Monthly Archives: October 2014

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World Cup Home in Ballina

World Cup Home in Ballina

After competing in the ISKA (International Sports Karate Association) World Cup in Sydney on the weekend Ballina’s Bec Washington has brought home the ultimate title, Karate World Cup Champion.

The 24 year old, who was already the National Champion in Taekwondo, is now also the international Karate Champion.

The weekend began with Bec, or Miss Bec as she is known to the many other students at Ballina and Alstonville’s Strike Martial Arts, winning second place in Koshiki Full Contact. “This is not a bad effort for the first time seeing as she didn’t even know the rules” joked her Instructor, Strike Martial Arts’ Master Shane Mckeahnie.

On day two, in front of 5000 spectators at Sydney’s Whitlam Leisure Centre Bec pulled out all stops to win first place in continuous sparring

“It was crazy” said Bec Washington. “They were some of the hardest fights of my life. The woman that I beat had twenty kgs on me. It’s completely different fighting to Taekwondo.

“It was really exciting to have Sir (Master Shane Mckeahnie) there with me, especially as we competed together. And to have my mum there to support me was pretty special. The first day was a really good experience. I didn’t really know the rules so we just had to go for it. The intensity was an indicator of what the next day was going to be like. To come and out win the continuous sparring was unreal. I had to pull on everything I have ever learnt and all my training over the past nine months to get me through to the finals.

The support I have received from my Coach Master Shane and all the people at Strike has been phenomenal”.

The Karate World Cup is held every three years and is attended by competitors from all over the world.

Bec Washington is now qualified to compete in the Australasian Titles for Karate in Sydney in November, followed by the national Taekwondo Championships in Adelaide in December followed by the Canadian Open and the US Open in January.

Strike Martial Arts is currently seeking sponsorship for their Elite Competition Team.


Massimo Mele Heads Byron at Byron Champagne Dinner

Massimo Mele Heads Byron at Byron Champagne Dinner

The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, in association with the Champagne Bureau, is thrilled to announce Massimo Mele as Chef for their annual Vogue Living Champagne Dinner, to be held Friday October 31. Massimo will prepare a four course degustation dinner for the event, to be matched to five of the world’s finest Champagnes.

“I’m humbled to be invited to cook for this dinner to be honest, it’s a pretty big deal” said Massimo Mele. “And The Byron at Byron is an amazing space to be cooking in. For me it’s about showcasing my style of food and my style of eating. Which is sharing, everybody getting involved”.

Domayne’s Chief Stylist Sue Kropp will style the Byron at Byron Restaurant in fashion for the evening, a highlight in the national culinary calendar. Previous Chefs to cook for the Byron at Byron Vogue Living Champagne Dinner include Mark Best, Ryan Squires and Justin North.

“The logistics of this event are serious” said The Byron at Byron’s General Manager Lyn Parché “One year we had ninety Philippe Starck chairs trucked in. For some years we have used Waterford Crystal. That’s five types of glass, one for each Champagne. And the styling is everything. Sue travels the world and so is able to bring to us the latest look. Last year there were fresh roses and candles hanging from the ceiling and on the tables were dozens of brightly coloured glass candelabras. And the guest list is fabulously eclectic”.

Massimo Mele was destined to carry on his family tradition of growing and serving great Italian food. Born in Tasmania and raised in Naples he watched his Nonna, aunties and mother prepare food every day and he worked in the family restaurant ‘La Bella Napoli’ from a young age. In 1999 he was named “Apprentice of the Year” at the Restaurant & Catering Awards and was also a National Finalist in the Nestle Golden Chefs Hat Award. In 2004 Massimo opened Mud Bar and Restaurant in Launceston, which after just one year received a Chefs Hat. He was named the winner of the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the Lexus Young Chef of the Year Competition in 2005, which saw him cook for then Prime Minister John Howard.

In 2006 Massimo moved back to Italy to master his craft, spending time on the family farm learning, picking and cooking fresh produce. From 2008 to 2013 he ran multiple kitchens for the Hugos Group in Sydney, during which time the group won multiple awards ranging from Best Informal Italian to Best Pizza Restaurant in Australia.

Earlier this year Massimo took over the kitchen as Executive Chef of newly renovated and re-launched La Scala on Jersey in Paddington Sydney, which brings to life his ethos of Tutti A Tavola – ‘everyone to the table’.

The following five Champagnes will be featured at the 2014 Vogue Living Champagne Dinner – Champagne Bollinger Rosé NV, Champagne AYALA Blanc de Blancs (grand Cru) 2007 Vintage, Champagne Pol Roger reserve NV, Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique NV, Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Vintage 2007.

Stay tuned to for Massimo’s dinner menu.

Byron at Byron Vogue Living Champagne Dinner $195 per person. Alternatively a weekend package is available:

2 night’s Accommodation in a Deluxe Spa Suite

Full buffet breakfast daily for two adults

Two tickets to the Vogue Living Champagne Dinner

Complimentary daily yoga class

– $665 per person

For bookings and enquiries 02 6639 2105 or