Stephanie Alexander

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Stephanie Alexander AO
Stephanie Alexander signing one of her books in Adelaide, South Australia
Book signing in Adelaide, South Australia, October 2009
Born (1940-11-13) 13 November 1940 (age 78)
OccupationCook, restaurateur, food educator, author
Notable worksThe Cook's Companion

Stephanie Ann Alexander AO (born 13 November 1940)[1] is an Australian cook, restaurateur and food writer.

After studying to become a librarian and travelling the world at the age of 21, Alexander's first restaurant, Jamaica House, opened in 1964. In 1976, her next venture was Stephanie's Restaurant, located in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy before moving to the middle-class suburb of Hawthorn in 1980. Stephanie's Restaurant closed in 1997 after operating for 21 years. She went on to publish several cookbooks, including her alphabetical guide to ingredients and cooking, The Cook's Companion.

Kitchen Garden Foundation[edit]

In 2001 Stephanie piloted the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College in Melbourne. The program grew out of Alexander's belief that children learn about food early in life through example and positive experiences, which continues to influence their food choices through life.

In February 2004 the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation was established. This not-for-profit organisation is dedicated to supporting schools introducing pleasurable food education, teaching students to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal, delicious food. As of December 2018, the Foundation is now working with more than 1800 schools and early years centres teaching pleasurable food education, and this number is growing.

The Foundation engages with schools, governments, philanthropists and passionate individual donors to secure ongoing funding.


On 26 January 1994, Alexander was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of services to the hospitality and the tourist industry and to the encouragement of apprentices.[2] On 1 January 2001, she was awarded the Centenary Medal for outstanding service to the food and wine industry in Victoria.[3] On 26 January 2014, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to education through the design and establishment of schools-based learning programs promoting improved food and eating choices for children, and as an author.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Alexander's parents were Winston, a former public servant who ran a caravan park on the Mornington Peninsula, and Mary née Burchett. She is the niece of the journalist Wilfred Burchett.[5]

Alexander has married twice, but both of her marriages ended in divorce. She married firstly Rupert Montague, known as Monty, a Jamaican she met in London. In Melbourne they opened The Jamaica House restaurant, three weeks after the birth of their daughter Lisa.[6] She married secondly Maurice Alexander, a barrister, with whom she had another daughter, Holly.


  • Menu for Food Lovers (1985)
  • Stephanie's Feasts & Stories (1988)
  • Stephanie's Australia (1992)
  • Stephanie's Seasons (1995)
  • Recipes My Mother Gave Me (1997)
  • Stephanie's Journal (1997)
  • A Shared Table (2000)
  • Cooking & Travelling in South-West France (2002)
  • Stephanie's Menus for Food Lovers (revised 2003)
  • Tuscan Cookbook (co-written with Maggie Beer, 2003)
  • The Cook's Companion (first ed. 1996, revised 2004, revised 2014)
  • Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids (2006)
  • The Kitchen Garden Companion (2009)
  • A Cook's Life (2012)
  • The Cook's Table (2015)
  • Kitchen Garden Companion: Growing (2016)
  • Kitchen Garden Companion: Cooking (2017)
  • The Cook's Apprentice (2018)


  1. ^ Senior Australian of the Year, Victorian State Nominee 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2017
  2. ^ "Stephanie Ann Alexander OAM". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Stephanie Ann Alexander". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Officer (AO) in the general division of the Order of Australia at the 2014 Australia Day honours" (pdf). Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2014. p. 1. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  5. ^ Ridge, Veronica (26 May 2012). "Stirring passions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 24 August 2014.
  6. ^ Ben Naparstek, "Getting back to basic French", Canberra Times, 6 April 2002, Panorama, p. 4

External links[edit]