Jo and Ness

Hello, I am Joanna Cooper (Jo), and together with Vanessa Rowe (Ness), we created Our Tamarama Kitchen. Ness is the photographer and designer of our book and I am the cook and writer.

I have always loved cooking and entertaining. One of my fondest childhood memories was helping my mother with dinner parties. While my sisters were in the living room watching movies, I was in the kitchen arranging the fine china and plating up the next course.

Not a lot has changed. I still spend most of my time in an apron and I get great joy creating nutritious, tasty food for friends and family. Starting a family of my own has made me even more conscious about food - I try to eat foods that will nourish the body and put it in the best possible position to fight disease. My food philosophy is loosely based upon Chinese medicine principles.

A few years ago, I caved into persistent nagging from friends keen to learn how to cook the way I do. What began as a one-off lesson for a group of eight close friends, quickly grew into regular get-togethers and before long, I found myself hosting three classes a week, on a monthly basis.

Jo and Ness

My longtime friend Ness shares the same passion for food, friends and Tamarama - we live in the same street and Ness is a well-respected designer. She is also a phenomenal food photographer, as you will see within the pages of this book.

A couple of years later, I had my third child and the classes had to stop, but of course my love of cooking did not. The apron remained on and I continued to experiment with food, whilst Ness continued to photograph new recipes. In the meantime our closest friends urged us to create a book. So, happily, here it is - the result of many hours of laughter, eating and fun around the table.

This book is for anyone who loves the idea of healthy and tasty food made easy. It unlocks the joy that comes from stress-free cooking with natural ingredients and it is also a celebration of living in Tamarama, where fresh seasonal produce seems just that little bit more magical by the sea.


Tama, as the locals call it, is an important part of this story. This small beachside suburb neighbouring the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia, is a pocket of extraordinary beauty and eclectic history. For Ness and I, it is our happy place. We feel alive and grateful to live in this part of the world where the surf, salty air and sensational views are the perfect backdrop for the food we love.

We hope you enjoy reading our book and cooking its recipes.

Jo & Ness xxx