Tell us a bit about you?

I’m a country kid at heart, having grown up on the Mid-North Coast of NSW in the stunningly gorgeous Manning Valley (yes, the same place as the eggs). I have a deeply passionate relationship with food (duh), plants, and science. I recently moved down from Sydney to Melbourne to study a Masters of Science (Biosciences) at The University of Melbourne, doing research in the physiology/nutrition/biochemistry of native Australian food plants (broadly speaking). I also have a BSc, and have worked as a Botanist/Ecologist in an Environmental Consultancy in Sydney. I would love to focus my career as a scientist on native Australian food plants, working within urban agriculture, sustainable agriculture, permaculture or similar.

In my spare time I love to do some gardening (I have over 30 plant babies, including my shepherd avocado and native finger limes that I grew from seed), including volunteer gardening at CERES Community Environment Park in Brunswick, VIC. I also love to dance – I did ballet growing up, and adore Scottish Country Dancing. I love reading (I have hundreds of books – too many to count) and, of course, absolutely love cooking (and eating!).

Why YFM?

YFM is my food family. I have now been part of Upstart across two chapters, Sydney and Melbourne. I have made so many friends and have met so many wonderful, gorgeous, amazing, fabulous and inspiring people. YFM is absolute heaven, and has enriched my life exponentially since I joined up in September 2016.

Favourite food memory?

Do I have to choose just one?! I guess I’d have to pick the time I spent with my aunt in Switzerland. I ate so much incredible food (mate, the bread, the cheese, the apples!). The best experience though was the Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel) we had in a little restaurant in the middle of a paddock on top of a hill above St Gallen. It blew my mind. Everything about it was perfect. Golden buttery flaky pastry, light creamy sauce, juicy apples, plump sultanas… The Swiss have such high standards, which definitely translates into their food.

Last meal you would eat before the apocalypse?

My mum’s lasagne. She uses cream instead of white sauce, and the meat sauce is godly. All of the cheese on top. It’s stupendous. I’m drooling just thinking about it now…