this earth, this food...

Courtney Roulston

I am the youngest of 6 children and started cooking for my large family at a young age. I didn`t enjoy doing homework and i soon found if I cooked dinner for the family then nobody realised that i wasn`t doing my schoolwork. I was usually the first one home in the afternoon, so started cooking by my mother ringing me from work and telling me over the phone what temperature the oven had to be on to get the roast going and soon enough I was cooking the whole meal.

I grew up on 5 acres at Kellyville, before all the housing estates were developed. We had many animals, a cow to milk and a large vegetable garden that we grew our own vegies in. we spent holidays at our holiday house down at the south coast fishing, catching pipis and crabs. We did not have a lot of money growing up (6 kids will do that) take away was very rare, but i never felt like we missed out. I learnt at a young age what a `real` tomato tastes like, what fresh seafood was and generally what good fresh food was.
I think this upbringing has formed the base for my love of cooking, the joy it can bring and my passion for fresh, simple, healthy food.

After finishing high school, I spent 12 months travelling Europe with my sister and this opened up my eyes to a whole new world of food and cultures. I now enjoy cooking all sorts of different foods from around the globe. A couple of months spent in London were not good for the waistline, travelling on a budget can lead to eating bad food, and too much cider!

After getting back home, I cut out eating the rubbish food, and made changes to my eating habits, and those changes have stuck with me. I have grown to love healthy food and know how better you feel if you eat the right foods. Since appearing on Masterchef series 2, I have written recipes for fitness/weight management programs. I have cooked dinners for the Sydney Swans AFL team, working alongside their nutritionist to teach the players the importance of eating healthy meals. I have also recently developed an interest in organic foods and will be working further with some organic food brands and will be working at the organic markets as of the 9th October.