Helen Brierty and her husband Peter own the well-known Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School at Yandina on the Sunshine Coast. With Head Chef Annette Fear, Helen has co-authored Spirit House Recipe Collection and Travels with Thai Food in which they have brought together their most popular and requested dishes, which have been enjoyed for years by diners at the restaurant and taught to students at the cooking school. Helen has created a hydroponic farm that, together with surrounding farms, provides both the restaurant and cooking school with the freshest of produce.
In 1995 Annette joined Spirit House as their first Restaurant Head Chef where she created a Thai inspired food style that set the standard for all the Spirit House chefs who followed in her footsteps. Her gift for creating recipes which reflect her deep understanding of Asian flavours put the Spirit House on the Queensland culinary map. She now works full time teaching in the cooking school
Originally from Sydney, Annette moved to the Sunshine Coast in the 1980’s where she was chef at various Noosa restaurants such as Bistro C and Lindoni's.
Widely traveled in S.E.Asia for over twenty years, Annette delights in imparting her knowledge and love of Asian food to her students. She firmly believes that cooking should be fun and brings that spirit to her cooking classes. Not hidebound by recipes, Annette encourages students to experiment with flavours and ingredients, to interpret and adapt recipes to their own tastes and that of their family. As with all senior Spirit House chefs, Annette travels annually to Asia, each time expanding her knowledge of ingredients and repertoire of recipes.
Annette’s garden is her love, growing nearly all the fresh Asian ingredients that she uses every day as well as dozens of varieties of ginger, both edible and decorative. All are grown on a suburban block, using her ‘neglect technique’ – “a lot of love, but not always enough attention, the same way I raise my son.”