Conversations in the Kitchen

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IN Noosa we know you love to connect with those who nourish us. Georgia Beard reveals how our ‘Everyone Has A Story’ podcast digs deeper into the stories of our hospitality heroes.

Noosa has a well-earned reputation for producing fabulous food that is adored, appreciated and passionately brought to life by the outstanding chefs and restaurateurs of the region. 

Our readers like to go beyond the dining table and into the kitchens where culinary masterpieces are plated and to delve into the gifted minds of those that concoct mouthwatering menus. 

There is no better way to find out more about what it takes for local produce to reach our plates and the people behind it than from the chefs themselves! 

Since 2018, our podcast Everyone Has A Story: Conversations from the Sunshine Coast and Noosa has welcomed many of the region’s producers and chefs behind the mic – and globally has reached more than 38,000 downloads, growing daily! 

They always have a riveting tale to tell, from growing up in families with rich food cultures to working in acclaimed kitchens across the globe before settling in this place they now call home. 

As an extension of the power of storytelling in print, our podcast invites you to create a deeper connection with our guests, sharing the emotion, the anecdotes and the spontaneous morsels of information that enhance the relationship between people and plate.

The more stories we hear, the more our foodie icons feel like old friends. It’s a relationship we passionately cultivate in every issue of IN Noosa Magazine.

Our Chef Q&A series in each edition takes a closer look at the inspirations and approaches behind some of Noosa’s tastiest venues and when we host our seasonal, sell-out wine lunches, each chef curates an exclusive menu showcasing their passion for local produce and how to celebrate it. 

As the presenter for Resonate Radio Network’s Queensland Drive program and podcaster for Everyone Has A Story, John ‘JC’ Caruso brings more than 30 years of experience to the chat, including previous roles as the Regional Manger and drive presenter for ABC Sunshine Coast and SeaFM breakfast host. 

John has recorded conversations with the likes of Matt Golinski; Peter Kuruvita from Alba; Jodie Williams from Black Ant Gourmet; Josh Smallwood from Noosa Cartel; Nilla Tomkins from VanillaFood; and Geoffroy Marcq from Whisky Boy. 

“All of them start with a desire and a passion for food that can be traced back to a food relationship with their parents, predominately their mothers,” John says.

“A lot of them loved being in the kitchen, experimenting with flavours, and were introduced to cooking because of their parents or grandparents.”

No one knows this experience better than Peter Kuruvita who shares tales of his childhood surrounded by family feasts and communal cooking in Sri Lanka before venturing into commercial kitchens and fine dining in Sydney and Fiji, before his love of Noosa led to the creation of Alba with its cooking school, providore store, bar and restaurant. 

Although their careers reached new heights and the celebrity of cooking intensified, fame’s allure never resonated with the chefs featured on our podcast.

“By the time you talk to these chefs, most have already been through the rigour of their apprenticeship and there’s no glamour or fame in what they’ve been through,” John says.

“They are still in the industry because of their passion for food. Their enjoyment comes from preparing and serving food and having a shared experience with their customers.”

With each conversation on Everyone Has A Story, we’ve discovered that those who dish the  goods are not in the business of transactions; they’re in the business of relationships. 

Whether you listen during your morning run, your commute to work or your household chores, you take part in that connective experience. 

The next time you walk into their restaurant or café, you can see beyond the walls and into the inspirations behind the business; the people behind the passion; and the culmination of a life’s work. 

And doesn’t that make everything sweeter.


John Caruso sits down with Leon Johnston and Alex McKechnie to share their fascinating stories and chronicle the evolution of Herbert Restaurant to discover how this dynamic duo is redefining the plant-based experience! 

Find the new episode on Everyone Has A Story: Conversations from the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, free from our website and available on all podcasting platforms, including Apple and Google Podcasts and Spotify.

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