Fibre Artist, Chef and Author, South Gippsland
Fibre Artist, Chef and Author, South Gippsland
At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. I had an idea that I would become a television technician and work on sporting events (which I did). This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, South Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook.
Before returning to South Gippsland I re-trained as a chef, completing my certificate of commercial cookery. This led me to working in catering, large and small hotels and small businesses, both in Melbourne and South Gippsland before starting Jacican. In 2014 I completed my Bachelor of Business and Commerce from Monash University, just to round out my education.
See you all soon in the Get Cheffed kitchen!
My biggest and proudest food achievements to date would have to be sticky Asian beef short ribs and Korean fried chicken.
Food is something I’m really passionate about because it brings together family and friends in a way that nothing else has the ability to do.
I love Gippsland because we are central to the city, beach and snow. Here in the Latrobe Valley and in the whole Gippsland region we have such a great variety of restaurants, wineries and produce, and this is something that we should try and celebrate more and more.
I was 'Baptized by Chef' by Joseph Vargetto, (Mister Bianco, Massi) at the famous Oyster Little Bourke Restaurant in Melbourne. Joe fuelled my strong work ethic whilst honing and refining my new found skills. After three years of dedication, I travelled around the globe before coming back to Melbourne, where I helped transform Oyster Little Bourke into Mezzo, working alongside Chef and now dear friend Mauro Callegari (The Independent, Gembrook).
After 5 years in Melbourne, I was driven to work in a Michelin Star Restaurant. I was fortunate to get a position with Carlo Cracco, the Italian innovator and poster boy of modern Italian cuisine. At Ristorante Cracco I continued to fine tune & perfect my skills under the watchful eyes of some of the best Italian chefs in the business.
Back in Melbourne I worked alongside Chef/Restauranteur Scott Pickett to open his first venture, Estelle. Running the kitchen and absorbing as much knowledge I could from Pickett before taking the leap to open my first restaurant, Big Spoon Little Spoon in Warragul. And I am now an owner / director of the Courthouse Restaurant & Garden Bar, a stunning heritage building in the heart of Warragul CBD.
Working at that local pub for the first two years of my apprenticeship before moving on to a café. From there I went and experienced a summer at the local pub of Queenscliff, if anything it showed me how much I love being by the water!
After that I moved back to my home town of Morwell where I worked at the local pub as a chef before being offered Head Chef at the same venue, where I stayed for 4yrs.
Fast forward to now… Head Chef at the Paynesville Pub… Yep back by the water!
Being able to attend Adriano Zumbo’ Masterclass in 2016 and being able to meet such a talented Pastry Chef is probably by far the best experience of my career so far, followed closely by my brief meet with Gordon Ramsay!
April/May 2016 the Dairy crisis happened. Farmers were brought to their knees in an unprecedented way that had never been seen before. This had a significant financial, mental and physical toll and the effects are ongoing.
Two months before the Dairy crisis, Sallie’s dad took his own life. This rocked Sallie's world.
The combination of the milk crisis and a personal tragedy and brought two families together and the decision was made to start a milk brand that stands for creating social change to smash the stigma of mental health and paying farmers for a fair price for a fair days work.
A decade later she has the deep satisfaction of knowing where all her food comes from, because all her fruit, veg and meat comes from the patch of dirt around her. With an always plentiful supply of food, and full of the joy that she found in eating this way, six years ago she made the decision to step away from her previous career in advertising and social research and start a farm based business called Tamsin’s Table, which brings people together around a big old table for cooking classes and shared table lunches.
The business has now grown to the point where it books out for months in advance. Tamsin is a regular contributor to local events and media, as well as writing a regular column for Country Style magazine and loves to do whatever she can to support local food businesses and other Gippsland enterprises
Even hanging with my best friend and his parents’ fruit and veg shops working and learning as much as I can for a seasonal perspective. I also did some small stints at a very young age with my cousin at Century Inn and some of her other establishments.
I moved to Melbourne in 1999 to start my cooking apprenticeship and moved quickly up the chain, working with some of the most talented chefs, leading as much as I could along the way. I then moved on to run my own kitchens, setting up different concepts along the way leading the path to where I walk along my hospitality journey today. I am now the proud owner and Head Chef at Ascot Food Store in Melbourne.
As a young adult Meg did a 6 week course with a French chef, which paved the way for experimentation and a wonderful sense of play.
During the time Meg lived in America, she was asked to teach people about herbs and using fresh seasonal foods in their cooking, and her relationship with food was again broadened.
Now Meg has a few cookbooks under her belt and continues to enjoy food as art and play.
In 2007 Birch and Liz (wife) purchased 27 acres in Darnum and established Darnum Park Estate - an olive grove business which also has fruit and berries. Darnum Park Estate has won a number of awards for its olive oil and olives.
Maree is now offering sourdough bread making workshops, and is operating a small community bakery in the Gippsland town of Trafalgar where bread is baked to order. All breads from Simply Sourdough are made using premium ingredients with no artificial additives or preservatives.
Maree has a wealth of knowledge and is able to teach to ensure you reach maximum potential as well as offering ongoing support and guidance.