Serena Williams cooks up a storm

SERENA Williams may be number one when it comes to women’s tennis but she can also whip up a pretty good Bombe Alaska.
At a recent stylish cook-off held at Sofitel Melbourne On Collins where “Team Williams” is in residence for the Australian Open, Serena and sister, Venus showed off their cooking skills.
The tennis legends proved they are just as competitive off the court as on with both vying to win the best of the bake-off judged by colourful entertainment entrepreneur Baz Lurhmann, in town for the opening of his musical, Strictly Ballroom.
Serena, 33, confided to the crowd of 100 or so that she enjoyed cooking but piping flowers on a decadent dessert was a new experience.
Sofitel’s executive chef, John Savage, who created the chilled treat named The Serena Surprise said the tennis greats were very good when it came to dessert decorating.
Then it was up to internationally renowned Australian director Baz Luhrmann to judge the sisters’ culinary efforts.
After tasting both their efforts, he diplomatically declared it was a dead heat and they both went home winners.
“It is a tough decision,” he said taking a spoonful of the two pink desserts.
Serena was dressed in a short belted dress with locks flying while Venus, 34 opted for a frilly white playsuit and matching head scarf. They mingled briefly with the crowd declaring their love for Melbourne, the Australian Open and shopping.
Then the two tennis greats disappeared to prepare for the tough competition of the coming tournament.
The good news is tennis fans and sweet tooths can taste the cool creation The Serena Surprise  for a limited time as a feature item on the menu at Sofitel’s restaurant, No 35. It is available for the duration of the Australian Open in Melbourne until February 1, 2015. It is priced from $17 and may not help your tennis skills but tastes sensational.
Graham Wilson, Chief Marketing and Distribution Officer, Accor Asia Pacific, described Serena as a woman of many talents, with an obvious passion for fashion, style and beauty.
“She is a wonderful supporter of the hospitality Accor provides around the world, and we are honoured that she gave us some of her precious time during this visit to Melbourne,” he said.
“Blending French sophistication with Melbourne’s famous chic style, the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins was the perfect setting for this beautiful event, and Serena and Venus’ presence certainly helped us create a magical evening for our valued Le Club Accorhotel members, prior to the excitement of the Australian Open.”
The gathering was the latest offering from Le Club Accorhotels’ VIP Events, a series of once-in-a-lifetime experiences to reward members for their loyalty. Serena Williams also previously hosted a VIP event for members at Accor’s newest luxury boutique hotel, Sofitel So Singapore, which features signature elements by world-renowned fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld and an exciting interior design by the Miaja Group.

About Le Club Accorhotels
Le Club Accorhotels is a free-to-join program that allows members to enjoy exclusive access to a range of benefits including VIP welcome, late check-out, executive lounge access, room upgrades and private sales with discounts of up to 50 per cent off room rates at more than 2800 hotels globally. In July the program launched increased generosity, now offering members up to 25 per cent more points for each stay, helping to fast-track guests to rewards and higher tier levels so they can enjoy greater privileges.
Since launching six years ago, Le Club Accorhotels has reached over 17 million members worldwide.  Le Club Accorhotels is the only hotel loyalty program that allows members to use their points at more than 2800 hotels globally, without any validity or availability restrictions.

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Sue Wallace