What's Cooking

Tasteful stories and recipes from people all around the world

Stories & Recipes

What’s Cooking

Mark Limacher’s Christmas Cassata

NZ Chef

My mum Mary arrived in NZ from Northern England in 1957. She was beautiful and gregarious, and a fine singer and dancer, but never really had that that much interest in cooking or food. My mother-in-law Jean, on the other hand, who hails from Yorkshire, is a really grand cook. I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of…

Jax Hamilton’s Coconut and Ginger Drops

Celebrity Chef

Cooking was my mum’s way of showing us how she loved us, her dishes are love and nostalgia for me. Every six months or so my aunts would gather in our London kitchen from around the country. There would be music, dancing, laughing, and the old stories – us kids were banned because they used too…

Simon Gault – Mum’s Easy Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

NZ Chef

Mum and Dad both cooked for us and were really keen foodies; I was Chief Taster. Lasagna is often considered everyday food but when Mum made this one it was a real treat, one of those recipes you just look forward to when she says she’s cooking it. Even my daughter asks for it now,…

Kent Baddeley’s Beef Cheeks

NZ Chef

I grew up in Matawhero where my Nana had a hotel and restaurant on the farm, and people came for miles for her food. I was always in the kitchen with Nana, who only cooked what she could grow and kill herself on the farm, and she had a wonderful sense of flavour, always wanting…

Lois Daish’s Welsh Rarebit Dip and Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Food columnist at The Listener

My mother always served Welsh Rarebit as a dip, rather than grilled on toast. My guess is that this innovation began as a mistake when the mixture was too runny to spread. It certainly appealed to me as child, and we’re now into the fourth generation of making it this way in my family. The…

Sean Connolly’s Corned Beef Pie with Mushy Peas


I’ve been quoted before saying that Mum’s corned beef pie would be my death row meal. Mum was fantastic with pastry and I’ve always used her half-butter half-lard pastry recipe when I cook. For many years I’ve wanted to recreate the whole pie, but I’ve never dared, so I’m using this opportunity to pay homage…

Kelli Brett’s Shark Bay Chowder

Editor Cuisine Magazine

I grew up in Western Australia, where Mum had one of the state’s first gourmet food stores. I worked there on weekends, tasting and serving exotic imported cheeses, coffees, and chocolates while my friends were eating processed cheese and baked beans, and it opened up a whole world of food to me. Mum went on…

Michael Meredith’s Pani Popo

NZ Chef, Merideths Restaurant

Mum’s food is like soul food for me, and pani popo are all memories. They’re sweet yeasted buns baked with a creamy coconut sauce and you can find them in all the homes and markets in Samoa. As kids we’d hover around the tray once they came out of the oven, but we knew not…

Charles Royal’s Pikopiko Soda Bread

NZ Chef

I was in the kitchen with Mum from a young age and always knew that cooking was for me. I remember walking into the house on Saturday mornings after our rugby games. There was always Mum’s pikopiko bread with butter, and either hot soup or Mum’s boil up, which you could smell straight away. The…