Although surrounded by food from an early age in her Maltese mother’s kitchen, Jacqui’s food career began as a 22-year-old apprentice at About Life in Rozelle. Her plan was to study cooking then segue into something like food styling or nutrition … but the camaraderie of the commercial kitchen struck a chord and changed that direction.
She moved on to the Merivale Group and The Ivy’s now-closed steakhouse, Mad Cow, where she learnt a lot under Christopher Whitehead, crossing Ash St after her apprenticeship to continue learning alongside Lauren Murdoch at Felix.
Her first head chef role was at David Tsirekas’ mod-Greek restaurant Xanthi, in Westfield Sydney, where she embraced Eastern Mediterranean flavours and learnt to trust her instincts in combining them to produce delicious dishes.
Jacqui joined the opening team at Nomad in 2013, drawn to its back-to-basics ethos of making cheese, charcuterie and bread from scratch as well as the wood-fired oven that is the kitchen’s focus. She stepped up to the head chef role in 2014 and now oversees the busy kitchen team as well as planning Nomad’s expansion into Melbourne.
Visit Nomad for more information.