Sweet tooth started it all for Gare

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Celebrity chef Anna Gare will share her garden-to-gourmet tips and tricks at the Nannup Flower and Garden Festival next weekend.

Recognised as one of the most popular chefs on Australian television — having hosted the Great Australian Bake Off and judged on Junior MasterChef — Gare’s earliest cooking memory stretches back to when she was just six years old.

Growing up in a family where sweets and treats were non-existent, Gare discovered the power of food at an early age.

The beginning of her mess-making in the kitchen came out of necessity for something sweet to eat.

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“Mum and Dad were real good-food people, so we were never allowed lollies or anything sweet from the shops,” she said.

“But I came to the realisation that there were things like flour in the pantry and butter in the fridge.

“So my first great food hit was my coconut cookies, and for me, it was also a realisation of the happiness food can bring.”

The youngest of four children, eight-year-old Gare combined her love for food with her innovative nature — starting a school canteen on Wednesdays, which served three-course meals for $1.

“By that stage, I was well and truly into cooking and trying to make the world a better place through food,” she said.

After requesting the kitchen renovation to be finished for her 11th birthday and leaving school to take up an apprenticeship at 15, it was evident food was more than just a substance which provided nutritional support.

“I wanted to inspire people to cook,” she said.

“So when I started doing TV shows, I wanted to make simple, delicious, beautiful food that people would want to cook themselves.”

Gare said she was looking forward to attending the festival this weekend.

“This festival is a hub of a lot of people from the South West showing off their talents, so I’m just really looking forward to it,” she said.

Gare will share some of her favourite recipes from her latest cookbook at ticketed events on Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19.

For tickets and a full festival program, visit www.nannupgardens.org.au.

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