Eat Your Words presented by Kenwood

Eat Your Words presented by Kenwood is a festival within the festival, dedicated to cookbook authors, food writers, food commentators, and food content creators who have something to say about food.

Eat Your Words presented by Kenwood hosts a series of author and writer interviews and lively panel discussions. You’ll hear from well-known New Zealand authors, some new emerging talent as well as a few of our mates from over the ditch. 

Attend a single session, multiple sessions, or enjoy a whole day of foodie immersion. After hearing from your favourites, Moore Wilson's will be on-hand selling cookbooks, and the authors will be available for signings. 

Door sales will be available if the session is not sold out prior. Eat Your Words is presented by Kenwood and supported by official media partner, Cuisine. Cuisine Editor and well-known content creator Kelli Brett is the MC for the day. 

Book your tickets here


Session One: On Eating Meat 


Matthew Evans is a Tasmanian food writer, television broadcaster and chef who lives and works on Fat Pig Farm, a soil-to-stomach regenerative farm and restaurant. He’s been the host of six series of Gourmet Farmer and two documentaries on SBS TV. Matthew is the author of over a dozen books on food, including On Eating Meat, and his latest cookbook, the updated and revised The Real Food Companion. His book SOIL is a hymn to the remarkable, and underappreciated bit of Earth that gifts us life. Join Matthew as he discusses his advocacy for open, fair, accountable food and farming systems.


Cuisine Editor, Kelli Brett


Session Two: Panel - Modern Aotearoa Kai 


Kārena and Kasey were the winners of MasterChef™ in 2014, and have since travelled to over 50 destinations across the globe learning about food and culture. They have hosted two seasons of the award-winning series on TVNZ, Kārena and Kasey’s Kitchen Diplomacy, and have cooked for a number of New Zealand dignitaries and celebratory events around the world. They have also self-published two award-winning cookbooks For the Love of... and Hungry. 

Naomi Toilalo is known on Instagram as baker extraordinaire @whanaukai. In 2017, Naomi was runner-up in TVNZ’s Great Kiwi Bake Off™ and, since 2020, has hosted ‘The Giving Series’ on social media, where fans nominate deserving recipients of her delectable baking. Naomi also works for Māori Television as a presenter, actor and director, where she is able to channel her love for te reo Māori. She lives in Avondale, Tāmaki Makaurau, with her husband, Paul, and their four daughters. To showcase her stunning baked creations, Naomi works in close collaboration with stylist and photographer Sarah Henderson.


Businesswoman, Rachel Taulelei


Session Three: Panel - How the Past is Influencing Our Emerging Kiwi Kai 


Lois Daish is recognised for her work as the New Zealand Listener food columnist for over 20 years as well as well-known Wellington restaurateur and the author of four recipe books. Her career as a restaurateur started in 1967 when a local theatre called her in last minute to cover for their absent cook. This brief experience lead to later training and qualifications and she went on to own several well-known Wellington restaurants. Lois’ work in the culinary arts has influenced generations of amateur and professional cooks.

David Veart is a freelance writer, trained archeologist and historian whose first book First Catch Your Weka: a story of New Zealand cooking tells the story of the elements that made New Zealand cooking distinctive and reveals how our cuisine and culture have changed. Analysing over 150 years of recipes, his study chronicles the culinary history of New Zealand, looking at curious dishes such as boiled calf's head, to more traditional homemade jams. David is a trustee of the Frank Sargeson Trust and the Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust, and is a committee member of the Devonport Museum. 

Joe McLeod is an experienced Executive Chef with over 50 years in the hospitality services industry. He maintains a strong connection to traditional Māori culinary arts, and is passionate about sharing his skills, experiences and knowledge in all facets of Māori and mainstream contemporary culinary arts.


Lauraine Jacobs

Session Four: Panel - Telling Stories of Culture & Heritage Through Food & Travel Writing


Ben Groundwater is a Sydney-based writer, columnist, author, blogger and broadcaster who specialises in food and travel. He writes weekly for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, contributes to a range of international food and travel media, hosts Australia’s most popular travel podcast, Flight of Fancy, and is the author of five books. Ben’s most recent book is Ultimate Food and Drink: Australia, a guide the best restaurants, cellar doors, breweries and distilleries in Australia’s premier wine regions. He’s also just released Neon Lights in Tokyo, a guide to eating and travelling in Japan’s capital. Ben has twice been named the Australian Society of Travel Writers’ Travel Writer of the Year. He has visited more than 100 countries, and still occasionally gets lost.

Jennifer Yee Collinson is a NZ food writer/author, dietitian and food scientist who established Culinary Journeys, regional food adventures in Aotearoa, in the mid-90s. Designed to connect eaters with growers and makers, these experiences introduced kiwis to what was literally on their back doorstep. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including Stone Soup, The Aristologist and Lazy Susan. Recent work includes a MPI funded sustainable food and fibre futures project with the Foundation for Arable Research connecting Wairarapa growers of durum wheat with artisan bakers, chefs, and pasta makers; Jen wrote and edited the recipe supplement for the new food documentary series Sik Fan Lah! released on TVNZ in February 2023. 


Journalist, Alexia Santamaria


Session Five: Panel - Town & Country - Living The Dream Through Food


Philippa Cameron is the station cook at her husband’s family farm in the Waitaki Valley, Ōtemātātā Station. Philippa's first book, A High Country Life captures a glimpse of each season on the 40,000 hectare property along with simple recipes that she uses regularly to fuel staff. Her second book, Winter Warmers, which has more recipes, alongside tales from past employees is due out April 2023. 

Nici Wickes’ approach to cooking is simple - source the very best ingredients you can afford, focus on flavour over technique and definitely don’t stress! Trained as a chef, Nici is now a successful freelance food writer and food stylist her creative food content has graced many of New Zealand’s magazines over the last decade. It is Nici’s belief that anyone can make a truly heroic dish and that the health of Aotearoa rests on our ability to be able to cook, eat and enjoy good, honest, real food and to teach our children to do the same.

Polly Markus launched her Instagram account Miss Polly’s Kitchen in March of 2020 as a place to share recipes with those closest to her. Following al fresco lunches with friends on the weekend and Sunday dinners with family, she wanted a place to document some of the personal recipes developed over a lifetime of loving good food. Away from life’s normal routine during Covid-19, she had more time to start creating and sharing recipes. It just so happened that everyone else had turned to cooking too, leading to incredible channel growth and the release of her first book.


Journalist, Lucy Corry


Session Six: The Making Of Nadia's Farm


Renowned celebrity chef, entrepreneur and author, Nadia Lim is a strong advocate for creating healthy and nutritious recipes using unprocessed and natural ingredients. A passion which ultimately led her and her husband, Carlos Bagrie, to become two of the co-founders of My Food Bag, using Nadia’s background as a clinical dietitian and Carlos’ success in branding and marketing. My Food Bag has helped to solve the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma for thousands of kiwi families every night. Being a farm-boy from Southland, Carlos was keen to demonstrate how food can be grown at scale ethically, sustainably and profitably drawing Nadia and Carlos to the South and becoming the owners (and Carlos as farmer) of the Royalburn Station in Arrowtown. All of which you can watch unfold on the hit TV series Nadia's Farm, where Carlos dives deep into what it takes to run two large Central Otago stations, whilst expanding his and Nadia’s latest genuine farm-to-plate venture. 


Cuisine Editor, Kelli Brett


Session Seven: Panel - For The Love Of Vege


Rosa and Margo Flanagan, A.K.A. the Two Raw Sisters, are four-time best-selling authors on a mission to inspire, motivate and educate people on the benefits of everyday whole, unprocessed and raw ingredients. The passionate cooks share their love for healthy eating and how it has helped them to overcome serious health challenges along the way such as chronic fatigue, endometriosis, gut issues and battles with being an under-weight élite athlete. Neither Rosa or Margo are vegan or vegetarian but focus on making plants the centrepiece on every plate. All eaters are welcome in their kitchen. While the duo takes healthy living seriously, they love having a good laugh, entertaining and sharing their inspirational story.

Emma Galloway is the bestselling author of three cookbooks. A former chef, photographer and creator of the award-winning food blog My Darling Lemon Thyme, her work has appeared on and Food52 and in The Guardian, among others. She was the recipient of the Tui Flower Award for Best Recipe Writing at the 2019 NZ Food Media Awards. She lives in Raglan, New Zealand, with her husband and two children. Her latest cookbook My Darling Lemon Thyme, Every Day was released in April 2021.


Claire Mabey, Verb Wellington

Session Eight: Panel - Is The Cookbook Dead?


Sam Low is a hospitality professional, content creator and brand ambassador. Fijian-born Chinese, raised in New Zealand, and a member of the LGBTQ community, he works with brands and projects that are willing to champion diversity and that connect with his contemporary audience. Sam is a Chinese gastronomy enthusiast, a global competing barista champion and coffee educator, gaining the titles of the 2016 NZ Barista Champion and is a two-time NZ latte art champion ranking 6th in the world at one point. Sam was crowned Winner of MasterChef™ New Zealand 2022 and is currently working on his first cookbook.

Erin Clarkson is a baking blogger and recipe developer, who trained as a geologist but later found herself in the world of food. She currently lives in Wellington after having spent the last seven years in New York. Her website 'Cloudy Kitchen' is dedicated to highly accurate and repeatable recipes, baking by weight, and breaking down complicated recipes into detailed steps that everyone can achieve. Erin’s recipes focus on her years living in the US, re-works of classic New Zealand recipes, and often a mixture of both.

Christall Lowe is an award-winning, seasoned creative, and as a self confessed “serial entrepreneur” for over 25 years she has established a career as a food writer, food stylist and food photographer.

Described as a “great raconteur”, Christall loves to weave stories in both visual and narrative form, and in 2022 was awarded the NZ Food Photographer of the Year. More recently her stunning, photojournalistic cookbook “Kai” was long-listed for the Ockham NZ Book Awards, and shortlisted for the NZ Booklovers Awards.  


Author and Visa Wellington On a Plate Head of Programming and Events, Beth Brash