For twenty three years Lois Daish wrote the food column for NZ Listener. Guided by what she was cooking at home and in her popular Wellington eateries (including the original Mount Cook Cafe and Brooklyn Café and Grill), Lois shared recipes with readers that focused on seasonal, fresh and simple food. By carefully selecting from what was in season and treating those ingredients gently and with care, Lois explained how to create simply delicious food.
When I talk about cooking, there’s one word that I find myself using over and over again. That word is gentle – gentle handling, gentle mixing, gentle heat, gentle taste… I prefer to meddle as little as possible, nudging the ingredients along, and combining them in ways that will bring out their finest attributes (Lois Daish, A Good Year, 2005).
David Veart (First Catch your Weka, 2008) describes Lois’ food writing in the 1980s as part of a new trend of restaurateurs writing and publishing their own recipes. Lois has described her style of food as ‘nouvelle grandma’, reflecting the origins of her dishes in comfort food of the past, but reinvigorated with new ingredients and fresh ways of cooking.