Cut­ting into pub­lish­ing with first book

Chef draws in­spi­ra­tion from farm up­bring­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

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.

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