Which Celebrity Has The Best Charity Roast Recipe – You Decide

June 25, 2014 • Events, Featured

Shane Cortese, Leah Panapa and Leigh Hart

Shane Cortese, Leah Panapa and Leigh Hart

Celebrity kitchen knives are being drawn online when three of entertainment’s best face off in a charity ‘cook-off’ during the fifth Selaks NZ Roast Day this year.

Radio personality Leah Panapa, comedian Leigh Hart and actor Shane Cortese have each submitted a roast recipe to be judged by public vote as part of this year’s campaign activity.

The public’s favourite recipe gains the winning celebrity cook $5,000 to be donated to his or her chosen charity. Voting is open from Wednesday 18 June.

It’s a new element to the annual winter celebration of New Zealand’s favourite meal.

Leah Panapa has created a roast chicken with couscous and kumara salad and if her recipe is voted best she will split the winnings between two animal protection agencies SPCA & SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation).

“Both are close to my heart and as an animal lover and owner of two beautiful dogs, I am in awe of the people that dedicate their lives to look after those that can’t speak for themselves.

“I volunteered a few years ago at the SPCA in Auckland working with the dogs that have either been seized, mistreated or simply dumped. I also want to show my support for SAFE which works to protect animals from exploitation and experimentation.

“Both the SPCA and SAFE receive no government funding and rely heavily on fundraising campaigns, public donations and bequests to continue with their work,” Leah says.

Leigh Hart is submitting a quirky roast lamb dish that sees pork crackling topping the meat which is accompanied by slow-roasted tomatoes, honey-glazed carrots and “smashed” potatoes.

His chosen charity is the Mangawhai Surf Lifesaving Club.

“Our family has a holiday home at Mangawhai and we see how hard the surf lifeguards work and how busy they are. Like most surf clubs they are under-resourced to provide this incredible service we need to keep us all safe.”

Roast pork chops with pear, baby carrots and roast veges is Shane Cortese’s recipe and he will split the funds between Breast Cancer Research Trust and the Children’s Autism Foundation if he catches the public’s votes.

Cortese is excited about the event. “I love to cook when time allows but more importantly I love to eat. Especially good food with good wine and great company. I had a great time on this project, but will never feed my children again if Leigh beats me. A vote for me is actually a vote for my kids. No pressure.”

Nina Stojnic is marketing manager at Selaks and she says the heat is already rising in the kitchen among the keen cooks.

“The three have already met and the friendly rivalry has been bubbling away. They all want to have fun and they’re also keen to win the money for their charity of choice. Their social networks are going to be running hot as their friends and fans rally behind them and their charities,” Ms Stojnic says.

For the second year, celebrity chef Nici Wickes is the cornerstone ambassador of Selaks Roast Day. She’s developed a fantastic new range of roast recipes for the everyday cook.

Nici is renowned as a foodie who is continually seeking out new ways of cooking and eating – and that experience shows through on her recipes which are now available on the dedicated roast day website.

The popular free downloadable Selaks NZ Roast Day e-cook book returns in 2014 with a brand new edition. It has more than 25 recipes and winter desserts prepared by Nici Wickes, previous ambassadors Jonny Schwass and Paul Jobin and of course the three celebrity cook recipes competing for charity. There’s also a few from the Selaks team.

For full information on Selaks NZ Roast Day, to vote for your favourite celebrity cook and to download the free downloadable e-cook book go to

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