Welcome to Kelly Eastwood - guest contributor upon the good ship Beagle Kelly began cooking in Ireland, where she trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School – an organic farmhouse situated on 100 acres, in county Cork. This intensive paddock to plate training course gave er the foundations for her career and her great respect for food. Following the course, and a short stint at Rick Stein’s restaurants in England, she honed her cooking skills in the galleys of private Superyachts all over the world. For 14 years she cooked for a fair amount of the Forbes list, and travelled across the globe - from the islands in Croatia, across the Mediterranean, through to the fiords of Scandinavia up to Russia, into the Suez canal to Egypt, several Atlantic crossings to the USA and the Caribbean, a year in Hawaii, through the Kimberleys. Her overloaded, jam packed passports can tell a story on their own. As a chef, the highlight of this lifestyle was not only the ability to see the world through different eyes, but the opportunity to shop from local markets, wherever the boat stopped and to create and tailor a different menu every day – for both the owners and the crew. When she decided to hang up her sailor’s hat, she knew that he had to move back to Australia Kelly says "I dearly missed my home. I decided to enrol myself in the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu to refine my skills, and ended up Dux of my year. This took me straight to the 2 hatted restaurant owned by Neil Perry in Sydney, called Spice Temple. It was here I got to know the wok really well, and embrace the Asian flavours that I’d missed while living overseas." "However after years of being challenged by an ever changing daily menu on the boats, I knew I'd be restless with a career in restaurants, recreating the same menu every day. So I decided to change paths and work in food media – where I would be challenged in much the same way as the yachts." "I volunteered my skills on a ‘live’ Masterchef show, where I met several people in the industry that would help me on my way. The first show I worked on was My Kitchen Rules. This show was soon followed by Better Homes and Gardens, Masterchef, Destination Flavour, The Great Australian Bake Off, John Torode's Australia and finally, River Cottage Australia. The variety of reality and lifestyle shows have given me well rounded experience in recipe writing, food styling, and understanding food through the viewer’s, and the consumer’s eyes." "After working on River Cottage Australia in 2015, I was asked to set up their cooking school in Tilba, NSW. Setting up a cooking school had been a dream of mine ever since I went to Ballymaloe in Ireland, and turning the TV set into a cooking school was a challenge I took on with gusto "It is the first cooking school in the country that is tied to a TV show, and I’m proud to say it is now a huge success. With the success of the school, and my affiliation with the community, it was an easy decision for me to move permanently to the south coast – and I’m proud to call it my home today."
You can hear Kelly regularly on ABC Southeast Radio, with her good friend and colleague Nelleke Gorton. They discuss different food topics, and recipes to match on their ‘Expert Monday’ chats. The Beagle is delighted in being able to share Kelly's recipes and articles. You can find Kelly's page here You can also follow Kelly on her blog-site and her wealth of recipes and ideas or visit her on Instagram at how2cookwithkelly or via her website at http://www.kellyeastwood.com.au/