The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2017 program launches in Sydney

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2017 program was launched on Friday 2 December 2016 at a warehouse in Rozelle with one message: to create equality.

The theme for 2017 is Creating Equality. Equality by its definition is ensuring everyone is treated fairly and equally, and not discriminated against for their race, gender, ability, beliefs, sexuality or age.

It is a poignant message that has been the cornerstone of The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ ethos since its beginnings in 1978. Australia has come a long way in accepting gay and lesbian people but marriage equality has not been achieved.

The Festival starts on Friday 17 February, and runs for two weeks until Sunday 5 March 2017. It includes a bumper program of events, exhibitions, music and theatre in an all-inclusive, all-singing, all-dancing celebration of Australia’s LGBTQI community.

There are over 80 events in store. There are some new events including Koori Gras @ 107, a festival within the festival where people have the opportunity to discover the history of First People’s involvement in Mardi Gras. The Art Gallery of NSW will present a number of special events around the Adman: Warhol before pop exhibition. Frontier Comedy will bring huge international and local comedians together in Sydney for the Mardi Gras Comedy Festival.

Fair Day will return with tens of thousands of people coming together for a day in the sun. The pool party will take place at the exclusive CBD Ivy pool. Post the parade, there will be The Official Mardi Gras Party with over 12,000 ticket holders at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter.

And of course, the jewel in the crown of Mardi Gras, the Parade will take place on Saturday 4 March 2017 and offer a chance for over 200,000 LGBTQI people and their supporters to come together and celebrate the community,

Tickets for this program go on sale Friday 02 December 2016.

For information about events or to buy tickets, go to: mardigras.org.au

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Wuliangye hosts VIPs for a opulent night of food, drinks and entertainment at their Annual Sydney Gala

Wuliangye kicked off their ‘World Shine Journey’ cultural tour with the Wuliangye Annual Sydney Gala on Friday 25 November 2016 at The Star Event Centre.

Wuliangye is China’s top selling white spirit. It has won numerous awards worldwide including the 100 year anniversary gold prize at the 2015 Milan World Expo. It is brewed in China’s wine capital, Yibin, which has a warm and wet climate, and rich soil. Wuliangye dates back thousands of years but only got its name in 1909 when noted scholar Yang Huiquan called it Wuliangye.

Wuliangye literally means five grains liquid and is made from sorghum, glutinous rice, long-grain rice, wheat and corn. With an alcohol content of 52 percent, it is pungent on the nose and burns in the throat. It has various flavours and fragrances. On the palate, it is fruity and the finish is dry.

The event was attended by Chinese dignitaries, Australian politicians, Australian corporate executives, celebrities, media and other VIPs, who enjoyed cocktails and canapes on arrival, a three course meal and variety of entertainment throughout the night.

The event commenced with Wuliangye cocktails in the foyer of The Star Event Centre. The cocktails were a Wuliangye version of a watermelon daiquiri and lychee martini.

Inside the ballroom, guests enjoyed a three course dinner that was designed to compliment the flavours of Wuliangye. For entree, guests were provided an alternate serve of: cured Atlantic salmon with mango puree, lime and coriander emulsion and pickled cucumber; or grilled king prawns with Sze Chuan Chilli gel, compressed watermelon and lemon curd.

For the main course, guests had an alternate serve of: steam gold band snapper fillet with steamed bok choy, gingery lemon soy sauce and lotus crisps; or Range Valley wagyu beef tenderloin with braised white radish, Kai Lan and roast garlic soy sauce.

For dessert guests were served either: a date and ginger pudding with coconut poppy seed ice-cream and cinnamon toffee analgise; or lychee and matcha cream.with mandarin, mint sorbet, and cashew nut crackers.

There were a number of speeches made by Chinese dignitaries, Australian politicians and the Chairman of the Wuliangye Group Company, Tang Qiao, who made the keynote speech. The Australian television and radio presenter, Scott Tweedie, was the MC for the night.

The entertainment included violinists, dancers, drummers, martial arts performers, and Chinese opera. There were also videos shown of China and the Yibin region in which the liquor is brewed.

The centre of the room was decorated with a giant ice sculpture of the Wuliangye bottle made by Mammouth Ice and the table centrepieces were ice pedestals with Wuliangye bottles on top.

For beverages, guests drunk: NV Domaine Chandon Brut; North of South Sauvignon Blanc; Leo Buring ‘Leopold’ Riesling; Beautiful Somewhere Shiraz; and Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Sauvignon.

Most importantly, guests had Wuliangye at their table to drink throughout the night.

Wuliangye is a luxury liquor that is drunk neat or with a meal.

Wuliangye is sold for around $200 at Dan Murphy’s and other alcohol retailers.

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Jack Daniel’s Thanksgiving party treats Sydney to some Southern hospitality

Jack Daniel’s Thanksgiving party, held on Tuesday 22 November 2016, treated 160 Sydney-siders to some Southern hospitality at Three Blue Ducks in Rosebery.

Tennessee native Zach Parker (owner of Scott’s-Parker’s Barbeque) flew to Australia to bringing his unique Southern style of cooking to the event. Parker cooked a whole-hog using hickory smoke over a 24 hours period for this event.

Three Blue Ducks created the sides, showcasing its take on Southern staples at this Jack Daniel’s Thanksgiving party.

The dinner at the Jack Daniel’s Thanksgiving party included: for canapes bacon and cheese poppers wuth a twist and smoking potato chips; for entree cuss worthy fried chicken with Jack Daniel’s house hot sauce and crab boil with home made corn bread; for main Jack Parker’s signature hickory smoked hog with Jack BBQ sauce, chicken fat potatoes, special slaw and broccoli with bread sauce; and for dessert there was smores with whiskey ice-cream and mama’s pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie is only eaten on Thanksgiving in the United States. Smores is a traditional nighttime campfire treat popular in the United States, consisting of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. National Smores Day is celebrated annually on August 10. The smores pictured is Three Blue Ducks’ fancy version of the dessert.

The Jack Daniels cocktails that accompanied the meal were: apricot and rosemary whiskey sour, peach whiskey ice tea, and old fashioned. There was also a fridge full of Jack Daniel’s and Coke, Jack Daniel’s and Dry and Jack Daniel’s and lemonade for guests to help themselves.

Entertainment was provided by Aria nominated band, Gang of Youths, as well as rockabilly, blues and rock n roll artist, Pat Capocci.

Sydney-siders had the opportunity to attend this event by securing tickets through eventfinda.

For more information about Jack Daniel’s, go to: http://www.jackdaniels.com/en-us/

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Walsh Bay Arts Table delights all the senses with food, wine and music and unbeatable views

Five Walsh Bay restaurants came together, along with the winemakers of The Southern Highlands Food and Wine Clusters to raise money for The Song Company at the Walsh Bay Arts Table on Tuesday 8 November 2016.

The event was themed “If Music Be The Food of Love” the experience revolved around a decadent, long-table feast representative of Walsh Bay venues including Pier One Sydney Harbour, View by Sydney, Simmer on the Bay, Sydney Dance Lounge and Walsh Bay Kitchen.

The Walsh Bay Arts Table is Sydney’s most memorable arts industry event that is now in its 7th year. The host of this year’s Arts Table Dinner, The Song Company is Australia’s premier acapella ensemble. Unrivalled for its stylistic diversity, the company’s repertoire covers vocal music from the 10th Century to contemporary works. It was directed by the award-winning British composer and conductor, Antony Pitts.

Seated at long tables spanning the length of Pier 2/3, right on Sydney Harbour, guests dined alfresco with views of the Harbour Bridge on a five course degustation prepared by five creative chefs from the Walsh Bay precinct, matched with wines sourced from the new Southern Highlands Food and Wine Clusters.

The menu consisted of: the first course of spanner crab, salted cream, roe, kohlrabi which was matched with Mount Abbey Wine, 2016 Pinot Gris from Pier One Sydney Harbour; the second course of seafood including oysters with yuzu wasabi dressing, ocean fresh prawn with rose maria sauce, crab and mango salad, seared tuna with soba noodle salad, wasabi cream with toasted nori which was matched with Bendooley Estate, 2014 Reisling from View by Sydney; the third course of smoked duck breast, confit duck leg, frisse, sechuan and orange sauce which was matched with Tractorless Vineyard, 2015 Rose from Walsh Bay Kitchen; the fourth course of spiced lamb rump with spicy cauliflower and potato sambal and herb chutney and cauliflower fritters which was matched with Artemis, 2015 Pinot Noir from Simmer on the Bay; and the fifth course of Golden Gaytime ice-cream made with burnt caramel, vanilla, chocolate and biscuit which was matched with Autumn Botrytis Sauvignon Blanc from Sydney Dance Lounge. The food was served with bread from Sonoma (Oat Porridge Sourdough, Sonoma Miche and Sonoma Mission).

To find out more about The Song Company or to make a donation, go to: www.songcompany.com.au

To find out more about the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Clusters, go to: http;//southernhighlandsfoodandwineclusters.com.au

To find out about next years Walsh Bay Arts Table, keep an eye on the events section of: www.walshbaysydney.com

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Visit Chile: A destination of many contrasts and adventures

On Friday 4 November 2016, I embarked on my Chilean adventure in Sydney where I experienced a guided tour onboard the Chilean naval ship, Esmeralda  which was followed by a cocktail reception at Ovolo Woolloomooloo where I learnt all about Chile – a destination of many contrasts and adventures in the Pacific.

Esmeralda arrived in Sydney on Thursday 3 November 2016 and will depart Sydney on Monday 7 November 2016. It is a steel-hulled, four-masted barquentine, which is 113 metres long and has a mast height of 48.5 metres. The ship has a long and proud history of training Chilean sailors and is a right of passage for Chilean Navy personnel.

Chile is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernandez, Salas y Gomez, Desventuradas and Easter Island.

Chile is a country of contrasts. In the north of Chile there is the arid Atacama Dessert. In the centre of Chile is where the population lives and agriculture is concentrated. In the south of Chile is where there are many forests, volcanoes, lakes, fjords, canals and islands.

The Atacama desert (in the north) is the world’s driest desert. On the high Andean plateau, there are small villages at up to 4,000 meters above sea level where timeless traditions linger. San Pedro de Atacama contains vast salt flats, active geysers and intense blue lagoons.

Santiago, in central Chile, is the multi-faceted capital of Chile, with its fine parks and numerous sporting and cultural activities. Central Chile has the best ski slopes in South America, that is just a two hour road journey from the the coast to the mountain. The valleys of central Chile also contain vineyards where Chile makes some of the world’s best red and white wines.

Across the water from Santiago is the Easter Island (known as Rapa Nui in the people’s native language). Rapa Nui has pink-sand beaches, volcanic cones and windswept grasslands, and of course, the monumental moai statues – over 1,000 of them bearing silent witness to a long-lost, complex society.

The south of Chile contains the unique living heritage of the original inhabitants of Chile. The Mapuche culture is a fundamental element in the central Chilean heartland with the indigenous traditions that are still alive.

Southern Chile has countless lakes and rivers that are perfect for watersports and fishing. There is also extraordinary flora and fauna at nature reserves and national parks. Pucón, on the shores of Lake Villarrica, has adrenaline-filled white-water rafting, hydrospeed or canyoning.

Further south in Patagonia there is truly unspoiled wilderness of mountains, fjords, glaciers, forests and steppes. Patagonia’s has a rich ranching history and gaucho lifestyle with far-flung cities and pioneer towns.

Torres del Paine National Park has truly magnificent forests, mountains, waterfalls, lakes and stunning views of the Southern Ice Fields.

At the southernmost extreme of the American continent, there are countless sea fjords and channels and the famous Straits of Magellan (where people sail to Antarctica). Cape Horn is the southernmost tip of the continent.

For more information about Chile, go to: http://chile.travel/en/

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My Melbourne Cup day at Randwick Racecourse

It was a great day at Randwick Racecourse for the final day of the Sydney spring racing carnival on Tuesday 1 November 2016.

You could enjoy live racing action by the trackside plus watch all that is happening at Flemington on the big screen. There were many themed bars, live entertainment, and premium food stalls.

For lunch we checked out The Mews by Delicious Magazine on the Octagonal Lawn and had their pork roll. We teamed it up with the new (low carb) Heineken 3 beer from their themed bar and a knafeh (which is a cheese and cream dessert) from the Knafeh Bakery.

There was no Fashion on the Field competition but I still dressed up with a white, pink and peach floral dress and matching headpiece from Review Australia. I paired the headpiece and dress with a pearl necklace and bracelet, white pointed toe heels and a white clutch.

I choose the outfit because of the light colours and florals that are so appropriate for spring racing. The colours also suit my light complexion. The style is classic and suitable for racewear. It is the right length (to the knees) and does not inappriopriatly exposing the upper part of my body. I always tell people that when they go to the races they should dress like they would for a church wedding, not a nightclub.

I find Review Australia is the most suitable brand for racewear. Review Australia designs classic, elegant and feminine pieces that allow a woman to get dressed up during the day. The biggest bonus is that they also make matching headpieces, where, unless your wearing black and/or white, it is almost impossible to find a matching headpiece off the shelf and you have to spend a lot ordering a custom piece instead.

For more information about Review Australia, go to: https://www.review-australia.com/

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Turn the party up with a new app by Ultimate Ears

A new app that allows you to connect up to 50 wireless Ultimate Ears speakers together was launched at Carriageworks in Eveleigh on Wednesday 5 October 2016.

Three years ago, Ultimate Ears launched their first portable wireless bluetooth speaker that provided 360 degree sound and was water resistant. Then in January 2015, Ultimate Ears released the larger UE Megaboom which had bigger sound, better waterproofing and extended battery life. Later in September 2015, Ultimate Ears released UE Boom 2 which featured IPX7 waterproofing, 25 percent more volume and a greater wireless range. These speakers also had free apps that you could connect two or more speakers together to create even louder sound.

Now, with the addition of the PartyUp app, you can wirelessly connect a mix of UE BOOM, UE BOOM 2 and UE MEGABOOM speakers together, allowing you to crank up the music in places where no other sound system can go.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the app, more than 50 UE Booms hung from the ceiling of Carriageworks and were played simultaneously at the event. Other entertainment included The Twins DJs djing, robots who walked around on stilts, and a woman performed with fire and a power tool to create sparks.

The event was attended by members the tech media world and influencers such as the selfie king Kurt Coleman, Meg and Dom from Citizens of the World, former MTV VJ Kristian Schmidt, half of the Cronulla Sharks football team, and fashion stylist Joshua Heath.

PartyUp is available through the iOS® and Android™ app stores beginning today. This free app enhancement works with UE BOOM, UE BOOM 2 and UE MEGABOOM through the UE BOOM and UE MEGABOOM apps. Speakers are sold separately. For more information, please visit http://www.ultimateears.com/en-au.

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Event Inception goes all out to showcase the best in the events industry

Event Inception showcased the event industry’s most premium suppliers at their new venue called the COMMUNE at 901 Bourke Street Waterloo on Wednesday 10 August 2016.

About 500 attendees came to see the latest innovations of Sydney’s top event suppliers including AV, styling and décor, entertainment, pyrotechnics, food, wine and impeccable service.

COMMUNE is a 3000m2 warehouse precinct spanning two 100 year old warehouses and a private outdoor laneway. It is a unique and flexibility space that can be easily transformed to create a completely different event each time. For this event, there were four new Decorative Events and Exhibitions styling collections

When guests arrived, they walked through a private, fire-lined alleyway entrance supplied by pyrotechnics and fireworks specialists Howard & Sons. The first exhibition space they entered was The Conservatory, which was allocated for the pre-function canapes and entertainment. The Conservatory is botanically inspired space with secret gardens and butterfly houses. Guests were treated to entertainment by an energetic DJ set, and musicians and vocalists of the band, “La Fiesta” from Quality Control Entertainment (QCE).

Guests were then ushered through three theatrical culinary journeys hosted in three different Dining Studio Restaurants provided by Sydney’s best caterers: Aria Catering styled as White Oasis; Laissez Faire Catering styled as Moody Hues; and Urban Events and Catering styled as Tokyo Disco.  All three restaurants were serviced by staff from Clifford Wallace Agency and music matched by QCE.

Each Decorative Events and Exhibitions styling collection was enhanced with the AV, lighting, motion graphics and technical expertise from AV1. The AV1 team presented an awe-inspiring production highlighting the styling components of décor for each collection and even gave away a trip to Tokyo for two lucky winners!

The MC, Varushka Darling, enlightened and entertained guests throughout the course of the night. Bearing countless outfit changes to fit in with the themes of each restaurant she was a true theatrical performance and one to be remembered.

STUDIO RESTAURANT 1 – ARIA CATERING – WHITE OASIS

Adorned with white, layered with gold and diamonds, and furnished to excess, this White Oasis event space was sophisticated and glamourous.

AV1 had the space glistening. DJ Dante Rivera and Andro Martinez on guitar set the sounds for this studio style.

The menu provided by Aria Catering was created by Matt Moran and executed by a team of talented chefs and kitchen staff lead by Sarah Jewell. The menu included: chicken consomme with white fungi, daikon and camomile for an entree; blue eye trevalla with dutch cream potatoes, saffron, onions and turnips for a main; and popcorn parfait with salted caramel and milk chocolate for dessert.

STUDIO RESTAURANT 2 – LAISSEZ FAIRE CATERING – MOODY HUES

At Moody hues, guests relaxed as they became immersed in the refined decadence of deep tones and textural luxury, sophistication, grandeur, and a hint of surprise.

This Decorative Events collection had old world elegance, true opulence and a contemporary twist. Moody Hues had gold gilded chandeliers, deep inky blue walls with slate greys, crystal, burnished copper and brass tones which were carefully paired with large scale florals adorned across tabletops of indigo linen.

Laissez-Faire Catering offers creative dinners with bespoke menus written by their Director, George Sinclair. Their tailored menu providing the freshest ingredients and flavour from paddock to plate. The menu included: pan roasted quail breast and confit of egg ravioli, La Bastide foie gras with chard, king truppet mushrooms and truffle for an entree; roasted Pantagonia Toothfish, Dutch cream potato skordalia, crisped baby fennel with basil and parsley pistou for a main; and toasted macadamia and Polish chocolate tart, salted dulce de leche with chocolate caviar for dessert.

Guests enjoyed their meal accompanied with the QCE Luxe String Quartet.

STUDIO RESTAURANT 3 – URBAN EVENTS AND CATERING – TOKYO DISCO

Tokyo Disco is a slice of modern Tokyo in Sydney. This collection by Decorative Events & Exhibitions transported guest into the pulse of a city that is in constant state of renewal and reinvention. Intense pattern, urban street art, kaleidoscope fashion, and neon lights were provided by the fabulous team at AV1.

The eclectic tunes from DJ Ramon Lopez featuring Marc Malouf on Guitar provide the sounds from a vibrant, kitsch and buzzing subculture mixed with the peacefulness of true Japanese tradition.

Urban Purveyor Group created the dynamic dishes. The menu included: Kingfish aburi and shrimp tempura, crispy kakiage, black sesame dressing, wasabi crumble and dill oil shiso for an entree; sake braised miso beef cheek, orange scented carrot puree, potato and apple confit, Sanshyou pepper leaf salad for a main; and Dragon Egg, with milk chocolate, passionfruit and lime cream for dessert.

Director of Sales, Urban Events & Catering, Julie van der Weegan stated. “Urban Events & Catering aimed to deliver a bespoke dining experience inspired by the zany, futuristic aspect of the Tokyo Disco theme while still being respectful to the calming zen of serene Japan. When considering our restaurant brands to showcase, Saké restaurant & Bar was the natural choice and the culinary team delivered a menu with dramatic visual effect that included an exquisite dark chocolate Dragon Egg dessert. Chefs walked the studio floor to pour liquid nitrogen over each egg in a plume of vapour to create a brittle smash when tapped with a spoon.”

 

The websites of all the suppliers are:

For more information about the Commune, go to: http://www.thecommune.co/

Sydney social set come to Marquee Sydney for their annual Winter Ball Apres Ski Party

The world-renowned Marquee Sydney nightclub at the Star teamed up with Belvedere Vodka to host the Sydney social set for the annual Belvedere Winter Ball Apres Ski Party on Saturday 6 August 2016.

The event was hosted by style icon and Neighbour’s stars Olympia Valance who flew in from Melbourne to attend and the music was provided by Miss Nine (aka Kristin Schrot) who flew in from Germany to play.

The celebrities partied the VIP room behind the DJ booth and enjoyed sushi canapés and Belvedere cocktails.

Celebrities who attended the event included: Neighbours stars Jodi Anasta, Olympia Valance, and Mavournee Hazel; The Morning Show stylist Donny Galella; MTV VJ Kristian (Krit) Schmidt; host of The Late Shift Nick Gulliver; Big Brother’s Tim Dormer; Cronulla Sharks players; model Melissa Whitelaw; and DJ Miss Nine Kristin Schrot.

For more information about Marquee, go to: http://www.marqueesydney.com/

For more information about Belvedere, go to: http://www.belvederevodka.com/

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The Erko celebrates the 4th of July with music, beer and their backyard smoker

The Erskinville Hotel (affectionally known as the Erko) celebrated the 4th of July with an all day party on Sunday 3 July 2016.

The venue was decked out in American memorabilia and American flags. Live rockabilly bluegrass and country music was played by the band Cruisin’ Deuces in the front room while out the back the backyard smoker produced meats for their 4th of July special of brisket sandwich with house slaw and Westmont pickles, and BBQ pulled pork sliders with house slaw and Westmont pickles.

Other specials supplied by the kitchen inside included footlong hotdogs (traditional, chilli dog and BBQ pulled pork), Louisiana Gumbo consisting of chicken and andouille sausage gumbo with cajun rice, USA cheeseburger extravaganza with double beef, double bacon, double American cheese and pickles, 1/2 rack of smoked pork ribs with kansas BBQ sauce, slaw and pickles and key lime pie with dried lime and vanilla ice-cream.

4 Pines Brewing Company did a tap takeover supplying four beers on tap including Brookvale Union Fresh Apple Cider, 4 Pines American Style Pale Ale, 4 Pines American Amber Ale, and Keller Door Small Batch (which is supplied exclusively to The Erko). The Keller Door is a new experimental beer that was made from hops imported from America that gave the beer a more citrusy flavour.

There was also a range of imported American beers on offer including: Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Brooklyn Lager, Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose and Boont Amber, North Coast Puck Petite Saison, Mad River Extra Pale, Lost Coast Indica IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Hop Hunter, and Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Yellow Snow IPA.

For the non-beer drinkers there was a cocktail special called American Pie that was made from Young Henrys Moonshine, apple juice and cinnamon bitters.

The kitchen is led by Richard Price, the ex-Head Chef of Queensland’s Lester and Earls, who prepares Southern-style American smoked and barbecued meats that take 12 hours to smoke and barbecue. The Erko is known for its brisket and chopped-pork collar, its baby-back ribs lathered in viscous barbecue sauce, and its succulent buffalo wings encrusted with a layer of zesty spice.

So whether you’re a buffalo wings fanatic, a baby-back ribs enthusiast or an pulled pork burger devotee, there’s sure to be something on the menu that will delight you any day of the year (not just the 4th of July).

Erskineville Hotel
102 Erskineville Road, Erskineville
(02) 9565 1608

Opening Hours
Mon to Sat 10am–12pm
Sun 10am–10pm

theerko.com.au

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