Your million dollar idea

07.02.12 | Posted in Entrepreneurship Women & Business Women In Business

I took part in the CEO CookOff last night. It was an initiative of OzHarvest and Qantas, bringing together 30 celebrity chefs and 130 CEOs to raise money and awareness around food security and homelessness.

Held in Cathedral Square, Sydney, there were tents set up for the chefs and CEOs to prepare meals for approximately 1000 guests from services such as Mission Australia (one of the financial recipients of the initiative). I was in the team with Becasse’s Justin North (pictured below) who was a sweetheart and very relaxed about the whole thing (which was lucky – I’d had nightmares of having to live through some Gordon Ramsay-like rants which never eventuated, phew.) Emma Isaacs Business Chicks and Justin North Becasse

The evening began and the CEOs met our chefs and each other and were asked to set the tables. Soon after the guests arrived and we started serving the entrees. There was a beautiful vibe – you had the sense that every single person (the chefs, CEOs and the guests) felt privileged to be there.

Guests enjoyed a main meal (unique to each chef – our group made a beautiful lamb and roasted vegetables dish) and a dessert, complete with Maggie Beer ice cream, who was cooking up a storm in the tent next to ours.  Emma Isaacs Business Chicks and Maggie Beer

The competition part of the initiative was the fundraising in the lead up. A big thank you to everyone who supported me in the challenge, especially all of the Business Chicks members (a lot of whom I’ve not met). I was able to raise $13,810 which placed me in the top 10 CEOs in the country, woot! I’d like to make a special mention to my two biggest supporters: Naomi Simson from RedBalloon and the divine Layne Beachley who were especially generous.

Altogether so far we’ve raised almost $880,000 and with the further donations still to come in I’m sure we’ll hit the $1 million mark, which would be a dream come true for Ronni at OzHarvest.

Massive kudos to Ronni and her team for the idea. Imagine being in that meeting where the CEO CookOff concept was birthed. Magic!

It’s the power of thinking big, right? Some businesses/charities take years to reach a million bucks, yet the CEO CookOff in its first year got there. Just like that.

It can be done. Don’t limit yourself by thinking small. Find that one thing or idea or concept or discipline that can catapult you to success.

Then, like Ronni, find the courage to make it happen.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Deb Sinclair

    Very inspiring. Congratulations Emma for raising over $13,000 and congratulations to Ronnie as well for such an incredible event.

  2. Emma

    Thanks Deb for being one of those Business Chicks members who sponsored me!

  3. Row

    Sonds like a great event and huge success !! Someone said to me the other day, “it takes the same amount of energy to play big as it does to play small” so let’s play big, with the right intention and passion anything is possible