Ronit was born in Israel where food culture is embedded strongly in people’s life. Much of her upbringing was in the kitchen around simmering pots and pans, baking trays and delicious aromas. “I grew up in a large family where the focus was lavish food and joyful feasting.
My mother instilled in me both curiosity and respect for rituals, traditions cultural diversity, and the use of local seasonal produce. My passion for food as celebration, entertainment and bringing people together is the result of my Moroccan Middle Eastern heritage”.
Just after her short cooking spree and studies Ronit decided to leave Israel and travel to south east Asia where she found herself living in Japan for 2 years, from there her work took her to South America, Brazil and India where she spent about 8 years between the 2 countries, working as a gem broker and cooking adventures on yachts, boats, parties and big festivals. Travelling around the globe, Ronit gained a wealth of experience in different cuisines from Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, South and Central American and Gourmet Vegetarian Wholefood.
“Arriving on the shores of Byron Bay in 1997, I had a dream to start my own Catering business. For me it was not just about catering to the wider community, I had a vision to start a unique and flexible company with an elegant flare –dedicated to making a most memorable event for clients of all cultural backgrounds whilst focusing on fabulous tasting and nutritious food for weddings, feasts, parties and celebrations.
I believe good nutrition is essential to good health, as is the natural enjoyment of sharing nourishment. Food brings us together and as a universal language crossing cultures and ages, it speaks to us; of who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going.
The choices we make about what we eat affect our health, our environment, our families and communities. Open Table is proud to support sustainable and local produce, using fresh and organic ingredients wherever possible, having a large veggie garden on the land where we constantly supply for our cooking workshops and events – nurturing knowledge of nutrition.
In the last 8 years in addition to catering events I have been enjoying teaching and sharing my knowledge of food, hospitality and nutrition in the form of cooking workshops which are an amazing, fun way to learn and enhance your life skills. Our themed workshops allow the participants to explore new and exciting tastes, work with different ingredients, and gain ideas for ‘everyday’ cooking and specialised events”.
“The satisfaction of achieving something together that can also be equally enjoyed together is embodied in the act of preparing and sharing food”
KP – What was the first thing you ever cooked?
Funny enough it was mushroom pasta with a creamy sauce
KP – When you decided to become a chef?
I think cooking was always there, it wasn’t like “ I want to be a chef” its integral part of my life, it’s a platform for my creativity.
KP – Claim to fame/day job/hobby/what are you known for?
Cooking, food and being at service.
KP – Is it your passion or just something you do?
Very much my passion!! love cooking, meeting new people love serving and enjoying the industry.
KP – What is your greatest career achievement?
Operating Open Table for the last 14 years, creating my own style and niche market
KP – How do you give back to our community?
We support local producers, suppliers and traders from different farmers to local artists, designers, ceramicist, gardeners, photographers and many more.
We run free events at Open Table open for the community, we support local initiatives, fundraisers and sponsoring different local festivals. Sending food to local soup kitchen, donating food to different organisation etc…..
KP – What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being with family and friends, being in Nature
KP – What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel …travels and many more travels
KP – What is your favourite travel destination/why?
Very hard question!!! As I love so many places and have a soft spot for our amazing planet. I would say Morocco, India, South East Asia and every country in between.
KP – What is your most noticeable characteristic?
My Lion Mane with Silvery threads in it and my thick mixed accent.
KP – Who are your hero’s?
My husband Rick Franco for being totally free human being
Anna Breytenbach the Animal communicator
Eco, Animal, Conservation and sacred activists + and social workers
KP – What do you cook at home?
A lot of plant based food with lots of flavours and colours, using seasonal produce locally sourced, fish and seldom meat.
KP – If money wasn’t an object what would you do?
I would be at service for people and community whilst cooking, and will have a website connecting people.
KP – What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
Dancing, acting and singing on stage.
Tune in to Open Table Via
Middle Eastern cooking workshop
Vegetarian Feast cooking workshop