Kai and Culture: Food stories from Aotearoa




… an intriguing volume of pieces from a heterogenous range of writers with a distinctly bicultural flavour. What at first appears to be a veritable smorgasboard of pieces turns out to be a carefully crafted menu … From Mark Revington’s piece on Ngai Tahu sovereignty to Henry Hargreaves’ whimsical food-map photography to an egg fritter recipe from the Values Party (!) cookbook, there is much food for thought here. North & South

Food tells a story. A story about where it came from, who produced it, and its journey from source to plate. We all share in the experience of food: it connects a diversity of people, places and ideas.

In this book writers, chefs, producers and academics cook up essays, profiles and recipes that explore Aotearoa’s contemporary food culture and an emerging, evolving New Zealand food identity. From mahinga kai to vegetable self-sufficiency and whole animal sensibility, Kai and culture looks at the impact food has on our culture.

It also explores many of the current issues that are involved in the growing, making and eating of food. A cultural cook book, if you will.

Kai and culture has full colour images throughout. It is 200 pages and features 20 essays, 18 profiles and 31 recipes.


Aaron McLean (Stone Soup)

Alex Davies (Gatherings Restaurant)

Angela Clifford (Eat New Zealand)

Dr Ann Brower (Lincoln University)

Brie Sherow (food writer)

Dajiang Tai (Cheshire Architects)

David White (film-maker)

Elizabeth Dean (Cornell University)

Fiona Summerfield (food writer)

Fleur Sullivan (Fleurs Place)

Giulio Sturla (Roots Restaurant)

Henry Hargreaves (food photographer)

Ivan Donaldson (Pegasus Bay Wines)

Jonny Schwass (chef)

Mark Revington (Te Runanga o Ng?i Tahu)

Monique Fiso (Hiakai)

Nik Mavromatis (Greystone Wines)

Peter Langlands (forager)

Rachel Taulelei (Kono)

Rebekah Graham (Massey University)

Dr Siouxsie Wiles (University of Auckland)

Dr Tracy Berno (AUT)

With: Ahika Kai, Anteater, Black Estate Winery, Cultivate, Food Innovation Network, Garden to Table, Harris Meats, , Kaibosh, Kai Pasifika, Kai Ora Honey, Koanga Institute, Lewis Road Creamery, Otakaro Orchard, Pomegranate Kitchen, Residential Red Zone Rehabilitation, Stone Soup, Yellow Brick Road.

Freerange wishes to thank AUT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism and Meadow Mushrooms for their early support of this project.

Through essays, profiles and recipes, Kai and culture canvasses a range of views and stories from local food cultures: food resilience and resourcefulness; questions of access, security and sustainability; how creativity, innovation and appropriation can play out in food; food sovereignty and the desire to reconnect with where it comes from; land use; quality as opposed to commodity; waste minimisation; proximity to source and ideas of terroir; how we get our food information. And how these are all interconnected.

Recipe section:
A recipe tells a story, says something about the person making it and what we like to make and share. This is the DIY component of food culture, an immediate way to engage with our food culture through the simple physical processes of food. The recipes have been sourced from contributors and form part of this book’s food web, in an effort to celebrate our ingredients and tell stories through food. A potluck!


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