Thursday, 2 November 2017


The Life by Design Launch event at the Canberra Centre featured stores such as Bed Bath n Table, Haigh’s Chocolates (cue happy tears), Husk, The Pen Boutique and Top 3 by Design open their doors to lines of Canberrans. There are lots of launch offers available over the course of the weekend and throughout November so be sure to check them out! The Canberra Centre ensured that their audience was well fed with tasty treats and champagne being on offer. 

Donna Hay’s ‘Style to Seasoned Perfection Masterclass’ was the best master class I had even attended. Charismatic, engaging, down to earth and hilarious she captivated the attention of the audience with ease. “Do you like my Foxtel series?” she asked the crowd, “Yes,” we all chorused. “Good, because it nearly killed me,” she remarked. 

There were two rounds of tastings, the first being her peanut slice which we watched her create and the second being her truffles. Her dishes are easy and affordable, being the perfect dishes to bring to Christmas lunches. She took this idea a step further and demonstrated how to wrap books with tea towels, decorate simple brown wrapping paper with rosemary and flowers and even how to make your own popcorn in 2 minutes. 

She has a unique way of calling out to parents and addressing their deepest fears when it comes to creating simple but creative meals for their families. She feels humbled when children approach her and tell her how much they love her recipes, more so recently than adults. Targeting children has been nothing but a success to Donna - surprisingly enough she shared with us that it was the exact audience that she was warned not to focus on. She answered the audiences questions with in depth knowledge and provided solutions and alternatives for every dietary requirement. Some of her tips being those allergic to nuts to roast green pepitas seeds and get a similar taste; and for those not a fan of garlic to opt for spices on medium heat to create a kick of flavour. 

It’s no surprise that she’s one of Australia’s leading food editors, it was magical watching her transform basic ingredients into masterpieces - encouraging those of all skill levels to cook at home. Those who attended also scored a goodie bag and Donna Hay’s “Basics to Brilliance Kids” cookbook! 

Words and Photography by Maryanne xx 

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