Nadia Lim is as friendly and personable on the phone as she is on television.
The former MasterChef winner spoke to the Oamaru Mail last Monday from Auckland, where she was working on My Food Bag – an initiative she set up to deliver daily dinner ingredients and recipes to New Zealand households.
On November 15, Lim will present her latest cookbook, Let’s Eat!, to an Oamaru audience at the Loan and Merc. From 7pm to 8.30pm, she will give a cooking demonstration, share tips and tricks, offer tastings, and take part in a question-and-answer session.
“It’s a nice, relaxed night out. Wear your jeans and a T-shirt and come along.”
Her book will be for sale.
Let’s Eat! represents a “bit of a change”, reflecting how Lim’s life has changed since she and husband Carlos had their son, Bodhi. Both will accompany her on the Oamaru and Central Otago leg of the book tour.
“It’s quite nice to include them.”
The new book contains more than 100 recipes Lim likes to cook for family and friends.
“They’re very family-friendly recipes,” she said.
“You’re guaranteed plenty of happy cooking and eating with the likes of pumpkin pie pancakes, my Malaysian chicken rendang and satay, comforting meatball and chicken bakes, jelly-tipped ice creams, bountiful bars, Black Forest Eton mess and a whole section of delicious colourful salads and healthy baking.
“There’s no fancy, hard-to-find ingredients or tricky techniques, just recipes that will make you feel proud as punch when you bring it to the table.”
All recipes have nutrition analyses and lots of gluten- and dairy-free options.
Lim said her household eats “pretty well”, receiving My Food Bag every week.
“You need good energy to get you through the day.
“It’s really true that you are what you eat. It’s what you eat most of the time. For 90% of the time, eat well.
“For the other 10%, feel free to do whatever the hell you want.”
Hence the inclusion in the book of sweet treats. Lim said it would be too restrictive and boring to be disciplined about eating all the time.
Her own tastes have been influenced by her ethnic mix – her father is Malaysian Chinese and her mother is from Whanganui. Her family lived in Kuala Lumpur for six years, from when she was aged 6.
“It opened up my culinary eyes.”
Whereas Kiwi food was somewhat bland back then, that was certainly no longer the case.
“Now, New Zealand food is amazing. It’s right up there on the world stage.”
Having spent some time in two of the world’s most renowned food cities, New York and Melbourne, Lim said they did not outshine New Zealand.