I am Annamarie Suzanne Barnes. I have 25 years working as a chef in Sydney restaurants, working with specialty cuisines, and creating authentic cultural menus. I've studied a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Social Anthropology, specialising in South East Asian Studies. I've also done a Masters in Design Science, specialising in 3D Animation from Sydney University. I've given cooking classes, facilitated "artist way" groups, and I am a mother. I am an artist and an adventurer. I am creative, open, and always looking for exciting and fun times. I love to connect with new and old friends.
I am a traveller. My favourite country is Vietnam, and I've been many times with my son, a backpack and a child carrier. The first time we went I took a malaria resistant mosquito net style pop up tent for the jungles of Laos and the slums in Cambodia. I had great ambitions as to where I was going to travel, however it was hard going the first time solo parenting in Asia with my son, and I ended up loving and staying put once I arrived in Hoi An. This is where I had the chance to experience cultural immersion. I stayed with a Vietnamese family, and over time grew to know and love many of the locals.
My passion is to help you to find your way in Asia too. To help you through the rough parts and show you how to experience the true beauty and joy that I discovered. I am a lover of street food, and cultural experiences. A super slow traveller, staying put in the same town for 3 month stints. Going to the same coffee stall until we become friends with the vendors, and my little boy asks one of the workers (Ngyuen) to come over for a "playdate". Eating in the homes of the locals, learning the recipes first hand, feeling like I am going "home" on return trips. Following my bliss. Being brave and sketching in busy crowded markets despite the attention it draws. Loving the result years later and knowing its worth it to push through fears.