The Great New Zealand Cookbook!

I discovered when I was young that if you can cook, people will like you. Being able to cook means you can share something of yourself which doesn’t cost anything. The magic of recipes is that they connect you to the past. Putting duck fat and potatoes together is like dying and going to heaven.

Do you know what I love more than food and wine? That's right, books about food and wine!

I've amassed quite a hefty collection of books from food and wine writers over the years, and along with memoirs, I love nothing better than a beautiful, hardcover cookbook that inspires me to try new dishes and cooking styles, and allows me to pretend that I'm a better cook than I actually am.

So when I learned of The Great New Zealand Cookbook, a spectacular collaboration from 80 cooks, chefs and bakers in New Zealand, I did an internal happy dance of joy. Chefs, cooks, food, recipes, New Zealand - all my favorite things in one 190-recipe, 432-page stunning cookbook! 

(Image copyright © Dick Frizzell)    
This cookbook is like none other, not only because of the amazing collaboration between some of New Zealand's top chefs, but because it also includes handwritten notes from each contributor alongside stunning photography, all shot entirely on location. This book is a tome of New Zealand food and classic Kiwi cuisine from the likes of Al Brown, Dame Alison Holst, Tui Flower, Peter Gordon, Jo Seagar, Fleur Sullivan, Shaun Clouston, Josh Emett, Julie Le Clerc, Simon Gault and many more, each contributing the recipes they make for the people they love.

I love cooking, I love the industry, the food, the produce, the people and the environment. It’s just part of my soul. 

(Image copyright © Dick Frizzell)
The books creator, Murray Thom and Tim Harper, are also the duo behind the very successful Great New Zealand Songbook. Thom says, “Travelling the length and breadth of New Zealand made us realise afresh just how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful country. We battled storms and road closures but any inconvenience was completely eclipsed by many serendipitous moments, such as the tranquility of whitebaiting at dawn or the solitude of hunting in the bush at sunset.”

Johnny Clark and Murray Thom on location at Nins Bin, Kaikoura
(Image copyright © Lottie Hedley.)    
Alongside photographer Lottie Hedley and videographer Hayley Thom, Thom and Harper travelled for nine months to capture the flavours of New Zealand. “It was an honour to meet such hard-working, dedicated people whose greatest joy is to share their food, prepared with passion and commitment and served with such love and care,” says Thom. “From oyster fishing in Bluff and deer hunting in Mourea to fish and chips on the wharf in Mangonui, everywhere we went we were met with huge generosity and warmth and we were welcomed onto boats and into restaurants, cafés and family homes.”

For me, Kiwi food is fresh, honest food cooked in a simple way and enjoyed in a relaxed environment – it’s unpretentious.

If you've ever lived or traveled New Zealand, consider yourself an honorary-Kiwi like I do, want to know more about Kiwi cuisine, or simply love cooking, this is definitely one cookbook you want to have in your kitchen -  and I'm definitely not being paid to say that. Check out some of the beautifully-pictures recipes featured in the book below. I couldn't think of a better Christmas present right now!

Rod & Johnny Clark's Crayfish on the BBQ
The Great New Zealand Cookbook copyright © Lottie Hedley 
Al Brown's Mum's Ginger Crunch
From The Great New Zealand Cookbook copyright © Lottie Hedley    
Brenton Low's TiramisuThe Great New Zealand Cookbook copyright © Lottie Hedley    
Jonny Schwass's BBQ Pulled Pork
The Great New Zealand Cookbook copyright © Lottie Hedley 

*The Great New Zealand Cookbook is available in NZ where all good books are sold. $49.95
** For international buyers, go to the website here and click on the 'Don't live in New Zealand?' link at the bottom of the homepage, which will take you to where you can order a copy from their distribution partner.


  1. I always flip through cookbooks and salivate. This cookbook will make a great Christmas gift for someone who loves to cook.


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