Image of Nate and Tensae McLaren talking with WIN News


Konjo Mama is a small family business with a big heart! We aim to share the delights of Ethiopian cuisine and our passion for delicious vegetarian food, prepared and served with love and care, with consideration for our fragile environment.

Konjo Mama has a very personal story to tell. Our blended family comprises Caroline and Dean McLaren, and adopted Ethiopian sons, Nate and Tensae. As teachers and students, chefs, baristas and hospitality workers, travellers, builders and all-round lovers-of-life, we bring to you a wealth of expertise and experience!

Caroline has combined her work in hospitality and the kitchen with education for … eons …!  She learnt to cook Ethiopian dishes from Nate and Tensae’s Ethiopian family in Addis Ababa, who still blend Konjo Mama’s berbere spice mix today. Regular trips to Ethiopia ensure that our education in all things Ethiopian continues! 

Dean is responsible for the rebuilding of the Konjo Mama kitchen, all technical support, and taking amazing photographs.  His work as a teacher and his past-life in the construction, photography and hospitality industries means that he can keep Konjo Mama on the road.

Nate and Tensae ensure we keep laughing and feel young at heart.  They bring a contemporary “it’s the 21st century” approach to Konjo Mama and ensure that their Ethiopian roots are seamlessly blended with Australian life!

Updated family picture 2021!