ONZM for top cook Annabel Lang­bein

Central Otago Mirror - - FOOD FOR THOUGHT -

JANAN JAY

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.

SUP­PLIED

Annabel Lang­bein is now based at the fam­ily home in Wanaka.

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