My earliest memory of food is eating smoked oysters from the tin, aged three, as my mother prepared savouries for the dart players every second Tuesday evening in the family hotel.
When I was five, my grandfather taught me to eat oysters and snails straight from the shell and would take me on trips to Flinders to pick up fresh local crayfish and mussels. I've loved food ever since - those days showed me that food is more than a necessity.
Quality produce, artful cooking and attentive hospitality have been the cornerstone of many great gatherings with family and friends over the years and around the globe within our home. Six Festivals in and I still take great pride and joy in being part of such a dynamic team that continues to create superlative eating and drinking experiences for all to enjoy.
Before joining the Festival team, I spent 10 awesome years working in some of the world’s greatest restaurants. What I love about this industry is the fast pace of change and constant flow of new ventures. You will often find me (with a delighted smile on my face) checking out the latest openings of restaurants, bars, cafes and food trucks as they spring to life, lighting up our city.
I had no choice in the matter. My Ukrainian heritage has made me obsessed with food. Whether it was contesting four brothers in the annual verenyky (stuffed dumplings) eating competition or searching for the perfect wine to match pickled herrings, the kitchen has always been central to my family. Now I fall asleep most nights planning the following day’s menu, which always starts with a double ristretto.
I'm a life-long food & wine lover, middling home cook and dubious baker. Food to me is about culture, history and a life well lived. When I’m not eating, drinking, cooking or marketing food & wine events, much-loved distractions include travel, music, film, podcasts and tucking into a lazy lunch and glass of pinot with friends.