About SophieZalokar.com

This website came about as a place for people to access recipes that I’ve had published over the years, developed for primary produce marketing campaigns, taught in cooking classes or offered at The Field Kitchen dinners at Foragers in Pemberton, Western Australia.

After some time, travel, events and craft sections have crept in as these endeavours are equal loves of mine.

I hope you find it easy to navigate. Most of all, I hope the recipes work for you and offer delicious eating.

About Me

I was born and raised in South Australia’s Barossa Valley. After loosing a battle at the age of 17 with my parents who felt studying art in Melbourne would not eventuate into a promising career I began my training as a chef under Maggie Beer.

Training with Maggie was a kind of awakening that started a professional journey with food that has taken me all over the world; settling in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1990.

At the beginning of 2005, my then husband Chris and I moved our family to Pemberton, in WA’s Southern Forests region. I wanted a country childhood for our two children and to cook professionally again. An 18 1⁄2 acre smallholding complete with holiday cottages, 2 old horses, a gigantic steer called ‘Jerry’ with terrifyingly long horns, a lopsided old Jersey cow called ‘Ally’ and a motly flock of chooks became our new home.

In 2011 we opened Foragers Field Kitchen & Cooking School. The region’s fresh produce, the culinary heritage of the early settlers and giving visitors a taste of what makes the Southern Forests a truly wonderful place formed the core of my approach in the kitchen. The residential cooking school and dinner events at Foragers allowed me to showcase these local treasures.

In 2018 I also took on a role as the Agritourism Coordinator for the Southern Forests Food Council, developing customised Food & Farm Tour experiences for various groups wishing to meet local growers, understand their work and taste fresh produce in its prime at its source.

Foragers sold at the end of 2019.  I left Western Australia at the beginning of 2020 to travel solo around Australia on my BMW R 1200 GS motorcycle for a sabbatical year however Covid border closures forced a full-circle return to the Barossa Valley. I stayed for a year until April 2021 when I resumed my Australia-wide travels. I have documented these experiences in a monthly series of Motorcycle Diary posts in the travel section of this website.

My intention is to return to Fremantle late 2021 and begin a new chapter in which the growing and making of food, fibre art and travel will continue. Stay posted.

Writing, Teaching and Events

In 2002 my first book, PicNic: Outdoor Feasts in the Australian Landscape was published by Fremantle Press. It was about how food, people and place really connect through food, particularly picnics or food taken to a special place outdoors to be enjoyed. This was illustrated with recipes from 12 different picnics shared with 12 different people with lives in the food industry in different locations around Australia. I was fortunate to be short-listed for a number of food media awards as a result.

In 2003 I also started contributing a weekly recipe to The West Australian newspaper’s Coffee Break section. Many of which are now on this website. My recipes have also been featured in Homes and Living and Delicious magazines and in regional newspapers.

My second book, Food of the Southern Forests (UWA Publishing) was published in 2014. Together with the support of the Southern Forests Food Council and the amazing photography of Craig Kinder, I had the privilege to write the stories of 40 local producers and develop recipes with their produce, which took in all the seasons. It was a without a doubt, a career highlight from the very start to the last copy sold.

I have been lucky enough to be invited to teach, judge and participate in various food events around Western Australia and sometimes beyond. You’ll find details of these past events, plus classes and dinners in the Gatherings section of this website.

Please note

I’m guessing if you’ve got this far down the page you’ll understand this already, but please be respectful. All content and photos on this site are protected by copyright and cannot be used without permission. If you would like to feature any of my recipes, photos or writing on or in any electronic or print publications, personal or commercial, please contact me for rates and permission.

Sophie Zalokar