Crunch time for PM at Tamahere

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It was crunch time when Prime Minister John Key visited Tamahere School on Thursday.

John Key was given a copy of the Divine Eats cookbook when he met Tamahere School students, from left, Thomas Gatley, Kristen Martinus, and Ava Lipinski.
John Key was given a copy of the Divine Eats cookbook when he met Tamahere School students, from left, Thomas Gatley, Kristen Martinus, and Ava Lipinski.
Faced with a feast of dishes from the school’s fundraising cookbook, Divine Eats, to which he had contributed, all the PM’s schedule would allow time for was a quick bite of ginger crunch.

But it was a celebratory time for the school, including three students chosen to greet Key.

“I was like OMG, I’m actually going to meet him,” said Thomas Gatley, 8, who along with Kristen Martinus, 11, and Ava Lipinski, 7, welcomed the PM to the school.

Thomas donned a suit for the occasion because, as he told the Waikato Times, he’s got big plans for life.

They could include having an airline, shipping or car company, he said.

Kristen and Ava were equally excited about the chance to meet a famous figure.

The families of all three of the pupils contributed recipes to Divine Eats, and the school had a table covered in food made from the cookbook.

The Prime Minister told them that on the road for a day, it can be feast or famine for him.

You might be whisked from one stop to the next without time for food, John Key said, or find yourself at breakfast, lunch, and dinner events.

Key isn’t home to cook much, he said, but normally takes the chance on Sunday nights.

“Sometimes beef stroganoff. I like making that. I can do it with my eyes closed.”

Other times it’s roast chicken or a barbecue, or a more adventurous dish.

If cooking isn’t an option, you might find him at the local Indian takeaway, ordering a rogan josh.

PM John Key with the Divine Eats team
PM John Key with the Divine Eats team
A feast was ready when he visited Tamahere, but his schedule meant he had little time to eat much more than a square of ginger crunch.

He was quickly pressed into signing copies of Divine Eats, which includes a Thai beef salad recipe from him.

Key was also given a copy to take home – perhaps to inspire him on a Sunday night.

About 3000 of the books sold in three weeks, pushing the school to order a reprint before Christmas.

It also takes them closer to their goal of getting a new pool for school and community use.

Divine Eats contains 287 recipes, costs $45 and can be bought online at divineeats.co.nz

Key also visited Hilda Ross retirement village and the Hamilton Mosque while he was in town.

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