This image is one of 14 photographs of Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering in National Arboretum, Canberra, taken by Catherine Forge on the 15 September 2017 as part of the Invisible Farmer Project, which included an oral history interview with Janet talking about life on the farm, her restaurant and catering business. This particular image depicts Janet preparing locally sourced herbs during a lunch service.
Janet is Director and Executive Chef of Ginger Catering at the National Arboretum, Canberra, and she also operates a small-scale farm, Ballalaba Farm, in Braidwood, NSW, where she farms a range of fruit and nuts as well as rare-breed Dexter cattle. Janet's interest in cooking and farming - along with her enthusiasm for regional, seasonal and ethical produce - was manifested as a young chef when she worked under the supervision of celebrity chef Maggie Beer.
Janet completed her apprenticeship in Adelaide with Cheong Liew in the 1980s before starting out her chef's career working alongside Maggie Beer at Pheasant Farm in the Barossa Valley. Janet opened her first restaurant, Kilikanoon, in the Claire Valley in 1985. A decade later, in 1995, Janet moved to Canberra and established a fine dining restaurant, Juniperberry, which won numerous awards and was relocated to the National Gallery of Australia in 2000. Following on from this Janet established Ginger Catering and the Ginger Room at Old Parliament House. More recently Ginger Catering moved its' headquarters to the National Arboretum.
In the oral history interview conducted with Janet on 15 September 2017, Janet reflected on her career as a chef and farmer, along with the motivating factors that led her to follow a 'paddock to plate' ethos. Janet spoke about the importance of local and seasonal produce, farmer's markets, connections between producers and consumers and her mission to educate her diners about where their food comes from through 'Talk and Taste' sessions.
This image is part of Museums Victoria's Invisible Farmer Project Collection. The Invisible Farmer Project was the largest ever study of Australian women on the land, uncovering the histories and stories of Australian women in agriculture. It began as a pilot project (2015-2016) and evolved into a three year (2017-2020) nation-wide partnership between rural communities, academic, government and cultural organisations, funded by the Australian Research Council.
Description of Content
Chef, Janet Jeffs, at work in the kitchen. In front of her is a tray of herbs.
Place & Date Depicted
Digital Still Image, Colour
Type of item
Farms, Farming Practices, Women Farmers, Women in Agriculture, Women on Farms, Agricultural & Workers, Agriculture, Agricultural Workers, Agriculture & Farming, Dairy Industry, Tourism, Immigration, Farm Buildings, Animal Husbandry, Pastoral Workers, Pastoral Industry, Pastoral Properties, Homesteads, Farm Outbuildings, Farm Workers, Farming Practices, Pigs, Piggeries, Caterers, Catering, Restaurants, Kitchens