Tucked into the Huon Valley is The Farmhouse Kitchen - a cooking school run by Guilana and Genevieve, a lively mother-daughter duo. Here we talk to Guilana about her passion for food and how her Italian heritage influences her approach to cooking.
Photography by Will Braden.
What sparked the idea of The Farmhouse Kitchen?
"Teaching others to cook has been a long-term dream. I once heard an interview with a lady who said that she turned what she loved to do into her business because it meant that she could share her passion. When we started our restoration of our 150-year-old farmhouse we created a beautiful kitchen. The kitchen lent itself to the possibility of starting something new and exciting.
I've always had the support of my family, especially my youngest daughter Genevieve, and together we have created a friendly environment to share our passion with others. This passion is our knowledge of genuine, traditional Italian cooking. So we started our cooking school, The Farmhouse Kitchen, where we specialise in the cuisine of the region of Puglia in southern Italy."
What has been your proudest moment so far?
"We are very proud of the overall reaction of people once they have completed one of our classes. We have received wonderful feedback and comments regarding the cooking experience. The Farmhouse Kitchen was the Travel and Hospitality Award Winner in Australia in the category of Learning Experience of the Year 2018. This was a fabulous boost to our little cooking school and a very proud moment for us.""
What do you treasure most about working together?
"Genevieve and I are a good team. There is nothing that we think we can’t achieve together. We have always chipped in together and worked as a family unit. Cooking is about having fun in the kitchen and together we can make people feel relaxed and engaged."
What is it you love about Tasmania?
"Tasmania has to be the best place on earth to live. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, with clean air and pure water, gorgeous views but the people are friendly, chatty and giving. There is always something happening. We particularly love the environment, as well as the diversity of the people and activities. We also love the natural beauty and magnificent views. The community in and around Cygnet is very supportive."
How does the local produce influence your cooking?
"Good produce makes good food and Tasmania lends itself perfectly to the Mediterranean diet. We can access excellent fresh produce, and grow most of what we need in our vegetable patches. This wasn't the case when my parents first arrived. But with the resurgence of the importance of good food, there is almost nothing you cannot find here. The Tasmanian climate is mild and so we have access to so many great local veggies, wines, fruit and amazing berries in the Huon Valley area - let alone what is produced elsewhere throughout the state. So much diversity in land and climate means we have an enormous selection of produce."