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NTF : December 13th 2010
Considering the private natureofthe Hemmes family,why did you all decide to take partinFamily Confidential? They approached us and we looked into the show and it’sgot alot of integrity.People are always in our ear saying we should tell our story, so on that basis we agreed. I’m proud of my parents and think they’re fascinating people. Why shouldn’titbe told? My dad’sgone through incredible adversity to get to where he is. In the show too, you say,‘What we deal with is reality and what people who don’t know us deal with perception’. What’s the perception and what’s the reality? Iwas just trying to say if there are rumours Idon’t get phased by them, Iknow what the reality with my situation is. Iknow who the people around me are, I’m just expressing Ionly concern myself in life with reality and I’m not one for hearsay.Inever get involved in conversations of hearsay abut other people. It doesn’tenter into my way of being. Areyou pleased with the success of Ivy? Overwhelmed. It was averyambitious project on a broad scale and for my staff to be able to pull off what my vision was, it’sacredit to them. It’sa testament to their professionalism and their ability. Sydney has taken to it and the customers are wonderful. It’sapleasure to see your vision come to life. It’slike being aprofessional swimmer and winning the race, it feels wonderful for all your hard work to pay off. There are always doubters and there always will be, but that’sall right. But you gotta doubt yourself sometimes too, keeps you real. Yo u’resecond Potts Point eatery, Ms G’s, is set to open this We dnesday.Can you tell us about it? It’sinspired by David Chang’srestaurants in New York. It’smodern Asian with aVietnamese influence, aNew Yo rk-inspired noodle bar.We’ve had abit of fun with it. It’slike walking into Dan (Hong) and Jowett’s(Yu)own little restaurant (head chefs). It’s got afantastic vibe, the food will be exceptional – the food tasting has been out of this world. It’sgot alot of underground street vibe to it and it’sgoing to be afun place. What’s next for the Hemmes empire? That’sabig question. I’ve just opened anew bistro and bar called Felix, named after my nephew,inAsh St in the city.It’sastunning New Yo rk-inspired brasserie. New Yo rk is my favourite city in the world apart from Sydney.It’saliving city,it’sgot anything your heart desires. Icouldn’tlive there, you’d just get consumed by it, but Ilove visiting. Yo ur heart skips abeat, there’ssomuch energy,Ilove it. But back to Felix. It’sveryFrench, veryParisian, a beautiful restaurant. The guy that made the bar made it in America, he’sthird generation in the pewter business, he said in all his years working in pewter,he’snever done anything as intricate. Yo uget transformed into another city the moment you walk through the door.We’re ever evolving; we don’twork on afive-year plan. We ’re also verybusy reviewing ourselves internally; we’re always looking at how we can improve. The Beresford–bargain buy? It was awonderful buy,itisagreat pub. We ’ve changed things around and it’scoming along. I’m fitting out the top section, it will be alive band room, our take on aSurryHills lounge, a comfortable space that can take a diversity of acts, from ajazz band to a rock band to aDJ–any style of music. It’saSurryHills version of Hemmesphere, which we hope will be opening in May next year. Wo uld you like to make astatement about your relationship with Natalie Imbruglia? No comment. If you could have one thing that you don’t possess, what would it be? Acure to multiple myeloma, for my dada. (Justin’sfather,John, is terminally ill with multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow.) Family Confidential screens on ABC1, Monday nights,8pm.The Hemmes episode screens tonight. VIP THE ELUSIVE HEMMES FAMILYHAS OPENED ITS DOORS TO THE PUBLIC IN FAMILYCONFIDENTIAL, ANEW SHOW TO AIR ON THE ABC. THE FACE OF THE FAMILY, JUSTIN HEMMES, GIVES NINETOFIVE ABEHIND-THE - SCENES GLIMPSE AT ONE OF SYDNEY’S MOST WELL-KNOWN, YET PRIVATEFAMILIES. INTERVIEW MATT YOUNG Hotelentrepreneur JustinHemmes. Picture: ANTHONY REGINATO 45
December 6th 2010