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Demi Paterson of Kawana Island recently opened Patersons Cooking School, realising a long-cherished dream to teach cooking. FIRST JOB?

has been my best as Will and I eloped in Indonesia. It was amazing.

My first job was cutting and overlocking, as my family were in fashion. I was seven years old.


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? It’s a bit of a secret but it involves bringing the foodies of the Sunshine Coast together.

I call that ‘inspirational discontent’, when something triggers in your brain and you make a usually drastic change. For me, I had been teaching business for a while and even though I loved it, I had wanted to teach cooking for 15 years. Well one day I was teaching a friend how to make a particular dish and I felt such happiness that I thought, why am I putting this off? There will never be the perfect time, so as soon as she left I got online, found a premises and registered the business and here I am.

YOUR FAMILY INCLUDES. . . My awesome husband Will, my daughter Natalie and her brood and my son Stevie and his.

DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME? I’ve never had a nickname till I became a Paterson, now I get Mrs P. It’s cute.

FIRST CAR? OMG, I was 18 years old, it was some sort of Chrysler that we paid $200 for and it would conk out if you didn’t constantly rev it, so at the lights, everyone thought I wanted to race them – nightmare.


I don’t believe in regrets. Every experience, no matter how bad or sad, teaches us something.

FAVOURITE BOOK? I have two really, The Magic of Thinking Big and The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer.

WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW? I am trying to learn how to dive, (I’m not very good ) so I am reading Adventures in Diving.

FAVOURITE SONG? Heroes, David Bowie

BEST ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN? Always give more than people are expecting to get.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE SUNSHINE COAST? For the best part of 25 years.

WHY DO YOU LIVE HERE? I’m like a homing pigeon, I might leave for a while but I always return. It is where I feel most at peace.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE SUNSHINE COAST? My favourite place is a spot on the beach not far from our house where Will proposed. We go there most Friday nights for fish and chips and take a bottle of wine. It

reminds us both of why we live here and we unwind after the week.

WHERE DO YOU TAKE VISITORS WHEN THEY COME TO THE COAST? We start off at Mooloolaba to show them you can have a tourist industry without spoiling the area and Maleny and Montville for the views.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ON THE COAST WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would love to see business people more supportive of each other and locals supporting local businesses. I am always hearing people talk about shopping in Brisbane.

BEST DAY IN YOUR LIFE? Other than when my kids were born, January 1 this year


WHAT ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? On a personal level, it is my children. They grew up without a TV so we always had activities. Now Natalie is a successful designer of Emu designs – she recently came back from New York fashion week. My son Stevie is a French fine dining chef and artist. I am also proud of the legacy I have left with Demi International Training School.

YOU ARE HAPPIEST WHEN? I’m with my family, preferably in the kitchen.

WHAT FRUSTRATES YOU THE MOST? Waste of any kind, food, time, money, a life. People put more planning in to a party than they do their lives.

ADVICE TO YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF? Don’t worry so much, the universe is looking after you, you are going to be just fine.

TEA OR COFFEE? Coffee, strong and hot. I’m Greek after all.

NRL OR AFL? Ha, I follow Billy Slater, I don’t care if he takes up ice skating! Seriously though I prefer boxing, which surprises a lot of people as I’m such a girly girl.


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