlisted at the Australian Book Industry Awards and won Booktopia's Favourite Australian Book Award in 2020 and 2021, with Nat donating all proceeds to Beyond Blue.

Jennifer Wong (Australian)

Jennifer Wong

Jennifer Wong is a Chinese-Australian writer, comedian, and MC based in Sydney. As a wordplay-loving food enthusiast, she's the presenter of ABC's Chopsticks or Fork?, a six-part series about Chinese restaurants in regional Australia. Jennifer is the curator of OzAsia Festival's In Other Words writers and ideas program, and writes regularly for The Guardian and SBS Food. Her first book, Chopsticks or Fork?, co-written with Lin Jie Kong, will be published by Hardie Grant in February 2024.

Alice Zaslavsky (Australian)

Alice Zaslavsky

Alice Zaslavsky is the ABIA award winning author of international bestseller In Praise of Veg, kids' food bible Alice's A to Z, and cooking confidence unlocker The Joy of Better Cooking. She is a cookery columnist, broadcaster, and Vegelante. She's the longtime Culinary Correspondent for ABC News Breakfast and ABC Radio nationally, and host of Saturday Breakfast on ABC Radio Melbourne. You'll find her on the socials as @aliceinframes.

Rebecca Sullivan (Australian)

Rebecca Sullivan

Rebecca Sullivan is a sustainable living advocate, Yale World Fellow, regen-farmer, educator and co-founder of Warndu. She has a Masters in climate change and sustainable agriculture and has authored ten books.

Damien Coulthard (Australian)

Damien Coulthard

Damien Coulthard is an Adnyamathanha man of the Flinders Ranges. He lives off the grid in the Clare Valley and is co-founder of Warndu, a brand on a mission to regenerate culture, community, tradition, health seas and soils through Australian native produce. He is the author of Warndu Mai and First Nations Food Companion.

Adam Liaw (Australian)

Adam Liaw

Adam Liaw is a writer, cook, television presenter and former lawyer. He is host of the SBS series The Cook Up. Adam is the author of seven cookbooks, host of the long-running and award-winning SBS series Destination Flavour, and UNICEF Australia’s ambassador for nutrition. He has also been appointed by the Japanese Government as an official goodwill ambassador for Japanese cuisine.

Annabel Crabb (Australian)

Annabel Crabb

Annabel Crabb is a writer and presenter for the ABC. She's also a keen amateur podcaster and co-hosts the inexplicably popular Chat 10, Looks 3 podcast with her colleague Leigh Sales, who lends credibility to the exercise. Annabel has worked extensively in newspapers, radio and TV as a political journalist and won a Walkley Award for Stop At Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull. She published a bestselling book about gender and work, The Wife Drought in 2014, and has published two cookbooks with childhood friend Wendy Sharpe, the latest of which is Special Guest. Her most recent Quarterly Essay is Men at Work.