Make gnocchi like a pro with Chris Low

Facebook Carlotta and GeeInstagram Carlotta and GeePinterest Carlotta and Gee

Get ready to meet Chris Low, the renowned Sydney chef and head of the Vibe team at Canva. We recently asked this chef/vibe expert to conjure up an exclusive recipe for our C+G journal. All so you can cook up a storm in the kitchen in excellent style.

If you've not officially met Chris, he is married to Emily Sandstrom, an architect and friend of C+G who we interviewed recently and toured their incredible home. Read that journal piece here.

Together they transformed a run-down 1930s bungalow in Sydney's Marrickville into a stylish and eco-friendly dream home, complete with solar power, double-glazed windows, and a 95% edible garden. Meaning, Chris is able to live out his love for sustainable living and connection to nature in his daily life, in the kitchen and beyond.


The other part of Chris’ daily life is at Canva, where he’s been part of the team since almost day dot. His role there as Head of Vibe involves creating and maintaining physical spaces, designing internal events, and providing workplace hospitality for over 3.5K employees globally. He brings the same energy and passion for creating experiences to his cooking, and we're super chuffed that he designed a recipe just for us.

Linen Tea Towel Set in Navy, Linen Apron in Denim

See that very special recipe below, plus our recent chat with the main man himself. Read on—we hope it inspires you to create something delicious in your own kitchen.

So, grab your C+G apron, pop on some tunes, and let's get cooking!

Linen Large Placemat Set in Sangria

C+G x Chris Low easy weeknight gnocchi recipe 


  • 1 kg Nicola or Russet Burbank potatoes (about 5) (I always search for really white fleshed potatoes - grow them, they taste amazing -truly worthwhile.
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g finely grated parmazen
  • Finely grated nutmeg (optional)

To serve

  • 1 handful of the best tomatoes you can find (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 cup of Fresh basil torn roughly
  • 100g  Olive tapenade (store bought is great for this)
  • 100g Fresh ricotta from your nearest cheese maker (or make yourself it's so easy and fast)




  • Scrub potatoes and cook in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender (35-40 minutes). Drain in a colander and set aside to cool slightly and steam until cool enough to handle (~5 minutes)
  • Peel potatoes (discard skin)
  • Press flesh through a potato ricer onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour
  • Add three-quarters of flour, parmazen, a pinch of nutmeg and a large pinch of fine sea salt
  • Lightly knead until dough just comes together and is smooth (add a little more flour if necessary). Take care not to overwork the dough
  • Form a 3cm piece of dough into a gnocchi and cook in simmering salted water until gnocchi floats (1-2 minutes). Taste and ensure the mixture isn’t too floury (cook 30 seconds longer if so). If gnocchi disintegrates, add more flour to mixture, but do not overwork
  • Divide dough into four and roll one piece at a time on a lightly floured surface to a 1½cm-thick cylinder. Cut into 2cm pieces
  • Cook in batches in simmering salted water until gnocchi floats (1-2 minutes) Cool completely. (this can be done up to 3 days in advance of serving)


To serve

  • Heat a large fry pan with extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat.  Gently fry the gnocchi in batches (do not crowd the pan) and turn until there is a caramelised coating on both sides



  • Place the gnocchi on a large platter and add teaspoon sized dollops of tapenade and ricotta evenly spread across the gnocchi
  • Add the tomato and basil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Linen Tea Towel Set in Navy, Linen Apron in Denim

Shop Picks from Chris

C+G: Tell us a little bit about your background?

CL: I grew up moving around a lot in a Navy family and always had a deep passion for cooking. My mum reports finding my bedroom wardrobe full of pasta drying when I was 12 years old. I learned how to cook by reading every cookbook I could find and started working in commercial kitchens since I was 15, starting as a kitchen hand. I was very excited by the energy and creating an experience and something so elemental from raw ingredients. I started “chefing” in wineries in the southern highlands of NSW and studied journalism at UOW specialising in video journalism, which I loved but wasn't super good at outside the academic environment. I always worked as a chef to support myself through Uni and was invited into a business partnership with owners of a cafe I was working in in Redfern - Baffi and Moe.

C+G: How did you get involved in Canva and really were one of the very early members?

CL: I had a restaurant in Surry Hills called Orto Trading Co, and Canva founders Mel and Cliff were regular customers of mine. Seven years ago, when they heard I was selling Orto, they asked me to bring the “vibe” from my restaurant into Canva. I didn't know what that meant, but I took the plunge with what was then a much smaller company than today. There were only about 50 people in the office at that time. There are now over 3.5K globally.

C+G: What does your role entail in such an incredible company which you have helped build?

CL: My role is Head of Vibe, and the Vibe team looks after building, designing, and maintaining the physical spaces around the world, internal events, hospitality (our team cooks for +2000 people breakfast and lunch around the world every day), workplace experience, and workplace operations. Now that “workplace” is made up of people in many countries around the world with many working remotely, as well as 16 Campuses and Coworking sites. We have a mission to cultivate Canva’s culture and inspire the team to do the best work of their lives.

C+G: What is important to you in a kitchen when you designed your own in Marrickville which is shown here?

CL: A strong sense of connection between guests and the kitchen was important to me. Creating amazing experiences is far more than food, don’t get me wrong food plays a very important role, but there are so many elements in any dining experience that add to the overall “vibe”.

We have a variety of places to eat in our place, from the chef’s table to the dining room, outdoor kitchen, and lawn. Each has its own vibe that feels right for that moment. We love curating these moments and sharing them with friends and family.

A strong connection to the garden was also essential to the kitchen design. I always want to be inspired by what's coming out of the garden - it makes for more simple, honest, sustainable, delicious, and respectful cooking. Emily, who designed the kitchen, was incredibly thoughtful about the experience of both those cooking and the diners, to optimise the experience for both. The split level allows diners to sit at dining table height, and the cooks can work at bench height with a really connected chef’s table feel. The atrium that Emily was so passionate about brings the garden right into the kitchen and drives that connection to the outdoors.

Emily was also focused on minimising the demolition and reuse of materials in the space, and building the kitchen with recycled materials was not easy, but it adds a warmth and integration into the original building that makes a huge difference to the overall feel in the space.

C+G: Tell us about your favourite meal to cook?

CL: Anything that comes straight from the garden onto the fire.  A meal that has friends eating from central plates of food that speaks to the season and nails the vibe of the moment is the best meal I can make.

When it comes down to it, I love cooking on fire. I cook classic family style meals from around the world. Nostalgic food with a focus on delicious not fancy. Simple and yum with a side of theatre. 

Shop Picks from Chris