October 26, 2016


22 kangaroos, designed and produced by award-winning sculptor Louis Pratt, have been created from COLORBOND® steel to commemorate the Australian brand’s 50th anniversary.

Made from the 22 colours in their current steel range, these full size male and female kangaroos, the largest being 160cm high, along with a handful of joeys, will be on display at a “hop up” exhibition at Hickson Road Reserve in The Rocks which will run for three days only, from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 October. The roos will also be joined by real life joeys from Featherdale Wildlife Park from 12 noon to 2pm each day and there is no charge to visit the exhibition.


Sculptor Louis Pratt, who won the prestigious $100,000 Mt Buller Sculpture Prize in 2013, created the kangaroo mob that weighs over 700 kilograms, in six weeks. “This was a fun job. Drawing, designing and producing the mob by hand took some work but I enlisted the services of some great fellow artists to lend me a hand. I’m thrilled with the result and the location for the pop-up exhibition is terrific -grass, water, views – I think they’ll be very happy here!” said Louis.

After the exhibition three of the kangaroos, Ned, Matilda and Banjo, will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the National Council of State Emergency Services. Those who visit the kangaroos in Sydney also have the chance to win one to take home.

Sandra Tiltman meets Barry

Sandra Tiltman meets Barry

Since 1966 COLORBOND® steel has become an integral part of Australian life, from the garden shed to some of the biggest and most beautiful pieces of architecture in the country and now the iconic kangaroo.

“Australia’s widely diverse environmental conditions demand a product that is specifically tested and developed for Australia. Our research and innovation teams have been conducting real-world outdoor exposure testing and accelerated laboratory testing to thousands of panels of COLORBOND® steel for almost fifty years to ensure the steel is an ideal building material for Australian conditions, so whether the roos reside in the heat of the Northern Territory or much cooler climate of Tasmania they’ll sure feel at home,” said Lisa Dent, Manager Marketing & Market Development – Sales & Marketing, BlueScope.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond,

Win a Roo – #WINaROO


October 17, 2016


Every summer The Sydney International Art Series brings the world’s most outstanding exhibitions exclusively to Sydney. This summer, as part of the Sydney International Art Series 2016-17, Sydney will be hosting two exceptional art exhibitions, Nude: Art from the Tate Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Nude: Art from the Tate Collection will showcase the story of the nude across two centuries, with more than 100 artworks loaned from Tate, London’s distinguished collection. Many of the works will be exhibited in Australia for the first time, including one of the world’s most iconic images of erotic love, Rodin’s marble sculpture, The Kiss (1904).

Nude is a journey through many major art movements, including romanticism, cubism, expressionism, realism, surrealism and feminism, featuring works by some of the world’s most celebrated artists including JMW Turner, Auguste Rodin, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Cindy Sherman and Ron Mueck.

The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, photographs and prints.


Program highlights include free daily guided tours as well as lectures, artist and curator talks plus a series of fiction readings by some of Australia’s finest writers including Christos Tsiolkas. Late night openings will be available on Thursdays and Fridays in January.

Nude: Art from the Tate Collection will be on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 5 November 2016 until 5 February 2017.

Tatsuo Miyajima is a leading contemporary artist in Japan, known for his immersive and technologically driven sculptures and installations. He draws inspiration from Buddhist philosophy with its exploration of life, death and renewal. Central to his practice are numerical counters that count from 1 to 9 repeatedly using light emitting diodes, then go dark momentarily. The repetition of numbers, along with the shift from light to dark, reflects the importance of time.

Tatsuo Miyajima

Tatsuo Miyajima

Miyajima has held solo exhibitions in Japan, the United States and Europe. He represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1999 with the installation Mega Death and more recently Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life) at The Met Breuer, New York.

The exhibition includes key sculptures and installations from his career.

Sandra Tiltman with MCA Gallery Head, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE

Sandra Tiltman with MCA Gallery Head, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE

Curated by MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent, this exhibition is a Sydney exclusive and is the artist’s first major survey exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere.

As well as free daily guided tours and late night openings on Thursday evenings, there will be Japanese inspired workshops every Thursday evening in December, plus a Japanese menu at the MCA Café and a pop-up Cherry Blossom Bar with Japanese bites and exclusive cocktails.

Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art from 3 November 2016 until 5 March 2017.

Purchase a Sydney International Art Pass to see both exhibitions and save 20%.

Sandra Tiltman




October 17, 2016


Berlin based Israeli, Avi Avital, will be making a triumphant return to Australia where he will lead the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in an adventurous exploration of the mandolin.

By overwhelming popular demand, Artistic Director Paul Dyer is proud to bring Avi Avital to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane following his sellout 2014 Brandenburg debut. “Avi has charisma, sparkle, sensitivity and a disarming musical depth. He holds the audience and those he shares the stage with in the palm of his hand, then famously captures the moment in a selfie. He has catapulted the mandolin into a completely different stratosphere,” Paul Dyer said.

Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, Avi began learning the mandolin at the age of eight. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy. Playing on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman, Avi continues to forge new ground for the mandolin and open the world’s ears to its potential. “When I hold the mandolin, it is so much part of me, my voice. I don’t think of it as an instrument, but just an extension of myself,” Avi said.

The first mandolin player to be nominated for a classical Grammy Award, Avi has electrified audiences throughout Israel, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Americas. Memorable performances include Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonie, Forbidden City in Beijing, the Paris Philharmonie and Zurich’s Tonhalle.

Avi is also a successful recording artist, recording exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon. “Between Worlds” introduced chamber music compositions from Ernest Bloch and De Falla to traditional Bulgarian Folk tunes and was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.  Other prominent recordings include “Bach” and “Vivaldi”.

Avi Avital will be appearing with The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra at the City Recital Hall in Angel Place, Sydney on October 26, 28, 29 and November 2 & 4 at 7pm with a Matinee on October 29 at 2pm.

Sandra Tiltman


October 10, 2016


Holland America Line announces new culinary partnership with America's Test Kitchen during an event at the Institute of Culinary Education on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in New York. (Photo by Adam Hunger)

After launching a partnership with America’s Test Kitchen TV show, Holland America Line will soon bring new dynamic cooking shows on board ms Westerdam for the ship’s Mexico season from October 18 and ms Nieuw Amsterdam for their Caribbean season from November 13. The program is expected to roll out fleetwide by June 2017.

Designed specifically for Holland America Line, the shipboard shows will be hosted by Holland America Line chefs, trained by America’s Test Kitchen culinary experts. Shipboard cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops, with topics ranging from shaping Asian dumplings to making the perfect pie crust, will combine foolproof, accessible recipes and cooking techniques that are rooted in the rigorous testing and science based approach of America’s Test Kitchen.


The shipboard Culinary Arts Center will be transformed to replicate the television set where the prominent America’s Test Kitchen TV shows are recorded for broadcast by more than 350 public television stations across the United States. Holland America Line is a sponsor of America’s Test Kitchen and is proud to make this experience possible at sea.

In addition, passengers will experience 24-hour access to episodes of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country television programs in their staterooms.

The planned 45 minute demo courses will feature a mix of video content, live instruction, taste tests and recipe samples. Some of the courses in development include Asian Dumplings, Salad for Two, We Love Chocolate, Everything Salmon, Flavors of the Mediterranean, Meatless Monday Meals and New Italian Favorites. Also planned are 90 minute workshops that focus on teaching a specific skill set. Proposed workshops include Perfect Pies and Handmade Pasta.

m/s Westerdam - Holland America Line

m/s Westerdam – Holland America Line

“This is an incredible opportunity for fans of America’s Test Kitchen, and food lovers in general, to immerse themselves in the Test Kitchen experience,” said David Nussbaum, CEO of America’s Test Kitchen. “The classes on board Holland America Line ships will feature our famous foolproof recipes designed to be repeated and enjoyed long after the voyage has ended. We are excited that Holland America Line is helping America’s Test Kitchen reach more enthusiastic home cooks through this onboard experience.”

America’s Test Kitchen has earned the respect of the publishing world, the culinary world and millions of home cooks who trust its experts for tried and true advice on recipes, supermarket ingredients and cookware. Similarly, the new Holland America Line shipboard shows will present a combination of well tested recipes using consumer available ingredients with kitchen tips and advice on the brands of cookware, utensils and appliances America’s Test Kitchen’s experts have tried and recommend.

America’s Test Kitchen is a fully equipped test kitchen located in Brookline, Massachusetts. A team of more than 50 highly qualified test cooks perform thousands of tests every year. Their goal is to develop the best recipes and cooking techniques, to review and rate the best cookware and equipment and to taste test and recommend brand name supermarket ingredients for the home cook. Recipes are tested 30, 40 and sometimes as many as 70 times to arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time and equipment that yields the best, most foolproof recipe.

Sandra Tiltman

84 UNION STREET, PYRMONT Pub/Restaurant/Bar

October 10, 2016


Pyrmont with its great selection of bars and restaurants is such an easy destination to access from Sydney’s CBD. Just a twenty minute walk over the historic bridge or take the lite rail, drive yourself, grab a taxi, uber or even a bus, it’s that easy to get to one of Sydney’s best entertainment and dining precincts.

P9210085.jpg84 Union Street is one venue that is definitely worth a visit. This pub / restaurant / bar and even event space has so much to offer with its live music, large menu selection of tasty food plus a range of beverages from craft beers to cocktails and everything in between. The staff are so friendly and nothing is a problem. The casual atmosphere is perfect no matter whether you want lunch or to spend an evening.
The night I visited I tried their impressive looking Beluga Moscow Mule cocktail, served in a copper mug and also the Burlito which is their twist on a Mojito, using gin and cherry herring liquor. Both cocktails made me want to come back again for more.

P9210141.jpgAfter enjoying the cocktails I thought it was time to try a selection from the extensive menu. The crispy pork belly bites, smoked pulled chicken tacos and handmade Aranchini balls were perfect for starters, followed by the crispy chicken & shitake mushroom dumplings and the wagyu beef sliders on brioche with cheese, caramelised onion and homemade BBQ sauce. I still had to make room for the special handmade roasted duck spring rolls with cauliflower piccalilli.

I could now sit back and enjoy the live music for the rest of the evening.

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond



October 10, 2016


After a six month search to find Australia’s biggest foodie, Luke Mangan, one of Australia’s most accomplished restaurateurs, has officially announced Sofia Levin as his new CEO (Culinary Experience Officer). The talented home cook, foodie writer and tastemaker from Collingwood, Victoria will now travel the world on a money can’t buy round of travel and tasting experiences, creating content for Luke Mangan’s extensive portfolio of partnerships and restaurants.

Sofia was selected from some of Australia’s best and brightest foodies across three categories: Drinks Connoisseur, Talented Home Cook & Artisan Supplier. This included the likes of world class bartender Luke Ashton, My Kitchen Rules winner Sammy Jakubiak, pastry chef Christopher Thé of Blackstar Pastry and James Madden of Flinders Island Meat.

As the joint winner of the Talented Home Cook category, conducted in conjunction with P&O Cruises, Sofia’s winning dish of beetroot cured Kingfish with citrus and fennel salad, avruga roe and horseradish cream, will be on the menu in Luke’s Salt Grill onboard P&O’s five ships between October 14 and October 30.

Luke Mangan, Sofia Levin, Sture Myrmell

Luke Mangan, Sofia Levin, Sture Myrmell

In celebration of Luke becoming the first restaurateur in the world to serve dishes across land, air, rail and sea, the trip will include a four night P&O cruise to Hamilton Island on board Pacific Aria, joining Luke’s new restaurant on its inaugural journey on the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train between Singapore and Bangkok, enjoying a taste of Virgin Australia’s Business Class, plus dining at Luke’s restaurants throughout Asia and Australia.

Luke commented “The prospect of selecting Australia’s best foodie was an exciting challenge and one we enjoyed immensely. We were consistently stunned by the level of talent in our own backyard and welcome Sofia into our family with open arms. We’re looking forward to what we can achieve with Sofia, working through my network of restaurants and brand partnerships to push the definition of what it means to create and celebrate food in all its forms.”

Speaking of her win, Sofia said: “There’s nothing I love more than food and travel, ideally simultaneously. For a panel of industry professionals to give me this opportunity has been the icing on the cake of what’s already been an incredible experience. This is an opportunity to not only learn and open doors, but to take others along for the ride via my new role as Luke Mangan’s CEO.” 

Sandra Tiltman    Photos: John Pond


September 30, 2016


The world premiere of “Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical” which reveals the legendary singer, songwriter and actor’s extraordinary life, is currently exciting audiences at the Sydney Lyric Theatre for a strictly limited season.

Bobby Darin, together with his movie star wife Sandra Dee, provided the sound track to a generation.

This intimate and epic story about the Grammy award-winning singer, Oscar nominated actor and all-round entertainer, adored by his fans, begins at boyhood and follows his rise to stardom.


Based on an original concept and stage play by Frank Howson and John-Michael Howson and adapted for the stage by Frank Howson with Simone Phillips and Carolyn Burns.

The multi-talented David Campbell, one of Australia’s most popular and versatile entertainers and winner of three Helpmann Awards, is excellent in the lead role of Bobby Darin.

Hannah Fredericksen, who recently starred as Olivia Newton-John in the TV mini-series “Molly”, plays Sandra Dee.


Caroline O’Connor adds to this stellar cast playing the dual roles of Bobby Darin’s mother Polly and the ambitious Mary Douvan, Sandra Dee’s mother.

Darin’s sister Nina is played by Marney McQueen, alongside Bert LaBonte, playing Nina’s partner Charlie, who provides a father figure for Darin.

Martin Crewes plays Steve Blauner, Darin’s oldest friend, biggest fan and longtime manager.

Featuring an eighteen piece band, the musical captures the glamour and passion of the Rat Pack in Vegas era.


This production focuses on an incredible selection of songs, with some of the biggest hits from the 50s and 60s made famous by global heart throb Bobby Darin and brings his extensive songbook to life for a new generation, including Mack the Knife, Beyond The Sea, Splish Splash and the title track, Dream Lover.

John Frost, on behalf of his co-producers John and Barbara Gilbert of Gilbert Theatrical Pty Ltd, said, “Bobby Darin packed an extraordinary life into his 37 years, and wrote an incredible array of music. I think audiences will have an unforgettable experience at Dream Lover, witnessing the birth of Australia’s exciting new musical.”


Lovers of musical theatre have the opportunity to see this exciting all-Australian production, playing exclusively at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, until 27 November 2016.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond