Bethany Leyshon, project volunteer

Bethany Leyshon in front of an artwork, A Crucifixion, at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Bethany Leyshon / photo © Thomas MacRae. Artwork: A Crucifixion, Reuben Paterson, 2012, glitter and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, purchased NGV Contemporary, 2012 © Reuben Paterson, courtesy Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

I have always had a fascination with old houses and the stories they tell, so when the opportunity came up to do an internship at Sydney Living Museums’ Rouse Hill House & Farm (one of my favourite properties) – I couldn’t let it slip. Continue reading

Jane Kelso

Photograph of HHT Historian Jane Kelso.

Historian Jane Kelso at Vaucluse House. Photo © James Horan

Jane developed a love of old buildings and the past growing up in a landscape of old country homesteads and Horbury Hunt woolsheds and churches near a country town whose glory days were ‘history’. Continue reading

A recipe for success

Alysha taking a photo of the Christmas plum pudding in the kitchen at Elizabeth Farm, Scott standing to the side.

Alysha and Scott, the Curator, in the kitchen at Elizabeth Farm. Photo Tim Girling-Butcher © HHT

The Cook and the Curator is the result of an inspiring collaborative effort from our colleagues at the HHT. Now that it feels like the canapés have finally made it to the table (with many courses to follow!) we want to thank the staff at the HHT, from our fellow curators to the teams of gardeners and guides at our houses, who have supported this project. We value their enthusiasm and encouragement – and thank them for cleaning up their kitchens and staff rooms when we left them in chaos!

In particular, extra slices of pudding go to Beth Hise for her vision, web gurus Tim Girling-Butcher, Ondine Evans and Jay Smith, recipe editor Rhiain Hull and designer Sarah Christensen; and to Alysha Buss for her calm demeanor and tireless patience in the eye of the culinary storm.


Thank you all!

Jacqui and Scott

Scott Hill – The Curator

Scott Hill with pineapple in kitchen garden at Vaucluse House

Scott Hill in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House. Photo © James Horan

Pull up a seat!

I first joined the HHT as a guide at Elizabeth Bay House and Vaucluse House – once home to rival colonial families – which between them boast sprawling cellars, a rare surviving colonial kitchen and service rooms. A decade later, I’m the Curator for Meroogal, Elizabeth Farm and Rouse Hill House & Farm, three remarkable properties with their own distinct stories and collections.
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Jacqui Newling – The Cook

Jacqui Newling making ginger nut biscuits, rolling dough between hands, provenanced handwritten recipe, Rouse Hill House and Farm, in kitchen at Vaucluse House

Jacqui Newling in the kitchen at Vaucluse House. Photo © James Horan

I’m a gastronomer. My computer spellchecker tells me this is not a word (the Macquarie Dictionary, however, does!) – but as a philosopher takes their title from the pursuit of philosophy, I believe gastronomer follows the same logic from gastronomy.  By my family’s reckoning, however, I’m a gastronaut. I explore the world of food with an inquiring mind and a deep curiosity – not simply about the food itself, but about why it is a food. How did that item become acceptable as a food and how did it arrive at our tables? In fact, to me, gastronomy is about people – what people do to and with food to make it a part of their lives.
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