I’m a journalist, travel writer, editor and copywriter based in Melbourne, Australia. I write pacy travel features, edit edifying websites and fashion flamboyant copy. My articles and photographs have appeared in publications worldwide, from inflight to interior design: I’ve visited every continent, and have lived in three. Want to work together? Drop me a line… 



Seven dishes you must try on the Sunshine Coast


Koji creme caramel, Spicers Tamarind

The path to the Sunshine Coast beach town of Noosa is a well-worn path for southerns. However, chef Cameron Matthews’ recommendations of what to eat will send you up into the cool hinterlands to try Asian-inspired creme caramel, wash-rind cheeses and fresh feijoas.

You can find out what his seven must-eat dishes are by clicking here

This article appears on the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age‘s Traveller website.

Where to eat in Washington DC

Chef Eric

Erik Bruner-Yang, Washington DC

A couple of months ago, I met Washington chef-entrepreneur Erik Bruner-Yang at the glamorous Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, China, where he was part of a competition to create new iconic dishes for the hotel chain, which lays rightful claim to the Waldorf salad (amongst many others).

When he wasn’t cooking or overseeing dumpling creations by ham-fisted journalists, he was powering through the city streets,  discovering the food scene. We had a chat about where to eat in his hometown, and the influences of his own Taiwanese-Belgian background upon his food.

He tipped Filipino cuisine as the next big thing in the USA, recommends his favourite traditional Japanese restaurant and also shares a hot tip on the best customised pizza in Washington DC – it’s a pretty eclectic food safari.

You can read his hot tips in this short piece for the Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald/ The Age newspapers.

Australia on a plate

http://www.traveller.com.au/top-chefs-showcase-best-of-australian-dinning-at-exclusive-world-gala-102n22Australia on a plate
It might be the greatest
three-course meal in Australian history but the public won’t get a
taste. Three of Australia’s top chefs, Neil Perry, Peter Gilmore and Ben
Shewry, have been charged with creating our finest menu for a gala
dinner in November to showcase Australian dining. The ‘‘Invite the World
to Dinner’’ event, at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania,
will bring in 80 guests from around the world, including influential
food and wine writers, critics, chefs and celebrities, from Australia’s
key tourism markets. The event is part of Tourism Australia’s new global
campaign ‘‘Restaurant Australia’’ – the latest part of the ‘‘There’s
nothing like Australia’’ campaign launched in 2010. The three chefs have
outstanding credentials, with Perry’s Rockpool, in Sydney, and Quay,
where Gilmore is executive chef, receiving three hats in the 2014 Good
Food Awards. Shewry’s Attica, in the Melbourne suburb of Ripponlea, was
named restaurant of the year at the Melbourne awards. ‘‘This dinner is
saying to the world here is Australian cuisine, we have amazing produce,
diverse cultural influences and through our cooking we bring a certain
spirit of openness, adventure and freedom,’’ said Gilmore.
– Craig Platt
World at your feet
your heels and find yourself wherever in the world you want to be, with
the cutest women’s shoes from Venezuelan brand Hot Chocolate. Imprinted
with an old-school map of the world, they have a rubber sole for
comfortable strolling and the soft polyester upper makes them easy to
clean. Flip the buckle and they’re an ideal inflight shoe, but if you’re
not travelling anywhere soon, just look down, map out your route and
daydream. Bon voyage shoes, $75. 0499 116 659, see pimposaustralia.com.
Taming travel with tots
new travel website devised by mother-of-two, Ingrid Huitema, is
dedicated to journeys with babies. The site takes the grunt out of
travelling with young children and give parents time to reconnect.
“Taking a few hours each day to eat lunch uninterrupted, walk on the
beach or try a surf lesson usually doesn’t happen on holidays with
babies,” says Huitema. “We want to change all of that.” Packages in
baby-friendly Bali comprise villas tailored for children, with pick-up
at Denpasar airport, car seats and nannies. A five-night stay in
Seminyak starts at $1895, with four days’ nanny service. 0408 112 728,
see babyandtoddlertravel.com.au.
Bespoke beauty
the bellwether, the pack leader, the one who swims against the masses,
and you’re demanding a hotel room decorated with street art. You’re the
epitome of the new traveller. “Curation is the future of online travel,”
says Mat Lewis, of new boutique accommodation booker View Retreats.
Travellers are seeking architectural statements for eye-popping travel
snaps. “Our most-viewed property is the Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse in
the Blue Mountains, followed by Campbell Point House on Victoria’s
Bellarine Peninsula and Alkira Resort House and Rainforest Retreat in
the Daintree.” Romantic cocoons are the top request. See


Fabric of life
Weave through India’s exotic Rajasthan,
with Christina Sumner, OAM, former principal curator at Sydney’s The
Powerhouse Museum and Indian textiles aficionado. You will watch silk
and cotton weaving in women’s charities, learn about ancient tribal
dyeing techniques and block-printing, and visit renowned ateliers during
this new 15-day textiles tour. Other highlights include the 1st-century
Buddhist caves of Ajanta, sufi concerts, village visits and the
photogenic Rajasthani cities of Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Accommodation
includes Jodhpur’s Ajit Bhawan Palace and Samode Haveli in Jaipur. The
Threads of Rajasthan tour numbers are capped at 12, departing on
February 7, 2015. Costs from $11,500 a person, twin share, including
flights ex-Sydney, meals and guides. Phone 1300 130 218, see
Case closed
Choose zingy
tangerine or strawberry and you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t
miss your luggage on the carousel amid a sea of boring black. Online
retailer Kogan’s new budget-friendly three-piece luggage sets are
lightweight with a hard-side shell, and sit sturdily on four
multi-directional spinner wheels. The set has two suitcases, 100-litre
(4.2 kilogram) and 65-litre (3.5 kilogram), and a 40-litre (2.6
kilogram) cabin bag, with TSA-approved locks and a one-year warranty.
Colour challenged? Available also in charcoal. Kogan Hardside Spinner
luggage set, $159, three pieces. Phone 1300 304 292, see kogan.com.au.

Down on the farm, Bhutan style

My farmhouse, Phobjike valley
It’s seven o’clock at night and the family has sat down for dinner. I can’t say the Jones
family, because Bhutanese don’t use surnames. But to draw you a picture,
there’s four generations in the room: granny and grandpa, mum and dad, their
daughter, her two-year-old daughter and seven-year-old niece.
They sit in a large circle that includes me, my guide Tshering and driver Tensing.
There are no tables or chairs in the Bhutanese house. Everyone sits on thin mats around the bhukhari (wood stove), and I admire the effortless half-lotus position that the 79-year-old grandfather, Tshewangla, adopts for his light dinner.
The white rice is sticky and is rolled with your hand into a tight ball and daubed with chilli cooked in
cheese sauce. Chilli is not a flavouring, chilli is a vegetable to be eaten at every meal, including breakfast.
Until 18 months ago, the women did all the cooking on a two-ring gas burner and on the wood stove. There was some light from the solar panels, but electricity has
changed all that. The warm kitchen is all very comfortable, with a fluorescent light above and a home-grown soapie on tv. A little cat sleeps by the wood
stove, and I spot a rice cooker, microwave, toaster and fridge. Butter and cheese are still often wrapped in rhododendron leaves to stop it from going hard.
Namgay Pem and her husband Phub Gaytshey.
“Electricity has changed our lives,” says Namgay Pem, the mother of the house. It’s helped them to have better sanitation and everyone loves the soap opera, which won an international award for its role in educating people about the dangers of HIV.
That night, as a special guest in a full house, I sleep in the altar room. Namgay’s husband, Phub Gaytshey, is a lay monk, and the room’s walls are covered in
elaborate paintings that pulsate with colour. One complete wall is taken up with a deep altar which Phub attends carefully each morning.
After Phub demonstrates his ritual of offering tea, incense, water and three prostrations to the altar, the two little girls show me their new three-day-old calf, safe
in a manger attached to the kitchen, and we pop a few arrows: archery is Bhutan’s national sport, and their obsession is comparable to, say, the AFL or English league.
We clamber in the 4WD to slip and slide up the muddy driveway, waving to the family. There is no word for ‘goodbye’ in Dzongkha, only ‘see you again’.

Global Salsa

Well, you’ve scrolled this far. What do you think? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

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