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The proud owner and founder of Melbourne’s acclaimed culinary school, Relish Mama which began in 2009. Many years of experience in the food industry with a strong background in business. Nellie grew up with a love and appreciation of cooking ‘real food’ and places an enormous priority on family. Nellie is a Mother to three wonderful teenage daughters.
She is a highly regarded and experienced culinary teacher and a food writer and has written for leading magazines and newspapers. She has a deep love of travelling and leads culinary tours overseas every year, mostly to Europe. Nellie is the published author of two cookbooks.
Caroline has gained her extensive experience in the food and hospitality industries over 30 years. In the past 15 years, her interest has focussed on artisanal preserving where she has been recognised as an award-winning expert in this field. Besides teaching in several cooking schools around Melbourne, Caroline also assists clients in product development and contract production.
Using her grandmother’s copper pan she enjoys sharing her knowledge whilst teaching how to make the very best jams, jellies, marmalades, pickles and relishes.
Pauline Leonard has operated ‘Taste Cook Travel’ for more than 18 years and has spent many years travelling throughout Italy and Australia discovering the world’s best food, wine and lifestyle. Pauline specialises in hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations, market tours and special events. Her hands-on pasta making classes at Relish Mama are highly sought after and she commenced her classes with Relish Mama back in 2011.
Pauline’s philosophy is that cooking should be fun and entertaining and that one of life’s great pursuits is the enjoyment of good friends, great food and fantastic wine.
Rosa spent the first seven years of her life on a little liquorice farm in the outskirts of Catania, set against the backdrop of Mount Etna. Rosa is renowned for her successful Sicilian inspired restaurant in Melbourne “Rosa’s Canteen’. Rosa says she cooks “as if you’ve come to my place for lunch”.
Her food is a thoroughly appealing blend of the recipes of her Sicilian family, her love of Australian ingredients and her commitment to the philosophies of the Slow Food movement.
Khristina is a qualified pastry chef with many years of experience working in some of the finest restaurants in Melbourne and overseas. Khristina teaches outstanding pastry workshops at Relish Mama as well as hands-on cake decorating classes.
Khristina is incredibly generous and loves sharing her knowledge and skills with all who attend her classes. Khristina is a first generation pastry chef but a third generation baker and cake decorator.
Vietnamese born, Quyen joined the Relish Mama team in 2010. Her passion and enjoyment of Vietnamese cooking have been passed on from her mother who was an amazing cook. As a young child, Quyen worked for her family at market stalls in Ho Chi Minh City, which is where she grew up. Quyen’s authentic market-style dishes are packed with flavour and suitable for all occasions.
Quyen loves sharing her recipes and insights into Vietnamese cuisine and culture in her lessons at Relish Mama.
Emma Mackay is a highly awarded French-trained chef, pastry chef and qualified industry trainer of many years’ experience. Emma generously shares her many kitchen tales in her classes whilst also imparting her extensive culinary knowledge. From French Bistro to South East Asian street food, Vegan cooking, Modern Japanese to Ancient Grains and Pulses; Emma simply loves to cook.
Join Emma to learn solid methods and techniques in a fun and interactive class with delicious food,a glass of wine and many laughs.
As a native of California, Lou learned the art of dumpling making from her mother and grandmother. These memories have inspired her to preserve and share her cultural and culinary knowledge in her hands-on and very interactive cooking classes.
Lou’s class feedback from our guests is often described as “engaging, thorough, incredibly generous with knowledge and skills shared”.
Growing up in Tasmania, Rebecca formed an appreciation for fresh produce. Rebecca learnt the importance of precision and technique by working alongside her idol, internationally renowned chef Tetsuya Wakuda.
Rebecca’s love for modern Asian food flourished as Sous Chef at Longrain and Head Chef at Magic Mountain saloon. Rebecca also her own bespoke catering business U, Ma & Me.
Cooking teacher and MasterChef Australia Alumni & Author ‘Pia’s Table Food was an important part of Pia Gava’s Italian upbringing with family dishes suited to every occasion.
Pia has a strong passion to share these traditions and food memories alongside teaching her recipes like homemade pasta, Cicchetti (Italian appetisers), sweet treats and comfort food.
Pia was a contender in MasterChef Australia 2017 and has since published her first book ‘Pia’s table’. Pia is also a OnePlate Charity ambassador and shares her wonderful skills and recipes in all her workshops.
Meg started her business NOGO in 2016 when she was diagnosed with IBS (Fructose malabsorption).
Suddenly condiments were off the menu and the idea of NOGO was born. NOGO is now distributed Australia wide and is an award-winning brand. Meg loves educating others and sharing her extensive knowledge through her fructose friendly cooking classes.
Catherine fell in love with cooking from a very early age. A generous and talented home-cook and the Mother of 3 young adult children -she has well and truly earned her apron strings. Catherine teaches the basics of good home-style cooking in her young adult’s Beginners classes as well as teaching kids and teens cooking classes.
Catherine joined the Relish Mama team in 2014 as a much-loved host in the kitchen and progressed to offering classes of her own in 2017. Her motto in life is “do what you love and love what you do”.
Steph grew up in a big family with a passionate love for food and cooking. Steph studied Integrative Holistic Nutrition, and runs a plant based culinary business. Steph will show her you just how easy it can be to prepare and cook plant based foods in new and exciting ways in order to eat healthily and abundantly. Steph believes believes that food allergies and intolerances shouldn’t get in the way of everyone enjoying a cooking class. She caters to food allergies, coeliac and low FODMAP diets, so no one misses out on the party!Steph teaches an array of plant based classes and workshops, from cuisines around the world. Her warm and inviting personality will make you feel like you’re part of the family in these vibrant and delicious plant based cooking classes.
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at twelve years old Soon Lee Low was taken by his parents to an Italian fine dining restaurant. He can still remember the taste of the simple creamy pasta he had, delivered by a Malaysian head chef who had spent eight years in Italy mastering his craft. He was so amazed that the local chef’s passion and joy could be shared with others with just a bowl of pasta. Little did he know that he was going to embark on the same journey.
Soon gained extensive experience in different cuisines, including marrying Japanese and Peruvian flavours from Chef Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu, Melbourne, and taking a molecular approach to Spanish from Michelin starred chef, Ramon Frexia, at Hilton Melbourne South Wharf.
Soon received an offer from Nobu Melbourne’s former head chef, Scott Hallsworth to be a part of his new team at Wabi restaurant, in central London. This was followed by sous chef positions at Sushi Samba, and Duck and Waffle, before touring Europe as the private chef for The WHO. While in London he cooked for The Killers and at charity events for famous UK singers such as Jessie J and Robbie Williams.
Soon is a highly skilled Chef and an incredibly generous teacher. His classes are filled with wonderful tips from her many years in the industry.
Sally has grown up with a passion for good food and real ingredients. Her family operate a large orchard in country Victoria. Sally is a mother to four wonderful children and places priority on them eating well and learning to cook.
Sally is both a host and a culinary teacher at Relish Mama and teaches cooking classes to kids and teens every school holidays. Sally is the owner of Salute catering.
Kathy grew up learning to cook traditional Greek cuisine from her mother. These recipes have been passed down from generations. Her food is engrained with their culture and spirit.
She stands proudly behind two cookbooks, Sweet Greek and Sweet Greek Life. In 2016 she was awarded the winner of the HACCI Award for business excellence. Her vision to share her love for food and the Hellenic culture has materialised more than she could have imagined.
Cristina & her family ran a successful Gelateria for 15 years in Piedmont, northern Italy, before moving to Melbourne in 2015.
Christina only uses raw ingredients of the highest quality. Her highly praised gelato uses fresh fruit, organic milk and raw organic sugar, it’s the best way to preserve its texture and flavour. Cristina truly loves recreating a wonderful authentic Italian taste with ingredients that are produced sustainably.
Hayley Smorgon is a self-confessed foodie and dessert chef who enjoys entertaining for family and friends. She is the co-author of Cooking From Memory (Hardie Grant 2006), Cooking From The Heart),Hardie Grant 2012), The Butcher The Baker, The Best Coffee Maker( Penguin 2012) and Every Bite Takes You Home (Ilura Press 2015), and she has written food-related articles for the Herald Sun and the Jewish News.
Hayley has visited Israel numerous times. Her style of food is opulent and abundant and looks as good as it tastes. Hayley loves Ottolenghi style and food philosopy also and she shares this generously in her classes. Hayley gives vegetables prominence on the dining table. and places great emphasis on stunning salads, Her food is fresh, modern and theatrical.
Patma is a professional pastry chef and culinary who has worked in both Malaysia and Melbourne over the past forty years.
Patma specialises in Cake decorating and has won many competitions over the year. Patma has been awarded the highest award awarded to any cake decorator in Australia, the “Norma Brock Award” in 2010 and once again in 2013.
Patma is well experienced savoury chef and specialises in Indian and Malaysian cooking classes. Over the years, Patma has cooked for many famous people both public and royalty was invited to the kingdom the King of Swaziland to educate the staff with her extensive knowledge.