def: SPICE – an aromatic or pungent vegetable substance used to flavour food

Foods With Spice + All Things Nice

Hello VIVE family

With less than a week until VIVE Cooking School is open for business (can you believe it?), we’re ready and rearing to don our aprons and head into the kitchen on our mission to cook, learn and eat good food with you all.

As always, our incredible collaborators are bringing new skills and layers of talent to the VIVE class schedule. And this week is no exception.

Wanitha Tanasingam is – in her own words – born to cook! We chatted with Wanitha recently to find out a little about this mighty food force! Wanitha is a fascinating character with many notches on her food belt – we hope you enjoy the read.

We’re also gearing up for the official launch of VIVE Cooking School and The Cannery, this Saturday in Rosebery. Come and experience our incredible warehouse space and thriving marketplace of incredible food and artisans. There will be cooking, planting, eating and other food-related activities so please come and visit us this coming Saturday, 21 May, from 8am-3pm. Reserve your spot here now!

As always, if you have any feedback then please don’t hesitate to contact us via our website here. And if you simply want to book a class or two, then please head to our website here and book a spot NOW!

Until next week…



“How we cook and what we eat is at the very essence of who we are.

— Wanitha Tanasingam – Chef, Teacher + Business Entrepreneur

In her own words, Wanitha Tanasingam was born to cook!

Wanitha’s story is one of grass roots cooking and cultural diversity. Born in Penang, Malaysia, Wanitha’s father was Head Chef to Malaysian Royalty, allowing an exposure to exceptional food from the minute Wanitha took her first breath.

And the rest, as they say, is history – although the history of Wanitha delivers a deliciously inspiring punch!

With a passion for food and an English education tucked firmly under her belt, Wanitha migrated to Australia in 1982 to find her foothold in the Australian food industry. With classical chef training and a strong background in education, Wanitha’s initial food foray was the opening of a restaurant on Sydney’s lower north shore, specialising in a spicy and tantalising mix of authentic Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Indian, Indonesian and Thai cuisine.

A successful cooking school with a focus on Asian cuisine followed – and soon after that, a cook book was published!

“Wanitha’s food is as exciting as her personality. Her food is a reminder of how food should taste – warm and filled with friendship, giving and joy. Her friendship and love of food brings a touch of fire.

— Margaret Fulton, Iconic Australian Food and Cooking Writer

With Wanitha’s cooking star on an upward trajectory, her passion for food and zest for life eventually led to presenting roles on both local and international television. From this exposure came a raft of memorable cooking opportunities including an invitation to showcase cooking as an artistic performance at the Sydney Opera House.

In 2002, Wanitha teamed up with award-winning restaurateur Victor Pisapia to launch Cheeky Food Group, Australia’s first team-building cooking events company. Hugely successful in its mission to bring team cooking and bonding to the corporate sector, Cheeky Food Group has since been sold but continues to thrive and kick corporate cooking goals!

Today Wanitha’s collaboration with Victor continues through Victors Foods where, as Creative Director, she orchestrates and conducts a range of inspiring cooking classes.

Wanitha also presents cooking classes through The Essential Ingredient in Rozelle and Newcastle and continues her role as cooking and consultant through her own enterprise, Wanitha Inc.

Wanitha has found a kindred spirit through her meeting with Jean-Luc Tan, founder of VIVE Cooking School. Both Wanitha and Jean-Luc share the same philosophy around food, holding a much-nurtured belief that cooking is not just about food, but presents a connection to community, people, the land and life.

Wanitha will be collaborating with VIVE on a number of exciting class ventures – keep an eye out for her incredible, flavour-packed classes!

“I am passionate about food and cooking and I am in love with life and living. Food and cooking is the perfect medium to express this love.

— Wanitha Tanasingam – Chef, Teacher + Business Entrepreneur