“I’ve never been a fan of cooking separate meals for kids. I first learned that years ago when, taking a break from Michelin-starred restaurants, I worked as a private chef for a while for seriously wealthy families who’d get me to cook for the kids first, and then the adults.

“My approach is to eat together, and to do this we meet halfway. So it’s quite simple food from an adult’s perspective, but spruced compared to what we might think of as kids’ food. We always use the best ingredients possible though – such as Bostock’s organic chicken – that’s really important to me, it just tastes so much better. Roast chicken is one of God’s gifts: there’s a meal, sandwich fillings and the basis of a stock right there.

“The way I see it, there’s a short window of time when you’re going to be smarter than your kids; they’ll overtake me soon but I’m using this time to get the brats to eat well! Between 5.30pm and 6pm is our dinnertime. I starve the kids after school – they’re allowed a bit of fruit or something but I’m anti carb-loaded snacks like chips and if I catch them going for a banana at 5pm I tell them off. If kids are hungry, they’ll eat well. I love seeing my kids chowing down happily. Also, if you cook something well, cook it precisely, they’ll destroy it. I hated the gross brussels sprouts I grew up on – plonked into cold water then boiled with the lid on. We put them in salted, boiling water and boil for exactly four minutes – we always use a timer when cooking sprouts, broccoli or beans. And I’ll often put the vegetables on the table first as a kind of entree.

“I don’t force my kids to finish what’s on their plate, and they can leave the table whenever they’ve finished eating, but they do have to clear their plate away. Overall my view is that common sense trumps all rules.”



Cara, my wife, makes the best braised mince – kind of like a chilli. We serve it on rice or in wraps (or Mila loves it served in half a yellow pepper – fancy!) with grated carrot, avocado and sour cream. The dish changes depending on what’s in the fridge, or in our garden – the best was when Cara added a whole heap of shredded cavolo nero to the chilli and cooked it down; the kids smashed it. Cara gets the mince on in the morning with onions, garlic and preserved tomatoes, she cooks it slow then the veggies and some cooked beans get added after school.


We love our “Titirangi cheese rolls” after school: fry thick haloumi slices in a dry non-stick pan then roll hot halloumi, chopped cooked broccolini (last night’s leftovers) in a tortilla and toast under the grill.


These are a favourite in our house. We cheat and buy wonton wrappers! The kids love making them, too. For the filling: mix together 400g pork mince, 200g chopped cooked cabbage (or any greens), 2 crushed cloves garlic, 10g ginger finely grated, 2 chopped spring onions, 100g chopped prawn meat, 1 teaspoon salt. The kids then roll the mix into little balls (messy, but fun!) and wrap each one in wonton pastry (the kids freestyle this) and cook in boiling water for 5 minutes. We serve them with low-sodium soy, sesame oil and a touch of finely grated ginger.