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The Stunning and Talented Countess Of Pop – Countess Emilia de Poret

March 16th, 2011

When I first met Countess Emilia de Poret, I was in awe of her elegance, style and absolute graciousness. She stood with me, Jennifer Hawkins and other stunning personalities, but it was Emilia that stood tall, and stood out the most. She towers over everyone, and her über high-fashion was the envy of everyone there.

Approachable, socialable and easy to talk to, Emilia and I engaged in conversation that night, and continued to do so each time we’ve seen eachother after that night.

More inclined to call her the Queen of Couture, Emilia has a wardrobe that is like nothing in this world! It’s like she has the wardrobe of Sex and the City, but better!

The beautiful Swedish born blonde has a super successful singing career all over the World, particularly in Europe. She has just released her great, funky and catchy new song called “This Ain’t A Lovesong” from her album Pick Me Up. This comes after her amazingly successful Worldwide dance track, “Pick Me Up”.

I’ve attached Emilia’s utterly astounding video clip for “This Ain’t A Love Song” featuring Verbal from M-Flo, which is one of the best video’s I’ve seen in a long time! The fashions throughout the clip are just divine! Shot in Japan, Emilia visits all the hottest locations in Japan, wearing the most amazing outfits and literally towering over the locals in sexy heels. She treads on dangerous grounds in the Shinjuku neighbourhood where the Japanese Mafia could have taken their cameras at any time.

It brings me great pleasure to introduce you to the fabulous Countess Emilia de Poret…

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I am currently promoting my music in Australia, USA, Japan and Spain. I got a good start this year in the US with Pick Me Up climbing the Billboard Dance Chart to # 25. This will be followed up with a new single release in the US in the fall, promotion and touring.

I was chosen by Liberty of London www.liberty.co.uk to design a print that will be part of their “Liberty Rocks” collection out 2011. I made a print of multiplying microphone heads. It was great to be part of such an amazing project combining music and fashion. It is also a real honour to know that my print will be in Liberty’s archive forever and maybe picked up by some great fashion house…stay tuned!

How did you get into doing what you do?

My grandmother used to look after me when I was a kid. She was a really good singer and a pianist and used to practise with me on her lap. According to her I could sing before I could talk. Music has always been the most natural thing to me. I could never live without it! Growing up I went to music schools and took every chance to sing and perform.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I own far too many pair of shoes!

Signature dish?

Meatballs! I am Swedish after all…

When was the last time you cried?

When I friend of mine played me a really beautiful song in the studio the other day.

Is there a charity/cause that is close to you and if so, why?

I support Comité pela Vida, a Brazilian charity based in Rio which is helping kids and teenagers to get an education.

You visit Sydney a fair bit, so where is your favourite place to relax when you are here?

A day on Bondi beach followed by dinner at North Bondi Italian is my ideal way of relaxing in Sydney.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My phone, my music, my notebook, my Ksubi sunglasses, my rings (one on each finger), make up, my special tea, my computer, Swedish Läkerol etc etc…. I thank God every day for my oversized Chanel handbag!

Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?

Brazil.

What is one success you are proud of and one failure you try to forget (or learnt from)?

I am so happy that I kept fighting when things didn’t go the way I wanted to. Every failure made me work harder and every success made me want to achieve even more.

Greatest lesson learnt?

Never, ever give up!

What is your favourite piece of clothing and accessory?

It is really impossible to choose only one but if I have to I would say a dress by Martin Margiela Artisanal, covered in recycled vinyls. It is my favourite stage piece.

My favourite accessory is a ring by Garrard given to me by my husband. It is an Angel wing covered in black diamonds.

Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?

I am very impressed by Phoebe Philo. I love what she has done so far for Céline!

In home décor I pick up a lot of influences from travelling, my home is a mix of Marie Antoinette and Tokyo madness!

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

Karl Lagerfeld for his many rings and Daphne Guinness for her wardrobe full of couture (although it would never fit me).

What frustrates you most about Sydney when you are here?

That I never want to leave!

What is one quality you have, that you hope your children will get and carry through life?

I would love for my future children to be artistic in one way or another and devote their life to something they really are passionate about…saying that, I might get a child who’s dream is to become an accountant…well, that would be ok too.

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A Beautiful New Scent By Byredo – M/Mink Eau de Parfum

December 15th, 2010

Something I don’t often write about, but am so passionate about is scent.

How you smell is so important, and finding your signature scent can take years and years. Scents trigger memories, triggers the memories of others, and sets a mood and presence where ever you go. Both men and women.

Now this isn’t my signature scent, but most certainly one I absolutely love. Soon to hit Australian shores at Mecca Cosmetica, Byredo M/Mink Eau de Parfum is truly something special. (I was lucky enough to get a bottle from overseas!)

The scent was inspired by “Asian ink, a photo of a Japanese calligrapher and a utopian concept drawn on traditional Korean paper, by Mathias Augustyniak”.

Developed by perfumer Jerome Epinette; M/Mink’s notes include adoxal, incense, patchouli, honey and amber.

Also check out the rest of the Byredo range at: www.meccacosmetica.com.au

Test Driving The High End Of The Low End Nissan Murano

October 15th, 2010

The somewhat robotic looking Nissan Ti sits with each if it’s corners perched out over it’s wheels in a chunky, but smoothly defined stance in the Nissan showroom.

The beautiful pearlescent exterior and stunning tan interior lured me in, a very inviting 4WD with a very warm presence.

Opening the door, you are hit with the beautiful interior which has a red carpet rolling out taking you into a seductive embrace.

The Murano has everything you’d expect from a $150,000 luxury European 4WD, yet it’s less than half the price.

Exterior

Apart from looking great and having a defined presence on the road, it’s actually a tough and robust vehicle with some serious off-road capabilities. A real 4WD with buttons inside to alter your off-road experience. Because it is a test drive, I am unable to take it off-road, but having owned a Nissan X-Trail Ti myself, it’s off-road capabilities are outstanding. It does and goes where you want it to… And you worry less about damaging it because it’s cheaper!

The dual tail pipes, 18″ wheels and rear spoiler make it look more aggressive. Features like rain-sensing wipers and auto-sensing headlights help with the elements.

You either love it or you hate it – the exterior styling isn’t for everyone. This new refined model is definately more beautiful then the last model.

Interior

This car does everything plus a little more. Extra little refinements you wouldn’t expect for a Japanese brand that makes cars which are also affordable.

It’s the little buttons from the driver seat which I liked playing with. The electronically adjustable steering column, the electronic folding rear 2nd row seats, the keyless start/stop button, dual moonroof with electronic blinds, electronic tailgate, rear air-conditioning in the pillars between front and rear doors, satellite navigation, rear parking camera and many other small luxuries which make life that little bit easier and add a little bit of fun in the mix. The Bose sound system is wicked – 11 speakers plus 2 subwoofers! It’s crazy! Although – when it’s up loud… there are little rattles here and there which are annoying.

There is plenty of space for all passengers. The boot space is good, although the boot floor is a little high which limits the cargo area.

Driver comfort is almost flawless. Footwell is spacious, although I really don’t like the foot activated parking brake. I feel it should have been an electronic push button brake. The driver seat is electric and has 3 memory function. Satellite Navigation is easy to use, as well as all the other controls on the dash. I found everything to be in easy reach and the dash is attractive to look at.

Engine

Using the same 3.5 litre V6, 191kW engine as the Nissan Maxima, the Murano has a good amount of power behind it, even being such a large car.

If you’re after quick acceleration, top speeds and a fun quick shift engine,  maybe try elsewhere. The tiptronic works well, but just didn’t do it for me…  Just keep it in auto and enjoy the smooth ride.

The thing I didn’t like (well… miss rather) is the sound of the engine. When  I drive a big chunky 4×4, I want to hear the high pitch ringing noise that  European luxury 4×4′s have under heavy acceleration. I think it’s a Euro  thing – like the heavy thud of the solid doors. I guess the Japanese will catch  up one day.

Safety

Outside safety includes the sharp white Xenon headlights and rear LED lights which are bright and quick.

Again this car has all the European car safety features, 2 front, 2 side and 2 curtain airbags, traction control, electronic brake distribution (EBD), ABS and all the other features that make this car super safe and perfect for the young family.

Braking is good, but doesn’t have that strong solid feel as the Audi Q5 I test drove recently. It has a very Japanese feeling once again… Slightly tinny.

Likes: I love the little touches here and there – like the electronic folding rear seats, moonroof blind and start button for the price range. Also Nissan finally make a good looking key!

Dislikes: The typical Japanese feel – not the solid ‘real’ thud of the door feeling. It has the fake solid thud by adding extra rubber seals.

Would I buy it: Absolutely! Well… yes and no. If I wanted a real luxury car, but didn’t quite have the cash to purchase a European one, I would buy it. If I wasn’t fussy about brands, I’d definately would. A Nissan wouldn’t ever be on my consideration list otherwise.

Price: $62,000 driveaway! This is for the top of the range Murano Ti.

Final say: Great car, great package, luxurious, comfortable, intelligent, stylish, alot of fun with strong presence on the roads. BUT as I’ve said many times about other cars, it depends on the colour combination. If you get a dull colour, you’ll have a dull car! Spec up and choose your colours wisely.


Will Fennell – Perfectly Groomed And Stunningly Distinct

May 31st, 2010

I walked into Bondi Junction clinic, WillandPeta to meet television personality Will Fennell, who owns the clinic with business partner Peta Friend.

Greeted with an enormous smile and strong handshake, the strikingly brawn Will Fennell welcomed me into his clinic with open arms.

Will stands tall, perfect posture, tightly toned and immaculately dressed. He reminds me of a robust Gladiator. He speaks well, so polite and so refined. He has a pleasant and calming nature which is warming and gentle. I felt comfortable talking to him.

As mentioned above, he owns an amazing clinic called WillandPeta which does everything to make you and your skin look and feel it’s best. He is also a prominent television personality, columnist in magazines and also travels the world hosting events. But I’d like him to tell you all about it!

Popping over to the café across the road, I got to have a great chat to him about everything in his life…

Is there anything you are currently working on, or working on in the future that you’d like to tell us about?

Well, ‘hypothetically’, I’d love to do a book. I would love to contribute to a book on my philosophies and my philosophies of skincare. I’ve really changed over the 15 years of doing what I do away from taking my business from just doing fluffy facial treatments to using only cosmosutical products in my skincare clinic, where it is all results orientated, so the concept is that you can change your skin by using skin care and skin treatments.

I’m also working on a skincare range that I’m formulating at the moment. With skincare, you can go in two directions. You can get someone to formulate it for you, so you throw money at them and say you want a skincare range, they will formulate it, but they will own the formulas themselves, and you produce this product. Or you can go the other way, where you develop the formulas and I will own them, and they will be mine. So I can take them anywhere I want and do anything with them because they are mine. It just takes longer. I am working with my chemist to formulate the skincare range.

I have also joined the Mr. Gay World organisation, so I hosted Mr. Gay World in Oslo earlier in the year, and so I am going to Europe in September to host Mr. Gay Europe, I’m excited about doing that!

Last year I did too many things, this year I said I would only do three things. That’s all I will do, just these three things.

Who or what influences you most in fashion?

In fashion, it would be Tom Ford, with out a doubt. The classical thing about Tom Ford is that it is all incredibly simple; it’s just executed beautifully and flawlessly. All the man has to wear is a crisp white shirt and a black suit. Everything about him is incredibly simple, all of his designs are simple, and that’s me. I love that. I would prefer uncluttered and attention to detail.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

I love Calibre clothing, Calibre make the best jeans. I love them. I’d sleep in them! When you are getting older, in your mid-thirties, you can’t wear skinny jeans anymore. You still want to wear jeans that fit you nicely, without having that skinny look. My classic look is jeans and loafers, I wear jeans and loafers all the time, that is what I feel comfortable in. Calibre makes beautiful tailored jeans that are nice enough to wear to a business meeting, but comfortable enough to wear and be semi-casual.

Is there a feature of your home that you love most?

My partner and I have a balcony outside area that overlooks Elizabeth Bay. We live in the most densely populated suburb in Sydney, but yet we have this balcony, which overlooks this little body of water, and you wouldn’t have any idea where you were. I need to see water. I don’t need to see lights of the city or anything like that when it comes to views, but if I can see, hear or smell water, that’s all for me. Water has negative ions, so it’s calming. The closer you are to sea level, the calmer you are.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Travelling. It’s something that we like to do, we like to do a country and not do this whole 7 countries in 3 weeks thing. For instance, when we go away to another continent, people ask what countries we are going to, we like to keep it quite minimal and focus on only those countries. We’ll get a train from city to city. Countries I’ve never been would be my biggest extravagance.

How did you get into what you do?

When I was about 15, I had really bad acne, so I started to see a skin therapist and I couldn’t really afford to have the treatments. She was lovely, so she said come in and visit me, and help me and in exchange I’ll give you treatments, so I knew it’s what I wanted to do. When I left high school, I was too scared to tell my parents that I wanted to be a skin therapist, so I went to University for a year, then at the end of that year I said to my mother that I am going to go to beauty school. She cried and carried on.

At that time my father had left us and I had no contact with him. At that time, my mum and I were very poor and there was no way she could afford to put me through beauty school, but then my fathers mother died, and she left me money. I got this phone call one day from a lawyer saying “you’re grandmother has left you X amount of money” and all of a sudden I had the money for beauty school. It all happened in this short period of time.

I worked my whole way through college, first off at a nursing home, then at a beauty salon in Darlinghurst. I met my business partner there, and then the following year we opened out first salon, which was called Baby Blue. I was 20, so I was the Baby, and she has the most beautiful blue eyes, so she was Blue. That’s why we called it Baby Blue.

So how did the TV career come about?

10 Years Younger In Ten Days came through DNA, one of the executive producers of the show read the magazine, and she called me and asked if I wanted to do an audition.

After Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, the salon was doing really well and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it again, but I went along anyway, went to the audition.  They rang and told me to be at the audition, but I couldn’t get to it because I had a job I was contracted to in Germany and couldn’t get out of it. So that was that and I didn’t hear from them. I went to Germany, had a great time. I came back, and they rang me, and asked if I wanted to shoot the pilot. It was great because there were no nerves involved because I didn’t think it was going to happen.

Queer Eye For The Straight Guy was in 2004, the problem with that was it came about too late, they took too long to create it over here, the American version was barely getting 700,000 viewers a night, so the hype was over, resulting in just one season. From first auditions, to going to air, it took two years – that’s a long time!

Favourite place to relax in Sydney?

We live very close to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. It would have to be one of our favourite places ever. I run around that head, it’s funny, because there’s this bit that faces Woolloomooloo where my heart starts to get this thing there, as I approach the corner, and I see the bridge and everything at the end and it’s like… I don’t know, I just get this amazing feeling every time, it never changes. This is the most beautiful place ever.

What are your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

There’s always this idea that we are a season behind. That we are a step behind it all. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. We have some fantastic designers. As I said before, I’m a jeans and t-shirt type of guy. I have a few beautiful suits, I have less lots of clothes, instead some beautiful, maybe 6 or 8 beautiful shirts.

I think the idea of us being some little country at the bottom of the world that always has last season is gone, our designers have shown the world that they can go to Europe and mix it with the best of them. I don’t think we’ll ever be taken as seriously as French Couture or Italian, I don’t think it’s in our culture as much as it is in theirs. It’s in their culture.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without?

I have a lip balm in every single pocket in every single garment! Sometimes my partner will be like, “So which one is it today? High gloss, shimmer, lip-pumping…”

I have this great Christian Dior lip-pumper, and because I love them [lipgloss], I’ll try anything. I put it on and then next minute it works, because it has all these irritants to the skin, next thing I had these massive lips, my partner was so embarrassed by me!

There’s this idea that if you start using it, you will rely on it. The thing is, lips have no sebaceous glands, and so by nature they are incredibly dry. They still produce hyaluronic acid, meaning that they have the capability to moisturise themselves, but they have no capability of keeping the moisture in, because they have no oil glands. So you need to moisturise and you need to protect them.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

I’m so protective of my skin and the sun, that I don’t go to the beach all that much. But if I ever do go out in the sun, it would be Boy Charlton pool at Woolloomooloo, I love it there.

But if I had to pick a beautiful beach, it would have to be the smaller beaches on the harbour like Parsley Bay and the Eastern suburbs.

Three pet hates…

1. Gossiping.

2. Hairy ears. BIGGEST faux par.  Hair coming out of noses and ears. It’s so easy to remove. You can take a really handsome man and ruin everything with just a little bit of ear hair.

3. Body clipping and shaving on men. The days of men removing all their hair, it’s over now. Trim it back if you want to keep it all nicely contoured and all neat and tidy, but a big no to shaving. Imagine rubbing yourself up against someone who has just shaved, it’s like having a cheese grater on you.

How often do you eat out? Or cook at home?

I love Japanese. Japanese would be one of my favourite meals to eat out I suppose. There are some great Japanese restaurants in Potts Point, so I eat a lot of Japanese out. Apart from that, we cook most nights at home. We have a BBQ on our balcony. My partner would BBQ anything and everything if he could. He’s American, so he is used to using a big BBQ. We eat at home about 5 nights a week. We eat pizza, eat at home, or eat Japanese.

If you were Clover Moore, what would you inject money into fixing in Sydney?

We used to have a business on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. Ten years ago we moved away because I could see it was starting to decline. And I know that she is doing her best to somehow improve Darlinghurst, the feeling on the street, the safety, you walk down at night and I don’t know how much you can do to help this, but it’s not a place I would think of going anymore. I wouldn’t think of going there to shop or for dinner or go to Darlinghurst anymore. It’s, I think, it’s lost a sense of village and anything it used to have. It doesn’t exist.

Where would you go for drinks with friends then?

Lotus bar, I love Lotus bar. The best thing is you can just ask a waitress to grab you a drink and they just do it, they’ll know what you like, or they’ll just make one for you. I drink very little, but I’ll have one cocktail. They are amazing and it’s chilled, it’s an early, not a late place, so you don’t have to head down there late. I’m not really into the bar thing so much, but a cocktail bar is nice.

What is the thing you would change most in terms of men’s mentality in grooming?

Men think it’s too hard. That’s the first thing I come across – that it’s too hard.

The reason that’s happened is because the women in this industry have made it too hard. You have these women that have all these products, which they put on before going to bed.

All you need are 3 steps in the morning and 3 steps in the evening.

You cleanse and scrub in the shower, then put moisturiser on. It seriously takes 30 seconds. It’s not hard and it’s not time consuming. The way I have programmed my clients and the procedure of using my product is making it really simple in just 3 steps. You prepare the skin by cleaning it. You treat it by using active ingredients and you moisturise it. So I think that’s it, the main thing is it’s not that hard and it’s not time consuming, and the benefits you will see in the long run are enormous.

If you start in your 20’s or 30’s looking after your skin, wearing sunscreen and using exfoliant, you will get to 40 and look in the mirror and not think someone has walked all over your face. It’s easy, wear sunscreen. Most creams reverse ageing, the only one to prevent is sunscreen.

www.willandpeta.com

The Clever Chef – Pete Evans

April 22nd, 2010

He’s a gentle man, with a kind and calm heart. Loves to have a laugh and also loves to have a good chat.

Remaining grounded and humble but knowing what he wants and getting it – he is Pete Evans.

Known all over Australia for his role as a judge on My Kitchen Rules, he also has a huge successful business, and career in entertainment. From working in McDonald’s and Sizzler as a kid, he has worked his way through to the top of his profession.

Pete was born in Melbourne, grew up on the Gold Coast and finally set himself up in Sydney where he opened Hugos in the famous Kings Cross area.

This man has one very busy life. Running a restaurant, catering business, writing books, creating tv shows, public speaking, traveling around Australia and giving up his time for the charities close to his heart, there is no stopping this guy.

Below is a brief chance to get to know Pete Evans.

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I am currently filming two new television series which I am creating for the international market – one is based on my catering business and the other is a fishing and cooking and travel series.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

I would have to say my new Billabong wetsuit – very light and warm.

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I think any food made with love and care is the most exciting.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Surf trips overseas are my big indulgence.

Greatest lesson learnt?

Everything in moderation.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

I would make sure they spent at least 3-6 months doing work experience in the best restaurants before you committed.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

Yes – I have my holidays planned a year or 2 in advance and fit work around those times

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

Johhny Depp – the king of style!

How did you get into doing what you do?

Through necessity and common sense – I wanted a trade that would help me out in my future and I thought cooking would be the most beneficial.

My Mother/Father always told me…

Believe in yourself.

Is there a cause that is close to you and if so, why?

Sydney Children’s Hospital – Gold Week.  My daughter had an operation when she was 2 weeks old and I love the work they do.

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

At a good Japanese restaurant like Azuma where I can watch the sushi chefs.

Signature dish?

Chilli mud crab.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

I love all the beaches.

www.peteevanschef.com.au

Be sure to have a look at one of Pete’s fantastic recipe’s by clicking here.

Spice Temple Fills A Modern Chinese Void

April 14th, 2010

Tucked around the corner, under Rockpool Bar + Grill is a door. A door that is a giant LCD which you push open. This is the entrance to Spice Temple – setting the benchmark of what’s to follow.

Myself and friend Damien walked in, entering at the top of a large spiral staircase, with long sculptures hanging from the roof down the void to the lower level, where the restaurant and bar is located. We approached the front desk and were politely asked to take a seat while our table was being set. Our very sweet and bubbly bar girl brought us the cocktail and wine lists (100 wines to match with each dish!), which were quite extensive. After a good ten or so minutes of general chit chat and looking over the menu you, we ordered our drinks and at that same time our table was ready, so we were escorted to it.

The restaurant is like an industrial basement. A stylish polished concrete foyer and bar, turns into a modern Chinese décor, featuring typical Chinese restaurant red carpet, dark floor and dark roof, and fantastic detail to mood lighting makes the experience quite intimate, even if you are sitting right next to another table.

We ordered the cocktails, which were highly recommended. I got the “Aries”, lime, ginger, gin and lychee. Boy did it have a zing to it! Damien got the “Rat”, lavender tea soda with mint and sugar cane spirit. Light and sweet. Both drinks had a good punch to them. They were presented nicely and served in Riedel glasses.

Now the hard task was to choose what to eat from the detailed modernised Chinese menu with head chef Neil Perry overseeing.

The meals are designed to share, so we decided we would get a few.

We started with the Lamb and Cumin pancakes. The simple presentation hid a remarkable taste. Easy to eat, almost like having a Turkish gozlem – thin and crispy, there’s salt flakes on the top of the sandwiched cumin and lamb pancake. Cut up in wedges like a pizza, they were great to chew on while gas-bagging and preparing for the next few dishes.

The Hot and Numbing Wagyu Beef followed the pancakes. This was by far the best beef I have ever had. It is crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside. It’s broken down into pieces and strands of meat. The flavours were deep and rich. I enjoyed this down to the very last piece, and even then I was lifting garnish looking for more. All the Wagyu that Spice Temple serve is from David Blackmore with a +9 score. Blackmore Wagyu are the only producers marketing only 100% Fullblood Japanese Wagyu beef in Australia – so you know you are eating great meat!

Next dish was the Braised duck, tofu, dried chestnut and baby leeks, served over rice. Not being the biggest fan of duck, I still throughly enjoyed the meal, appreciating the flavours and textures. For people who love duck, this is definately something for you to choose. It all comes in a light broth, which was nice, especially to moisten the rice and fuse the dish together with the rice.

So what was for dessert? Peanut butter parfait. A crispy meringue-like base, the parfait in the middle, and a uniquely flavour caramel top which was somewhat salty, but worked well with the sweetness of the peanut butter. A drop of chocolate sauce and some delicious sugar and sesame seed peanuts over the top. So good!

Our waiter for the evening was pleasant, knowledgable and gave us assistance with the menu with ease. It didn’t seem as if we were troubling him in any way. The staff all looked like they wanted to be there – which is important when dining at a restaurant that you’re paying good money for.

Pros: The style, comfort and design is great. Lighting is great. A mixture of customers from all over. Great food.

Cons: I didn’t really find anything negative to say about the venue, service or food. Everything was exceptional.

Pricing: Entrées from $10 to $29, Mains from $19 to $45, Desserts from $16. Cocktails are all around $17. White wines from $14 to $19 a glass, Red’s from $12 to $17 a glass and Champagne $17 to $27 a glass.

Final Say: Chic, fun, clever, kind, generous, delicious. A great night out. Great place for a catch-up with friends, or a family dinner. Overall I was extremely pleased. If you’re not a huge fan of spicy food, don’t stress, this food is great for you too! Neil Perry does it perfectly once again.

Spice Temple – 10 Bligh Street, Sydney – (02) 8078 1888

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A Woman Of Many Talents – Katie Underwood

April 12th, 2010

Ten years ago, Katie Underwood was a household name after winning a place in the all girl band Bardot.

After an extremely successful run in the band, it dissolved and all the band members went their own ways.

Melbourne girl Katie, perused her successful solo career, in both Australia and the UK, having hits played nationally and internationally on commercial radio, as well as reaching the top 50 in the Aria charts. She took the dance and club avenue, becoming well known in the club scene for her high energy music and collaborations with other well known artists and DJ’s like Disco Montego.

She has made a mark for herself in the entertainment industry, and continues to do so. She has her finger in every pie – theatre, television, music and radio.

She is a down-to-earth and unaffected women, with a unique sense of style and popular sound.

Her life journey took a different avenue, now performing jazz music around Melbourne… But I’ll let Katie tell you what she’s up to at the moment… (P.S. – You must hear her version of the amazing song Hallelujah on her website)

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I have recently been performing with my jazz band around Melbourne, but hoping to tour regionally and around Australia later this year. I have also been spending some time writing and collaborating with a few DJ/Producers with the aim of releasing another dance track in the future.

Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?

I prefer my surroundings to be calm and somewhat ‘Zen’, so I guess the Japanese style of decor is most prevalent. My favourite piece of furniture at home is a Japanese circular display unit.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

I’m really getting into white these days so anything white, pants, tops, bags I’m enjoying, especially in warmer weather. Favourite accessory would be a steel Owl pendant.

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

A huge painting of a Bird Of Paradise plant.

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

Favourite new cocktail is the Aviation – making a comeback in a few of the cocktail bars around Melbourne.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My fondness for Veuve Clicquot and Billecart-Salmon Champagne

Greatest lesson learnt?

Success is about feeling happy with what you do, not what you’ve achieved in the eyes of others.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

Think very carefully about what you want to achieve and learn before you begin because once you’re in it, it’s often hard to see clearly and remember what you really want.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

I currently work from home so I’m not sure I do have them balanced! I am conscious of taking a break to catch up with good friends regularly. They keep me grounded and sane.

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

I honestly don’t pay much attention to main stream fashion so I wouldn’t know where to begin!

How did you get into doing what you do?

My first major break came through Popstars (Australia’s first reality TV talent show) but the path that lead me to that point was quite diverse. I had been singing and also recorded a dance track with a guy in the UK. I guess I was started to gain confidence and experience in the music industry and Popstars came along at the right time.

What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?

Less is more.

My Mother/Father always told me…

It doesn’t matter what you do but how you do it. Take pride in your work, whatever it is and strive to be the best you can be.

Where is your favourite place to relax when you’re in Sydney?

Relax in Sydney? I didn’t know that was even possible….

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

Not as often as I would like! I live on Fitzroy St so there’s so much good food literally on my doorstep it’s hard not to take advantage and eat out quite a bit.

Signature dish?

Vegetarian Noodles with Fresh Coriander. Simple but effective.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My iPhone. I finally converted.

Being a Melbourne girl, but having spent alot of time in Sydney, what frustrates you most about Sydney?

That I don’t get to travel there as much as I used to!

When you come to Sydney, what is your favourite beach and why?

I’m not a huge beach lover but I always enjoyed Bronte beach because it’s quaint and quiet.

Three pet hates?

1. Superficiality.

2. Intolerance.

3. Judgement.

Fashion and home must-have’s?

A nice set of cocktail glasses and a shaker.

What is your one diva demand?

I’ve never had one. I might ask for a pineapple juice or something, maybe some Champagne (if it’s a club gig) but I won’t cry if I don’t get it. Life’s too short to be THAT kind of Diva.

Be sure to visit her website for more information: www.KatieUnderwood.tv


Taste Of Sydney – SMEG Marquee

March 15th, 2010

Taste Of Sydney wrapped up on Sunday the 14th of March, running over 4 days from the 11th.

Held in Centennial Park, the event was a huge success, showcasing some of Sydney’s best restaurants, wines and suppliers.

I was fortunate enough to have access to the SMEG marquee, where my friends and I were greeted by the lovely host Chad MacKenzie and over-indulged on the tasty food that Pete Evans’ (Hugos Catering and judge on My Kitchen Rules) catering team prepared for us, along with an endless supply of drinks by Peroni and Canella Prosecco.

We got to enjoy this, along with the company of Pete Evans and the team from SMEG, while lounging in the beautiful marquee with stunning SMEG products around the perimeter. The gorgeous lighting was supplied by Euroluce.

The food we were served was plentiful, with the attractive wait staff tending to our bellies constantly. On the menu was a range of fine foods, like the Japanese inspired Sake soaked Sydney rock oyster shots, scallops with oil in coriander, beetroot cured ocean trout with horseradish cream and wild field mushroom tarts just to name a few.

Check out the photos of the SMEG marquee and their beautiful displays.

Visit SMEG and Pete Evans websites here.