LYGON Street can rely on soccer fans to go nuts with flares when Italy wins or loses a match but its pizzerias have already lost out in the inaugural Melbourne Pizza Festival after being excluded from the top 12. There is also no D.O.C. in Faraday Street, Carlton, the trail-blazing eatery of Tony Nicolini, or Rita Macali’s Supermaxi in Fitzroy North, but that has more to do with them wanting to stand alone and not be judged in a competition. Festival creator Matteo Rubbettino approached restaurants to sign up and contribute some dough (the dollar variety) for the chance to be numero uno. The entrants are +39 in the CBD, I Carusi in Brunswick East, Ladro in Fitzroy and Prahran, Pizzeria Amici in Heidelberg, Non Solo Pasta in Docklands, La Svolta in Hampton, Pizza e Birra in St Kilda, Mamma Vittoria’s in Fitzroy, Pizza Meine Liebe in Northcote, Woodstock in Carlton North, 400 Gradi in Brunswick East and Il Borgo in Camberwell. Rubbettino chose the restaurants based on their ”commitment to authenticity” and understanding of the pizza ”philosophy”. This means the less is more approach and no matchstick-style ham co-mingling with pineapple. Melburnians are invited to get munching from July 9 and the winner will be announced at the La Dolce Italia expo on August 12 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. It’s near the Lygon Street pizzerias that won’t be receiving a gong.
Under Nick’s underBRACKS
UNDERWEAR entrepreneur Nick Bracks will gird his loins for a chilly morning run, hoping not to look too conspicuous in pink boxer shorts from his underBRACKS label and nothing else, apart from socks and runners. The son of former premier Steve Bracks signed up for The Age’s Run Melbourne on July 15 and will pound the pavement in the 10-kilometre event with friend Adam Rabone, a model. To combat the glacial air, Nick will wear a pair of undies under the boxers. ”Or some padding,” he said. Preferably thermal. He chose pink because he’s supporting the Breast Cancer Network Australia, the organisation of which mum Terry is deputy chair. Retired hurdler Jana Pittman will be chatting to entrants and while they are free to tweet shots of Nick’s boxers, they should consider her tough-love approach to Olympians who tweet: ”You’re there to do a job, so suck it up and get the job done and come home and play on Twitter as much as you want.”
The knockout Eagle has landed
NOT all of us have several slashes in our title, such as model/waterskier/boxer/one-time Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lauryn Eagle. The athlete is readying her fists for a Friday the 13th boxing match against Natasha “The Nightmare” Spence in the Women’s World Boxing Foundation super featherweight title at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington. To ensure black Friday is not such a nightmare, Eagle has trained with bantamweight pro Susie ”Q” Ramadan. Eagle will bring her knockout look to the Fashion Aid gala at Crown in September as co-host with model Laura Dundovic. Event director Emma Rombotis has enlisted her glamour friends as stylists, one of them being Fiona Gatto, the daughter-in-law of a certain Carlton identity who threw punches during his time in the ring. Fiona, who’s married to Damian Gatto, lent her fashionista touch to style model Silvana Lovin for the official Fashion Aid photo. Expect more femme fatale knockouts on the night.
Digging deep into the subtext
LITERARY savants gather for the Melbourne Writers Festival from August 23 but before that, there’s the ”underground” Bendigo Writers Festival. Keynote speaker Ita Buttrose will be above ground at the Capital Theatre on August 11 but another session is 61 metres below ground in the Central Deborah Gold Mine’s function room that caters for weddings, parties and bookworms. In the touted ”world first”, festival chairman Rod Fyffe hosts ”Deep and Meaningful: readings down the mine” with hard hats provided for the descent.
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