Two dames are down home cooks

Topp Twins launch new cook­book

Havelock North Village Press - - News - BY LINDA HALL

Dame Jools Topp reck­ons New Zealand is full of amaz­ing peo­ple and recipes.

And she should know, af­ter she and her twin sis­ter Dame Lynda toured the coun­try on a culi­nary tour which in­cluded five stops in Hawke’s Bay.

The twins have just re­leased a book ti­tled Topp Coun­try — A Culi­nary Jour­ney which is based on their tele­vi­sion show.

The twins’ per­son­al­i­ties shine through in the pho­to­graphs, the po­ems, the recipes. You’ll grin as you thumb through the pages.

Speak­ing from her home “in the wild on a stormy day,” Jools said their book was not about any one par­tic­u­lar style of cook­ing.

“But it sure isn’t any­thing like flashie MasterChef.

“We are re­ally ex­cited about our book. When we were first asked about do­ing a food show we said ‘do I look like a chef’? But the show and this book is about home cooks, not chefs,” Jools said. “Be­fore we started we asked our mum what she thought we should do on the pro­gramme.

“She said it should be fun, at the end of the show we should be able to cook the dish and that no one should be voted off.

“She said she wanted to watch a fun and happy show, not a stress­ful and sweaty one where peo­ple were wor­ried the en­tire time they were cook­ing that it would be the last time they did it,” Jools said.

“For my mother cook­ing food was all about tak­ing your time and shar­ing. No rush­ing in­volved. Kiwis are good at do­ing that — just look at the way food is served on a marae. First you are wel­comed on to the marae and then you get an amaz­ing feed.

“And these days we want to know where our food comes from. We grew up on a farm so we knew how food hap­pens from an early age. We also knew that our an­i­mals were cared for and re­spected. That’s a big thing these days and it’s an im­por­tant thing.”

Both women are an­i­mal lovers and love to ride.

“I spent ev­ery spare minute on my horse but it’s a priv­i­lege and he has to say ‘yes I’m feel­ing groovy, let’s ride’.”

Jools uses the va­quero style of rid­ing which is a clas­si­cal style of rid­ing and work­ing the horse where the horse is “a big part of the deal”.

The Topp Twins burst onto the scene more than 30 years ago with their coun­try mu­sic and singing com­edy. They had their own tele­vi­sion se­ries in the late 1990’s in­tro­duc­ing clas­sic char­ac­ters such as Camp Mother, Camp Leader and the Kens.

In this year’s Queen’s Birth­day honours, Lynda and Jools were ap­pointed Dames Com­pan­ion of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit for ser­vices to en­ter­tain­ment. This is their first book and it’s bright and full of fun. It fea­tures lo­cal Te Mata Figs, Ter­raza Saf­fron, New Zealand Game Birds, Maka­pua Sta­tion and deer farm­ers Tim Aitken and Lucy Robertshawe.

PHOTO/SUP­PLIED

The Topp Twins, Lynda and Jools.

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