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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 January 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 JANUARY 2018 23 FOOD FOR THOUGHT awesome. Anna's Mess is something I created a long time ago. It's been an ongoing process. Originally when I went on MasterChef I wanted to go on a stepladder with goggles, but they said, 'no' so instead I picked it up and threw it. "I wanted to do it to see people's reactions. Some people didn't like it. But 99 per cent of people went berserk. They thought it was the best thing ever because the dessert looks so beautiful and elegant and you take so much time and then I just picked it up and threw it. People are like, 'What? What are you doing?'" The video of Polyviou smashing her Anna's Mess went viral and the success of the dessert creation started to see her build a following overseas. "I went to Taiwan for a promotion within the hotel and there was a whole room of television cameras," she says. "I was on all the news channels and I couldn't walk down the street. People were walking up to my hotel room door and knocking on it, it was nuts. Then we were selling Anna's Mess and there were lines wrapped around the street leading into the shopping plaza." Dealing with fame wasn't the only issue Polyviou had as her career took off in Australia. Early on some members of the local Greek community had problems dealing with her distinct look. But over time she has been accepted and is now embraced as a role model of that very community. "It makes me proud being Greek Australian," she says. "I'm so proud of the fact that I can speak Greek fluently. I am very honoured that I might be going over to Cyprus to represent Australia. I have also been invited by a group of women from the Greek community to the NSW Parliament House and that's an honour. "I am also very good friends with Father Arthur at Mascot church and he asked me to speak to the young people there and I did, fluently in Greek. They're probably looking at me and saying, 'who is this woman who's standing here and speaking to us with all the earrings'. "I tried to change their mind and concept on how we should not judge and label people." Last Christmas, Polyviou created a train that stood at the entrance of the Shangri La Hotel's lobby. The stunning creation was made from gingerbread, icing sugar and lollies, and featured wheels that moved, turntables that spun, and lights that flashed with the train also blowing ‘smoke’ out the back. Again, Polyviou's creation became a global success and it has given her an idea for her next big project and, amongst all the other activity, 2018 will be another big year for her. "First my cookbook comes out in July," she says. "I am so proud to be able to produce a cookbook that features my whole journey from the complex stuff I do on TV, to food my mum has taught me to cook, to all the cool stuff we do in the hotel. "Then I want my own TV show. What I would want to do is give people a behind the scenes view of what we do here at the Shangri La. Like the Gingerbread Train I made during Christmas. "I want people to see what actually goes into it. I also want them to see how I organise my annual Sweet Street event that has DJs, breakdancers, food stalls, skateboarders riding up and down, and graffiti artists. "Then I also want to give people a look at how I organise my overseas events in places like India, Singapore, and China. I want people to come on the journey with me. At the moment I am loving all of it. I love that I am working in a hotel that allows me to grow within it, its brand and my brand as well. What an opportunity. It's all so exciting." Stay up-to-date with Anna’s ventures and adventures on Instagram @annapolyviou Anna’s Mess, cracked open. Canapés at Shangri La’s Festive High Tea. Sweet Street desserts at Shangri La, Sydney. Mini bites of heaven at Shangri La’s Festive High Tea. Anna and her killer team. Anna’s giant gingerbread house.
20 January 2018
03 February 2018