THE GOOD LIFE C
Food is always better when you know what has gone into it, says celebrity chef Michael Van de Elzen. These days Michael is living the eco-friendly life on a West Auckland property bursting with fresh produce
hef and television personality Michael Van de Elzen lives in Waimauku, West Auckland, with his wife Belinda and their daughters Hazel and Ivy. Since moving to the farm in 2015, the family has worked hard to cultivate the land, establishing vege patches and planting an orchard of fruit trees including limes, lemons, oranges, heirloom apples and cider pears.
“We’re keen to be as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to produce,” explains Michael, whose next step is to start composting their food scraps and build worm farms out of four cast iron tubs. The practice of growing their own produce is a huge part of the way the Van de Elzens choose to live sustainably. Michael is proud to be able to create delicious dishes at home with food he has grown himself, knowing that it’s all chemical-free and packed full of nutrients.
Michael’s ‘Good From Scratch’ philosophy is about just that – cooking good, tasty meals from scratch that are guaranteed to be healthy and full of flavour. As he has been a chef all his working life, sitting down for family meals has never been the norm, but now it’s something the Van de Elzens prioritise – having dinner around the table and enjoying quality time together.
Living out west surrounded by bush, beaches and acres of farmland has enhanced the family’s love of the great outdoors too, with so many nature-filled activities available right on their doorstep. “We love giving the girls such a wide open space to play, and we really enjoy the journey of the food that comes with being on a farm,” says Michael. “It’s so different to the inner city, it’s almost like a different country. We can get four seasons in a day and do as many activities just as quickly; take the girls to Little Nippers in Muriwai in the morning, get out on my mountain bike in Woodhill Forest in the afternoon and be back in time to slow-cook something in my brand new outdoor fireplace. It’s a fantastic lifestyle and now we’re out here, we couldn’t imagine anything else.”
MEET + GREET Michael Van de Elzen, TV personality, chef and restaurateur.
Michael Van de Elzen is just as conscious about keeping chemicals out of his house as he is keeping them o his fruit and veges. That’s why he chooses ecostore products, knowing they’re safe for the family and good for the planet too.