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Craig showing his plants in the garden

A resident at St Bart’s Arnott Community Recovery Village, 36-year-old Craig has been making quite the stir lately – mostly in the kitchen, as he dives deeper into a newfound passion for cooking and sustainable gardening.

Naming Jamie Oliver as his cooking idol, Craig says that it’s his rustic, simple, yet effective way of cooking that resonates with his own style.

“I have all of Jamie’s books and some DVDs, which I look to for inspiration, and even the Woolworth’s recipe ads are really good for ideas,” says Craig.

Luckily for everyone at Arnott, it’s not just Craig’s housemate who benefits from his culinary adventures.

“At least weekly, if not more, Craig makes beautiful food to share with other consumers on site,” says Arnott Recovery Facilitator, Meghan. “He recently made hors d’oeuvres, which were quickly eaten up, and he’s also made trifles, cakes, sausage rolls, pies and more from scratch.”

His current favourite meal to prepare? That would be a 5cm T-bone steak with salsa verde and crispy potatoes. Mouth-watering, right?!

When not dishing up his best in the kitchen, Craig’s other passion for gardening comes into play as he tends to his large and varied vegetable patch. Check out what he is currently growing:
Spinach, leek, golden-stem beetroot, purple carrots, capsicum, watermelon, rock melon, butternut pumpkin, sunflowers, rosemary, lettuce, rocket, carrot, corn, mint, pineapple, mango, yellow broad beans, and orange and apple trees.

Also an avid op-shopper, Craig has an eye for picking up amazing deals that have seen him build an impressive collection of ceramics and silverware to serve his dishes up in style.

Stepping into Craig’s courtyard space, it’s hard to miss the floor-to-ceiling ball and bag he uses to hone his boxing skills, along with a medicine ball, and the Wing Chun Dummy (a wooden Chinese martial arts training tool), which he carved himself to stay mentally and physically fit.

Needless to say, Craig is keeping himself busy as he looks forward to one day having his own home – and especially his own kitchen – to further explore his passions.

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