Book launch also a taste of fruits of labour

Food blogger Emma Galloway will whip up some of her tasty treats for the launch of her new cookbook, A Year In My Real Food Kitchen, in Raglan on April 6.

Having recently lived in Perth for five years, Emma says it’s nice to be home for the launch of her new book, to be held at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre.

A Year In my Real Food Kitchen comes after the “humbling success” of her first cookbook, My Darling Lemon Thyme, which was released two years ago when Emma was in Australia.

“I knew I had to write another and it only made sense to this time write a seasonal cookbook, as this is how I’ve always cooked,” says Emma.

The cookbook, which starts with autumn, contains 100 gluten-free, vegetarian recipes that celebrate the bounty of each season, with loads of tips for dealing with gluts of produce. There are savoury and sweet recipes for every season, all made with nourishing whole food ingredients.

“My food is simple but packed with flavour,” says Emma, who started her My Darling Lemon Thyme blog six years ago as a place to share gluten-free, vegetarian real food recipes, stories and tips on organic gardening.

“I will cook a few things from the cookbook for the launch.” There will also be wine provided by sponsor Waipara Hills.

Emma says she had to write the cookbook in six months after its publication date was fast-tracked, and her brain feels “a little bit depleted”.

“That was quite hard because it is a seasonal cookbook. I guess the good thing about writing in Perth is the growing season is a lot longer than here.

“I miss the produce in Australia because we had two big mango trees in our backyard, but the upside is we now have feijoas, because feijoas don’t grow in Perth.”

It’s going to be a busy year for Emma, who still hasn’t finished unpacking at her family’s Cross St home and has been writing for Taste magazine and Australian foodie website Delicious.

The book launch has been snuck in before the Food Show in Christchurch, on April 8-10, at which Emma will be holding three cooking demonstrations.

She is also cooking at the Food Shows in Wellington and Auckland in May and July.

“It’s a really good gig to get in New Zealand,” Emma says of the Food Shows. “I am not that well known in New Zealand – a huge chunk of my blog and Instagram followers are from the US, then Australia, and then New Zealand.”

She admits to some nerves, having never done live cooking demonstrations before.

“It will be fine, it will be fine,” she tells herself. “Lots of people growl me but I don’t feel like I’m a very confident public speaker, but I will pull it off.”

Emma has also been named as one of 30 nominees in the Cinnamon Travel Blogger Awards being held in Sri Lanka in June. She is one of three finalists for Best Food Blog, and is being hosted by the Cinnamon Hotel chain in Sri Lanka for five nights.

Emma, who loves loves spicy food and cant wait to eat all the Sri Lankan food, says she is required to write a certain amount of blog posts and put photos on Instagram, using certain hastags, during her stay.

That will be absolutely no problem, she says. “I only have to do two Instagram posts a day: I could easily probably do four or five.”

It’s an all expenses trip away, so she doesn’t expect the prize to be huge.

Two years ago, she won a blogging award for best original recipes through gourmet food and wine magazine Saveur.

“They flew me to Las Vegas for the awards where I got a frying pan,” she laughs. “But the trip itself was awesome.”

Also on the agenda this year is the possibility of running some cooking classes in Raglan.

“After July, after the Food Show I would love to run some cooking classes in Raglan, but I am not sure how I would do it, yet.”

Inger Vos

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