Top Chef Hokianga Live

Top Chef Hokianga was this evening! MasterChef finalist and self-proclaimed “bloody good cook” Jax Hamilton led the judging at Rawene Town Hall.


She was joined by three others, including the fabulous L, who I met just the other night. L persuaded me to join the competition, so I entered a dessert: coconut-blueberry tarts.


The tart base is my almond tea cookie recipe:

2 cups almond flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup rice flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, ginger, and coconut oil in separate bowl and then add to dry ingredients. Mix until dough forms. Chill before baking. 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes.

The filling is my coconut custard recipe.

My little tarts made it to the semifinals!


The entries were beautiful; New Zealand foodies are really good at food presentation. I’ll know for next time to step that bit up a notch. 🙂 New Zealand is a cornucopia of good food, in every season, influenced by so many cultures, and the tables at the Town Hall were covered with gorgeous dishes that demonstrate this well:






The hall was packed full of people who watched while the judges tasted and commented on the semifinalist dishes—someone sitting next to me quipped, “What kind of strange torture have we gotten ourselves into?” There was soup and fresh fruit available at the back of the room, which A very gladly chowed down on.


Two of the dishes that made it to the semifinals were made by kids, and S and A are all afire with even more cooking ideas.

2 thoughts on “Top Chef Hokianga Live

    • Brooke, that was limoncello cheesecake with manuka honey, all ingredients sourced locally. An amazing feat of celebrating the Hokianga region and wowing the judges as well.

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