Teresa George

TessFront_CoverTeresa George is of Kerala heritage and the eldest daughter of Catholic-Malayalee parents, Dr TC George and Elsamma George. Born in Tanzania, East Africa, her childhood was lived in Nigeria, USA, British Guyana, and Zambia, finally settling in Australia. Her exposure to a diversity of cultures and societies developed a passion for history, culture, and food.

In 2006, she left her corporate training career to pursue her interest in cooking. She moved to the island of Vava’u in the Kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific, where she co-owned a café/bakery until December 2010. The café was popular amongst visiting yachts, whale watchers, and locals. Her breakfasts, tropical smoothies, use of local island ingredients in her cooking, Kerala cooking classes, and specially designed Indian banquets were her signature addition to the dining experience on the island.

Teresa lives in Sydney, Australia, continuing her passions for food and writing. Tastes & Traditions is her first book.




Leelamony Pillai


Leelamony Pillai was born on 24th January 1947 to Hindu-Nair parents, Saraswathiamma and Kumara Pannikkar in Cherthala, in the south–-western Indian state of Kerala. She was the eldest of eight. During her primary and secondary school years, she earned several prizes in quizzes, essay writing, debating, athletics, and acting. She also was school captain. She moved on to St Joseph’s College, Alleppey, earning First Class in her undergraduate degree and a merit scholarship to do a Masters degree. In 1968, after graduating with a Masters in Science (majoring in Botany) from St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam, she was appointed by the College as lecturer where she worked for two years. She also taught at S.N. College, Nangyarkulangara.

In 1968, she married Dr. K.V.P. Pillai and the following year gave birth to her son, Sangeet. In 1973, she and her husband made the difficult decision to leave India and migrate to Australia. In 1975, Leelamony gave birth to her daughter, Sonya. She completed further education, earning a Graduate Diploma in Education and a Graduate Diploma in Librarianship. She taught for thirteen years in Australia as a high school science teacher and was also actively involved in literary, community, and cultural events in the Indian community, and provided community service and support. Her home was open to all and her generosity and friendship was given unconditionally.

In 2001, Leelamony embarked on a book with Teresa George. They worked on the book for several years. Sadly, Leelamony passed away on February 14, 2011, after many years of bravely battling serious health issues. Her family committed to having the book completed as a fulfillment of Leelamony’s dream to be a published author and to promote Kerala culture.