Member of the Month August 2021: Sai Yoganathan

The  Staff Canteen

Here at The Staff Canteen, we feature a different member every month who we think deserves to be celebrated - this month’s winner is Sai Yoganathan 

As thanks for being a regular contributor to The Staff Canteen, Sai will receive an item of TSC merch of her choosing and will be entered in our Member of the Year 2021 competition. The Staff Canteen Member of the Month feature is brought to you in association with Major.

1.Current place of work, position

I am an accountant at Australian Dental Specialists, the owner and operator of JOF and the author of A Kitchen Well Travelled.

2) What is your cooking style and what should people expect from your food?

Modern Sri Lankan and fusion cuisine.

Becoming an accomplished cook and an author has been a lifelong journey!  I am fortunate to have developed the craft to recreate the sauces or food from the flavours I tried and savoured.  Calling many countries my home and worldwide travel has given me a breadth of knowledge and honed taste. Cooking something unique and meticulously crafted to reveal the flavours is my kitchen dream. I have picked up ideas and flavours from beautiful cuisines and all of the favourite foods that I have sampled on my journeys. 

People who dine with me should expect to be surprised with how I meld flavours that don’t routinely go together mesh and marry well. 

Moroccan Spatchcock

3) What is your favourite dish to cook and why?

I love cooking crab. It’s always exciting as it brings my whole family together - my kids and the grandkids and everyone comes over for a feast. It’s a nostalgic and comfortable meal. Sri Lankan black pepper crab with a twist! 

4) Name a food item/dish/ingredient that isn't considered "cheffy" but that you love to eat

One of my favourites is puttu & egg omelette with fish sambal. It’s considered a ‘peasant’ style meal back home in Jaffna but it’s simply delicious! Not pretentious but so tasty that it always wows me.

Noodle of Tuna w/ Yuzu-ginger dressing,
compressed cucumber, apple and coriander 

5) What do you like about The Staff Canteen app and website?

I love the exposure to cooks all over the world. The food stories brings together so many people.  Especially during the times like this, it’s great to feel part of a food community.

6) What are your plans for the future?

I would like to build a 'dine-with-me' restaurant where I entertain 6/8 guests for a fine dining menu. This excites me because so would relish sharing my food with the Sydney food scene.  I would also like to publish a second cookbook with some of the new ideas and recipes that I’ve been working on through lockdown.

I have been asked to contribute some healthy, low carb -high protein recipes for a Ebook soon to be published by a local gastrointestinal/ Gut health establishment. 

White chocolate mousse, passionfruit core, lime sponge, white chocolate crumb


7) As someone who has written a cookbook, is this an experience you would recommend to others, and what would you say the most important lesson you learned doing it was?

Absolutely! Writing a book means the ability to share your recipes with everyone. Every page is an opportunity to share your tastes and history with someone who you may have never ‘met’ otherwise. 

I learnt quite quickly that as rewarding as it was to write, it took a lot of perseverance to translate my words into a page.  A wonderful way to express creativity share food  memories! 

Black Pepper King crab


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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th September 2021

Member of the Month August 2021: Sai Yoganathan