In our winter issue we met Lisa Joy Davis and her husband Oliver Shorthouse at their Dandenong Ranges home, Ramarro Farm. In this issue we reconnect with Lisa to talk about her writing practice, finding her way, and the slow living ethos that has helped this self-confessed city girl find contentedness in the country.
Described as a story that captures when ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ met ‘Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential’, Lisa Joy Davis’ debut novel Yes, Chef! (Penguin 2015) is an entertaining and gritty insight into the stories behind life in a high-end restaurant kitchen. Lisa wrote her ‘foodie fiction’ after participating in a creative writing course seven years ago. “I had other ideas to develop, but when I shared some of the stories from my own life working as a Personal Assistant for top restaurant groups in both London and Melbourne, everyone said ‘write that story!’, and it evolved from there.”
Blessed with a work ethic instilled in her as a child, Lisa had her first draft written in six months, and when she approached a publishing contact she had made in the writing course, her manuscript was quickly picked up and launched as an eBook. “A writerly friend describes it as a ‘unicorn book’. It was so enjoyable to write, and the pathway to publishing opened like magic. I know it’s not like that for many authors,” says Lisa. “I felt incredibly lucky and just seemed to have the timing right. Who doesn’t love a ‘behind the scenes?” With the success of the eBook, a print version of Yes, Chef! soon followed.
To read the full article, pick up a copy of #48 Summer 2021 here.