After a culturally immersing apprenticeship in a small french restaurant, Le Gaveroche, in Hawthorn in 1975, Bernie was was filled with excitement and love for food, in particular provincial authentic french food at the young age of 16. Bernie then worked his way around Melbourne, developing his skills and knowledge as a Chef and a leader until he moved to run restaurants in Mt Beauty of the Snow region… the good life. There he found the love for “Grow & Cook”, throwing himself into the learning how to make it work in a commercial environment.
Bernie moved to Brisbane and opened James St. Brasserie, catering for Cathaty Pacific First Class, hosting functions and running a busy restaurant. That’s where he met Kathy, his partner in life and business. Working in Bernie’s kitchen wasn’t a walk in the park but the romance blossomed and the pair embarked on a life together in the Mornington Peninsula pursuing his passion for the Grow & Cook principles.
On one acre in Prossors Lane in Red Hill, Bernie & Kathy settled into a life of growing and experimenting on running a little farm & kitchen where most of the vegetables & fruit that are grown on the farm, are used for food production in Bernies Red Hill Kitchen. His love for slow, uncomplicated and uncompromised cooking is shining through his food and very quickly his little hidden kitchen at the back of Prossors Lane became the place for the “ones in the know”. With no signage and directions, customers would flock the place, hungry for Bernie’s provisions and baked goods. Red Hill Kitchen soon outgrew its little kitchen and relocated to a bigger and more equipped facility in Flinders where he can still lovingly produce his provisions on a bigger scale. His heart is still in their little Red Hill Kitchen where it all begun, when he’d get up at the crack of dawn, accompanied by his then toddler little Poppy baking together Raspberry Pie.
Those special moments are still the driving force behind Bernie’s devotion for his craft.