October 12, 2014


Tasty treats from the Barossa region of South Australia were showcased in Sydney’s Paddington, when Barossa Homestead took over a terrace house for a pop up event over five days, as part of Good Food Month.

DSC04094A huge table, laden with produce made in the Barossa, was located in the front room of the terrace. Amongst the eyecatching and delicious foodstuff were loaves of bread, sliced salami, varieties of chutney, a quiche, olive oil, dukkah and several cheeses

Each day, a different group of food artisans displayed their wares and offered a selection of tastings to the delighted crowd, who were only too eager to try the various wines, cheeses, chocolates, coffee varieties and four flavours of ice cream.

Out on the terrace, a flavoursome pork sausage was cooked on the BBQ, while people tasted the home made beer.

One of the highlights on the day I visited, was the chef cooking two delicious varieties of pasta. The gnocci was exceptional.

I’ll have to make sure I squeeze in a visit to the Barossa soon.

Sandra Tiltman    Photos: John Pond 



October 12, 2014
Sandra Tiltman & Radio Personality, Glenn Wheeler

Sandra Tiltman & Radio Personality, Glenn Wheeler

Sydney’s love of Asian food is again acknowledged with the celebration of Asia On Your Doorstep, an annual event running throughout the month of October.

DSC04023The festival, held during Sydney Good Food Month, is a special initiative to celebrate the feast of Asian flavours available at the city’s many restaurants, cafes and food stalls and allows foodies to taste their way through Asia without leaving Sydney.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, officially launched this year’s event on Tuesday evening at a function attended by the Consuls of many neighbouring Asian countries and a large gathering of food lovers at the China Republic Restaurant in the World Square Shopping Centre in George Street.

During her opening speech, the Lord Mayor said “Chinatown is one of Sydney’s biggest attractions, with almost half of all international tourists to our city visiting the precinct’s restaurants, bars and shops. The festival gives people even more reasons to explore this fantastic area, enjoy the delicious Asian cuisine on offer and see world class chefs at work.”

Lord Mayor Moore commented that Sydney’s Chinatown had now grown and expanded from its Dixon and Sussex Streets origins to include the adjoining Thaitown and Koreatown villages, where a large range of restaurants and Asian supermarkets can be found.

The Hon. Andrew Stoner, MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Trade and Investment and Minister for Tourism and Major Events was the guest speaker, sharing his love of Asian food with the audience. SBS World News Australia Presenter, Lee Lee Chin, did an amazing job as Master of Ceremonies.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore

One of the festival’s highlights each Friday evening from 5 p.m. in October is Little Hay Street in the heart of Haymarket transforming into “Little Eat Street” markets. Visitors will be able to enjoy yum cha, teppanyaki, sushi and pho, along with other Asian dishes at more than 15 take-away Asian food stalls.

During Asia on Your Doorstep, hotels throughout the city are offering special accommodation packages to entice and temp food lovers throughout Australia and overseas to visit Sydney, so they can experience the enormous variety of Asian cuisines available at the city’s many world-class restaurants. Diners in Chinatown’s dining precinct during the month long event, will have the chance to win a trip for two to Seoul.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore encouraged Sydneysiders and visitors to immerse themselves in all Chinatown has to offer during Asia on Your Doorstep. 

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond


October 12, 2014

Kirby Burgess as Baby and Kurt Phelan as Johnny Castle (c) Kurt Sneddon

A decade after its World Premiere, Dirty Dancing will make a welcome return to Sydney on 28 November 2014, playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star.

It’s the summer of 1963 and 17 year old Frances “Baby” Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, Baby shows little interest in the resort activities and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters where an all night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s dance instructor. Baby’s life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on stage and off, with breathtaking consequences.

Leading Australian theatre producer John Frost said “We have assembled an exceptional cast for this 10th Anniversary production of Dirty Dancing”.

The role of charismatic dance teacher Johnny Castle will be played by NIDA graduate Kurt Phelan, an actor, choreographer and writer. His musical theatre credits include Singin’ in the Rain, Witches of Eastwick, Saturday Night Fever and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Kirby Burgess will play the role of innocent young “Baby” Houseman. Kirby has been seen on stage in Sweet Charity, An Officer and A Gentleman, Hairspray, High School Musical – Live on Stage and on television in Wonderland.

In his musical theatre debut, classical music singer Mark Vincent will play Billy Kostecki, Johnny’s cousin. Baby’s father Jake will be played by Adam Murphy and her older sister Lisa will be played by Teagan Wouters.

image001Featuring hit songs including Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the iconic (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, Dirty Dancing has become one of the most popular musical productions of all time.

Dirty Dancing is a wonderful Australian success story. The stage musical gave audiences the chance to hear the songs from the hit film performed live and to experience the breathtaking dance routines. People flocked to it, breaking records all around the world.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Andrew Stoner, said “The return of the much loved stage favourite Dirty Dancing, reinforces Sydney’s position as Australia’s live performance capital. I congratulate John Frost and his team on assembling such a vibrant young cast who will breathe new life into this much loved production, which is expected to attract visitors from across Australia”.

Sandra Tiltman


October 12, 2014
Miss Universe Australia, Tegan Martin, in winning design.

Miss Universe Australia, Tegan Martin, in winning design.

Four designers were chosen from a record number of entries from across Australia, to design and create the costume that will be showcased to represent Australia at Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant, to be held in Miami in January 2015. The winning design will be worn by our reigning Miss Universe Australia, Tegan Martin.

The winning design in The Elucent Skincare National Costume Competition, which was voted by the public on the Sunrise website, was revealed live on Channel 7 Sunrise recently.

The top four designs were featured in an exclusive runway show and media launch at Sydney’s Doltone House Hyde Park.


Caitlin Holstock’s winning costume is an aboriginal inspired sunset design, with permission granted from the Wurundgeri tribe.

Frida Deguise’s costume was inspired by the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

Lorelee Prentice used the Sydney Opera House arcs as inspiration for her winged costume with a sash to reflect the monarchy.

Christopher Ditsas’ costume was inspired by two key sources, corrugated iron, to represent our determination in the harsh climate and national Australian flowers, to represent the people of Australia – varied and colourful.

Miss Universe Australia National Director Deborah Miller said “The number of entries we received this year was astounding, it definitely hit a record. It is such a great opportunity for emerging Australian designers to share their talent and to be noticed on a national and international scale.”

Miss Universe is the second most watched event in the world with over 1 billion viewers, following the World Cup.

Sandra Tiltman      Photos: John Pond