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Local Loves: Necessity Kitchen

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There are those who cook because they must, those who cook because they can and those for whom cooking is a calling.

Frankie Bodel is the latter. So much so, in fact, that she describes her love of cooking as an innate part of her being.

“My first memories are infused with the warmth and vibrant imagery of cooking with my grandmother in her kitchen on Glengarry Farm in Adelong,” says Frankie, describing both of her grandmothers as “incredible cooks”.

It’s this inherited love of food that Frankie is bringing customers through her new venture—Necessity Kitchen, which is responsible for much of the mouth-watering smell of sourdough that wafts across Canberra.

That’s right—Necessity Kitchen can sort you for sourdough, or more specifically, with the all-important starter that sourdough is made from.

Simply order through Necessity Kitchen’s website and a Sourdough Starter Bundle will be delivered contact-less to your home, which includes a starter, a 1kg bag each of rye and baker’s flour and, of course, detailed instructions, including Frankie’s very own sourdough recipe.

With a little starter and some love and care, you too can be serving up Insta-worthy loaves in no time. Soon, you’ll even be able to follow along with Frankie in her online Zoom classes—stay tuned.

While Frankie always knew she wanted to pursue food as a career, she says she was ‘lovingly redirected’ into secretarial studies after Year 10, which she says launched a fruitful 19-year career in the Public Service.

But you can’t stop a woman with a passion for cooking. So, in 2003, Frankie inched closer to that dream when she became store manager at The Essential Ingredient.

It wasn’t until 2014, and in her 40s when finally, she took that leap into the kitchen. as an apprentice chef honing her skills at Canberra’s award-winning National Arboretum, under the guidance of renowned Chef Janet Jeffs. In 2016, she won ACT Apprentice of the Year, as well as winning a Rotary Scholarship to cook at Hobart’s famous Henry Jones Art Hotel.

Frankie left the kitchen to become a resident chef and cooking school manager, developing and delivering hands-on cooking classes for adults and children. Her most popular class was fermentation, which gave her the idea to explore this subject further.

“I knew I was getting closer to my passion and purpose,” says Frankie.

Then, COVID struck—but out of dwindling opportunity in the hospitality industry, inspiration struck too. As the name might suggest, Necessity Kitchen was named after the adage that “necessity is the mother of invention”—but what Frankie has found has been much more than just a way to get by.

As she puts it, “with a bit of innovation and a bunch of fermentation, I’ve been able to pull something out of almost nothing.”

Since April, Frankie’s Bundles have made their way across the country, bringing joy to hundreds of budding sourdough chefs. May we add that a bundle would make the perfect Father’s Day present…

“It’s hard to believe that my humble starter now nurtures so many families in literally hundreds of kitchens across Australia. And it’s particularly gratifying to witness like-minded and like-hearted people sharing the simple pleasure of making bread through our growing Necessity Kitchen Community.”

THE ESSENTIALS 

What: Necessity Kitchen’s Sourdough Starter Bundles
Phone: 0421 227 880
Email: necessitykitchen@gmail.com
Website: necessity-kitchen.myshopify.com
Facebook: facebook.com/necessitykitchen
Instagram: @necessitykitchen

Photography: Emma Bickley, Photo Before We Eat and Emily, Esh Photography

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