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Carmen

Carmen Jenner is a travel, food, and lifestyle writer, wanna-be photographer and the founder of Fluffy Towel. She specialises in travel memoirs, destination pieces, hotel reviews, guidebook contributor, travel advice, restaurant reviews, family travel, and copywriting.

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Perth, Australia

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The night I met Anthony Bourdain

filed09 Jun 2018 from

From drug-addled chef to successful author and TV presenter, Anthony Bourdain wasn’t only a storyteller but a story creator. He lived the stories he told not merely as an observer, but as a participant, and in doing so, he connected us to worlds many of us will never experience.

I’ve been a die-hard fan since encountering his first book Kitchen Confidential; I’ve savoured every word many times over. I was thrilled to discover he hosted an entire TV series, A Cook’s Tour giving the viewer an insight into the calibre of his compassion, grit and humour. Now I could read his words while hearing his distinct voice in surround sound, and by voice, I mean both his husky speaking voice and the succinct voice of a writer. He broke the travel reporting mould without the gloss but instead with refreshing candour.

I met him once after a presentation he gave in Brooklyn, where his intelligence was as apparent his humbleness. He knew he’d been blessed with a second chance at success. His wife arrived in the audience with her entourage. He’d always said he’d wished he’d been born into an Italian family, so he married into one instead. She had such a presence I suspected the audience watched her almost as intently as her husband on stage. And I got the feeling he was more than ok with that.

It was one of those steamy New York City nights, and the “Meet & Greet” function was held in a Brooklyn brownstone converted into a bar full of equally zealot fans. As the jazz band swooned, we alighted the stairs in trepidation to meet THE man himself. I was one of the last in the line. The temperature upstairs was sweltering, and he was clearly uncomfortable and grumpy. Nonetheless, we all persisted with the publicity circus, he as the reluctant showman and us as the expectant fans.

At last, it was my turn, and I handed him my book to sign. He glanced up at me without words. I gushed a little before asking, “So when are you going to do a show in Perth?” At last, I had his full attention and gaze, “Oh Perth, yes I have been. I decided to do a show in Sydney instead.” I don’t remember my response except that my husband was standing ready with the camera to capture this awkward moment in time.

There are thousands of stories of off-screen encounters with Anthony, some equally irreverent from what I’ve heard, which is what made his work so brilliant, and many touching. All of them influential in some way. He lived as he ate; without fear.

He appeared to have it all, which is why it’s so hard to believe he voluntarily ended his own life. Although he did appear nostalgic during his last episode in Hong Kong. How can we ever truly know; I believe there was no note.

An ambassador of food, travel, culture and let’s face it, basically the universe, he brought the world to the page and our screens. And for that, I’m eternally grateful. An incredible legacy we’re free to dip back into at will. He gave the ultimate gift.

Have child, will travel

filed27 Jul 2017 from

 

 

As soon as my daughter was born, I knew her arrival would alter the shape of my life for all eternity. Determined to continue travelling amid the routine, tantrums, sickness and fatigue, I figured the sooner I introduced her to the joys of travel the easier it would become. But no amount of planning can prepare you for the inevitable stance a young feisty lady can take. Little Miss Manhattan, indeed!

While there is plenty of information available …

The Artists of the Margaret River Region wins a gold IPPY award

filed27 Apr 2017 from

I’m thrilled to announce The Artists of the Margaret River Region has won a gold IPPY award in the Non-fiction Australia/New Zealand category at the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards in New York City. As the author of The Artists of the Margaret River Region, I had the daunting task of interviewing and crafting the profiles of 80 artists from the Margaret River region. Please click on the cover below to enter a kaleidoscope of paint, ink, pencil, pastel, …

Richard Avedon photography collection comes to Perth

filed06 Aug 2014 from

Never has the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” rung more true than in the instance of photographer Richard Avedon.

Currently displayed at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth is very fortunate to only be the second city in the country to host Avedon’s exhibition. It’s the closest most of us will ever get to the famous faces peering out of their frames; especially since many of them are no longer with us. Framed specifically for this …

Permanent Impressions: Independent Publisher Book Awards Winner

filed01 May 2014 from

I’m very proud to report Permanent Impressions: A salute to contemporary heroines won Bronze in the Best Regional Non-fiction category for the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPYs. It was an absolute honour to work on such an amazing project with the incredibly talented artist Jana Vosedil and dynamic Carina Hoang of Carina Hoang Communications, who incidentally won Silver for her Boat People book in 2012. Permanent Impressions pays homage to 50 of Western Australia’s …

5Pointz(less) act of destruction

filed20 Nov 2013 from

In what is deemed as a spiteful act on the owners part, 20 years of graffiti art has been wiped clean at 5Pointz. The sprawling warehouse in Queens has been a graffiti mecca for artists all over the world. The dilapidated building complex has been earmarked for demolition for the end of 2013 to make way for luxury apartments. Perhaps the whitewashing of the artwork is a humane approach to the art-clad walls being pulled down, but I’m in …

Van Gogh, Dali & Beyond: The World Reimagined

filed02 Sep 2013 from

The Perth Winter Arts festival may officially be over for 2013 but the delights continue with the likes of Picasso, Van Gogh and Dali. Since they’ve travelled in outstanding company all the way from New York’s MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) it would be foolish to not rush to the Art Gallery of Western Australia to bathe in their glory, angst and pain.

Van Gogh, Dali & Beyond: The World Reimagined is visually stunning and inspires many awe-inspiring moments where …