About Me – Jaci Hicken

jaci on horse

I grew up on a dairy farm in Gippsland outside the town of Loch.

As a young girl, I read the cookbooks Mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. 

As there was always flour, butter, milk, and eggs in the house, I was continuously searching for new recipes to bake. 

I would spend my weekends baking puff pastry to make tarts, creating new versions of candies and baking all the colour rainbow cakes. 

Not much has changed - have you seen my IG feed?

I’m still searching for recipes I can cook using what I have on hand or growing in the kitchen garden.

At about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. 

I had the idea that I would become a television technician and work on sporting events (which I did). 

This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. 

From 16, fast-forward 20 years, and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland, where I grow vegetables and cook.

Before returning to Gippsland, I re-trained as a chef, completing my certificate of commercial cookery. 

This led me to work in catering, large and small hotels and small businesses in Melbourne and Gippsland before starting Jacican. 

In 2014, I completed my Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Marketing) at Monash University.

To follow my passion for sharing Gippsland stories, its produce, farmers and people in 2020, I started a Graduate Diploma in Journalism at RMIT University.  

I love helping others follow their food dreams (just like I have), and I have a wealth of knowledge, resources and networks available to share!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the kitchen soon!


About Jacican

Jacican runs skills-based cooking classes and Walk Amongst the Weeds five course-long lunches in the kitchen garden in Mirboo North, Gippsland.

Thanks for visiting the Jacican website

Jacican is all about regional Gippsland produce—if the food you harvest, cook and share at Jacican hasn’t been grown on-site, it is more than likely been sourced directly from a Gippsland farmer. 

Jaci picking warrigal greens

In preserving cooking classes, you will learn to cook chutney, sauce, marmalade, jam, relish and homemade cordials from produce directly harvested from the garden, then bottled and labelled just like you brought it from the store.

Jaci will explain the different preserving methods, why some things cook for a long time, why some are short cooks, why some preserves use a thickener and how to use the Fowlers Vacola method to preserve fruit and vegetables. 

enjoy a harvest lunch together at Jacican

In pastry cooking classes, you will learn to make puff pastry, lard, sweet shortcrust and ruff puff pastry all from scratch.

Take part in a Jacican pastry cooking class - learn to make macarons

Macarons have techniques and hints you will only learn in a hands-on cooking class. 

Making your own box of lollies cooking class is just plain out fun!

Each day, Jaci spends time in her kitchen garden planting and harvesting the fruit and vegetables you will pick yourself at a five-course long lunch called Walk Amongst the Weeds.

You can have a private cooking class at Jacican for four to six guests for any Jacican cooking class—macarons, lollies, preserving, pastry—or up to 12 guests for a private Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunch. 

If you would like a private cooking class or lunch, contact Jacican to arrange a date and time that works for you.

The Cooking School

The kitchen and dining room at Jacican was originally part of Mirboo North's old dairy.

Built-in the 1950s – it is remembered locally for the cypress hedge that once stood in front with the word DAIRY carved into it.

Jaci and her husband, Building Maintenance, purchased the dairy with its adjoining house in 2008 and opened the Food Studio in 2012. 

welcome to jacican


Walk amongst the weeds

jacican harvest lunch

Cooking Classes

jacican preserving cooking class

Private Classes

jacican pastry cooking class pasties

Acknowledgment of country

Hello, I’m Jaci Hicken, from the lands of the Brataualung clan, which is where I’ve spent most of my life.

I would like to acknowledge all of us here today to cook together and share a meal.

I love sharing my dream of growing the food this country has to offer and share it with you.

The traditional place that we come together today is on the lands Gunaikurnai people

And I’d like to pay my respects to our elders past, present, emerging leaders, along with all the young people in our community.

Visit Jacican
32 Giles Street, Mirboo North Victoria 3871
Contact Jacican
Telephone: (03) 5668 2475

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