The Fearless Kitchen (formerly Food Family & Friends Podcast)

A Podcast Hosted by Vanessa Baxter

The Fearless Kitchen Podcast 45: The Rebrand/Solo Episode


This is my first solo episode where you will hear just from me without an interview attached. I have chosen to add some of this stories into the podcast to share my own story and the challenges I also face as a passionate lover of food, as a lover of motivating others – and how I try to pull this together to successfully make it my life.

This episode shares the story of how The Fearless Kitchen actually came to be the name I am using as both the title of my book and of this podcast. My favourite spot is my kitchen, and it is by far the worst looking room in our home. However, it is the place I spend the most time, hang out with my kids the most, experiment with recipes and create food for my family. It doesn’t mean that cooking is all I do – I am fearless in other ways too – but this title seemed apt in so many ways.

To find out more head to

You can pre-order my cookbook too at a special price – publishing date is July 2017.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 45 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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The Fearless Kitchen Podcast is hosted by Vanessa Baxter and brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

The Fearless Kitchen Podcast 44: Chef Manish Tyagi, San Francisco

Chef Manish Tyagi

Manish Tyagi has followed his passion, through fate and circumstance, through the hand of God and most importantly through his own diligence and determination to succeed.

At every chance Manish said, “yes sure”. He found himself at hospitality school rather than engineering. He found himself being interviewed by an Executive Chef instead of a Food & Beverage Manager and ended up in a kitchen.

When a phone call came from the USA, following an award he received in India, he said yes and jumped on a plane, with his wife, to a new country and a new adventure and is now making waves in the US city of San Francisco which officially has the largest number of restaurants per capita.

His new venture August 1 Five, named for the Indian day of Independence is a unique blend of true Indian family food lovingly caressed into a modern presentation for the diner.

His dream is to bring you the story of his own journey, of his family and of the country he has for now left behind. Manish shares all this and more – his parents have had their visas revoked to visit, his wife is unable to work in the USA too, but they have the grit to stick this out and to live every day thankful for the opportunities that have come to them.

When you listen I guarantee you will be uplifted and energised and probably ready to book a ticket and then a table to visit this Chef in the heart of San Francisco.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 44 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
• RSS Feed

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

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 43: Food Writer, Editor – Niki Bezzant

Niki Bezzant & Vanessa Baxter

Niki Bezzant is a writer, a speaker, an editor and an eater! She loves food and all of it. She is a believer in balance and speaks out against diets and ‘faddish’ eating types of lifestyles. Why? Because to her they are unsustainable. Her feeling is that people have become obsessed by what they can’t or shouldn’t eat rather than concentrating on a balance of lovely fresh foods – mostly from the land and the sea – that nourish us – body and soul.

Niki is the President of the Food Writers of NZ Association and Editor at Large of the Healthy Food Guide NZ. She has a TedX talk – Cupcakes and Carrots which is fabulous, and she can be heard often on the panel at RadioNZ. She is passionate about clothes and sews her own – she loves vintage designs (and rainy weather which is the perfect excuse for cooking and sewing). You will hear loads from her in our chat and you can also find out more about Niki by visiting her website.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 43 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
• RSS Feed

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

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 42: Chef; Composer of Food – Jacques Reymond – Melbourne

Jacques Reymond, a composer of ingredients into dishes and dishes into occasions. Known as the founder of modern Australian cuisine, Jacques came to Melbourne over 30 years ago, bringing his well-honed technical skills and intimate knowledge of hospitality which he combined with Australian indigenous ingredients to capture the essence of his new home.

Whilst demanding of those around him, he has expected no less of himself and at 23 he was running the kitchens at a hotel in South America, supervising over 100 chefs, the menu planning and events. Jacques will play an integral part in the upcoming Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, held over 2 weeks from the 31st March 2017. This is an annual event which is much treasured in the food world, showcasing world leading Chefs, fabulous cooking techniques and wonderful ingredients.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 42 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Jacques Restaurants – in Melbourne, Australia are Bistro Gitan and L’Hotel Gitan.

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

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 41: Peter Gordon – Chef, Restaurateur and Writer

Peter Gordon is a Chef extraordinaire, Consultant Chef to AirNZ, passionate food lover, Executive Chef of The Providores in London, The Sugar Club and Bellota in Auckland, and co-founder of Cross Town Doughnuts in London.

He is a caring supporter of many charities – all of which have touched him personally. This Founding Father of fusion cuisine (as he is known in NZ) has a wonderful story telling ability that draws you in and has you wishing you could join him on his next adventure. How this man has packed so much into his days and life to date is extraordinary. That he still gives his time for fans like me is testimony to the wonderful person he is known to be.

Seriously, everyone I spoke to about him, without fail, told me how lovely he is. Yet, I was still so nervous to interview him. But I can assure you his reputation is confirmed – this man in a delight. Caring, genuine, fun, and crazy busy, Peter is desperate for more time in a year and would love to go and hang out to cook with the locals in South America. I truly hope he gets there because he so deserves to do that for himself.
Enjoy sharing a little of Peter’s journey with me, here, on my podcast.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 41 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast, hosted by Vanessa Baxter and brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 40: Trudi Nelson – Broadcaster, Food Writer NZ

Trudi (the Foodie) Nelson and I met properly on the Tall Ship, Esmeralda, from Chile that was in Auckland’s port in November 2016. I was a little nervous, Trudi is such a well-known personality through her cross media work as a Broadcast Journalist and a feisty foodie who was on the Executive Committee of the NZ Food Writers Association. However, as soon as I met her, I realized my fears were unfounded. She is fun and vibrant. She is a busy Mum, has a load of TV and Radio work, is passionate about food and has just sold up the family home and poured money, heart and soul into a new venture with her husband – the Fresh Factory in Mt Eden.  

Trudi and I chat about our mutual love of food, of sharing food and how our lives are totally intertwined with our passion of food. Trudi shares how she and her husband Mark are literally living and breathing their business – and physically living on the other side of the wall.

Trudi also shares the story of coming to NZ with an Aussie accent as a child and being teased so often that she tirelessly worked on her Kiwi intonation and how grateful she is now or she may not have ended up in broadcasting! We laugh that she hates to read fiction and only enjoys reading cookbooks – she is not alone.. This is a fast paced episode which I hope you will love!

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 40 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast, hosted by Vanessa Baxter and brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.


Recipe of the week, here it is: Shepherds Pie (Serves 6)

> Ingredients:

8 Agria potatoes, peeled and halved
Dash of milk
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper
500g cooked lamb mince (or your left-over roast lamb, minced up)
Left over roast gravy or make 250ml
Handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
1 can of baked beans
1 cup grated cheese

> Method:

1. Boil the potatoes, drain and make into a mash with a bit of milk and butter. Season and set aside.
2. Mix the lamb and gravy together and place in a pie dish. Layer with spinach leaves and then baked beans.
3. Spoon over the mashed potatoes and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
5. Cook at 200° in a fan-bake oven for 15 minutes or until hot and golden. Serve with a leafy salad or freshly steamed peas.




Food, Family & Friends Podcast 39: Kelli Brett – Editor, Cuisine Magazine NZ


What I loved when I first met Kelli Brett, was her comment “oh I think I’m going to like you as I enjoy your sense of humour on social media.”

There was also an almost Kiwi humbleness about this Australian when she insisted that she is still shocked at the reaction in a crowd when she mentions she is the Cuisine Magazine Editor.  I laughed when she said this because she has only been in the country for just over a year and whilst I am also an import, I have learned that the Cuisine magazine is the holy grail of mags for all true foodies in this country. I figured, she is newish to town and whilst a big wig and crazy busy, surely as a compatriot she will give me time for an interview!

What I was not expecting was the hint of constant co-incidences between us.  I wanted to shout throughout the whole interview – but hang on ‘same here’, but hey ‘that happened to me too!’ but I was aware that she herself is a professional and well- practiced interviewer and I needed to keep her focussed on her story – and not mine!

She is worried her story is not enough about food. Yet she mentions her 1200 cookbooks (of which I sighted at least 10%) so that is testimony to her love for food surely. And for heaven sakes we already know she is into food or there is no way any one would have her as Editor of Cuisine.

The fact she also curated the award-winning, Australia Cooks, which chronicles Aussie artisan producers and their food which itself spun from her “The Main Ingredient” food radio programme that aired on the ABC nationally, is enough to put her credentials in perspective.

For you the listener, this is an episode all about the woman behind the brand – and the brand is Kelli Brett.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 39 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
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Food, Family & Friends Podcast, hosted by Vanessa Baxter and brought to you by Podcasts NZ and World Podcasts.

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 38: Damon Gameau – ‘That Sugar Film’

Damon Gameau was already a well respected Aussie actor before taking a chance and filming himself in an experiment around the effects of sugar in our diet. He wasn’t sure the film would even make it to the public – he certainly was not aware of the effects on his body that the experiment would have, and he definitely did not think that he would become a Food Advocate – highlighting the importance of eating ‘real food’, mostly vegetables and fruits and certainly limiting or cutting out the processed stuff.

Our chat is an important one as it centres around family health, and encouraging everyone to take the time to understand the differences between food processed for you and what you are able to gain from eating delicious natural foods. He and I share our views on banning of foods for kids; on cooking from scratch and how food plays an integral part in our health – mind and body.
If you love food, if you love yourself and your family – then this episode is vital.
BUT don’t imagine that it is dry and boring – not a chance.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 38 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
• RSS Feed

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

Food, Family & Friends Podcast 37: Nadia Lim, Chef & Author NZ

Nadia Lim is a household name due not only to her huge success as winner of MasterChefNZ in 2012 but also as the face of My Food Bag, a recipe and delivery grocery service in NZ.

In more recent times she has launched her own magazine entitled “Nadia” and is the author of 5 cookbooks plus another on the way.

Together we chat about our shared passion for cooking and Nadia’s determination and zeal to win the Master Chef competition in order to jump start the career she always dreamed of. 


This is an inspirational journey of nutrition, food, cooking, motherhood and most of all a story of a girl following her dream to the true height of success.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 37 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
• RSS Feed


For more info or to keep up with Nadia, visit her on facebook and twitter or a video on how to make gluten-Free Banana, Coconut and Lemon Loaf.

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


Recipe of the week: Breakfast pie by Nadia Lim

Serves: 4
Prep: 30 Minutes
Cooks in: 30 Minutes + 15 Minutes cooling
  • shortcrust pastry, 1 large square sheet – see Tips
  • oil for frying
  • bacon 200g – See Tips
  • onion 1, finely chopped
  • mushrooms 150g, sliced – see Tips for preparation
  • sour cream 150-200g
  • milk ¼ cup
  • eggs 5
  • parmesan ½ cup, finely grated, plus a little extra
  • fresh thyme 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • cherry tomatoes 250g, cut in half
  • parsley pesto or basil pesto ¼ cup
  • milk or beaten egg to glaze



Preheat oven to 200°C.

  1. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until big enough to line a 28cm pie dish with the pastry overhanging the edges a little. Line dish with pastry but don’t trim the edges – the overhangs will be folded over the pie later (so it’s nice and rustic and we don’t waste any pastry).
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Cook bacon for a few minutes, then add onion and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until soft. Scrape out and set aside.
  3. Add another drizzle of oil to frying pan and cook sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes until soft and all the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated (the less moisture in the pan, the better).
  4. Whisk sour cream with half the milk until smooth, then whisk in remaining milk, then eggs, parmesan, thyme, a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Scatter bacon, onion and mushrooms over pastry. Pour egg mixture on top. Arrange cherry tomatoes (cut-side up) over surface, dot with pesto and sprinkle with extra parmesan. Fold over any overhanging pastry and brush pastry with a little milk or beaten egg.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is just set. Allow to sit in the pie dish for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
  7. Serve with a leafy green salad and avocado with some chutney (or good old tomato sauce) on the side.

Top tips:

  • Pastry is easiest to work with when cold; if it’s too warm, it can melt and become difficult to handle. If pastry is frozen, defrost on bench then refrigerate till needed (or defrost overnight in fridge).
  • Instead of bacon, you could use sausage (breakfast sausages or leftover ones), or a combination of both.
  • Never wash mushrooms in water – you want to avoid moisture soaking into them. Instead, brush or wipe off dirt with a pastry brush or paper towels; don’t forget, a little dirt never hurt anyone. Trim a little off the stalks, too.


Food, Family & Friends Podcast 36: Glen Shackcloth – Seafood Chef; Tasmania, Australia

Ness pictured in Tasmania with Glen Shackcloth

Glen Shackcloth is a wonderful, yet self taught, seafood Chef. He won’t tell you this himself as he is far too humble – but I am allowed to say it!  

Glen has grown up by the water in Tasmania, Australia and as a child he aspired to be a deep sea diver. His passion for diving and for the sea is obvious in our chat and reflects his whole determination to protect the environment and to preserve the beauty of the wilderness and surrounds that he has been lucky enough to call home.  

 For years, he earned his money diving for the prized Aussie abalone – a cousin to the Kiwi Paua – and he shares his journey of diving along with his best tips for cooking with abalone. He has a deep knowledge of the industry and loves to share stories with others. I am thrilled he agreed to be a guest on my podcast this week.

I have also shared a fun little addition to this episode where I side step briefly to my quick stop in Melbourne and share a walk down one of the known, famed Melbourne lanes.  I will be returning to Melbourne in March 2017 for some wonderful interview opportunities so view this as a little appetizer of what is to come.

Get the podcast here:

• Download or Listen to Episode 36 directly
• Listen and subscribe via iTunes
• RSS Feed

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

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