Rachel Jelley – My Newtown Kitchen
Who are you?
Hi! I’m Rachel. I’m a cook who lives in Newtown, Sydney, with my boyfriend and our lovely little dog. Nothing makes me happier than filling up people’s bellies with delicious food. I love cooking in my Newtown kitchen, but I ran into a little problem. All the bellies in my house were getting over-filled! So I started holding pop up warehouse dinners to expand my belly real estate.
The dinners were super fun and started keeping me very busy, so I left my job in financial services to focus on full time cooking. I now hold regular pop up dinners, and I also work with lots of lovely people to create delicious events that celebrate their special occasions. I also share my love of cooking by holding workshops where I teach people how to use cooking to connect within, and create yummy food that nourishes both our bellies and our souls.
Tell us about your business or creative pursuits?
To put it simply, I cook and I teach. At my pop up dinners, I put my guests around a ginormous table in our secret warehouse, feed them full of delicious food, and talk to them throughout the evening about my food philosophy and what’s on their plates. Each dinner features a three-course seasonal meal cooked by me, which changes with each event.
My workshops teach practical cooking skills, but they also help people understand how to use cooking as a time for self-connection and creativity. To me cooking is an expression of love and joy, and to prepare something for yourself or someone else is an ultimate act of love. Cooking can also be a beautiful time to connect within and reflect, and provides many opportunities for meditative moments (kneading bread for example, or slowly mixing a cake batter).
I’m currently running Flour Water Magic, where we bake bread. But this is not just any bread. This is a loaf that’s unique to you. The workshop incorporates a meditation to help us connect within, and we use the insight we find there to guide us on what ingredients will best nourish us. Perhaps we need some fiery chilli bread to give us more energy, or a cooling, calming olive and goats’ cheese loaf. Maybe we need a loaf filled with sweet honey, apricots, apples and spices to fill up our own love tank. Whatever it is, we get to choose our own ingredients from a gorgeous spread and create beautiful bread that feeds our bellies and our hearts.
Along the way we also make fresh butter, play with crystals, chat about intuitive, mindful eating, our bodies and how to improve the energy in our kitchens. We even dance a little… because who doesn’t need to shake a tail feather more often in the kitchen?
What inspired you to get started?
Just a drive to cook, cook, cook! And to be in the gorgeous heart-connection zone that cooking provides for me as much as possible. As I said, there was only so much the bellies in my house could consume, so I had to figure out ways to expand the bellies at my table. So off I went and found a REALLY big table, in an amazing warehouse, and it just kind of grew from there!
What is your magic place, where you go to relax and unwind?
No surprises here – the kitchen. But nature also holds a very special place in my heart. Food comes from nature, which sounds obvious, but it’s a connection that’s often lost on us in our busy modern world where everything comes packaged and processed, without a shred of the dirt that it grew in attached. I love to connect with nature as often as I can, either just barefoot in my own garden, walking and meditating in national parks, or standing in the ocean and feeling the power of the waves as they wash over me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself! The only person really holding you back from your dreams is you. Your personal self-worth journey will probably be the most challenging thing you ever do, but the rewards are greater than you can imagine.
PS I quite often need to tell my now self this too!
What is your life motto or positive affirmation?
Love is all there is, love is the answer, and love is all you need.
My website, contact and social media details are:
FB: My Newtown Kitchen