Stephanie Alexander has worked as a chef and as a food writer for over 35 years.
She studied at the University of Melbourne and trained as a librarian at Melbourne State College. Before launching a career in food she worked for 10 years in a variety of educational environments including the BBC TV library, London, and several school libraries in Australia.
Stephanie ran the acclaimed Stephanie’s Restaurant for twenty-one years before closing on New Year’s Eve in 1997. The restaurant was the recipient of many national and international awards and accolades, and was regarded as an essential Melbourne experience (1976-1997).
She conceived the ground-breaking café, fine cheese and foodstore Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder and was a founding partner for eight years (1996-2004). During this time Stephanie also came up with the idea for the first Harvest Picnic (Werribee, Victoria, 1988) and was on the organising committee until 1991. The Harvest Picnic was the definitive annual food event and is now an integral part of the Melbourne International Food and Wine Festival.
Through her writing and her teaching, Stephanie continues to be an outspoken champion of the quality of Australian produce and the importance of good food in our lives. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 1994 for her services to the hospitality industry and to tourism, and for encouraging young apprentices.
She established the not-for-profit ‘Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation’ in 2004 to assist the expansion of the work commenced at Collingwood College in 2001. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (SAKGF) is dedicated to introducing a structured program of pleasurable food education into selected Australian primary schools. It has been assisted greatly by grants from the Victorian State Government, and by the Australian Government. (For further information see www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/)