The experts behind the meals
Our team is made up of passionate, talented experts.
At the Healthy Cooking Company, we're lucky to be supported by a team of talented experts working tirelessly to provide delicious, nourishing meals delivered weekly to childcare centres throughout south-east Queensland.
Founder. Urban farmer. Back-to-basics foodie.
I have always been passionate about healthy eating and the integral role it plays in child development. From a very early age, I have had an understanding of the importance of wholesome food on health and wellbeing. My mother has always grown her own produce and taught me to respect and appreciate fresh food. She showed me that simple ingredients do not mean a compromise in flavour and instilled in me a passion for home-grown foods.
I first became involved in the natural food industry in the early 1980s, when I noticed a lack of awareness regarding wholesome food options and was inspired to open my own health food store. I focused on helping people learn about healthy eating and aimed to enable them to integrate it into their everyday lives. At the same time, I was raising my first child. I would spend hours reading and researching feeding tips and healthy eating patterns for my daughter, but came up short. There was very little information at the time surrounding the link between artificial ingredients and children’s behaviour. As a result, I had to trust my instincts and adopt a ‘back to basics’ approach, making all my daughter’s meals naturally at home.
From my hands on experience, I firmly believe that the first five years of life are the most critical in child brain development and wellbeing. Therefore, when we started our childcare business, Queensland Child Care Services www.qccs.com.au in 1991, it was always in my mind to incorporate healthy eating habits as part of our education programme. Hence, I explored a number of options, such as cooking within our own centres and then engaging a number of external food suppliers to provide nutritionally balanced meals; neither of which met my expectations.
Through these experiences, and then my direct involvement with children, it became clear to me, as research has confirmed, that there is an increase in childhood obesity and children with type 2 Diabetes over the last twenty years, primarily due to poor eating habits. I recognised that in order to achieve my goal, I needed to establish my own production kitchen – The Healthy Cooking Company.
Executive Chef. Nutritionist. Champion of fresh, local produce.
Shannon’s interest in food production was ignited when he moved to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast to begin his apprenticeship at the 5 Star hotel, Hyatt Regency. Having moved from the country to the beach he immediately fell in love with the surf and the abundance of fresh local produce that was being served in the region. He developed a keen interest for fitness and nutrition.
Shannon’s passion is cooking with the freshest local ingredients he can source and promoting healthy eating to the public. His interests in healthy eating and nutrition directed him to pursue a career in nutrition.
As well as being a qualified chef, Shannon has completed a Bachelor of Business majoring in management and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Nutrition at the University of the Sunshine Coast and University of Queensland. He also has a young family and has made numerous healthy gourmet delights for little tummies.
With 20 years of cooking experience under his belt, Shannon is well positioned as the Executive Chef of Healthy Cooking Company.
Head Chef. Industrious. Fitness enthusiast.
Clint is our Head Chef who is passionate about cooking healthy, yummy food. He began his career at the Healthy Cooking Company in 2013 and is a hard working chef on the kitchen floor who also helps to train our apprentice chefs. Always willing to offer a helping hand, Clint can also be found in the truck delivering food to our Childcare Centres. You may also find him hand selecting our produce from the Brisbane Markets every week.
When Clint is not hard at work, he is working out hard at the gym.
Head Baker. Wholefood experimenter. Golfer.
Dean has a talent for healthifying baked goods such as muffins, pizzas and strudels into child-friendly foods that nourish and serve the whole body. He enjoys experimenting with whole foods and substituting traditional refined ingredients, such as cane sugar and white flour, to those as nature intended, like honey and almond meal.
On the weekends Dean winds down by playing golf with his son.
NARGES SHISHEBOR ESFAHANI
Human Resource Manager. Innovator. Food decorator.
Narges has always been passionate about food processing, and in 2013, she completed her bachelor's degree in Food Industry Engineering. With a bundle of experience from her career in food factories, Narges then started her new journey as Quality Control Manager for the Healthy Cooking Company in 2017.
Narges has a passion for creating memorable nights for her friends and family with her decorative food and hospitality skills. She also loves to travel, and when she gets the chance, enjoys playing the piano and riding her bicycle.
Nutritionist. Administrative Assistant.
From processing orders to managing the Healthy Cooking Company website, Kelly is the person to call if you need to know anything about your order. She loves to help find solutions for our customers and ensure they are happy with their food, ordering and delivery experience. Kelly is also a passionate Associate Nutritionist, having completed a Bachelor of Food & Nutrition from La Trobe University in 2021.
On the weekends, Kelly enjoys cooking for her children, guitar hero and the gym.
Dietitian. Cook. Powerlifter.
Jim's food journey started after completing a Diploma of Hospitality ten years ago. After studying hospitality, he trained as a chef on the Gold Coast where he became interested in health and fitness, later studying Nutrition and Dietetics at Griffith University. Jim has worked in hospitals, aged care and private practice and is now focused on sharing his passion and experience in Nutrition and Food Service at the Healthy Cooking Company.
When Jim is not cooking, thinking about, or eating food (this is a rarity), he can be found powerlifting, aquascaping or adventuring with his wife and dog.
Machine Operator. Delivery driver. Kitchen Hand. Healthy food enthusiast.
Vahid began working at the Healthy Cooking Company as one of our delivery drivers in 2019. He values eating healthy food and living a healthy, active lifestyle.
When Vahid is not at work, he enjoys cooking and spending time with his family.