Brisbane’s restaurant community are joining forces for a good cause, offering locals the opportunity to jump on board Ari’s Food Safari.

Earlier this year, Vine Restaurant owner Mark Rotolone and his wife Vanessa lost their four-year-old son Ari to Mitochondrial disease.

To raise awareness and funds for the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, Ari’s Food Safari was born.

The safari will see 140 guests on a gourmet road trip across the city, visiting venues such as Newstead’s Chester Street, the Valley’s Alfred and Constance and New Farm’s Vine Restaurant.

The night will begin at Kwan Brothers, the latest venue by hospitality magnate Damian Griffiths, with a glass of bubbly accompanied by Vietnamese canapés.

Each venue will offer a different course and will conclude with espresso martinis at Alfred & Constance.

Vanessa Rotolone says it’s great to see the hospitality community coming together to raise funds and awareness by celebrating Ari’s life.

“Nothing will ease the pain of losing Ari and we miss him more and more the longer time marches on,” says Vanessa.

“We hope that by sharing Ari’s story that we can increase awareness of mitochondrial disease, and encourage individuals to participate in fundraising towards researching the disease, improving diagnostic and treatment options and towards supporting sufferers improve their quality of life.”

Mitochondrial disease is a complex disease which can manifest itself in a number of ways, making it difficult to diagnose; it affects one in 5000 people and reduces the ability of cells in the body to produce energy, which primarily affects the brain, heart and muscles in varying levels of severity.

A cure for Mitochondrial Disease could impact cures for Autism, Alzheimer’s, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s. Research shows that mitochondrial dysfunction is often a central element of these more commonly recognised diseases. Further research is needed to help with the diagnosis, treatment and cure of this complex and debilitating disease.

Ari’s Food Safari itinerary: Tuesday 17 June

6.30pm: Kwan Brothers, Fortitude Valley

Glass of bubbly and canapés of Vietnamese salmon tartare, cucumber, mint, dill on prawn crackers and a Pork Bao Bun with red dragon sauce and pickled deiko.

Bus to West End (6.50 – 7.10pm)

7.10pm: Depo, West End

Starters and aperitif: Rillettes of duck on crostini, goat cheese nougat in grilled zucchini, and ratatouille filo tartelette.

Bus to Vine (7.45 – 8.00pm)

7.45pm: Vine, New Farm

Main course with matching wines: Braised beef Cheeks, polenta, caramelised onion, gremolata and cavolo nero.

Bus to Chester Street (8.45 – 8.55pm)

8.55pm: Chester Street, Newstead

Dessert and cocktails: Sticky Date Pudding served with caramel and vanilla ice cream

Bus to Alfred & Constance (9.20 – 9.30pm)

9.30pm: Alfred & Constance, Fortitude Valley

After party: Espresso Martinis in the Air Raid Shelter

For more information, contact Alfred & Constance on 3251 6500 or email