What is your job?
I am the chef/owner of Templar Lodge, a restaurant in Tawonga. We have only just had our opening weekend. It is a contemporary Australian restaurant/wine bar and at the moment we are open Thursday to Sunday from 4pm, but once the weather improves we will open up the verandah and do some Saturday and Sunday lunches.
I am involved in all aspects of hospitality – it’s something I’m passionate about.
Is it something you always wanted to do?
Yes. I was born in Melbourne and I’ve been in the hospitality service since I was 14. I started as a kitchen hand in a Mexican restaurant in Lower Plenty and then did my apprenticeship. I have also worked overseas, spending a year cooking in Japan. I have trained with some very professional chefs and I love all styles of cuisine.
I’m very fond of hand-rolled pasta but I like to play around with Japanese and other styles.
I like to try different things and find out what my customers like. I try to offer different dishes to the customers and let them try things they have never tasted before.
When I was at Falls Creek people had enough confidence in me to give my dishes a go even if they didn’t know what they were.
How do you come to be in the Kiewa Valley?
I came to work at Mt Hotham as a chef because I wanted to work in the ski fields.
I met my husband there when he was working on the ski patrol and that’s when I moved to Bright, in 1996, and worked at Villa Gusto. We moved here five years ago because Bright got too busy for us. I have been working at Huski/Astra at Falls Creek as executive chef.
Then I decided it was time to be my own boss instead of having other bosses telling me what to do and having a go at doing it my way. My husband’s family is from the Kiewa Valley and they are very excited to have us here and opening a new business.
What do you love about the job?
I just love cooking. I love the research that goes into it. I own heaps of cookery books and that’s about all I read.
I even enjoy the preparation. I’m very keen on using home-grown fruit and vegetables; we grow a lot of it ourselves.
What do you do in your spare time?
We have three kids but that is easier now as they are growing up and both my husband and I do shift work.
I like camping and hiking - long walks like climbing Mt Bogong. I also love skiing but I haven’t skied for a while because I have a dodgy knee.