Life of Kai: Savor the Moment Cookbook

Stories, anecdotes and recipes are woven into Christall Lowe Kai's cookbook: Food Stories and Recipes From My Family Table

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Stories, anecdotes and recipes are woven into Christall Lowe Kai’s cookbook: Food Stories and Recipes From My Family Table

A celebration of family and food to inspire a love of cooking comes as a visual feast in an author’s new book.

Christall Lowe, food stylist, award-winning food photographer, and recipe developer, has put together Kai: Food Stories and Recipes from My Family’s Table.

There are 300 pages and more than 100 recipes, but the collection goes beyond listing ingredients and providing instructions.

“Images, recipes, stories, memories and anecdotes are woven together to create something that sums up our kai life,” Lowe said.

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Christall Lowe at a book signing with whanau in Feilding for the launch of her cookbook Kai: Food Stories and Recipes from My Family Table.

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Christall Lowe at a book signing with whanau in Feilding for the launch of her cookbook Kai: Food Stories and Recipes from My Family Table.

Lowe lived in Feilding, the town where she grew up, and was affiliated with the Ngāti Kauwhata, Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto.

He features traditional family recipes collected from his mother, grandparents, and aunts.

Coming from a long line of intuitive cooks who had focused on look, feel and taste, Lowe had to go through a trial process to translate “a handful or a pinch” into exact amounts for recipes.

The collection also includes recipes that inspired her childhood and her life.

“We had passion fruit Rare that Mom would turn into blocks of ice. Y [there was a] black plum Doris in my great grandmother’s backyard.

“I have a very strong memory of the taste of the juice dripping down my chin, so I translated it into a black Doris straw.”

Friends and whanau at the launch of Christall Lowe's in Feilding.  His cookbook uses memories of flavors as inspiration.

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Friends and whanau at the launch of Christall Lowe’s in Feilding. His cookbook uses memories of flavors as inspiration.

Lowe described herself as a flavor-obsessed home cook, with recipes developed for the everyday home cook using accessible ingredients.

With many family favorites, other recipes feature a fusion of kiwi flavors, such as kumara and orange pie and venison and pāua dumplings.

The younger self at Lowe’s used to “drool and daydream” about food magazines.

And as a food stylist, her food photos appear on packaging, billboards, and delivery trucks—people “eat with their eyes first,” she says.

But her cookbook isn’t like a traditional cookbook, it’s more of a story.

“People have told me that they just read it like a book. They take it to bed and read it from the first page to the last page.

“And they enjoy all the little stories about my grandmother or my brother or school lunches in the ’80s.”

Lowe will be at PaperPlus in Feilding at 5:30 pm on December 5th.

There will be drinks and snacks, book signings and a 20% discount available on the price of the recipe book.

Stuff has a copy of Kai: Food Stories and Recipes from My Family Table to give as a gift. For your chance to win, email [email protected] before 3pm on December 2nd.

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