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A Special Dinner with Fashion Designer Maria MaungArticle by: Veronica Baesso

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SYDNEY – The chef of the night is the talented fashion designer Maria Maung from the Australian label Bless’ed are the Meek. Her chosen recipe is one of her favorite’s: Twice Cooked Coconut Pork Belly. Not only was I excited to try this amazing dish, but I wanted to learn more about one of the most impressive brands on the Australian fashion scene. Bless’ed Are The Meek consistently delivers collections that explore the label’s subtly moody signature. Thanks to Maria’s skill, signature design style and innate knowledge of her customers, she has propelled the label onto the global scene. In 2011, there was an explosion of International growth following their runway debut at Australian Fashion Week. The label has since secured representation in over 40 respected global retailers, including Revolve Clothing, Shop Bop, Planet Blue, Free People and Nasty Gal. Celebrity fans of Bless’ed are the Meek include Lana del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Ashley Tisdale and MTV’s Kate Peck.

The Summer 13/14 collection by Bless’ed are the Meek is titled Wanderlust. Designer Maria Maung’s initial inspiration for this collection was the idea of open spaces and places that transcend time. After having viewed  an exhibition of artist Murray Fredericks, known for capturing natural landscapes in an awe-inspiring way, Maria was immediately drawn to his work. The work, entitled Hector was of particolar interest and resulted in her being intrigued by the hauntingly beautiful quality of the Northern Territory’s scenery and natural surrounds.

Some looks from the “Wanderlust” Summer 13/14 collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 

Maria is a big fan of great food and whiskey. As she said: “Food, like fashion, evolves from taking inspirations from different cultures and eras – both are creative expressions. To understand how each design element works is the same as understanding how each ingredient tastes, when you understand you can take artistic license and explore new combinations! I guess my designs are also a balance of opposing elements, when combined they work to create instant impact and rich subtle tones of flavour!”

Here below you can find all the ingredients & prep for Maria Maung dish, enjoy!

Twice-Cooked Coconut Pork Belly Recipe

Ingredients:

Pork belly 500 – 600g
2 cans of coconut cream
2 limes squeezed and zested
1 tablespoon sugar
1 red hot chilli finely diced
coriander 1 bunch chopped
Fish sauce (Three Crabs brand)

Preparation:

– Cut the pork belly into bite size chunks
– Brown the meat in a large pan with a sprinkle of fish sauce and the sugar
– When the meat is brown, add the first can of coconut cream and let simmer until reduced
– Drain the oil from the reduced coconut cream and add the juice of one lime (keep the peel to zest )
– With the meat add the second can of coconut cream and reduce again until somewhat crispy
– Remove the meat from the pan and place in a serving dish
– Add the juice of the second lime, zest from the two limes, chopped coriander and finely diced chilli. Toss ingredients evenly
– Serve with jasmine rice , you will taste the fresh zesty flavour balanced with the rich decadent flavour of the coconut infused pork.

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