SOME of the biggest names of the Australian culinary scene are joining forces again to help raise money for friend and burns survivor Matt Golinski.
Manu Feildel, Alastair McLeod, Janelle Bloom, George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Damian Heads will lend their skills to two European river cruises next year as part of the Cruise for Mates fundraiser.
The celebrity chefs will be split on two cruises, one through France and the other from Amsterdam to Budapest, to help raise funds for fellow chef Matt Golinski who lost his wife and three daughters in a house fire on Boxing Day in Tewantin last year.
Matt sustained third degree burns to more than 40% of his body and spent several months in a medically induced coma.
He is currently undergoing extensive rehabilitation.
Cruise for Mates is the brainchild of Brisbane-based travel agent Hilary Weir from Harvey World Travel Garden City.
She was inspired by the national Plates for Mates fundraising campaign conceived by the six chefs to support Matt.
Mr McLeod said the cruises were about mateship.
"I know I can speak for everyone when I say we are all very happy to be on board, if you'll pardon the pun," he said.
"We're really looking forward to meeting other like-minded passengers who share our love of food and travel as well as the desire to help our mate, Matt.
"These river cruises will be a new experience for each of us and although some of us may have visited or lived in the destinations we're visiting, we have never had the chance to enjoy them from the perspective of cruising the waterways."
Both cruises include return airfares flying Emirates, all onboard meals plus wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner and arrival and departure transfers, taxes, fuel charges and fees and prepaid gratuities.
The first runs from June 17 to July 5, 2013 with Janelle Bloom, Manu Feildel and Alastair McLeod as hosts.
The new MS Avalon Scenery will be the vessel cruising northern France and then transferring to the recently refurbished MS Avalon Creativity for southern France.
The 19-day tour starts from $9998AUD if booked before November 28.
The second cruises runs August 27 to September 13, 2013 and runs from Amsterdam to Budapest on the MS Avalon Expressions. George Calombaris, Damian Heads and Gary Mehigan are hosts.
The fully escorted 18-day tour starts from $8990AUD if booked before November 28.
For more details on both cruises or to book visit cruiseformates.com.au or call 1800 DREAMS (1800 373 267).
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