It took Martes Kakavas seven years to perfect the Greek recipes handed down to her from her husband Con's great grandmother.
By her side, patiently encouraging her, were her parents-in-law Vicki and George Kakavas.
"They came to our house and taught me to cook every single recipe from Con's yiayia in Patras," she told Food & Wine.
"Mum's got them all written down in her little book. I'm probably 99.99 per cent there - but then again, they don't help me cook any more so I must be doing something right."
Every Sunday you can find Kakavas in the kitchen at Dixon Park Surf Club, cooking up a storm for diners at Our Taste of Greece, her family-run restaurant. The rest of her week is spent cooking, running Seaside Catering, Weddings & Events and adding humorous posts to the Our Taste of Greece social media platforms. Just don't ask her for a photograph. Kakavas prefers to let her cooking take centre stage.
"I do all the cooking. All of it," she explained.
"We started off selling one product 12 years ago at the Newcastle City Farmers Market: Greek Honey puffs, which is like a Greek doughnut. Then we started doing cheese and spinach pies and grew from there. So we started with one product and now we've got about 40. Gluten free to dairy free, you name it, we do it."
Our Taste of Greece is booked out most Sundays. The menu is changed regularly to keep diners guessing and new dishes like the calamari salad are proving popular.
"The seafood boards are just walking out the door, it's crazy," Kakavas said.
"We take the time to make the dishes look pretty on the plate - we care about the aesthetic as well as the flavours. Everything coming out of the kitchen has to go past my eyes. Nothing reaches a table unless I approve it.
"Customer service is also important to me. We're a local family and we want to give customers the best experience we can. When Con's parents come in, they'll spend hours chatting to the customers."
The couple's three children have all worked for the family business over the years and Kakavas is hoping they will also be involved in a new cooking show she applied to be a part of that is premiering later in the year: Plate of Origin. The program will be hosted by Manu Feildel and involves cooks of diverse cultural backgrounds "cooking off" against one another. It is rumoured that former MasterChef judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan will be helping the contestants on their culinary journey.
"Who knows if I'll get in but it is worth a shot," she said.
Kakavas is also hosting Greek cooking classes "over a couple of bottles of wine", kicking off on March 24. The cost is $95 and classes are restricted to eight people.