Cuisine - - ED'S LETTER -

peo­ple who metic­u­lously plans ahead for the fes­tive sea­son? Or does it sneak up on you and catch you by sur­prise ev­ery year? Ei­ther way, we’ve got you cov­ered with ideas and in­spi­ra­tion to help you breeze through the com­ing on­slaught of par­ties, year-end events and fes­tive fam­ily get-to­geth­ers.

But it’s not all about the fast-ap­proach­ing holidays. We’re proud to be part­ner­ing with Con­ver­sa­tioNZ and help­ing to drive an im­por­tant dis­cus­sion around the fu­ture of food and brand NZ. We’ve high­lighted the work they have done so far and the next steps to­wards mak­ing New Zealand food fa­mous on page 41.

At the Cui­sine Good Food Awards, I had the op­por­tu­nity to speak to a room full of our hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try movers and shak­ers about the im­por­tance of defin­ing New Zealand cui­sine. Off the back of that dis­cus­sion, I caught up with chef Neil Perry while he was in town for an ex­clu­sive event at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. I asked him to weigh in (as the man be­hind one of Aus­tralia’s most thriv­ing restau­rant em­pires) on what suc­cess feels like at his level and how we might best tell our own food story and work to our strengths (page 144).

How­ever, back to the im­por­tant busi­ness at hand… Christ­mas is com­ing. You may not be ready to face it yet, but you can’t be in de­nial for much longer. The best part is be­ing able to share great food, drink and con­ver­sa­tion with the peo­ple you love, so we’ve as­sem­bled ev­ery­thing you will need to wow your guests, as well as make your­self a must-have guest at those “bring a plate” events.

We’ve also given you a few chal­lenges to keep things in­ter­est­ing, such as the stun­ning Christ­mas cake dec­o­rated by the team from The Great

New Zealand Birth­day Cake Book on page 44, and those mag­nif­i­cent panna cotta Christ­mas baubles that you can see on our cover.

I’ll be mak­ing th­ese with my un­cle Ron on Chrissie Eve. Be warned – they are not for you if you don’t like a chal­lenge. I’m en­vi­sion­ing some (lots of) good NZ bubbles go­ing down and a kitchen strewn with in­gre­di­ents for ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, but I know it will be a night to re­mem­ber. Why not take up our chal­lenge and have a go at mak­ing your own set of th­ese spec­tac­u­lar and tasty spheres and en­ter our com­pe­ti­tion for New Zealand’s best Christ­mas baubles? In­struc­tions are over the page.

Read on, cook well and have a de­li­ciously safe and stress-free fes­tive sea­son…

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