Welcome to Jacican

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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.


For December I have put together a Christmas High Tea menu for you to get together with your friends and family. Christmas High Tea can be booked here.


Deviled eggs

Vol Au vent - turkey

Ham, cheese, green pickles and Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, cucumber sandwiches

Christmas trifle, Summer fruit compote
served alternatively with
Or Christmas pudding with brandy clotted cream

Macarons – Candy cane, Passionfruit

GF mince tarts

Berry pavlova

Gingerbread Biscotti

Scones, jam & cream

Musk sticks

high tea Jacican long

Cost from $39 per person, including endless tea, coffee, traditional lemonade, $45.00 including a glass of Christmas Sangria.

Fully licensed. The menu can be adapted to dietary needs.

Bookings are essential - High Teas served every Sunday.

Available Sundays from December 2 to 23.


This is the continuing story of Nadine, from Wattlebank Park Farm, taken from the Winter 2018 edition of Gippsland Magazine. The article was put together by me, using Nadine's recipes ...

... Like myself, Nadine is a great supporter of other local farmers, producers, and artisans. As her farm does not supply poultry, we source a chicken from a Korumburra, free-range chicken grower. Sadly, as the cost of product and regulations has overwhelmed the farmer, this product is no longer available. We used the last roast chicken from this small holding for our meal and to share this recipe with you.

roast chicken GCLM Winter 2018 Wattlebank Park farm

If you would like to see more Gippsland produce, please remember to get out there and support your local farmer and buy their local farmed goods.


Freerange 2kg Chicken




1 cup chicken stock


1. Preheat oven to 220c

2. Pat down the skin on the chicken with kitchen towel place chicken on a baking tray and set aside.

3. In a small pan melt 50g of butter until just melted. Brush butter over chicken then, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn oven down to 180c and place chicken in the oven bake for 30 mins.

4. After 30 mins add 1 cup of warm chicken stock to the bottom of the pan under the chicken. Cover the chicken with foil and return to the oven. Bake for a further hour or until the juices run clear between the thigh and the leg.

We served the chicken with slow oven roasted red onions.

roast chicken GCLM Winter 2018 Wattlebank Park farm 2

jaci Ernst jacican 1

... myself and Building Maintenance brought our house and moved into our home in Mirboo North, Gippsland. The two of us working very hard over that period to build our dream and create our happy place!

But, it all started before that. We meet at work, just before the 2000 Olympics, when he was building OB trucks and I was working in them. Jump forward a year and apart from work, we are rarely apart.

When I announce that it was time to follow my dream, he was there backing me up. It was Building Maintenance that pushed me to train as a chef. I remember him saying ‘that we could follow the dream – to grow and cook our own produce’ on the condition that I worked from the ground up and trained as a chef.

So, I took a job washing dishes in a Richmond café, then a catering company, got my certificates in catering and commercial cookery, worked in hotels, all before moving to Mirboo North. Through this, he supported me, never once either of us asking for government support for training or a wage.

Fast forward to now. We have built our business – Jacican. This includes renovating the house, the dairy, putting in the kitchen garden and teaching kitchen. Now there is staff (with room for some more) and I get to do what I love every day.

Thanks for reading.


jaci Ernst jacican 2

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