Category Archives: Captains & Legends 传奇

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.

古希腊维纳斯女神承诺过“爱征服一切”。这也印证了MiguelMeirelles的情况-爱能移山,或者也至少让一个古董企业横跨了大洲。

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。

1989年春天,他邂逅了前来佛罗伦萨度假的澳大利亚女孩Anna。“我立刻反应她就是我梦寐以求的那个人,直至28年后依旧。”他如梦幻般的分享。

而在历经心跳感应后,Miguel将整个业务中心转移到墨尔本的维多利亚。由于长期接受古董保护修复工艺熏陶,他首先在Hawksburn区设立了商店,接着是Malvern区,专门从事法国和欧洲的古董业务,客户群涵括维多利亚国家美术馆、博物馆,法国顶级古董店和私人收藏家。

“我想让买家和收藏家积极参与探索保护与修复的完整过程,体验生活中返璞归真的快乐,这也是我强调的业务精神。”

至于他作为专家和虔诚修复者的立场:“我们热衷还原修复古董,但不会让它的历史本质荡然无存,作为暂时保存者,有义务把它们交到未来下一代的手上。”

“可悲的是,现在大部分作品无法重现。在这高科技时代,手艺技术已消磨殆尽,工匠也渐渐不复存在。”他哀叹。

根据艺术和文化的测量晴雨表,墨尔本是处于佛罗伦萨的对立面,作为这名法国古董大师的看法。“佛罗伦萨是一座优美灿烂的城市,但市场情况较为古板保守。欧洲人重视古董的历史价值,而澳大利亚买家和收藏家更偏向美学和实用主义。”他作出趣味性比对。

他认为,艺术和古董领域的大方向潮流趋势产生变化。“逾27年来,我发现从英国、格鲁吉亚或法国一直到美国,引发人们兴趣的雅致和复古工业已到了尾声,而我所谓的“酒店大堂式家具”与苏联时期的物品重合,外观干净整齐,缺乏鲜明个性。但我察觉形势转向将有剧变。”

“今天,成功的墨尔本人的美妙房子皆为现代与古典混搭风格。比方说,巴罗克式的镜子可能会挂在一组简约质朴的家具上。古董镜子在衬托下将超越自身绽放艺术品光彩,犹如从我店面被带走的古董作品拥有双重个性和强烈存在感,将它们展示在房屋,除了成为闪耀的关注点,也是能对话的作品。”

而比起业务,更神圣的是他圆满的家庭。身为一名忠诚的丈夫,两子一女的慈爱父亲,家人和朋友也认为他是一名模范女婿,他们从Miguel的行动实际观察到,在同时应对业务来电与岳母私人电话,他的神态分别在专业与温柔之间自然的切换。

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。

“我热爱收集和交易,尤其是寻觅到具备原始状态的古董作品,并且也沉迷于向人们展示探索成果,包括确切的内容状况。修复还原家具是有意义的事。”


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。

坚持沿用纯正比利时原料制作而成的巧克力艺术,也掌控在Harvey这名具备实际烹饪经验的专业人士手中,他同时聚集强大技能和味蕾。他不仅历经专业的烹饪培训,也在餐饮领域就业多年,担任营销和业务发展技术工作,并曾为亚洲最严苛的评论家呈上美食。他的旅程足迹遍布日本、马来西亚、菲律宾、香港、台湾,新加坡和印尼。

“由于不断接触各式亚洲菜肴,亚洲也成为我的一部分。除了令人艳羡特色风味,还有不断加入令人兴奋的创新口味。”

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。

“揉合带层次的松露巧克力是种艺术,Mariana的制作手艺应该是目前我认知当中最好的一个。”

而他们被誉为墨尔本最出色的比利时巧克力零售商的同时,Harveys自豪献上最好的巧克力口味体验给予常连或者短暂停留的顾客,并透过客户的反馈不断改善巧克力的质量和开发产品。

“在墨尔本,漫山遍野的咖啡馆和餐厅在大街上林立,以连锁店与特许经营商业化方式占多数,但却欠缺心血,激情或爱意。因此我们决定如果欲开展餐饮业务,必须是自主拥有并管理的独创事业。”

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。

巧克力行业竞争:对于经营甜点店的各项挑战,还有不仅是主雇关系,需更优化员工管理策略,以及实现完美主义。随着更多连锁和特许经营店在大街上涌现,Chokolait必须在交锋激烈的零售和餐饮领域的游戏中增强他们的作战装备。尽管需要保持高质量的巧克力产品,但他们拥有自主业务的自由创作力,这是有别于特许经营方式的最大优势。

“最觉得心满意足的是当我们把产品放在货架上,进来的人们会想要立刻购买。在真正品尝产品之前,我们乐于感受他们的视觉盛宴。”


by Monica Tong

Eliminating Disease 隔绝疾病

Professor Scott O’Neill
Founder & Head of the Eliminate Dengue Program

In the drier and temperate regions of Australia, many people may not regard mosquito-borne diseases as a serious issue, but they are a silent and prevalent killer for those who are closer to the equator.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has ranked dengue fever as the most critical mosquito-borne viral disease in the world and the most rapidly spreading – with a 30-fold increase in global incidence over the past 50 years. Each year an estimated 390 million dengue infections occur around the world. Of these, 500,000 develop into dengue haemorrhagic fever, a more severe form of the disease, and dengue results in up to 25,000 deaths annually worldwide.

The statistics are alarming with over 2.5 billion people (more than 30% of the world’s population in over 100 countries at risk of infection). The most significant recent epidemics have occurred in South-east Asia, the Americas and the Western Pacific.

Deadly Dengue And More
For years, countries and governments have attempted to mitigate against the disease as well as more recent mosquito-borne disease threats such as Chikungunya and Zika. These measures have been largely ineffective. The Eliminate Dengue Program (EDP), a not-for-profit international collaboration led from Monash University in Australia – part of the Institute of Vector-Borne Disease – has an innovative solution to the transmission of such diseases.

The programme is headed by scientist, Professor Scott O’Neill and brings together scientific collaborators from around the world with a range of skills and experience including Wolbachia mosquito biology and ecology, dengue epidemiology and control, and public health education and promotion.

“In each country we work in, we partner with local people – local research institutes, governments, regulatory authorities, private enterprise and community members,” explains O’Neill, a biologist, who started this research more than 20 years ago.

What propelled O’Neill’s interest in the field study was to create a project and movement for a social purpose, instead of solely for scientific experimentation. After working in this field in Australia and the USA for several years, O’Neill’s team had a breakthrough with the Wolbachia innovation. The scientific team managed to transfer Wolbachia (commonly found in many insects such as the fruit fly) into the Aedes Agypti mosquito after more than 10 years.

Wolbachia is safe for humans, animals and the environment. It is found in many insects associated with human food and is widely consumed by humans; and it does not infect humans or other vertebrates. What the Eliminate Dengue Program innovation has done, is enable the Aedes agypti mosquito to block the transmission of disease. The EDP method uses Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacteria, to reduce mosquito’s ability to transmit harmful human viruses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika. (Wolbachia has also been known to block the transmission of Yellow Fever and West Nile viruses.)

Expansion to Eliminate
Now, the EDP project has shown that its method of dengue control is feasible, thanks to initial field trials which have shown that the Wolbachia continues to block disease transmission. So far, the disease has been blocked for up to five years in communities where Wolbachia mosquitoes have been released. The team expects this to continue on an ongoing basis. Mathematical modelling by independent experts shows that the disease will continue to be blocked for 30 years.

“We are now further developing the method for low-cost, large-scale application across urban areas in countries affected by dengue.”

The programme is currently deploying its method in Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia with plans to expand into other top 20 countries affected by mosquito-borne diseases.

Within the next six years, the project aims to reduce the burden of the disease by 90%. As well as continuing to carry out large scale field releases in several countries, the team is planning large randomised trials in at least one city, Yogyakarta (Indonesia) until 2018-2019.

“We work with local universities, researchers, government agencies and communities in the countries we’re present in.” O’Neill and his team include close to 400 people working on the Eliminate Dengue project, with some 60 people based in the Monash University headquarter in Melbourne.

Unlike commercialised drugs administered to patients after an infection, EDP focuses on providing sustainable protection from disease. Application (release of mosquitoes with Wolbachia) is only done once over a short period (2-3 months) with no need for repetition.

“Our method is quite novel. People think you have to kill mosquitoes, but we have a different focus.”

A core part of the EDP method and innovation is the way the team involves communities. Key for O’Neill is “authentic engagement before, during and after mosquito releases”. The teams and partners engage with local communities and share details of what is involved, and share results as releases progress. They involve the media. Their focus is on accessible and transparent communication and a respectful and inclusive approach.

“Our field trials in five countries in over 30 sites have shown no reported adverse events; and good disease blocking,” says O’Neill. “In Indonesia we are conducting a large scale release and an impact study across Yogyakarta through to 2019.”

This type of new approach requires forward and bold thinking,” explains O’Neill.

While still recognised as a new method, funding for all science based interventions continues to be a challenge. Eliminate Dengue is a non-profit organisation that is looking to increase its philanthropic and government support base globally.

“We believe governments would prefer our method because it is safe, and takes financial pressure off their health systems, especially in countries where they are low on resources,” explains O’Neill.

The work is possible because of the vision of great philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates, The Tahija family, the Gillespie family, the Wellcome Trust and governments including the Australian, UK and Brazilian governments and USAID. In order to expand the life changing work, the scientific team are looking for more partners and supporters.

由于澳大利亚位于干燥和温带地区,毒蚊传染病的严重性没太突出,但对居于靠近赤道的人们来说,它是沉默残酷的杀手。

世界卫生组织(WHO)将登革热(或称骨痛热症)列为全球最严重的蚊虫病毒性疾病,而且病症迅速蔓延-过去50年中全球发病率增加30倍,每年计有3.9亿人惨遭感染登革热。

其中50万人趋向恶化,转为登革热骨痛溢血热症,导致全世界每年多达2万5000人死亡。另外,逾25亿人(超过100国家,30%以上的世界人口处于感染危机中),而情势严峻的区域为东南亚,美洲和西太平洋。

了解更多致命登革热
众国家和政府多年来力图减轻疾病的致命性及蚊子传播疾病的威胁,如基孔肯亚和寨卡病毒,但许多措施效用有限。消除登革热计划(EDP)是一项非营利性国际合作项目,来自澳大利亚的蒙纳士大学(Monash University)-“媒介传播疾病研究所”属下的一部分,为传播类疾病提供创新的解决方案。

Scott O’Neill教授作为这项计划的主导者,他与世界各地科研合作者分享研讨一系列技能和经验:包括沃尔巴克氏菌体(Wolbachia)蚊子生物学和生态学,登革热传播病学和控制,还有公共卫生教育和促进。

“身为每个国家的合作伙伴,我们与当地人、本土研究机构、政府、监管当局,私营企业和社区成员积极互动工作。”同时是生物学家的O’Neill解释,他是在20多年前开始这项研究。

至于推动他对实地研究的兴趣来自开创一个计划和互动的社会目标,而并非仅是用于科学实验。在澳大利亚和美国领域工作多年后,O’Neill的团队在沃尔巴克氏体科研成果方面取得突破,研究团队设法将沃尔巴克氏菌体(常见于昆虫,果蝇)转移到埃及伊蚊(Aedes aegypti),这项研究跨越10年。

而沃尔巴克氏菌体对人体,动物和环境是安全的,通常在与人类食物相关的昆虫中发现,并且被人类广泛使用,对于人类或其他脊椎动物不会造成感染。至于消除登革热计划能消解伊蚊并阻止疾病的传播,那是因为EDP利用天然沃尔巴克氏菌体,降低蚊子传播有害病毒例如登革热,基孔肯亚和寨卡的能力。(沃尔巴克氏菌体也证实阻断黄热病(Yellow Fever)和西尼罗病毒(West Nile viruses)的传播。)

扩大消除规模
目前EDP的计划成果显示,控制登革热的方式具备可行性,由最初的现场试验,沃尔巴克氏菌体有效阻止疾病传播。现今,在已经释放带有沃尔巴克氏菌体蚊子的地区,疾病被封锁长达5年,并且团队期望将持续下去,根据独立专家的数学建模测算,疾病将会被隔断30年。

“我们正在进一步开发更低成本及大规模的应用方式,协助受登革热影响的国家与城市。”现此项计划正在澳大利亚、越南、印尼,巴西和哥伦比亚进行部署,并扩展到其他受毒蚊传播疾病影响的前20个国家。”

该计划目标是在6年内把疾病的负担率减少90%。除了在几个国家继续进行大规模现场释放外,团队小组策划在至少一个城市,即是2018至2019年期间,在印尼的日惹(Yogyakarta)进行大规模随机试验。

“我们与当地大学、研究人员,政府机构和所在国家的社区合作。”O’Neill和他的团队包括近400人参与消灭登革热计划项目,约有60人来自总部设于墨尔本的蒙纳士大学。

EDP更侧重于可持续的疾病防护,这与感染后提供患者药物商业化做法不同。而应用程序(释放沃尔巴克氏菌体蚊子),只在2-3个月短期进行一次,不会重复。“这是新颖的方式,人们认为必须灭蚊,但我们的焦点不一样。”

至于EDP的方式和创新的核心部分是团队参与社区的做法。O’Neill的关键是:蚊子释放之前、期间和之后的真正参与。团队和合作伙伴与当地社区互动,参考所涉及的内容、并分享成果发布进度,其中涉及媒体,重点是获得透明沟通,还有互相尊重和包容。

“我们在5个国家,30多个地点进行现场试验,显示无不良现象报告,且成功隔断疾病传播。在印尼日惹区,直至2019年为止,正在进行大规模发布和分析研究,这类型创新方式需前瞻性和大胆思考。”O’Neill说。

即使这项创新方案受到认同,但资金仍然是干预科学基础措施的一项挑战。而消除登革热是一个非营利组织,旨在推动全球慈善群体和政府支持。

“我们认为政府会更喜欢这个方式,因为安全并减轻公共卫生系统的财务压力,特别是在资源匮乏的国家。”

许多慈善捐献证实这项工作的可行性,包括闻名的慈善资金会:比尔及梅林达·盖茨基金会(Bill & Melinda Gates),Tahija家族,Gillespie家族,维康信托(Wellcome Trust),还有澳大利亚、英国和巴西政府,包括美国国际开发署(USAID)都一致愿景。而为了扩大这项改变生活的意义工作,科学团队正在寻找更多的合作伙伴和支持者。

AN ITCHY FACT:
There are over 3000 species of mosquitoes in the world and only two (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) are responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and Zika.) The O’Neill team’s innovation is focussed on the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

全世界有超过3000种类的蚊子,却只有埃及伊蚊(Aedesaegypti)和黑斑蚊(Aedes albopictus)这两种类会传播登革热、基孔肯亚和寨卡病毒。O’Neill团队新方式集中在消灭埃及伊蚊。