Kitchen spy: Chyka Keebaugh

She's the co-founder (with husband Bruce) of the Big Group, Australia's largest, privately-owned catering company. She also runs the Design Depot and Capital Kitchen businesses. But you probably know her as the "level-headed one" on The Real Housewives of Melbourne, an over-the-top global reality franchise about six ostentatiously wealthy women and their glamorous fireworks. While Melbourne's version has proved relatively sedate - no hair pulling, yet - the publicity has changed the life of the 45-year-old Malvern mother of two (to Francesca, 19, and ''BJ'', 18). "It still feels surreal," she says.

My inspiration

I love buying books and magazines to do with food and design but my real inspiration is going to Prahran Market, Toscano's, Stocked Food Store and Peter G Bouchier Butchers and seeing what's fresh and available.

Most unforgettable meal

We went last year as a family to the Fat Duck in London. Honestly, I just loved every single second of the experience. It was beyond amazing. It was a culinary delight. My daughter loves food and the Instagrams were just going berserk.

Recipe stalwart

Karen Martini's slow-roasted lamb shoulder. Her recipe is absolutely foolproof. Then I just literally pull it all apart, top it with pea sprouts, a container of hummus and a drained can of chickpeas. Add a whole lot of roasted baby chat potatoes and a green salad and it's absolutely the best.

My favourite

It changes a lot but I got this grey platter from one of my favourite shops, Montreux, in High Street Prahran. It's an elevated, footed-platter and people assume you have to put a cake on it. But to me you put greens or a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad on it and the food looks great - the green really pops against the grey.

Discovery

Joost Bakker's latest ceramic range. I'm totally obsessed and I've got them in all different shapes and sizes. Food looks incredible on it, it's just stunning.

I'm drinking

I have a creamy latte every day but I always go out and buy it, either from Servery & Spoon in Waverley Road (Malvern East) or Capital Kitchen in Malvern Central. The rest of the day I drink mineral water - I love my San Pell - rosé, champagne and Hendrick's gin. I drink my gin with basil and cucumber, lots of ice and tonic. The basil adds a really nice flavour.

Secret vice

I wrap Allen's snakes around Cadbury fruit and nut chocolate bars. I've been doing that since I was 12. And I love caramel Magnums - delicious.

My toolkit

My favourite new toy is this Zyliss herb chopper. The other thing I love is this juicer I bought at a market in Morocco. You put it straight into a lemon, squeeze it and out comes the juice. I don't have tricky toys. I've got good fry pans, good pots, like this Chasseur. But I love how food can be presented more than actually making it. I like this deer antler cutlery from Buenos Aires. I collect cutlery - I've got gold, rose gold, silver - eight sets in total. How many does Bruce think I have? Maybe two.

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Last night's dinner

I had dinner ready - a marinated chicken, cous cous and a big salad - but the kids said, ''Can we have sushi?'' So we went to our favourite Japanese, Asakusa in Waverley Road, Malvern East, and had sushi and sashimi. They do the yummiest food.

The staples

My pantry

I've got an 18-year-old boy in the house so I can't keep up with his food intake. You'll always find pasta, Weet-Bix, tuna (Francesca loves it), almonds and Bruce is obsessed with this sea salt rub. He uses it on everything. I'm also obsessed by rock salt and pepper and these Barossa Kitchen crackers for cheese and dips. And I buy these sugar buttons from Paris. They're great on cupcakes or when you've got the girls over for a cup of tea.

My fridge

Our staples, without a doubt, are tomatoes, Meredith goat's cheese, basil, avocado and grain bread (from Dench Bakers). You can turn these into a tuna pasta, you can have them on toast, you can make a dip, you can do all kinds of things. And I've always got San Danielle prosciutto, ham and bacon, cut-up fruit, salmon, berries, rocket and ingredients to make bolognese for BJ - he's a rugby player.