ONZM for top cook Annabel Langbein
Celebrity cook Annabel Langbein is to be made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services as a food writer.
Langbein says that receiving the honour is a surprise, and that she’s both thrilled and humbled.
‘‘I’ve always really believed in this idea that food’s the ultimate connector,’’ she says.
‘‘It connects us to nature, the world around us, friends and family. To our own culture and other cultures. You make friends around the table, have fun and do good business.
‘‘It’s the thread that joins life together. Having this as an acknowledgement is a real endorsement of that whole idea.’’
Celebrations will likely involve a bottle of Central Otago pinot noir with her husband, and eating food from the garden, she adds.
Langbein, who was born in Mangakino near Lake Taupo and grew up in Wellington, is a largely self-taught cook. She has also attended residential cooking courses at the New York’s Culinary Institute of America and holds a Diploma of Horticulture with Distinction from Lincoln University.
Since 1984, Langbein has written for several magazines, including NZ Life & Leisure, NZ Listener and Cuisine. She has also built one of the country’s most successful publishing and media houses, Annabel Langbein Media. Her empire started with her first selfpublished book, Annabel Langbein’s Cookbook: Featuring Recipes from the New Zealand Listener, in 1988.
To date, Langbein has authored and self-published 26 cookbooks, including New Zealand’s most-bought book of 2010. The Free Range Cook sold 111,621 copies - more than double that of the second biggest seller, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Langbein is also a TV and radio personality. She was scouted by UK-based Fremantle Media, which approached her in 2008 to front her own show after she posted a series of how-to videos on YouTube to promote her book Eat Fresh.
The 13-part TV series, titled Annabel Langbein: The Free Range Cook, debuted on TV One in August 2010. In total, she has presented and co-produced three seasons. Other notable TV appearances include on America’s Today Show.
Annabel Langbein is now based at the family home in Wanaka.