Inside Les Dion's inner-city apartment

Les Dion nominates his kitchen as one of his favourite hangouts in his inner-city apartment.
Les Dion nominates his kitchen as one of his favourite hangouts in his inner-city apartment.

Les Dion's idea of chilling out with friends often involves emptying the pantry and firing up his electric woks.

The former Illawarra Business Chamber president and member of the Wollongong Dions' bus dynasty loves cooking and entertaining, which means there is usually a rush to his door at this time of year for his feasts.

"I can sometimes have up to 12 people at one sitting for lunch, and that means preparation often starts at 9am for a 1pm meal," he says.

Dion has been happily living in the inner city for more than a decade and is not likely to return to the suburbs anytime soon.

"I've been here [in Victoria Square] for about a year and love this place because it's so central to everything and the apartment is large and well designed," he says.

"I rarely use the car now because I'm within walking or biking distance from the beach, the shops and the restaurant strip."

His favourite space is the kitchen, which flows out to the open-plan living and dining area and the outdoor entertainment area.

"My kitchen is nothing special but it's spacious which I think is essential for entertaining because you need a place to spread out for preparation."

Dion says his early inspiration came from his mother, the late Queenie Dion, who was what he calls a "sensational" cook.

"She cooked authentic Chinese and although she never worried too much about precise measurements she always seemed to get the dish right by taste, and I try to do the same," he says.

"I still do Mum's fried rice, which is flavoured with barbecued pork and duck to help give it the perfect balance of flavours."

He says when entertaining he favours Asian cuisine with a personalised tweak.

Dion is not much into celebrity chefs and prefers to chase down a recipe on the web on his iPad, prominently displayed on his kitchen bench.


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