Edwina grew up in a home where dinner parties and entertaining were the life blood. From wild duck affairs where the main course was provided by her father's shootings on the Shoalhaven River, to suckling piglets in the garden oven, to glamorous dinner dances. Her mother was a glorious hostess and gourmand, never reading more than the first two lines of any recipe before dismissing it, with a 'foof'. The results were sophisticated, wonderfully executed dishes that taught Edwina that swoon was the desired result, obtained from an imaginative and educated palate, a belief she clings very much to, still.
During nine hundred years of marriage, foodie times were ever the highlight, whether it be in the Victorian goldfield's house, the snowfields of Hotham, the Cup Week carpark extravaganza, or at home entertaining the boys and their friends and ours.
Once upon a time, Edwina was a medical social worker, working in a large cancer institute in Melbourne but for the last six years prior to leaving Australia, established an agency caring for cancer patients at home. In providing complete care for patients and their families, facing the implications this diagnosis brings, not only saw her pioneer home chemotherapy for privately insured patients, it allowed her to practise in a setting without appointment and to also prepare wonderful food when not much else was wonderful, of filling biscuit tins to over flowing and temptations for reluctant palates.
It wasn't until July 2000, having shed everything with a key, the husband, the car, the boat, the dwellings, that she left Australia, bound for Spain, with receipts for things to follow. The remains of a wine collection, Mary Lou her Boxer girl. some bikinis and cherished kitchen knives, accompanied her on the flight.
The house glorious was found and claimed in a wonderful Andalusian village overlooking the Med. One afternoon, on the beach after a birthday lunch, gazing across the Med towards, Morocco, talk turned to the fact that anyone who was anyone was buying a riad in Marrakech. Her girlfriends suggested that as she was someone, perhaps she should have one too. By 8pm she was on the ferry with Mary Lou, bound for Morocco, returning a few days later with tajines and spices. Cooking up storms, in her kitchen with windows opening onto the pedestrian street where she lived, soon had her throwing dinner parties for strangers on every terrace in her house glorious...
Heady with fame, she decided to return to Marrakech to buy a riad, adding another culinary destination to her seeming, empire. The riad wondrous was found, after three months of searching and renovations began. Late 2003 she sold her Andalusian house, moving to Morocco to oversee the wayward renovations. In February 2007, with the last nanno grain of strength, the doors were flung open, in welcome.
This journey was borne from the want to celebrate a divine young chef who tantalised the palates of Melbourne, before cancer turned joy to legacy. Ed is Edwina's cherished youngest son, an adored brother and much loved fiance... and this....for ...him x