In the last few decades New Zealand cuisine has undergone a major renaissance. Drawing on influences from the many different cultures that make up the local population, including indigenous Maori cuisine, New Zealand’s dining culture has emerged innovative and sophisticated.
Part of New Zealand’s secret lies in its fortuitous geography. The diverse landscape means that an unusually wide variety of ingredients can be grown here – so the majority of produce is locally grown, as fresh as you please and available to every cook! Add to that 15,000 kilometres of coastline teeming with fish and shellfish and you have the recipe for a local cuisine that’s pretty special. Kiwis love to celebrate this fact with a myriad of wine and food festivals from one end of the country to the other.
Multicultural influences and a wide selection of ingredients to draw on make New Zealand a very natural home for the fusion approach to cooking. Blending flavours from around the Pacific Rim, this vibrant style is internationally popular and trend-setting Kiwi chefs such as Peter Gordon have played an important role in its development. While in New Zealand, visitors can follow in the footsteps of other great Kiwi chefs. The country offers a range of food and wine tours, factory/farm visits and cooking schools, while best-selling cookbooks are a great way to take a slice of New Zealand home. Look out for books by celebrity chefs such as Jo Seagar, Peter Gordon, Annabel Langbein, Alison Holst or Al Brown and Steve Logan of the TV series Hunger for the Wild. For a typical Kiwiana item, found in virtually every Kiwi kitchen, grab a copy of the Edmonds Cookery Book – it’s full of classic Kiwi recipes like Anzac Biscuits and Pavlova!