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FEBRUARY 8-14, 2018

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T H E W E E K LY R E V I E W

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CITY

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TO ENTER \ For your chance to win any of these freebies, go to theweeklyreview.com.au/competitions

EDITOR \ EMILY POWER

and enter your details before midnight on Sunday, February 11, 2018.

DEPUTY EDITOR \ JESSICA DALE PICTURE EDITOR \ KYLIE THOMSON PROOFREADER \ NICOLE BITTAR SENIOR DESIGNER \ COLLEEN CHIN QUAN DESIGNER \ EMMA STAUGHTON EDITORIAL ASSISTANT \ KENDALL BOYD REAL ESTATE SALES DIRECTOR \ REBECCA WARNER \ 0448 317 687 \ rebeccawarner@domain.com.au REGIONAL SALES MANAGER \ ANDREW MAHON \ 9249 5300 \ amahon@theweeklyreview.com.au

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The editor’s desk THEWEEKLYREVIEW.COM.AU

The view

BY DARRIAN TRAYNOR \ Melbourne

Walking through Carlton Gardens in the rain. ●

When chef Shane Delia speaks of his wife and children, he does so with as much passion as there is palate-tingling spice in his signature – and celebrated – Middle Eastern cooking. One of Delia’s culinary creations is our luscious cover this week, and he shares with journalist Sarah Marinos the ingredients that have made him a respected businessman and family man. A reminder for mums and dads: in next week’s edition is our Independent Schools Guide – an essential, in-depth handbook to choosing from the best private schools in Melbourne. ●

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I N T E RVI E W ● SA R A H M A RI N O S

Taste for true grit SHANE DELIA’S SPICE JOURNEY HAS TAKEN HIM FROM THE WESTERN SUBURBS TO THE FOOTHILLS OF MOUNT LEBANON

I

n The Weekly Review’s photographic studio, Shane Delia is discussing the secrets of making a perfect meringue – a clean bowl, egg whites at room temperature and slowly raining in the caster sugar … Delia lives and breathes food and flavours and it’s been that way since he was 13. He grew up in a hard-working Maltese family in the western suburbs and his teenage years were a challenge. Teachers at Keilor Downs Secondary College probably didn’t have the young Shane Delia earmarked for the success he now enjoys. “I had some learning difficulties,” he says frankly. “I was diagnosed with ADD eventually but teachers just thought I was a bad kid who didn’t want to listen. They were always kicking me out of class. I wanted to succeed but I didn’t have the tools. You keep hearing ‘you’re bad, you’re dumb’ and, when you are trying really hard and getting bad marks, you think you’re stupid.” A correct diagnosis and medication turned things around for Delia, 38, but by then he already had his heart and mind set on leaving school to start cooking. “When I was given the drugs I needed, I smashed it – suddenly I was getting A+,” he smiles. “I’d come home and go to my room to do my homework. But it was too late and anyway, I’d go insane in an office all day! I wanted to cook but it wasn’t glamorous then. People who flunked out of school or who came out of prison were cooks!” Delia’s extended family were tradies – electricians, bricklayers and mechanics – but those trades lacked the creativity he craved. “My happiest times were eating and cooking with my family. Every Sunday we had lunch with Mum’s side of the family and dinner with my paternal grandfather – 50 or 60 people,” he recalls. “I had a block-release apprenticeship at the Gordon Institute in Geelong when I was 17 and Dad and my grandfather would drive me there after the family dinner. I was boarding in a dodgy place, earning a few hundred bucks a week and my grandfather would slip me a few bucks.

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“Dad came to Australia at 17 with a couple of bucks and worked in the Dunlop factory for 36 years. He began as a tyre builder, educated himself and left as a director in south-east Asia setting up new factories. He’s the most selfless person I know. Before I got my licence and I was cooking I didn’t finish work until 11.30pm and the last train home to the western suburbs was a V Line at 10.30pm. Dad picked me up every night, put on the L-plates, I drove home and he’d be up at five o’clock the next morning for work.” The structure and hierarchy he found in the kitchen suited Delia and he still seeks that structure and routine in his working day. He worked at Eden on the Park and Sofitel before becoming sous chef at Chateau Yering.

“I’m not saying I’m gifted, but I like food and I understand flavours – it’s the only thing that comes easy to me.” “I worked in pubs and pasta shops and hotels and then I realised there was another world of internationally renowned chefs who were innovators. They were highly skilled and wealthy and I wanted to be part of that,” he says. “A lot of cooks work hard and there is that pocket who work hard and they’re gifted. I’m not saying I’m gifted, but I like food and I understand flavours – it’s the only thing that comes easy to me. I see something and instantly know five things that will go with it and how I’m going to use it.” In 2008, Delia opened Maha with George Calombaris – in 2013 he became sole owner of the award-winning Middle Eastern restaurant. It’s named after Delia’s wife, whom he married in 2007 but the couple had known each other for years. “Maha worked with my sister, Sarah, as a

hairdresser. I’d see her around and would tell Sarah ‘Maha’s cute’ but Sarah would tell me to leave her alone because she had a boyfriend. Then they broke up and Sarah suggested we go out. Maha says she had to convince herself, but I was persistent. “We married in 2007 and I wouldn’t be where I am without Maha’s support. She brings it back to the simple things all the time. I find it hard to get out of bed some mornings and sometimes I find myself upset for no reason. But every time, Maha pulls me back. I would have left me five times! I


his favourite American rap artist who was shot dead in Los Angeles in 1997. He’s wearing a jacket bearing the face of the rapper that he bought in New York and couldn’t resist slipping into his suitcase. Delia discovered Biggie Smalls when he was 14 during a family trip to Detroit to see relatives. “I saw hip-hop culture for the first time and I immersed myself in this music that was so powerful but so wrong, too, then. You were a ratbag if you listened to that music,” he laughs. “But I related to the messages in the stories. I didn’t live in a ghetto but I was a kid who was under-achieving and the music gives you a voice. I heard Biggie Smalls and thought he was an amazing lyricist and many of his songs were uplifting. There’s a song called Juicy – he talks about the dreams he had of being something else and of achieving that. It’s the anthem for me.” Delia is a self-confessed perfectionist and creating Biggie Smalls became all-consuming. He spent $800,000 just on the fit-out and soon launched the Biggie Smalls Food Truck, and in September last year, another Biggie Smalls at the Windsor end of Chapel Street. “I didn’t want another kebab shop. I got excited with it and wanted it to be special. Rap has an element of bling and glamour and I wanted Biggie Smalls to feel authentic to the last detail. My favourite kebab on the menu is the Juicy kebab. It’s tasty as hell! Have it old school with hot sauce – rocket fuel!” he grins. “If I do something it has to be 100 per cent. We re-fitted Maha 12 months ago and spent a million bucks but I still wasn’t happy, so two months ago I put another $200,000 in to it.”

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think it’s the pressure I put on myself. When I was a cook it was just me. Now I have millions of dollars of debt and 80 employees with families to think about so I have to stay focused. “I hate the term ‘celebrity chef’ with a passion. I am at the businesses all the time. I take food out to people – I’m not peeling the carrots – but I’m there and I write every dish with my team.” That focus led Delia to Biggie Smalls Kbabs – a kebab shop with a difference on Smith Street in Collingwood. Delia named the flagship venue after

elia’s Spice Journey series on SBS brought his passion for food to a national audience and he credits the show with enhancing his culinary capabilities. It took him from Iran and Morocco to the foothills of Mount Lebanon. “I am 10 times the cook I was before I did the show,” he stresses. “I landed in Lebanon in season one with a backpack and heap of notes. I never did any training and it was hard work. There was conflict in Syria and at one point we were filming in a market in Morocco and I was p****d on by a donkey. “I’ve been told by SBS there won’t be another Spice Journey, although I’d love to do something similar in southern India where the spice trade began. And I’d like to do a Spice Journey in New York – the biggest melting pot in the world.” His success and popularity have attracted some high-profile partnerships. Delia is a proud Western Bulldogs ambassador and a supporter of Melbourne City. But one of his most rewarding partnerships is with Mercedes-Benz.

For a motorsport lover, taking part in a Celebrity Grand Prix and driving a car he never dreamed he’d own is still a bit of a surprise. “When I was young I built cars with an uncle,” Delia says. “He re-built old Holdens and he and Dad loved motorsport. My first car was a $600 piece of s**t that was in my uncle’s paddock with grass growing through the floor. I spent a year working on it – a Nissan/Datsun Pulsar. My other uncle sprayed cars as a hobby and he said he’d paint it for me. I had no money so he told me to collect his halfempty tins and mix them and that’s what colour my car would be. It was pink and he put all these metallic flakes in it – so much in that my car was all glitter. But I drove it for three years. “I still don’t understand why Mercedes-Benz wanted me. Think about that boy with ADD getting expelled from school – did you ever think he’d be a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz? Every morning I get up and there’s a Mercedes C63 sitting in my garage. How good’s that?” Delia has swapped the Sunbury home he’d lived in since his 20s for a larger family home – but he stayed true to his roots, choosing Moonee Ponds over swankier options south of the river. “We looked in South Yarra and Toorak but they’re not my home. I have to stay true to who I am,” he says. And Delia looks forward to being his true self on Sundays when he gets to spend time with Maha, his young children, son, Jude, and daughter, Jayda. “Monday nights we have dinner at Mum’s house – my brother, sister, our kids and cousins. I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday my daughter goes to Arabic school and I pick her up and we have lunch and then I go to work. “I love Sundays. I take my daughter to Vic Market early. We have a look at what to buy, have a burek, come home and I cook brunch or late lunch. Then I’m on the couch, chilling out and holding my kids.” Away from the kitchen, Delia keeps fit and focused by boxing. He trains three mornings a week, spending another two mornings lifting weights in the gym. “I box to keep fit and manage my weight and it makes you stand up straight and confident,” he says. “I’m a bit of a recluse and like being around home or going to the supermarket in my trackies and a T-shirt. “Last night I got home about five o’clock and there was nothing in the pantry so I ran down to the shop in a dodgy pair of trackies given to me for a charity cricket match last year. I don’t care.” ● BIGGIE SMALLS \ 86 Smith Street, Collingwood; 36 Chapel Street, Windsor; check the website for food truck locations. ● biggiesmalls.com.au

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BY BRENDAN BALE

DRINK

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Keeping up with the latest drink trends can be downright exhausting, so I’ve asked the owner of craft liquor emporium Casa de Vinos, Jose Dymenstein, for some help. The former winemaker, who opened his Port Melbourne business six years ago, spends roughly 20 hours a week researching who is drinking what in Australia and around the globe. “The trends are set in Europe, and we follow them,” says the 17-year industry veteran. Perhaps the most interesting development he has noticed is the way Melbourne’s recent love affair with craft beer is giving way to a fascination with spirits. It’s no longer sexy to bring wine to a dinner party. Even bringing the latest craft is losing its charm – people are searching for something exotic. The Uruguay native says 2017 was the year of gin. “It’s killing it,” he says. “We have more than 100 gin distillers in Australia, so it would take you more than a year to try them all.” This year will still be strong for the spirit, Dymenstein says, but by the end of the year it will move towards Australian whisky. “It’s huge now, but it will be way bigger because stocks of Australian whisky have been building for two or three years. It’s innate for humans to constantly want to find the next fun thing to do,” he says. “I don’t see customers getting excited about wines or beers, but when you talk about gin or whisky, they are really into it.” ●

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FOOD

Merah My first thought when I walk into Merah is that I’m in the wrong place. Opened by the Nasi Lemak House duo in October, it looks more like a secret Gorman headquarters than a Malaysian restaurant – salmon archways, organic wooden tables and a colour-blocked banquette. My second thought is how “inner north” it is. Organic and biodynamic wines sit alongside traditional teh tarik and vegans are welcome, if not encouraged. Translucent tapioca parcels in chilli soy are stretched with mushroom, cabbage and bamboo stuffing and spoon-worthy plum sauce accompanies buttery curry puffs. My third thought is FOMO Thai. I miss out on jackfruit curry (unavailable) and spicy crab (pre-order only), but seafood is a stellar substitute: pipis pungent with shrimp and kaffir lime and a lightly fried barramundi fillet soaking up tamarind sauce. Nasi lemak, thick roti canai and beef rendang are there for traditionalists. My final thought at Merah is that I’m ready for dessert. But, there isn’t any. Will anyone judge me for ordering the fried chicken with sambal mayo instead. ●

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SAM WOOD \ WELLNESS

Leisurely lunches THE STRESS-FREE GUIDE TO HEALTHY SCHOOL EATING

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get it: life is busy. There are only so many hours in the day and finding or making time to head to the supermarket, cook dinner and then prepare your kids’ lunch for school can be quite a challenge. Add to this family fussiness and supermarkets full of unhealthy school snacks and before you know it you’re the proud owner of the entire contents of aisle four. Or if it’s not this, it’s your child insisting that every other kid orders their lunch, which we know simply isn’t true. I know it can seem easier to let the usual culprits fill your trolley – yoghurts, roll-ups, muesli bars and fruit cups and, yes, most kids do burn through energy like there’s no tomorrow. This does not mean they should be given a lunch-box jam-packed with

sugar and salt simply because it is the easy option. Kids need to be fuelled with nutritious snacks and meals throughout the day to ensure they have the energy and brain power for all that learning and, of course, playing. My motto is all about progress, not perfection. So, don’t get me wrong; a tasty snack from aisle four or a lunch order on the odd occasion is totally fine. Ensuring your kids are eating mostly healthy foods throughout the day will help to keep them alert, focused and retaining information to assist with their learning. If you’re unsure of how to pack your kids a healthy lunch, I am here to help. Here are my top tips to ensure your kids enjoy their healthy lunches.

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1. EDUCATE YOUR KIDS ON THE ADVANTAGES

3. YOUR FREEZER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

OF HEALTHY EATING CHOICES

No one wants to spend time whipping up a new lunch from scratch every morning (or the night before). Dedicate “an hour of power” on weekends to prepare snacks and meals in batches for the freezer. Zucchini slice, bacon-and-egg muffins, veggie patties, nut-free bliss balls/muesli bars … the options are endless.

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Teaching your kids about the benefits of food and how certain types give them fuel for their afterschool sport, or to help them grow, will assist in establishing healthy habits early on and serve as an incentive for them to make healthier choices. Keep it quick, keep it simple and make it a game, not a lecture. If you feel like your advice is falling on deaf ears because it’s coming from mum or dad, see if their favourite teacher or sports coach can relay the same information.

4. DON’T FORGET FRUIT AND VEG

Sliced fruit and veg is an easy and healthy lunch-box filler that goes perfectly with a side of dip. Carrot, celery and capsicum with hummus is a go-to snack that is popular with kids and adults.

2. PREPARE LUNCH TOGETHER

5. MAKE HEALTHY FOOD FUN

Make lunch-box prep a family affair. Not only is this an opportunity to spend some time together in the kitchen, you’ll also be teaching them how to make lunch on their own. Before you know it they’ll be doing it all by themselves. Well, maybe not, but understanding and recognising foods is the first step to a healthier relationship with them.

Some kids are more visual eaters than others so making their food look appealing may mean their lunch-box comes home empty. Colourful fruit and veggies are naturally appealing to kids or slice their snacks/sandwiches into interesting shapes using cookie cutters. ●

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BRUNSWICK \ 69 MITCHELL STREET 2

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They say first impressions are everything, and you would have to be a real stoic to resist the period charm of this cute-as-abutton Victorian terrace house. The beautifully presented facade has all the hallmarks of the era, including delicate cast-iron lacework across the verandah and a stained-glass window above the front door. And haven’t you always wanted to live in a house with a name? This one is called Victoria, per the embossed block letters on the pediment. Step over the threshold and you will find a comfortable twobedroom house. One bedroom has a built-in wardrobe and a pull-down ladder leading to generous attic storage. Hardwood floors run through most of the house, connecting the living, dining and kitchen areas. There is a tidy, updated bathroom adjoining the kitchen, which has stainless-steel appliances and plenty of cupboard space. The paved outdoor courtyard can be used as an off-street parking option, accessible via the lane. ● KATE STANTON AGENT \ Nelson Alexander 9388 0088 PRICE \ $820,000 – $900,000 AUCTION \ February 10 at noon Scan the code Irresistible period charmer – if you want to live in Victoria

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Mortgagee in Possession Indulge in a lifestyle of urban sophistication in the heart of the CBD with this Studio apartment in the Oaks on Collins building. Ideal Melbourne base within 500 meters of Southern Cross Station and tram stops. Apartment No. 907 enjoys a view towards Southbank and access to Oaks on Collins’ facilities including a heated pool, gymnasium, concierge, first-floor restaurant and bar and meeting rooms. This modern studio includes open-plan bedroom and living with views, kitchen with breakfast bar and stainless steel appliances, a sleek bathroom behind frosted glass, built-in robes and a reverse cycle split-system air-conditioner.

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AUCTION 11.00am Saturday 10th February 2018 CONTACT Anthony Cimino 0400 500 903 Jeremy Kirk 0478 132 033

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City Living 12374366-HM49-17

School Holiday Tackers programs are available along with programs for teenagers and adults! The Boatshed is Australian Sailing’s Training Centre specialised in providing everyone an opportunity to sail. We are located on the safe waters of Albert Park Lake, the perfect place your first sailing experience. The Boatshed operates year-year round offering school holiday programs, weekend programs, programs for schools, Birthday Parties, corporate activities and Sailability, our program accessible for everyone. Check out our website and book in today!

12374371-LN49-17

Come and Discover Sailing this Summer at The Boatshed!

Where Quality Counts, Look For‌ EMU WIRE INDUSTRIES Heritage Woven Wire & Gates are Powdercoated in 8 standard colours. They are also available in a galvanised finish. Gates come in 7 different pedestrian and driveway styles. For your local distributor please call:

1300 360 082 Fax: (03) 9308 5822

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LEARN TO DANCE

J Ward Museum

We specialise in beginners.

J Ward is a museum that brings to life the early history of the Ararat goldfields and later, the incarceration of the criminally insane. J Ward is a premier tourist venue in Victoria, visited by more than 10,000 people annually (greater than Ararat’s population). Relive the past by taking a guided tour, conducted by the Friends of J Ward volunteers. Our tours run every day (excluding Christmas Day). For more information, please give us a call or visit our website: www.jward.org.au

Valentine’s Day gift vouchers available

Ararat. (03) 5352 3357

12378880-ACM06-18

Social Dances, Latin American, Street Latin, Wedding Waltz, Ball Room, Rock ‘n Roll and many more. Call us now! With or without a partner.

Level 1 439 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne -ONDAY &RIDAYPM PMs3ATURDAYAM PM

(Air Conditioned Studio)

Phone 9328 3637 www.rythemics.com.au

12378878-EPJ07-18

First is lesson FREE

While getting fit, having fun and making new friends. Enjoy our busy calender filled with dinner dances, social events, balls and dance parties.


618 Church Street Richmond 9429 6696 1 Stafford Street Huntingdale 9543 4633 arthurg.com.au

Up to 30% off floorstock

AU ST R A LI A N D E S IG N E D A N D MA N UFACT U RE D ESTABLISHED 1979

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The Weekly Review City  

February 7-13, 2018

The Weekly Review City  

February 7-13, 2018

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