Influenced early on by her mother, Mary Burchett – a published food writer in her own right – Stephanie witnessed firsthand the way Mary applied her creative skills in the kitchen. Initially, Stephanie never intended to work with food on a professional level. But at the age of 21 she set out to discover the world and fell in love with France, a country that remains close to her heart to this day. France in the sixties opened Stephanie’s eyes to the satisfaction garnished from a meal, no matter how simple, with a beginning, middle and end.
Like the progression of tastes in the ceremony of a meal, Stephanie Alexander’s career progressed beginning with her restaurants, the entree being Jamaica House in 1964. After its doors closed, there was a waiting period before her career main course was served; in 1976 Stephanie’s Restaurant entered the Melbourne dining scene and tribute to their success, they relocated to a permanent home in the middle-class suburb of Hawthorn within the statuesque National Trust building.
Stephanie Alexander ran her reputable restaurant for 21 years before closing the doors - after years of service her energy inevitably waned. Nevertheless, she opened Richmond Hill Café & Larder as founding partner with three others and eventually sold it after eight years. Come 2005, the ending of her restaurateur phase, her multi-faceted career continued to serve just desserts to the community with gourmet food writing and epicurean education for youth.
Around the same time Stephanie’s moved to its new location, in the early 80’s, she was also busy establishing herself as a food writer and today this is how she is best known nationwide and across the globe; that combined with the success of her not-for-profit Kitchen Garden Foundation. With wide regard and utmost industry respect, Stephanie Alexander at long last documented her memoires in “A Cook’s Life” released in 2012.
Over the years she’s built up an audience with the success of her many books, “The Kitchen Garden Companion” being at the top of the list for families in the spirit of gardening, cooking and eating together. But it is her fifth book, “The Cook’s Companion,” that is considered to be an Australian classic; first released in 1996, it sold over 500, 000 copies and was re-released in 2004. Today Stephanie Alexander embraces opportunities to promote her Kitchen Garden project, occasionally offering cooking demonstrations with garden grown vegetables and fresh herbs.