Look who's cooking

  1. what better way to familiarise oneself with the raw food movement than with a dinner party To honour a few favourite tastemakers? Here, all the recipes and tips from williams-sonoma's top chefs, hulya suleyman and Julien Vasseur

  3. Photographs by Tanya Zouev | Words Natasha Inchley
  5. I’ve always marveled at the women around me who seem to tackle the daily demands of motherhood with tremendous gusto. Then there are the ones, too, who juggle highly successful careers with family life yet still maintain a sense of lightness and humour. That's no easy task. I know from talking to friends and from interviews over the years that ordinary rituals, such as preparing dinner for a family each night, can also be confounding and at times unrewarding – no matter the effort involved. So to address the issue and offer a little inspiration, we asked top chefs from the Williams-Sonoma cooking school to devise the ultimate raw food menu: an energising meal that is both dinner party-worthy yet family friendly. We invited 12 inspiring women to share in the results, and hope you enjoy the recipes, too.

I am woman hear me raw: Main picture top, twelve tastemakers – luxury property specialist Nikki McCullagh, interior designer Sally Greenaway, stylists Victoria Collison and Naomi Smith, designer Kit Willow Podgornik, jewellery designer Sophie Keegan Baum, tastemakers Emma Warburton and Caroline Sherman, food author Joanna Cooper, design consultant Robyn Holt and actress Sophie Lee – turn out for a culinary lesson. Hola fiesta! Above, Sophie Lee, and left, the wonderfully fresh red snapper cerviche served with raw corn tortilla chips.

Chef Hulya Suleyman says: “I’m intrigued and interested in the benefits of a raw diet – I’m not fully raw so the menu below includes a traditional recipe, the coconut lime pie, and a cerviche that people wouldn’t often categorise as raw but it is, and in fact it’s amazing.” Suleyman ought to know, the private chef has worked in New York, Europe and Asia for stellar clients the likes of Robert De Niro and Donna Karan; the chef regularly spends time at the designer’s East Hampton home and Parrot Cay residence concocting juice fasts, raw food recipes and various Western and Mediterranean menus. 

Her scoop
Essential kitchen ingredient:
 Good quality salt – a dish is nothing without great seasoning.
Cooking tip: Never be nervous in the kitchen, just get in there with good ingredients and have fun with it.
Favourite destination: Too many to pick from, my top three would be the Caribbean, New York and Istanbul.
Guilty pleasure: Duck Fat Fries. I’ve never been a dessert person but put fries in front of me and I have no self control.
Time-saver: Be prepared and organised, it’s the key to a successfully run kitchen.

Dinner is served: Above, the cooking school, which made its worldwide debut in Sydney , was established with healthy and sustainable eating in mind; its classes take in everything from bread-making, butchery and raw food techniques to entertaining. Above right, food author Joanna Cooper.

Yes, chef! Above from left, Nikki McCullagh, Naomi Smith, Sally Greenaway, Victoria Collison, Emma Warburton and Kit Willow Podgornik with French chef Julien Vasseur, who has worked in restaurants across Europe and Sydney including Bistro de Paris.

  1. this red snapper ceviche uses The mexican technique of "cooking" raw fish in citrus juice

  3. Ingredients (serves two):
  4. 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  5. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  6. 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. Pinch of sugar, or to taste.
  9.  250gr red snapper fillet
  10. 12 cherry tomatoes, with stems removed and quartered.
  11. 1 small, ripe Haas avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed.
  12. 1/2 small red onion, slivered.
  13. 1/2 cup cubed English cucumber.
  14. 1  Jalapeno chili, minced.
  15. 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro.
  16. 2 Tbs. olive oil
  17. 4 fresh  or cilantro sprigs.

Directions: In a non-aluminum bowl, stir together the orange, lemon and lime juices. Season with salt and enough sugar to balance the acid of the citrus juices. Check the fish fillet for errant bones, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to the citrus juice mixture, immersing the fish completely. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, avocado, onion, cucumber, chillies to taste, mint and cilantro and stir gently to combine. Transfer the fish to a colander and let drain for several seconds, then add the fish to the tomato mixture and mix gently. Drizzle with oil, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Divide the ceviche among martini glasses or small glass bowls and garnish with the mint sprigs. Serve immediately.


A wonderful coconut lime pie that is zesty yet delicious like a cloud

  2. Ingredients (serves 4):
  3. Crust:
  4. 3/4 cup hemp seeds
  5. 3/4 cup dates
  6. Cream filling:
  7. 1/2 young coconut, meat.
  8. 1/4 cup coconut water, if needed.
  9. 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil.
  10. 1-2 tablespoons coconut nectar.
  11. 1 peeled lime.
  12. Pinch of Himalayan salt.
  13. 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder.
  14. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder.
  15. To make the crust: Pulse the hemp seeds into powder using a food processor, then add the dates and process until it lumps together.
  16. Press into small 4-inch pie dishes.
  17. To make the cream filling: Blend all the ingredients until smooth and white and they look delicious like a cloud. If it's too thick to blend, add a little coconut water. Spread evenly onto your crust and chill in the fridge for around 48 hours before serving.
  1. Eat, drink and be merry: Above, top left, Caroline Sherman; bottom left, Robyn Holt and Tracy Baker; right, Naomi Smith and Nikki McCullagh.

    Customers in Australia can enroll online at www.williams-sonoma.com.au/cookingschool, or by calling the Bondi Junction store on +61 2 8973 5800. The Williams-Sonoma Cooking School is located at the corner of Oxford Street Mall and Grosvenor Street, Bondi Junction. For international enquiries look up: www.williams-sonoma.com