Cutting into publishing with first book
Chef draws inspiration from farm upbringing
When Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett sat down to write his first recipe book he went back to his Waikato farm upbringing for inspiration. ‘‘It’s totally about meat,’’ the owner of Queenstown restaurant Rata told the Mirror while overseas filming the latest series of Masterchef, on which he is a judge. ‘‘It’s about different cuts and being able to use different cuts and the ability to butcher down and use every part of the animal.’’ Cut is a beautifully presented compilation of recipes divided into meat categories. ‘‘It was a long time coming. It came out exactly as I wanted it,’’ Emett said. The genesis of the book goes back to life on the farm, a childhood in rural Waikato, parents with a beef, sheep and maize farm, and an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Emett also had the opportunity to hone his skills with a gun and knife while fishing and hunting before heading overseas to the kitchens of London, New York, Los Angeles and Melbourne. Nowadays he is back in New Zealand and last week opened his new Ostro Restaurant in Auckland’s Britomart. Next week he opens his new Asian-style Queenstown restaurant. ‘‘While my New Zealand farm experience grounded me in what meat offers in terms of flavour, it is my training in modern French food that has heavily influenced my style of preparation and cooking,’’ he said in the introduction to the book. ‘‘ Cut is about upholding the integrity of the products, using them to their full potential, respecting them and giving them the send-off they deserve.’’ There is, he says, something for everyone in the recipes, from Sunday roast chicken to crispy pigs’ tails with Bluff Oysters on toast. With home kill increasing in popularity, there was the opportunity to branch away from standard dishes and use all of the cuts, wasting nothing. ‘‘Secondary cuts, braising cuts, take a lot more work to cook but are more rewarding as well. ‘‘It’s such a nice process and . . . an amazing dish at the end of it.’’ Emett has a range of slow-cooked, up-market, take-home meals.
What: Josh Emett’s first cookbook Cut When: Available from Friday Where: All book stores and Rata, Queenstown Publisher: Random house NZ RRP: $65 Prime cut: Celebrity chef Josh Emett’s
first book is a celebration of meat.