WELL-travelled Kiwi chef Becks Henderson draws on her experience over the ditch and on the seven seas in her new Wodonga post.
Head chef at new eatery The Secret Cup, Henderson has teamed up with owners, Jane and Michael Keats, to deliver a fresh brunch experience to Border patrons.
Dunedin-born-and-bred Henderson worked with renowned South Island restaurateur, food author and businesswoman Fleur Sullivan before she migrated to London.
There she joined the super-yacht scene, becoming personal chef to Johnny Depp and his family for three years.
“I made tuna sandwiches and salad for his family but there were dinner parties on the yacht too,” she said.
“You get to immerse yourself in some great cuisines and cultures around the world.”
Henderson moved to the Border with her Kergunyah fiance, Trent McDonald, who also worked on the yachts.
She said local produce influenced the cafe’s menu.
“The all-day brunch menu has Persian, Kiwi and Moroccan flavours,” she said.
“We cater for all dietary needs and have eliminated a lot of refined sugar from our menu, which suits diabetics.”
Having opened The Secret Cup on July 21, Jane and Michael Keats employ more than a dozen staff including their daughters Aleah, 18, and Kenepuru, 15.
The renovated cafe seats 100 with a courtyard deck.
What's your favourite dish?
Paella. We have a lot of dinner parties and it feeds a crowd.
What are the staples in your pantry?
Spanish sweet paprika, fish sauce, basmati rice, quinoa.
What's the biggest product discovery you have made in cooking?
Fresh-As, premium freeze-dried ingredients from New Zealand.
What is your recipe standby?
Paella. My cousin is Spanish and taught me to make an authentic paella.
What is your most unforgettable meal and where?
My mum’s cooking. She loved the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks and was always having dinner parties.
What's your secret vice?
What's your favourite cooking utensil?
Microplane, knives and julienne peeler.
What did you have for dinner last night?
Salmon, steamed broccoli, kimchi with brown rice and quinoa.
What are you drinking?
Matcha teas. Japanese green teas.
The Secret Cup,
86a High Street, Wodonga
Phone: (02) (02) 6056 7453