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

Learn to cook at Cooking on the Bay cooking school in St Kilda on Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.   Melbourne chef  Tonya Jennings opened Cooking on the Bay some years ago, after she returned back ‘home’ from the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland, where she had lived and worked, for the past 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 Cooking on the Bay’s French, Italian, Greek and Modern Australian classes, or learn basic fundamentals in the Stocks, Soups & Sauces class.



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, takes the best ideas, uses the freshest, local produce, and combines the cooking principles, techniques and inspirations gained from many cooking traditions and cultures, and forms it into what we like to eat today.



Discover this pleasure by taking a culinary journey through France with classic dishes like magret de canard, salmon and pork rillettes and more. Enjoy the tastes, textures and aromas of simple 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 accompanied by music and laughter.



The region of the Mediterranean is full of robust flavours, sweet and sour, plus the exotic and heavenly spices.  We cook dishes from the Mediterranean regions where people are passionate about the food they produce and eat.



To learn to cook well you need to master the fundamentals of cookery. You need a solid knowledge of basic cooking principles, methods and techniques. It is from this mastery you are able to develop and produce wondrous dishes from your kitchen. 




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, Melbourne, have partnered together to bring you a fabulous, foodie culinary Moroccan adventure, visiting the House of Fusion, and on a foodie road trip into the 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…



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, [...]

Moroccan mint tea with Edwina at the House of Fusion, Marrakesh

Mint tea is an integral part of Moroccan life and the Moroccans drink it all day - at the beginning of the meals and as a welcome to guests. It is often served with little [...]


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 [...]

Duck fat – rendering and its uses

Duck fat - the good news!  Duck fat is a ‘good’ fat, rich in monounsaturated fats with a lower cholesterol than butter. We often cook duck breasts in our French Odyssey cooking classes and duck [...]

Dee Nolan’s wonderful book ‘A food lover’s pilgrimage to France…’, wine, food, history, people and produce along the way of St James

I loved everything about this book! ‘A food lover’s pilgrimage to France: from the vineyards of Burgundy to the mountains of the Basque country food, wine, walking and history on the French pilgrim paths to [...]

Dining at La Coupole, on rue Montparnasse, Paris

Despite our great lunch at the Cristal room, we treated ourselves with another dinner out, as we could eat my lapin with calvados, apple cider and apples any night on the barge! La Coupole is [...]

Dining at the Cristal Room, Baccarat Museum, in Paris

John’s birthday lunch at the Cristal Room, Baccarat Museum. Michael has talked about taking me the Baccarat Cristal Room restaurant for a long time; usually our visits to Paris are too short. Now, we have [...]

‘My French life’ in Provence with Karen Stride.

Armchair travel back to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence – the birthplace of Nostradamus! My friend and colleague in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Karen Stride, established her Gourmet Escapades in Saint-Rémy, last year, and is living ‘My French life’ as described by [...]

The Flower Drum and Moët Hennessy join up at Cooking on the Bay and cook.

Last Monday, the front of house and sommeliers from the Flower Drum cooked dishes, at Cooking on the Bay, designed to match Moët's new release 2006 Grand Vintage champagne. What a great cooking class; full [...]

Calendar Cheese ‘Around the World’ Christmas Showcase – thank-you Calendar and Will Studd

Last night Michael and I went to cheese heaven! It was the annual Calendar Cheese ‘Around the World’ Christmas Showcase, where they have all their cheeses on display and available for tasting of course!! Plus [...]