Bette's Kitchen - 'The Gemista' with Organic Soul Food

It goes without saying, Cantilever loves to make good, honest kitchens. What you didn’t know is that we've experienced some serious food cravings along the way!

Today we're introducing a much-anticipated Kitchen Stories segment on cooking; featuring recipes with clients in Cantilever Kitchens.

Photos - Martina Gemmola

A good portion of people who come to us are true foodies, after a serious kitchen. During the initial design process - with said foodie - discussions around the client’s design requirements tend to roll in and out of conversations about unique food making processes and delicious family recipes passed down generations. This all brings us back to the humble beginnings of the kitchen - a space created for the love of food, to be shared with those we love. It also makes us rather hungry.

After working with Bette from Organic Soul Food on her spectacular North Fitzroy renovation and K2 Kitchen design, we knew it was time to launch our much-dreamed-about cooking segment.

From today, under ‘Kitchen Stories’, the new ‘Cooking’ segment will feature recipes with clients in their Cantilever kitchen. While we expand into the business of all things delicious, we'll explore the kitchens design elements and the client's reflection on the process before, during and after renovation.

To kick off, we share with you Bette’s Kitchen. Bette has a feast in store for you so the rollout for this will be in instalments. This is part 1. We hope you enjoy this tasty addition to our blog!

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive the next instalment!


Bette's Kitchen

Cantilever Kitchen
K2 Kitchen System

Bette's Cantilever Kitchen Plan

Colin Hopkins

Brett Smyth

North Fitzroy


Built as a part of a whole home renovation, Bette’s project was a collaboration between herself — an experienced cook — and architect Colin Hopkins, with Cantilever engaged for joinery expertise throughout the home.

The kitchen holds court within a four by five metre format with light intersecting from three points. Borrowing from a commercial kitchen footprint, the systems are divided up by thoroughfares into four utility stations (store, prep, cook and clear) laid out like a roman three galley with a bank of talls at one end.

Central to this arrangement is a H-tower galley cooking station with integrated convection oven, steam combi oven, and warming drawer stacked within a pillar.

A second joinery-clad pillar conceals a pocket door to sector off the rear workspace from the adjacent open plan living and dining.

The central bench hosts a Gaggenau induction, BBQ, wok and gas cooktop crowned by two cylindrical Qasair rangehoods like twin locomotives.

Flanking front and back, the outer galley peninsula and back-bench each hold a wash station with sink and dishwasher. Perpendicular to the galleys is a tall station which houses the food and cooking utilities featuring a triple integrated fridge set, Cantilever appliance station, pull out pantry and storage cupboard.  

The finishes for this K2 Kitchen System combine veneer with a waterbased finish, two pack paint fronts and marble benchtops with classic Cantilever open mitred boxes.  

Solid Cantilever timber handles run the length of the veneer doors, accentuating their presence —  a feature Bette really loves.


Meet Bette.

Her love of cooking brought a depth of experience to the design process.


Bette Poulakos makes delicious, wholesome recipes for a living. Her approach to cooking is ‘intuitive, seasonal, organic and fresh’, inspired by readily available food, including produce from her organic garden. She believes ‘food should nourish the soul as well as the body — as food preparation is an expression of love’.  

Under Organic Soul Food she creates memorable food experiences through workshops for groups or individuals and event catering. Her menu specialises in wholesome plant-based foods.

Today Bette shares with her take on Gemista (or Yemista): A classic Greek recipe of stuffed, roasted vegetables.  By removing the centre of the vegetable, you make vessels, which are then filled with a delicious mixture.  There are countless versions of Gemista, a recipe that is tied to its process, rather than its ingredients.

In Bette’s Kitchen, the Gemista is fresh, vegan and full of protein rich quinoa.

Scroll for the recipe!


The Gemista
by Organic Soul Food

Preheat Oven
180 degree

Rinse quinoa well, until water runs clear. Wash and dry vegetables. Rinse and chop a mixture of herbs: parsley, dill, chives and oregano. Juice lemon. Line tray with baking paper

Preparing the Vegetable Vessels


  • Tomato x 2

  • Green Capscicum x 1

  • Red Capscicum x 1

  • Zucchini x 2

  • Eggplant x 1


Cut off the ‘tops’ of the vegetables to create lids for your ‘vessels’.  How you do this depends on the shape of the vegetable.  Long vegetables like eggplant and zucchini need to lie flat on the tray, so trim a section off the length of them. For vegetable’s like tomato and capsicum, slice off the stem end. Set these aside.

Capsicum Vessels – trim the inside sections and seeds, remove and discard (into the compost!)

Eggplant, Zucchini and tomato vessels – cut a circular section, then cross section with a knife and scoop out the centre with a spoon.  Keep the residue! Maintain a 1cm wide ‘wall’ of the vegetable.  


Bette's Gemista Filling


  • Tomato x 3

  • Potato x 1

  • Red Onion x 1

  • Quinoa ½ cup

  • Oil, salt, pepper

  • Fresh herb bunch, use what you love!

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • Optional: Passata 1 cup


Combine grated potato with finely chopped red onion, tomato, zucchini and eggplant residue in a mixing bowl. 

Add herb mixture, lemon juice and quinoa. Season to taste. 
Mix thoroughly.

Spoon mixture into the vegetable vessels and place on oven tray.  Enjoy the vegetable jigsaw! Add a drizzle of olive oil. 

Bake for an hour, or until you can smell the goodness!

It’s important for there to be enough moisture in the mix to cook the quinoa.  You can add passata if the tomato doesn’t provide enough moisture.  This in an intuitive part of the recipe, think consistency of a nice risotto! It needs to be wet but not sloppy.


Gemista can be served hot or cold.  Spinach on the plate is nice, with some herbs.  You can roast some potato in the tray to go alongside if you like.