Guest Writers

UMESH CHANDRA :  Australian of the Year 2017?

Umesh Chandra is a well-known Indian Community Leader from Brisbane Australia.  He is the Chief Operating officer of Chantex Pty Ltd. The company operates three subsidiaries namely Brisbane Indian Times, Globenet Realty and Bollybiz promotions.

If you live in Brisbane you may have picked up a copy of The Brisbane Indian Times. Well the Publisher of Queensland’s first full colour newspaper is none other than Umesh Chandra. Further, this remarkable icon participates avidly in community service including voluntary radio announcing.

umesh 4
Umesh and Usha Chandra are actively involved in the community

Umesh has received many prestigious awards including the Bharat Gaurav Award from India due to his numerous community service achievements. His commitment is evident as he serves several renown organisations such GOPIO (Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin) Queensland Chapter, Vice President of FICQ (Federation of Indian Communities in Queensland), Vice President QMC (Queensland Multicultural Council). Additionally he is the Queensland Governments Liaison Officer for international Indian Students.

Umesh is a devout Hindu, and has been concomitant at the Hindu Society of Queensland’s Gayathri Mandir. He is a Founder and life member of Hindu Society of Queensland plus is a life member of Shree Laxmi Narayan Mandir.

Umesh Chandra has attended many global conferences relating to the Indian Diaspora, these include Chennai PBD and GOPIO International Conference 2009. He has visited my home country South Africa representing the GOPIO International conference in Durban to mark 150 years of arrivals of Indians in South Africa. Additionally, he has strong ties with Mauritius.

Umesh is a keen musician and the founder and manager of Brisbane Babas Band, This band is the most popular and performed Bollywood and Bhangra Band in Brisbane.  Additionally, he has promoted and hosted many classical concerts and has brought many renowned artists to Brisbane including Sonu Nigam, Raj Pal Yadav. In the sporting field Umesh has served as the founder of a soccer Sports and Social club.

In respect of all this and more that this remarkable icon has been involved in currychick has chosen to nominate Umesh Chandra for An Australian of the year award 2017.

Please join me in wishing him everything of the best for this nomination.





imageImagine having 17.5k followers on your Instagram account? Sensational right! It is with purely fortuitous luck that this currychick was able to meet one such unique, talented individual.

AGIRLWITHFORK also known as Nikita Aggarwal is a Delhi-born and brought up girl who is a self-confessed food addict. This girlwithfork is an eating addict with an insatiable appetite hence she travels around the globe in pursuit of flavoursome cuisine.

agirlwithfork was born out of Nikita’s fondness for food and travel. Nikita is definitely not a food critic just more so an enthusiast who possesses an enduring culinary love affair. This amazing gastronomic experience of Nikita’s has allowed her to connect and meet so many amazing souls.

Here are a few questions currychick recently asked agirlwithfork.

Describe yourself in about three words: Passionate traveller, food obsessed and over-enthusiast!!

Why have you embarked on agirlwithfork?   I believe that no matter where you live, there are dishes to discover and exciting and unfamiliar foods to try.image

Do you have a day job? I pursue a career as an IT Consultant and sometimes I find it challenging to keep a balance between my passion and job. Nonetheless I have realized you never give up on what you love and even if I am completely weary after 9 hours of work, I still develop this concealed energy from somewhere which thrusts me for another 3 hours until I discover something new or possibly learn new about a cuisine.

Where do you photograph these amazing pictures? Great, delicious food can be found anywhere from a corner street café to a fancy restaurant. Food knows no boundaries. Every weekend and after office hours I meander through streets and restaurants discovering and photographing various cuisines.image

Tell us a bit more about agirlwithfork? This journey is nothing short of being a lovely totally prodigious learning experience. You know the best thing about a food blogger is that “food is a great medium to connect.”  There are even people in Mumbai who invited me to their city and promised to take me around. I get to help people to choose and plan food for their birthday or a party and I feel so happy that I can. This amazing gastronomic experience of Nikita’s has allowed her to connect and meet many amazing souls as well as share and be a part of their celebrations.
Have you met anyone famous? I have met quite a few great personalities. My mammoth amount of Instagram followers connect with me from different regions and countries; just like how I met you currychick!! I have linked with people from afar as South Africa who follow agirlwithfork journey avidly. One such lady is so curious about Indian culture and cuisine that she is addicted to my posts. Even Miss India notices my food photographs and messages me. I feel so loved and lucky.image


You can catch and follow agirlwithfork here.






This currychick is totally astounded by the awesome folks I meet, mostly through liaisons by way of my blog. I have thus decided to do a series feature on expats that are living far and wide, away from their home countries. These expats have fascinating and phenomenal stories and mantras to share about their new found life abroad.

One such person whom I am featuring as my JULY guest writer is Chef Melissa Mayo.  Melissa hails from South Africa and now lives in California. Here is her story.


I’m Melissa, a South African Chef, yoga fanatic, mom, wife and world traveller. I am an eternal optimist, I love karaoke, steak, red wine and dark chocolate. My mantra is that abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym!

 I learned to cook at my mom’s knee by being her official taster. Like many South Africans I have a large personality. My front door is always open, and my home is full of guests and an abundance of delicious food. This is the South African way. After completing my MBA I moved to California. I spent years cooking for prominent Hollywood studios and used this time to experiment.

Influenced by my South African roots and my travels, I created a style of cooking uniquely my own. Later, I met my hunky South African husband, Saul, and gave birth to our beautiful daughter (and my best friend) Jade, who is now a teenager. Since, we love to travel, I literally eat my way through each country, trying out new dishes and flavours. I have developed a love affair with Italy and one day I dream of retiring to a little farm house in Tuscany with a big fig tree.

I really am passionate about food, but I also enjoy feeling fit and healthy. I believe abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. It is 70% diet and 30% exercise. For the longest time I’ve maintained, to attain your ideal body, you need to get into the kitchen and start cooking.  By using fresh ingredients, you control what you put in your body.

These are some of the key things I have discovered with regard to weight loss.

  • Six pack abs, do not come from gyming. No matter how much muscle you build, if you cannot lower your body fat, you will never see those abs. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying there is no benefit from physical activity. It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer — but weight loss is not one of them.
  • Studies show people who simply dieted experienced greater weight loss than those who combined diet and exercise. How can this be explained? Well I will tell you. I find myself ravenous after a lot of cardio and strength training. I’ll inhale huge volumes of food. I can end up eating way more calories than I burned.
  • Working out will make you healthier, but if weight loss is your goal, your diet is what really needs to change. But it’s not just the number of calories we’re eating. It’s also how we’re getting them.

    That is why cooking is key to your success. Studies show, a poor diet contributes to more deaths than smoking, alcohol and inactivity combined.

The bottom line and my mantra is:  

You cannot outrun a bad diet.  Diet is far more critical and the only way to help you reach your weight loss goals.

So there is no better time to start “cooking it off”. The time you spend pounding away on a treadmill or doing 3,000 squats, can be better spent, shopping for healthy food and cooking your meals.

By using fresh herbs, spices and ingredients from the ground, you ensure your body is getting quality nutrients. No bottles, boxes or packages of food with chemicals I can’t even pronounce. By making the foods I love myself, I am able to add flavour without all the calories.

Eating out is great, but that restaurant salad has four times the calories than one from your own kitchen.  I am not talking about starving yourself, juicing or fasting. I don’t believe in limiting entire food groups. In fact, I love dairy, red meat, chocolate, alcohol and bread. But portion size is key. I have a little of everything, but not a lot of everything.

It comes down to simple math. Calories in and out.

So let’s get cooking, and ditch the calories not the flavour. 

You can find tons of free recipes and cooking videos on my website. I have created a series of 2 minute videos showing you how to make quick, simple and delicious food.


XXX Chef MMchefmelissamayo_com

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Chairman at Springfield Land Corporation, visionary and multi-millionaire

A lot of people look at me now and some consider me a visionary or a Successful Entrepreneur. I really just consider myself an ordinary businessman who absolutely loves what I do. If I have achieved a small level of success, it is certainly not because I am more intelligent than others. For those who have read my book, you would know I was a very poor student at school and university. These are some of the jobs I have had during my life – some of them I did after earning a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and was unable to secure employment in that field. They included a door to door ruler salesman, a gravedigger, a television repairman, a car salesman and a taxi driver.  Throughout this time, I never ever gave up on my dreams of being an Entrepreneur.  To me, money doesn’t represent success. Success is more aligned with happiness. The only thing I had, was I just refused to give up. In my humble opinion, “not giving up” and the ability to “just bloody hang in there” trumps academic ingenuity, connections and money EVERY TIME.

maha 3So many of you ask for my tips towards leading a successful life.   I hope this ignites a spark within you that will allow you to achieve love, happiness and prosperity in your lives:

  1. LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE. Technology is changing the way we live. This is without a doubt. However, please, please remember to not let it replace your life. I find it very strange that people don’t communicate as often as before. They are quick to attack, or “name and shame” people on the internet, which I don’t feel is the right thing to do. Talk it out, confront the person and deal with the issue. Writing hateful things about each other, amplifies the tension, when sitting down in a civilized way, can dramatically reduce, and possibly eliminate the tension.
  2. MANNERS ARE INVALUABLE –  behave in a way that people want to help you and want to be associated with you. Invest in yourself – success takes hard work, sacrifice and a never ever ever give up attitude.  A universal truth is that all great things take time – we only have to look at our own beautiful Mother Earth and other creatures on this Earth. Caterpillars have to undergo a process before transforming to a beautiful butterfly, Oysters go through a tumultuous process before producing a pearl and so forth. Those who try and avoid pain, suffering and disappointment or aspire for the “easy way” or “quick fix” will meet with disappointment time and time and time again.
  3. TRUSTWORTHINESS AND PERSISTENCE. When they tell me something, I don’t even think of doubting them. Unfortunately most people seem to give up after the first or second attempt and then pursue to talk how bad the person is, and they were hard done by. The lesson? Persistence pays.

A buzz phrase going around at the moment is “Work Smart versus Work Hard”. I say, why leave it up to chance? WORK HARD AND WORK SMART.  Make 2016 your year!  You were born to be great, so be true to yourself.  You are great and success is your and win