O'Brien, Charmaine Liza

Charmaine O’Brien is a PhD candidate at Central Queensland University, as well as a culinary writer, historian, and educator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of several books on Indian food history and culture, the most recent being a historical and cultural guide to India’s diverse regional cuisine, and has written a culinary history of Melbourne. Her current research is focused on the food, cookery and eating habits of colonial Australians; her aim in this work is to explore Australia’s —and her own—Anglo-Celtic culinary heritage to ascertain whether colonial Australians really did eat as badly as we popularly believe, and what we might be able to learn from them about cooking and eating well (work that also allows Charmaine leave to indulge her fascination with nineteenth century Britain). Charmaine is also a culinary  therapist who works with individuals to reconnect them to psycho-social and physical wellness through eating and cookery practices, and practitioner who specialises in educating people about Indian food; recreating dishes from colonial recipe books —which are most often unexpectedly good— for public and private dinners; and inventing wonderful jellies. She is also an engaging public speaker who can relate just about any topic back to food.