ABOUT THE COOKING INSTRUCTOR

Beginning back in my training-wheel days, food has been the love of my life. From the ripe age of six, I was conjuring up week-end breakfast menus for my folks, using any pantry ingredients I could reach. In our small Australian country town, farm-fresh food was the norm. Processed food was unwelcome. We cooked from scratch using home-grown vegetables and hand-picked herbs from the gardens on our country acreage. My parents come from Finland, a cold country cooking up essential comfort food for minus twenty-two degree days. Australian culture is a multi-faceted fusion of global influences; first and second generation immigrants make up a majority of the population. I learnt to cook a broad spectrum of cuisines from Finnish to Spanish to Thai from any expert willing to teach me.

While my childhood addiction to barbies, video games and go-carts perished, my interest in food only intensified over the years. I continued my culinary explorations through high school, both in and out of class. After graduating from a private Hospitality College, I unleashed the gypsy gene passed down from my mother and flew to Europe. I left with a backpack, one suitcase and a pocket of savings. I was an eager twenty-one-year-old, going walkabout. While living in Spain I discovered a new, more elevated dimension to cooking. I wanted to know the secrets of ancient Catalan recipes, so I sought out and lived with locals who taught me what they knew. In my spare time, I would (and still do) read recipe books, nutrition guides, and industry literature with regularity. People and food are my elemental pleasures, so I began holding dinner parties for a close circle of friends to practice new menus.

In Miami, with a little help from fate, I fell into a position cooking on private yachts. Granted free rein to develop my creativity, I crafted my own menus, often using fresh seafood caught minutes before. I worked for a number of yacht owners traveling through the Bahamas and around South Florida.

“My fervor for food is not solely about the process of cooking, nor the pleasures of eating, nor even the quest for validation that I excel in the kitchen. For me, it’s the pure gratification of sharing knowledge and experiences by way of taste and aroma with other adventurous spirits.”

This is my way of making an impact on the world, one day and dish at a time. I hope you can join me!