Vasco

Earlier today as I was looking through my pictures, I stumbled upon these collection of pictures! I had failed to blog about going to Vasco and my column with Baccarat Magazine. 🙂 Check out my interview….by yours truly. Interviewing supermodel, health guru and friend Jocelyn Luko- Sandstrom! (Oh, and fellow awesome Bullet Film-er!) 🙂 Find the article below. And I’ve included some behind the scenes photos that I took.

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THANKS JOC for letting me interview you. You are such an amazing and inspiring woman. Keep up all the great work!

JESSICA JANN INVITES JOCELYN LUKO TO VASCO. Baccarat Magazine October 2014.

Arriving at the beautiful Spanish fine-dining establishment, Vasco, I’m escorted by the friendly staff to one of the private dining booths to meet the gorgeous Jocelyn Luko-Sandstrom. Jocelyn’s striking exotic beauty (she hails from the cultural melting pot of Hawaii) is not the only trait that keeps her strutting the runway and gracing magazine covers; her humble, family-oriented and bubbly personality preserves her status as one of the town’s top models. She also deserves praise for her charitable endeavours – she and husband Anthony Sandstrom funded a children’s school in Nepal, and she teaches at a wellness centre in Hong Kong.

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The delicious butter selection…. 🙂 Guess the flavours. 

Jessica Jann: Hello Jocelyn! How was your summer?

Jocelyn Luko-Sandstrom: It was awesome. I took my grandparents to Holland, the first time they had ever been to Europe. It was so rewarding to see them so happy. My grandpa’s 91 and my grandma’s 83, so for them to travel from Hawaii, and to see their excitement, was just amazing. My grandpa is in good health, but my grandma suffered a stroke a few years back and the trip was to give her motivation and a new perspective on life. I’m already planning to take them somewhere else next year!

Jess: That’s awesome. You’re always in such great shape yourself. Any secrets you can share?

Jocelyn: My grandpa and dad have always been pretty fit. They exercise a lot, so growing up I was always playing sports, and I did ballet for 11 years. After ballet, I would do track and field, yet I would still eat anything and everything. But 10 years ago, my mom became sick, and that was when I realised I must start eating healthily and taking good care of myself. Now I train five days a week, either doing TRX [suspension training] or boxing. I like to be active.

Jess: What’s your typical diet?

Jocelyn: I tried to become a vegetarian a while back, but it wasn’t really good for me. I found myself lacking in energy. Then I went to see a nutritionist and was given a health plan. For breakfast, I have either cereal or eggs. I need protein for lunch, so I’ll pair meat with vegetables and brown rice or quinoa. For dinner I usually take salmon or beef. I eat responsible, antibiotics-free meat, and I also believe in eating in moderation.

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Jess: I know health is a huge thing for you. What’s your philosophy on this?

Jocelyn: Having a balanced body, mind and soul. If you miss one, it will affect the other two. A healthy mind and outlook on life are super-important. Exercising, healthy eating and doing energy work are all vital.

Jess: I know you have established a wellness brand and you teach Millennium Method classes at the Sanctuary. Can you tell us more?

Jocelyn: When my mom became really sick, the doctors hadn’t a clue what was wrong. We tried everything, a lot of Western medicine, acupuncture. Finally a friend recommended energy healing and it worked! Since then I’ve taken courses in energy work and practise it myself. Stress and worry can make you sick and allergies are caused emotionally. I really believe in energy work!

Jess: How did you end up in Hong Kong?

Jocelyn: When I was younger, my brother was very handsome; he was in a lot of commercials and TV shows. I started modelling in Hawaii too, and at the age of 16 I got a contract to go to Tokyo, so every summer until graduation I would travel and model. I’ve worked all over – in Asia, Europe, Australia and New York – staying two to four months at a time. My favourite cities then were Milan, Tokyo and Hong Kong. I had decided to base myself in New York – that was the dream – but then I met Anthony in Bangkok and he wanted to stay in Asia. We came to Hong Kong eight years ago and never left!

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Jess: What’s the most difficult thing about modelling?

Jocelyn: Having confidence. You are always being told you’re not good enough. All your flaws are pointed out and it’s not fun. Another thing is the instability. You don’t really know your income or your schedule for each month, but depending on how you see it, it could be a good thing because your schedule becomes pretty flexible.

Jess: What advice would you give to aspiring models?

Jocelyn: You really have to work on loving yourself! Don’t compare yourself with others; find what’s good about you and focus on that.

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Jess: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Jocelyn: To choose the life you want to live, that is, being in control of your life. In different situations, you could choose to be happy, mad or sad. Another lesson I’ve learned is that people won’t change.

Jess: Tell me about your love story with Anthony.

Jocelyn: Well, it’s funny because I really wasn’t planning on anything serious, just dating. But it’s when you don’t expect it, and when you’re not looking for it, that love hits you. It was fate with Anthony. I remember seeing him walking out of a studio once; I merely glanced at him, but afterwards I had dreams about him. A year later in Bangkok I ran into him on the street. Then the third time we met was at a party in a bar and we finally talked. We clicked. After less than a month, we moved in together. It’s pretty crazy how life works!

Jess: What’s the best thing about marriage?

Jocelyn: I love the commitment and bond you have forever. You can’t buy this closeness. After marriage, all the worry and fear just go away. You need to have the same values, of course; I believe in soulmates. I’m a hopeless romantic!

Jess: What are your future aspirations?

Jocelyn: I’m working really hard. Recently I signed with Bullet Films and hope to break into the movie industry. I’m learning Putonghua, martial arts and there’s a definite possibility of a baby in the next three years or so . . . But, as of now, my career comes first!

Jess: Thanks for joining me for lunch. What was your favourite dish by the way?

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Jocelyn: I loved the amuse bouche olives, the olive oil and the farmhouse egg yolk dish.

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JOCELYN’S FAVES

Cuisine: Japanese

Food: Uni (sea urchin) Japanese style

Dessert: Cheese or cheesecake, but I’ll choose a main course instead of a dessert. I prefer savoury or sour.

Snack: Sunflower seeds, but I don’t snack too often.

Drink: Lemon water, coconut water and red wine

Place in Hong Kong: Sai Kung, the beach!

Travel destination: Hawaii! Also Vancouver, Maldives, Austria and Nepal (where our school is; it’s a very spiritual place)

TV show: My Cat from Hell and Cat Whisperer

Film: Sound of Music, Grease, The Notebook and About Time

Must-have item: Jeans

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A Bow to the Kitchen Maestro

Vasco chef de cuisine Gabriele Milani previously worked at Galvin in London, Albac in Barcelona and Taillevent in Paris. The Italian now creates alongside Paolo Casagrande at the two-Michelin-starred Lasarte in Barcelona. Vasco and its more casual neighbour one floor below, Isono Eatery and Bar, are a collaboration between the Lasarte duo of Casagrande, who serves as executive chef, and Martin Berastegui, who trained the Hong Kong kitchen staff.

How did you develop your passion for cooking?

When I was young, my family ran a gourmet food shop selling charcuterie and cheese, and I also spent a lot of time with my grandmother, who was always in the kitchen cooking for the whole family. This inspired me to begin a career in gastronomy and I enrolled at a culinary school.

What’s your favourite thing to eat?

Pizza! With aubergine or fresh mozzarella and tomato. I also love traditional northern Italian food like polenta meat stews and Milanese veal cutlets – these bring back wonderful memories of home.

Which Hong Kong restaurants do you need to eat at?

CIAK – In The Kitchen and Sushi Imamura

Your favourite junk food?

Pizza, if that counts. Other than that, I’m not a fan of junk food.

Your preferred tipple?

A great beer or a nice glass of wine!

Basque Brilliance

The interior of Vasco, on the top floor of PMQ in the heart of Central, is polished, refined and sleek, and chef Gabriele Milani has created a visually beautiful masterpiece in every dish. We could not wait to savour dishes from his extensive eight-course tasting menu, which showcases the best of Basque cuisine. We started with a plate of delectable amuse-bouches – olives, pistachio and peach gazpacho, each packing a delicious punch. We were also delighted to sample the colourful array of flavoured butters – original, mushroom, tomato, spinach and beetroot – and to select our preference from the three types of olive oil offered. Fortunately, the variety of warm fresh breads to soak all this up was more than plentiful.

The trout tartare with orange, curd cucumber and trout caviar was fresh and light, but I loved the slightly raw and sweet Palamos prawn and sea urchin on a seabed with crustacean mayonnaise. The seafood was sweet and tasty and the dish itself was a picturesque vision of colours and textures. Farmhouse egg yolk was paired with the lightest potatoes and mozzarella foam, with a subtle Iberian pork fragrance enveloped within. Our main was wild turbot, which was tender and delicious with every bite of the fish and its accompaniments of paprika marmalade, braised endive, clams and octopus. By the time we finished the sweet rice and cardamom essence soup, we were full; yet somehow our stomachs still had just enough room for another delightful dessert – chocolate leaf with apricot jelly and frozen coffee – and petits fours.

Vasco, 7/F, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2156 0888, www.isono-vasco.com.hk

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Thank you Wing Wong at iMakeup and Johnny Lam at iL Colpo Pacific Place for makeup and hair!! <3 

<3 Always, Jess

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