Aqua Expeditions: Australia's Benjamin Cross Named Aqua Blu Consulting Chef

Benjamin Cross is creating a journey of flavours for Aqua Expeditions to complement Aqua Blu’s voyages as Consulting Chef ahead of 16 November 2019 inaugural sailing of this luxury expedition yacht in East Indonesia.

Born in Australia and based in Bali since 2008, Chef Cross boasts a well-travelled culinary background having begun his career working with Australian culinary talents Neil Perry (Rockpool) and Jenni Krystis (MG Garage) and later co-founding the award-winning Urbane restaurant in Queensland.

Chef Cross then headed for Spain, opening a restaurant and working in Santi Santamaria’s three-Michelin-starred Can Fabes before settling down in Bali where he was appointed Executive Chef of Bali’s premier dining venue, Ku De Ta in 2008.

In 2013, he created Mejeakwi, Ku De Ta’s fine dining concept in Bali, co-founded Hank’s Pizza & Liquor in Seminyak, created Fishbone Local, Mason, and The Back Room with BHG (Brett Hospitality Group) as co-owner and Executive Chef.

For Aqua Blu, Chef Cross will create and oversee more than 100 recipes that together will showcase a refined journey of flavours from Asia to the Middle East, while still reflecting Indonesia’s role as the heart of the global spice trade in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In executing his culinary vision for Aqua Blu, Chef Cross will rely on local ingredients sourced primarily from Bali and East Indonesia, including indigenous spices such as nutmeg and cloves, as well as a wealth of seafood such as giant Papuan prawns sustainably sourced from the Indonesian seas.

“Harnessing the abundant gifts from Indonesia’s land and seas, the goal of my concept is to orchestrate a refined rendition of flavours that have travelled through Indonesia’s fabled sea spice trade route – an amazing confluence of Asian, European and traditional local cooking philosophies and methods,” said Chef Cross.

Chef Cross also sees Aqua Blu as an opportunity to create a larger-than-life culinary experience that complements a five-star cruise journey. “Aqua Expeditions regards authentic cuisine as central to the itinerary, which means that the dining experience on board won’t be just a menu, but a cohesive journey of discovery,” he said.

A recognised global leader in luxury small-ship cruises, Aqua Expeditions explores the world’s most wildlife and culture-rich destinations aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design. Aqua Expeditions offers tailored five-star itineraries, a 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio with personalised service, a cuisine experience crafted by acclaimed chefs, and expert-guided activities and excursions.

Aqua Expeditions currently operates river cruise ships, Aria Amazon on the Peruvian Amazon and Aqua Mekong on the Mekong river in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Source: Aqua Expeditions


Everest racing CARNIVAL 2019 LAUNCHED IN SPECTACULAR STYLE

The spectacular seven-week Everest Carnival, featuring over $40 million in prizemoney, led by the world’s richest turf race, the $14 million The TAB Everest and the new $7.5 million Golden Eagle, officially launched this morning, with a stylish Champagne brunch for media and the who’s who of racing and fashion at Royal Randwick.

To mark the event, official ATC Racing Ambassador, Seven Racing Expert and former Group 1 Jockey, Katelyn Mallyon, recreated today’s Daily Telegraph shot wearing a beautiful Velani flowing dress on-top of rearing retired racehorse Mr Bean, dazzling guests.

Hosted by TAB’s, Gerard Middleton, the Everest Carnival launch was held at Pony Palms, a new Palm Springs-inspired oasis where Sydney’s first trackside pool was unveiled along with high-profile DJ acts including house duo, Yolanda Be Cool, the finest in hospitality offerings featuring custom built bars by Heineken, Chandon, all-new poolside private cabanas and the Colgate Optic White Smile Studio.

Official Everest Carnival Ambassadors and Channel Seven’s Home And Away stars, James Stewart and Sarah Roberts attended alongside racing elite including Peter Snowden, winning co-trainer of the last two Everest editions with Redzel, Godolphin Head Trainer, James Cummings, Sydney Premiership Winning Jockey, James McDonald, famed chef partner of The Estate, Guillaume Brahimi, and a plethora of style leaders including Everest Carnival stylist, Jess Pecoraro, star milliners Nerida Winter and Viktoria Novak and official ATC Beauty Expert, Michael Brown.

This morning’s Champagne brunch further showcased the abundance of new activations and precincts that Everest Carnival racegoers can look forward to such as The Estate the ultimate destination for corporate and VIP guests at the races, TAB Country Club featuring croquet, custom-built Heineken bars and a big screen; Harrolds Fashion Chute featuring a photography studio and glam beauty touch-ups by Runway Room.

On display for guests to admire was this year’s $437,000 Everest trophy, designed by renowned jeweller Nic Cerrone featuring 7777 black diamonds symbolising the increasingly high stakes of the impressive 1200m event and the exhilarating Carnival atmosphere across coming weeks.

Guests tasted treats from Guillaume Brahimi’s The Estate menu including a spanner crab sandwich with coriander mayonnaise, sausage rolls with truffle, and jamon and gruyere toasties. All of these delicacies were accompanied by Moet & Chandon served in the iconic Moet goblets.

Jamie Barkley, ATC Chief Executive Officer said the Australian Turf Club is thrilled to welcome in the 2019 Everest Carnival, which commences with Colgate Optic White Stakes Day on Saturday 21 September.

“The Australian Turf Club is incredibly excited to launch the 2019 Everest Carnival, especially with a lucrative new spring program and many new offerings for racegoers including The Estate featuring The Manor and The Conservatory, Pony Palms, TAB Country Club, and elevated Harrolds Fashion Chute.

“We are much more than just horseracing we are a destination that offers a complete entertainment experience, including world-class racing, hospitality and fashion like no other in Sydney.

“The Everest Carnival has experienced significant growth year-on-year since inception three years ago and we look forward to welcoming all guests trackside.”

The third annual Everest Carnival is shaping up to be bigger than ever this year, championed by the world’s richest race on turf, the $14 million The TAB Everest on Saturday 19 October and the inaugural Golden Eagle Day at Rosehill Gardens worth $7.5 million on Saturday 2 November.

Source: Australian Turf Club


Kendall Jenner: Face Of New Stuart Weitzman Campaign

Stuart Weitzman’s Fall 2019 Campaign SW Boot Camp continues with the debut of Scene II: #SWSTRENGTH starring global spokeswoman Kendall Jenner and featuring dance sensation Lil Buck. This installment follows the release of Scene I: #SWDANCE, which introduced the SW Boot Camp campaign and its concept of celebrating women making bold moves in their daily lives through dance. #SWSTRENGTH takes SW Boot Camp to the next level and continues the story of movement as a source of power through both a dynamic short film and commanding complementary images.

 

In this scene, dancer Lil Buck showcases his famously inventive style and brings his passion for creative movement forward, guiding Kendall Jenner through drill-inspired choreography. As the pair plays off each other, moving effortlessly and in complete synchronicity with one another, they both wear fall’s breakout style, the MCKENZEE combat boot. “I love the concept of SW Boot Camp,” says campaign star Kendall Jenner. “Fall really is the season when everyone is on the top of their fashion game, feeling powerful, confident and ready to make moves.”

This scene also underscores the idea that femininity is a source of strength for both women and men, while highlighting how SW boots inspire the ability to move with confidence and dance through life’s challenges. “Dance is innate in all of us,” says Lil Buck. “I truly believe dance can inspire you to tackle whatever you want to do in life, whether you’re a dancer or not.”

Meanwhile, the MCKENZEE style delivers SW’s take on the classic lace-up silhouette — the unequivocal trend of Fall 2019 — with a completely monochromatic approach. It took SW designers and artisans multiple trials to perfect the unique tonal style, as everything from the smooth calf upper to the hardware to the soles to the laces are designed to match. It is available in a range of rich fall hues, including white, dark emerald, red, walnut, black, taupe and the cranberry shade worn by Kendall Jenner in the campaign. The lightweight, rugged-yet-refined style features a molded lug sole designed to be as versatile and comfortable as a sneaker. As such, the MCKENZEE stays true to the SW brand DNA of melding fashion, function and fit.

In addition, the brand also released several limited-edition renditions of the MCKENZEE combat boot style.

Source:  Stuart Weitzman


The Goring: inside the exquisite Royal Suite of the London hotel

The Royal Suite at The Goring is one London’s most prestigious suites and the most requested room at this iconic family owned and run London Hotel.

As the only hotel in the in the world awarded with a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth, The Goring has welcomed Royal guests ever since it first opened its doors. The Coronations of George VI and our present Queen saw the hotel filled with foreign royalty attending these great occasions. In 2011 The Duchess of Cambridge famously stayed at the hotel the night prior to her wedding, leaving for Westminster Abbey on the morning of the 29th April. Receiving the Royal Warrant from The Queen marks the high point of these long associations.

In 2010 Jeremy Goring, the great grandson of founder Otto Goring commissioned the Royal Suite to mark the centenary of his family’s hotel that year.

Created by interior designer Russell Sage, this elegant spacious two-bedroom and two reception room suites, runs the entire length of the top floor of the Belgravia hotel. Furnished with the finest hand-crafted bespoke pieces, each room has large French windows opening onto a large private balcony overlooking The Goring’s private garden and London rooftops beyond.

The main objective Russell had was to create a space that felt homely whilst being bathed in glamour. In order to achieve this, he commissioned a number of silks to be rewoven by The Gainsborough Silk Company (the great English silk maker located in Suffolk). These include two powder blue silks, a gentle champagne pink, a rich red stripe and a dusky green silk originally woven in 1910 for the First-Class Dining Room of the Titanic. The fabrics are opulent, yet they cosset the guest in an amazingly comforting manner.

The other major strand of the design strategy was to fill the space with a truly unique collection of antiques gathered from around Britain. In the Dining Room a magnificent array of Georgian decanters and engraved glasses sit either side of the large campaign style desk. Beautiful wooden tea caddies are to be found in all the rooms as well as a number of antique books, clocks, silver and prints. In the Drawing Room itself a set of 19th century green Nailsea Glass paperweights are displayed in two magnificent campaign style cabinets especially commissioned for this space.

 The most astonishing feature has to be a near life-size portrait of Her Majesty Queen Victoria which sits in the walk-in shower of the master bathroom – protected by aircraft safety glass, of course.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge re-opened the privately-owned London hotel on 2nd March 2015, following the completion of a major refurbishment by four top British interior designers including Sage. The event also marked The Goring’s 105th birthday and the arrival of a fleet of footmen at the hotel.

Royal Suite guests have the pleasure of their own dedicated footman smartly attired in their scarlet tailcoats and immaculate gold-trimmed waistcoats.

Source: The Goring


The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Arrives in Sydney

The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour and Lexus campaign, Making of Amazing continues has continued it’s memorable journey, making a stop in Sydney’s iconic Campbell Cove in Circular Quay.

To welcome the Lexus Melbourne Cup, Lexus Ambassador and two-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Corey Brown was in attendance alongside Lexus Ambassador and racing icon Emma Freedman.

At this activation from the Making of Amazing campaign, Lexus were thrilled to unveil plans for this years Lexus marquee in the birdcage announcing it’s visionary LANDMARK by Lexus, formerly known as the Lexus Design Pavilion within Flemington’s Birdcage enclosure.

‘LANDMARK by Lexus is about creating a place where people can experience the ethos of the Lexus lifestyle without getting behind the wheel of one of our cars’, says Lexus Australia Chief Executive Officer, Scott Thompson.

In its second year as naming rights sponsor and taking pole position, the three-level LANDMARK by Lexus structure has been defined by the brands Japanese values – a spirit of hospitality, warmth and unwavering commitment to luxury design and innovation.

LANDMARK by Lexus, inspired by Lexus global platform Intersect by Lexus (in Tokyo, Dubai and New York) will offer 3 levels of luxury hospitality experiences. This includes world-class design, culinary experiences, entertainment and a hospitality offering that signifies what Lexus stands for – we’ve been expecting you.

Internationally recognised designer and advocate for sustainable living, Joost Bakker, brought a floral expression of the Lexus Melbourne Cup experience to this stop of the tour, which was displayed within the LC Coupe – a pinnacle model celebrating Lexus performance and craftsmanship.

‘I’m honoured to have the opportunity to bring the natural world inside and outside LANDMARK by Lexus, blurring the lines between interior and exterior. My piece will draw to attention the beauty and importance of nature’, says Joost.

The arrival of the Lexus Melbourne Cup in Sydney marks the final stop of the Making of Amazing, which has seen Lexus take elements of their Cup experience around the country to build anticipation towards the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Source: Lexus Melbourne Cup