Edible Book Festival

CPIT Library’s third Annual Edible Book Festival will be held on Wednesday April 1st – just one week from today!


So put your thinking caps on and work out how you could represent your favourite book in food – or how you could make your favourite food into a book… Try the International Edible Book Festival website for inspiration.

There’s great prizes up for grabs for the most imaginative, funniest, tastiest, and most representative entries.

Some previous winners:

Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Murray McGuigan)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Murray McGuigan)
I was told there'd be cake by Sloane Crosley (Jenny Pope)
I was told there’d be cake by Sloane Crosley (Jenny Pope)

If you bake, carve, decorate, shape, or otherwise play with your food, this is the competition for you. You can enter here, or in the Library, or in the Atrium on the day.

If entering is not your thing, come along next Wednesday from 9am to view the entries. Winners will be announced at 12.15, and then the real fun starts – the eating!

See you there.

Summertime reading for culinary pleasure

Best BBQ Chicken with Simple Barbecue Sauce

As we near the middle of summer we should be making the most of these balmy days and nights with a classic Kiwi barbecue.  It is hard to look past a cookbook from Alison Holst (New Zealand’s doyenne of cookery and answer to Delia Smith) which offers tasty recipes and practical tips on barbecuing New Zealand barbecue cookbook or try Julie Biuso’s never-ending summer : stunning barbecue dishes to tempt you all year round.

Now is the season and Fresh! offer recipes and advice on using seasonal and local ingredients with a New Zealand focus.  Taking us on a tiki-tour of a culinary and hunting nature through New Zealand, is Al Brown and Steve Logan in Hunger for the wild. Telling great tales of hunting, fishing and of the characters they meet along their journey the length and breadth of the country, whilst throwing in some delicious recipes along the way.

For a taste of cuisine with Māori flavours including contemporary to traditional dishes take a look at Kai time, Kai ora and Cooking with Charles Royal.

Tony Kesseler – Manager of Food & Hospitality, Travel & Tourism at CPIT shares some tips with us to achieve the perfect Kiwi barbie.

1. Think thin

The thinner your meat, the less distance the heat has to travel to cook the middle, so the easier it is to get the inside right without burning the outside. Cut your steaks about 1cm (1/2 in) thick. Tenderise if necessary.

2. Don’t poke & prod

I have a saying “are you making love to that or cooking it?”

It takes time for your caramelised barbecue crust to develop and this won’t happen if you’re continually flipping your steaks or burgers. Only turn once and definitely don’t squash everything down as this forces the juices to run out leaving you with sad dry meat. Sausages are also best left alone, piercing the skins dries them out.

3. Cooking chicken

Chicken is best pre-cooked then finished on a barbecue. Keep your pre-cooked meat at a safe temperature (chilled if transporting) and finish off on the barbecue making sure the chicken is cooked through.

4. Remember your food hygiene

Always put your cooked food on a clean plate or chopping board and never add marinade that was used for raw meat to cooked meat. It’s simple common sense.  Never mix raw meat with cooked meat.

5. Clean your barbecue

Always clean your barbecue – if not immediately after use then the very next day. Scrub with hot soapy water and dry off with a damp cloth.

To enjoy with your barbecue try a Florida Salad, “not exactly the healthiest … but absolutely delicious on a hot summer’s day” says Tony.


4 x oranges, 1 x lemon, whipped cream 80mls, grapes cut in half, 4 x lettuce quarters


1. peel orange zest with peeler and cut into fine julienne.

2. blanch zest, julienne and refresh

3.  peel orange and remove white skin

4. cut oranges into segments between the white pith and remove all pips

5. arrange lettuce and place 4 or 5 orange segments in each portion

6. sprinkle with a little julienne zest

7. add a good portion of grapes

8. combine with acidulated cream, or serve acidulated cream separately

Acidulated cream

Whipped cream mixed with a few drops of lemon juice – cream becomes slightly sour


Christmas Crackers

Well it is almost here, hopefully you have finished all your shopping, and can sit back and relax.Catch up on some recent New Zealand fiction , or be inspired to cook something, or reclaim a craft, and start knitting.

Wild tea cosies
Fat Duck Cookbook

Library staff recently took up knitting for the CPIT Christmas Mardi Gras party. The result was a Carmen Miranda tribute which has been on display in the Library. I had no idea knitting could be such a team sport.

Mardi Gras

Unbelievably, we did not win a prize, but we were up against stiff competition, and a good time was had by all.

If all else fails, and you are still struggling for xmas gift ideas, I read a  recent blog that had some interesting suggestions, although I cannot recommend the library book idea!

The Library is closing at 1pm on Friday 23rd and will open again on the 4th Jan at 8am.

Happy holidays and best wishes for a bright new year.  The City Plan heralds big changes as  the city centre emerges from the cordon.

We look forward to working with staff and students next year.Travel safe, have fun, and see you back here in the new year.

Salon Culinaire

Over the next two days, CPIT’s School of Food & Hospitality is host to the South Island’s prestigious food and hospitality service industry competition: Salon Culinaire. Spectators can watch chefs, baristas and waiters battle to win awards in 39 different categories, ranging from the Moffat South Island Restaurant of the Year award, to events for Danish pastries, curry dishes, and innovative vegetarian cuisine. Barista competitions are being held in the Atrium, so stop by to show your support to competing CPIT students.  A formal awards ceremony takes place at 7pm on Wednesday 30th June at Visions restaurant. 

If Salon Culinaire has got you inspired to improve your culinary skills, why not take a look at the Library’s food and hospitality resources. We have lots of cookery books to suit all levels of skill and ability, including those from celebrity chefs such as Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal, as well as more advanced titles (Professional Chef and On Cooking), and books on a variety of cuisines from all around the world.

If you’d rather someone else did the cooking (and the washing up!), you can read up on the latest restaurant reviews on the DineOut website, or try the magazines Cuisine and Cafe for other suggestions.