About the blog:
Using each week’s episode of The Great Kiwi Bake Off as a topic guide, I’ll share what I’ve learned from my deep dives into the history of specific bakes and culinary traditions in New Zealand.
I’ll attempt some of the classic recipes (think “Technical”) as well as reinterpret them based on my own background and experiences (think “Signature”), and I’ll share full details of those experiments. I’m not sure if I’m up for timing myself, we’ll see have to see how things go.
I’ve been able to access some fantastic resources dating back to the 1800s in New Zealand and, of course, the people within my community have been very generous in sharing their stories and recollections of Kiwi culinary traditions from their own lives.
I am not a foodie.
I am passionate about food, yes. But, for me, food is about inclusion, not exclusion. It’s about bringing people together, not giving them another reason to be more divided, because we ALL eat. It is a grand unifier. What we eat – either by choice or necessity – reflects our environment, our culture, our upbringing, and how we integrate new experiences. Sharing food is sharing some or all of those aspects of identity with another person; it’s a form of intimacy and can be a lot of fun. It’s also a great way to learn about a culture not your own.
I am not a baker or a pastry chef.
I am a trained chef and I’ve spent the last decade working in professional kitchens, in a variety of different roles, in a variety of different places, which means I can make an enriched dough or a pie or even produce a decent sourdough. I’m not great with the super fiddly stuff, like sugar work or cake decorating, but graded against avid home bakers, I’d say I’m probably in the top 50% thanks to my training and experience. Graded against professional pastry chefs on the other hand….
Beyond the kitchen:
I’m an adult Third Culture Kid, meaning I was born and raised in cultures not my own. Now as an adult, I’ve continued the expat lifestyle I was raised in. A recent tally I did for a friend revealed that in 35 years, I’ve moved 20 times – sometimes to a new house in the same area, sometimes to a new continent, but always involving lots and lots of boxes and all the fun bureaucracy that comes with moving.
When I’m not making food, reading about food, or writing about food, I love to be outdoors – which makes NZ a great choice for me – and I love to knit – another area in which New Zealand excels. Sometimes, I even knit outdoors.
So that’s me in a nutshell. Welcome to The Great Kiwi Baking Blog.