Tag Archives: vol. 8

Consummate Artisan 完美匠心

Miguel Meirelles

Owner of Miguel Meirelles Antiques

EZOZ8-3.jpg“I love collecting and trading antiques, particularly in finding pieces in its original state.  I love to show people what I discovered and in the exact condition I discovered it. It’s about restoration and doing the right thing by the furniture.”

Aphrodite promised us ‘Love conquers all’.  In the case of Miguel Meirelles – Love moved mountains, or at least, an antique business across continents.

Born in Mozambique, Miguel Meirelles studied under master craftsmen at the Institute of Art and Restoration in Florence.  He operated an antique and restoration workshop in the bustling hub of Florence for 11 years.

In the spring of 1989 Miguel met Anna, an Australian girl holidaying in Florence.  “I immediately knew she was the one, and still is, 28 years later,” he shares dreamily.

In a heartbeat, he moved his entire operation to Melbourne, Victoria.  Trained in antique conservation and restoration, Miguel set up shop, first in Hawksburn and then Malvern, specialising in French and European antiques.  His clients are the National Gallery of Victoria, museums, top French antique dealers and private collectors.

“We like to bring buyers and collectors into the whole process of discovery and conservation methods for them to experience the joy of bringing something back to life.  That’s the spirit of the shop,” he enthuses.

As an expert and devout restorer, he says, “We will lovingly restore antiques but never lose its historical character.  As temporary owners, it is our responsibility to pass it on to our future generation.”

“Sadly, a lot of these pieces cannot be made today because the skill is gone in our high technological era. The artisans are gone,” he laments.

On the artistic and cultural barometer, Melbourne is the antithesis of Florence, according to this master of French antiques.  “Florence is a splendid city but things can get quite stuffy.

“The Europeans are more passionate about the historical value of antiques whereas Australian buyers and collectors focus more on aesthetics and pragmatism.”

Miguel has also seen major trends shift in the realm of arts and antiquities.  “Over 27 years I have seen interests sparked from English, Georgian or French, to American chic and industrial vintage before ending up with what I would call ‘hotel lobby furniture’ which reminds me of Soviet era items where everything is clean and formal, devoid of character.  But I think the pendulum has swung as far as it would go.”

“Today successful Melbournians with nice houses are mixing contemporary with classical.  For example, a baroque mirror might hang amidst a set of stark furniture.  Then the antique mirror will transcend from being a mirror to an enviable work of art.  The pieces that leave my shop double in personality and presence when displayed in its destination house where they shine as the centre of attention and conversational pieces.”

Even more sacred than his business, is his beautiful family.  A devoted husband, a loving father to two boys and a girl, family and friends declare that he is an exemplary son-in-law too, when they observe Miguel in action – fielding business calls and personal ones from his mother-in-law, juggling professional and love-spun matters with natural ease and tenderness.    

Advice to new buyers and collectors?  “Select with your heart. Close your eyes and let your heart speak, rather than be led by someone or superficial trends.  People know and can sense what they want but are often scared to develop that instinct.  At Miguel Meirelles we work and draw from our clients’ intuition and perspicacity,” he concludes.


Miguel Meirelles出生于莫桑比克,过后在佛罗伦萨艺术和修复研究所大师级工匠底下学习,他曾在佛罗伦萨繁华的中心地带经营一个古董修复工作室长达11年。










关于给新买家和收藏家的建议?“跟随心的方向做出选择。闭上眼睛,聆听你的心声,而不是由某个人引导或追逐表面的趋势。人们清晰感觉到他们想要什么,但经常恐惧直面本能。我们的工作是引导解读客户的直觉和洞悉力。” 他总结。


by Sloane Patterson

A Lifetime Affair with Chocolates 倾注一生的 巧克力爱恋

Ross James Harvey

Founder of Chokolait

EZOZ8-5.jpg“We’ve seen many average cafes and restaurants being opened in Melbourne, more chains and franchise on the high street pumping stuff out without any care, passion or love. We thought that if we want to be in the F&B business, we have to own and manage our own business.”

What happens when you have perfected an all-time favourite ingredient? Over centuries, one of life’s most delightful desserts – chocolates – are adored by many, used as natural remedy for pain and shock and even as gifts to showcase love and adoration for another Homo sapien. Chokolait founded by Ross James Harvey is a name originally known as Chokolait Hub. Essenze interviews Harvey on his lifetime passion perfecting the science of delectable cocoa making.

Opened since 2007, Ross James Harvey with his wife Mariana have fostered their pursuit towards perfection through their love for chocolate-making. Their simple philosophy in this family-owned business is to make and serve extraordinary chocolates using only the best ingredients and paying the finest attention towards a full chocolate experience.

Using only genuine Belgian courverture chocolate, the art of chocolate making, is in the hands of a truly experienced culinary professional who had years perfecting his skill and taste bud. Harvey has not only gone through professional culinary training, but also years working in the F&B industries taking up technical roles in marketing and business development and also cooking for Asia’s strictest critics. His journeys have covered Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia.

“Because I was exposed to so much [of Asian cuisine], Asia became a part of me. There’s just so much to admire coupled with new adventures and excitingly new tastes,” said Harvey.

The Mandarin Ducks: It was when he moved to the Philippines in 1980 to head and expand the Asian headquarter of a company that he was working for that he met his current wife – without knowing that, years later, they will eventually start Chokolait together in Melbourne, Australia. Now Mariana Harvey is the sole Truffle Maker for both of their shops in Melbourne.

“Rolling the truffles is an art and she [Mariana] does that better than anyone that I’ve [ever] known.”

Known as Melbourne’s Best Belgian Chocolate retailer, the Harveys pride themselves in providing exceptional chocolate experience no matter how lengthy or brief a visit is at their store and make a point to place the quality and product development of its chocolate making alongside customer’s feedback.

“The most satisfying thing for us is when we put our products on the shelves and people who comes in want to buy them immediately. We take pleasure in their visual feast before they actually taste our product.”

“We’ve seen many average cafes and restaurants being opened in Melbourne, more chains and franchise on the high street pumping stuff out without any care, passion or love. We thought that if we want to be in the F&B business, we have to own and manage our own business.”

The famous Pavlova: The chocolate pavlovas, one of Chokolait’s signature dessert, are made fresh from the oven every morning. They are made from the finest Belgian chocolate infused with double cream and served with seasonal strawberries specially picked from the market by Ross. This special recipe has been thoroughly perfected through customer’s feedback consisted of 50% Asian clientele who prefer a softer and less sugary concoction.

The Competition in the Chocolate Business: Harvey touched on the challenges of running a dessert store and how to treat his staff more than just their employees, as well as the principal to achieving perfection. With more chains and franchises popping up every day on the high street, it is only obvious that Chokolait will need to step up their game in this competitive retail and F&B industry. Despite the demand to maintain quality sweets, their venture allow freedom for creativity, an advantage almost non-existent in franchise businesses.

“The most satisfying thing for us is when we put our products on the shelves and people who comes in want to buy them immediately. We take pleasure in their visual feast before they actually taste our product.”

即使跨越数个世纪,巧克力依旧是被世人热捧的甜品之一,除了作为疼痛与打击的自然疗法辅助品,甚至可当做礼物表达对于一个人的爱意和恋慕。由Ross James Harvey创办的“Chokolait” (最初被称为 Chokolait Hub),至于将最喜爱的原料发挥得尽善尽美是什么境界?Essenze透过采访Harvey叙述他倾注终生激情,制作完美愉悦可可的理论。

Ross James Harvey和妻子Mariana自2007年开始,在制作巧克力的热情驱使下,力求传递手工巧克力的醇香甜美。这个家族企业的简单哲理是使用最好原材料造就精致巧克力,并在过程中投注了无限心力,反复琢磨和精益求精。



鸳鸯伴侣:1980年他在菲律宾领导和扩大一家公司在亚洲的总部,并且姻缘巧合遇到了现任妻子 – 几年后,他们最终一起在澳大利亚墨尔本开创Chokolait。现在Mariana Harvey是负责他们墨尔本店面独一无二的松露巧克力制作。




著名的Pavlova: Pavlova巧克力是Chokolait的招牌甜点之一,坚持每天早上新鲜出炉,在精选的比利时巧克力注入浓鲜奶油,然后加入他们在市场上精心挑选的当季草莓。这个独特食谱已通过客户意见回馈彻底完善改良,其中约50%亚洲客户偏爱柔和少糖的调制口感。



by Monica Tong

Glory to Beauty, Charisma & Talent 闪耀着美丽、魅力与天赋

Best Dress

Book launching ceremony (from left): His Excellency Mr Kiyoshi Itoi, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Michael Yeoh Oon Kheng, Ch’ng Huck Theng, The Honourable Danny Law Heng Kiang, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Tan Khoon Hai, Her Excellency Miss Ekajit Kraivichien & Dato’ Eric Lim.


INPenang International Outstanding Achievers Awards (from left): Chef Walter Lee (Thailand), Nicole Chow (Australia), Dato’ Elaine Kang (Malaysia) & Bernard Yong (Malaysia)


Sponsors & VIPs (from left) : Tony Goh (Sponsor – Cititel Hotel Management), Waqar Saeed Bhatti (Sponsor – Nasim Carpets), Teh Poey King (Sponsor – Asia Gemological Laboratory), Dato’ Eric Lim (Sponsor – Cititel Hotel Management), Susan Chyntana (Sponsor – Focal Concepts), Dato’ Ar Ooi Sian Hian (Sponsor – Ghee Hiang), The Honourable Danny Law Heng Kiang, Ch’ng Huck Theng, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Tan Khoon Hai, His Excellency Mr Kiyoshi Itoi, Her Excellency Miss Ekajit Kraivichien, Franco Tan (Sponsor – Aim Max Media) & Oo Lean Hooi (Sponsor – Ichi Media).

Penang born Nicole Chow won the INPenang International Outstanding Achievers Award 2017 for Australia. Nicole is the Managing Director of the highly regarded United Asia Group (UAG). Nicole established UAG in 1994 after emigrating from Singapore to Melbourne with a desire to be a successful property developer. Today, she continues to contribute her considerable energy, passion and astute business mind to the task of leasing both UAG studios in Melbourne and Singapore.

Launched in 2007, INPenang Awards is Penang’s most significant and celebrated event that recognises outstanding organisations and amazing leaders that have achieved success in their respected fields and contributed to the society of Penang. It is a night when charming lights shine a brighter hue on the flashy red carpet and champagne glasses chime a resounding song of elegance. It is a night where we celebrate some of Penang’s highest society and pay tribute to beauty, charisma and talent.

The INPenang Awards, in its 3rd glorious edition, celebrated the evening honouring Penang’s assiduous entrepreneurs and industry veterans whose successes have gained the island state of Penang reputation as an incipient city with growing opportunities. This year, two new award categories for individuals, namely the INPenang International Outstanding Achievers Award and the INPenang Lifetime Achievement Award were introduced. These winners are specifically chosen for their contribution to their community and significant role in putting Penang on the world map.

The crème de la crème of awards of the evening – The INPenang Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 – was vehemently awarded to Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Michael Yeoh Oon Kheng, the Chief Executive Officer of The Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) for his long-standing leadership and prominent contributions to the Penang and Malaysian society. He also serves as the Chairman of the World Chinese Economic Forum and the ASEAN Leadership Forum.

Winners of the INPenang International Outstanding Achievers Awards include Bernard Yong (Malaysia), Chef Walter Lee (Thailand), Nicole Chow (Australia) and Dato’ Elaine Kang (Malaysia).

Winners of the INPenang Awards for local Penang organizations include Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Gurney Paragon Mall, Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd, Entopia, Winter Warmers Coffee & Tea House, Wonderfood Museum Penang, Vouk Hotel Suites, GenomixLAB, Penang Medical College, and Ideal Property Group.

在槟城出生,来自澳大利亚的 Nicole Chow 获得 2017 年 INPenang国际卓越成就奖。Nicole是受到高度评价的房产企业 United Asia Group (UAG) 的董事经理。她在 1994 年从新加坡移居到墨尔本后设立UAG,立志作为出色的房地产开发商。今天,她继续为在墨尔本和新加坡的UAG工作室运筹帷幄投入精力,拥有无限激情和敏锐商业头脑。



晚会上的精英大奖:“2017年 INPenang 终身成就奖” 颁发予亚洲战略与领导研究所(ASLI)首席执行员丹斯里杨元庆博士,鉴于他长期积极领导,对槟城乃至马来西亚社会做出的杰出贡献。杨博士同时也是世界华人经济论坛和东盟商务论坛的

INPenang 国际卓越成就奖获奖者包括杨昭明 (马来西亚),厨师 WalterLee (泰国),
Nicole Chow (澳大利亚) 和拿督江梦蕾 (马来西亚)。

INPenang大奖的本地团体组织获奖者包括:香格里拉沙洋度假酒店、葛尼百丽宫广场、Ewein Zenith私人有限公司、虫鸣大地、Winter Warmers Coffee & Tea House、槟城食物狂想馆、Vouk套房酒店、GenomixLAB,槟城医学院和宏升集团。