Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Secret Cooks' Business

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Secret Cooks' Business

Article excerpt

THE Spirit House restaurant and cooking school might be hidden away at Yandina.

But it is no secret to Sunshine Coasters and, increasingly, people from all over the world.

The fact Spirit House Cooking school head chef Annette Fear has taught more than one woman from Kazakhstan is testament to that.

She said about 25% of students were from the Sunshine Coast, a similar amount from the South-East Queensland drive market and half from interstate or abroad.

aThe Spirit House is a real destination,a she said.

aWhen people come up on holiday they do a class or people with friends visiting on the Sunshine Coast bring them for the day out.

aWe get people from all over the world especially during the holidays.

aIn winter we get a lot of retirees from New Zealand and Canada.

aI tend to get a younger crowd and guys on weekend and nights.

aDuring the day I get family groups with kids, mother and daughters.

aI've had hens' nights, even a bucks' day.

aIt's a really a fun day out, it's a learning experience and it finishes with food and wine.

aWe try and make it so it does appeal to all different skill levels.a

aIt's user friendly and non intimidating.a

Ms Fear's gift for creating recipes which reflect her deep understanding of Asian flavours put the Spirit House on the Queensland culinary map.

She said the cooking school had attempted a range of foods in the past but now stuck with Thai and modern Asian.

aWe found if any dishes seem complicated the classes do not fill up but if they can do that at home they're always popular,a she said.

aWe used do a mixture but the demand for Thai was high. Because the Spirit House has a reputation of being modern Thai restaurant, it's what people expect.

aIt's a cuisine Australians adore, they love Thailand.

aOne of the advantages we have is that all the chefs are Australian so we're not bound by tradition. …

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