One never knows what is going to happen when you’re conducting an interview, especially when it’s with someone you’ve spent years admiring.
Before having a blog I always imagined interviews being conducted in beautiful cafés or hotel lobbies – over a coffee, while your dressed in a white pristine dress and totally know what you’re doing… but as I promised when I began coffees & style – I’m keeping it real.
I had been looking forward to my interview with the very very talented Alice Zaslavsky, otherwise known as Alice in Frames, for weeks. The former Masterchef finalist, TV host, Author and Editor (yeah you thought you had a busy life right?) had been an inspiration of mine from the moment she lit up our screens during the 4th season of the show.
Since then she continued to light up screes, blogs, books and events – she has reacquainted us all with a love of vegetables, got kids excited about food and all it’s goodness, and on a personal note gave a very mortified aspiring blogger the confidence to go for it.
I had just finished putting on a home made face mask (stay tuned it’s amazing and oh so simple) when my phone rang with a sweet “Hi Liz it’s Alice” on the other end – just like that all imaginary fantasies about cafes and pristine dresses went straight out the window and I freaked out, ‘great’ I thought ‘this busy kind mogul is on the phone and I actually haven’t the faintest clue what I’m doing, she’s probably going to sense this and totally blow me off.’
The reality couldn’t of been further from my fears, while I was frantically running around like a mad woman gathering my questions and praying to highest powers that I would actually be able to scribble down her answers, Alice was asking me about the blog, how it all came about, we talked about life and trying to find our own successes, ‘wow’ I thought – now there’s the kind of role model we should be showing young girls.
Face mask still in tact, notebook prepared, we got down to business…
Have you always had a passion for food, if so, what ignited it?
Growing up, food was a big presence in our family. Gathering everyone around the table the idea of food was synonymous with joy, connecting, sharing. When I met Nick (Alice’s husband) that love was further reinforced – he loved restaurants and now we love entertaining together.
Looking back on your time on Masterchef, what would you say to yourself then?
When I auditioned for the show I was 25, I was 26 by the time it all began I went from an audition room at William Angliss to a competition that was watched nation wide. I would tell her to stop caring and worrying about what other people think, not to hold back her personality in fear of being judged, but rather embrace it and just be yourself.
As a big fan of the show, one of the most memorable moments ever to this day (still brings a tear to my eyes) is when Alice didn’t use her immunity pin – I wondered about that decision and what it meant to her.
As a teacher it was so important for my students to know that’s not how to get ahead, I wouldn’t change a thing about that decision.
What advice would you give aspiring foodies who want to break into the industry?
It wouldn’t just apply to foodies, I think across the board it’s so important to find you own voice, be unique, have your own point of view and not just imitate what’s already been done. When I was a teacher I gave each f my students laminated rings with their own unique animals –
On the back there was my favourite quote from Dr Seuss; “Today you are, that is true thank true. There is no one alive, who is you’re that you.” Such a beautiful message that applied to us all.
What’s your favourite meal to cook at home?
We have just bought an amazing new wok – so I have been loving cooking stir-fry. My favourite aspect is the prep – taking time and care with the beautiful vegetables and then having the actual cooking process be quick and easy.
What’s your favourite place to:
Brunch – Higher Ground Melbourne, everything from the venue itself to the delicious menu makes this a great brunch experience.
Date night – Minashima, Richmond – get the back room, the lighting is very intimate and romantic – and the tuna belly is absolutely delicious.
Best Vibes – Dinner by Heston, Crown – it’s truly an amazing experience and a great night out. The staff have a great vibe not to mention the delicious Olive Leaf Martini and Bloody Mary.
Dessert – It hasn’t arrived in Melbourne yet, but the Palm Sugar Pudding at Long Chim is out of this world – I’ve had it in Sydney and I can’t wait for it to be served in Melbourne.
A hidden get no one knows about (yet)?
Admiral Chang Ho in Abbotsford had the most amazing coffee! The café is funky and unique with loads of veggie options.
A delightful evening spent talking to an extraordinary, talented girl – and something tells me this is just the beginning of amazing things to come.
This interview a has been condensed and edited