World Chocolate Masters placegetter and owner of Cuvée Chocolate for Wine, Deniz Karaca, has inspired the industry with his passion for artisan chocolate. Now, the young pastry chef is proving he’s tough as nails out of the kitchen as well, battling Stage 4 Hodgkin Lymphoma.
After being diagnosed last December, Deniz recently started cycle five of six in his treatment and is happy to report he’s in the best possible position to recover.
“It was certainly not something I had planned for and the uncertainty associated with it made it very scary at times,” he said.
“I do have to say, though, this experience really showed me there is still a lot of goodness in this world. Organisations like the Cancer Council make it possible for people to go through this experience and to focus on their recovery as much as possible, while always being there with advice, help and support in whichever way imaginable.”
To return the favour, Deniz and the baking community rallied together in May to raise vital funds for cancer research and to support Cancer Council services.
“We hosted a big morning tea, which around 120 people attended. Everyone had heaps of fun and it was great to see most people attending weren’t actually from the industry but just wanting to help out,” Deniz said.
“In the end we raised close to $9000, of which will go to the Cancer Council.”
Fellow pastry chef Adriano Zumbo generously offered his brand new high tea venue Fancy Nance in South Yarra to host a Biggest Morning Tea event – an annual fundraising initiative by the Cancer Council. The teams behind LuxBite, The Ministry of Chocolate, F.Mayers, Adriano Zumbo Patisserie, La Luna Bistro, Cuvée Chocolate for Wine, Pop Stic Ice Cream, Ganache Chocolates, Creative Ingredients, San Pellegrino, Serendipi Tea, and Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School all quickly pledged their support for what was a spectacular morning tea.
“Originally I was going to hold it in my living room, but when I received so much support from the industry I realised just how much of an impact we could have,” Deniz said.
He certainly needed the extra space. Deniz put Epicure and Cuvée Chocolate for Wine’s raspberry, yoghurt and granola breakfast verinne on the menu, which sat alongside tarts, mini éclairs, ‘chocoron’s, ‘smores’, pralines and more.
Deniz’s morning tea was held on May 31, however, the opportunity to donate to this worthy cause is still available. Visit http://vic.cancercouncilfundraising.org.au/DenizKaraca to donate or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with Deniz.