Food Family & Friends Podcast

A Podcast Hosted by Vanessa Baxter

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 16: Stacey Morrison – Whānau Living & The Hits

Ness and StaceyStacey Morrison is a well known voice as she is the host of The Hits Drive Time each weekday afternoon with Flynny. We met on the set of Whānau Living where Stacey hosts a gorgeous bilingual home show with an emphasis on tips and techniques for enjoying your home from garden to kitchen and beyond.

I had no idea on first meeting that she was one and the same Stacey that I often listened to in the car whilst waiting to pick up my boys from school. Stacey is busy with TV and Radio and writing for magazines and hosting events. Yet, her priority is in raising her three lovely children with her husband, Scotty, who is also in media as a broadcaster and author.

Stacey is passionate about family – ‘whanau’ and the language, culture and food that ties families and friends together. She is all about keeping things natural and real – whether its in the form of fresh, healthy family meals or keeping Maori an integral part of their learning and loving of who they are at home. Stacey is genuine and a delight to chat with.
In spite of a crazy schedule she didn’t hesitate to make time for this interview and indeed to encourage my own growth through the birth of this podcast. Listeners are in for a true Kiwi treat with a beautiful soul who shares her love of her own wonderful family and all the families and friends in this great country of New Zealand.


Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 16 directly
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More about Stacey’s Whānau Living tv series can be found here, you can also tune in to her co-hosting The Hits Drive show or follow her on Twitter!

View Vanessa and Stacey cooking together on Whānau Living tv – moreish and approachable recipes such as ‘Cheese and Bacon Spinach Pie’, and ‘Mango Pudding with Coconut, Pineapple and Tapioca’.


Thank you for listening to Food, Family & Friends Podcast, hosted by Vanessa Baxter and brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.




Food, Family & Friends Podcast 15: Tony Murrell – NZ Radio/TV Host, Garden Guru


Tony Murrell & Ness

Tony Murrell & Ness Baxter


Tony Murrell is a household name in NZ as the host of The Home and Garden Show on Radio Live and one of the hosts of the TV ONE show Kiwi Living. He has the loveliest radio voice and you would think he had been in the media for his whole life.

In this interview I discover that Tony studied to be Chef in London – his claim to fame at this point being that he attended the same culinary college as Jamie Oliver (though not at the same time!)

Tony shares his passion for life and his belief that you must live doing what you love. He is enigmatic and engaging and truly appreciates the connections people make through their food and sharing it with others.

He shares his determination to never say NO but to grab opportunities as they are presented and to approach mistakes with the attitude they can be the pathways to success.

Tony’s ‘real business’ is as a Garden Designer

“I’m passionate about gardens and garden design which is why I have been in the horticultural industry for most of my working career, almost 30 years. I throughly enjoy meeting and working with people designing and building beautiful outdoor environments.”

This is an episode full of lively conversation, life-skill suggestions, upping your brave and living your life as an adventure.

I am deeply honoured to bring you this episode with this well known media figure in NZ. 

You can tune into Tony’s Home & Garden show (Radio Live) on Saturdays and Sundays from 6-8am. Check out Tony’s book – Garden Designs to Enhance your Life and his website. Also, these Facebook pages for Home and Garden and Kiwi Living.

This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 15 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast 14: Greg Piner – Executive Chef at Vault 21, Dunedin

Greg Piner colour


Greg Piner is the Executive Chef at Vault 21 in Dunedin.  He has travelled throughout the country working as a Chef and as a Development manager within the industry for many years, sourcing new products and increasing his knowledge of cuisine.

One of his biggest loves is using fresh NZ produce with the mission of keeping food nutritious and simple yet pleasing to the eye.

Greg is a great people person – you instantly feel at ease chatting with him and he clearly understands the important role a Chef plays in mentoring staff as well as building relationships with his customers. His motto is that ‘nothing is a problem.’Greg Piner oysters

Greg loves to think outside the box and no more than in introducing critters to the menu at Vault 21! His new project is also unique in the introduction of Prohibition Moonshine – in variety of flavours – to the latest restaurant under his stewardship.

Listen in to be transported into Greg’s world of running a successful restaurant – opening a second and potentially even a third. He has some wonderful gold to share on the gaining of inspiration from around you and wholeheartedly diving into your chosen passion to build your brand.

This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 14 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast 13: Dean Brettschneider – Global Baker

Dean Brett-Schneider - bread pic
An inspiring chat with Dean Brettschneider – internationally renowned and admired; Global Baker.
This well-travelled, standout Kiwi Baker has such an extraordinary, artistic ability and passion for baking, he has made a huge business out of it.
Listen as we chat around his former years and earlier life in Waikuku Beach, Canterbury, NZ, his fond admiration of his Grandmother who naturally baked, preserved and cooked shaping his journey to the master baker, teacher, judge and commentator he is today, with multiple stores in operation including Singapore’s first gourmet sourdough pizza restaurant.
This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 13 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Dean’s Books

Dean Brettschneider has written or contributed to twelve best-selling and highly praised books.

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 12: Wayne Howett – Ronald McDonald House

image1Wayne Howett is an approachable, engaging and friendly CEO – who many of the families who stay at Ronald McDonald House in Auckland, know on first name basis. He is often found wandering through the House, chatting companionably with those staying there, listening as they share their day with him. His relaxed demeanour belies the huge task he has in the continual success of operating this large and essential charity for New Zealand.

As always, generous to the core, Wayne finds the time to join me in the studio to discuss his life, his love of food and travel, his beautiful family, and his philosophy on food and its intrinsic relationship with keeping families close.

We hope you feel inspired to find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities where-ever you are in the world.  If you are in Auckland and are you seeking an engaging, collaborative and rewarding team building experience for your employees please touch base with me as I run a team building experience incorporating team work, engagement, active leadership and co-operation inside the House. It will provide all the benefits of team building exercise whilst supporting an amazing charity.

If you would like to find out more about the day to day operation of the Charity – please find more information here

A huge thank you to Wayne for his time today – you can follow him on Twitter: @CERMHA

This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 12 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast 11: Jinu Abraham – Head Chef, Heritage Hotel, Auckland

Jinu_Abraham pic copyJinu and I met as co-Judges for a charity cooking event here in Auckland. I immediately warmed to his calm yet enigmatic nature. His knowledge was extraordinary and his efforts to put myself and the contestants at ease was evident. He loves food. He also loves learning and stretching himself.

Originally from New Delhi, India, Jinu is now the Executive Chef at the Heritage Hotel here in Auckland where he has created a plant based, locally focussed menu at the hotel’s Hector Restaurant. For him, a non-Vegan and lover of all food, the challenge was exciting. As he himself says ‘ once you open your eyes to options, it’s a whole new world of ingredients and techniques.’

This chat with Jinu, a Dad of two littlies, delved into his philiosophy around his passion for food and his choosing a career path that allows him to shine through his use of good, fresh ingredients and pleasing others by presenting them with unpretentious honest food – with the perfect combination of flavours.

Jinu is the epitome of the melting pot of New Zealand society – where many cultures and nationalities of people make up our cities and countries. His story is one of success and I love his determination to take on challenges as exciting adventures.

To sample some of his signature cuisine you can pop into the Heritage Hotel in Auckland. His vegan dishes are available in the Lobby Cafe and in Hector’s Restaurant.

This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 11 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast 10: Koto founder, Jimmy Pham & graduate Huong

Jimmy KOTOKOTO stands for “Know one, teach one.”

Learning should be passed on; knowledge is meant to be shared. This is the essential idea of KOTO founder, Jimmy Pham, a Vietnamese-Australian who, more than 10 years ago, opened a Training Centre in hospitality in Hanoi, giving disadvantaged youth the possibility to learn and thrive in their lives. Vanessa interviews Jimmy about his vision – his own background and how KOTO has become his life – and the students like his own children.

Ness koto studentsAs a social enterprise, KOTO has trained over 600 students in two training centres in Hanoi and Saigon, with 200 concurrently enrolled. In addition to its Foundation arm that focuses on raising funds to support its cause through charitable activities and initiatives, KOTO also operates an Enterprise arm, serving as a platform for real life hospitality training as well as a source of income to support the welfare and training of the students. KOTO Enterprise currently includes two Training Restaurants, an online bakery, a cooking class, and a catering service.
Ness and Huong ep10
Vanessa also interviews Huong Dang who is a graduate, now studying in Melbourne.  Her story is one of strength and courage.
She shares this with us so that those of us more fortunate can have a glimpse into what it means to have an organization like KOTO be the savior in your life story.
 Ness KOTO trip
 Be inspired and be enthralled – be touched.
Special thanks to guests on this episode – Jimmy Pham and Huong Dang.
 This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 10 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast 9: Claire Deeks – Dom’s Kitchen

Claire Deeks DomClaire Deeks is a mum and passionate real food advocate for children and families based in Auckland, New Zealand. She’s recently launched a petition against the Health Star Rating System gathering several thousand signatures in a few weeks. Claire’s background is over 10 years practising as a lawyer and registered patent attorney working in Auckland and London specialising in trade mark, copyright and misrepresentation in the music and movie industries (representing a who’s who of international clients including Warners, Sony, Disney, Nike, Versace, Gucci and more).

In late 2014 after what she calls a real “lightbulb moment”, Claire started an online food blog for families: Dom’s Kitchen. The blog has garnered a significant following (over 25,000 social media followers) and is named after Claire’s son Dominic who is the inspiration behind her own journey to real food.
In 2016 Claire’s embarking on her mission to create a kid’s real food revolution full time. She will be going on the road in a speaking tour around NZ and Australia (The Mothers On A Mission Tour 2016) to inspire, educate and help support parents feed their children more real food.
Claire’s Blog can be found at Dom’s Kitchen and has all info on the upcoming tour events and link to sign the petition against the Heath Star Rating.

This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 9 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Recipe of the Week – Gummies



270mls coconut milk (we use Ayam brand – this is one can)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 Tbsp gelatin (we use Great Lakes Gelatin – red box)
1 Tbsp raw cacao (or cocoa)

Dom baking

What To Do:

  1. Make room in your fridge for a tray of gummies and place your molds on a tray. (This makes it much easier but is not essential.)
  2. Combine the milk, syrup, cacao and vanilla in a pot and stir.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin over the mixture and immediately whisk to combine well.
  4. Heat over low heat for approximately 5 minutes taking care not to overheat or boil and stirring continuously until the liquid is smooth. (It should be only a luke warm temperature.)
  5. Remove from heat allow to cool slightly and then add to silicon molds.
  6. Place the tray with molds on it in the fridge for 30 minutes or until gummies are set firmly.

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 8: Brendon Partridge – Executive Chef of JW Marriot Hotel, Hanoi

Cover StoryBrendon’s story is one of passion – for food, travel and the world. It’s easy to meet him and be envious of his journey, but this Dunedin boy has worked hard and followed his passion, grasping at every opportunity to ensure his own success.

Culinary Success

Brendon believes that we learn about others cultures through their cuisines. The two are so strongly aligned that to achieve a growth in personal culinary knowledge you must understand the cuisines and cultures of others.

He was the perfect Judge for the ENZ collaborative cooking competition in Ho Chi Minh City – June 2016.

Personal Journey

From a young child, Brendon loved working alongside his Grandparents in their hotels in the South Island of NZ. His love for hospitality and for the bakery in particular led him to Otago Polytechnic to begin his formal training in Culinary Arts. This lead to a world of travel through Australia, Thailand, China and finally to Vietnam.


Brendon’s love for the Vietnamese is clear as we chat about their welcoming nature, friendly service, sense of humour and determination to succeed through hard work and education.

Being a ChefBrendon Partridge 1

Whilst a Chef’s life is not glamorous it is certainly unique and the industry has a camaraderie that is difficult to beat.

Thanks to ­­­­­­­­­­­Brendon Partridge for coming on the show. This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter, is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts. Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 8 directly

• Listen and subscibe via iTunes

• RSS Feed



 Recipe of the Week –  Scampi Risotto

BrendonPartridgechef bw


22        pc                    Highford NZ Scampi

1          kg                    Canali rice

1          Tbspn              Tomato paste

1          stalk                 celery

1          ea                    carrot

2          ea                    white onion

2          bulbs                garlic

20        ml                     squid ink

100      gm                   cornstarch

500      ml                     white wine (NZ)

100      gm                   butter

100      gm                   grana pardano

1          bunch              tarragon (fresh)


  1. Make a stock/court bouillon with the scampi heads and shells, tomato paste, celery, carrot, 1 onion and garlic
  2. Cut the scampi half the scampi tales into large dice
  3. Keep the remainder of scampi tales whole for topping the risotto
  4. Dice the onion and garlic and sauté till soft
  5. Add the rice and lightly sauté again
  6. Deglaze with white wine and slowly add stock while stirring
  7. Once the rice is cooked add the squid ink
  8. Add in the diced scampi
  9. Stir in butter and cheese
  10. Plate with 1 spoon of risotto a top with 1 tail of raw scampi
  11. Add 1 PC of corn starch dentelle and fresh tarragon
  12. For dentelle, make a batter with corn starch and water with squid ink
  13. In a hot pan with oil add 1 spoon of batter and cook till crispy
  14. Take out of the pan and set aside for garnish


  • Pots
  • Non stick pan
  • Wooden spoons

Recipe from the NZ showcase at Food & Hotel Asia 2016 – By Exectutive Chef Brendon Partridge.

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 7: John & Cass – Caravelle Hotel, Saigon

Kas Ness John ep 7 pic







Living in Ho Chi Minh City – changes, love, life and Food

With openness and refreshing honesty, John and Cass share stories of their love for each other, for the city they live in, for their homes and extended family and for the countries they love to visit.


Living and working in Saigon, John and Cass discuss the changes they have witnessed over the past decade. The growth of the food scene around them and the value this brings for the locals, for the economy and for the future.

Food, Family and Love

John and Cass share their passion for each other and for each other’s journeys and homes.  Australian and Kiwi combined – with a twist to the story along the way!

Inspiration and Determination

As stories unfold, Cass shares her childhood and the shaping of her life as a ‘boat refugee’ from war time to the woman she has become today.  The strength of her Mother and family is paramount in this inspirational tale – one which cant help but to inspire and remind us to face life with a determination to make the most of each and every day, moment and opportunity.

A positive and uplifting episode with two amazing, successful and genuine people who you will be sure to love by the end of the episode!

Thanks to John and Cass for coming on the show.

John is General Manager of The Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.



This Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter is brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Get the podcast here:
• Download or Listen to Episode 7 directly
• Listen and subscibe via iTunes
• RSS Feed

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