Growing up on Lambing Station, near Sheringa, I spent my childhood running through the paddocks chasing sheep or going around in circles on the tractor with my father Michael Wandel. I can not remember how many bush barbecues and bonfires my little sister and I created where we would end up burning more than just a few sticks and leaves while waiting for Dad to finish his jobs for the day.
I did all my schooling in the beautiful town of Elliston, sitting on the bus for 40 minutes every morning and afternoon. Being so isolated it wasn’t easy being a teenager on a farm and by the time I was 14, I was ready to move to the city!
My goal was to head to Adelaide and study to become a teacher, until about five weeks off finishing year 12. I decided to apply for an apprentice chef position at the Goodwood Park Hotel in Adelaide and within six weeks I had moved to the city and found myself rolling out pizza bases and washing dishes as a first year apprentice.
If I was rostered two days off in a row I would sometimes pack my bag, jump in the car after finishing work, and drive all the way home to the farm only to spend 36 hours with my family before driving back to the city again. I decided to travel home one weekend just after shearing was finished on the farm, arriving at 6am I couldn’t see any sheep in the paddock near the homestead so I opened the gate and drove on through. Later that day Dad was wondering around looking rather confused because he couldn’t find his mob of sheep…turns out all the sheep that were put aside to go to market the following morning were out having a jolly good time with their friends in the neighbours paddock! To this day I still don’t think I am trusted to shut the gate behind me!
After 18 months of city life I decided that I needed to be closer to home and Port Lincoln was the perfect spot. I continued and completed my trade at the Pier Hotel and found myself a lot happier being back closer to my friends and family. It was here that I met my husband Bradley.
Bradley and I worked together for two years before realising that what we had was more than just a friendship. After dating for 12 months we secretly got engaged and married at Snappers Rock in December 2013.
When I’m not in the kitchen I love spending time in the garden. Being in the fresh air amongst the flowers and birds gives me a feeling of connection to the earth. For the past 8 months I was Sous Chef at the Line and Label restaurant working with a fabulous team and creating beautiful food. The gardens are full of fresh produce and being able to wonder through as part of my daily routine was fabulous.
I love being spontaneous and making decisions based on chance and a law of attraction. Which is where I find myself about to open a restaurant with Jason Stephenson (Boston Bay Smallgoods) on Tasman Terrace. This is our next adventure on the EP and there are a lot of exciting things to come.
Fumo28: meaning ‘smoke’ in Italian and ‘28’ for the street number, will use the best quality local and freshest produce from all over South Australia including Bramfield Pistachios and Cummins Milling Flour. Regular Pig on the Spit and guest appearances from Adelaide and interstate chefs are already on the agenda!