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The other day someone asked me ‘who makes you?’

That’s a big question right?

Many people make me who I am… my friends, my family, my mini human – Jet, the insane community I have surrounding me through my work, and YOU just by reading this. But, when I thought about the people who have sculpted who I am today it is absolutely my two incredible parents. They have been without doubt the strongest and most supportive people to me and I am forever grateful to everything they do.

My beautiful boy Jet, would be on equal par but to put it in context, with the question of ‘who makes you?’ there was also, ‘we’d love to send them a beautiful case of Jacob’s Creek Wine’. Small humans appreciation of some of the best wine in the world probably not quite there yet, parents on the other hand – ah yes thanks. Dad’s teaching to me has always been “life’s too short to drink s*$# red.” That explains it right? Plus, I am a true believer in balance and that all things can be enjoyed with a this approach. Especially the best wine.

And that was just the beginning of the succession of ‘pinch me’ moments. The next was, ‘Jacq, we’d love to have you to dinner with tennis star, Novak Djokovic and Jacob’s Creek Wines in Melbourne, and, would you be ok with offering one of your recipes for all of us to enjoy on the night of the event? One that has been part of who you are too, something with your story within it?’ (Sorry, say what? Pinch, double pinch. Heart racing. Slight sweat breaking out across my brow.)

Are you sure you have the right person? I asked.

And then a few weeks later, (still apparently being the right person) I find myself in a stunning greenhouse in Melbourne ready to share an intimate long table  dinner with Novak and the team from the top winemakers in the world – Jacob’s Creek.

The evening was beyond incredible, the wine, the setting, the people brought together around the table. The surprises. And let’s talk about those for just a moment…

+ Setting for an intimate dinner with Novak Djokovic and Jacob’s Creek. Post continues after images

Jacob's Creek and Novak Djokovic


As we stood with Frose in hand (frozen rose – Jacob’s Creek speciality is with strawberry syrup, lime juice, ice and frozen rose – summer in glass, and I’ll just leave that there for you *wink), the first of the evening’s surprises were delivered. MC, Paula Joye, welcomes us to the evening and thanks us for sharing who makes us who we are, “there’s a case of Jacobs Creek Wine on the way to them. But we thought we would take it one step further… we thought that not only would we give them wine, but we would bring them right here tonight to share with you this incredible occasion….

“Welcome to the people who make you who you are…”

I well up with tears as my mum and dad, walk into the room, this is beyond a pinch me moment, this is EVERYTHING. More than surprise, this moment is overwhelmingly beautiful, filled with love, connection and warmth beyond what I can describe in words.

+ My parents, Scott Purcell (Man of Many)and his mum hanging in the Jacob’s Creek barrel. Post continues after images.

Jacob's Creek and Novak Djokovic

+ Nedahl Stehlio ( editor) and Paula Joye, MC ( and yours truly

Jacob's Creek and Novak Djokovic

The evening continued with an incredible 9 course meal, wine education from Jacob’s Creek Chief Wine Maker, Ben Bryant, an introduction to Novak and the launch of the #madeby series with Jacob’s Creek Wine. To give you insight…

Jacob’s Creek and Novak Djokovic are giving tennis fans a rare glimpse into the life of the international tennis champion with the launch of the ‘Who Makes You’ content series. The exclusive series sees Novak talk candidly about the people that have contributed to his astounding success and made him who he is today.

Inspired by the concept of it’s not what makes you, it’s who, the latest series explores the greatest influences in Novak’s life: the people around him.  Who Makes You’ spotlights some of the most significant people that have contributed to Djokovic’s journey and accomplishments. The films feature his brother Marko, wife Jelena and pays tribute to some of his most significant opponents. 

Jacob’s Creek celebrates authentic spirit and passion and has produced the intimate portraits of Novak’s life to reveal the people behind the talented sportsman. The insightful films are the third instalment of the successful ‘Made By’ films series by Jacob’s Creek, which have been viewed over 17 million times since first released in 2014. See Novak’s video here.

The evening was the most outstanding experience in bringing people together I’ve had in my career to date. With recipes contributed by Billy Law (A Table for Two), Lauren Kenrick (Melbourne Foodie), Paula Joye (The Joye), myself and none other than Novak himself, it was a feast of food, wine, family, friends and strangers brought together with excitement and learning more about ‘who makes you’ for absolutely everyone present.

A huge thanks to Jacob’s Creek Wine for an evening like none other. And to my mum and dad – thank you for making me, well… me.

+ Novak’s vegan lasagne from his restaurant, Eqvita, for our main course dishes #madeby



+ My dish, Miso Trout with Ohitashi Spinach and Shiso #madeby my childhood living in Japan. That time there had such a monumental impact on my life.


+ Beyond delicious eggplant, baba ganoush and eggplant crisps by Jacob’s Creek

Jacob's Creek and Novak Djokovic

+ Introducing my dish and the story behind it to the dinner attendees. Jacob's Creek and Novak Djokovic

+ Chilli mussels by Lauren Kenrick (Foodie Melbourne)X JACOBS CRK LSLR - 1 (8)

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline Alwill, is an accredited nutritionist, author, founder of Brown Paper Nutrition and recently launched vegetarian meal delivery service Brown Paper Eats She is passionately committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Jacqueline is mum to her 8 year old boy - Jet.

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