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Suzy Cato

What’s happening in Suzy’s World?

Suzy Cato first captured the hearts and minds of children more than two decades ago, which saw an entire generation of Kiwis lose their minds when she twirled her way back into the limelight for Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) last year.


Suzy Cato


We catch up with Suzy about the experience and what she has on the cards for 2019.


What’s happening in ‘Suzy’s World’ these days?
2018 was one of the best and busiest years I have had in a long time! DWTS was only one of many fabulously exciting projects last year, albeit an amazing one. I released two singles; the first ‘Sprinkle a Little Sunshine’ with the hugely talented Kath Bee, pre-Dancing with the Stars and the other, ‘We’re All Gonna Have Some Fun’ post the dance show; in conjunction with the compilation CD I curated for Sony Music NZ called the Totally Awesome Kiwi Kids Album.

I created and performed at the first ever Kids Music in Parks event for Auckland Council’s Music in Parks series, and curated, created and MCd the NZ Children’s Music Awards at Spark Arena’s Tuning Fork. There were also numerous opportunities to appear and MC at events all over the country, which I loved (The Vodafone Music Awards, the NZ Television Awards, the TedX Youth – Avon River event and of course the fabulous Christchurch Santa Parade, just to name a few).

And 2019 looks to be just as busy with another series of the much loved Kids Radio Show, Suzy & Friends to create and huge plans for my kids YouTube channel. Currently called TreehutTv, we’re looking to rebrand under the new channel name… SuzyCato!


How often do you get requests to sing, ‘It’s our time, kia ora, talofa’ or ‘See ya see ya later’?
All the time! We made over 2000 episodes of You & Me so I’ve sung both songs for the show at least 4000 times (once in the rehearsal and once in the record), but I’ve sung those songs at preschools, schools, live events for years and now that all those wee ones have grown up I’ve sung it at supermarkets, retail stores, my accountants, lawyers and… well everywhere!



How did you find DWTS?
I loved every moment of it! It was incredibly hard – physically and mentally – and not just on me but on my family. But, we all grew through it and we all loved the journey together.

I had the best dance partner. Matt Tatton-Brown is divine. I will always treasure the time I spent with Matt and the rest of the DWTS team; both contestants and crew. It really was fantastic. And hard – did I say hard? Because boy it was! It hurt – feet, ribs, back, legs, head, everything.



You had spent 15 years focused on your family. How did your children feel when DWTS happened and you were suddenly in the limelight again?
My gorgeous two young people are wee stars in their own right. Both love performing and were the reason I got back out performing again. They’d found a folder with some press clips of You & Me / Suzy’s World days and asked why I wasn’t performing like that anymore. It was with their encouragement that I started my YouTube channel.

DWTS was a really good opportunity to share with them the resilience and perseverance required and how to cope with ‘failure’. Not for a moment did I feel like a failure, not making it through to the final, but it was good for them and for those supporting me to see that not winning was ok.

Dancing for the Mental Health Foundation was a huge honour and one that I relished as I was able to share the journey and the struggle and show that no one is alone – we all have our down days and that’s ok.



What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career and everything you get to do?
Getting to be a part of someone’s day – either via the radio show, as I do now on a Saturday or Sunday morning; via the YouTube channel (where you can find eps of You & Me and Suzy’s World as well as all the new clips) or even via Facebook and Instagram – sharing a positive thought, a smile or a cyber hug is pretty damned special.

That I’m able to juggle it around my beautiful family (nearly always successfully) is a joy. For me family comes first and that’s why I hadn’t dived back into broadcasting, beyond the radio show, until recently. Growing great kids needs to start at home.



What does 2019 have in store for you?
On top of my own projects, I’m producer of the much-loved kids programme and resource Bryan & Bobby and Snr Const. Bryan Ward QSM has great plans for him and his Police Dog, this year. I’m also Chair of Kiwi Kids Music (
I’ve got the Kids Music Awards to create for Spark Arena’s Tuning Fork. I have my album to finish recording and a tour to create and a book (or a few) to publish… Yup, 2019 promises to be an amazing one and I can’t wait to dance my way through it.



Bryan Adams

Q&A: Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is returning to New Zealand in March 2019 to play concerts in Auckland and Wellington before being joined by Dave Dobbyn and the Jordan Luck Band to perform in Nelson and Christchurch.


Bryan Adams


We catch up with the ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ hitmaker ahead of his trip down under.


How many times have you visited New Zealand and what is your impression of our country?
I’ve been at least half a dozen times, all for gigs. My impression of NZ is much like everyone else in the world, this is where we need to go if there is a third world war. It’s safe, there is a strong environmental movement and you’re almost as nice as us Canadians.


What can we expect from your new album, Shine A Light?
It’s a collection of songs I wrote while not working on the Broadway musical “Pretty Woman: The Musical”. ‘Shine A Light’, the lead single, was co-written (on email) with my new friend Ed Sheeran, plus I have a duet with….


Jennifer Lopez! What is she like to work with after your duet ‘That’s How Strong Our Love Is’?
Yes… Jennifer sounds amazing on the song; I think everyone will be surprised how well we sing together. I’m delighted we were able to fit it into our busy schedules.


Your music spans over four decades with a host of feel-good hits. What is your favourite and why?
I like all the songs everyone else likes. It’s easy to go on tour these days, everyone sings them for me. So honestly it would be hard to choose one song out of them all. ‘Summer of 69’ has turned into this global hit at parties and in karaoke. It’s funny because when it was released it hardly did anything. I think that’s true of many of my songs, they’ve been sleepers.


You’ve done a lot of humanitarian work and given back to many disadvantaged people through The Bryan Adams Foundation. Is there any particular project that you’ve supported that stands out for you?
For sure. In 2013, I did a photography book and exhibition featuring wounded soldiers, “Wounded – The Legacy of War”.


Out of all the artists and musicians you have worked with, who has had the biggest impact on your music career?
Tina Turner helped me back in the mid-80s by taking me to Europe. We sang every night and ripped the place apart. Was truly the most fun.


You turn 60 this year… how will you celebrate?
I’m not sure yet, probably underneath a bed sheet somewhere, or out trying to learn how to surf (my life-long ambition).


What does the future hold for Bryan Adams?
Other than international surfer extraordinaire? I’m just loving my daughters and trying to master the art of growing tomatoes.

You can add published winning photographer to the list of your multi-talents. What is your favourite subject/topic to photograph?
People, I love interesting characters. I have a book coming this year called ‘Homeless’ on people living on the streets of London.
See you soon NZ.



Karen Walker

Karen Walker gets the sartorial edge

Karen Walker designs have always had a bit of edge. Described once as the “consummate collision of attitude and aptitude”, Walker has added a more literal edge to her latest collection, Bad Apple.


Karen Walker


Inspired by a day at an orchard in Upstate New York, the new ready-to-wear collection is marked by apple tree references, but in classic Walker style, there’s a wry twist; look closely and you’ll see that medieval apple tree print has a small serpent concealed within its branches.

We caught up with up with Walker to discuss the collection and what the New Year has in store for one of the country’s most beloved designers.


Can you tell us a bit about your new ready-to-wear collection Bad Apple?
It’s preppy dressing for people who want to misbehave with lots of print and tailoring and denim.


What does the collection mean to you and what are your favourite pieces?
I love the apple tree with the hidden snake print especially and also the denim suit (featured on the cover) which we’re thrilled to have had to release early after Mrs Obama wore it on her recent book tour.


What do your upcoming collections have in store for us?
Our March 2019 collection pays homage to two great female chess players.


You’re in a high-paced creative role, how do you unwind and prevent burnout?
Handstands on my yoga mat, chess with my daughter (she’s yet to beat me), reading, playing piano and playing tennis are, I find, all pretty good ways to unwind.

Also, I do find myself anxiously waiting through autumn until there’s enough snow on Coronet Peak to get the snowboard out and I’ve also recently taken up running (thanks to my new Adidas UltraBoost runners!) and I find I love it.

I do also love a history podcast, especially the BBC’s In Our Time. Also, Glenn Gould playing absolutely anything but especially his first version of the Goldberg Variations.


What’s your design philosophy?
Does it make me smile?


Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere.


What does personal success mean to you?
Waking up looking forward to and excited by my day.


What are your New Year’s resolutions?
I don’t do New Year resolutions. I try to go into every day of the year with focus, clarity and passion.


What are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months?
We’ve got some very exciting projects in place for 2019 and I’m looking forward to pulling them together and seeing what we can create.



Meet the Chef

Meet the Chef: Q&A with Chef Hamish Watt

Christchurch is in the enviable position of having some extraordinary options when it comes to eating out. The Crowne Plaza is one such spot in the figurative and literal heart of the city.


Metropol catches up with Crowne Plaza Executive Chef Hamish Watt to discuss his tips of the trade, the most exciting dish he’s turned his hand to recently and what’s up his culinary sleeve for 2019.


Meet the Chef


Are the same menu items popular across the globe? Are we in Christchurch, or the visitors to Christchurch, any different in our tastes than people in Surrey Hills Sydney, for instance, or in London?

As a rule, trends always lie in location – there’s usually a local element. In New Zealand whitebait often features, the UK features wild mushrooms and you’ll find a lot of rock oysters in Sydney.

Because of cooking shows like Masterchef, many food trends have gone global. For example, you now see a formula for plating in restaurants emerging: protein on puree, a side of veg and a sauce.


What does a chef eat in his/her time off? Do you ever fast? What’s your summer fave?

I love steamed Dim Sum! I purchase it from Church Corner in Christchurch – pork buns, prawn and chive dumplings… it’s my go to dinner when neither my wife nor I want to cook.

Fasting? No. But I do crave vegetables and drop meat from a couple of meals a week. In summer I love fresh fruit and vegetables, grilled asparagus or broccolini, roast figs and of course, lovely fresh fish!


It must be a high-stress, exacting sort of thing being an executive chef. What secret can you share to making cooking easier for the general population cooking dinner for the family?

Planning, planning, planning! You can never over-plan a dinner or a big event. The biggest trick is to get every dish as close to being ready as possible without spoiling the ingredients. For example, blanch and refresh your vegetables so they’re still crisp and only need two minutes to finish off.

Make all your sauces and dressings ahead of time so they just need to be heated. Finally, I learned the hard way to always make garnishes first because they are the first thing to suffer when something goes wrong (and it always does!)

Do you see any particular food or drink trends which are sweeping through the developed world? Or are you trying to create any? Buying directly from the farm is only getting more popular! We all love to know where our food comes from.


What is the most exciting dish you’ve been cooking lately? And who typically loves it?

Whitebait cakes with cauliflower puree and tarragon dressing. I wouldn’t call it ground-breaking but it’s a simple dish with great texture and flavour.

It’s a take on an English fish cake but using local, fresh New Zealand whitebait. Tourists always want to try whitebait and locals go nuts for it too!


What’s your pick of holiday destinations and holiday style, if money was no object?

I love travelling and exploring what gastronomy treasures a region or country has to offer. Sitting in one spot for a week would send me stir crazy!

Jumping in a camper and hitting the open road is my idea of heaven. Since being in New Zealand, my wife and I have clocked up a lot of kilometres exploring the South Island!


What’s your favourite dining destination anywhere in the world, the first place on the itinerary if you could be whisked there tomorrow?

Some of my most memorable meals were unforeseen! Europe in summer is just special; there’s a buzz in the air, sitting outside in a medieval courtyard in France or Italy eating local specialties. I once stumbled across a monastery in Austria with a hidden beer garden, serving only one beer and a grand array of local meats, cheeses pickles and breads.


What’s up your culinary sleeve for 2019?

We have a new menu coming out in March with a selection of dishes which feature ingredients all sourced from within 70 kilometres – talk about local!



Chelsea Winter

Chelsea Winter’s Healthy Philosophy

It’s the season of resolutions; a time when we remain focused on the promises we vowed to keep soon after the clock ticked over marking the start of 2019, before our resolve starts to waver somewhere around Easter. Not surprisingly, many of these resolutions are centred around our culinary consumption.


Chelsea Winter


So we caught up with one of the country’s most beloved cooks, Chelsea Winter, to discuss how to take a healthy approach to the whole year.


What are some of your favourite healthy recipes?
I’m not a great fan of the word ‘healthy’ to be honest. It’s been swept up in a confusing torrent of marketing jargon and fad diets and confusing information portrayed by the media. My version of healthy might be completely different to yours. You might think a pottle of low-fat strawberry yoghurt with a sugar substitute is healthy, and a plate of potato isn’t – I’m the opposite. Actually that’s a good answer to your question, mashed potatoes is one of my all-time favourites!


You don’t shy away from carbs, potatoes or jam doughnuts… how would you sum up your food philosophy?
Will this ridiculous war blanketing all carbs ever end? It’s lunacy to me. Potatoes and kumara, pasta and whole grains are not your enemies, my friends! My philosophy is pretty simple – it’s all about balance. Everything in moderation (except fruit and veges which in my view, you can’t eat too much of).

Keeping mainly to home-cooked food made with wholesome ingredients because I believe the more you eat food made from scratch, the better. I don’t eat much processed food, but when I do I make sure I enjoy it because it’s just as important to treat yourself. Imagine life without homemade baking, good quality chocolate, scooped ice cream in a cone, a parcel of takeaways or the odd marmite and chip sandwich on white bread. How sad that would be!


What are some of the key things you to do keep healthy and well during the year?
Keeping things in balance is important to me; exercise, fresh air, good food, surrounding myself with positive people. I love walking on the beach, I love Kundalini yoga and whenever I can I get up the Mount (Mauao). I meditate a little most days (that one takes practice!) and I try to focus on all that I’m grateful for in life (which is a lot).

I’m pretty good at not getting bogged down with the negative stuff. The big one for me is eating homemade food, staying present, being grateful and not taking life too seriously – in this society it’s easy to get swept up in the drama of it all. You gotta be able to laugh at yourself.


Being such a motivated and successful woman, how do you stop yourself from burning out?
I’ve learned to flex the ‘no’ muscle, as they say! I feel ‘into’ everything I do now and only take on the things that feel right to me; all about the old gut feeling. I spent many years saying yes to everything and running myself ragged, which is just part of the journey I’m on and I needed to go there to learn from that experience. Now I’m focusing on putting my energy on the things that really matter.


What attracted you to cooking and experimenting in the kitchen?
I’ve loved cooking since I was a little girl – I just feel at peace in the kitchen. Now, I get immense fulfilment out of creating recipes that home cooks can recreate and feel proud of. That’s the ultimate for me; that’s why I write my books and that’s what I take most pride in – my recipes. I write and test them all myself, so I know that every recipe out there works, is delicious and has come from my heart – from my kitchen to yours. That’s very important to me.


What are your New Year’s resolutions?
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions! If I feel I need to change something in my life I just do it. Life is happening every single day, why wait until New Year’s?


Why do you think New Zealand has connected so strongly with you and what you do?
I could never have imagined I’d be where I am now when I wrote my first cookbook. I guess I can only go on the feedback I hear from people who contact me via Facebook and Instagram, or when I meet them in the street or on my book tours; they say they love my books because my recipes work, the ingredients are easy to get at the local supermarket and, most importantly, people love them – especially kids.

People can’t believe how many recipes of mine their fussy kids will eat. I can’t even tell you how chuffed I am when I hear things like that. What an honour for me, making a difference in so many people’s lives.


What is the most fulfilling or enjoyable aspect of what you do?
Knowing that I am empowering so many Kiwis with the awesome food they’re cooking. Making them feel like legends in their own kitchens. So many people think they’re ‘crap cooks’ – then they try my recipes and realise that good food isn’t privy to some elite club that they aren’t part of. Everyone can create epic deliciousness, every day. And so they should!


What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
Creating recipes… there’s a new book close on the horizon!



Nicky Wagner

Bright Future: Q&A with Nicky Wagner

We caught up with National’s spokesperson for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner to discuss the issues facing the greater community and the bright future ahead of us.


 Nicky Wagner


What are the biggest issues affecting Christchurch at this time?

There are always a multitude of issues to address in a city like Christchurch. But for me the overarching issue is to create a Christchurch, post-earthquake, that is a great place to live, to work and play; a special place for us, our children and the generations to come; a place of opportunity for everyone.

We want Christchurch people to be connected to their communities, and interested and involved in everything that’s going on in our city.


What are your thoughts about the water restrictions and how the community is responding?

Christchurch people are justifiably proud of our world famous, clean, clear, untreated water. So, we will do almost anything to get rid of the present treatment. If, as we are told, using water more carefully and wisely will lead to ending the treatment, I think the community is absolutely up for that.



What are the focus issues for 2019?

There is a lot of change and uncertainty in the world at present and the best way to respond to that is to strengthen our families, our communities and complete the rebuild of our city. The All Right? campaign tells us that to be happy and healthy we need to connect and strengthen our relationships with others, be curious and keep learning, and be physically active.

We should pay attention to world around us and finally, to give, in terms of time, energy and interest, is more beneficial than to receive. Great advice when we are feeling a bit overwhelmed about the future.

In terms of completing the rebuild of Christchurch, we need to finalise the work on the Metro Sports complex, finish building the convention centre and decisions need to be made about the Multi Use Arena, to make it a very flexible and useable stadium.

Finishing will still take some time but every day brings new attractions, new facilities, new businesses and new ways for all of us to interact with the city. Over the holidays, and right through 2019, I hope you can take the time to visit and enjoy the city.

Walk the Promenade alongside the river, maybe cycle through Rauora Park, visit the shopping complexes, take in Tūranga, the most exciting library in the country, or scoot through the city to have coffee, food or a drink. We have a beautiful, people friendly and sustainable city. Enjoy it!



Are families returning to the area and our population numbers increasing or are we staying stagnant?

The population of greater Christchurch is increasing. Although some people left after the earthquakes, most have returned and our post-earthquake population has increased since 2013.

New people are being attracted to our city from across the country and even internationally. They are coming because there are jobs, and many people want to be part of building a new city.

Also because the cost of living is reasonable, the quality of life is great and because they see a bright future for Christchurch.



Elaine Paige

Queen of Musical Theatre: Q&A with Elaine Paige

Elaine Paige, the queen of musical theatre, is heading to our southern city with a show at Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal on Monday 21 January.


Elaine Paige


The English singer and actress has built a stellar career, with some laudable performances, including the role of Eva Perón in the first production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita in 1978, which made her a household name.
We caught up with Elaine to discuss her illustrious career.


Can you tell us a bit about the concert series and what Christchurch audiences can look forward to?
It’s a concert series that will be celebrating song writers that I love and people I grew up listening to, such as Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and Carly Simon. It’s really celebrating their music and a bit of a soundtrack of all our lives really, from the late 60s to 70s. It’s a show that has something for everybody.


What attracted you to singing and performing?
Academically I was not that interested; I was always much more about the vocational things in life. Singing was something I knew I loved; I was in the school choir, did the end of school productions. Dad asked me if I would like to go to drama school. I’m always grateful he made that suggestion. I’m not altogether sure I would have come to that myself. From a middle class family, we knew nothing about drama schools or anything of that ilk. Pretending to be someone else appealed to me, so I went to drama school and that’s how it all began.


What are some of your career highlights?
Evita will be one of the major highlights. Having the opportunity to originate the role of Eva Peron gave me a career in musical theatre, so that will always be the one that is most special to me. I was able to pick and choose after Evita what roles I wanted to play. I was very fortunate to find myself in a very privileged position that gave me a career and choice.


You’ve performed at some of the biggest venues around the world, what are you looking forward to about performing in New Zealand?
I’ve come ‘Down Under’ to New Zealand and Australia several times during my career, although I haven’t been your way in half a dozen years. So I’m really looking forward to visiting and seeing the changes. Equally it’s like coming home really because New Zealand is so similar to England. That’s what I like about it. People are always very welcoming and in the past have come out to see me, so I’m hoping I can enjoy the same this time around.


What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
I’ve always worked very hard, many hours, done many different things. Next year I’m coming to see you in January, then when I come back to England there’s some television on the cards, a play I might be doing and in the summer I’m looking to do a new album with Cliff Richard. I’ve been having a quiet year this year, jumped off the bandwagon for a bit, smelled the roses and next year is looking to be quite busy.



Sophie Pascoe

Canterbury’s Golden Girl: Q&A with Sophie Pascoe

Sophie Pascoe has taken adversity and turned it to gold. We catch up with the inspiring Canterbury medallist about finding your ‘why’ and making history.


Sophie Pascoe


You received an MBE when you were just 15 and continue to kick goals. How does it feel to be part of the history books as one of the country’s most successful women?

It’s humbling to be one of the country’s most successful women, by doing something I love every single day. I love what I do; I love the challenge and the thrill. To see me as one of the best in the country alongside some of the most incredible women; my disability hasn’t defined that. I’ve gone and done that myself.

When you’re young and have a goal to be the best in the world, you never really intend to create history with that. Now I want to be a successful female and leave a legacy, so others can see that if you put the hard work in, you can achieve.


You’re the proud winner of nine gold medals and six silvers across three Paralympic Games. What have been some of your most defining moments, not just as a sportswoman, but also as a person?

So many accidents happen on a daily basis that change lives forever. This definitely changed my family’s and my own. Every time I go out and achieve and have my family, in particular my dad, who was part of my accident, in the stand, seeing this typical Kiwi bloke who doesn’t share a lot of emotion, shed a tear, that’s my defining moment.

That two minutes up in the podium listening to the national anthem takes everyone back to the moment it started. I wouldn’t have had this life if it didn’t happen, but I don’t want to be defined by my disability.


Being a high achieving sportsperson not only requires the ability to push yourself physically, but also mentally. What has it taken to get where you are today?

It’s taken so much more than just myself to get there. People might see just me, but man do I have a support team around me!
There’s times I have to make – I don’t want to use the word ‘sacrifices’ – but there are decisions I have to make in order to make myself successful, even just whether to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, knowing how that’s going to impact the following day or week.

As an athlete, you have to think how you can be better than the rest of your competitors and remember what your ‘why’ is. Every day you get up and tell yourself ‘why’ you are doing this.

You have athletes that don’t make it and those who do; those who do are that special breed that questions themselves on every single move; they become perfectionists. It’s about routine but you’re still human, not a robot. There’s days you might fail, days you don’t ask why. You have to learn from that, come back the next day and do it better.


You’ve been taking a break to recover from an operation on your leg, how does it feel to be back in the pool?

A forced break is never treated as luxurious. It’s been challenging getting back in the pool. It’s been hard, it’s taxing on the body and mind trying to get your body back to a high standard. I love being back though. I know what my ‘why’ is and I’m back with my support team. It’s great, but it has been challenging. It’s always hard to come back into it after a bit of time off, but that’s a great challenge in being able to see the rewards of the hard work pay off – hat’s what makes training enjoyable.


How will the next two years look as you prepare for the world para-swimming championships in Kuching, Malaysia, next year and then Tokyo?

The World Champs in August is my pinnacle event for next year. It’s also the stepping stone leading into Tokyo in many ways, not just in qualifying, but seeing who is new coming into the sport. When you are the ‘expected’, retaining that is bloody hard. There’s always going to be those hunting the expected but it’s about being prepared for the ‘expected’. The next two years will be full on, but exciting to know time is ticking down towards Tokyo. I’m really looking forward to it.


How does a regular day in the life of Sophie Pascoe look?

I train a couple of times a day, swim sessions that are two hours in the morning, an hour and a half in the afternoon. I have a gym session x3 during the week, along with prehab (a personalised maintenance programme for athletes to prevent injury) every morning. I get the recovery in there by having a nap every day – that’s vital for an athlete, not luxurious. There’s some yoga in there and recovery physio and massage during the week as well..


Why do you think you’ve been able to be such an incredible success?

Again it comes back to the reason why. I have many whys – I love what I do, I love winning, I love making my parents proud and I love being something more than ‘the girl that’s missing a leg’. Those are pretty powerful impacts for the reason why I do this. Holding those close and making them work with my goal is what makes me successful. We learn from the times we fail and get back up. We, as a family, were struck with adversity at two and a half years of age. It’s about overcoming adversity and that’s how you find success.



June Youngman

Sartorial crème de la crème: Q&A with June Youngman

It’s one of the most eagerly awaited times of the year, when fashionistas flock to the sartorial arena at Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day and are put through their paces.


June Youngman


Addington Raceway & Events Centre plays prestigious host to ‘the’ crème de la crème of style showcases – Westfield Riccarton Style Stakes – and style mavens put their most fashionable foot forward, courting the public’s attention and vying for the judge’s recognition.
Metropol speaks to the beautiful June Youngman from North Canterbury about trading in her gumboots to step onto the Best Dressed podium for 2018.


How long have you been interested in fashion?

I think it was 2012 when I first tagged along with one of my friends who was entering in the fashion competition. I thought I could do this too so Addington was the place that I entered my first comp. From a farm in North Canterbury I’m always in my gumboots working so I look forward to dressing up every year now.


What inspired you to enter the Best Dressed competition?

Looking at all the amazing outfits, I just wanted to be a part of this fun and glamour each year. This only happens once a year so we try to make the most of it and over the years have developed many new friendships. I love going to the races with my crazy and beautiful race buddies.


How did you come up with the concept for your award-winning combination?

After my big win in Auckland Derby Day in March, I came home and started drawing in my book as usual, making sketches just thinking what I could design that would be a little different and also day wear. One of my sketches just stood out and I went with that one. Finding the right fabric is always a hard one for me. I went through hundreds of fabrics before I came across this one and the moment I saw it, I knew it was a winner. I didn’t know where or when but I had a feeling this was going to do well.

As soon as my fabric arrived, I got my friend Jo Laurenson, who is my seamstress, to cut a pattern so I could send the left-over fabric to my milliner Irene Moore. After six or more long months I was quite pleased with the outcome. Jo did an amazing job on it, the lace was very hard to work with but she made it look amazing.


How would you define style – do you have a particular inspiration in the sartorial sphere?

Originality is style. I think that when you create something yourself with all your hard work, that is style. I love and follow what Dior brings out each year; their new colours and amazing inspirational outfits.


What do you envision for fashion in 2019?

I know I shouldn’t, but I have already started to make sketches in my book; more challenges for my seamstress. I have just signed a contract working along with another amazing designer and together hopefully we can create some cool stuff. I love colour but I think 2019 will be quite different with simple but bright colours. I’m hoping to see some dark blues.


How did you feel the moment your name was announced as the Best Dressed Lady?

Best feeling ever, funny thing is the moment they said ‘Best Dressed Lady goes to…’ in my heart I called out my name hahaha. Sounds weird I know, but my husband who was standing across from the winning post videoing us said the same thing, that he called out my name in his heart. I think that was very sweet. I’m super chuffed and very grateful to all the sponsors. I think they need to be applauded.



Manu Feildel

Recipe for success: Q&A with Manu Feildel

Manu Feildel has won hearts as the resident Frenchman on My Kitchen Rules for the past eight years. It was a recipe for success; the two beloved chefs, many years of experience under their culinary belts and the competitive streak that has given us an insatiable appetite for cooking shows. Then of course, there’s that suave French accent.


Manu Feildel


In the city as part of his involvement in creating the gourmet menu for the new Hoyts Lux, part of the EntX development, Manu sat down with our very own Nicholas Henare for an exclusive one on one meeting with the suave star himself dishing the dirt on everything from his start in France at the ripe age of 15, to dealing with celebrity-dom and his love for the woman by his side.


What motivated you to become a chef?

I was crap at school, I was the class clown. My mother said, ‘I don’t know what to do with you, your dad owns a restaurant, I think you should go and work with your dad’.
I just loved the restaurant, I could eat and cook and hang out with girls. I fell in love straight away with the restaurant.

How did you get to be where you are now?

I moved to London when I was 18 with £300 in my pocket and no English and stayed in London for eight years, hated the weather and moved to Australia when I was 26 and got recognised in the industry.

How do you deal with being a celebrity?

I said hello to about 28 people coming in here! It’s part of the job, most of the time it’s ok but sometimes you just want to be left alone, when I’m with my family.

What’s your go to food when you’re not cooking?

My wife is an amazing cook, Chinese, Malaysian, Sri Lankan. Yesterday I was in Melbourne and she called me and said, ‘please don’t eat anything on the plane, I’m cooking for you’.
I love her and love her cooking.

When you cook for your family, is there anything you cook that they they don’t like?

My young daughter is a little fussy but my older son was very picky between 10 and 12, in fact he was a little s**t and wouldn’t eat anything but now he eats EVERYTHING because he’s a rugby player.

Do you ever eat McDonalds or KFC?

3am in the morning and I’ve been out for a big night, I put a hat on and use a German accent… no, no, no, very rarely do I eat that type of food.
Hoyts Lux is amazing, how did that come about?Hoyts wanted to ring something different on the food aspect. The original menu was the same as everywhere else, so I thought I’d just jazz it up a bit. It’s been great to work with the team at Hoyts.

What’s your pick on the Hoyts Lux menu?

Try the duck bao, pulled pork pizza, the chicken burger is also very good. Duck is a luxury product, something very special and that’s what Hoyts Lux is, something special.

What’s your advice to someone who wants to start in the restaurant business?

Don’t do it! (insert loud French laugh here). No, but really, it’s a small percentage of people who are successful and it’s very, very hard work. Long hours and commitment is what’s needed to make it.

How much control did you have over the Lux menu?

About 70 percent – they pretty much gave me free reign to do what I wanted so you really do get what my ideas are when eating at Lux.

MKR? What’s happening?

Season 10 is being filmed at the moment. It’s going to be a cracking season with some great guests. There’s a bit of bitchiness, but here in New Zealand we’re a bit more tame. I play the good cop and don’t try to offend anyone’s cooking too much and try to explain how they can improve and what they could do to make it better, so they don’t cook any… ‘merde’.

How do you keep motivated?

I’ve got a great job that’s different every day. I never get bored. I got to jump on a plane and come and meet you and all the people in New Zealand.

Do you still cook in restaurants anymore?

No, I miss that immensely, but my life has changed.

Do you have favourite restaurant in New Zealand?

You would love it Nick, a modern Indian restaurant in Auckland called Cassia, I love it!

Manu is everything you see on television; suave, sophisticated and a bloody great conversationalist. Now I could do the hard sell on the food at Hoyts Lux but I don’t need to, Manu created it and seriously, it’s fantastic. Would you expect anything else?