How Ellice Tsiaprazis went from helping her yiayia in the kitchen to owning a dessert bar

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By Martina Simos

When Ellice Tsiaprazis graduated from high school there were many career plans in sight. But her love of cooking was too great so she followed its path to wherever it led.

“I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do. I was one of those high school students who had many ideas of career paths to pursue,” Ellice tells The Greek Herald.

“But cooking was something I was great at. It was natural and I enjoyed it, so I took a leap of faith and followed my heart and passion. It just grew from there.

“When you’re talking a decade of being a chef well, I think that speaks to itself. I made the right decision as I still love it to this day.’’

Ellice Tsiaprazis cooking as a young child.

The 28-year-old from Sydney is proud of her Pontian Greek and Kiwi heritage. She says she connects to both cultures through cooking, dancing and sport.

In fact, Ellice credits her love of cooking to those early days as a youngster where she gave a helping hand in the kitchen to her mum, aunties, godmother and Greek yiayia. It’s also where she discovered her weakness for Greek sweets, especially bougatsa.

“I was in awe of how they all had their own recipes that had been passed down and made everything by scratch,” Ellice says.

“I was taught that our hands are our best tools.”

In 2013, Ellice followed her passion for creating desserts and studied at the Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney. She graduated with a Grand Diplome of Pattisserie and Cuisine.

Her culinary career is impressive and long for someone who left school just over a decade ago.

Ellice first started working under a French Michelin star chef at a bar and restaurant called the Rabbit Hole in Sydney’s CBD. From there she worked at a large catering company, as a chocolatier at Adora’s Handmade Chocolates, as a chef de partie at Novotel Darling Square, and later as a food and beverage supervisor at the hotel operation and pub.

The culinary path was a step in the right direction for Ellice as these days she can be found creating sweets and running her own business – Marvelicious Dessert Bar & Café.

“I love how something sweet can brighten up anyone’s day and how universally it’s a celebratory gift,” Ellice says.

“I also love how it is a skill and the world of sweets and desserts is always evolving with new techniques, styles and trends so you are forever learning and updating your skill set.”

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