Born in Sudan to an Eritrean mother and South Sudanese father, Akuc is the eldest girl of 11 children. Akuc attended an Arabic school and now speaks five different languages. One of her greatest challenges was arriving in Australia as a teenager and having to attend school without knowing the language and how to read or write.
Her greatest influence is her mother, who fled Eritrea on foot, joined her husband’s tribe in Sudan without knowing the language, then brought her children up on her own with very little support.
Akuc studied commercial cookery at TAFE before beginning her apprenticeship at Spice Temple, where Neil Perry rated her among the best junior talents across all his kitchens. She finished her apprenticeship at Lochiel House in the Blue Mountains.
Akuc is working on her own range of hot chilli sauces and dreams of opening a home-style African restaurant where her mum, aunties and sisters would work and where people would feel happy as soon as they walked in. “I want to stay connected to the cooking traditions from Africa.”
Akuc recently appeared on Channel Ten’s ‘Masterchef The Professionals’. We are pleased to have her as a Personal Chef.