1. Your restaurant/business:
I am the Head Baker at Grain Organic Bakery, a boutique wholesale sourdough bakery in Alexandria, Sydney.
2. Describe your kitchens:
It’s a bustling bakehouse where all the products are handmade with love and delivered to some of the best restaurants in Sydney.
3. Favourite Chef Works item and why:
My favourite would have to be the Lausanne women’s executive chef jacket. It looks professional, feels light and is very durable. I also like the range of aprons and matching hats. All look great on camera and are made from quality materials.
4. First job:
Pamphlet deliveries, I used to even have a custom made trolley and have my Mum do drops all around the neighbourhood. I also worked at BP Service station, Red Rooster and doing market research at the age of 15, I have always worked very hard from a very young age.
5. Your cookbook:
In the process as we speak, watch this space!!
In the past three years I have won over 25 awards. The latest I was awarded NSW Apprentice of the Year and Runner up in the Australian National Training Awards in 2013. I am very proud of my achievements, it’s given me the ability to be recognised for all the hard work and dedication to my trade. I’m now an ambassador for Australian Apprenticeships, The Baking Association of Australia and The Australian Training Awards.I have recently been selected as an Australian Delegate to fly to India for the India & Australia Skills Conference, held in Mumbai. I will be baking onstage as part of a demonstration in front of delegates from both countries alongside some very talented World Skills representatives.
7. Your cooking inspiration:
My mother Glenda, she always manages to make food come to life in the kitchen. As a little girl we would make cakes together and she would let me lick the bowl. Worst habit she could ever have given me as a Pastry Chef!
8. Your speciality dish:
My gold award winning banana bread made with all natural ingredients and organic flour. We have people coming into the bakery just to stock up, also a favourite when I bring it to friends places and parties.
9. Favourite dish to eat:
I would have to say an amazing seafood platter to share of course. Food always tastes better with friends.
10. Wierdest thing you have ever eaten:
Recently in France I had to do the tourist thing and try snails!!Lucky they were smothered in garlic butter.
11. Favourite ice cream flavour:
Good old school Rum and Raisin.
12. Favourite drink:
1800 tequila with some lemonade and fresh lime!!
13. Favourite wine:
Innocent Bystander Moscato, it’s sweet and refreshing, a perfect spring drink perfect for BBQs.
14. Who would you most like to cook for:
If I could bring someone back to life just to bake for them it would be Salvador Dali, who was once known to get Poilâne to make him a bedroom out of bread as he wanted to see if he had mice in his room!!
15. Who would you least like to cook for:
There isn’t anyone I would not enjoy to bake for, I am a great believer that food is best shared.
16. Favourite things to do outside of the kitchen:
I love anything active, may it be boxing, running and or hitting the dance floor with my friends!!
17. Your latest project:
My latest project is completing my Cert IV in Training and Assessment as I love to teach and enjoy the satisfaction of sharing my skills and watching others develop new ones. As I mentioned I’m also putting together a book with my life experiences, some recipes and my recent travels to Europe.
I have recently been selected as a NSW TAFE Ambassador, as part of my role I will be attending functions representing TAFE and will have the ability to mentor younger baking students that may be lucky enough to receive an education scholarship that will be named in my honour!
18. Favourite city and why:
My favourite City would have to be Amsterdam, the stunning tulips, enchanting canals and amazing restaurants and patisseries. It has such a rad vibe and was definitely my favourite part of my recent solo tour to Europe
19. Your greatest indulgence:
My greatest indulgence would have to be the French luxury Chocolats Valrhona. Another great indulgence would have to be a rare day off relaxing on the beach, sand beneath my toes and the sun shining down.
20. Your all time best culinary tip:
When I first started baking I was told that bread talks to you, don’t worry I laughed too. But when the dough is finished mixing in the bowl you can hear the slapping, when it comes out of the oven you can hear the crackling and finally when you cut a great sourdough you can hear the crunch of the crust. So it’s true it’s not all look and feel, but definitely sound. I love what I do as a baker, everyone loves fresh sourdough and luckily that is my specialty.