The Church Cafe Eskdale offers a real place of connection for the community

JACQUI Gormly has plied her chef trade everywhere from the Top End of Australia to a ski season at the foot of Perisher’s slopes.

Now she is head chef at the newly-renovated The Church Cafe Eskdale.

Having grown up at Talgarno, Jacqui started her apprenticeship at Elgin’s in Wodonga before finishing it at Lake Hume Resort.

She said she appreciated her unique workplace at Eskdale, the brainchild of Tallandoon couple Angela and John Mills, who operate a poll hereford stud in the Mitta Valley.

“We offer fresh, simple cafe food, made from scratch,” she said.

“The commercial kitchen (newly-built onto the former Catholic church) is second the none.”

Together with fiance Andrew Paton, Jacqui has two children Dustin, 2, and Hayley, 9 months.

Mount Beauty venture Honeybird Coffee makes a Cup of Kindness special blend for The Church Cafe Eskdale.

The cafe also hosts cuisine theme nights – Americana was the latest – fortnightly on Fridays.

It also caters for birthday parties and celebrations; it will host its first wedding this week. 

What's your favourite winter dish?

Seafood chowder. The secret is a good stock.

What's your favourite season?

Winter. You can always get warm in winter; working in a hot kitchen in summer can be tough.

What are the staples in your pantry now?

Meat including Mitta Valley Beef as well as butter, flour and sugar for baking.

What is your earliest cooking memory?

Making marshmallows with my mum.

Which ingredients do you grow yourself?

We have a massive veggie garden. We grown our own beef, sheep and pigs.

Which six people would you invite to dinner?

Mum and Dad, my inlaws, Granny and partner Andrew Paton. We have a lot of dinner parties; it’s not unusual to have 15 to 20 come over for a roast.

What is your favourite foodie ritual?

Mum and Dad have a pizza oven. We like to get together for simple, home-made pizzas.

What are you bingeing on TV? If anything.

I don’t have time for TV.

What did you have for dinner last night?

Spaghetti bolognese. It’s kid-friendly.

What are you drinking at the moment?

Cappuccinos or black tea​


The Church Cafe Eskdale,

3794 Omeo Highway, Eskdale

Phone: 0439 312 676

Closed Mondays.