Balance and realness the delicious secret
‘‘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.’’
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