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Food, Sport, Inside Story

Serena & Venus Williams Serve it Up in Sofitel Kitchen with Baz Luhrmann As Judge

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins was the place to be with tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, as well as legend Hollywood Director Baz Luhrmann, participating in a fun cooking exhibition and mingling with guests. Both Serena and Venus are adored by Australian tennis fans and it's great to see them back in Melbourne! Sofitel Melbourne on Collins was keen to show the ladies behind the raquets at an exclusive VIP Cocktail event. Graham Wilson from Accor Asia Pacific was a delightful host of the evening and his team were exceptional in all aspects of hospitality.


The World Loves Melbourne was honoured to be invited to this VIP Cocktail Event with only 100 guests, including some of the Sofitel's and Le Club Accor Hotel's loyalty customers. The World Loves Melbourne is familiar with the Le Club Accor Hotel's program and we've stayed in many Accor Hotels and dined out on our privileges card over the years. 


Sofitel Melbourne delivers when it comes to canapes, including the Smoked duck above.

A highlight was the Ceviche below. Service from the wait staff was exceptional.

Posing for the media both Serena and Venus Williams exuded grace and style. Serena sported a mini pink frock with cute bird prints - on trend fashion. (And we noted the "fit" with the bird on the Le Club Accor logo).

Venus Williams stepped out in a chic and delicate white playsuit with frills, The World Loves Melbourne felt was Parisian (in line with the cooking theme of the night).

Baz Luhrmann, always a man of style, dressed in a smart burgundy blazer. Baz was in town for the launch of Strictly Ballroom and was at his charasmatic best. He would have to be one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. I was honoured to have a brief chat with Baz and thanked him for the amazing party he created at The Emporium Melbourne last year. Baz spoke to me about "what makes a great party".

As the celebrities moved to the cooking station for their cooking exhibition the crowd surged forward, with cameras and smartphones at the ready. So much glamour in one place! Serena Williams is current world number one and an 18 Grand Slam singles winner. Venus Williams is a former world number one with 7 Grand Slam singles titles. Both are expected to do well in the upcoming Australian Open. Baz Luhrmann has directed a long list of epic films including Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, Australia and The Great Gatsby.


The dish of choice was "The Serena Surprise" aka Bombe Alaska. We were all given a copy of the recipe on a card with Serena's autograph across it.

Sofitel Executive Chef John Savage was on hand to guide the charming Serena and Venus Williams in their cooking endeavours. The dessert had French influences and was a spectacular success.

Check out these You Tube clips of the cooking exhibition with Serena and Venus Williams and Baz Luhrmann- 

Baz Luhrmann was a charamatic fun judge, dipping his fork into the White chocolate and cherry ice cream, vanilla sponge and cherry gel - declaring the cook off between Serena and Venus Williams to be a "dead heat" (although he commented that each dish was remarkably different in nuance).



The Serena Surprise is a sumptuous dessert...

Sofitel Melbourne also excelled with music entertainment, and the DJ was smooth...

The Serena Surprise dessert is all it's glory...


Serena and Venus are preparing for the Australian Open, starting on January 19th. If their tennis proves to be as exciting as their cooking, we are in for a treat...

Thanks to Sofitel Melbourne on Collins and Fiona Byrne for a great event.