Friday, June 12, 2009

Sizzlin' Grills & Supermodels

Who will be Asia's next hottest face? You can vote at

"Why didn't anyone think of this before?" ~ was the first question I asked Karen Seah, Executive Producer of Refinery Media & Managing Director of The Refinery Studio that's responsible for What's so unique about this reality model search? Well, it's 100% online.

That means you get to interact freely & directly with the models through virtual chat-rooms, web conferences, and participate in online voting. Also, with an innovative technology called Hyperspot, you can simply click on a model's dress and information about its price & brand pop up instantly. Or how about clicking on her face and getting instant beauty tips?

It was also a pleasure to meet & chat with the host of, Charmaine Harn, who really is no stranger to the modelling industry. In 1996, she was specially picked by Eileen & Bill Ford for the 'Ford Supermodel of the World' competition. She then went on to grace runways, magazine covers, advertisements & TV commercials in Paris, Milan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and all over Asia.

I do remember a time when Asian/Pan-Asian models like Charmaine, Junita Simon, Glenda Chong, Nora Araffin & Hanis were household names. But flip through any local fashion magazine these days and all you see are East European girls. Can you even think of one Singaporean supermodel now?

"The numbers have dwindled, and it's sad. We need to bring back that Pan-Asian look. And that's why we're doing, to find Asia's next hottest face," Karen explains. "And the panel of judges we've put together also share this vision, which is very important."

I got to chat with two of these aspiring models, Singaporeans Christabel Campbell and Emilia Soh. They're regular girls - albeit being 1.78m and dwarfing the rest of us. Christabel admits to an irrational fear of heights, and the girls were apparently put through a number of tests that required them to face this fear. Look out for Christabel in them! *evil cackle*

[L to R] Charmaine Harn, Karen Seah, Emilia Soh & Christabel Campbell. debuts Tue 16 June. It's 20 episodes, broadcasted twice-weekly over 10 weeks. It begins with 10 girls, and one girl gets eliminated each week. YOU have the power to keep the faces you want to keep seeing by voting online. Sign up here.

My second conversation today was with celebrity chef & host of License to Grill, currently showing on the Asian Food Channel. He's of course the sizzling BBQ expert Robert Rainford, who gleefully goes "mush! mush!" while marinating his meats! *amused chuckle*

Originally from Jamaica, this Canadian chef sure is passionate about his meats & marinades. I tossed him many questions and he juggled them with absolute confidence and finesse!

I have to admit that my stomach was growling by the time he was sharing with us a simple BBQ shrimp recipe...*drool* Then I went on to torture myself even further by asking him about BBQ desserts.

Oh man... Robert described glazing pineapples & peaches with sugar, grilling them till they caramelise, then serving with vanilla ice cream... I swear I about died and went to heaven there.

Well, to find out more about Robert Rainford and his backyard BBQ programme License to Grill, log on to Asian Food Channel's website.

What a grand way to end my week of memorable conversations! *happy dance* Well, Stan is back next week, while I take Monday & Friday off for a well-deserved rest. Do tune in for more exciting conversations coming up. For now, it's over & out. TGIF!

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