Bal­ance and re­al­ness the de­li­cious se­cret

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

‘‘Sorry I’m run­ning late, I was just wait­ing for my Ferg­burger.’’

Th­ese words don’t come from a star-struck tourist or a vis­it­ing rugby player, this is Chelsea Win­ter talk­ing – 2012 Masterchef win­ner and cook book writer.

‘‘I just love a good burger,’’ she ex­plains.

‘‘A burger done well is a thing of beauty to me.’’

Caught off guard I ask her what she or­dered.

‘‘A South­ern Swine – the in­gre­di­ents are amaz­ing and I’m so hun­gry.’’

This was not what I was ex­pect­ing in th­ese days of fad di­ets and healthy eat­ing but I should not have been sur­prised.

Win­ter, who is ex­tremely thin by the way, makes no se­cret of her love of but­ter, pasta, cheese and, what she calls, ‘‘real’’ food.

And if there is any doubt about her ‘‘re­al­ness’’ here is the in­tro­duc­tion to her just re­leased sec­ond recipe book, Every­day De­li­cious:

‘‘Well, blow me down. Here I sit almost a year after the launch of my first cook­book, At My Ta­ble, and I’ve just fin­ished writ­ing another. Hot damn if I’m not the hap­pi­est cook in New Zealand right now.’’

Win­ter was in Queen­stown last week as part of a na­tion­wide tour pro­mot­ing Every­day De­li­cious and was pre­par­ing to cook be­fore 170 keen spec­ta­tors at Mill­brook where the chefs were pre­par­ing her recipes for canapes.

‘‘I feel pretty spe­cial,’’ she said be­fore hand. Since win­ning New Zealand tele­vi­sion’s hottest cook­ing show the for­mer mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive has now de­voted her life to cook­ing and writ­ing cook books. She has part­ner­ships with some key brands – Beef + Lamb New Zealand was one, Kim Craw­ford is on the list, and she writes a col­umn for Woman’s Day.

The se­cret to her pop­u­lar­ity, she be­lieves, is that her books speak to every­day New Zealan­ders and the recipes work for kids, blokes and the fam­ily chef.

‘‘I use in­gre­di­ents that are ac­ces­si­ble. Peo­ple need to be able to get things from the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket. But I make sure the meal I cre­ate with those in­gre­di­ents is spe­cial. The recipes are beau­ti­ful food that peo­ple en­joy eat­ing.’’

The book has only been avail­able this month but read­ers’ favourites are al­ready emerg­ing.

The se­cret to cook­ing and eat­ing such del­i­ca­cies and stay­ing so thin is lead­ing a bal­anced life, she says.

‘‘I’m run­ning around so much th­ese days I don’t need to do my usual things like run­ning and go­ing to the gym. [The food] needs to be bal­anced out with lots of veges – not that sug­ary crap and aw­ful muesli bars they trick you into buy­ing at the su­per­mar­ket. I have this phi­los­o­phy of more real, less re­fined.

‘‘It’s not a rule. It’s a way of liv­ing.’’

Photo: KOKO AWAYA/SUP­PLIED

Cook­ing: Masterchef 2012 win­ner Chelsea Win­ter shows off in the kitchen be­fore fans at Mill­brook last week. What: Every­day De­li­cious, by Chelsea Win­ter Pub­lished by: Ran­dom House NZ RRP: $49.99

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