Waikato

Bay of Plenty Times - - Food Bite - Taste Waikato.

Ro­tary world­wide is known for its phi­lan­thropy. But the money to as­sist good causes in­volves fundrais­ing. In Au­gust last year Ro­tary Cam­bridge had a fundrais­ing brain­storm­ing ses­sion.

A cook­book was mooted. They ap­proached ‘moi’ — a mem­ber — and I sug­gested they pub­lish a book show­cas­ing the boun­ti­ful Waikato from the Coro­man­del to south of Taupo.

Who con­tributed to the book?

We presold the book to grow­ers and pro­duc­ers, all of whom have amaz­ing prod­ucts.

We in­ter­viewed most of them per­son­ally and my hus­band wrote in­ter­est­ing lit­tle sto­ries about them to­gether with en­ter­tain­ing in­tros that back­ground their prod­ucts. I de­vel­oped the recipes and did the food styling and pho­tog­ra­phy.

How long was it in the mak­ing?

For var­i­ous rea­sons, we re­ally couldn’t start un­til the be­gin­ning of this year. It took seven months of long hours but we man­aged to make the pub­lish­ing dead­line. Slow-cooked lamb, beef or pork — with Asian or Mid­dle Eastern flavours. It would have been An­thony Bour­dain but un­for­tu­nately he is no longer with us. I in­ter­viewed him a cou­ple of years ago and love his ex­cel­lent writ­ing style. My menu would have in­cluded my ver­sion of Thai fish with all the trim­mings.

Tripe, plus deep-fried foods that have been cooked in over-used oil.

Seafood. Cooked as a sim­ple pan-fry or com­bined with Asian flavours. How­ever, salmon poached in red wine is also a favourite. At least three types of cheese, hoisin

New Zealand ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, canned an­chovies, flaky sea salt.

■ I’m mar­ried to a mir­a­cle man. Michael sur­vived se­ri­ous stom­ach can­cer in 2006 and two years ago suf­fered four strokes leav­ing him with im­paired eye­sight, prosopag­nosia (face blind­ness) and ab­so­lute ex­haus­tion. Yet he wrote the in­ter­views and in­tros for Amaz­ing how the brain can heal and de­velop if you push it. So proud of him.

■ I re­ally wanted to be a fash­ion de­signer but, due to un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances, I didn’t be­come a ‘Trelise Cooper’.

■ I get great sat­is­fac­tion from mow­ing the lawns.

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