ONE third of pastry chef Anna Polyviou’s time is spent consulting at Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, where the dessert queen is celebrated for her sell-out Dessert Degustation.
The rest of her life involves “doing crazy, exciting things like the Good Food and Wine Show in Perth”.
Polyvious, with her famous pink mohawk, is heading west for this year’s event at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from August 23 to 25.
She will demo her signature sweet PB&J choux burger made with peanut butter cremeux and raspberry jelly between a choux bun burger on the Princess Cruises Theatre stage.
Show goers can also buy tickets to her Sweet Smash high tea featuring gay-time macaron, PB&J choux, fairy bread trifle and toasted tart.
“We’re creating the pinata which someone will have to smash so we can get into the macarons,” Polyviou said.
“That’s going to be epic and I’m only doing that in Perth.”
As much as Polyviou is looking forward to the event, she has also planned a day off with a trip to Rottnest Island to see the quokkas.
“Oh my god they are so cute,” she said.
“I keep staring at the photos and posting them to my partner saying how much we have to go.”
Polyviou grew up in Melbourne with fond memories of helping her mum in the kitchen, even if she was forced to be there at the time.
“Our family would always come over on Sundays, so Mum would need help and I’d be in the kitchen,” she said.
“Our Greek Easter would involve boiling eggs, making bread and different Greek sweets.
“I think my passion and inspiration has a lot to do with my mum. I know everyone says their mum or their grandma taught them, but Mum was a big influence and still is.
“And I surround myself with like-minded people as well so I can grow, develop and create.”
Originally a savoury chef, Polyviou started her training at The Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne (a year after George Calombaris started his apprenticeship) and furthered her studies at Claridge’s in London after winning Best Apprentice in Victoria.
Career highlights range from releasing her own cake mix (which made her cry), publishing her first cookbook Sweet Street (a dream come true) and appearing as a guest on Masterchef Australia and co-host on Family Food Fight Australia.
“Masterchef changed my life so I will never forget the door opening from them,” she said.
“The boys are amazing and I never expected they’d leave the show, even though filming takes up so much time. They are part of the brand so whoever does take that next step has big shoes to fill.
“I think a lot of people have been put forward and there’s been whispers of this person or that person but it’s not an easy position to fill. I’m sure they’ll make the right choice for the general public and what Masterchef is about.”