“Good cooking is the source of true happiness”
Auguste EscoffierOn_the_bay_symbol

Learn to cook at Melbourne’s leading Cooking School,  Cooking on the Bay, in St Kilda, right on Port Phillip Bay.  Melbourne chef Tonya Jennings opened Cooking on the Bay many years ago, after she returned back ‘home’ from the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland, where she had lived and worked, for 10 years, in her successful and highly regarded cooking school, On the Ridge, at Kureelpa.

Cooking on the Bay invites you to come, learn to cook, whilst experiencing the lifestyle and the beauty of the wonderful Port Phillip Bay.  ‘Create Cook Celebrate’ glorious food with us!  Enjoy a cooking day ‘at the beach’ in St Kilda, followed by a leisurely lunch or dinner, overlooking the picturesque bay.

‘At Cooking on the Bay, we create, cook and celebrate good food
to make sitting around the table and dining,
a pleasurable, delectable food taste sensation for both family and friends’.

Tonya’s gastronomic philosophy is to cook fresh, local food in season, to cook for taste and to cook food simply, thereby enhancing the natural food flavours, so the food looks and tastes delicious.  Our cooking school produce is all fresh, local, and in season; we teach you the methods and techniques of cookery – you learn how to cook.  The result gives real food, real flavour.

Our cuisine is modern Australian; we take the best ideas, we use the freshest, local produce, we  combine the cooking principles, techniques and inspirations gained from many cooking traditions and cultures, and we form this into what we like to eat today.

At Cooking on the Bay, you are encouraged to develop a passion for cooking healthy, tasty, delicious and scrumptious food and you will learn to create and develop a style that is natural and true for your own tastes.


Be inspired by our French, Italian, Mediterranean, Modern Australian classes, and Masterclass Series in Stocks, Sauces and Soups, and Pastry.



Create dishes, learning new skills to help you be able to recreate dishes at home with ease and confidence.  Recipes vary in degree of difficulty and individuality.



Celebrate your cooking achievements, new skills and accomplished cuisines and enjoy the food that you have created with your new friends.




Our modern Australian cuisine, uses the freshest, local produce, and combines the cooking principles, techniques and inspirations gained from our many cooking traditions and cultures, and formed it into what we like to eat today.  Our cuisine is produce driven, all-embracing, exciting and varied.



Discover the French passion and ‘joy of cooking’.  To the French, food is a constant conversation and cooking is a pleasure. Take a French Culinary Journey through France, learn classic French dishes; enjoy the tastes, textures, aromas of bistro and sophisticated French fare.



Capture the passion of Italy. Discover the basics of Italian gastronomy, freshness, simplicity and lack of pretension, with delicate as well as robust dishes packed with flavour. Italians enjoy their cooking and eating is a festive, fun affair with music and laughter.



Feel and taste the sun-drenched cuisine of the vibrant Mediterranean culinary region. This cuisine is full of robust flavours: sweet, sour, and exotic, heavenly spices.  Learn the dishes from countries where people are passionate about the food they produce and eat.



A good cook has a solid knowledge of basic cooking principles, methods and techniques.  Stock-making is the key to making good sauces and soups, which will enliven all your dishes. Master stock-making, produce wondrous dishes and cook like the professionals!




For some years, Cooking on the Bay Cooking School hosted culinary weeks for groups of enthusiastic Australians and Americans at La Combe en Périgord, a residential cooking school in the beautiful Dordogne region of south west France.



In 2016 we are offering Cooking on the Bay clients and friends this amazing opportunity to join my friend and tour director Nikki Maxwell, and me co-hosting, in Provence to see unspoilt France off the beaten track in our Picnics in Provence culinary tour.



The House of Fusion culinary riad in , Morocco, and Cooking on the Bay Cooking School, have partnered together to bring you a fabulous, foodie, culinary Moroccan adventure, cooking at the House of Fusion, and road trip into the Sahara desert. 



Tonya welcomes you to subscribe to the Cooking on the Bay Newsletter and keep up to date with class dates and tours as well lots of information about food, cooking techniques and Tonya’s latest musings…



Date Harvest culinary tour to Marrakesh, October 2017

Morocco Beyond the Bay continues this year with many happy, adventurous travellers joining our culinary tours arranged by Cooking on the Bay and Edwina Golombek, chef and owner of the House of Fusion in Marrakesh.  [...]

Autumn is Chestnut season

Autumn is chestnut time and they are now appearing in the fruit markets.  Chestnuts, unlike other nuts and seeds, are relatively low in calories, carry less fat, but are rich sources of minerals, vitamins and [...]


Shakshuka is a popular Israeli breakfast dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, often mopped up with bread; is also served at other times of the day. It makes an excellent vegetable side [...]

The Moroccan Berber omelette is also known in Morocco as Shakshuka

Guest Chef Edwina Golombek, from The House of Fusion, the residential culinary riad and cooking school,  in Marrakesh, shared her Moroccan Berber omelette when she presented her Moroccan cooking classes here last year.  It is [...]

Spanish breakfast ‘omelette’ with eggs and bacon – recipe

This is ideal for a brunch party as the entire dish can be assembled the night before so all that’s left to do is bake it the next day. Serves: 8 500g country-style white bread, [...]

Spanish ‘omelette’ casserole with eggs and bacon

This is ideal for a brunch party, makes a great breakfast dish, side dish and dinner  as well.  It can be assembled the night before so all that’s left to do is bake it the next [...]

Anzac biscuits – the story and my recipe

I always bake Anzac biscuits for Australia Day and Anzac Day.  They are a quick, sweet, treat to make in about half an hour; they provide a wonderful activity to bake with your children and [...]

My Grandmother’s Anzac Biscuits

Traditionally these ‘historic’ biscuits are served as flat or rounded mounds, a modern alternative is to roll the mixture into a log, cut into slices and cook.  In the February 2016 issue of Delicious magazine, [...]


Our last few days in Migennes, on the River Yonne, Burgundy

We arrived back at our winter base, always with sadness to finish the barging. Now it is the packing, cleaning, organising for the winterisation of the barge and our departures. We moored next to a [...]

Dinner at Hôtel de l’Est in Saint-Florentin in the Department of the Yonne, on the Canal de Bourgogne, France

It is a challenge finding a ‘perfect’ restaurant when you are barging along the canals. For me, this means a charming, pretty restaurant with a pleasant ambience and décor, with good quality, flavoursome, well-presented food, [...]

The Canal de Bourgogne, Burgundy, on the Betty B

This season of May and August 2016, we started our journey from Auxerre, Burgundy where we intend to be for the next few years.  We barged north up the Yonne River and then we turned [...]

Date Harvest culinary tour to Marrakesh, October 2017

Morocco Beyond the Bay continues this year with many happy, adventurous travellers joining our culinary tours arranged by Cooking on the Bay and Edwina Golombek, chef and owner of the House of Fusion in Marrakesh.  [...]

Our visit to le Château d’Ancy-le-Franc, in the little village of Ancy-le-Franc, Burgundy.

Burgundy is château country and we are fortunate to have two within easy walking distance of our canal.  Yesterday, we visited Le Château d’Ancy-le-Franc, in the little village of Ancy-le-Franc is an amazing Renaissance ‘palace’, [...]

Barging along the Canal de Bourgogne

It has been warm, hot really, with sunny, blue skies; absolutely marvellous. Makes you feel good when you wake to peaceful, warm mornings. The scenery is magnificent on this Canal de Bourgogne and we are [...]

Back in France on the Betty B barging in Burgundy August 2016

Migennes and our dinner of cabillaud. Migennes, in Burgundy, is a short two hour drive south from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. We arrived at CDG on an early flight out of Hong Kong, with [...]

South Melbourne Market

I love the South Melbourne Market; it is where I shop two or three times a week for my cooking classes. The produce is always fresh and in season and the market focuses on Australian [...]