Behind The Scenes

Burning Up

There were a lot ideas that went into this book. I really wanted to use the scene at the end where Lucas talks to Sophie down the barrel of the camera and begs her not to jump on the couch.  I loved the idea, also, of a woman who had always played it safe being confronted with the ultimate playboy - and make no mistake, Lucas is the ultimate playboy. I pictured him as a sort of cross between Colin Farrel and George Clooney - not so much as in looks, but more in attitude and untameability.  

There's a lot of food in this book, thanks to Sophie's profession as a chef. I shamelessly stole some of the crazy new food ideas she experiments with while she's cooking for Lucas from Reserve, an amazing but short-lived restaurant that was only around for a couple of years here in my home town of Melbourne. Situated in Federation Square in the middle of the city, it featured what one reviewer called "Versace slut" decor, which was  a slighty nasty way of saying it was very luxe and a bit showy. People might have had quibbles about the decor, but the food was unanimously applauded as being inventive, entertaining, and stunning. In the short time it was open, Reserve won pretty much every award there was for that kind of thing in Australia, a testament to the skill and talent of George Calombaris, the head chef and visionary. 

We went there a handful of times, and every meal was a voyage of discovery, novelty and taste sensations. We ADORED it, and everyone of our friends who shared the experience with us agreed that it was one of the best, most interesting dining experiences they'd ever had. Sadly, Reserve closed its doors for reasons I have yet to discover, but a talent like George Calombaris wasn't about to disappear into the ether. He is now the owner of a number of restaurants in Melbourne, including one of my personal favourites, Gazi, which sells Greek street food, The Press Club, and a new whole foods eatery he's just opened called Mastic. He's also hugely well known for being one of the judges on the local Masterchef series here in Australia. 


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