Posts Tagged ‘Ice cream’

The one-piece is back! Check out these amazing swimsuits from Ralph Lauren, Moschino, Roberto Cavalli and Dolce&Gabbana, all featured in this months edition of Tatler. What better way to enjoy the summer that with delicious ice lollies and ice cream. Make your own ice lollies with fresh fruit juices or try a new flavour ice cream.

Food styling tip:

To avoid ice lollies from frosting over, blow on them using a straw or use compressed air such as ‘Dust Off’.

 Try  green tea ice cream served with shiratama dumplings (rice flour) and sweet adzuki bean paste, available at most Japanese restaurants. This desert always reminds me of summer in Tokyo.

Food styling tip:

Make fake ice cream using icing sugar and food colouring, see ‘I Scream for Ice cream’ blog. I used acylic paint as well to get the colour right on this ice cream.


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Last week I met Fadi Younes who is the proud owner of The Frozen Yogurt Factory in Dubai Mall. As you can imagine shooting anything frozen is tricky, with ice cream it is preferable to use fake as it can be controlled and therefore quicker in the long run. These yoghurts however had to look like Mr Whippy straight out of the machines. Sometimes these are made in resin by very talented props makers, but this is very expensive, takes time and once the model arrives there is only so much you can do with it!

I went down to the store earlier in the week to select some of the 50 toppings for our shoot, these range from fresh fruit, gummy bears, mini choc chips and grated oreos (one of the top sellers I was told!) I also had a little practice on the machines and as I suspected it was hard to get that perfect pyramid swirl! We also timed the yoghurts and worked out we had 3 to 4 mins to shoot each one! Scary!!

Fadi had three machines and the yoghurt mix, strawberry, mango and coconut delivered to The Studio the night before the shoot. Once the machine is turned on this mix is frozen in a matter of minutes ready to be dispensed, amazing! Luckily Fadi is excellent at making these yoghurt swirls so I concentrated on working on the composition and balancing the colours of the toppings. We worked out that freezing the yoghurt once a perfect swirl had been created gave us a valuable few more minutes on set!

Just after lunch, Fadi, whose background is in graphic design came up with an idea he wanted to try. We had earlier discussed that we like the yoghurt clean and I had placed the strawberries around it as opposed to on it. Fadi wanted to go step further and do circles in the flavoured syrups around the yoghurt and place the toppings in this. It made for a much more exciting image as there was movement as well as texture. I loved Fadi’s enthusiasm once we got going with this idea!

Frozen yoghurt is a much healthier treat than ice cream as it has a lot less calories. The Frozen Yogurt Factory has positive feedback in Time Out and when I visited the store there were people constantly popping in. One of the great things is that you pay by weight and it is self service so you can decide exactly how much of each topping you want.

Comment from Time Out reader

You will find the store by the cinema, opposite Sega Republic, Dubai Mall. If you are off shopping this weekend why not pop in for a guilt-free treat!

Thank you to Roger Payling, photographer and his assistant Selva and to The Studio and of course to Fadi for being such a creative and enthusiastic client!

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Last week I had the opportunity to go to Florence for 2 days to help on a mini film being made for Ferrari World here in Abu Dhabi. They needed a stylist to help with the Arabic dressed models, the shayla can be a tricky thing!!! This was one of the locations we filmed at!







I was very excited as I had never been to Italy and have recently been looking at the possibility of buying a ruin somewhere in Umbria, next to Tuscany. (I assure you their annual chocolate festival has nothing to do with this choice!) Anyway, I was excited at the prospect of eating Italian pasta in Italy!

It was all a bit of a rush but I was able to spend a few hours on the Wednesday evening exploring the piazzas and trying to find the Ponte Vecchio, only to realise that if you’re on the bridge you can’t actually see the bridge! Duh!!! (I found the above beautiful photo on,”  florencefoodie.wordpress.com ” by Emily Wise Miller which is full of info on eating in Florence.) I then ventured to the Piazza Signoria and treated myself to a delicious glass of rose which came with complimentary nibbles, the olives were out of this world! It felt magical watching the twinkling merry-go-round and  listening to the group of buskers playing double base and saxophone as a young couple had a passionate argument in one corner of the square which of course, ended in an even more passionate kiss! So Italian!

The next morning I  had a few precious hours before I had to race back to the airport. I decided to go to the food market, Mercato Centrale before eating at Marios trattoria which seems to be both highly recommended by locals and travel books. The market was full of fresh pasta, beautiful balsamic vinegars, olive oils, porcini mushrooms, tantalizing truffles and trotters!!














Feeling my tummy rumbling I headed towards one stall which had a queue forming and asked the guy what they were selling. He said,” boiled beef sandwiches!” As I am always up for something new I decided to try one….. well,  it was thin slices of succulent beef topped with salsa verde and chilli salsa in freshly baked white rolls. Amazing!!








But it was so filling I couldn’t quite manage Marios so I wondered round the Duomo for a while to make room for the all important gelato experience which a kind old man offered to photograph…..








This rounded off my short visit nicely and I can’t wait for my next Italian adventure… ciao!

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Last week we were in Damascus, Syria for a lifestyle shoot for the Chams Palace hotel with photographer Katarina Premfors. It was the first time I had visited this intriguing city and the thing that strikes you more than anything is the history of the place! Beautiful, historical buildings, hammams, art exhibitions in old schools, the souk and of course Umayyad Mosque where we were invited in as special guests.

The driving was a little crazy, and i loved the little yellow taxis! There were some other nippy ways to get around town too…….

In  Chams Palace Hotel they have a cafe Called Cafe Brazil. It has open windows onto the street and has a charming Parisian feel to it! At the far end there was this loud methodical thumping noise. I asked the hotel manager what was going on and he took me over to meet two men, they were making ice cream!!! they explained the process to me: first they put the cream into freezing containers and then pounded it with a large wooden pestle. When the consistency was right it was rolled up and rolled in pistachios. They then slice this when serving to customers. I was given some to taste and it was rich and creamy with a delicious crunch!

Cafe Brazil Ice Cream!

I had a great few days there but would love to have had more time to explore and look around. The people were so friendly and even with limited communication I realised that everyone we met had such a sense of humour, like make you laugh out loud, funny!!! There are some lovely boutique hotels in the old city which definitely deserve a re-visit! Here are a couple we visited and I look forward to my next stay at one of them and tasting some more local dishes as I have been told that the Syrians are known for being the best cooks in the Middle East!

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