From the age of three Cassie was in the kitchen, banging pots and pans at the feet of her mother and mimicking her making dinner. “I told my mother at age five that I wanted to be a chef and she always thought it was just a phase.”
As a child, Cassie’s love of food developed and she spent weekends tending to her fruit trees in her back garden. “My mother was an inspiration to me. I learnt to love and care for fresh produce from her.”
Her real appreciation for food grew when she began to travel with her family, with her first round-the-world trip at just eight years of age. “Visiting everywhere from Egypt to New York, I began a journey with food I didn’t know existed. The connection between food, culture and experience inspired me.”
When her family transferred to London when she was a teenager, her weekends were spent on the Eurostar “picking up foie gras and baguettes in France”.
Upon returning to Australia, Cassie began her apprenticeship at a local bistro in Kiama, NSW, at 16. Cassie did her second year at Bilson’s where she was mentored by Diego Munoz, her culinary hero. He was inspirational and pushed her to test and trial during the cooking process, striving for perfection. It was a turning point in her career and she was taught the hard lessons. “Getting kicked out of the kitchen and having carrots thrown at me made me bounce back stronger.”
Cassie completed her apprenticeship at Justin North’s Becasse, where she met her boyfriend, chef Matthew Bugeja, who now works at Three Blue Ducks. Cassie enjoys nothing more than tending to her many plant boxes and cooking Sunday night dinners for Matthew.
Cassie is truly obsessed with food. “Working at Bilson’s and Becasse proved that I could withstand the hours and hard labour for the love of what I do. Food is everything to me, and when I am not cooking at work, you will find me in the kitchen at home experimenting.”