8 Questions with iconic cook Annabelle White!

Author of 11 cookbooks, popular TV and radio cook, and former food editor of NZ Women's Weekly and NZ House & Garden, the effervescent Annabelle White combines great energy in the kitchen with simple tips, easy and achievable recipes, and plenty of fun. Her classes are highly interactive and her message is clear - the less you do to great produce and ingredients the better.

A background in history teaching, combined with extensive travelling brings a colourful approach to the grill and White believes a generous cook is always approachable - so bring your questions and culinary dilemmas and let the Dr Phil of cooking steer you in the right direction!

Annabelle is now a columnist for Australian Women's Weekly and is busy with her website, annabellewhite.com. She’ll be demonstrating at the Whirlpool Cooking Theatre at this year’s Wellington Food Show, on from Friday 4th – Sunday 6th September at Westpac Stadium. Tickets available at www.foodshow.co.nz

1. Who or what inspired you to take up cooking?

My mother is a terrific cook so I grew up loving great flavours and realised  at an early age that eating well brought you and your friends and family great joy- everything is better after a good meal - so decided I better learn to cook well - there is no excuse for bad food if you make something simple yourself.

2. What are five ingredients you cant live without?

Fresh lemons ( fresh acidity)
Fresh herbs  ( obvious reasons )
Salt and pepper ( and on special occasions flavoured salts like truffle salt on mashed potatoes)
Good coffee beans ( to keep the cook happy)
Fresh free range eggs

3. Any foods you just do not like?

Some offal but liver/ kidney can be a challenge and I once was expected to eat donkey in Italy and I couldn't do it

4. How would you describe your style of cooking?

They say your style of cooking is like yourself - cheap, simple, fun, fruity, seasonal ( I know it's cliche) and fast !!!!! ( no, I do embrace the slow cooker in winter )

5. What are you most proud of?

That my family hasn't wanted to adopt me out .... Seriously? Writing my first cookbook Best Recipes back in 1997 and it is one of the most stolen cookbooks in the library ( I'm prevented from saying which libraries as I have been advised
 I may encourage recidivist activities ) and my Distinguished Alumni award from The University of Waikato.

6. If you were a super hero what would your powers be?

Feed everyone simple food around a table with love

7. What car did you learn to drive in?

My mothers black Hillman avenger

8. What is your go-to comfort meal?

Soup everything from wonton to chicken to seafood. It's restorative and lines the stomach - research says you are more likely to consume up to 40 percent less calories at a meal after eating broth / soup but why hold back ? ( in jest )

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