Upclose & Personal - Nadia Lim

Nadia is the force behind My Food Bag, NADIA magazine and cookbook publishing. The latest thing I’ve been working on is my new cookbook Let’s eat! published by Nude Food Inc.

Who is your partner? What do they do?
Carlos - we’ve been together for 13 years since our university days. He works on a variety of things but is mainly in the marketing space.

Do you have any children?
Bodhi, 16 months.

Do you have any pets?
Not at the moment, only the hyperactive, furry ones I visit at my mum's place.

How do you keep fit?
Daily walks around Coxs Bay with Bodhi and Carlos, and once every one to two weeks with
a trainer to keep me in check.

Your best friend would say of you...
I sent them (I have five besties) a message on Facebook and they said: “determined, ambitious, thoughtful, full of big dreams, unpunctual, a little crazy, wild and an instigator of skinny dips.”

Note that they may be a bit biased with their memories and opinions as they have known me since my teenage years.

Your mother would say of you...
I texted her and she said “Oooh, a bit stubborn? And very determined, loyal and hardworking towards your goals.”

Note: she is also biased having known me when I was a toddler!

It’s hard to say when I’m talking about myself - but I guess I’d say a dreamer, a believer, and a good cook.

Nachos, ice cream, Game of Thrones.

Who's your ultimate rock icon?
Jamie Oliver.

Secret passion?
Intrepid, grass roots travelling.

What's your secret talent?
I’m a pretty good parallel parker. My husband, who is from a farm, also reckons I was a great, first time, quad bike driver!

Where do you spend your holidays?
Hanmer Springs, Central Otago, Coromandel and the Far North.

What's your perfect Sunday?
All the washing and vacuuming is done, I’ve managed to do a few organisational odd jobs like clean out the bathroom cupboards or pantry, it’s a sunny day so we get out, a delicious family dinner with my mum, siblings and their partners, I get to bed before 10pm and Bodhi sleeps through the night! Boring I know, but I love the mundaneness of it before another crazy week starts!

What were you going to be when you grew up?
An archeologist (after watching Indiana Jones), later an architect, but then it became obvious I was destined for something to do with food.

How did you come to be a chef?
I’m not a trained chef as I’ve never had any formal training. I’ve just learnt by lots of practise and trial and error, and getting put through the ringer while on MasterChef NZ.

If you weren't a chef you'd be..?
A dietitian (which I still am) or an ecologist.

Favourite Ponsonby cafe?
That’s a very hard question, as there are so many fantastic places. Orphans Kitchen and Little Bird are two I go to a bit.

Favourite Ponsonby restaurant?
Lots, too, but I have utmost respect for the chefs and people who run Cocoro and Sidart. Blue breeze Inn, Mekong Baby, Saan, Ponsonby Road Bistro, etc, are all delicious, too…and so many more!

Your best kept Ponsonby secret?
I love the childrens bookshop (Dorothy Butler Childrens Bookshop) on Ponsonby Road - the books are for kids but I really love sifting through them!

What's inspired you recently?
Getting the first (advance copy) Let’s eat! cookbook straight from the printers - it is everything I had hoped for and I’m even more in love with it than I thought I would be. I know all the recipes so well, but seeing it all makes me want to cook everything again!

Your desert island distractions: song, movie and/or TV show/book?
Foraging for food... and swimming!

The house is on fire and your family is safe - what do you save?

"I'd be lost without my..."
Little boy Bodhi.

One thing you have learned about life is...?
Winning at life is simply being happy, healthy, close to friends and family, always feeling like there’s more to learn everyday, enjoying the journey rather than being so focused on the end destination, and knowing your purpose. Plus not having any regrets about not giving something a go!