About Sylvia

Sylvia is dedicated and passionate about inspiring and empowering you to cook and eat well using fresh local seasonal produce.

Learn lifelong and life-changing food and cooking skills. Gain confidence and inspiration that are personally satisfying. Improve your life to a new level of good health, enjoyment and happiness.

Sylvia is a passionate creative self-taught Chef with over 35 years’ of professional experience in restaurants, catering and cooking classes. She is a qualified Food and Wine Tutor, Writer, Gardener and ‘Culinary Alchemist’ (Recipe Developer) with a love of food and cooking since she was a little girl.

In January 2007 Sylvia established her home-based hands-on cooking school and since then has been teaching food and cooking to eager students. She simultaneously ran a diverse range of highly popular cooking classes through Adult Education Launceston and also coaches cooking in private one-on-one classes in people’s own homes. Sylvia also produces artisan gourmet products.

For 10 years she has been assisting people to achieve their full potential in the kitchen by teaching cooking skills that have transformed their lives for the better forever.

Sylvia has a rich European family heritage that has been enhanced through travel with professional and personal multi-cultural culinary experiences.

She has extensive hospitality experience, mentored and trained with well known chefs in Adelaide and overseas. Sylvia was offered Sous Chef position at Antonio Carluccio’s London Neal Street Restaurant but rather accepted the role as Chef working with her husband managing the successful boutique hotel and restaurant The Peacock Inn in Suffolk in the English countryside. Sylvia was inspired by the rural region and created eclectic daily ‘blackboard’ menus using fresh seasonal local produce and conducted cooking classes between services.

Sylvia has lived, worked, travelled and experienced different cultural and culinary influences in the UK, Europe, North Africa, South and North East Asia. On their return to Australia, Sylvia became Chef at the highly popular Ruby’s Café in the cosmopolitan East End District of Adelaide. Awarded Distinction WSET London Higher Certificate Level 3 (Wines and Spirits) and High Distinction Graduate Certificate of Business Wine Studies from Edith Cowan University (equivalent WSET Level 4 Diploma), Sylvia tutored Wine Studies at Adelaide TAFE and happily imparts her wine knowledge and skills. She worked at Diamond Valley Vineyards estate (now Punch) in the Yarra Valley one of Australia’s leading pinot noir producers and has extensive wine assessment, tasting, food and wine matching skills which she shares in her classes.

Sylvia owned and operated a successful home-based catering business, Cuisine de Artiste, and consulted and cooked in well-established cafés, bistros and restaurants both in Australia and overseas. She had a diverse corporate career and assisted in the proposed establishment of the Adelaide Central Market cooking school.

She has been cooking since she was a child and could reach the kitchen bench top preparing handmade pasta, chicken stock, pastry, cakes and breads and European dishes with her grandmother who was first to mentor her in the importance of good food and sharing. Sylvia has vast knowledge of food and experience in a broad range of cultures and styles both in Australia and overseas. Her classes and daily cooking are influenced by fresh local seasonal produce used in multi-cultural ways. Her love of good food, travels and work with food, including a library of culinary, food science, cultural and historical literature and love of life and people continually inspire her.

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 consequential influences on Australian cuisine.” It was orchestrated by Master Chef Cheong Liew OAM of Neddys and The Grange restaurant Hilton Hotel Adelaide and included cooking with Maggie Beer, Janet Jeffs, Tuomono Wynn and other well-known chefs, cooks and regional producers. An extraordinary exploration into food and highly memorable intellectual culinary experience that also incorporated the study and cooking of Cheong Liew’s masterful dishes.

Some of Sylvia’s mentors were Cath Kerry of The Adelaide Art Gallery Restaurant (spending hours with her in the board room kitchen of Orlando Wines, rather than at her desk) and the late Brigita Whiting (Turniski) of Mona Lisa’s Bistro and Café Instanbul, Adelaide where in the late 1980s Sylvia undertook a ‘culinary internship’ and worked dinner service in the kitchen after her day at the office!

Australian and overseas work and influences together with all the above, include Terry Owen and Susan Moore of Ruby’s Café, Stephanie Alexander, Cherry Ripe, Vic Cherikoff, Christine Manfield (who worked at Ruby’s Café), Greg Malouf, Larkin Warren of Martha’s Vineyard Restaurant, Chris Chown of Plas Bodegroes, Alastair Little, 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, converse, cook and dine with.

It is her husband to whom she is most grateful, who always provides encouragement and inspiration and is a fabulous cook, scientist and Glass Artist. He says:

“Without food there is no life, therefore the greatest gift you can give someone is good food.“

Together they share a rich journey of travel, culture, 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 in the Barossa Valley