12 Oct // Book launch Auckland!

About a year ago I was asked by Penguin Random House if I would like to undertake the NZ Restaurant Cookbook - choosing 50 restaurants across the country, asking them politely for a recipe or two, and writing an intro about each one, and to the book itself. Flattered, I thought that sounded simple enough (and fun) so enthusiastically I said yes. What proceeded was a rollercoaster of a project - of wrangling spreadsheets, and harassing chefs (during Christmas when they're insanely busy and January when they're on holiday) and tweaking recipes and generally, well, pulling a book together. It's fair to say I nearly lost the plot on more than one occasion, but it happened and now it's here!

Liz Clarkson photographed the entire thing - she traversed the country and faced cancelled flights, ash clouds, flooding, and earthquakes - to get stunning original photography of the restaurants, the people, and of course, the food.

Now that the book is in stores and in my hand, I can safely say it’s beautiful and I am thrilled.

To celebrate last week, we had a launch party in Auckland. Liberty Brewing shouted me a heap of beers (I love you guys), Ruffino sent me a case of prosecco (which I proudly served in paper cups, thank you!) and Lewis Road Creamery kindly couriered me some butter. How to feed people at a book launch about beautiful and delicious restaurant food? Sourdough, butter, and a few Proper Crisps for good measure. Mum did the flowers and sold books with the help of my cousins, and lots of friends, colleagues and generally supportive and wonderful people came along. 

Thanks to everyone who celebrated. I’m trying to organise one for Wellington and maybe even Christchurch, so watch this space. You can buy the NZ Restaurant Cookbook at all good bookstores, and here on my shop (which I hope to fill with goodies as Christmas looms closer).

I’ve been describing the NZ Restaurant Cookbook as a snapshot of what dining in NZ is like today. With a focus on owner-operators, and a great regional spread, I’m so happy with the result.