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Food

Impress: Poh Ling Yeow

It is so easy to fall in love with Poh Ling Yeow. She's wildly attractive, intelligent, funny and vivacious. She has a dazzling charisma, but at the same time is approachable. And she’s oh so talented. A professional artist before starring on the first season of Masterchef, she is now a true celebrity of the Australian food scene and host of her own show, Poh & Co., on SBS.

“It’s really lovely to be back on a second season of Poh & Co. and working with friends and family, because ultimately that’s where I get all my inspiration from,” Poh tells me when we sit down for a chat on the set of our Impress photoshoot.

“It’s a very truthful depiction of how I draw my ideas, the kind of everyday influences that I have and the people that I come in contact with.

“The thing that I love about the show most is that it touches on very common, suburban aspirations, you know, wanting to have a vege patch or build your own pizza oven. It’s got currency in terms of people being able to relate to it very easily.”

Working on TV and being able to chat with people from all walks of life has also benefitted Poh in the fact that she has been able to feel more secure about her own food identity.

“I used to be very purist about the way I cooked, but now I’m relaxing and understanding what my identity is, which is a Malaysian-born Chinese Australian. So I feel like my food should absolutely reflect that.

“Now I feel I have this license to be a little bit more free and playful with my food and it absolutely reflects what food is all about. It’s all about multiculture, about mixing ingredients and techniques.”

The other exciting development in Poh’s life is opening her first restaurant, Jamface, in Adelaide’s Central Markets.

“It’s actually just a little café – a very casual place. I’m cooking light breakfasts and lunches. The main focus is actually my pastry. I’m well known for my Asian food, but the thing that I absolutely love is French pastry. You should come down and check it out.”

Watch our exclusive video interview with Poh:

 

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Manu Feidel's Bastille Day Celebrations
French-born celebrity chef Manu Feildel celebrates Bastille Day in Australia with an indulgent French menu. Bastille Day is the most important date on the French calendar. July 14 celebrates the famous storming of the Bastille, a military stronghold, by restless Parisians in 1789, who feared France’s progression from a Feudal society to a constitution was being compromised. Although it was a relatively small battle, it had large repercussions and under a month later, Feudalism was abolished and a Declaration of Rights was proclaimed. In 1790, exactly one year after the storming of the Bastille, the Fête de la Fédération was held to celebrate the unity of the French nation. A mass was held and then Parisians partied, enjoying a huge feast with wine, fireworks and some even ran naked through the streets in a display of their freedom! Celebrations Today’s Bastille Day celebrations are more commemorative with the pomp and ceremony of a military parade down the Champs-Élysées, under the Arc de Triomphe and to the Place de la Concorde. For the French people, it is very much a holiday in the middle of summer, a chance to celebrate their nation, have some time with their family and of course, feast. “It’s a little bit like New Year’s Eve in Sydney”, says French-born, Sydney based celebrity chef Manu Feildel. “There is a party atmosphere, fireworks, street parties. It is in the middle of summer holidays, so families are often on their summer breaks, so they enjoy the day together. It is a great traditional public holiday and everyone is in a party mood!” Being in the middle of summer, Manu says there are no traditional dishes as there are at Christmas or Easter, but there would always be a special, often indulgent meal with family and friends. “People would buy the best meats and ingredients to create a luxury feast,” says Manu. “When I had my restaurants here in Australia, we would always organise a special meal for Bastille Day and the staff and I would dress up for the guests.” “In France, the dishes would be more summery salads and seafoods. Of course, over here it is winter, so I have created an indulgent meal fit for Bastille Day celebrations in Australia.” Manu’s Bastille Day recipes “Because Bastille Day here in Australia is in the middle of winter, I wanted to start the meal with a warm dish, comfort food, so I have gone with a chestnut soup,” says Manu. “In the old days, every meal would start with a pottage (soup), so this is very traditional, and fitting for the start of a Bastille Day feast. “The next dish is a very indulgent dish of tuna rostini with foie gras and truffle. Beef rostini is a very traditional French dish, but here I wanted to add an Australian twist, so I changed it to tuna. “The main is pan-roasted duck with celeriac puree and cherry and Pinot Noir sauce. In my mind, duck is always considered expensive, so this dish makes me think of a king eating, so it’s the perfect meat for a celebratory meal. “For the dessert, I did bring a little French history. Apparently Louis XV named this tiny pastry ‘Madeleine’ in 1755 in honour of his father-in-law’s pastry cook, Madeleine Paulmier. Louis’ wife introduced the Madeleines soon afterwards to the court in Versaillles and they became loved all over France. They are also the perfect petit four, for coffee and chocolate, to end the meal.” Manu Feildel's Bastille Day Celebration feast Chestnut soup with parsnip and parmesan crisps Tuna rostini with foie gras and truffle Pan roasted duck with celeriac puree and cherry & Pinot Noir sauce Madeleines with chocolate cherry sauce & candied orange praline
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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