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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The RNZ cookbook, edited by David Cohen and Kathy Paterson


This gorgeous new cookbook is filled with 180 recipes from New Zealand’s best-known chefs and food writers who have shared a recipe with listeners on RNZ over the years.


It’s a Who’s Who of our culinary world and includes, amongst many others, Julie Le Clerc, Nadia Lim, Peter Gordon, Al Brown, Jo Seagar and Monique Fiso.


Afternoons host, Jessie Mulligan, an enthusiastic foodie himself, wrote the witty introduction in which he divulges who his favourite chef is.


The chapters are artfully arranged to match the day on air with RNZ and have us covered for every meal of the day while we listen to Morning Report, Nine to Noon, Midday Report and Nights.

At the back is a brief history of the RNZ followed by a quirky timeline of NZ food history, from 1769 when Captain James Cook arrived right up to the 2020 five-week national lockdown when so many of us embraced baking that there was a flour shortage.


Editors David Cohen and Kathy Paterson had the herculean task of choosing 180 recipes from more than 3000 on the RNZ website. They decided to focus on choosing the kind of healthy, easy and seasonal recipes we like to cook right now and to also reflect our multicultural society.


They chose well. By the time I got to the end of the book I had run out of sticky notes to mark the recipes I wanted to try. So it was off to the kitchen. First I turned on my little Sony Radio, tuned to RNZ. I always listen while I work, you could say I’m addicted to it!


First up: Laura Vincent’s breakfast apple crumble, an ingenious recipe made entirely in a frying pan! A very quick and tasty way to assuage those early morning hunger pangs!


To go with a morning tea cuppa I baked Niki Bezzant’s peanut butter and chocolate cookies. With only 5 ingredients these are child’s play to make and a godsend to share with gluten-free visitors.


For lunch it was Veronique Sauzeau’s savoury clafoutis, her twist on that famous baked French pancake. She was the head chef at the French Embassy at the time. It is an excellent way to use up any vegetables lurking in the fridge drawer, and the absence of cheese makes it superlight. This is a keeper.


For dinner I chose Martin Bosley’s Warm Salad of asparagus with new season potatoes, hazelnuts, and poached egg. I have already earmarked this light and scrumptious vegetarian dish as a favourite for our summer barbecues. For meat eaters you could easily serve Sachie Nomura’s quick to prepare teriyaki chicken alongside.


Strawberries are back! So for a decadent and delicious dessert I couldn’t resist making Nicola Galloway’s recipe for 15 minute summer tiramisu (the main ingredients are strawberries, Prosecco/sparkling wine, whipped cream, yoghurt and Italian sponge fingers). It is divine and would make a perfect and almost effortless Christmas dessert.


There are so many reasons to love this book!


The recipes are straightforward and the ingredients are readily available.


As they were created by our well known chefs and food writers we may trust them to be both special and reliable.


And the paper quality, and lovely little line drawings scattered throughout, have made it a beautiful book. It would make a very special gift for anyone who loves to cook.


Reviewer: Lyn Potter

Massey University Press

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