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Watermelon sculptures mark World Cup

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 00:50

June 5 - A chef in Brazil carves sculptures in watermelon to celebrate the impending World Cup soccer-fest. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION World Cup fever is catching people's attention in peculiar ways the closer the tournament draws near. Thanks to this worldwide wave of enthusiasm the likes of soccer players Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have already begun popping up in Brazil ahead of the competition - but in the unlikeliest of places; watermelons. With the skilful hand of full-time chef, part-time sculptor Rogerio Holanda, the soccer stars' likenesses are appearing in the shells of gigantic watermelons. Twenty-nine-year old Holanda, head chef at the four-star hotel San Raphael in Sao Paulo said he first took a crack at sculpting images into the shells of watermelons 12 years ago after a travelling tourist left a magazine behind with a carved watermelon on the cover. The eager chef from the north of the Brazil and the son of farmers wasted no time trying his hand, realising flowers first before eventually embarking on more difficult territory - his wife's face. Holanda says it now only takes him 15 - 20 minutes to do most of his watermelon sculptures. It may just be a hobby but Holanda said the unique and colourful art form pays priceless dividends. As Holanda has honed his talents over the years so has his managers' confidence in him grown. Now the pride of the hotel's kitchen, Holanda frequently carves the likenesses of anyone famous passing through the San Raphael. Carving the likeness of former Brazilian international Zico and then receiving a surprise package with a signed jersey is still the greatest compliment Holanda has received in regard to his work. Despite his willingness to carve the likeness of anyone, famous or not, and a sworn loyalty to Brazil's national team soccer team come World Cup time, Holanda readily admitted that Portuguese striker Ronaldo is his favourite player.

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Watermelon sculptures mark World Cup

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 00:50