A chat with... KELDA HAINS

A star of the Welling­ton food scene, chef and keen gar­dener Kelda Hains has made a name for her­self as the owner of Nikau Café, as well as the re­cently opened res­tau­rant Rita. Now she is shar­ing her se­crets in a new cookbook fea­tur­ing some of her most pop

Food - - Food For Thought -

Q What makes your cookbook dif­fer­ent? I wanted to in­ter­pret well-loved Nikau dishes for the home cook. I’ve given lit­tle tips and tricks from a pro­fes­sional kitchen to help peo­ple ac­cess great but sim­ple flavours. Q Your cook­ing is in­formed by a love of gar­den­ing – what home­grown pro­duce do you love to cook with at this time? In Novem­ber, peas, broad beans and ar­ti­chokes; in De­cem­ber, zuc­chini flow­ers, goose­ber­ries, new potatoes and rasp­ber­ries – so much po­ten­tial. Q What would you say is the key in­gre­di­ent for a truly great Christ­mas? I live in Welling­ton, so a still day is a bless­ing. ‘If you think of it as a fun game, ar ther than an obli­ga­tion, that’s half the bat­tle’ Q Can you share your top tip for get­ting through the fes­tive sea­son calmly? Sim­plic­ity. Pare it back. San­ity for the cook is ev­ery­thing. Q What three in­gre­di­ents can you not do with­out at this time of year? Lamb, fresh goat’s cheese and pre­served lemons. Q What is the one dish you make that is guar­an­teed to please on Christ­mas Day? I do love a sum­mer pud­ding – in my garden, cur­rants and rasp­ber­ries seem to ripen at ex­actly the right time for the 25th. It’s cool and re­fresh­ing, and best made a day ahead, so it is per­fect for Christ­mas Day. Q Can you share tips for us­ing up left­overs? Us­ing what we have on hand is one of the first cri­te­ria we have to con­sider when de­sign­ing a menu at Nikau. It cre­ates in­ter­est­ing de­sign con­straints. If you think of it as a fun game, rather than an obli­ga­tion, that’s half the bat­tle. Q What’s your favourite sum­mer hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion? My back­yard garden. It’s pretty won­der­ful to re­con­nect with home af­ter a crazy busy De­cem­ber at the café.

Nikau Café by Kelda Hains (self pub­lished), $60, will be avail­able in book­stores from mid-novem­ber.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.