Interview with Janet Jeffs recorded by Catherine Forge at the National Arboretum, Canberra, on 15 September 2017. Original recording.
Janet is Director and Executive Chef of Ginger Catering at the National Arboretum, Canberra, and she also operates her small-scale farm, Ballalaba Farm, in Braidwood, NSW, where she farms a range of fruit and nuts as well as rare-breed Dexter cattle. Janet's interest in cooking and farming - along with her enthusiasm for regional, seasonal and ethical produce - was manifested as a young chef when she worked under the supervision of celebrity chef Maggie Beer.
Janet completed her apprenticeship in Adelaide with Cheong Liew in the 1980s before starting out her chef's career working alongside Maggie Beer at Pheasant Farm in the Barossa Valley. Janet opened her first restaurant, Kilikanoon, in the Claire Valley in 1985. A decade later, in 1995, Janet moved to Canberra and established a fine dining restaurant, Juniperberry, which won numerous awards and was relocated to the National Gallery of Australia in 2000. Following on from this Janet established Ginger Catering and the Ginger Room at Old Parliament House. More recently Ginger Catering moved its' headquarters to the National Arboretum.
In this interview Janet reflects on her career as a chef and farmer, along with the motivating factors that have led her to follow a 'paddock to plate' ethos. Janet speaks about the importance of local and seasonal produce, farmer's markets, connections between producers and consumers and her mission to educate her diners about where their food comes from through 'Talk and Taste' sessions.
This interview is part of Museums Victoria's Invisible Farmer Project Collection. The Invisible Farmer Project was the largest ever study of Australian women on the land, uncovering the histories and stories of Australian women in agriculture. It began as a pilot project (2015-2016) and evolved into a three year (2017-2020) nation-wide partnership between rural communities, academic, government and cultural organisations, funded by the Australian Research Council.
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Audio recording, MP3 format.
Digital audio recording, MP3 format.
Audio Recording, MP3 File
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