About In Sofia’s Kitchen
In Sofia’s Kitchen begins with the love of family and friends sitting around the dinner table. It is a place where everyone is welcome and included in discovering how to do life together. It is a place where we live connected.
We see communities making authentic connections around the table enjoying the benefits of a Mediterranean cuisine as they explore the world around them and beyond.
To deliver Mediterranean flavoured cooking workshops, pop up feasts, foodie retreats, global food adventures, local food adventures, cookbooks and Artisan food products.
Sophie Stokes, Creator of ‘In Sofia’s Kitchen’
In Sofia’s Kitchen is where the heart is for Sophie. With her husband Greg, they raised their three daughters around the ideals of a Mediterranean lifestyle – gathering around the family table and sharing delicious and nutritious food, travelling around Europe and staying active through sport and the love of swimming.
Sophie’s heritage is Greek and grew up in Australia eating lots of pastitsio, souvlaki and vegemite sandwiches. This has enabled her to appreciate the diversity and expressions of both cultures.
Travelling around Europe is a love of Sophie’s and is excited to be hosting two overseas trips – one to Crete, Greece in September 2019 and to Tuscany, Italy in May 2020.
Sophie is a qualified Early Childhood Educator & a Certified Supervisor and has worked with children for many years. She has completed her Bachelor of Professional Writing and Publishing and has written and published over eight books for developing countries. Sophie has a Diploma of TESOL where she has put into practice while training teachers in developing countries as well as teaching children. Her Certificate IV in Training & Assessment has been valuable in assessing teachers and giving them ‘tools’ to use in the classroom. Sophie is a certified Food Safety Supervisor which is being used in her cooking workshops and pop up feasts and is currently completing her Diploma of Leadership & Management enabling her to put together a strong business portfolio.
Sophie’s first employment was in a French-style restaurant called The Rendezvous in Sydney. Here, she discovered she loved serving people and delivering deliciously good food. She then went on to get a ‘real’ job in the office before choosing to be a ‘stay at home’ mum. She ended up staying home for a very long time as she home educated her daughters. Once they all graduated from the ‘home’ set up, she began to think about what she wanted to do for herself. It took a while to decide because there was so much to choose from and she wanted to experience it all, but in the end she realised she always had a deep love for hospitality and wholesome food, as she practiced this with her family and friends during those ‘growing’ years. In November 2016, ‘In Sofia’s Kitchen’ was launched with her first cookbook, In Sofia’s Kitchen: Mediterranean Flavours Down Under.
What’s My Story
My story began with the christening of my younger brother. The house was filled with relatives and patriots from the old country. The traditional Greek music was blaring, the wine was flowing and as kids, we were given freedom to express our joy by running through the corridors and laughing with our friends.
As a child, I always felt part of the celebrations. There was never a separate room or a separate table – everyone from the youngest to the oldest was invited to participate from the same delicious spread on the banquet table.
The food was always made from scratch and the aromas wafting through the house the days leading up to our celebration were enticing. The dishes were traditional, plentiful and filled with love.
You never felt you would miss out or even go hungry and you never felt like an outsider. In fact, you took great joy when you were invited to sit next to an older relative, listening to their stories of the old country, the adventures that took place during the war and how they overcame the hardest of times. The one thing these stories all had in common, they ended with ‘we came to this country to give you a better life’, and that indeed is my story – a better life to live freely, a better life to eat well, a better life to be surrounded by peaceful people.
But it didn’t always feel like a better life.
We endured racist remarks, being told to go back where we came from and the most embarrassing times came as a child in the school playground and pulling out my lunch and surely it would have fed a small army! Secretly, I longed for a neatly cut little vegemite sandwich, tamed hair and freckles on my nose.
As I matured and recognised the value in diversity, I came to love my mini feasts I could share with my friends, my wild curly hair and my silky brown skin.
Because of my experiences, today I choose to be inclusive, welcoming all cultures into my life. I value my family, my husband, our daughters and their husbands and their children, knowing there are some traditions worth keeping – such as our yearly Easter celebrations, the biggest feast on the Greek Orthodox calendar. We love to gather, cook lots of food and celebrate together.
I value cooking from scratch, using organic produce where possible and gathering my loved ones around the dinner table.
My husband and I raised our daughters to understand the value in cooking from scratch, using quality produce and connecting together around food. Now my grandchildren are experiencing this value too.
But why keep that value to myself?
I want to inspire you to value the benefits of eating food cooked from scratch using quality produce.
I want to inspire you to gather your loved ones around the table and pursue authentic connection with each of them.
I want to inspire you to live a fulfilling life that has purpose so that you are filled with hope and courage for a stunning future.
I want to inspire you to want to learn more about the Mediterranean way of eating and living.
Our Social Responsibility
When commencing our foodie business, we had in mind to not only fulfil our vision to see people inspired to discover the benefits of the Mediterranean cuisine but we also wanted to positively impact those in need around the world, particularly children and their education.
In Sofia’s Kitchen has in the past and continues today to create culturally relevant children’s books and curriculums. We have produced three story books – our first book was written for the children of Tanzania and subtitled in Swahili. Our second book was written for the displaced children landing in Greece and subtitled in Greek and our third book was written for the children in Cambodia and subtitled in Khmer. Every book is illustrated according to the culture it is written for. What this means is that Tanzanian children are looking at pictures that are familiar to them – the characters look like them, the surroundings are familiar to them and they are able to not only read it in English but also read it in their own language. Same for our Greek book and our Cambodian book.
If you wish to contribute into this worthy cause and make a difference in a child’s life, you are welcome to donate towards writing the book, illustrating the book, printing the book, sending the book to the corresponding country.
All your donation money goes to producing this book and getting it into the hands of a child.