Sylvia’s Kitchen Tasmania is based in the riverside city of Launceston in the picturesque Tamar Valley, Tasmania and specialises in Cooking Classes with a Difference and Handmade Fine Foods by Sylvia Devlin who is an experienced creative self-taught chef, food and wine tutor, gardener, photographer and writer with a passion for food and cooking since she was a little girl. She has a rich European family heritage that has been enhanced through travel. Sylvia was partner chef at The Peacock Inn a 14th century inn and highly successful boutique hotel restaurant she managed together with her husband in the English countryside, and created daily menus using fresh seasonal produce from local farms, food producers and the garden.
On their return to Australia Sylvia became chef at the popular Ruby's Café in Adelaide. She has qualifications in international wine studies from The Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London and joined Diamond Valley Vineyards one of Australia’s leading pinot noir producers based in the Yarra Valley. She has operated a successful catering business and worked in several well-established cafés and bistros whilst juggling a corporate career in business administration, heritage site management, marketing, corporate charity sponsorship and event management. Sylvia co-ordinated a project to establish a cooking school in the Adelaide Central Market. She has been cooking for nearly 30 years, professionally and personally, in a broad range of cultures and styles both in Australia and overseas. The four seasons, fresh local produce, her travels and work with food, including a library of culinary literature, influence her classes and daily cooking. Sylvia is also in the process of writing her first cookbook and culinary biography.
In 1988 Sylvia was fortunate to be chosen to be part of a small team to participate in "Australian Cuisine" a unique culinary study of "the development of Australian society from a diverse multicultural background and the consequent influences on Australian cuisine." It was orchestrated by Master Chef Cheong Liew and included cooking with Maggie Beer, Janet Jeffs, Tuomono Wynn and other well-known chefs, cooks and regional producers. It was an extraordinary exploration into food and highly memorable intellectual experience that also incorporated the study and cooking of Cheong Liew's masterful dishes.
Sylvia's earliest mentors are her dearly beloved late father and late grandmother who always provided encouragement and support. Further influence came from Cath Kerry of The Art Gallery Restaurant and the late Brigita Whiting (Turniski) of Mona Lisa's Bistro, Adelaide where in the late '80s Sylvia worked dinner service in the kitchen after her day at the office. Australian and overseas work and influences, together with all the abovementioned, include Terry Owen and Susan Moore of Ruby's Café, Stephanie Alexander, Cherry Ripe, Vic Cherikoff, Larkin Warren of Martha's Vineyard Restaurant, Chris Chown of Plas Bodegroes, Ann and Franco Taruschio of The Walnut Tree, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of The River Café and many more with whom Sylvia has had the pleasure to work, cook and dine with. It is her husband to whom she is most grateful and who always provides encouragement and inspiration. Together they share a rich journey of travel, art, music, food and wine, which is central to their life, so much so, they married at Colin and Maggie Beer's Pheasant Farm restaurant.
Sylvia’s philosophy is to Taste, Experiment and Enjoy fresh seasonal regional food that is cooked simply and to take the time to share and enjoy the dining experience with family and friends, a philosophy encouraged by the Slow Food movement and also that of slower living. She strongly believes “you are what you eat” *, and that good quality fresh food coming from a natural, organic or home-grown source is an investment in your future health and well-being. Furthermore, with regular exercise, less stress, a well-balanced diet with smaller portions using fresh ingredients and interesting flavours, a glass of wine and a few morsels of sweet indulgence, we can all get more out of life and enjoy it to the fullest!
You can share Sylvia’s enthusiasm, skills, knowledge and experience in food, wine and cooking by enrolling in one of her renowned Hands-On Cooking Classes where you too will be enthused by her passion and warm generous hospitality. You will come away from her classes inspired and confident in your ability to cook with different foods and flavours. Take a look at some of the Feedback to see what past participants and other food lovers have said about Sylvia’s Cooking Classes and Fine Foods.
Sylvia’s Kitchen Handmade Fine Foods are a delicious and exotic addition to your pantry. Find out more about these unique artisan products and where you can buy them locally.
* Quote by Ludwig Feuerbach, nineteenth-century German Philosopher