From Niseko to Port Douglas and a cookbook in between


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WORLDS COLLIDE: Tess Stomski showcases her recently completed book Harvest Niseko at The Reef Marina in Port Douglas. IMAGE: Perrin Clarke Photography.

FROM Niseko to Port Douglas and a cookbook in between.

That’s a short description of the recent travels of aspiring chef, writer and business owner Tess Stomski, who will launch her new book Harvest Niseko at Whileaway Café and Bookshop on Friday.

And it’s a fitting venue considering she’s spent chunks of the last six years there, laptop and coffee in tow, finishing it.

Tess first moved to Niseko, a spectacular snow-capped town on Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island, 10 years ago. She quickly established her catering company Niseko Gourmet and uses Port Douglas as her base for two months before each season begins in Japan.

“As soon as the busy winter is complete, Port Douglas is my first stop,” she said.

“I spend a couple of months here to unwind, Four Mile Beach is the perfect place for some R&R.

“It’s an easy place for me to focus on my work and plan for the season ahead. I actually spent a lot of time writing the book here.”

And the book is testament to the deep connection she’s developed with her new home. In collaboration with friend and Tokyo born Chisato Amagai, the pair embarked on a project that would bring simple Japanese produce to life in kitchens across the globe.

Focusing on fresh vegetables from farms in the Niseko region, Harvest Niseko explores recipes that are both traditional and modern, and with ingredients commonly found in Japanese homes during the course of any week.

“When you realise you’re going to print there are plenty of moments of happiness as you see your project coming to life, but moments of sadness too, knowing you will no longer have the raw copy to work on,” Tess explains.

“It has been an emotional few months.”

It was a sense of adventure that led Tess to Niseko, yet she had no idea how interwoven she would become to the area and its people. And the same can be said for Port Douglas.

The team at Port Douglas Catering and Events have worked alongside Tess in Japan during the Australian summer, continuing a foodie connection between the towns.

“I was fortunate to spend six months working here in 2012 and through the Port Douglas community being so welcoming and friendly, I now have a good network of friends that live here,” Tess said.

“Niseko has a community similar to Port Douglas where, while the population is small, the people that come to live in it are drawn to that sense of family, but also the surrounding environment and the activities it has to offer.

“Both places are stunningly beautiful, but Niseko is one of the snowiest places on earth and Port Douglas is a tropical paradise.”

While alternating between a Japanese mountain and palm fringed beaches couldn’t be more different, Tess seems to have the balance right.

Harvest Niseko is proof of that.


See Tess Stomski in store this Friday in Port Douglas

Tess will be at the Whileaway Bookshop and Café in Port Douglas this Friday, May 26 from 10.30am. She will be holding a cooking demonstration, Q&A session and signing of new book Harvest Niseko.

The book is already available through Readings Australia and Amazon in Japan, and will be at other retailers in major Australia cities. Melbourne’s Book for Cooks, Hill of Content and Happy Valley also have copies, along with Little Tokyo in Adelaide and Whileaway Bookshop and Café in Port Douglas.

Check out her website at for more information.

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