Prior to embarking on my career as a tattooist and artist I worked as a successful chef for numerous years. This all started from a very young age by watching my mother Wendy create not only art with pottery and numerous other objects, but I witnessed her creativity with food and my father Angus’s obsession with the BBQ and so these shared influences would become the starting blocks to my fun filled and passionate journey into the Kiwi love for great food and feasting Mum used New Zealand’s abundant and outstanding fresh produce either bought or caught by the family locally.

This stirred a passion in me in my early years and I knew that I wished to become an accomplished chef once completing high school. I began the introduction to my cheffing career at the well known New Zealand Bakery “Oslers” where I worked as a junior pastry chef, fresh out of high school. After a year in the bakery I decided to join the Royal New Zealand Navy where I became a highly qualified chef while also extensively traveling the world. During my service I worked at New Zealand’s Government house where I was the chef for the Governor General, this included cooking for the Queen and Prince Phillip in the late eighties for their New Zealand tour. I then moved to Australia in 1991 where I worked at several leading Gold Coast hotels/resorts including The Marriott, Royal Pines and The Sheraton. Although I have now become a successful Artist and Tattooist, since retiring from cheffing. I still passionately enjoy cooking creatively and throwing dinner parties..Here are some of my all time favorite, easy and tasty recipes for you to enjoy… Dig in, eat, drink and be merry!

Cauliflower & Coconut Soup with Coriander

1 Head of Cauliflower1 brown onion1 can coconut creamfreshly chopped coriandersalt & pepper to taste

Roughly chop cauliflower and onion, sauté with butter until soft, but without colour. Add water and coconut cream until just covered. Simmer gently for approx. 15 minutes. Blend, adjust consistency with cream and water. Season with salt pepper then add coriander. Friends Ive made this easy and gorgeous soup for RAVE about it so try it out!

Char grilled Crayfish with Garlic Parsley Butter

Here is a ripper kiwi one for the BBQ that’s easy, tasty, and looks a million bucks. Place 1 handful parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 5 cloves of garlic, 250 grams of softened unsalted butter into food processor and pulse until well blended.(or just mash together.)

Now cut 4 large, fresh crayfish in half lengthways with a sharp knife. Brush with olive oil then grill flesh side down on a super hot char grill for about a minute or so to seal it and get some nice grill stripes…, then, flip them over and turn the heat way down to low and let gently cook for approx 5 minutes frequently brushing with garlic parsley butter. Serve with a drizzle of remaining butter and lemon wedges…., yum yum, I’m hungry!!

Char grilled Nectarines

Take 4 nectarines halved and stoned, brush with runny honey and char grill cut side down for approx 5 mins. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Another great one is grilled bananas, not on a grill but on a hot plate, just spit them long ways, leave the skin on and grill them flesh side down with a little butter until golden, flip them over, sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar and serve hot with ice cream.

Chicken Picatta

1 chicken breast cut on the diagonal into thin escallops, dust with seasoned flour, dip into a mixture of 3 beaten eggs, 100mls thickened cream, 6 tbls powdered parmesan cheese, freshly chopped garlic chives and parsley. Season with cracked black pepper.

Shallow fry in a hot pan with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil.

Serve on tossed masculine lettuce topped with finely chopped sun dried tomatoes, anchovies oil and torn basil leaves

Balinese Chicken Salad

Get 4 roughly chopped chicken thighs, put into hot pan with sesame oil until nearly cooked, add 4 tblspns of a high quality Asian sate sauce, preferably Malaysian (you don’t want a sate sauce that is too peanutty)

meanwhile toss one clean and torn butter crunch lettuce with sliced tomato, avocado, carrot battens, snow peas, thinly sliced lime flesh (and any other goodies you may like…), chopped coriander and 1 packet ” Mr Wangs” pre cooked crispy noodles.

Add hot chicken to salad, toss with cracked pepper and a few splashes of Thai fish sauce. Awesome for a tasty fresh summer lunch.

Blackened Cajun Salmon

Take a whole side of Atlantic salmon (other fish can be used e.g. tuna, snapper, mackerel) rub with olive oil then dust heavily with Cajun spices.throw onto a hot, oiled and salted grill plate, cook for approx 4 mins each side depending on fillet thickness (salmon/ tuna should be served `rose’ or medium)

serve on a bed of rocket lettuce sprinkled with citrus juices, top with sliced char-grilled capsicum and onion pieces and then dressing…

Dressing – sour cream with chopped garlic, parsley, mint and splash of white wine and splash over the fish as it cools.

Calamari with garlic, anchovies & parmesan Aioli

Sauce:

Make or buy 1 litre of whole egg mayonnaise, add to a food processor one tablespoon of fresh chopped garlic, parsley and anchovy filets, depitted black olives, four heaped table spoons of powdered parmesan cheese, the juice and rind of two medium sized lemons and a splash wine and a splash of oil out of anchovies.

Calamari

Take 4 squid tubes, and peel off outer membrane.You can cut them into rings or slide a knife gently inside, cut along one edge to open the squid tube. Lye flat with inside of tube facing up. Gently score in a criss cross fashion with a sharp knife, taking care not to cut all the way through. Now cut into 3cm strips. Soak strips in milk with 1 crushed kiwi fruit, garlic and oil. Soak/marinate for 2 hours. (the kiwi fruit won’t flavour the squid, it will only help tenderize it,by the way Kiwifruit can also be used in other marinades to tenderize any meat that is high in protein e.g. lamb, beef.)

Drain squid strips, remove excess moisture. coat in mixture of equal amounts of seasoned plain flour and cornflour. Either deep or shallow fry in very hot oil for approx 20 – 30 seconds. Season and serve with the above dipping sauce. If you get this dressing/dipping sauce down you’ll love it and want it on anything and everything!!

Chinese Peasant Chicken & Vegetable Soup with Ginger

Take 3 chicken thighs, remove skin and discard, remove bones and set aside. Chop meat into bite size pieces, roughly chop; 1 onion, 1 carrot, broccoli, red chilli, celery, Chinese mushrooms (optional)

Sauté vegies in sesame oil with chicken and a small handful of finely sliced root ginger. sauté without colour for approx 15mins. Cover with water or chicken stock, simmer until cooked. add roughly chopped coriander and season with pepper & Asian fish sauce (this supplies the salt)

The aroma should be of heavy ginger.

Chowder in Sour Dough loaf

Poach approx 500grams marinara mix of your choice (bought or freshly made) in approx 1.5 Ltrs water with peppercorns, bay leaves and parsley storks. Until just cooked. Drain and set aside liquid (stock), lightly season seafood with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile melt 150 grams butter in thick bottom pot. Then add equal amount plain flour, stir vigorously while slowly adding stock (liquid) from poached seafood. keep on a low heat and adjust consistency with stock until sauce-like thickness, season and add seafood, small handful of chopped parsley, approx 100mls thickened cream and a splash of white wine.

Meanwhile cut the top off small sourdough loaf (creating a lid) tear out inside soft bread, leaving the crusty outer shell (you may like to use the excess bread to make croutons). Pour seafood mix into bread and serve.

Crab Lasagne

This dish is a little hard to put together but is a great meal with a lovely wine to match

Ingredients

600g crab meat, 60g butter, 1/3 cup flour, 2 cups milk, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, Salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 diced onion, 1 clove garlic crushed, 800g can whole peeled tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp freshly chopped basil, 1 tsp Italian parsley, 1 teaspoon oregano, Instant Lasagne sheets

Tomato Cream Sauce Ingredients

1 litre fish stock, 120 ml white wine, 800 ml cream, 3 tsp tomato paste

METHOD

Melt 60g butter and stir in 1/3 cup flour, cook 1 min. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in 2 cups warmed milk. Stir over low heat until mixture boils and thickens. Add a splash of white wine. Boil constantly for 1 min. Set aside and cool for 5 mins. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and season. Heat oil in saucepan and cook 1 diced onion and 1 clove crushed garlic over medium heat until soft. Add 1x 800g can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and mashed. Simmer 20 mins. Add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp freshly chopped basil, Italian parsley and oregano. Season. Stir 2 tbsp white sauce through 600g crab meat. Spread thin layer of tomato sauce over bottom of ovenproof dish, top with instant lasagne sheets, crab mixture and white sauce. Repeat layers, ending with white sauce. Bake 180C for 30mins. Spoon Tomato Cream Sauce over to serve.

TOMATO CREAM SAUCE – METHOD

Combine 1 litre fish stock and 120ml white wine in a pan and boil to reduce to a glaze. Add 800ml cream and reduce to a sauce. Whisk in 3 tsp tomato paste and season.

Crayfish Curry

If your a seafood lover you gotta try to whip this up!! Wash 2 medium crayfish well and cut in half, lengthways, seal them on a hot grill. Meanwhile, soak 40 grams of dried chillies in a small amount of warm water to soften.

Now blend chillies, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 5 garlic cloves, 4 x 2.5cm pieces of fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 onion. Soak 25 grams of tamarind in 1 cup warm water. Heat 5 tablespoons of oil in a cooking pot and add spice paste, let this cook on low heat for 15 mins constantly stirring. If it sticks to the pan add 1/4 cup water. Now add 2 1/2 cups coconut milk and gently simmer on a very low heat for 10 mins. Add Crayfish and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook for 8 to 10 mins. Add the tamarind water and another 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and immediately bring to the boil and serve.Garnish with finely chopped mild red chillies and lots of fresh coriander, serve with rice.Bloody yummo!

Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

Place 6 chopped spring onions, 200grams blue cheese, 300ml sour cream and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce in a food processor, blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins to allow flavours to blend. Serve chilled.

Crispy Balsamic Duck

Put 5 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar into a shallow dish, just large enough to fit 4 duck breasts. Add the duck breasts, skin side up, cover and marinade for 20 mins at room temp. Roast in a 200C oven skin side down and cook approx 5 mins until crispy, turn breasts and leave in oven for a further 8 – 10 mins. Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 mins. Then cut into thin slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to serve hot. And top with caramelized onions, carrots etc, fantastic winter dish!!

Frozen Chocolate Decadence

Place 1/2 cup double whipping cream in a saucepan and bring to boil, remove from heat, add 310grms dark melted chocolate and stir until a thick paste is formed. Let this mixture cool.

Meanwhile Whisk 5 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and finely grated zest of 1 orange, until light and creamy.

Place 1 cup milk in a saucepan and bring to boil. Whisk the boiled milk into the egg yolk mixture. Continue whisking until all ingredients are combined, let this mixture cool.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the milk and egg yolk mix. When this is all cooled, fold in 1 1/2 cups lightly whipped double cream and 2 tablespoons of Drambuie (Liqueur).

Freeze overnight and serve in small scoops.

Gelato

Place 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup orange juice, juice and finely grated zest from 1 lemon and 2 cups water in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Boil mixture, uncovered, for 8 mins. Let it cool. When the mixture is cold. pour into a large tray and freeze for 24 hrs.

In a large bowl, whisk 3 egg whites and 1/2 cup icing sugar until they form stiff peaks. Remove the frozen ice and brake up into fine pieces and add it to the egg whites. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour mix back into large tray and freeze again for 24 hours before serving.

Grill Roast Cinnamon Rum Bananas

Cut 4 large bananas on the diagonal into 2.5 cm slices. Toss banana slices in a mix of juice of 1 lime, 1tablespoon dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons dark rum and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Take 4 x 30cm squares of foil and divide banana amongst foil squares, bring the edges of the foil together and scrunch to seal. grill roast over low heat for approx 15-20 mins and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Japanese Tuna

Get two fillets of a high grade tuna cut into thin bite sized pieces, marinate for 5 mins in; 4 tbls kikoman Soya sauce, 1/4 tsp wasabi paste, juice of 1/2 lime, tsp mirin sauce, splash of sesame oil.

Serve with finely sliced battens of carrot with spring onions and Chinese cabbage. Soooo easy to whip up and super healthy and yum!

Kahlua Chicken

Take 1 chicken breast, carefully cut a pocket into the thick end, length ways, with a thin sharp knife. stuff with seasoned, mashed avocado, then gently seal in a hot pan for 20 seconds each side, remove from pan, remove excess oil, dust top side with seasoned flour, spread remaining avocado thinly over the top, roll in crushed macadamia nuts, bake in a moderate oven till cooked (approx 20 mins).

Meanwhile in the same pan, add approx 3 tblspns Kahlua, 50mls coconut cream, 50mls thickened cream. reduce until thickened, season. Pour over cooked chicken.

n.b. this dish can be sweet so season with rock salt and pepper to your liking.

Lamb Back Strap

Take 1 lean lamb back strap (from butcher) wack into a hot salted pan with olive oil, seal quickly on all sides, then leave on 1 side for approx 4-5 mins then turn, remove from pan, coat with high quality pesto, allow to rest for 3-4 mins. slice and serve on your choice of summer salad or vegetables this dish should be served medium to medium rare. If you like you can swap the lamb for say pork or kangaroo .

…sorry Skippy.

Lemon Tahini Sauce

Whisk 100mls Tahini, 1 clove crushed garlic and juice of 1 lemon together until smooth. whisk in 125ml water and salt and pepper to taste.

Ox Tail Rosemary & port

N.B. DON’T let the thought of ox tail put you off. this is a lovely winter dish and you will end up finishing it off with your hands which is half the fun.

Get 8 – 10 pieces of ox tail, remove excess fat, dust with seasoned flour and seal in a heated pan with olive oil and butter, arrange in a casserole dish and set aside. In original pan add a generous amount of chopped celery, onion, carrot, potato and 10 cloves of pre roasted, shelled garlic.

Sauté for approx 10mins on a moderate heat, add 2 tblspns flour, stir then add 2 tblspns tomato paste and allow to fry and slightly colour. add 1 cup of a high quality port, now if you would like to add, chopped mushrooms, beans, cabbage etc and 2 or 3 small rosemary stalks. add 1 medium sized can of Italian crushed tomato’s. season. (optional- add some beef stock to this mixture if needed, so there is enough sauce to cover ox tail.) Add all mixture to the casserole dish, add a generous amount of fresh chopped rosemary. put lid on casserole dish and put into a moderate oven for approx 2 1/2 hours (or until meat falls away from bone). Serve with mashed potato with lashings of butter.

Pea and Smoked Ham Soup

I “LOVE” making soups!!They are easy,tasty and quite fun to whip up Get one 500gram bag of dried green soup peas from supermarket. Place peas into pot with approx 3 Litres chicken or veg stock and 2 smoked bacon hocks. very gently simmer for approx 2 hours. frequently check/ stir, as peas will settle and stick on bottom. you may need to add more chicken stock. simmer until peas are soft and meat falls away from hocks. Blending optional because peas will brake up as they soften. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. add fresh sage (optional). Serve with heavily buttered crusty bread. See…, I told you it was easy!now dig in!!

Prawns with Tamarind Recado & Pineapple Lime Salsa

Combine 3 tablespoons tamarind paste, 1 chilly seeded and finely chopped, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar. Add prawns and toss to coat evenly. Thread 5 raw, peeled tiger prawns onto each of 4 pre-soaked skewers. cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.

Meanwhile, To make Pineapple Lime Salsa, combine 1/2 a fresh pineapple peeled and diced finely, 1 red chilly seeded and finely chopped, 1 red onion finely chopped, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander, grated zest of 1 lime, 3 tablespoons lime juice and salt and Tabasco to taste. This should sit for 3 hours before serving.

Now grill prawn skewers for approx 3 mins each side, or until flesh is opaque and shell is pink. Serve with Pineapple Lime Salsa. I prefer to like leaving the heads on and just carefully shell the tails.

Red Snapper Soft Shell Taco With Chilli Lime Mayo

Combine 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl.

Brush mixture over 4 x 175g fresh red snapper fillets then grill fillets for approx 3 min each side and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Warm 4 x 20cm flour tortillas according to packet directions. Cut fish fillets into approx 4cm cubes and divide among tortillas. Top with Chopped coriander leaves, diced avocado and a whisked mix of 300mls whole egg mayonnaise, 1 green chilli seeded and finely chopped, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander and 1 tablespoon lime juice.

Roast Pork with Perfect Crackling

Hands up who likes pork crackle!?…, both mine are! Make cuts in the skin criss crossing. Pour over boiling water then dry with kitchen towel. Rub well with oil and salt. Allow 30-35 minutes per half kilo plus 30 minutes to finish. Preheat the oven to almost full tit! Or say around 230-240C pop pork in for 20mins then wind back to180C. Roast with a little dripping or lard basting occasionally throughout cooking.Turn up the heat to 220C for the final 30 mins of cooking to give your crackling real crunch. And as you know you can pop in all ya spuds, sweet potato, whole onions, whole garlic etc in for the last 40 mins while its at 180C.

Spice Crusted Tuna With Thai Citrus Dressing

Combine 2 stalks of finely sliced lemon grass. 1 fresh chilli seeded and finely chopped, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, and 6 tablespoons lime juice. Set aside for dressing.

Meanwhile, Combine 2 tablespoons of crushed black peppercorns and 2 tablespoons of crushed coriander seeds, brush both sides of 4 x 200g tuna fillets with oil and press crushed seeds on both sides of each fillet. Grill Tuna for approx 3 mins per side. Pour over dressing and serve hot.

Spiced Chickpea Sauce

Place 1 x 400gram tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 2 cloves garlic crushed, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon tabasco, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 5 tablespoons tahini, 5 tablespoons water and 125 ml greek yoghurt in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refigerate for 30mins Serve cold.

(sauce can be prepared upto 3 days in advance)

Baby Squid Stuffed with Coriander and Pickled Ginger

Combine 12 cleaned baby squid tubes, 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and half teaspoon black pepper. toss to coat squid evenly. Inside each squid tube place 1 piece Japanese pickled ginger, a few coriander leaves and a small garlic slice. Now insert the tentacles into each tube. Thread 2 skewers through each squid to secure tentacles to tube. Grill until just opaque, approx 1 – 2 mins each side, drizzle with soy sauce and serve hot.

Note: Squid can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 hours prior to cooking.)

Char grilled Pineapple with Sweet Rum Glaze

Cut a large unpeeled pineapple into quarters and remove core from each quarter. To make glaze, combine 2 tablespoons dark rum, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir to dissolve.

Grill Pineapple for approx 5-10 mins per side frequently brushing with glaze. Serve hot drizzled with any remaining glaze.

Sweet Pumpkin with Cinnamon Soup

whole pumpkin (of your choice), 2 onions, chicken or vegetable stock, salt and pepper, brown cinnamon thickened cream (optional).

Peel pumpkin, de-seed, chop as for roasting, place into roasting tray with butter, seasoning and a few pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg, roast in moderate oven until cooked and soft (do not brown too much). Meanwhile, sauté 2 chopped onions in a thick bottom pot. once pumpkin is cooked, add to pot, cover with chicken or veg stock. Simmer until ingredients are soft. blend and season.

Add cream (and even a small amount of honey, for a sweet tooth) if desired, adjust consistency with more stock.

Watermelon Curry

Cut 1/4 of a large watermelon into 4cm cubes, removing seeds and skin.Take 1 cup of the watermelon and blend to make juice. To the juice add 1 1/2 teaspoons of red chilli, a pinch of turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon garlic puree and salt to taste.

Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok and add 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds and within 20 seconds add juice mixture. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins, the liquid should reduce by 1/3, add sugar to taste and 3 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice and cook for 1 min. Add chopped watermelon and cook on low heat for 3 – 4 mins, gently tossing so pieces are covered in spice mixture. Serve and scoff down!