At Home with Cherie Thompson

Former chef Cherie Thompson created the Inner West’s first women’s shed, now celebrating its fourth birthday.

Why did you decide to establish a women’s shed in the Inner West?
After hearing of the men’s shed concept my question was,“Why isn’t there a women’s shed?” So with the help of the Strategic Community Officer of Ageing at the then Marrickville Council we set it up. Forty-five women turned up and we had our first gathering the following Wednesday. We work on a broad range of art and craft projects which expose members to techniques, mediums and styles they hadn’t tried before. Members are also encouraged to skill-share and these workshops have proven very successful.

What kind of people  turn up?
Fabulous women of all ages, cultures, talents and skills. We are a creative social group where we are always sharing a skill or technique. We used to meet for a couple of hours a week but now we meet 12-5pm every Wednesday as the diversity in the group means there’s always plenty of projects to work on, techniques to learn from each other and laughs to be had.

What projects have you finished?
Our driving concept is to reuse, recycle and repurpose, so the majority of our projects involve these actions at some level. We have done everything from bird watching, painting, all types of needlework, card making, crazy quilting, crocheting, ukelele lessons, air dry clay sculpting and beading. We’re constantly turning nothing into something. The next big thing  we are launching is a fundraising effort that contributes to assisting women in crisis or women who are going through a hard patch.

Do you always enjoy cooking?
As a retired chef and caterer, you’d think I’d be over it but I still enjoy it. Having said that, I don’t want to be in the kitchen seven nights a week. I’m a big fan of cooking a big batch and then freezing portions. Dinner for one can be a bit of a lonely chore in my otherwise wonderful life so I prefer to spend a brief but productive period in the kitchen.

What was your foodie discovery in the last year?
My foodie discovery has been the $2 Neenish Tart at Dulwich Hill Bakery. The short crust pastry is crisp and buttery and the crunchy chocolate and vanilla icing on top takes me right back to being a kid in Bondi.


A Slice of Anything

The basics of this recipe can be used with fillings other than red salmon, so feel free to use what you have available.

1/2 cup spelt or flour of your choice

5 eggs

60g butter

200g red salmon, drained

1 onion sliced

1/4 cup Kalamata olives

1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice

Place flour, eggs and melted butter in processor or bowl and mix well.

Grease a 30 x 20 x 5cm glass pyrex dish or pie plate.

Pour in egg mix. Add drained, crumbled salmon. Top with sliced onion, black pepper and grated cheese. Bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve hot or cut into portions and freeze for a later date.

Instead of the salmon filling I recently combined grated zucchini, corn kernels and grated Haloumi cheese. Yummo!

The ‘shedettes’ meet at Seaview Hall in Dulwich Hill on Wednesdays, 12-5pm. Visit them on Facebook or email: