Taste Waikato — a cookbook that takes your tastebuds around our region — was conceived as a fund-raiser for Rotary Cambridge and is proving to be a great success.
Offering 80 easy, innovative recipes created and photographed by Cambridge-based food professional Jan Bilton it has so far raised $39,000 for local charities.
The appealing, innovative recipes provide gourmet delights that capture the true taste of the Waikato. They feature beef, lamb, chicken, bacon, duck and salami; fish and seafood; cheese and dairy; fruit; vegetables; truffles; nuts; honey; olive oil; tea; unique preserves; and wines and beers.
The recipes are complemented by interesting and entertaining stories and anecdotes about the produce and producers. Like Cambridge asparagus growers Greenfern Les Asperges, Quality Mushrooms of Ohaupo or feijoa and capsicum growers Southern Belle of Matamata.
The book was produced by Irvine Holt, a publishing company owned by Bilton and her husband, journalist Michael Ryan. The pair were responsible for editing The Foodtown Magazine (now Food magazine) — Bilton for 16 years and Michael for nine. The magazine was the fastest growing lifestyle publication in New Zealand.
Rotary members also helped in the production of Taste Waikato: contacting farmers, growers and food producers; catching a trout or two; and assisting in taste testing and proof-reading.
Bilton and Ryan, who lived in Marlborough before moving to Cambridge, have an enviable record for successfully writing about the areas in which they live. While in Marlborough, they wrote, photographed and published two food/wine books one of which, Marlborough on the Menu won Best Food/Wine Guide in the 2010 Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards.
Taste Waikato, which follows their successful formula, is an ideal gift for friends, family and colleagues in New Zealand or overseas.
It is available from most Paper Plus stores in the Waikato, at the Cambridge and Taupo Isites, Pennys Bookstore, Chartwell, or online here. Price $35.
Starting this week, Jan Bilton will be sharing her foodie take on things as well as mouthwatering recipes on Tamahere Forum.