Samantha Gowing is an award-winning clinical nutritionist and a renowned teacher of Food as Medicine. Having being fed canned soybeans and boarding school food and embarking on a culinary journey as a child in Melbourne during the gastronomic boom of the 1970s, it is no wonder that she became a therapeutic chef.
Samantha enjoyed a long career in hospitality in her hometown of Melbourne before founding her unique food and health business in 2000. Since then she has appeared regularly on radio, in print and online media talking about food, health and wealth. Read Sam’s blog
Sam learnt to cook from the age of six and was influenced my her maternal grandmother, Evie and her beloved father, Dennis. Both taught her the fundamentals of food including baking and Australian/Anglo-Saxon fare such as Pavlova, classic sponge cakes, Yorkshire pud and roasts of all sorts. Dennis Gowing was a cockney orphan who came to Australia as a ’10 pound Pom’ and made his fortune in the car, TV, art, horse racing and restaurant industries in a career that spanned over three decades. Kevin Dennis New Faces was an Australian talent show that preceded the British show of the same name, produced at GTV-9 Melbourne. The program began in 1963 under the name Kevin Dennis Auditions, sponsored by Kevin Dennis Motors, running on Saturday mornings. The program name soon changed to Kevin Dennis New Faces, and later simply New Faces, becoming a Sunday night prime time show. Checkout these old Kevin Dennis TV ads
Dennis was a man who once bought more TV advertising on more TV programmes than any person then or since. A colourful Melbourne entrepenuer who successes included owning the winner of the 1985 Melbourne Cup, What A Nuisance, creating multi award-winning fine dining establishments such as Jacksons in Toorak (1977-1984), Gowings Restaurant (1984-1990) which was awarded 2.5 Chef’s hats by the Age Good Food Guide and nominated as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in Australia by renowned food critic Stephen Downes.
Read Derryn Hinch’s tribute
In 1990 Dennis and Samantha took on the freehold and business of the Grace Darling Hotel, an iconic pub in the heart of Collingwood. When the Collingwood Football Club won the Grand Final in 1990, it was seen as a blessing and thus a new era was born for this historic landmark. Dennis Gowing died from a long battle with cancer in December 1991 and for the next seven years Samantha and her brother Chris Gowing left jointly owned and operated this historic hotel. GGD Gig Guide 1996
During this era they turned Gowings Grace Darling into a multi-award winning culinary and entertainment emporium that featured fine food, vintage wines, prestigious artwork by Clifton Pugh and Tim Storrier, reaping a raft of industry awards including 3AW’s Pub of the Year, Best Hotel Dining Room and a coveted Chef’s hat from The Age Good Food Guide.
Back in the days when cleanskins were unheard of and restaurateurs could not afford their own vineyards, we commissioned our friends at Diamond Valley Vineyards to produce a selection of great signature drops and chose our Tim Storrier “Natura Morta” to Grace the label.
An insatiable desire for understanding the causes and cures for the insidious disease that took her Father’s life saw Sam embark on her own culinary journey into the healing cuisines. She took a fork in the road and studied naturopathic nutritional medicine, graduating as a clinical nutritionist and registered with the ATMS. She went on to found her organic cooking school in 1999. Sam has been a driving force for building awareness of the health benefits of organic food and labelled the “Don’t Panic, It’s Organic Lady” by food icon Matt Preston – a reference to the events she has run for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival over the last decade.
Her signature healing cuisine Surf Spa Food celebrates food as medicine with a contemporary culinary twist and has been embraced around the globe at health retreats such as Australian properties Gaia Retreat and Spa and Gwinganna, Kahanda Kanda, Sri Lanka and the Kempinski hotels’ new Zanzibar health retreat. She is currently the Head Chef at the brand new Cabarita Ocean Health Retreat in NSW.
Sam currently lives in Byron Bay where she enjoys the amazing surf and is delighted to be in the process of creating her dynamic spa and surf cuisine and motivational mentoring programs for private consultations, organic luxury spa retreats or corporate chef team building incentives.