Cooking for Christchurch

Monday 5 September 2011, 4:59PM
By Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI)

Cooking can be a comfort as well as a skill. This new cookbook aims at adding some monetary comfort to our hospitality colleagues in Christchurch as they go through the long process, post major earthquakes and continuing aftershocks, of putting their lives and businesses back together when and where they can.
The Cooking for Christchurch cookbook was the bright idea of the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI) Social Responsibility team as a way that HSI could show its concern and support for Christchurch. HSI Board and management endorsed it as a fund-raiser. The team members approached their colleagues at HSI and associates in the hospitality industry to ask for recipes, and undertook the design and production stages to complete the book.

Steve Hanrahan, HSI Chief Executive, comments: “Cantabrians are making great efforts to return their lives and their city to some semblance of order. HSI will contribute in as many ways as we can to support that. One way we can help is to raise funds to go some way towards the re-establishment of the many hospitality businesses in Christchurch that are currently in limbo. HSI will donate all the money we collect from sales of Cooking for Christchurch book to help people in the hospitality business there to get back on track. We are working with Christchurch Hospitality Inc. on how we can best do this.”

HSI will keep buyers updated on how book sales are progressing, and what their dollars have contributed to, on the HSI Cooking for Christchurch Facebook page.

The 36 featured contributors – many of whom are chefs - provided 66 recipes; ones handed down from family and friends, some original, and others adapted from personal favourites. There is comfort food, like coconut hot cakes, and special occasion food, such as manuka-smoked duck breasts with shitake mushrooms and mandarin puree. The book has eight sections, starting with breakfast, then pasta, chicken, seafood, meat and veggie dishes, through to desserts and baking.

There is a real variety of recipes to try. Ruth Pretty Catering suggests Spanish Toast with Sherry Raisins as a special breakfast, while Wellington chef - and winner of the HSI 2010 Modern Apprentice of the Year - Regnar Christensen tempts the palate, at lunch or dinner, with his Devilled Scallops on Fennel and Spring Onion Risotto with Caper Vinaigrette. The Southland Boys’ High School 2010 Culinary Team, led by Catering and Hospitality Teacher Scott Richardson, cooked up half a dozen recipes, which include a whisky-smoked salmon and asparagus quiche and a peanut butter pie.

The book looks good too, with a snappy design, large full colour photos, and a practical spiral binding, so that the pages lie flat while the chosen recipe is in preparation.

At only $37 a copy, including packaging and post within New Zealand, and with every dollar of the proceeds going to Christchurch, Cooking for Christchurch is a good-value and feel-good buy. It will make a great Christmas present too.

Steve Hanrahan says that ‘HSI’s thoughts are with everyone in Canterbury as they progress through the recovery and rebuild phase. HSI thanks all who has contributed recipes and ideas, and donated time and skill to help make this book. Please tell your friends and colleagues that it is on sale on-line from