Best BYO event at Otto raised over 170k for Cure Cancer Australia. Great stuff.

On Wednesday 26th August 2015, Sydneysiders raised their very best glass and reached for their chequebooks to support vital cancer research at the annual World’s Best BYO.

Now in its eighth year, the Fink Group and Cure Cancer Australia joined forces with the popular epicurean event held at OTTO Ristorante at Woolloomooloo’s Finger Whalf for the first time and hosted by Masterchef judge Matt Preston.

200 guests from the media, fashion, food and business worlds had the rare opportunity to bring their most prized vintages of wine and champagne to match an extraordinary Italian menu prepared by Executive Chef Richard Ptacnik and a the same time, helped to raise funds to support cancer research through Cure Cancer Australia.

Floyd Larsen Chief Executive Officer of Cure Cancer Australia said “This year’s World’s Best BYO was a huge success. Not only did we raise over $170,000 for Australia’s brightest emerging cancer researchers but we also welcomed many new members to the Cure Cancer Collaboration, an initiative which was launched on the evening. The level of interest we have indicates there are many Australians who are committed to raising funds, and having a better understanding of cancer research.”

Some of Australia’s best sommeliers from Bennelong, Quay, Firedoor, OTTO and Rockpool were on hand throughout the night to pour guests’ special vintages into varietal-specific Riedel glassware and they also recommended particular wines for each course. Guests also had the opportunity to bid for some exceptional auction and raffle prizes from Jaguar, One & One Resorts, Louis Vuitton, Paspaley, Riedel, Simon Johnson and Bvlgari.

Dr Phoebe Phillips, former Cure Cancer grant recipient and President of the Australian Society for Medical Research, addressed guests on the night about the importance of supporting Australia’s emerging cancer researchers.

“Cure Cancer Australia is filling an important gap in cancer research by offering long-term sustained support which is the only way to make a real difference when it comes to solving the pieces of the puzzle to find a cure”.

Cure Cancer Australia says the money raised from this year’s Worlds Best BYO will provide at least one brilliant emerging researcher which a funding vital grant.

Grey Goose impresses the vodka A team . . .

Sydney – 26 August, 2015: Saw the launch of the exclusive Salon De Martini, opening for one weekend only at the Grey Goose La Boulangerie. Attendees included The Block judge Darren Palmer and husband Olivier Duvillard, former MasterChef contestant Alvin Quah, GQ Editor-in-Chief Nick Smith, Stylists Romy Frydman, Michael Azzollini and Karolina Karolina and Grey Goose Ambassador Andy Wren.

Guests sipped a selection of mouth-watering Grey Goose cocktails including the Grey Goose Le Fizz, the Grey Goose Dry Martini, the Grey Goose Wet Martini and the Grey Goose In Fashion. Guests dined on an array of delectable canapés made with the same soft winter wheat used in Grey Goose Vodka.

Cognac Maître de Chai, François Thibault had a vision for a vodka with taste. He believed that by using the finest soft winter wheat from Picardy and the purest spring water, he could craft the extraordinary. Defying those who said it could not be done, Francois’ courage and dedication led him to his greatest creation – The World’s Best Tasting Vodka.

To celebrate François’ vision and the finest French ingredients contained in each bottle, Grey Goose has teamed up with Chef Brent Savage from acclaimed restaurant Yellow, as well as the Luxe Bakery powerhouse to create La Boulangerie, an innovative artisan bakery: La Boulangerie.

By day, Yellow has transformed into a French inspired bakery where freshly baked bread and pastries will be fashioned from the same soft winter wheat that has made Grey Goose the finest vodka it is today. To accompany these patisserie offerings, guests can expect a selection of limited edition Grey Goose confitures produced from Grey Goose La Poire, Grey Goose L’Orange, and Grey Goose Le Citron.

By night, guests can enjoy a five-course tasting menu showcasing notes of the spirit along with matched Grey Goose cocktails for the ultimate epicurean experience.

Espousing the traditionally French heritage of the iconic Yellow House building, Grey Goose has gone beyond La Boulangerie and for three nights only, will open the doors to Salon de Martini, a bespoke martini bar personifying the luxury of Grey Goose Vodka as it stands today.

La Boulangerie launched on 21st August and is currently stirring up the Sydney drinking and dining scene, showing to all that #frenchisbest

La Boulangerie Pop-Up Run Information:

  • La Boulangerie Bakery runs from Friday 21st of August, through until 6th September (weekdays 9am-2pm & weekends 8am-3pm)
  • La Boulangerie Restaurant runs from Friday 21st of August, through until 6th September (opens from 6pm, daily)
  • Salon De Martini runs from Thursday 27th August, through until Saturday 29th August (opens from 6.30pm-11.30pm)

Hugh Jackman to return to the Australian stage in Broadway show

He is a Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award winner and now master showman and worldwide performing sensation Hugh Jackman is returning home to Australia in November and December for a five-city arena concert tour – BROADWAY TO OZ – which is based on his smash hit and sold out Broadway show, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway.

This high-octane show takes audiences on a journey through Jackman’s life so far, from his early days in outback Australia to his vast musical theatre triumphs and to the first time he wielded the Wolverine claws in the blockbuster X-Men film franchise.

The multi-million dollar arena production showcases some of Jackman’s greatest successes, including The Boy from Oz and Les Miserables and watch out for his irreverent nod to the mighty Wolverine. Jackman croons, twirls and shimmies through several medleys, including stunning tributes to classic musicals. A state-of-the-art lighting, sound and video production and a vast company of 150 musicians, singers, dancers and choir will support Jackman’s showmanship and infectious Aussie charm.

“BROADWAY TO OZ is a dream come true. This is THE show I’ve always wanted to bring home.” Jackman said.

Tickets for Hugh Jackman’s BROADWAY TO OZ go on sale on Monday, August 31 from Ticketek and are priced from $45.00 to $159.90..

For more information, visit

What makes Usain Bolt tick - & run sooo fast . . .

TONIGHT we’ll see the two fastest men in the world battle it out in the semi-finals and final of the 100m at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing.

The huge race — all done and dusted in under 10 seconds — is being billed as ‘the race between good and evil’, as 29-year-old Jamaican champion Usain Bolt prepares to take on 33-year-old American Justin Gatlin.

It was Gatlin, ten years ago, who was found guilty of doping.

Bolt is a multiple Olympic gold medal-winner and is vocal about his anti-doping stance.

As the ‘face’ (and body) of athletic brand Puma, a gig which nets him $US10 million a year, Bolt is the name behind the company’s new Ignite XT campaign. It’s a lightweight and cushioned running shoe that disperses impact forces and responds with comfort as a runner builds up momentum.

This is what Usain Bolt has to say about training, diet, goals, inspiration and chicken nuggets:

How do you train for speed? Any specific tips for training to become faster?

UB:: There are many things that help someone run faster — conditioning, strength, speed, power, technique etc. It is not just one factor. You have to train in a variety of ways and cover all the aspects.

What’s a typical training session for you?

UB: There isn’t really a typical session. Training for me is either on the track or in the gym. It depends on the time of year and what we are working on. On the track it can be working on everything from endurance to any technical aspect of my race — the start, the drive phase, the transition for both the 100m and 200m. In the gym it’s general conditioning, strength and power.

How often do you train in a year?

UB: I train for 11 months of the year, six days a week. Normally in the morning and then again in the afternoon. It’s a lot of work.

What does training do for you other than the physical benefits?

UB: Training gives you confidence and this helps your state of mind. I know if I’m in good shape it’s going to be very hard to beat me. This confidence is very important in performing well.

What kind of obstacles have you faced and overcome to achieve your goals?

UB: In elite sport injury is always the thing that can slow you down. We push our bodies to the max and sometimes we get sore or injured muscles or joints. I had several injuries in my career but fortunately I have a good coach and team to help me get back to the top.

Any particular food and drink that help you when you’re training? Are you still liking chicken nuggets?

UB: I have a good diet now, I have a chef who helps me eat well. A lot of chicken, rice, vegetables. Good Jamaican food. It is also important to be well hydrated.

What’s your advice for someone who’s struggling to find motivation to reach their goals?

UB: You have to find that one thing that you know is going to motivate you. You might not enjoy training for example but you have to love competing and winning. If you want these things you have to be determined and train hard.

Has training changed a lot for you in the past few years?

UB: When I started running as a kid, it was fun — I was good at it so I just did it. I didn’t really have to train that much to win races. As I got older I realised that I have to take better care of my body. Now diet, rest, recovery etc. is more important that a few years ago.

What’s your single greatest goal?

UB: Well, my single greatest goal is to become the greatest, pretty much. That’s what I work towards. I want to be remembered as a great sportsman, to have a place in history.

Which other athlete inspires you to become better?

UB: I have always admired Kevin Garnett as he is a player that whether winning or losing he gives his all and inspires those around him to raise their game. Also my mentor and coach Glen Mills. He used to tell me: “Everybody on the circuit, everybody at the Championships are talented athletes already. It’s the work you put in that makes you a champion, or better that the other talented person”.

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