Tessa Talks with Chef Georgia Barnes
Georgia’s lifelong obsession with cooking coupled with her extraordinary creative and culinary skills has led her to a path of helping others through food. As Head of Kitchen at Eden Health Retreat, Georgia creates menus of beautiful, clean food that forms a core component of the visitors’ wellness journey. Holding a degree in nutrition and an appreciation for simple, honest food, Georgia not only helps others through her cooking but by educating them as well. She has written for national publications, held workshops, and cooked on stage with the desire to expand people’s knowledge of food, increase their kitchen confidence and cook more themselves.
We reached out to Georgia to ask about her background, career, and her own personal wellness habits and rituals.
Q: Where were you born and raised?
A: I was born and raised in the bayside suburbs of Brisbane.
Q: How did where you were raised influence your healthy habits?
A: Growing up in Queensland, you spend so much time outdoors. My family have always had a veggie patch and cooked fresh food from scratch! We spent school holidays camping and fishing, so I’ve always had a love of nature and a respect for produce and where it comes from.
Q: What is one of your daily rituals?
A: Meditation! I’ve been meditating daily for about 6 years. It’s a game-changer!
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Eden is currently undergoing a massive redevelopment and I’ve been asked to come on board as Head of Kitchen. I’ve been super busy redesigning the menu and overall food and nutrition experience for the retreat, including our holistic values around food and produce. There’ll be a brand new purpose-built kitchen and cooking demonstration area. I can’t wait to see it all come to life and welcome our guests back.
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your life career-wise?
A: I worked for myself for 5 years prior to my role at Eden. That was definitely a massive learning opportunity and where I had big leaps in personal growth. You get to know yourself pretty quickly, and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for.
Q: What are some ways you handle stress and pressure?
A: Breathing. Spending some time in nature (aka biophilia, works every time). Writing lists!
Q: What is your greatest strength?
A: I’m naturally a people person, so I’d say compassion and caring for others. I think that’s why I love cooking nourishing food for people so much.
Q: What is your greatest weakness?
A: I have a sweet tooth if we’re talking about that kind of weakness. Otherwise, probably the perfectionism curse can be a challenge for me!
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I’m inspired by so many people! It really depends on the genre, but overall, any person who lives their life in tune with their true authentic selves is inspirational to me! I hold so much space for people living outside the box!
Q: How is sustainability a part of your life?
A: It’s an old school principle, but I very much live by the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle. I like to grow my own veggies, I compost, I buy my food without packaging where possible and use glass or reusable products!
Q: What is your biggest wellness indulgence?
A: I will happily bliss out with some spa time! Is there anything better than a good soak and a massage?! Heaven!
Q: What are your 3 clean, non-toxic beauty must haves?
A: Everescents hair products rock my world! They’re so pure and leave your hair feeling amazing. I also love Cedar and Stone’s essential oil products (and a huge bonus they’re in Burleigh – support local!). And thirdly, I’d have to say Noosa Basics. I use quite a few of their products and their super clean.
Q: What is your biggest wellness must have?
A: Fresh local, seasonal fruit and veggies. I don’t think I could live a day without them in my life!
Q: What’s your ideal way to switch off?
A: Time spent in nature! Whether it’s a day at the beach, swimming in the ocean, walking through the rainforest or gardening at home.
Q: What are you currently reading, watching and listening to?
A: Currently reading ‘The Third Plate’ by Dan Barber – amazing book to open your eyes to modern farming practices and how food production has evolved. I’ve been watching The Goop Lab series on Netflix with Gwyneth Paltrow and listening to Jameela Jamil’s ‘I Weigh’ podcast.
Q: Where is your favorite place to travel?
A: During this time I’m actually really enjoying rediscovering my local area with a fresh perspective. It’s a really beautiful thing to reconnect with your surroundings and gain a whole new respect for it, especially at a time where we’re unable to travel far. The Gold Coast is full of beautiful views, hidden gems and fun adventures.
Q: What do you eat for breakfast in the morning?
A: I’m usually a green smoothie girl, but recently I’ve been on the overnight oats bandwagon. I soak them with chia and coconut water overnight and then cook them into a porridge in the morning with blueberries and almond milk. It turns this beautiful shade of purple and is super comforting and warming while it’s still just a little bit chilly!