A young Jo Elwin could be found reading cookbooks on the school bus and delighted in being the ‘kitchen helper’ at her mother’s dinner parties. Jo is the former editor of the NZ Herald’s Bite magazine and a current contributor to Eat Well and bite.co.nz.
We asked her a few more questions…
What’s your earliest food memory?
Sitting on the kitchen bench chatting to Mum and watching her cook. I would have been about 4.
Where do you draw your culinary inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere. I have always been fascinated by recipes. I was obsessed with mum’s recipe card box —she collected them back in the 70s— and I used to read cookbooks on the bus on the way to intermediate school.
What is your greatest cooking achievement to date?
The chocolate puddings on the cover of the first issue of Bite. Everyone made them… and loved them!
How would you describe your style of cooking?
Relaxed and simple, making the best of what I have to hand.
How did you start cooking?
My mum used to throw lots of dinner parties and I used to be her kitchen helper from food prep right through to clearing up all the dishes – it would take all day and I loved it. I would usually have to go to bed before she served dessert so I used to get up in the morning and have mine for breakfast.
What’s your favourite meal?
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I like eating all over the world, I just don’t do enough of it.
What are your kitchen must haves?
Lemon, salt and extra virgin olive oil for those salads.
Why do you love cooking?
It’s my creative outlet. It is also how I show people I love and care for them.
Who is your dream dinner guest?
Anyone who loves good food.