Connection between food and healing takes Sam on world journey

From Melbourne to Byron Bay. Samantha Gowing is rediscovering the path from paddock to plate.
Byron Shire News, NSW. By Jann Burmester

Growing up around a restaurant table for all of her childhood years, it was only natural that Samantha Gowing would follow in her father’s footsteps and become involved in the food business.

For more than 20 years, this renowned Melbourne restaurateur has been involved in the industry owning and running some of Melbourne’s finest eating establishments. When her father died in 1991 Samantha and her brother took over the family restaurant Gowings East Melbourne where she worked for eight years.

But, it was her father’s death that led Sam to expand her mind and her food business to concentrate on the relationship between good nutrition and good health. “When my father died I really had no great knowledge of health food,” Samantha said. “I had a yearning for an understanding of the healing benefits of food and its relationship on the body, mind and spirit.”

That yearning has led Samantha on a world journey that has included time in Japan and South East Asia embracing centuries old cooking and healing techniques; years of study at university to gain a Diploma in Health Science; becoming a qualified pilates and yoga instructor and the establishment in 2002 of Gowings Food and Health an innovative business service that combines nutrition, pilates and yoga, an organic cooking school, corporate health seminars and food styling.

But, the latest step in Samantha’s journey is a move to Byron Bay. “I have always wanted to live in Byron Bay and let’s face it living in Collingwood for 18 years wasn’t exactly spiritually uplifting,” Samantha said.

“My business was thriving in Melbourne, but I just wasn’t getting what I needed there.” So three weeks ago Samantha packed up her house and her dog and headed to Byron.

“I was looking at houses to rent on the internet and saw this photo of a kitchen that had a six-burner gas stove,” she said. “I just knew it was the right place, so I took it.”

And indeed it has turned out to be the right place with an area to establish a pilates studio, a large kitchen ideal for cooking classes, a vibrant, lush garden reminiscent of the gardens in Bali where she is a regular visitor and a study from where Samantha can grow her food and health business which currently services the Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney markets.

Horizons “I have already been to the Byron Farmers Markets and was really impressed,” Samantha said. “We really need to rediscover the path from paddock to plate and farmers markets do this really well.”I am also a staunch supporter of organic food and really believe in seasonability and sustainability.”

And while Samantha practises what she preaches including eating steamed broccoli with fresh ginger, tamari and a pinch of good salt for breakfast she does have a weakness. “I love a good glass of French champagne, that’s my weakness and every so often a cold beer goes down well too,” she said.

“Food has taken me all over the world and expanded my horizons and I really believe there is a connection between food and healing.” Samantha is looking forward to making a new life in Byron Bay.”I am following my heart and I can’t wait to see what directions are going to open for me,” she said.

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