A lot can happen in 200 kitchens.

A giant razor-clawed lizard attack. An ecstasy overdose on a busy service. A stripper in the cold-room. Billionaire special forces bodyguards and dish pigs on acid. A twenty-eight-hour day and the spine nipple. Not to mention a whole lot of love, hate and magic.

200 Kitchens: Confessions of Nomad Cook is an insider’s trip through the world of  professional cooking. From tropical beaches to corporate skyscrapers, from big food shows to week-long music festivals – it’s all in a day’s work for a gypsy knife-for-hire.       

It’s also about the psychology and politics of an industry where permanent physical damage and going insane are very possible. Feel the serious pain involved in giving serious pleasure.      

Stuffed full of sex, drugs, magic, madness – and great food – this is a culinary odyssey celebrating the world’s oldest pleasure. Thought-provoking and very funny, 200 Kitchens is a true-life story about cooking . . . and where it can take you.

200 Kitchens is available as an ebook at Amazon and as a paperback book at Book Depository, Booktopia and Amazon. For signed copies from the author, at AU$35.00 with postage, and all enquiries, please write to

    [email protected]

New stories and ruminations from the world of professional cooking can be found at the 200 Kitchens blog

About the Author

After a South Pacific childhood, Gawain Barker spent the next twenty-eight years cooking up a storm in a huge variety of restaurants, private homes, cooking shows, music festivals and resorts.

From TV chefs like Rick Stein and Ainsley Harriott to techno ravers and bare-foot hippies, the author has worked with the biggest cast of kitchen characters imaginable. His culinary autobiography – 200 Kitchens – tells this unique story.

Gawain has released the first in a trilogy of novels set in tropical North Queensland, Australia. Drenched in sunny noir style, they explore the rough-as-guts social mores, endemic corruption, and absolute personal freedoms of a wild and strange time – the 1970s and 1980s.

Through extensive research, much personal experience and many interviews, he is recreating an untold time and place, filled with epic natural beauty, extreme conditions and sometimes desperate people.
Check out it out at The Colour of Shadows

As well as cooking and eating, Gawain reads at least two books a week and digs all sorts of music, especially when it’s performed live to an appreciative audience.




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