Recipes from the neighbourhood
Keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer were the motivators for Neighbourhood Eats ,a fundraising cookbook for Napier Central School.
An offshoot of the PTA came up with the idea when they realised that to manage major solar heating and repair work on the school pool, they would need to make a lot more money than they normally do from the usual school fundraisers, says Napier Central School PTA and Neighbourhood Eats committee member Rebecca Moses.
“Four of us enthusiastically and somewhat naively put up our hands for the project.”
With zero experience in this area, the team has overseen every aspect of the book — from the initial concept to the final result.
This involved collecting and collating recipes from the community, formatting and editing these, graphic design (along with professional designer Annaleise Wyatt), coordinating an army of bakers and cooks from the NCS community to deliver and collect food on numerous photo shoots. They taste tested every single one of the 275 recipes and determined that they were foolproof, they worked with photographer Florence Charvin, and with website designer and school mum Kathryn McGarvey, and worked on marketing and PR with school mum Sarah Nash.
“There was a massive sponsorship drive to ensure that printing costs were covered so that 100 per cent of the profits from the sale of Neighbourhood Eats would go to the school.
“We had lots of help from the community along the way in terms of practical help and sponsorship,” Rebecca says.
The concept behind the book was to come up with something that could stand alongside any professionally produced cookbook, and ultimately be the kind of cookbook that home cooks could go back to again and again, as well as being a beautiful addition to any coffee table.
“It had to look stunning and be full of beautiful photographs.
“Initially we thought we would include a selection of the recipes offered by the community, but we soon realised that a book that referenced every family would be an incredible snapshot of our moment in time at Napier Central School.
“It was a mammoth job, but eventually we managed to get a different recipe from almost every family in the school, with 98 per cent of families being represented and 100 per cent of families who chose to be involved represented in the book. We are really proud of this,” Rebecca says.
They asked for recipes that showcased the heritage of their school families and if possible an accompanying story to give that recipe a bit more depth and added interest.
“We ended up discovering the families at our school are far more diverse than we could have ever imagined.
“We have 275 incredible recipes from as far afield as Germany, Greece, France, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, England, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, South Africa, Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, India, Thailand, Iraq, Jordan, America, Mexico, Samoa, Australia — and Aotearoa is there too with a delicious, traditional recipe for Ma¯ ori Fry Bread among many, many others.
“We were astounded at the range of recipes that came our way and there were so many great ones that the book kept getting bigger and bigger.”
Several celebrities were also invited to supply recipes — Neighbourhood Eats also includes some from internationally renowned kiwi chef Peter Gordon, Wellington-based celebrity chef Martin Bosley, former NCS student and international D.J Baynk, professional boxer Joseph Parker and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“Our motto was ‘ask and ye shall receive’ and it really worked.”
■ The cookbook can be purchased online at neighbourhoodeats.co.nz for $45.
Neighbourhood Eats — recipes from the Napier Central School community, with photography by Florence Charvin