I started in the kitchen at age 12, working under my Dad at the Renmark Hotel in the Riverland, South Australia. After years of learning the ropes and regularly having nights of over 300 covers, I moved to Adelaide to continue to develop my skills. After a few years in Adelaide I was promoted to Head Chef, leading a team at the West Adelaide Football Club. I still got to experience the rush of large functions and sponsor dinners as well as develop my leadership and organisational skills. After a year in that role it was time to up the ante and I was off to Sydney. Moving to Sydney was quite a change, but having the opportunity to work with some very talented and passionate chefs and absolute A-grade produce at Kingsley’s Crab and Steakhouse has been an invaluable experience. Not to mention cooking for celebrities, sports legends and VIPs while enjoying a daily view of the stunning Woolloomooloo Wharf!
Along my food journey, someone who has been a constant inspiration to me and whose food I will always crave, is my Yiayia (Grandmother). Growing up with traditional Greek style cooking at Yiayia’s and admiring her ability to feed any number of guests, at any time, never ceased to amaze me. These experiences stick with you as a child, which I think is why as soon as someone walks in the door the first thing I think of is feeding them! I am forever grateful for her kind heart, her open door and of course her pumpkin pita.
So after growing up cooking in the Riverland with my Dad, leading a team as Head Chef in Adelaide and then experiencing the next level of food at renowned Kingsley’s Crab and Steakhouse in Sydney, I was still craving the entrepreneurial experience! And now Symeonakis Foods has brought this dream to a reality where I have the opportunity to not only cook, but create, and do so for people who are celebrating some of their most important milestones in life. As well as catering, I get to work closely with some farmers and suppliers, which is something else I’m very passionate about, promoting some of the amazing produce and products that the Riverland has to offer.