Born and raised in Melbourne’s east with her parents and older sister, Jess says she was a hard-working student who loved sport and music, and always dreamt of becoming a nurse when she was older.
After graduating in 2005, Jess commenced her long awaited nursing degree from Australian Catholic University, later starting her career at the Austin Hospital, based in the spinal cord unit.
Her passion for people and caring for others has dominated her work life, and Jess says no matter how exhausted she is at the end of the day, she unwinds by cooking, finding solace and respite in the kitchen. With a speciality for savoury style desserts, she describes her cooking style as imaginative and loud, with a focus on raw and true flavours. Aesthetics is important to Jess, and she often puts extra effort into plating up her dishes.
Food dominates the mind of this determined and focussed cook. Inspired by chefs including Matt Stone, Anna Polyviou, Maggie Beer and Ben Shewry, Jess says kitchen gardens and cooks who use local, native ingredients excite her. Her dream is to one day move to regional Victoria and operate an environmentally friendly food venue, showcasing local and sustainable produce. She says the famed Lakehouse in Daylesford, and Oakridge in Coldstream are some of her favourite dining spots.
Since the beginning of 2015, Jess has lived in both Melbourne and Perth, where her husband of six years Andrew resides as he completes his PhD in Astro Physics. Jess says she relishes the bi-coastal lifestyle.
Away from the kitchen, Jess loves to check out local street art, visit her local op shop, and travel.