Speaker Profiles 2012


Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood is the author of four novels and one book of non-fiction, Love & Hunger: Thoughts on the Gift of Food. She writes the popular cookery blog, How To Shuck an Oyster, and her features about food and cooking have appeared in Good Weekend, SBS Feast, MasterChef, Gourmet Traveller and other magazines. Her novels have been highly praised, with Animal People long listed for the 2012 Miles Franklin award.



FW 2012 Speakers belinda jeffery 205x205

Belinda Jeffery

Belinda’s career for many years was ‘on the stoves’ in restaurants, culminating in her own acclaimed Good Health Café in Sydney. She has gone on to become an award-winning author, TV food presenter, freelance writer, restaurant reviewer and cooking teacher. Renowned for her warm and reassuring style, she has garnered a strong following throughout her career for her distinctive recipes and the pleasure she receives from sharing her knowledge and love of good food with others. She is regular contributor to delicious magazine and has written four award-winning cookbooks Belinda Jeffery’s 100 Favourite Recipes; Belinda Jeffery’s Tried-and-True Recipes; Mix & Bake; and The Country Cook Book. Her new book, Desserts is to be published in October 2012.


FW 2012 Speakers michelle cranston 205x205

Michelle Cranston

Michele Cranston has been cooking and styling for 20 years in a career that has included working in various restaurants, setting up an acclaimed cafe, cooking for a food production company in London and writing about food. Michele originally trained as a visual artist but her love of food soon took her into the world of restaurants and food media. She was the food editor at marie Claire magazine for five years and has just completed her eleventh marie Claire cookbook. As well as writing, she is a freelance food stylist working in areas as diverse as magazines, television commercials and advertising. Michele’s style demonstrates a love of fresh, clean flavours, crisp textures and a strong sense of colour and design.


2015 Speakers John Newton 205x205px

John Newton

John Newton eats, writes about where his food came from, why it came, how it was made or grown and how it tasted. His most recent books are Grazing: the ramblings and recipes of a man who gets paid to eat and How to Shop Like a Chef.



Gay Bilson

As one of Australia’s preeminent writers on food, Gay Bilson draws on 25 years experience as a restaurateur – at Berowra Waters Inn for 18 years, and then Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House – and an insatiable and dogged curiosity. She is the author of Plenty: Digressions on Food, which won the Nita B. Kibble Prize for Women’s Life Writing and was also named The Age Book of the Year in 2005, and On Digestion, a Little Books on Big Themes series published by Melbourne University Press. Her most recent essays have been published in Island magazine (University of Tasmania) and in a compilation of food writing, Voracious. She has been a contributor to The Monthly and continues to write for Australian Book Review. Gay appeared at the inaugural Food & Words in 2012, where she reflected on the progress of her writing life.

Gay Bilson

Mungo MacCallum

MacCallum joined The Australian in 1965, working in the Sydney bureau and the Canberra Press gallery. He was political correspondent for Nation Review, freelanced in the Press gallery for numerous publications, including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, SBS, Channel Nine, Channel Ten, and also covered test cricket for the Financial Review. He moved to the north coast of NSW in 1988, from where he files the occasional political comment and writes books. His most recent is Eat My Words – politics, pigouts and pickles. Pastimes include reading, theatre, bodysurfing, bushwalking, travel, gardening, dogs, watching sport and lunching.


Alex Herbert

Alex Herbert started cooking at Berowra Waters Inn under the direction Gay Bilson and Janni Kyritsis. It was the beginning of a career that, 23 years on, sees Alex established as one of Australia’s leading female chefs. She has worked alongside some of Australia’s finest chefs, including Maggie Beer, Christine Manfield, David Thompson and Martin Boetz. Alex established herself at her own restaurant Bird Cow Fish, which has enjoyed three incarnations: at Balmain, Surry Hills and now as a stall at the weekly Eveleigh Farmers’ Market. As a member of Slow Food, Alex attended Terra Madre, in Turin, as Cook Delegate in 2008 and since 2011 has been a NSW judge for the delicious. Food Produce Awards. Alex has a love of food writing and has held many dinners in collaboration with food writers, including Fergus Henderson, Gabrielle Hamilton, Maggie Beer and Carol Selva Rajah.


Catherine Milne

Catherine Milne has worked in publishing for close to ten years and is currently Associate Publisher, Non-Fiction, at HarperCollins, where she’s always on the lookout for new projects and new authors. She always has a stack of books she’s halfway through, and many of them are food books.

FW 2012 Speakers cathy armstrong 205x205

Cathy Armstrong

Cathy Armstrong was first captivated by the magical powers of cooking when the neighbourhood gathered at the Brownie fundraising table to marvel at jelly cakes and honey rolls. She has cooked professionally for 30 years, working with the likes of Sean Moran, Anders Ousback and Tim Pak Poy. Cathy co-created a multi award-winning restaurant, Boca, in the USA, before establishing the popular Green’s in Sydney’s Bondi, fondly dubbed ‘Nana’s kitchen’ by her regulars. Her Princess Pantry brand is gaining wide recognition for its award-winning gourmet jams and condiments. Cathy has contributed to various publications including Frankie magazine and The Age.


FW 2012 Speakers ed halmagyi 205x205

Ed Halmagyi

TV chef and author Fast Ed Halmagyi is best known for his presenting role on Network 7’s Better Homes and Gardens, where he transforms restaurant food into recipes that can be prepared at home. Ed has more than 20 years experience cooking in some of the world’s best restaurants, both in Australia and overseas, including London’s Le Gavroche and Sydney’s Rockpool. His insider tips for creating great meals can be found in his books: Nove Cucina, Dinner in 10, An Hour’s the Limit, and The Food Clock. Ed works with charities such as Bear Cottage, Community Greening Australia, Cancer Council Australia and The Dry July Foundation. He is a keen gardener, fisherman, swimmer and long distance runner and proud father to two beautiful kids (and an irascible dog).


FW 2012 Speakers simon cootes 205x205

Simon Cootes

Simon Cootes has worked at the State Library of New South Wales for seven years where he is responsible for the acquisition of Australian and overseas books. He has a keen interest in rare books, ephemera and all things digital. Occasionally he cooks.


FW 2012 Speakers dee nolan 205x205

Dee Nolan

An award-winning journalist and editor, Dee Nolan began her career in Melbourne. She then worked for some of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines in London and New York. While still living in the UK, she and her husband, John Southgate, bought back her family farm, Gum Park, in the Limestone Coast of South Australia, and they began a long-distance restoration of the house and property. Established by Dee’s grandfather a century ago, it had been out of family ownership for 25 years. After more than two decades overseas, Dee has returned to live in Australia, where she and John divide their time between Sydney and the Limestone Coast. Their passion for olives and their commitment to sustainable farming has been realised in the certified organic olive oil Nolans Road, which they produce from the olive groves they have planted at Gum Park. Dee is the author of A Food Lover’s Pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostela.



Laila Ellmoos

Laila Ellmoos is a historian with the City of Sydney’s History Unit. She is the author of three books including Our Island Home: a history of Peat Island. Laila is the current President of the Professional Historians Association of NSW, and is a regular presenter on Fbi Radio’s Scratching Sydney’s Surface, a segment that explores the history of Sydney.


FW 2012 Speakers eoin mceown 205x205

Ewan McEoin

Ewan McEoin is a Melbourne-based editor and creative director who has led several of Australia’s largest creative and cultural programs. He works across various roles, which focus on using design or the application of creativity for major creative events, publishing and mentorship. His most recent venture is a start-up to assist the independent food sector in Australia to better market itself – key aspects of which include a range of Field Guides to Regional Produce and a web platform. Ewan was the Creative Director of Unlimited: Designing for the Asia Pacific, which is the Queensland Government’s international design triennial launched in 2010. He coordinated the 2011 OpenIDEO Challenge, as part of the Ideas Festival, which asked how might we better connect food production and consumption.