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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Jeremy Dixon talks about Revive Cafe Cookbook 8

After a successful career working for Sanitarium Health Food Company for 10 years as a marketer of healthy breakfast cereals, including Weet-Bix, Jeremy Dixon followed his long-held dream of being a chef in his own cafe. His Wyndham Street Revive Café has survived Covid and is an Auckland healthy-eating institution and has found a large and loyal customer base.

Jeremy Dixon has sold over 200,000 of his cookbooks that are frequently on the New Zealand bestseller lists.

He has a growing fan base of dedicated home cooks who use his cookbooks regularly. Jeremy talks to NZ Booklovers.

Tell us a little about the Revive Café Cookbook 8.

After 4 year break this is the next instalment. It contains more of our amazing salads and hot meals we sell in the cafe. Plus a special breakfast section that will change the way you look at this most important meal of the day.

What are some of your favourite recipes in your new cookbook, and why?

This is like asking who your favourite child is. But I do love the fake fried eggs (which are vegan and around 20c per egg) and so much fun. The salmon like fish pie is creamy delicious. And the Thai green lettuce wraps are great too - so fresh and chewy. Stop me, hold me back! I am about to go through every recipe!!!

What are three tips you would give to any new home cook?

1. Get one really good chefs knife and keep it sharp - this makes cooking so much more enjoyable.

2. Don't get stressed about making things perfect with a recipe. If it does not turn out just rename it (eg. If a curry is too watery just call it a soup).

3. When you are finished taste the dish and ask your self - is there a way I can easily improve this. Eg. Add salt, add some other ingredient or garnish.

What was your routine or process when creating this book?

I love taking a meat or unhealthy item and making a healthy/vegan version. I cook it up at home taking careful note of the exact method and ingredients. I try it, and if good I photograph it there and then and finalise and try to make the recipe as simple as possible.

I then write up the recipe, choose the best photo and try to finalise the page straight away. I then have a fleet of recipe testers who test each recipe to check it is bullet proof. I usually aim for 10 extra recipes per book, so when I am finalising I can cull out any I an not 100% happy with.

What did you enjoy the most about creating your new cookbook?

Some recipes come out amazing and photograph first pop and that is great. But I also get satisfaction from some of the naughtier or harder recipes I have to repeat many times to get them right. It is great when you are struggling to get a recipe bulletproof, and then nail it.

What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?

Going for a run in the park without the “I should be finishing the book” hanging over you.

What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

I am a bit of a business book nerd. I love “Blue Ocean Strategy” which is assisting me redefine my cafe and cookbooks.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

My cafe is still struggling with the aftermath of covid, and the Auckland CBD being half empty and without its usual vibe and traffic numbers. It will come back. But I am working hard to recreate our business model and doing a lot of online meals, nut butters and mueslis which means I can have a greater influence around New Zealand.


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