Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Auckland Food Show

1, August

It's always a pleasure to meet our readers at events like The Auckland Food Show, which we're at until Sunday (come see us for a great subscription offer!). We love hearing about Dish recipes that have become family favourites, and we have a feeling Sarah Tuck's Pancetta and Cheese Tart below might well become one too! 

Apricot and Almond Amaretti (GF)

Soft, chewy and very addictive; these super simple cookies can be flavoured with orange or lemon zest and finely diced dried sour cherries or golden raisins make a great alternative to the apricots.

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Chả Cá - Vietnamese Marinated Fish with Rice Noodles

To celebrate Auckland restaurant month, Cafe Hanoi's head chef presents a rare but iconic Vietnamese dish, bursting with fresh and fragrant flavours.

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Pancetta, Onion and Three Cheese Tart

A tart so rich and delicious, a tiny wedge is enough to totally satisfy.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Janet Frame Memorial Award and NZSA / Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship Call for applications

The Janet Frame Memorial award runs biennially and is for $3,000. It is offered by the NZSA, thanks to a gift from the Janet Frame Literary Trust, to support a mid-career or established writer. This prestigious award is open to authors of poetry, literary or imaginative fiction.

In 2012 the award went to Dunedin novelist, memoirist, and poet Diane Brown.
Deadline: 31 October 2014

The Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship is an annual Fellowship generously donated by Peter Beatson and provides the successful applicant with $7,000 and the choice of a one month stay in the Dianne Beatson Residency at Foxton Beach.
Diane Brown so impressed the two separate judging panels that she was also awarded the Beatson Fellowship in 2013.
The award opens on 4 August and is open to writers of fiction, poetry and drama.
Deadline: 29 September 2014
Both awards are open to members of the New Zealand Society of Authors.  Membership of the New Zealand Society of Authors is open to all budding and established writers. NZSA provides: a mentorship programme, a manuscript assessment programme, manuscript services, contract advice, advocacy and representation for writers, information on the publishing industry, grants and other opportunities, affiliation to international PEN.
 For an application forms and terms & conditions for these awards please download from our website  or email
 Further information:  Please contact


 On 4 August 1914, England declared war on Germany.  On the very same day a new book publisher by the name of George Allen & Unwin Ltd opened for business in London with Stanley Unwin at its head.

He bought an ailing publishing company called George Allen & Company and shrewdly added his name at the end, knowing that most booksellers in those days paid their monthly accounts alphabetically.

So came together the two names that one hundred years later make up today’s Australasian-based Allen & Unwin, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and indeed London.

Today, Allen & Unwin publishes 250 new books each year including literary and commercial fiction, a broad range of general and non-fiction, including New Zealand, academic and professional titles and books for children and young adults.

Allen & Unwin is the ANZ agent for Atlantic Books and Corvus, Bloomsbury and A&C Black, Canongate, Faber & Faber, Granta and Portobello, Icon Books, Nicholas Brealey, Profile and Serpent’s Tail, Short Books, Nosy Crow and V&A.

To celebrate its centenary, the company is producing A Hundred Years of Allen & Unwin, a limited edition hardback gift by chairman Patrick Gallagher and executive director Paul Donovan, for its authors and staff, booksellers, media and friends.

In 1978, Allen & Unwin published its first book in Australia 

A Sri Lankan Pumpkin & Snake Bean Coconut Curry

Posted by William Chen

Kit Perera turns up pumpkin and produces a Sri Lankan curry of amazing flavours. 

800g pumpkin peeled and cut in to bite size pieces
200g snake beans trimmed and cut in to 4cm batons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 onion finely sliced
6-8 curry leaves
1cm piece ginger peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon paprika
400ml light coconut milk
Salt to taste

Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add the onion and curry leaves, stir and cook until onion is lightly brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the spices and cook for further 2-3 minutes, stirring.

Add the pumpkin and coconut milk. Mix well, turn up the heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Turn down the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Add the beans and cook for further 10 minutes. Season with salt.

Serve with steamed basmati rice.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kate Atkinson's Life After Life and Egyptian Pudding

Life After Life and Egyptian Pudding

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Kate Atkinson's Life After Life was made for this blog.  

Never before have I been so spoiled for choices for what to make for bookcooker.  The novel is set in England, from about 1910 to after WWII and includes countless references to very British sounding dishes - roly poly, rose madder, windsor brown, lump cookies, milk fadge, cabinet pudding, picallili, bakewell tart, iced fancy.  The list could go on.  In addition, there is a brief detour in Germany - Pfannkuchen, Schokolade, Palatschniken, Schawrtzwalder kirschtorte.  How could I possibly decide what to make?  

I landed on Egyptian pudding, which I think was the first reference in the book to a fabulous English dessert.  It was Mrs. Glover, the housekeeper to the Todd family makes after the birth of the book's protagonist - Ursula Todd.  The shear volume of interesting British dishes is a result of the novel's unique narrative device - throughout the book Ursula Todd is born, dies and then born again - each time making it a little farther into her life.  

Atkinson starts over and over again, starting the story from the same place - Ursula's birth, and each time some disaester befalls her.  I thought this might bore me (the same stuff over and over again), but it really is a fascinating story every time - a little different every time.  The effect of this unique narrative device was truly dazzling, and the Egyptian Pudding rocked too.


Here in Auckland, we like to eat good food -  oh, yes we do!  To satiate our culinary curiosity and our tastebuds is none other  globally renowned, New York based food writer and critic, Ruth Reichl!

Don't miss out on this very special, one-off evening on Tuesday 26th August 2014, 6.30pm at The Langham Great Room, 83 Symonds St, Auckland

TICKETS: ON SALE NOW at EVENTFINDER, 0800 BUY TIX (289 849). Patrons please book through Festival office 09 376 8074 or email

For more information go to the Auckland Writers Festival website here

In partnership with: NZ Guild of Food Writers and WORD Christchurch Readers and Writers Festival.


30 July 2014





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Posted: 29 July 2014 by David Lebovitz

I finally got to Corsica. I’d heard so much about it. But somehow, I’d never made it there. Corsica is a large island off the Mediterranean coast of France, which has had a rather back-and-forth relationship with France. But the short story is that it was back under French rule in 1796, where it’s firmly (although to some, precariously) remained.

Its most famous resident was – and still is – Napoléon Bonaparte. And the airport in Ajaccio, where we flew into from Paris is named after him. since he was born there.

Our friend who we were rendez-vous-ing with was arriving in the early evening, so we had some time to stroll around the city. We started at the excellent Musée Fesch, named for the uncle of Napoléon, who was a collector of Italian art. The current exhibition featured classic paintings, paired with recent work by Andres Serrano, an artist most famous for submerging a crucifix in pipi.

The photograph of that was the only work in the museum that was protected by Plexiglas and there was an interesting few paragraphs that accompanied it, offering a little explanation, ending with “typical American culture….politically correct.”

When I arrived in France, my second French teacher asked me, “Why are Americans so politically correct?” It’s been over a decade and I’m still not sure I have an answer. (Or, being from San Francisco, know why that is even a question.) But a reader noted that there was an attack on the photo in France as well. So even if it’s not typique, I guess I should be glad to know we share the title, at times, for being PC. Or whatever you want to call it when it comes to religious icons. However perhaps in this case, it’s best to leave the “P” out of it.

Continue Reading Corsica...


BY BEN NEUTZE - Daily Review

I’m not so sure MasterChef has aged well. Shouldn’t we all be a little over the endless optimism and repetitive rhetoric about achieving your dreams? 

I keep expecting Maggie Beer to appear dressed as the Mother Abbess from The Sound of Music to sing Climb Every Mountain.

read more

Monday, July 28, 2014

From soups to spiced-up sweets

Gourmet Traveller

From soups to spiced-up sweets – we’ve got late winter covered. Check out a preview of the recipes in our August issue for a taste.

Plus, we unveil the first batch of finalists in our Restaurant Awards; give you an insider's guide to Dublin; review Sydney's Cho Cho San restaurant; tell you all about Australian vermouth; and give you a chance to win a DéLonghi Slim Panel Heater, one of two Samsung Galaxy S5 phones thanks to Amaysim, or a Le Creuset kitchen pack thanks to the new movie The Hundred Foot Journey.

Happy eating,

Anthea Loucas and the team at Gourmet Traveller

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Best-selling New Zealand “eriginal” food memoir heads for a print edition

With the help of some mouth-watering recipes and sage advice from the Duchess of Windsor – “If you don’t take care you may serve an entire meal pinkish mauve, from lobster bisque to sherbet” – Anne Else’s memoir of her food-entwined life rocketed to five stars and the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s food memoirs’ bestseller list within a few weeks of its release as an ebook original and has stayed there for months. Its publisher, Awa Press, was so impressed it decided to release a print edition. 

In The Colour of Food: A memoir of life, love and dinner, due for paperback release in September, Else writes of her life from childhood to marriage, motherhood and now, in her 60s, forging a community of new friends through her food blog Something Else to Eat. Along the way there’s feminism, divorce and remarriage, finding her birth mother, and the heartbreaking loss of her 18-year-old son Patrick and of her husband, poet Harvey McQueen, who died on Christmas Day 2010.

These tales of love, joy and sadness are seasoned with memories of the food that has enriched her life – from “shin meat stew with plump fleshy pieces of kidney” in her childhood, to Harvey’s “venison and sour cherries in a sauce made with cream, Dijon mustard and the cook’s own home-made crab-apple jelly”, and the “salade composée with good blue cheese, a sliced apple or pear and Waikanae friends’ walnuts strewn over my own rocket” that she eats alone. 

Wellington cook and food writer Lois Daish is one of many who have heaped praise on Else’s memoir. “I love this enchanting book,” she says. “Anne Else’s poignant story shines a light on how food is intertwined with the joys and sorrows of everyday life.” 

Sprinkled with recipes from each era of Anne Else’s life, The Colour of Food is a story that lingers long after the final – printed! – page has been turned.

The Colour of Food: A memoir of love, life and dinner will be released on September 6.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Le Servan

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 - David Lebovitz

Le Servan Paris chocolate caramel tart
I’m not always in agreement with those that say dining out in Paris is expensive. For example, last week I found myself with a rare moment of free time at lunch, and I pinged a neighbor, who unfortunately replied that he was out of town, like the rest of Paris in the summer. So I decided to go to Le Servan by myself, a restaurant I’d been hearing a lot about. And since it’s “hot”, I figured lunch would be the perfect time to go. And I was right. Although it filled after I got there, I managed to get there during the “sweet spot”, and grab a stool at the counter, where I had a terrific lunch for €23, all by my lonesome.

If you think about it, that’s three courses of food made with fresh ingredients, prepared by a highly competent staff. The price includes tax and tip, which in the states, would mean that about one-third of that total would be earmarked for those extras, and the meal itself would cost roughly €15. Yikes. Of course, one often adds a glass of wine – I had a nice Vouvray for €6 – so my meal deal clocked in at €29. But either way, I can’t imagine getting a meal like I had in, say…New York, London, or San Francisco. Because I liked it so much, I went back the next day with Romain.

Unfortunately the next day didn’t start off very well. Like, at all. But as Gloria Gaynor famously said — or sang — “I will survive.” (Although she didn’t sing it in French.) But good food, and wine, heals a lot – although not all – and it was nice to get a particularly bad taste from the morning affairs out of our mouths.

Two glasses of surprisingly inky rosé from the Loire did the trick. They were deeply colored, with the slightly maderized (sherry-like) taste that one often finds in natural wines, which have been left to their own devices.

Continue Reading Le Servan...

Friday, July 25, 2014

French Onion Soup

25, July

Interviewing Sonia and Laurent, owners of French patisserie, Vaniye inspired us to think about the way the French eat. There, desk lunches are an emergency occurence. The French Onion Soup recipe below deserves to be enjoyed over a proper lunch break, so if you can, step away from the computer! 

French Onion Soup

There are few things more comforting on a cold wintery night than a classic French onion soup. This one is lifted with a touch of dry white wine and topped with smoky cheddar cheese croutons.

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Braised Puy Lentils with Mushrooms, Rosemary and Hazelnuts

Kelly Gibney of Bonnie Delicious whole foods blog presents an incredibly rich and savoury lentil dish, perfect for chilly winter nights.

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Steak au Poivre

It sounds so much more elegant in French, but tastes just as good. Beautifully tender steak with a peppery sauce makes for a scrumptious lunch or dinner. 

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