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QTMAGAZINE SUMMER 2018
with Al Brown
By Margo Berryman
Al Brown's groundbreaking approach to
New Zealand food is again reflected in his latest
book Eat Up New Zealand recently launched
The popular New Zealand chef kicked off his nationwide book tour
by hosting a special afternoon book launch at Queenstown's eco
hotel Sherwood followed by an event at Bistro Gentil in Wanaka.
"I love coming to Queenstown and Wanaka and it seemed like a
great spot to introduce the book publicly for the rst time,
" he says.
"It's an excuse for a quick road trip and its a pretty relaxing way to
get through the country and see something new.
Al has experienced wide success with his Auckland restaurant Depot,
his Best Ugly bagel shops and bestselling books Go Fish and Stoked.
He is both a leader and a cheerleader for New Zealand produce
"I love food and the New Zealand people and simply adore this
country -- where we live and what we have on offer is outstanding.
I have been part of the hospitality industry from a relatively early age
and to see how the food and wine scene has evolved over that time
Eat Up New Zealand is a testament to his belief that Kiwis don't like
"poncy" food but rather enjoy informal occasions to get together
and share good homemade food.
"This is a cookbook that you can use every day and I hope people
will read it and reminisce about foods from their childhoods and take
in the beautiful photography that I trust has captured New Zealand's
character, personality and grace,
" says Al.
"I love food and the New Zealand
people and simply adore this
country -- where we live and what
we have on o er is outstanding."
The book is packed with great stories about New Zealand food
and includes more than 150 recipes focusing on simple, clever yet
re ned food that is inherently Kiwi.
"I'm very proud to be cooking wonderful, nostalgic Kiwi-centric
dishes, but it's the almost exhaustive explosion of new products
grown here in New Zealand that really blows my mind. Our cuisine
is a mix of old favourites combined with new, exciting avours and
ideas from elsewhere.
By Rebecca Williamson
Jason Bonham has found his niche designing the
interiors of luxury homes and commercial spaces,
super yachts and private jets for rich listers and
It was purely by chance, however, that he became a celebrity himself,
courtesy of his role as a presenter and interior designer for renovation
show Trading Houses and as a judge for two seasons of the successful
show The Block NZ.
"Being on The Block NZ was super fun and we did a lot of laughing,
says Jason. "It can be dif cult as a judge though, simply because New
Zealand is a much smaller population, so it can be a little bit restricted in
terms of what can be supplied on a show like that. But every house on
the show had its own style which was great.
While Jason is likely to reprise his role as a judge on next year's series,
it's the multi-million-dollar luxury homes that really appeal to him. He
has worked with some prominent international names through Bonham
Interior and more recently has completed an extravagant $75 million
home for a large family in Santa Barbara.
However, the identity is under wraps as client con dentiality is hugely
important in his work.
"We have a pretty fantastic clientele
and we're fortunate to be able to
do some amazing, super high-end
work. There are a few people we are
dealing with out of California who
are global names which is fun."
"It's part of the reason why we are wanting to establish a base in the
Southern Lakes -- some of the clients we are working with are looking to
come down and we are nding they don't want the typical Queenstown-
Some of the ne art Jason has placed in top-end homes around the
world include works by American Doug Aitken, Canadian artist Rodney
Graham and acclaimed Indian-British sculptor Anish Kapoor.
"It's some serious art -- none of the galleries in New Zealand have ever
placed these artists so it's very exciting for us.
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