About MSF founder Mem Hockley

Mem Hockley was born in Sydney Australia, to Asian parents from The Philippines and Sri Lanka. Her passion for quality food meant she was inspired to embark on a career in the catering and hospitality industry, which led her to employment in several restaurants across Sydney, including the Hotel Intercontinental Sydney, where she gained valuable knowledge and experience as a cook.

Fast forward a few years and following a move to the Hunter Region, Mem saw the need to introduce quality cooking and more importantly, culture, to the area. Mem started her mission at the Newcastle City Farmers Markets, where she prepared and sold various Asian delights. Word quickly spread of her culinary expertise, and the popularity of her food brought an abundance of people from across the region to taste her unique recipes. The success of her market stall, coupled with an ever increasing demand for her food, meant the opening of her very own restaurant was imminent.

During this time of the restaurant Mem employed disengaged girls to help them get back on track, training them in hospitality and giving them valued work experience. It was then the concept of Mem’s Soul Food Cooking School was born: A cooking school designed to educate and inspire students to select and buy fresh ingredients locally and cook Asian dishes at home … with love.

But Mem’s journey wasn’t over yet. After working closely with the girls and observing some of the issues faced by young girls, Mem felt desperate to make a change to her local region and chose to use not only her culinary experiences, but also her life skills to create the ‘Recipes To Life’ program for disengaged girls.

Mem’s Journey

Mem is a qualified Cook, Life Coach and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. Her ‘Soul Food’ journey has taken many exciting twists and turns since it was first launched in 2013, with the program’s main ethos remaining the same – to nurture individuals and families through life skills, cooking, health and nutrition, in a supportive, encouraging environment.

MSF currently runs a number of programs focusing on life coaching courses for individuals as well as well-being days for young girls, the latter hosted in schools and community groups.

To find out more about the programs offered by Mem’s Soul Food, click on the ‘Programs’ menu at the top of this page.

To book Mem as a speaker at your next event, or to enquire about running a program near you, email [email protected].