Month: July 2018

travel massive ian
Travel & Tourism

5 minutes with Ian Cumming – Founder of Travel Massive

Ian CummingIan Cumming is the founder of Travel Massive, a community that connects thousands of travel insiders to meet, learn and collaborate at free events all around the world.

With a passion for travelling with purpose, Ian takes many an adventure around the globe, speaking at industry events and inspiring others with his knowledge, passion and enthusiasm.

1. What made you start up Travel Massive?

It was really started by accident (and luck) – I had moved to Sydney in 2010 and was staying in a hostel. I wanted to meet people in the travel industry so I used Twitter to organise a meetup for travel startups and bloggers. There were no co-working spaces back then – so I invited everyone to the rooftop of my hostel (the YHA on the Rocks). Six people came along and we all made new friends. The next month, we decided to meet again, and the group kept growing. And growing! I really had no idea that it would turn into a global community around the world – but my motivation remained the same as it is now – that when you bring people offline to meet in person, you can exchange knowledge and skills, motivate and support each other, and create amazing new partnerships and ideas.

2. Tell us about a day in your career that really stands out?

I don’t think there is one particular moment or day – every week hundreds of people in our community meet at events around the world, and I love seeing photos and videos shared by our chapter leaders and members. It really makes me realise what an incredible global community we are – and how many positive connections we’re making in the travel industry.

3. How many miles do you think you have clocked since you launched Travel Massive?

I can tell you exactly! 241 flights, 913782 km, 52 days in the air. That’s the equivalent of flying around the world 22 times!

4. Do you have a favourite place so far?

That’s really hard to answer as I find anywhere in the world an amazing place to visit. But I’d have to say that my homeland of Tasmania is still my favourite place – I’m happy to be a tour guide!

5. Where would you still love to go?

I want to go into space. Who knows if it will happen – maybe we’ll start a new Space chapter for Travel Massive? But until that happens, I’d love to explore anywhere that’s remote – many places in Africa, perhaps eastern Russia. Perhaps that’s in my DNA from having grown up in Tasmania!

And just for fun…

travel massive owner6. Where do you feel most at home?

In the water. I love scuba diving and snorkelling – so anywhere where I can dive and experience the ocean and beach!

7. What is your favourite song to sing at karaoke or in the shower?

I can’t sing to save my life!

8. The best meal you have ever cooked?

I caught a yellow-fin Tuna in Tasmania and had fresh sashimi on the boat. Does that count?

9. Most embarrassing moment?

Sleep waking on a plane. I took sleeping tablets on an international flight once, and woke up in the toilets at the back and didn’t know where I was. A fellow passenger told me I’d climbed over the back of my seat in my sleep! Since then I have a fear of sleepwalking on long haul flights!

10. Cheese or cake?


You can join Ian’s Travel Massive community over on Twitter: @travelmassive

Learn more about Travel Massive events in your area over on the Travel Massive website or on the Facebook page.

Interested in reading more 5 minutes travel interviews? Check out our interview with the Barefoot Backpacker.


5 minutes with Tim Firth – Screenwriter and Songwriter

Tim Firth

Tim Firth is a writer, producer and composer, famous for his TV work and captivating West End shows. His play Calendar Girls, adapted from his own film, was a huge hit with audiences across the UK during its 2008/09 tour, and in the process broke the all time British box office record for a play.

His new musical, The Band, has now been produced by David Pugh Dafydd Rogers, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, and Robbie Williams. Featuring the music of Take That, the new production follows a group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their boy band heroes.

Read More

emma williams theatre

5 minutes with Emma Williams – Paula Pokrifki in An Officer and a Gentleman

Officer and a gentleman

Emma Williams is an actress working on the stage, screen, TV and radio. At the age of 18, she made her stage debut playing the role of Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of the West End production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The role won her the Arts Correspondent Award for Best Newcomer and she has since gone on to be nominated four times for an Olivier Award.

With a number of film to stage musical adaptations under her belt, Emma is now leading the cast of An Officer and a Gentleman as leading lady Paula Pokrifki.

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Masterchef Kitchen

5 minutes with Jonathan Scinto – Celebrity Chef

chef jonathan scinto

Chef Jonathan Scinto is a celebrity chef who owns a successful private parties and events business. He’s famous for being a hit on the FOX TV show MasterChef 6 and has since appeared on the live version of the TV Show “IronChef Showdown” and represented New York at the World Food Championships.

After being in charge of catered events for A-list celebs for post-production house Post Perfect, a successful several years working in Manhattan, and even opening his own 40 seat Café in Bayshore, Chef Jonathan went on to become a culinary household name.

1. You’ve been on MasterChef Season 6, Food Network “Chopped” and the live version of the TV Show “IronChef Showdown”: Autumn Bounty Battle for NYCFF 10th Anniversary (to name a few!). Do you find the cameras have changed your approach/style of cooking at all?

My approach for cooking hasn’t changed for the camera, but how I’m plating is a factor
because of the time limits, you can’t get as intricate as you would like, remember its TV so not everything you see is accurate, the magic of editing plays a huge factor.

2. You have a range of utility and cutting boards coming out. How did this come about?

I’m an Ambassador for several national brands like Certified Hereford Beef, Happy Chef Uniforms, Bedlam Vodka, Gubba Rum, Mie Radici and Toma Artisanal Bloody Mary Mix to name a few. It was just a natural thing that feel in place because of me reaching out to NOLA Cutting Boards and telling them about the World Food Championships, so you can 100% say that the WFC opened up a ton of doors for sponsors and partnerships.

3.You’ll be competing in the World Food Championships this year, what will you be doing to prepare for the competition?

This is my 3rd year in a row competing for the WFC. The 2 previous years I competed in the Seafood Category and Chef Category, finishing in 19th and 13th in the World. This year I will be in toughest category Steak, with an expected 100 competitors in the category with only 10 competitors moving on.

jonathan scinto beef

There’s several months of R&D, searching and sourcing for the right products, executing the dishes and finally working on the plating and setup of the dish. Plus making sure we have the right plates to fit on the tray.  I definitely have an upper hand with my ingredients this year, as I will be using Certified Hereford Beef and some really awesome secret ingredients. Also my 12 yr. old daughter Jules will be my Sous Chef this year. 

4.You are the owner of Chef Jonathan’s Private Parties and Events, what do you bring to your client’s events that nobody else does better?  

I never compare to other Caterers or Chefs, there’s so much talent in the culinary industry. I do believe I bring an element of ‘Cheftainment’ and interactivity to all my events. All of my dinner events are custom made menus to the client’s palate and I only use the freshest herbs and ingredients for the client. They get a first-hand look at the product being used right in front of them, so it’s not just eating it’s a culinary experience. 

Chef Jonathan's parties

5. Are there any ingredients that you use a lot that would surprise people?

I don’t think it would be a surprise as far as ingredients, but I do like using a lot of fresh herbs, elephant garlic and soy sauce.  I’m super loyal to specific products and I only use these brands for all of my demos, events and private parties: Big Sur Salts (Infused Salts), Mie Radici Real Sicilian EVOO, Gotham Steel Cookware, Blue Collar Blades (Custom Knives) and Certified Hereford Beef.

And just for fun…

6. What’s your favourite food memory?

When I was a toddler I used to watch Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse instead of Sesame Street on PBS and would copy them in my parents Co-op in Queens, in the kitchen throwing stuff in the blender, scrambling eggs on the floor and practicing my knife techniques on their vinyl chairs.

masterchef jonathan scitno

7. When was the last time you were scared or nervous in thekitchen?

Honestly, I’ve never been either of the 2, it’s just a natural feeling and my happy place. I find peace being able to create and serve my culinary interpretations to my clients.

8. What stories from your life will you tell your children about?

I’ve told my 3 girls ages 12, 5, and 4 many stories already of how being a kid in the 80’s living in Queens is so different to the kids today with all this technology around them. Plus I threw in some of my craziness as a young adult, whilst leaving out some details …lol

9. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Emeril Lagasse is a no brainer for me, it’s his passion about food and life that gets me excited. He is definitely someone I’ve looked up to as a person, not just a Chef.

10. What childish thing do you still enjoy?

I love to watch Disney movies and cartoons. I’m definitely a goof ball with my kids and a big kid at heart.  

You can find out more about Chef Jonathan’s Parties and Events here.

Read more about his journey with the World Food Championships, and follow him on Twitter: ChefJonathanS

Looking for more tv and film entertainment interviews? Check out our interview with Director of Photography David Procter.