About Our Staff
The scene: Islay island, Scotland, 10:30am. A well-earned dram of whisky goes down after an hour of cutting peat – the compacted earth that is burnt and used to give the single malts their flavour. The experience was unlike any other. That combination of location, participation. Of people, tradition and knowledge. It was here, mentally at least, that Cyrille conceived of EAT/DRINK/ETC.
Born in Switzerland, raised in Namibia and now South African, Cyrille inherited a wanderlust and passion for fine wining and dining from his parents. He found that enjoyment was best served fresh from the location in which it was produced. Eating oysters with Canadian fisherman having just pulled them ashore, an espresso freshly roasted and blended by the master on the slopes of a Costa Rican volcano, a glass of chardonnay with the maker in the cellars of a South African vineyard, a cigar in Nicaragua straight from the factory floor ... luckily for him, the list and range of opportunities are endless.
After earning a degree in hospitality management at the César Ritz Hospitality Management School, Cyrille worked in luxury hotels and resorts throughout Africa, America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Working in the industry further ignited his passion for food and beverage; it became an obsession to go to the source of a product or a brand, to talk to the personas that were behind every aspect of the creation, from soil to shelf.
Cyrille firmly believes that taste is personal. That what is ‘the best’ is a private experience. And that the most exciting time to taste is now. The boutique and sustainable have wide appeal. The ‘new’ world is taking on the ‘old’. Traditional processes are back in fashion. Small brands are upstaging larger ones, forcing big names to reinvent themselves. Choices have multiplied beyond comprehension. Accessibility and information have opened new frontiers. Consumers crave education; they want to know more, in order to enjoy more.
This is the very premise of EDE: a passion for knowledge BEYOND TASTE going - Inside the Name. Behind the Label. Beyond the Brand
It started with a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Amy was introduced to the brew by her older brother at the age of 13. That first sip signified a long-lasting affinity to the finer tastes of life. While a writer at heart, Amy’s appreciation for food and beverage was enhanced by numerous hospitality jobs in Australia – starting as a barista in a local coffee shop from age 16 to working the deli and chocolate counters of a famous café in her Blue Mountains hometown – she was always sampling and experimenting with flavours and combinations.
After finishing high school her taste buds were further enhanced by travels throughout Europe and North America, and she had developed a gourmet tongue before even commencing her degree in journalism back home. During her university years, Amy continued to work in food and beverage at a five-star resort in Leura, New South Wales.
After graduation, it seemed only natural to pursue a career abroad and she has been living and working in the Southeast Asian region ever since, editing a number of lifestyle magazines and eventually starting up her own – the Live Hoi An Magazine, Guide and Map – in Vietnam, where she currently resides.
Whilst living in Vietnam, Amy also scribed the memoirs of celebrity chef Trinh Diem Vy in her book Taste Vietnam. When Cyrille introduced the idea of EAT/DRINK/ETC to Amy in 2009, it piqued both her interest as a professional writer and passionate foodie – a perfect combination for the task of managing editor.
About Our Contributors
Known as the ‘King of Champagne’, Swedish native Richard Juhlin (pronounced Rick-arrd Yuh-lean) is the world’s foremost champagne connoisseur. He has scribed six books about France’s famed effervescent wine, tasted over 8,000 varieties – holding the world record – and holds the rank of Chevalier under the esteemed French Mérite agricole.
Richard has also designed his own glassware, with a specific champagne glass tweaked to capture the full aromatic spectrum and fizzing vivacity of each bubbling beverage. He continues to travel the world, campaigning the virtues of the world’s most celebrated, celebratory drink and captivating many with his sparkling personality. In fact his next focus is on creating a series of members-only champagne bars around the world – you can find out more from his website where you can also join the Richard Juhlin Champagne Club. Vastly knowledgeable, completely passionate, yet remarkably down-to-earth, Richard manages to maintain that artful balance between hard work, play and self.
You can read our exclusive interview with the World’s Number 1 Champagne expert here
He’s been earmarked as England’s real life “Willie Wonka”. Not just because of his coincidentally Dahl-esque name and choice of vocation, but because of his truly extraordinary persona. To say Willie Harcourt-Cooze was a passionate chocolate maker would be a vast understatement. He sees cacao as a way of life. He speaks the velvety vernacular of chocolate and puts the panache in ganache across the world. He’s also on a lifelong mission to create the most dazzling flavour profiles he possible can – whether that be in his single estate 100% cacao bars or dark chocolate tablets married with pure, organic essences.
There hasn’t been a Briton since George Cadbury who has grown, manufactured and branded his own chocolate label from bean-to-bar – which Willie does under his own brand and label Willie’s Cacao. Yet while Willie is practically a household name in the UK because of the Channel 4 “Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory” TV series, the fuss and fame that could come with being a TV persona are not within his purview. For Willie, everything comes down to the source itself: the cacao bean. From his humble beginnings growing up on a small island farm in Ireland, where his family were basically self-sufficient – from catching and smoking fish to making cheese, yoghurt and honey – to adventures that led him to purchasing a magical cacao cloud forest farm in Venezuela, Willie’s zest for making chocolate and his ability to be both “a doer and a dreamer” are an inspiration to many.
You can read more about Willie in an exclusive interview on EDE ONLINE here.
Bottled Water Guru
Dr. Michael Mascha is the creator and publisher of FineWaters (www.finewaters.com), a website portal that is the definitive voice for water connoisseurs and their accompanying lifestyle. The site – and its associated online community—is the leading destination for education and resources for both professionals and consumers about bottled water. Dr. Mascha provides information on the various bottled waters available, discusses etiquette, and how to match certain water with food. He is also the author of the acclaimed book Fine Waters - A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Most Distinctive Bottled Waters called “an encyclopaedia of water, a bible of water” by the London Times. In his book, Dr. Mascha has provided the basics of bottled water connoisseurship and etiquette. He also discusses the importance of water as a natural product with its own terroir.
Before FineWaters, Dr. Mascha co-founded CrownPeak Technology (www.crownpeak.com), widely recognized as a leading content management software company. He holds a PhD in Anthropology and Communication Science from the University of Vienna and lives in Los Angeles and Texas.
Read our Q&A with Dr. Mascha on EDE ONLINE
Scotch Whisky Guru
Charles MacLean is a writer whose special subject is Scotch whisky, about which he has published ten books to date, including the standard work on whisky brands, Scotch Whisky and the leading book on its subject, Malt Whisky, both of which were short-listed for Glenfiddich Awards.
Whisky: A Liquid History, published by Cassell in 2003 was named Wine and Spirit Book of the Year (2005) by the James Beard Foundation of New York. MacLean’s Whisky Miscellany followed in 2004, expanded in 2006 as Whisky Tales; in 2008 he was Managing Editor of Dorling Kindersley’s Eyewitness Companion to Whisky, and in 2009 their World Whiskies. Whiskypedia was published in June 2009.
Charles MacLean is Scotland’s leading whisky expert” The Times, March 2010
He was trained in ‘the sensory evaluation of potable spirits’ by the Scotch Whisky Research Institute in 1992 and has presented numerous tastings and talks in the U.K. and abroad for whisky companies, corporations, universities and clubs, and on radio and TV. He is a member of the Judging Panel (Spirits) of the International Wines & Spirits Competition, and was runner-up as ‘Communicator of the Year’ in the 2003 IWSC Awards.
He acts as a consultant to the whisky industry on a variety of matters, and over the past 20 years has written promotional materials for all the leading companies and brands. He is also Whisky Consultant to Bonhams Auctioneers.
He was elected a Keeper of the Quaich in 1992 for ‘his services to Scotch over many years’ and granted the rare honour of being elected Master of the Quaich, the industry’s highest accolade, in October 2009.
He holds degrees in Art History (St Andrews) and Law (Dundee), is a Writer to Her Majesty’s Signet, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a Visiting Lecturer to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, an Honorary Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto and of Champlain College, University of Trent, a Councillor of the Clan Maclean and a member of the Society of Authors.
He lives near Edinburgh with his wife and three sons.
English Tea Guru
Jane Pettigrew is a tea specialist, historian, writer and consultant. Since 1983, she has been working in the UK and around the world to explain and share the fascinating world of tea.
She has written 13 books on the many and varied aspects of tea, its production, history and culture, and she writes for tea related magazines and journals.
She also gives regular tea masterclasses and tea tastings, speaks on radio and TV and acts as consultant to tea companies, new tea businesses, table ware and tea ware companies.
Read EDE ONLINE’S profile about Jane here
Read Jane’s blogs on other sites:
Australian Truffle Guru
Simon Friend is one of the partners in Friend and Burrell Fine Foods, one of Australia’s premiere truffle exporters. He has been in the gourmet food business for many years, initially in seafood. He was raised in a fishing family and over the last 20 years has been importing and exporting seafood – his most recent venture was in Sulawesi, Indonesia to develop an export market for sashimi grade tuna.
Simon oversees the export business of Friend and Burrell, and of most recently, has been venturing into Southeast Asia, introducing Australia’s finest black truffle, the Tuber Melanosporum, into countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
Read Simon’s Q&A about truffles on EDE ONLINE
Christian Ozzati is one of the leading mixologists in London, having won numerous awards including Outstanding Mixology at 2010’s London Club and Bar Awards and first place in the Ketel One Vodka’s ‘Rituals’ competition. He is a drink’s consultant for Bromptom Brands and previously acted as head bartender for JuJu’s (named London’s best bar in 2011 and best new bar in 2010 by the London Club and Bar Awards). He is also a member of the Experimental Food Society.
Read Christian’s interview with EDE ONLINE
Roberta Muir has managed Sydney Seafood School, one of Australia’s leading recreational cooking schools, since 1997. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Gastronomy from the University of Adelaide and is a qualified cheese judge. She assisted chef Janni Kyritsis in writing his cookbook Wild Weed Pie (Penguin/Lantern, 2006) and wrote 500 Cheeses (Quintet, 2010).
In her spare time, she reviews restaurants, writes freelance food, wine and travel articles, is a keen cook and an enthusiastic diner. Her next two books, A Sardinian Cookbook co-written with chef Giovanni Pilu (Penguin/Lantern, 2012) and The Sydney Seafood School Cookbook (Penguin/Lantern, 2012), are due out in October 2012. She lives in Sydney with her husband, fellow foodie, Franz Scheurer.
See some of her published work at www.food-wine-travel.com
Design Guru - Head of Insight
Sophie sees how the world is changing and feeds this rich knowledge into everything we do at Pearlfisher. As Head of Insight she leads a highly creative team who are responsible for painting a complete picture of the future for us, informing and inspiring us in the most imaginative ways and creating the foundation that is essential to design.
With a degree in fashion from Central St Martins and a background in the fashion industry, Sophie takes insight to a whole new level using her visual expertise to bring together global culture, design aesthetics and brand language. Over the past ten years, she has helped shape the visual expression of both niche and multinational brands, from financial services to food, beverages to luxury and beauty. Beyond our clients, she takes her wealth of design experience into the public domain, sharing her perspectives on how brands can embrace change and create the future.
Design Guru - Creative Partner
As Creative Partner, Jonathan represents Pearlfisher on the global design stage with a vision and determination that ensures everything we do and say creates an impact. Never one to simply accept the status quo, Jonathan continually provokes and questions the world, inspiring us to create design that makes the future better. His bold imagination and ability to see what’s on the horizon has always been crucial in keeping us headed towards new challenges with open minds and fresh eyes.
One of the company’s co-founders, Jonathan has seen Pearlfisher grow from fledgling start-up to international design leader and he remains very much hands-on, tackling the day-to-day decisions and difficult choices that a thriving business generates. He also finds time to serve as a Director of the Design Business Association (DBA). Prior to Pearlfisher, he was Creative Director of Sterling Design New York and Michael Peters New York, and began his design career at Michael Peters & Partners in London. A trustee of the Haller Foundation and a committed family man, Jonathan’s personality embodies the spirit of Pearlfisher – a winning combination of big ideas and bigheartedness.
Vietnamese Food Guru
Ms Trinh Diem Vy’s hospitality is internationally famous.
Her passion for food knows no bounds. She was the first restaurant to cater to foreigners visiting Hoi An, creating menus of family recipes, street foods and local specialties so that visitors could experience Vietnamese cuisine in comfort.
She was also the first Vietnamese chef to start a cooking class in Hoi An and the first to start an international standard bakery and patisserie. Ms Vy has just published her first book Taste Vietnam The Morning Glory Cookbook. The continuing popularity of her restaurants Cargo, Mermaid and the Morning Glory Restaurant and Cooking School is testament to the high standards of the food served. Each venue has become iconic in both Hoi An and Vietnam. Likewise, the delightful Cua Dai hotel is a celebration of Ms Vy’s personal sense of style and taste.