The Chefs

Some of the great chefs we have teaching at Sauce


Tony Ching began cooking at an early age and has gained many skills along the way, including a profound desire to pass on his extensive knowledge of both professional certification and to the home gourmet. Tony will also give you the skills you need to achieve that next level in your cooking education and experience. Add to an engaging training session, the fact that Tony is a highly experienced chef and teacher and you have a certain recipe for success.

Tony comes from a background of Executive Chef in 4 and 5 star International hotels, along with high level accreditation as an industry recognised cookery trainer.

Kelly Lord

Kelly has years of experience leading kitchen teams in 5 star hotels, he has an innate gift for food styling. Kelly was employed as Head Chef in the Spirit House Restaurant in 2004 which was the beginning of a huge learning curve in Asian cuisine, a journey that has taken him to Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. Kelly joined the Spirit House Cooking School after spending four years leading the restaurant kitchen team.

Working with a team of ten chefs and three apprentices, Kelly helps design the Spirit House menu and takes regular cooking class.

In consideration of his wife’s career with Singapore Airlines, Kelly commutes from Brisbane to the Spirit House, and now, luckily for us, to The Sauce Kitchen in Toowoomba!

Kylie Simpson

Kylie is a very passionate & talented chef with a love for food and cooking that started when she was young. After completing her apprenticeship she moved from Brisbane to Sydney and worked in a number of Restaurants including the Jersey Cow. A move out to the country followed where she helped run the popular Lynwood Cafe in Collector. Upon her return to Sydney together with an ever increasing passion for food and cooking, Kylie continued to develop her cooking ability by working in some very well known Sydney restaurants such as Bennelong at the Opera House & Bistro Moncur. Her talent and love for cooking also saw her win the Josephine Pignolet Award for Young Chef of the year in 2001. Kylie’s cooking career has spanned nearly two decades and has given her great exposure to a variety of cuisines with a focus on French and Italian.

Kate Vanderplas

Kate Vanderplas is our resident Barista and has had over 20 years’ experience off and on in the coffee and restaurant industry. She is a primary school teacher that always fell back on coffee making when living in different locations around Australia. "I just felt so at home serving coffee to customers early in the morning and knowing that I had just started their day with a chat and smile, it is something quite personal and I love it!"

She has seen coffee change over these years and is always keeping up with the latest ideas and trends that the industry puts out. She has worked for Dome Coffee in Perth in the 90's and more recently she worked as an account manager for Merlo Coffee, training café staff and coffee enthusiasts.

She is bringing that enthusiasm to Sauce with her wealth of knowledge on how to make a great coffee. She is in charge of our in-house coffee in the Sauce Cafe, and takes group barista and coffee appreciation courses. Kate gives our customers ongoing support with any problems in making coffees from their own machines and offers assistance with purchasing machines.

So why not come and let Kate share her passion and knowledge with you? Our Barista courses run regularly. Kate will tailor the session to your experience and needs.

Barista classes: please register your interest with us!

Mary Reid

Mary Reid has been a cake decorator for over 30 years. When Mary made the move from Brisbane to Highfields in 2009 she never dreamed of the success her business would bring. Over 40% of her gross sales came from walk-in, repeat and word-of-mouth clients and in no time she had to decline orders for her cakes, on a daily basis!

The shop-front has allowed Mary to live her dream; to have a cake decorating and training business where her clients and students just keep coming back for more.

To allow Mary to keep up with emerging trends, she regularly visits the UK to attend international cake exhibitions, purchase new tools, undertake further training and work in a cake shop. Mary writes articles on wedding cake trends and her work has been published in national and international magazines. From 2007-2010 Merivale was in the top five Wedding Cake Designers in Queensland.

For the past 20 years Cheryl Stace has been the behind-the-scenes business partner responsible for the delivery and assembly of various cakes and the production of a range of decorating tools and cake display and transport boxes. More recently Cheryl began creating novelty cakes and her first wedding cake was a sculptured 24”L x 9”W x 14”H cabin cruiser. Cheryl’s novelty creations bring a design freshness to the partnership that complements Merivale’s extensive range of formal cakes.

Jen Perrignin

Jen feels very at home in the kitchen and is passionate about creating beautiful food for family and friends. As a gifted home cook, and not a chef, her inspiration comes from another self-described cook, Maggie Beer, and over the past 12 years Jen has catered for many large and intimate functions in Toowoomba and surrounding areas.

Jen is a qualified Teacher's Aide and loves making delicious savoury and sweet treats with her enthusiastic students in the children's classes.

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    It was the best entertainment I have had for a long time and I learned heaps too. Tony's directions were given in an easy going way and his stories were enjoyable. We had a choice about participating or not. The food cooked was great. Especially the desert. Guess who has a sweet tooth? We thought that we would do another class with Tony towards the end of the year but there is none planned. It turned out to be a great girls night out.

    Anne, Moroccan Table with Tony Ching - 11 Mar 2017 4:30 PM

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    Marbeling - this was fantastic. Mary also told us of different methods of using fondant and making colours and useful tips such as the layers sticking together and which tools were much more useful. Very happy with the class and look forward to the next one, A very enjoyable experience and learnt so much of what is available

    Anne-maree, FREE Cake Decorating Demonstration with Mary Reid - 09 Feb 2017 5:30 PM

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    The latest Sauce cooking class was a great success. Chef Tony's engaging manner and his amazing knowledge made the Asian class a joy to do. The trip around the Chinese grocery store was a revelation and well worth the extra time. Then the combination of great recipes with great outcomes and the opportunity to eat what we produced made for a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience. Peter and Geraldine

    Geraldine, Asian Food Tour with Tony Ching - 04 Mar 2017 9:30 AM

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    Kate is a great trainer. All processes thoroughly explained. There was lots of time for hands on practise & several different coffee styles were also explained. Highly recommended.

    Richard, Barista Training & Demonstration Class - 02 Apr 2017 8:30 AM