Writing her first cookbook has been a labour of love for former South Otago woman Naomi Toilalo, as she takes her passion for learning te reo and baking another step, she tells Rebecca Fox.
A pizza night in the woolshed on the South Otago farm she grew up on is just one of the ways Naomi Toilalo wanted to acknowledge her whānau and where she came from in her cookbook.
‘‘I gathered up all the whānau out on the farm for a shoot, my nieces made pizza. It was important to me to share that part of myself.’’
Toilalo was born in the Catlins and grew up on a farm at Tuapeka West, Lawrence, spending most of her time in her ‘‘father’s world, the pakeha farming world’’ so she wanted the book to reflect that part of her life too.
The cookbook, Whānaukai: Feel-good baking to share aroha and feed hungry tummies, is a tribute to Toilalo’s journey to learn te reo and her passion for baking and cooking.