I grew up helping my mom cook most weekends. She was a superb home cook, and could cook both savory and sweet dishes. She used to take me on frequent shopping trips to the local cities and we would always have time for a really nice coffee and a cake.
My passion for food really took off when I was given a book by one of my relatives - the food bible “Larousse Gastronomy” as a gift. I was only 12 at the time, but I was spellbound by its contents.
Over the years I became obsessed with desserts. I started to read restaurant menus in reverse, making sure that I had enough room for that final plate of food! I judged restaurants (and still do!) by their dessert menu – I didn’t mind simplicity – but it has to be done right.
In 2000, I purchased my first Ice Cream machine which was a 2L SIMAC Gelato refrigerated gelato machine. This was the start of my ice cream career.
I am primarily self-taught in Ice Cream and Gelato, although I did attend a couple of commercial gelato courses early in my career. I took away from those courses the necessity to use commercial equipment, but I made a decision to not use commercial bases or pastes.
Through lots of research and experimentation, I've carefully analyzed the art and science of what I consider to be the perfect ice-cream.
We first started giving samples of our ice cream away and asking for criticism, and or advice. Slowly we progressed to selling at markets, then retail, then finally in January 2015, we opened our first store - Frugii Dessert Laboratory.
My chocolate and pastry career started after being introduced to Kirsten Tibbles. Kirsten owns www.savourschool.com.au. I have the deepest admiration for Kirsten’s level of professionalism and expertise, and can honestly say she is a now a good friend of mine.
I have attended many courses at Kirsten’s school, learning about chocolate tempering, molding, enrobing, and the baking of many types of pastry, Jellies, Nougat etc. I also attend her special guest classes where you meet and learn to cook with some of the world’s best pastry chefs.
I then taught myself how to make chocolate ‘from the bean’ using products, and resources primarily from www.chocolatealchemy.com.
Frugii is the first in the world to produce commercially available chocolate gelato from the cocoa bean. We use the term ‘bean to scoop’. Our ‘Bean to Scoop’ chocolate gelato was given a great review by Georg Bernardini in his new book – Chocolate – the Reference Standard www.thechocolatetester.com. The book was published in 2015.
It's been a constant learning journey for me, and still is, but it's amazing one!
I love what I do.