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Meet Kristie Seeger. Mama to Inez (20), Leonardo (10) and Georgia (9), and successful business owner of Cook House. When she’s not juggling her own family commitments, she’s opening the doors to her cooking school/dining space and bringing us fabulous food to boot. Thank YOU, Kristie!

 

BUSINESS

 

Tell us about your business/current role?

I am the owner and operator of Cook House at Burleigh Heads. We specialise in adult cooking classes ranging from culturally themed classes like Spanish and Asian, to vegetarian and weekly menu planning classes. We also offer children’s cooking birthday parties and school holiday cooking programs for children 7-14 years. We also have a warm and relaxed dining area and offer the space for dinners, events and parties with custom designed menus in a private space. Think Christmas parties, teenagers’ high tea end-of-school celebrations, corporate team building cooking programs, even 21st birthdays! Close the doors, play your own music and dine on exquisite food prepared in our open kitchen. Cook House offers a number of concepts under one roof, but all related to cooking, learning, sharing and eating great real, local, fresh food in a fun and relaxed environment.

 

Where did the concept for this come from?

I am a chef by trade and have worked in Australia and Europe for the past 27 years. After returning from Europe with three children, I started to develop a business plan that would include my love of food and cooking with an emphasis on using all the skills and knowledge I have gained over the decades of my career. I have always been the port of call, so to speak, for all my friends and family for cooking tips and tricks and realised I actually had a wealth of information that could be shared with others. I also was very enthusiastic about creating a business where I had the freedom and flexibility to still be a hands-on mum to a busy brood and be able to attend all the school events, extra curricular activities and all the other necessities required as a single parent with full-time care of three kids.

 

What’s your business background?

I bought my first food business, a small deli, in Surfers Paradise in 1985. That was a huge learning curve as a young woman straight out of uni. I then went on to buy and operate a restaurant in partnership with my sister in Cairns. That is where I started my apprenticeship. We had a fantastic time building the restaurant’s success from scratch. A lot of hard work and many sacrifices – but what a ride!!! I went into catering a number of years later, back on the Gold Coast, and loved the experience of not waiting for customers, but taking the orders and providing a service. I was starting to find my stride.

 

Who were your mentors along the way?

My mother has always been my mentor and role model. She has always been successful in her business life and still maintained balance in her family life. I am so proud of her. What a woman.

 

HOME

 

What time does a typical day start for you?

I’m up at 6.30am. There’s usually a short burst of exercise and a healthy breakfast and coffee before school drop offs. I am extremely organised in my home life and have everything ready for the children’s morning start before they get up. I like things to be calm around the house so there are no dramas before school and work begin!

 

Who does the cooking and cleaning at your house?

I do all the cooking and cleaning. The kids have small chores and Inez, my eldest, often cooks for herself, but basically I manage it all.

 

If you have 10 minutes to yourself, what do you like to do?

I like to read the news online or do some photo editing. I do street photography as a hobby.

 

IMG_9145 RESIZEDKIDS


 

What do you do for childcare?

My kids are with me all of the time, but I do have a big advantage of having a 20-year-old daughter who lives with me and has her own car! She is my angel siblings-sitter!

 

Do your kids do many extracurricular activities?

Georgia does dance (ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, singing and acrobatics). Both younger children also do swimming lessons.

 

What do you do for fun as a family?

We all love the water and any chance we have we are on the beach with the boogie boards at Burleigh Heads. We also love to go jet skiing, fishing and throwing the crab pots out on the Broadwater.

 

FUN


 

What is your favourite thing to do for date night with your partner?

We love to cook together of course! He is a fabulous cook and we both love food and wine.

 

What is your favourite local place to visit?

I live in Burleigh Heads and love to keep it local. During the day it’s the Headland and enjoying the beautiful environment, but when the sun goes down I love to head a short walk from home to Bin 12 for some shared plates and a glass of wine.

 

How about favourite place to eat out as a family?

We simply love to grab some fish and chips from Fish Mongers and eat it at the beach. I used to do it with my parents growing up in Burleigh Heads and now I am loving repeating this tradition with my kids.

 

GIRL STUFF

 

Where do you head to when you get time for a girls’ night out?

We usually head up to Brisbane for the night. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right?!

 

What is your best beauty tip for mums?

A whole food diet. Simply preparing, cooking and sharing local, sustainable whole foods. It’s that easy to look good in your own skin! Oh, and smile. There is nothing more beautiful than a smile.

 

Favourite place to shop (locally and online)?

I am not a shopper at all, but if I need anything I rarely go further than my local shops at Burleigh Heads. There is everything there you could possibly need!

 

TIPS

 

Must-have parenting tip or tool?

Just breathe and enjoy the blessing we are given – and get plenty of sleep!

 

Can you share any tips on finding the right work/life balance?

I just always try to stop and smell the roses. Working too long and too hard leads to burnout and no one wins. One thing I have learnt in my well-seasoned life of experiences is that money never bought happiness. Decide what is important and create a balance that encompasses that importance.

 

How do you stay motivated in your career?

I love what I do. The kitchen feels like home. I have found a career where I don’t need much motivation. It’s in my DNA. It’s in my blood. I am very lucky.

 

Visit www.cookhousefood.com.au

 

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