My Open Kitchen

My Open Kitchen is a podcast celebrating great stories from behind the farm gate; celebrating seasonal produce and the power of social media to help us connect and build communities around what we do.
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Dec 2, 2020

I think we all need more things to be cheerful about - especially this year. So, that’s what this podcast will deliver; each episode we’ll chat with inspiring and clever people to find out what five things they are doing, cooking, reading, listening to and watching that week that are making them feel cheerful!

And for episode one, we kick off with the very lovely Skye McAlpine. Skye grew up in Venice and now divides her time between that insanely beautiful city and London. She’s a food writer and the author of two beautiful books, her latest A Table For Friends being very much in my remit - all about making entertaining easy and all dripping with her signature elegance and incredible style.

Here are the five things that are making Skye feel more cheerful this week. For all the show notes, please visit

Apr 3, 2019

Hello and welcome to the Basket by the Door podcast! This will be a special five part series released under our My Open Kitchen moniker - a collection of stories and celebrations of baskets by doors and love and stories of how food can heal and nourish and calm and comfort.

Episode one features interviews with the lovely lovely Tessa Kiros and Emiko Davies. Plus a little cameo by Gillian Bell who tells a story that will probably make you cry and smile and want to rush into the kitchen and bake something. And a visit from bibliotherapist Germaine Leece who suggests some books to pop into our baskets for extra comfort.

I hope you enjoy listening to these stories AND music. So - the music in this podcast (except for the very first song I Like Pie I Like Cake, by the Four Clefs ) is by local duo, sisters Sophie and Abby from Smith and Jones. Their soulful mix of country, folk and jazz is nourishment for the ears and excellent cooking music! Please go over and check them out, have a listen and whenever you can - go and see them play live!

Emiko Davies; 

Germaine Leece

Bibliotherapist Germaine Leece offered up these book suggestions for books to nourish and comfort while we adjust to change

  • For a friend recovering from heartbreak - Tin Man by Sarah Winman; a poetic tale about first love, friendship and love, a book that celebrates the flip side of having loved.
  • For a friend recovering from an illness or convalescing - when you want to remind your loved one that through the worst can come growth and resilience, Maggie O Farrell’s memoir I am I am I am (17 brushes with death) a book filled with hope and wonder.
  • And for new mums or anyone who needs to let the body rest while our mind is taken away to a different place -  Elizabeth Jane Howard's The Light Years



Aug 30, 2018

Hello and welcome to part two of our three part Gathering series! This one is a live recording of the second panel from this event, held in Orange back in May. The theme was Community, Collaboration and building connections and our panel was moderated by Barbara Sweeney.

Barbara Sweeney - Moderator
Luisa Brimble
Sara Tasker
Annabelle Hickson

Creator of the wonderful Food and Words festival and events/talks series, Barbara is a food writer and contributor to Country Style magazine. A woman of many talents, she also writes about food, farmers and artisan producers, is a judge at The National Honey Show and is also a talking cookbook. 

Sara Tasker of Me and Orla; In her own words, Sara “ 40% photographer, 40% writer, 30% creative coach and 10% cake.” Instagram expert and creative coach, Sara has come all the way from Yorkshire, England today and has much to share. Her podcast Hashtag Authentic, blog Me and Orla, Instagram account and e-courses are hugely popular, she is endlessly generous with her knowledge and experience and again in her own words, she is “passionate about helping other women and creatives find their online voice, because I know first-hand all of the huge and brilliant changes it can bring.”

Annabelle Hickson; Annabelle is a writer, photographer, stylist, podcaster and columnist for Country Style magazine. Her clean, bright social media feed has resonated with over 60k followers who come back for the flowers, stories and snippets of life she shares in such a beautiful way. With her partner and three kids, Annabelle lives on a pecan farm in Australia. 

Luisa Brimble; Luisa is a photographer, publisher and queen of collaborations and one of the most generous and talented creatives in this country.  Luisa brings life to the ideas of dreamers and doers through fresh, natural photography and her documentary-style of shooting gives her subjects soul and captures beauty in the everyday. Luisa has worked with some of the world’s biggest publishing houses and her photos bring to life some of our favourite books from Community and Neighbourhood by Hetty McKinnon, to Real Food by Australian Women’s Weekly and her passion project WILD Adventure Cookbook (with Sarah Glover).

Aug 16, 2018

It is with GREAT excitement that we finally pressed publish today on the first of a three-part podcast series featuring all the panel discussions we recorded from the My Open Kitchen Gathering held at the Old Conventhere in Orange in May 2018.

Having just re-listened to all of them, I was reminded of all the incredible insight, inspiration, generosity and friendship shared and had over this day. Hope you enjoy these chats - each episode is around 1 hour each, so perfect for car trips, long walks, gardening or cooking sessions! Sophie x

So here's panel one, panels two and three will be published next week and the week after. All images below by Pip Farquharson.

How social media can help turn your passion into a business.

Jul 16, 2018

What inspires our favourite food podcaster Lindsay Cameron Wilson? What are the best podcasts, apps and pieces to read for peak social media and community building inspiration? It's all here in this episode of My Open Kitchen. We hope you like this one and thank you so much Lindsay for chatting with us, Sophie and Skye xxx Ps please check out our show notes for all the links and things we talked about. 

Jun 14, 2018

This episode Skye has a lovely long chat with Naomi Bulger about creativity, social media, mail art, life and all the things. Plus we share some great ideas, tools and inspirations to help us all use this crazy world of social media to connect, build communities and tell our stories in the most engaging way possible. Thank you as always for listening! Sophie and Skye x (ps all the show notes and links over at our blog

Mar 26, 2018

Welcome to episode 5 of series 3! We are so excited to be back in your earbuds sharing all kinds of good things and an interview with the very clever Abbie Melle. A lifestyle, interiors and travel photographer, Abbie is a regular contributor to Country Style magazine, has a huge and super engaged following on Instagram and her visual storytelling there is super inspiring. Lucky for us, in this episode Abbie shares some advice on creating engaging IG posts and stories and what inspires her work.

Thank you as always to our series sponsor Country Style Magazine. 

Sophie's Top 5

Hurry Slowly podcast by Jocelyn K. Glei (@jkglei) who also writes a great newsletter. I particularly loved the 'anti-time management' episode with Oliver Burkeman.

Girls Night In newsletter; lots of good things to read, listen to, think about and practice on a Friday night - when you'd prefer to stay in.

All the things that Helen Redfern does; I love her blog, A Bookish Baker , her Instagram feed, the sound of her ecourse and her newsletter. So much goodness here and she puts a lot of effort and herself into all she does.

Food 52 Cookbook club. - such a fun idea and great way to build an online community with like minded people.

Our Road Trip playlist on Spotify. Some fun tunes to sing along to on long car trips!

Skye's Top 5

The Guilty Feminist podcast is equal parts thoughtful and hilarious. Thankyou Monique Bowley at the ABC for the recommendation. And another that came from here which is full parts hilarious is The Baby Sitters Club Club for my fellow 90’s kids who loved Ann M. Martin’s Baby Sitter’s Club books.

We have known about this for a while but I have to say Instagram’s new function to follow hashtags has given me the ability to search for new people to follow once again.

We have recently been (so kindly) on the receiving end of a voucher to The Dinner Ladies – a wonderful organisation in Sydney who organise home cooked meals, fresh and frozen for anyone in need. A very thoughtful gesture for anyone who is in hospital, or just had a baby, been injured or having a tough time.

And finally I cannot get enough of roadside flowers at the moment. Florence and I have spend many long hours in the car and my eyes are always drawn roadside. I'm always thinking, what can I forage here? It is endless and I love it. 

Mar 1, 2018

This podcast is our celebration of how us country creatives, farmers and producers can create communities and advocate through the magic of social media and this episode we are chatting with Fiona Walmsley of Buena Vista farm (pictured below) on the NSW south coast (pictured above), plus we share our top five favourite tips, tricks and people and catching up after a few months break.

Skye’s Top 5’s 

Now of course the My Open Kitchen e-course and podcast is the best social media advice getting around but ……… But you should also listen to new podcast by Jess Ruhfus; Stop, Colloborate and Listen. Super helpful for those of us who’re stuck in a rut and need some new partnerships to spark things up again.

This article, The Grown-up’s Table from the New York Times  Art of the Dinner Party – thank you Tea and Tattle for this one. Beautifully written and will take you no more than 5 minutes to read. It vividly captures the essence of a dining table the morning after a dinner party. It makes me yearn for winter and having guests to dinner inside beside the fire.

Oh my goodness – for the last few weeks I have been whisked away to Naomi Bulger’s world of The Most Beautiful Letter You Have Ever Written – a 4 week e-course on letter writing. Unleashed in me a passion for hand writing, doodling and giving someone else a smile through writing pretty letters and cards. I can’t recommend this course highly enough. Weirdly relaxing, mindful and rejuvenating.

In the same vein, Thankly – is a fun business that handwrites notes for you.

A new newsletter by one of the My Open Kitchen Alumni and fellow Grenfell Local, Sarah Ryan, ‘Bunch of Fives’. Sarah runs her business Quandialla Candles from the old General Store in Quandialla and this newsletter is an ode to all the things she loves, old and new, new books, podcasts and articles and tit-bits from here and there. It’s complimented by similar offerings from her best friend. Sign up on her website.

Sophie’s Top 5

Janet Murray’s fabulous blog post on why stroppy emails are bad pr.

Link tree – such a great and free way to make the most of the one clickable link you get in Instagram. I’ve noticed a real change in traffic to my blog and other online homes since I started using Link tree.

Stevie Says Social podcast and blog – so so so much good stuff, social media information and advice on both the blog and podcast. Thanks Stevie!

This master class in compassion online 

The Archers – I know I’m only forty odd years late tot he party but I’ve finally started listening to the Archers and LOVE.

Dec 4, 2017

Hello all and welcome to episode 3 of series 3! I am super excited about this one as it features two of my favourite creatives EVER; guest co-host Luisa Brimble and all the way from the US, food writer Julia Turshen! Luisa and I talk about creativity, art, collaboration and her five favourite books while I chat with Julia about her new book Feed the Resistance, Instagram, getting involved and what she’s cooking these days. Plus all the usual recommendations, links and such. Boom pow. 

Big thank you to our series sponsor Country Style magazine, if you haven’t yet picked up a copy of the latest issue - please do, it’s, as always, just beautiful and full of inspiration.

Thank you also to the Good Lovelies, one of my favourite groups ever, for giving us permission to use snippets of your beautiful song the Old Highway throughout this episode. Please check out the full song and the rest of the album and grab a copy - excellent sunny Saturday morning in the kitchen music. 

Here below are some of the things we mentioned in this episode

Sophie’s Top 5 

  • #thetravellingfoodband; Some of my all time favourite photographers and foods stylists got together for a few days in Berlin to create content together. I love that idea and think we should all do more of it. Just grab a group of creative buddies, pool talents, spend an afternoon or weekend together creating lovely things/scenes/foods/images.
  • Doterra oils ;I am a recent convert to the world of essential oils; I love burning peppermint and wild orange while I work, I rub lavender on my kids feet at bedtime and swear that puts them out like a light, or it could be the foot massage! I use the peppermint in an icing the other day and so on. Just love them.
  • Contact Sheets; A bit of an odd thing to recommend here but I have just bitten the bullet and bought Creative Cloud so I can get organised for my new book - eek - and am LOVING how photoshop lets you create contact sheets of your images. I’ve printed out what I’ve done so far so I can easily track how it’s all coming together (or not).
  • Co-schedule blog; An absolute mine of information - not cheap but the blog is full of updates on good times to post what on what platform. Great for bloggers.
  • Spotify Playlists; Everything will be ok and a gift-wrapping playlist from Anthropologie 

Luisa’s Top 5 (current favourite publications)


Oct 25, 2017

Instagram Queen Sara Tasker aka @me_and_orla joins Sophie and Skye to share her advice on cultivating strong engagement on Instagram, what it's like to work from home and we all get excited about the 2018 My Open Kitchen Gathering which Sara will travel to Australia to be the keynote speaker for. 

Oct 9, 2017

A sneak-peak at what's to come in Series 3 and Annabelle Hickson, Country Style writer and blogger at The Daily's helps us welcome in the new Series with a guest Top 5 contribution.

Aug 20, 2017

Jane Smith aka The Shady Baker from outback New South Wales joins My Open Kitchen this episode to talk about baking, blogging and living in Australia's real outer country, plus we share our Top 5 favourite people to follow, things to do, places to visit and pieces to read, and as as always share morning tea an our new in the sunshine on Sophie's farm

Jul 20, 2017

So so much to share in this episode - interviews with The Sonic’s Pip Brett, Nundle’s Exchange Stores' Megan Trousdale on using social media to build a community around your business, plus Skye is back, loads and loads of links, inspiration and ideas for connecting, collaborating and hanging out online in a fun, authentic way. Welcome to My Open Kitchen - we hope you like it here! Sophie and Skye.

Jun 6, 2017

Ciao tutti! In this special bonus episode, we spend a day in Florence with Tuscan-based author, photographer and cook Emiko Davies. While wandering the markets and cooking lunch back at her home, Emiko shares her thoughts on social media, food writing and why food just seems to taste better in Italy! Hope you enjoy this one and we'll be back with a regular episode in a couple of weeks. Sophiex 

May 16, 2017

Welcome back to My Open Kitchen! This episode we talk with Food Writer Barbara Sweeney about how to 'show don't tell' your story on social media. Plus there are loads of great ideas, links and resources to help farmers, foodies and cooks use social media to build more engaged communities and have more fun on social media! 

Mar 27, 2017

This episode we are talking authenticity. Yep - we are tackling that buzzword head on and getting real with the likes of Kat Molesworth, David Prior and Annabelle Hickson. There are some really great ideas, nuggets of advice and stories in this episode and we hope you enjoy listening in! Thanks, Sophie and Holly. 


Mar 2, 2017

Here's a little chat with none other than my Mum, artist Annie Herron. I wrote about her for in the current issue of Country Style magazine and thought you guys might like to hear her voice, her thoughts on creativity, gardens, Instagram and inspiration. 

Feb 20, 2017

Pull up a chair, make a cup of tea and have a listen as we chat with Stephanie Alexander AO and Tamsin Carvan in celebration of summer plenty - the wonderful abundance of produce in our gardens, orchards and markets at this time of year. We share tips, hacks, inspiration and recipes to get you excited about joining our community of food, farming and social media lovers. 

Feb 1, 2017

This episode we are slowing down. My Open Kitchen is all about social media and the communities, stories and collaboration it can foster. But it is all consuming and totally addictive, so today, we are looking at how we can get the most of out our online time and use it a bit more ‘mindfully’. Plus there’s cake, tea and two fantastic interviews. So settle in, have a listen and go slowly!


Dec 15, 2016

This episode is all about Christmas and feasting and sharing and is the perfect thing to listen to while you travel from here to there, make a dozen or so mince pies, walk them off, wrap presents or just sit and have a cup of coffee and stare at the twinkling lights of your tree. Either way, this last week or so before Christmas is our favourite of the year so in this episode we are talking to some of Australia’s top food writers about what they are planning to cook and share for Christmas day. From Valli Little to Hetty McKinnon, Emiko Davies, Michele Crawford and Charlotte Ree there’s some GOOOOOOD Christmas cooking inspiration in here. Plus the lovely lovely Annabelle Hickson tells us a Christmas story and as always Skye and I share our favourite things to listen to, read, do and think about. And speaking of my lovely co-host, she is due to have her third bubba any day now so gets the ultimate Christmas-cooking-leave-pass, and I know you are all with me when I say we wish you all the very best for the arrival of your new little person and can’t wait to meet him or her. Thank you so very very much to our podcast partner Country Style magazine.

Nov 28, 2016

Series 2 kicks off with a special location recording, interviews with Country Style magazine editor-in-chief Victoria Carey, Em Ellis of Em and the Wild Things plus 25+ recommendations for great things to do, read, eat, listen to and share this week. Happy listening guys! Sophie and Skye x 

Nov 23, 2016

A special surprise episode giving an insight into the wonderful world of food, photography and workshops in country New South Wales, Australia. 

Nov 16, 2016

We hope you enjoy this, the last episode in Series 1! It features a great chat with lovely Matt of Grown and Gathered fame, plus some of our favourite moments from the last eight episodes and loads of tips, life hacks, links and podcasts to share. Happy listening! 

Nov 1, 2016

Cake maker Gillian Bell takes us on an Enid Blyton style food adventure when she shares her incredible story on episode 7 of My Open Kitchen. 

Oct 18, 2016

Episode 6 of My Open Kitchen features a lovely long chat with Venetian-based blogger, food writer and photographer Skye McAlpine plus loads of great things to read, cook, share and think about. Happy listening! Sophie and Skye x 


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