Sophie Zalokar was born and raised in the Barossa Valley in South Australia and trained as a chef under Australian food icon Maggie Beer at her and her husband Colin Beer’s famed restaurant, The Pheasant Farm. She went on to travel and cook around the world, settling in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1990.
Her first book, PicNic: Outdoor Feasts in the Australian Landscape (Fremantle Press, 2003) was short-listed for the Jacob’s Creek World Food Media Awards and Vittoria Australian Food Media Awards in 2003. She has developed recipes for Homes and Living magazine and has provided a weekly recipe in The West Australian newspaper for the past thirteen years. She is a judge for WA Signature Dish in 2014.
At the beginning of 2005, Sophie and her family moved to a 18 1⁄2 acre smallholding with holiday cottages in Pemberton within the Southern Forests region of Western Australia. With the assistance of a federal tourism grant, Sophie and her husband Chris opened Foragers Field Kitchen & Cooking School in April 2011, offering residential cooking school and dinner events throughout the year, promoting the culinary heritage and produce grown in the Southern Forests. Sophie’s work as a chef, food writer, teacher and produce judge is underpinned by her commitment to nurturing real food created with a deep respect for the land, primary producers and local food heritage and culinary traditions.