GROWING up at Corowa Cathie Lonnie loved nothing more than poring over her mum’s Women’s Weekly cookbooks.
The Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book was her favourite but the Asian cookery book got a workout at dinner parties too. Cathie was a willing sous chef by about age 10.
When she moved to Sydney in 2001, the then trained chef and food researcher got in touch with The Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen.
“I worked as a home economist for 18 months before I became the test kitchen manager for four years,” she said.
“We published 12 A4 cook books a year; the highlight was having a budget to eat at restaurants like Quay for the French book and Billy Kwong for the Asian book.”
Cathie was recruited for the first season of ground-breaking Australian cookery competition Ready Steady Cook, working with the likes of George Calombaris, Manu Feildel, Alastair McLeod and Janelle Bloom.
“As the chefs were cooking we’d be writing down what they were doing, to go up on the website,” she said.
As a food editor and recipe writer, Cathie has contributed to more than 200 cookbooks and worked on more than 3000 recipes for cooking magazines and food websites.
She has been a recipe tester for My Kitchen Rules, MasterChef Australia and Zumbo’s Just Desserts.
Together with husband Matthew Kelly and their children Harper, 8, and Noah, 5, Cathie is now settled at Thurgoona.
Follow her food journey on Instagram.
Favourite winter dish?
Moroccan Lamb Shanks with quinces in the slow cooker.
What’s your favourite season?
Autumn. I like the leaves, slow-cooked food, snuggle time with a blanket.
Staples in your pantry now?
Fish sauce, kecap manis, fried shallots, butter and eggs
Earliest cooking memory?
Cooking from Mum's Women's Weekly cook books. Mum is a great baker as were my two grandmothers.
Which six people would you invite to dinner?
My six colleagues from The Women's Weekly Test Kitchen.
Favourite foodie ritual?
On Saturday nights we make pizza with the kids.
What are you bingeing on TV?
This is Us
What did you have for dinner last night?
Pasta with chorizo, olives and slow-roasted tomatoes
What are you drinking?
Apple cider after 5pm