Meet our kitchens Dirty Girls

Founder & granny’s girl, Rebecca Sullivan

Rebecca SullivanRebecca Sullivan is a self-taught cook and has worked with some of the world’s best producers, environmental academics, activists, chefs and restaurants. As an eco-agronomist, activist, sustainable food writer, urban farmer and entrepreneur, Rebecca has worked on many a project any food lover would envy. From launching the Real Food Festival in London to working on Slow Food Nation in San Francisco, farming coffee in Uganda to teaching scientists the art of communications in the Maldives for the United Nations. Rebecca recently completed her Masters in International Rural Development and Sustainable Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural College in Gloucestershire, UK during which she focused on food security and a sustainable food future and is now undertaking another Masters converting to a PhD in Food History at the University of Adelaide.

As well as working with impact investors in Dubai and New York as a Director, Rebecca lived overseas (predominately in the UK) for nine years and ran her own consultancy called Reap & Sow, which if you hadn’t guessed specialised in all things food, agriculture and the environment with some social impact thrown in for good measure.

Rebecca’s obsession with food began in Italy, so it followed course that she would become interested in the Slow Food Movement in which she spent two years working with them in the UK and US organising events, campaigns and of course eating. She is extraordinarily passionate about heritage, tradition, sustainability and the things that we all love….good, clean and fair produce.

Rebecca has been writing her own column, Dirty Girl Diary for many years. She has recently re-settled back in Australia and has launched Dirty Girl Kitchen in Australia – a community-supported cooperative inspiring women to be more in touch with the land and old crafts, such as how to be a butcher, a baker or a candle stick maker as well as consulting to organisations, running events, catering, education and strategy work in and around the food, environment and lifestyle sectors and sustainability. Dirty Girl Kitchen is about bringing those communities of women from our Multi-cultural Australia together through those skills that involve getting ‘dirty’, from growing food to making soap, brewing stock to weaving a basket. These are what Rebecca has called ‘Granny Skills’. This concept has been so popular that it is now called the ‘Granny Skills Movement’.

In 2012, Rebecca signed on as a presenter on Love to Share on the TEN Network in Australia, has appeared regularly on Channel TEN’s The Circle and Breakfast Shows, as well as Channel Nine’s Morning show. She is a popular presenter for her simple dishes, great advise and wonderful ideas for simple sustainable ideas we can all try at home. Rebecca is also an OZ Harvest and Adelaide Showground Farmers Market Ambassador and sits on the board of the Regional Development Agency in South Australia. Rebecca’s first book ‘Just Like Grandma Used to Make’, comes out in April 2013.

Dirty Girl Kitchen’s at home cook,
Yasmin Whitehead

Rebecca SullivanYasmin is not just part of the DGK family she is also the landlady (Rebecca’s) cousin. She returned recently from London after working in both Racine (an institution for French Brasserie style cuisine) in Knightsbridge, where she perfected her Parisian cooking in particular pastries and sauces as well as some time working under Urban Chef Oliver Rowe at Konstam, London’s first locally sourced restaurant where the ingredients were sourced from within the M25 in London. This is where her love for home cooking and working with the seasons became apparent.

Yasmin is a graduate of Urbrae Agricultural School and has won many accolades for her baking. Her style of cooking fits in with DGK’s philosophy of seasonal, nostalgic goodness.

Both grannies in her life have been a major influence in why she is today a chef. If not in the kitchen (which is a total rarity) she is probably to be found at the beach, painting or hanging out with her hippy friends somewhere like a forest.

Dirty Girl Kitchen’s mama, Mandy Sullivan

Rebecca SullivanRebecca’s mama, Rebecca’s friends mama and Dirty Girl Kitchen’s mama. Mandy is just one of those lady’s who likes to look after everyone. That includes (and always has) way more food than anyone ever requires at a party, but we love her for being a feeder like her mother. Mandy runs a tight and very clean ship at Dirty Girl Kitchen HQ, which is great for all of us.

She gets home from work, rolls up her sleeves and shouts, right what are we cooking tonight. She usually grates her finger or chops herself but hey, my marmalade wouldn’t be the same without her and we wouldn’t have a beautiful kitchen from which to work. So thanks land lady Mandy. Say hi to her on our market stall at Adelaide Showground Farmers Market on a Sunday. She is the one with band aids on her fingers.

Dirty Girl Kitchen’s resident Granny,
Pauline Tee

Rebecca SullivanAka ‘granny, nanny, granny, nanny’ sung by all of her grandchildren until it annoys her. Which it never does, it normally just annoys her grandchildren more. Seventy-seven year old Granny lives in Victor Harbour South Australia with her second husband Harry Tee and ex-racing greyhounds Lucky and Billy, 33 birds and some goldfish in the pond outback. She is a mother to five and grandmother to eleven, waiting anxiously for her eldest grand daughter, (Rebecca) to give her, her first great-grandchild.

Rebecca SullivanGranny Tee spent most of her younger years in London and migrated to Adelaide, Australia on the £10 Pom scheme in the 1960’s, when she was younger with four children, her husband and mother (Rebecca’s great grandmother) in tow. It was Lilly, Pauline’s mother that was the head of the family. That is where Pauline’s love for fresh produce came from and her absolute knack to knock up a feast, from any leftovers in the fridge came from living through WWII. Granny is frequently visited by the hungry grandchildren, whom travel miles to feed themselves and their hoards of mates, who claim they are coming for the beach but we all know they are coming for the impeccable feed.

She lives on the beach and is known for being ‘cool’ amongst all of the teenagers locally and is ALWAYS found in the kitchen cooking for anyone whom will let her.

Dirty Girl Kitchen’s Great Granny watching us from up there somewhere, Lilly Beatrice Dawson, 1908 – 2008. RIP.

Rebecca SullivanThe woman whom waited 100 years for her letter from the queen (Elizabeth of course). Great Grandma Lil was a royalist with the best of them.

Known as the head of her family and to drink near 20 cups of English Breakfast Tea a day (from a china cup only) scorn those whom dared serve her it in a mug.

Lil grew up in London but immigrated to Australia. A strong willed woman whom was one of the first ever self- sufficient women hobby farmers in South Australia. Lilly grew all of her own vegetables, kept livestock and won her very own Women’s Cookery Award in 1938.
Her laughter was contagious and for a woman of only 4”11 she sure held her own and was an inspiration to her entire family and all those fortunate enough to meet her. Dirty Girl Kitchen is dedicated to Lil and our on going quest to make a better Christmas pudding than she.