O Tama Carey began her cooking career quite by accident after finding herself in a kitchen in London. Since then she has worked her way through kitchens learning to cook food of diverse cultures including French training at Bistro Moncur, a brief Japanese moment at Uchi lounge, Chinese at Billy Kwong and Italian, of sorts, at Berta. This was her first head chef role and where she could truly focus on working with small suppliers and seasonal produce. Berta won a Best New Restaurant award on opening and it was while here that O Tama received her Time Out Chef of the Year award in 2014.
In amongst her work in restaurants O Tama has always dabbled in various side projects, she has: been involved in keeping bees to use their honey; been part of growing, killing and curing pigs for salumi making; taken pleasure in teaching classes; been a writer for a monthly seasonal ingredient column for SBS food online; tried her hand at food styling; contributed to Australian Gourmet Traveller and worked as a consultant on other restaurants.
Currently O Tama is busy running Lankan Filling Station, her first solo venture, a Sri Lankan restaurant located in East Sydney. LFS opened in late July of 2018 to great acclaim and queues out the door. It was awarded a Good Food Award hat and made it onto The Weekend Australian Magazines Hot 50 Restaurants within the first few months of opening. This is where you will find her, pounding spices in the kitchen or carrying food around the floor in this small yet stylish and aromatic venue.