Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vivid Sydney 2017 at Taronga Zoo & The View Restaurant

 
After not having been to Taronga Zoo for years (probably since my teens as far as I can remember), I’ve been to Taronga Zoo twice now in the space of three months. By day, it was wonderful to see and hear the animals, where their characters can be observed if you linger long enough at an enclosure. I was there courtesy of Taronga Zoo because their new baby Pygmy Hippo was born earlier in the year, a rare occurrence for the zoo and in wildlife because it is endangered. But by night during Winter from now until 17 June 2017 your focus is not on the animals, well not the live ones in any case, which would have sensibly retired into slumber for the night.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

City Staycation :: Fraser Suites Sydney


A well-executed city staycation can be just as relaxing as a week-long holiday. You are not far from home and the point of a staycation is that you feel you have got away to take a break. Staying in a luxury suite close to home is a good way to do that and that’s what I did, although the practical side of me ensured my staycation was also aligned to a day of a friend’s wedding I attended in the city. I’ve attended many weddings in the city and they are always late nights and by the time you get home and get ready for bed it’s always around AM and you waste the following morning sleeping in. Not to mention if you are planning to drink at a wedding, you have to factor in how you are going to get home, particularly if you live a bit further out from the city.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mayfield Gardern and Central West, NSW :: Things to see, taste and do


When the NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall said to me a couple of weeks ago at the Mercedes Benz Australia Fashion Week 2017 launch party that regional NSW has a lot to offer and there is so much to see, I believe him. Too often we think of going on holidays as hopping on a plane and flying to another capital city or overseas, but what if we hopped in a car or a guided minivan tour and headed out to the Central West NSW which is about 3 hours drive, to explore what is on offer, for a long weekend getaway from Sydney, for some country fresh air, to be seduced by the pastoral beauty, lush green fields, to learn of the region’s history, the local produce, to taste the food and the wine?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Recipe :: How to make ANZAC biscuits


I read some of the old war stories on ANZAC day that the universities like Monash publishes. Some are quite intense stories of pain and suffering and makes you feel lucky we live in where we are in the world today. The history of the ANZAC biscuit is interesting though. And it's an ANZAC biscuit not cookie to ensure there are no foreign influences to one of Australia's signature food.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Top Ryde City :: Your one-stop-shop for fresh produce


Despite the rise of home delivery and online shopping, I hope grocery shopping doesn’t become a forgotten pastime. Online shopping can’t replace buying fresh produce from a store, nor does it give you a holistic overview of what produce is in season.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Casa Barilla Cooking School :: Italian Easter Delights


Easter is a big deal in Italy and the most important event after Christmas. Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian religion and is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, three days after he had been crucified. One important detail about this holiday, is that the date changes from year to year. As was decided at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AC, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring and can therefore vary from March 22nd to April 25th.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

#50BestTalks :: Sydney Opera House


Australians love their food, and today was no exception. Today’s event #50BestTalks held at the Sydney Opera House was very well attended. It seems people don’t only like to eat food but they also like to talk about it too. Today we heard the views of the world’s culinary geniuses, the ‘Roger Federers in the kitchen, the brightest stars in the constellation as today’s host, political journalist, Annabel Crabb described it. Massimo Bottura, Peter Gilmore, Brett Graham & Dominique Crenn are the people every person’s eyes were focussed on for a full 90 minutes today, who shared their insights and food stories with us on how they got to where they did, how they were influenced in their careers, how they go about their creative processes, gender issues in the restaurant industry and finally an audience question and answer where the topic of sustainability appears to have dominated that segment. It was excellent panel discussion which was moderated by Annabel extremely well, and an event that got me curious and listening to every word that was said, inspired, with many funny moments where I chuckled.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jackie’s Floral Gallery in Kingsgrove … love is the flower, you’ve got to let it grow


“When I was 16 years old, I remember seeing someone receive a box of fruit that was nicely packaged as a gift and thought how nice it would be to do something like that but with flowers,” Jackie from my local florist, Jackie Floral Gallery says to me as we headed out in her van to Sydney Flower Markets. I stepped in her shoes that morning to discover what it was like to be a florist in Sydney. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Taste of Sydney, Lurpak Cooking School :: How to cook spanner crab


Watching a cooking show can’t compete with having your fingers stuck between a spanner crab shell to scoop out the sweet meat. I was invited to the Lurpak Cooking School as part of their Game on Cooks campaign, which was held at the annual event Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux in Centennial Parklands, Sydney. The Taste of Sydney is on until Sunday and with great weather holding this weekend it is an excellent day to see and taste the best of Sydney’s food and wine offerings.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Stylediaries :: How to dress like a Parisian




During a stroll at a lunchtime break, the shop window of Rodeo Show caught my eye. At first I wasn’t shopping for anything in particular. I walked into their tiny store on Pitt Street in Sydney CBD just under Myer and despite its size there was an excellent range in their current collections that I knew I would be shopping for more than one occasion. On the one hand they have their Resort Refresh 17 style which is classy but not too over the top for day wear. Vacation glamour are the right words to describe it, turning up the femme factor with romantic silhouettes and flirty details in dainty prints, lace and flattering drapes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Starting off with a blank canvas: Blanca Bar and Dining in Bondi


"I go to Barcelona at least once a year", Tomi Bjorck, much celebrated Finnish chef and restauranteur told me at the opening night launch of Blanca Bar and Dining and when he tells me that, having just been to Barcelona, I knew Blanca Bar and Dining that has just opened in Bondi was something special.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sydney Event :: One Fine Day Wedding Fair 2017 :: A peek at the Bridal Runways


I first was introduced to One Fine Day, a wedding fair 2 years ago when my wedding dress designer at the time suggested I check out this wedding fair which is a more refreshingly curated and creative event than the large traditional bridal expos, with a handpicked collection of sought after vendors in the wedding field. Not only is One Fine Day the perfect outlet for creative couples to gain inspiration from unique vendors in the planning of their big day, but a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday with your friends/family/bridal party. She was right. On a smaller scale, one of the most interesting aspects of this event are the bridal couture runways which showcases bridal designers’ latest ideas on bridal fashion. Unveiled in a romantic, nature like setting at The Cutaway in Barangaroo, all designs were eye catching with looks that yes, bowed to tradition but adding a touch of sultriness, flamboyant ruffles, intricate floral details, slender arm-sheathing sleeves, some with chaste necklines, some more provocative.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I’ll order a salad, please … MD Provodores and Sydney Markets


“I rather my customers complain about price than quality”, Mouhamad of MD Provodores tells me as we walked along A shed in Sydney Markets at 7am on a Wednesday morning.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Society Di Catania comes to Potts Point

"The owner of this building ate pizza at my Bondi restaurant and asked me to set up a pizzeria restaurant in his building in Potts Point", Jonathan Faro, the founder of Society Di Catania tells me today. And the owner of that building on 186-188 Victoria Road, Potts Point is not the only one who knows there is a good thing going. Opened for only one month, Society Di Catania focusing on Sicilian food in Potts Point owned by Italian, former pizza chef, Jonathan Faro is going to be a real hit with locals after what I tasted today.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Spiced Chicken Cous Cous

I love the spicy flavours in the region of North Africa and the Middle East and I’m sure I lived there in a past life. I like dishes with a balance of savoury and sweet flavours that are hearty but not heavy. I added turmeric to this dish to make the colours of the dish pop and so it is visually pleasing too if you are serving guests. It's a simple dish to make and if you are like me who likes to make a lot of dishes for people to try when they come over then this one doesn't take long at all and it's a dish to impress with its flavour combination. This dish was a hit at a New Years Day dinner at my place and was gone in minutes.