Kick back and enjoy a relaxed festive seafood-centric feast with Al Brown in this extract from Eat Up New Zealand: The Bach Edition.

I often speak of the importance of people and place and how those two simple ingredients – who you are with and where you are physically located – play such a significant role in our most vivid and influential food memories. Bach kitchens evoke that narrative. The kitchen, of course, is the heart and the hub of the bach: from a pre-dawn early morning cuppa to those welcome impromptu visits throughout the day, as friends drop in unannounced. Baches seem to bring a liberating sense of freedom, where life’s regular timing is simply ignored or paid no mind. The somewhat rigidity of formal everyday life, with its protocols and established ways, is replaced with a spirit of generosity, nourishing hospitality, and tolerance for bouts of harmless lawlessness. The two main drivers when I am cooking are generosity and fun. They are kind of like insurance policies around how the dish will be perceived. Both of these components are at the basis of my thinking with every dish that I think up and work on. I like to trust there is some creativity in there too, but being generous and having fun is what I think eating is all about. Bach food is all about that… it is not complicated, it doesn’t require a trip to a speciality food store or taking out a second mortgage to purchase a bloody sous vide machine. It is about feeding loved ones who are famished with food that is simple, fresh, delicious and, thank goodness, sometimes a little down and dirty.