Half a life spent in Los Angeles, half in New York City and one of the many champions of the farm-to-table obsessed foodie world, I’m a happy cliché. After years of living and working in an urban jungle, I find exhilaration in things like vegetable gardens, fresh air, old French music and large, peaceful, well-equipped kitchens. Although I live for every trip to the farmers market and neighborhood restaurant opening, my inspiration to cook stems from a little further back.
During a post college, year-long return to Los Angeles, I often found myself alone in a large apartment and empty kitchen. It’s amazing what enough time alone in a kitchen will do. With Whole Foods at my finger tips and the reassuring voice of Ina Garten in the background, cooking became an adventure in my self appointed test kitchen. Successes were quietly celebrated and failures were quietly tossed in the garbage with plans for the next attempt. Like slowly learning a language, I was getting to know myself as a cook. Comforting flavors from childhood resurfaced.
Daughter of a New Zealander, meals consisted of curries, cups of tea, fish fritters, potatoes turned over in oil, cups of tea, lamb, mint sauce and lots of Marmite…and tea. Also the daughter of a New Englander, summers in New Hampshire introduced me to the wonders of the popover, my grandfather’s huge flourishing garden, tomatoes eaten like apples and the taste of fresh peas.
Now, years later, as I juggle a demanding career and time with my friends and animals, I continue learning the language of the kitchen as I recreate food of the past and explore new ideas from the latest Food and Wine magazine. Although I love my zen-like moments alone at the cutting board, my favorite pastime is a good old, straight forward dinner party with close friends and good wine. Oftentimes, dinner is ready much later than anticipated – even on a weeknight – but that just makes us feel European, so that’s OK. With halfkiwi, I’m excited to have a place to document these experiences with all of its successes and (now, not so quiet) failures.
I love challenges. But, in those instances when I don’t have the energy to pick up a chef’s knife, I know one recipe never disappoints – a comfortable chair, toast with butter and Marmite and a nice, strong cup of tea.