A Word With...: TV chef and judge Na­dia Lim.

The TV Guide - - CONTENTS -

For­mer Mas­terChef New Zea­land win­ner and nutri­tion­ist Na­dia Lim is ner­vous about her My Kitchen Rules New Zea­land de­but as guest judge in the fi­nal of the home-cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion which airs this week. Af­ter dream­ing up a whole­some food vi­sion aged just 12, two decades on she has co-founded the healthy-eat­ing move­ment My Food Bag, pub­lished sev­eral recipe books, and this year had her sec­ond child. She tells Cass Mar­rett about her plans for the fu­ture and re­veals the TV chef she once had a crush on.

What do you bring to the table as a guest judge?

There are four of these judges so they’re more restau­rant-based chefs. Ray McVin­nie, he’s more of a food writer and food his­to­rian so he brings that, whereas Si­mon Wright you’ve got one of the best chefs like in the his­tory of New Zea­land and then Tom His­hon, he’s much younger and he’s cre­ative and he’s just in­cred­i­bly tal­ented too and he pushes the boat out with what he pro­duces. I’m much more a home cook, of course. I’ve never had a restau­rant and my style is much more sim­ple I guess, more homestyle-based and I al­ways look out for, kind of, bold fresh flavours. I’m very into fresh food. I’m not so much into fancy food but I do love it when there is per­son­al­ity and story be­hind the food as well, like it’s got to be about the jour­ney be­hind the plate as well as what is on the plate.

If you were on MKR your­self, what would your in­stant restau­rant theme be?

It would be food from the ground, sea and sky, which is part of my nude food phi­los­o­phy.

Do you throw din­ner par­ties of­ten?

I do. We love en­ter­tain­ing. But we keep it very ca­sual. I just hosted an Ital­ian long lunch be­cause it was such a nice sunny

day and I kind of get all my friends to con­trib­ute a bit as well. I’ll say, ‘Can some­body get re­ally amaz­ing toma­toes?’ and ev­ery­one brings one thing. Some bring wine around. I’ll do most of the cook­ing and the main course and add ev­ery­one’s lit­tle bits and pieces. It’s good fun. But keep­ing it nice, sim­ple, ca­sual and light-hearted is al­ways good, (as is) be­ing pre­pared in ad­vance.

Did hav­ing your own fam­ily in­flu­ence what you were do­ing with food?

Def­i­nitely. I think my recipes in gen­eral have be­come even sim­pler and faster and more kid-friendly and, yeah, just a lot of fam­ily-style recipes. There’s not so much time avail­able now to leisurely wan­der around the kitchen and go, ‘Oh I won­der what I should make’.

Does your son (two-year-old Bo­hdi) help in the kitchen?

All the time. He loves it. I reckon about 50 per cent of his vo­cab­u­lary is food-re­lated. He’s quite ob­sessed with food which is cool to see. I guess I’m kind of not sur­prised be­cause he’s around it all the time but he’s got a nat­u­ral knack. He can smell a jar of cin­na­mon and say, ‘That’s cin­na­mon!’ or he can smell vanilla and go, ‘That’s vanilla’. He’s only two. He goes around the gar­den and picks bits of spinach and just eats it.

What’s some­thing peo­ple don’t know about you?

Prob­a­bly lots of things. I’m not very in­ter­est­ing. I was a com­pet­i­tive swim­mer – peo­ple won’t know that. Also I got to brown belt in aikido which is a Ja­panese mar­tial art. And my hus­band has al­ways said I’m a very good par­al­lel parker.

I heard that Jamie Oliver was a hero of yours?

Oh yeah. You could prob­a­bly say that if it wasn’t for Jamie, I might not be do­ing what I’m do­ing to­day. He to­tally in­spired me when I was 12 and I did think at the time that we’d end up get­ting mar­ried and writ­ing cook­books to­gether. But that plan ob­vi­ously didn’t work out.

I think I know the an­swer to this ques­tion, but if you could have din­ner with one chef, who would it be?

Yeah you know the an­swer. What would I cook for him? It would have to be some­thing re­ally fun, and we’d do big shar­ing plat­ters and we’d just ca­su­ally eat out­side like on the deck. It wouldn’t be any­thing too fancy.

Do you feel you’ve ac­com­plished all that you wanted to or is there more to come?

Oh there’s more to come. I don’t even feel like I’ve even started. I feel with the likes of My Food Bag and recipe books I’ve helped to get lots more Ki­wis in the kitchen cook­ing a lot more which is awe­some be­cause I be­lieve that if ev­ery kid can cook then our health and hap­pi­ness is go­ing to be so much bet­ter for it, so I’d love to start look­ing at the next phase. The next phase, I guess, will be mov­ing more into look­ing at that jour­ney be­hind the plate. We’ve got some farm­land down south so I’d love to move down to the farm and per­haps ex­plore food pro­duc­tion as well.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.