Tonya Jennings

Tonya Jennings
member for over 6 years

Member Since: Aug 2012

Former Information Technologist, Information Consultant and Librarian, Tonya re- trained, 12 years ago, as a Chef, and now has her own culinary library of over 2,000 books all about food, chefs, cooking, produce and providores, biographies and autobiographies, and travel to France, Morocco and Italy. The founder, owner, operator of Cooking on the Bay Cooking School in St Kilda, Victoria, since 2010; previously, Tonya’s cooking school was in Queensland in the beautiful hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, called On the Ridge Cooking School at Kureelpa. Tonya is a Francophile, who loves everything about France and the French: the people, food, wine, countryside, history and literature. She travels to France twice a year and has conducted cooking classes in the Dordogne, SW France, at the residential cooking school La Combe en Perigord, in Provence with Picnics in Provence, Marrakesh, Morocco and occasionally on their barge. Whilst in France Tonya lives on their barge, the Betty B, which is currently kept over the winter at Auxerre, Burgundy. With her partner Michael, she travels the canals and rivers in France, which constantly inspire special culinary and writing experiences along the way. Some years ago, Tonya lived, on the barge Betty B, in Nancy for two months whilst she attended the Nancy University, L'Ecole d'Étè, the summer French language school there. Tonya's passions, along with food and all things culinary, include her culinary library, her writing and photography. She created her websites and maintains them with articles, new recipes, new Musings stories about her cooking classes, food discoveries, local produce, new ingredients discovered here and in France. Some years ago, she compiled her own collection of recipes, which is currently out of print. She has written and contributed many articles on local produce to various magazines, which may be accessed in the Press Room of the website, There are more books in the pipeline about her travels and barging in France, the people she has met, the local produce and recipes discovered and created by her along the way. Plus a collection of her favourite recipes and hints and tips collected in the course of her cooking classes. All accompanied by her photographs. Specialities Teaching the techniques and methods of cookery, including how to cook interesting, challenging and classic dishes, with a focus on modern Australian cuisine, as well as French, Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. Sharing knowledge about food and wine, culinary hints and tips. Food photography. Writing about modern Australian food, local Australian produce and classic French cuisine and wine. 

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Published Articles (5)

Dinner at Hôtel de l’Est in Saint-Florentin, Burgundy, France

A delicious dinner in a remote village in on the Canal de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France

French adventures barging on the Betty B

Barging in a hundred year old Dutch barge, on the canals of France, is always fun and with many catastrophes along the way.

Dee Nolan’s wonderful book ‘A food lover’s pilgrimage to France…’

This is the fascinating story of modern day ‘pilgrims’ pilgrimages’ as they spiderweb their way through France, heading for Santiago de Compostella, Spain
[Show All 5]

Anzac biscuits – the story and my recipe

The story of the famous Australian Anzac biscuits and my grandmother’s special recipe

Sens and La Madeleine – renewing acquaintances with Chef Patrick Gauthier

A delightful dinner at La Madeleine, in Sens Burgundy, with Chef Patrick, and revisiting and reliving my previous dinner there years ago.