CLEVER Q&A AUSSIES NEC­TAR AND STONE

Cre­ative di­rec­tor of bou­tique dessert and styling brand Nec­tar and Stone, Caro­line Khoo, talks her first cook­book , her love of pink and kitchen fail­ures.

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Your first book I’m Just Here for Dessert has hit book­stores. Tell us about your in­spi­ra­tion? I’m Just Here for Dessert was in­spired by my sur­round­ings, past and present ex­pe­ri­ences, things that I love and what I have learnt. It is a jour­ney in which I build lay­ers, adding to the ex­pe­ri­ence for the reader. You have 386k fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram. Why do you think peo­ple love see­ing your sweets? It’s a vis­ual over­load – we eat with our eyes first. I think my com­mu­nity have come to know and un­der­stand me; they ap­pre­ci­ate the qual­ity of the photography, styling, con­cept and ideas that come to life in the form of sweets. Any­one who fol­lows you on In­sta­gram will be fa­mil­iar with your pretty pink ed­i­ble cre­ations. Have you al­ways been deeply into pink? No, I was never fond of pink un­til I started Nec­tar and Stone. When I had my two sons, I felt ev­ery­thing around me was mas­cu­line, and I was search­ing for some­thing del­i­cate and fem­i­nine. Nec­tar and Stone seemed to take on my ex­pres­sion of all things pretty and femme; hence the rea­son why I think pink is so prom­i­nent in my work. You’ve col­lab­o­rated with some pretty in­cred­i­ble brands such as Dior, Tif­fany & Co and Chris­tian Louboutin. Is there an Aus­tralian la­bel that you’d love to col­lab­o­rate with? Yes, these brands are amaz­ing. I have been very for­tu­nate to have worked with some great Aus­tralian brands, too, like Mimco and Sa­man­tha Wills. There­with, Your like are dessert Camil­laso many cre­ation­sand la­bels Marc.I’d love sit to workon the bor­deryou ever be­tween­find peo­ple food re­luc­tan­tand art. Do toI love eat that them? peo­ple find the desserts pretty. They– they are just never take a re­luc­tant­photo first.to eat the desserts Wha­tor a love came of first, stylinga love– and of why? bak­ing A vis­ual love per­son,of styling.so thisI have def­i­nitelyal­ways been came a first. very The styling el­e­ment also al­lows me to de­velop ideas and con­cepts, which I trans­fer onto my bak­ing. Do you have any words of wis­dom for your for­mer self as you were em­bark­ing on Nec­tar and Stone? I use the word ‘fil­ter’ a lot now. Fil­ter what ad­vice is given, fil­ter com­ments, fil­ter the good en­ergy. We need to use our fil­ter more. How would you de­scribe Nec­tar and Stone to some­one who isn’t aware of it? Nec­tar and Stone takes you on a jour­ney of con­cept dessert de­sign and breathes lay­ers of soft del­i­cate ex­pres­sion, fem­i­nine de­tails and orig­i­nal­ity. Have you ever turned up just for the desserts? Are you a sweets-over-savoury per­son? [laughs] Truth be told, yes. There have been many times, whether at fam­ily cel­e­bra­tions, events or even restau­rants, that I re­quest dessert for my meal. I am a savoury per­son too, though, and of­ten crave Asian food such as dumplings. I love soy sauce. Have you ever had any spec­tac­u­lar fail­ures you can tell us about? Well, I would be ly­ing if I said I didn’t. Yes, I’ve had many fail­ures in the kitchen. I think mak­ing mac­arons was the worst one for me – try­ing to work out what I was do­ing wrong. It took many at­tempts un­til I mas­tered it. nec­tarand­stone.com

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