“Hailing from far more traditional career paths, both Cindy and I each recognised a longing in ourselves for simplicity. Neither of us were content with subscribing to the pace that accompanies much of life nowadays. We thought of food as sustenance not convenience, kinship to be found with meaning not association and beauty to be found in imperfections.
Seeking avenues to channel our creative selves we each established a respective outlet; mine through The Botanical Kitchen and Cindy’s in Nest & Nettle. These were and still are our places of freedom, where we can roam; share stories, advice and food. It was through these endeavours that we met and by which the seeds were sown for The Gathering Table” ~ Samantha
"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."
The Botanical Kitchen
Botanical means of, pertaining to, made from or containing plants. It's the blush of carved fruit, the crisp of fresh greens and the embrace of earthy roots. It whole-heartedly represents the essence of my plate and a yearning for beautifully assembled and crafted meals. I find the textures, shades and abundance of local produce enthralling; there's such an inherent simplicity to its native form and yet in equal measure an endlessness to enjoy.
Preparing food that has a living energy is the ultimate privilege particularly when I have the opportunity to share that labour. It ties us to the very fabric of our surroundings in a way that little else does and not being one to always acknowledge the present moment I feel cooking slows the pace of life. In approaching it mindfully and with celebration I hope I can capture and share the artful simplicity of a good meal and do so in good company.
Nest and Nettle
As a Northern Rivers native, that currently calls the Gold Coast home this region is akin to my very nature. It's energy and it's people hold a very special place in my heart and to contribute myself to the community is my utmost pleasure. With a very busy and demanding work life I've long embraced slow living principles, finding solitude in simple tasks of growing, making and creating.
Having been a vegetarian making and growing most of my own food for over twenty years I am passionate about whole foods. Especially those with a place in the home. I also relish beautiful hand made items and frequently turn my own hands to pottery, wood work and craftsmanship. When we freely share our knowledge I've long believed it comes back ten fold and the greatest pleasure I find is in my own ability to educate other people and nourish them with real food around the table.