It was one sunny Summer afternoon when the Gelista team came knocking on my front door carrying a box of ice creams which they happily handed out for me to try.
The timing was perfect as I was craving for something sweet and cold that day. They say it’s always best not to expect so we don’t get disappointed, and so I had little expectations about the ice creams I’m receiving from them.
Although I must also admit, I’ve always glanced at Gelista whenever I pass by the ice cream section of any grocery stores. They look really gorgeous, and I always have eyes on anything premium-looking *wink, wink*. Never had the chance to buy one though, so this was a fulfillment of my dreams.
I opened the box they’ve passed to me with gusto and discovered 17 unique gelati flavours inside:
Ricotta, Fig & Honey, Strawberries & Cream, Mint & Dark Chocolate, Lemon Myrtle & Macadamia with Toasted Coconut, Lightly Salted Caramel Macadamia, Salted Caramel with Crunchy Toffee Pieces, Apple & Guava with Salted White Chocolate, Dairy Free Vanilla Bean, Peanut Butter with Chocolate & Caramel Swirl, Blood Orange & Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Coffee & Cardamom with Mocha Swirl, Coconut with Raspberry Swirl, Peppermint Double Choc, Classic Chocolate, Chocolate Almond Fudge, and their newest flavour… Durian.
I was beyond delighted as their ice creams look so interesting to taste.
I immediately opened the Durian flavour (aside from the fact that I also miss eating the actual fruit back in Asia) and was pleasantly surprised that it was really smooth and easy to eat. For those who haven’t tried any form of durians yet and are automatically turned off by its potent smell, I’m betting my life that this will be manageable to try. I actually loved it.
As I’m also trying to watch my weight these days, I quickly scanned their product bar code for my macro tracking. It was only 25g of carb, 2g of fat, and 1g of protein per serving. Not bad! Also, I enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t too heavy, not too creamy, and not overly sweet. Just about right.
As I had tons of Gelista ice creams to try, I invited my friends to come over the following weekend to share the fun.
My personal favourite by a mile is the Salted Caramel with Crunchy Toffee Pieces, but hey, they do have tons of flavours to choose from. Whether you want something fruity or chocolatey, you’ll definitely find something that’ll suit your taste buds.
As they often say, “you can take the world in a good suit.” For Matt Eberhart, a.k.a. Rundle Mall’s favourite Banana Man, entertainment can come in all forms — even while dressed up as a giant walking Cavendish banana.
Hey Paolo: What’s the story behind the Banana Man?
I was working as a civilian manager in a Japanese-American military base until Dec 2017. With enough money saved up to sustain me for a year of travel, I went around the globe to busk in my yellow jumpsuit with a small amp and a concert ukulele. During a Halloween party back in 2018, I bought a banana costume for a party which I have then since used as my usual get up for all my future street shows. The Banana Man first arrived in Adelaide in 2019.
Hey Paolo: Where have you performed so far?
Before the Banana Man came about, I have already performed in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Seoul, Korea, Israel, Germany, Poland, Ireland, USA, and Australia. As the Banana Man, majority of my performances have been done in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga, Brisbane Cairns, Perth, and Adelaide) and the USA (Las Vegas, LA, San Diego, Honolulu, Austin, San Antonio, Jacksonville, FL, Saint Louis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, and New York City).
Hey Paolo: What are the most memorable stories you’ve had as a performer?
During the beginning of Adelaide Fringe 2020, a mentally ill man broke and pounded my ukulele on the ground and I injured my head while busking in Rundle Mall. This was the worst I have been attacked. But the upside was, a lot of people in Adelaide came out to support me. I cannot be grateful enough how Adelaide still encouraged me to keep performing after this incident.
Street performances can be dangerous: I have been punched in the nuts while in Hawaii, I have been robbed back in Sydney, and I have been thrown a bottle of alcoholic drink to my face while performing at Hindley Street.
The most positive memories I have are hearing the stories of people who remember seeing me in a completely different city or country.
While busking in Hawaii, I was performing the song “Fire on the Horizion” by the band Stick Figure when the actual creator of the song walked past by. It was awesome to meet him in person.
Hey Paolo: Who is the Banana Man when he is not wearing his costume?
When the Banana Man is not performing, I do a lot of traveling. I feel most free when I am on the road bringing with me all of my worldly possessions. I was born in Germany and was raised in Japan by American parents. I am conversationally fluent in Japanese and I love to socialise with friends at a bar or in a club. I have a strong desire learn something new from people of different races, backgrounds, and creeds.
“Around the World with Mozart the Banana Man” aims to educate and inspire children four to 10 year olds about four different countries: Indonesia, India, China, and Ethiopia. My partner, Rich Jay, and I created this show to inform and entertain Australian kids about geography, population, language, and culture with music and dancing as a medium.
“Musical Improv: The Immature Amateurs Troupe,” on the other hand, is a group of five artists and one multi-instrumentalist who will perform an improvised musical based on audience suggestions. No show will ever be the same; any audience member can suggest a song title and we will perform it.
Dear Aunt Vicky, let me tell you the story of my friend Koreena.
She left Adelaide for Melbourne 1 year ago in search of greener pastures. But she keeps coming back.
Well firstly, because of the wines. Secondly, because of the wines. No, she’s not an alcoholic. Just a wine enthusiast.
Visiting wineries is comparable to visiting museums. It’s an introduction to the arts — the art of being drunk.
Here in South Australia, we’re not limited to just just your normal Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll be spoilt for choice: Cabarnet Franc, Montepulciano, Grenache, Graciano, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Albarino, Fiano, Viognier, Riesling, Prosecco, and other wines I can’t even pronounce
Yes Aunt Vicky, we have limited choices here in #BoringAdelaide.
Young South Australian content creators, Linda Huynh and AlexHuynh, found their own niche on Tiktok while entertaining over two hundred thousand of their followers from all corners of the world.
Hey Paolo: What inspired you to start producing creative content on Tiktok?
Linda: We discovered Tiktok two years ago. I first uploaded a Tiktok video secretly and I didn’t tell Alex about it because he might think I was lame. I started getting likes and followers. Later on, he joined me and we started creating more proper and serious content.
Alex: I decided to jump on Tiktok because I thought there’s potential for growth. I thought it was really fascinating and fun. It’s like Youtube but in a shorter format.
Hey Paolo: What are your most popular videos?
Linda: I did a dance video where I accidentally stepped on my dog. It might have hit around two million views already at the moment. My dogs have become really famous on Tiktok. They’re Dino and Sora and the hashtag #DinoSora has over four million views. We do weekly vlogs about our dogs because everyone wants to know about them.
Hey Paolo: What are the types of content that you produce?
Linda: We call ourselves lifestyle content creators and we produce a variety: from fashion, vlogs, challenges to dance videos.
Alex: You can follow the journey of our relationship too and seeing things that we enjoy.
Hey Paolo: What is the importance of social media in today’s world?
Linda: I love and hate social media at the same time. I think it’s a very important aspect in everyone’s life especially the younger generation. It’s important that social media can inspire and educate people. We just have to be careful of what we put out and consume.
Alex: It has a big influence on people especially since Tiktok has a younger audience. People can learn more things now compared to what we could have learned when we were younger.
Hey Paolo: What keeps you motivated?
Linda: I’m very lucky to be managed by Born Bred Talent in Sydney which helps me find jobs and campaigns for Tiktok. Other than that, I get motivated by the encouragement from our followers, whether they give comments or likes.
Alex: What motivates me the most is seeing other people’s success while doing what they love.
Hey Paolo: How do you explain Tiktok to a nonuser?
Linda: It’s a 15-second to 30-second video platform showcasing dances, fashion content, or even cooking videos with the sole purpose of entertainment and education.
FOLLOW THIS COUPLE: TIKTOK: @lindarhuynh. INSTAGRAM: @lindarhuynh and @alexander.huynh.
When was the last time I wrote a blog post where I wasn’t bound by any content-specific restrictions and timelines? I can barely remember.
The South Australia-wide lockdown these past few days helped me concentrate a little bit to complete a few personal tasks and chores which I wouldn’t normally quickly finish if I wasn’t “forced to stay at home.”
You bet, I’m a home buddy, says nobody.
A few days before the lockdown, I was up and about hanging with friends by the beach, eating pies in bakeries, and sipping glasses of wines in various vineyards the next day. Thank god I’m not in any way involved in the state’s contract tracing activities, otherwise my very own “cluster” would have involved many individuals. Well, probably an entire community.
Can’t blame me — people in South Australia have been living an almost normal life for many months now. Last week’s disruption was indeed a shocker for everyone. It never crossed my mind it can actually happen again.
Life’s ironies: just a few days ago before the lockdown, I thought I was in the planet’s safest space.
Normanville has a long stretch of soft, white powdery sand set against a calm almost turquoise-coloured sea and gentle rolls of glistening waves. And when the sun’s up, grabbing a cold one is is always a great idea.
Growing up in Southeast Asia, we have been very spoiled with the best beaches in the world. Can’t help but compare what we have here in South Australia. For one, you can’t really swim far from the shore as sharks here are plenty.
But by far, among the SA beaches I’ve already visited, Normanville has become a new favourite (Silversand is now a close second). Having access to cafes and a small town are a major plus. Also, Normanville is just a one and a half hour drive from Adelaide. Easy peasy!
It has always been a challenge organising an excursion for a group of people, more so if they are much younger, if they come from different cultures, and also if you barely know them. But heck, having fun shouldn’t be that hard, right?
I’ve waited far too long for Summer to arrive, and now it’s just around the corner. Hopefully COVID will shoo away by then. Calling Astrazeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna to join forces please.
For most people, the Tiktok world is seen as nothing but pure novelty. But for South Australian content creators, Jaxon Samwell (17) and Tommy Eyers (23), Tiktok goes beyond novelty — it’s a new medium of creative, engaging, and out-of-the-box entertainment.
Hey Paolo: What inspired you to start your Tiktok pages?
Jaxon: Six months ago, I was still a very quiet person and I didn’t really interact with people unless I know them. But after doing two-three Tiktok interviews with random strangers, I thought it was heaps fun especially filming their real reactions and showcasing them on Tiktok.
Tommy: I just want to make people laugh. I didn’t really know anything about Tiktok back then, and I was trying to make videos (uploaded on Facebook & Youtube) to make as many people laugh as possible. Now, you put them on Tiktok and you can suddenly make a million people laugh.
Hey Paolo: What kind of content do you produce?
Jaxon: To make people laugh. I get surprise messages and they’ll say something like: “I was having a bad day and your content made me laugh.” Stuff like that keeps me going. What I do has also inspired other people to pick up their camera and film their own stuff.
Tommy: I used to do what Jaxon was doing like asking people questions and getting their reactions. But three months ago, I started dressing up in a school boy outfit and now all of my videos are of this character. I basically go around in a 10-year-old school kid’s outfit and I ask people to film me dancing and doing random stuff.
Hey Paolo: How do you explain Tiktok to the older generation?
Jaxon: If I had to explain Tiktok to my grandparents (which I actually had to do), I’ll say that it’s just like any other social media platform. Strangers can go viral. You can be nobody and become Tiktok-famous instantly.
Tommy: For anyone over the age of forty, they’ll be like, ugh, Tiktok’s going to steal your data. Tiktok is actually a good platform for those who wish to go viral.
Hey Paolo: What keeps you creating?
Tommy: Knowing that people are “wetting their pants” watching my content while laughing is good to know.
Jaxon: I get mostly positive comments on my videos and I love reading them and replying to them. And then there’s all meeting random people who recognise us. It’s such a weird thing because everything happened so quickly.
Spent an artsy Sunday afternoon at Vintage Van Gogh (1/71 Goodwood Rd, Goodwood SA 5034) with friends and thoroughly enjoyed exploring our creative sides.I chatted with Vintage Van Gogh’s co-owner, Adam Rankin, to learn more about his flourishing business.
Hey Paolo: What inspired you to start Vintage Van Gogh?
After seeing a friend open a similar business in New South Wales, where “paint & sip” as a concept is already massive, we thought we can bring the idea here in South Australia. Joe Royle and I are huge fans of all kinds of art, from live music to visual art. But getting started with something like acrylic on canvas can be intimidating and we wanted to change that. Opening the studio for BYOs (bring your own food and alcohol), keeping class sizes small, and ensuring that our lessons are easy to follow for beginners are all conscious decisions to make that barrier for entry as low as possible.
Hey Paolo: What are the typical classes/workshops that you offer?
We have a growing list of famous and original artworks that are taught in each class. We run a few public sessions per week which you can join alone, with a partner, or with a small group of friends, as well as private events for larger groups.
Hey Paolo: How do you help local artists through your business?
Although our focus is more on making art accessible to the general public, we’re always open to collaborations with artists and we also participate in the Goody SALA festival every year. Fingers-crossed, Fringe Festival will be going ahead next year too because we would love to host a few events in the festival gardens.
Hey Paolo: Can you customise the workshops? What are the most special/unique classes and events you’ve held so far?
We can and we often do. Favourites so far have been paintings of wedding bouquets for hens nights, surprise portraits of the birthday boy or girl, and of course, life (nude) drawings which are always a blast. I think my personal favourite so far is the “faceless portrait” style painting that we’ve done for a hens.
Hey Paolo: What should you bring to a class?
Just your preferred brand of liquid inspiration and any nibbles you want to bring along for the session. The only thing you need to prepare for is three hours of good music, painting, and fun with a bunch of likeminded people. Don’t stress if you’ve never painted before. The usual level of experience is year 8 art class.
Hey Paolo: How has the arts scene evolved in Adelaide these past few years?
Adelaide has obviously always been an incredible nexus for the arts with the Fringe and surrounding festivals throughout Summer. We’ve only been around for a year and a good chunk of that has been taken up by COVID, but it’s been super exciting to see the increase in enthusiasm for visual art and we’re hoping that in 2021 we can participate in that community in a bigger way.
PHOTOS FROM OUR PAINTING CLASS AT VINTAGE VAN GOGH:
After his successful culinary stints around the world, while opening establishments in various countries and even working for a Michelin-star restaurant, South Australian Billy Petropoulus finally returns home to offer his amazing cuisines inspired by his global travels.
Hey Paolo: What inspired you to start your food businesses?
I have always aspired to own a restaurant. I have planned it for years. I knew that one day, I would open a restaurant called Billy’s Table and that I would offer a global menu inspired by my travels from around the world. I just didn’t know when the time is right. I have travelled for many years; I have tried to learn everything I possibly could so that one day, everything will fall into place. Living abroad gave me many inspirations and ideas that I would hold onto and these eventually were incorporated into my dishes.
Hey Paolo: How did you learn how to cook?
Sometimes you learn things without realising it. Mine came from my parents. Back then, they often asked me to peel potatoes, trim beans, and preserve olives. I had no idea I was learning great values in cooking at such a young age. I would often go with my father picking grapes to make wine, collecting honey from the bees, or baking with mum in the kitchen. I have always helped my father in the garden while picking seasonal fruits and vegetables. In my spare time, I would watch cooking shows for hours. Not to mention, my mum always had her cookbooks laying around the house. So you could say, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Hey Paolo: How colourful is your culinary journey?
I have been cooking for about 20 years now and I have helped open over 60 restaurants and cafes everywhere. I have travelled around the world and have cooked in more than nine countries such as China, USA, and UK. I have cooked for singers, athletes, actors and even royalty. I have also worked in cafes, restaurants, pubs, and even a Michelin restaurant. Fortunately, I currently own 10 cafes and restaurants.
Hey Paolo: Among all the things you’ve done so far, what are you most proud of?
Living in London, I became Bill Granger’s executive chef. Bill is a celebrity chef mostly known for Bills (Sydney), but it has grown to 15 restaurants around the world. That’s where and when I’ve learned who I really was. I was tested in every way possible: emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It was difficult, but all of those experiences made me the person that I am today. I have travelled with Granger to Japan, Korea, Hawaii, and Sydney. It was during that time where I have experienced first-hand the way of life I have wanted for myself.
Hey Paolo: Why return to Adelaide?
I initially returned to start my own business. When you’ve done so much work and traveling abroad, you then realise what you have “in your own backyard.” I was searching for the best produce I could work with in South Australia and we’re very lucky with what we have here. We’re blessed with great seafood, nearby wineries, and an abundant livestock. My own personal favourite is heading to the Adelaide Central Market to search for good supplies/produce.
Hey Paolo: How has South Australia shaped you?
I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on the best produce here in South Australia. It is easy to create what you want in the kitchen when you have access to great produce and meat. I often travel to the regions to get inspired. This helps me to be creative.
Hey Paolo: What is Billy’s Table?
About 10 years ago, I was working next door (Queen Street Cafe) and I was supposed to take over that restaurant after being there for about two and a half years. And things just moved differently and I moved overseas.
I have always fallen in love with the street, Queen Street. But what I like most about this place is the community and the locals — they really make the street so unique. That’s when Billy’s Table came in. I was just waiting for the right time and this place popped up.
Billy’s Table is a woodfire restaurant. Everything is cooked based on my travel experiences over the years and it has a global menu.
Hey Paolo: What is Billy’s Lane?
Billy’s Lane is a new multi food outlet at Myer Centre Adelaide offering four different cuisines while showcasing inspirations from some of my travels around the world:
Gelina Milk Bar is a cereal-themed pastry shop offering daily baked American pies, in-house baked sweets, crazy flavours, and combinations mixed in ice creams.
Little Pot is from the traditional Chinese food scene culture: you pick your items, weigh, and pay.
Boneshaker is from the same premium burger joint I have established since 2017 and has already spanned over eight sites (three of them are in China). It now offers a wider range of items such as hotdogs, chicken, sides, even vegetarian/vegan burgers.
Bao is inspired by my stay in in Asia. We have put together a white fluffy pillow of steamed buns with your choice of fillings. Made in-house, Bao also offers fresh dumplings and homemade organic teas.
Hey Paolo: Where do you see South Australia’s culinary scene heading towards in the near future?
The food scene has changed because of COVID-19; it has disrupted the way we do things now. Our business models need to adapt and change. Our way of service needs to be more creative. We need to start thinking outside the box. Restaurants that never focused on takeaways in the past must now adapt to online orders. We are all in this together and the hospitality industry as a whole needs to help each other out.
South Australia has been very lucky and our food scene is still growing, but online presence is now something I see coming into play.
Hey Paolo: Who is Billy when he’s not managing his restaurants?
I’m a father before I’m a chef. When I have free time, I love teaching my four-year-old about the values of cooking. Every Tuesday, we hit the Central Market and I enjoy teaching her how to pick ingredients like how my parents taught me. Every morning we make superfood smoothies, and a few times a week, we enjoy playing retro video games.
I have a passion for motorbikes and I love taking long rides to wind down, as well as finding some form of exercise to keep my body in shape.
I have also spent a lot of my time this year writing and developing a cookbook. It’s something I’ve been working on for years now, but this year in particular, you could say I’ve had more time on my hands. I aim to have it published by 2021.