Australia’s clean living expert is set to take New Zealanders by storm at this year’s Food Shows. With the belief that everyone should be able to enjoy real food that tastes phenomenal, he’s here to teach you how with his back to basics approach.

Luke will be in good company at The Food Show, he was a finalist in Australia’s My Kitchen Rules, and like his fellow Food Show alumni he has an impressive list of credentials; including EIGHT top selling cookbooks, working with Angelina Jolie as a training and food consultant, the trainer on Australia’s Next Top Model and a runner up in 2015’s Celebrity Men’s Health Man of The Year.

Luke is going to be doing live cooking demonstrations at The Food Show in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland this year. Visitors will get a chance to see Luke live in action and pick up some of his best cooking tips. Tickets to The Food Show are available from www.foodshow.co.nz.

Luke Hines Interview

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the last week?
My butter chicken with easy home made coconut naan bread! I absolutely love this dish, it is so easy to create, and tastes just like a traditional version from your local Indian restaurant. For me, this dish is a great example of how cooking at home can be quick and easy, but still taste like you’re treating yourself at your favourite restaurant.

What was breakfast this morning?
It’s actually my homemade zucchini bread topped with scrambled eggs and avocado! I add chili flakes and lots of pink salt and it is delicious!

What are you looking forward to about being at The Food Shows?
First off, I just LOVE New Zealand! The air, incredible landscapes and produce are world class. Most of all though I am looking forward to meeting everyone at The Food Shows – for me, I cook to inspire people to get in the kitchen and have a go. Health starts in the kitchen, and if you can prepare simple nutrient dense food that tastes great, you’re a step closer to being the best version of yourself!

What will you be doing there?
I will be showcasing my healthy and delicious recipes to empower and inspire New Zealanders to step back into their kitchens and take their health and happiness into their own hands. Looking after yourself doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. Simply cooking with love and having a go is where it all begins.

What is something about you that people might not expect?
I think that I have established myself as a reputable name in food without being a Michelin star chef of sorts. I fly the flag in the foodie world for all those who simply want to learn how to cook real food that tastes great. I keep it simple and healthy, but never skimp on flavour! I hope New Zealanders will be impressed and that I can prove that healthy food is the most delicious out there, AND anyone can cook it!

What are your tips for cooking healthy?
First off, keep it simple. Let the ingredients speak for themselves. No foams or emulsions with me, just good honest food that sings to the taste buds. The food I create is the type that tastes incredible to eat, but you feel even better afterwards, as your body knows you’ve made an investment in good health.

If you’re home alone and need to make dinner, what do you cook for yourself?
I start with what vegetables I will make and go from there. For example if I have pumpkin in the house, I know that goes really well with chicken, so I might make a lovely crispy skin spicy chicken dish on a pumpkin puree. Alternatively, if I have something like avocados on hand, I might make a lovely salsa or guacamole and pair it with a lovely piece of fish!

What are your top five ingredients to cook with?
Coconut oil, Raw Cacao, Cauliflower, Eggs, Pork Belly
That was hard to pick just FIVE!!

What advice would you give to someone lacking confidence in the kitchen with cooking?
First off, everyone can cook! TRULY, so don’t ever feel like you can’t. It takes patience, and care. Start with some simple recipes and work up to more complicated dishes. Always remember that when you take your food and cooking into your own hands, you know there will be so much more love and flavour on the plate.

What’s your go-to dinner when you don’t know what to cook?
I love grabbing a mince of any kind, usually lamb due to its lovely fattiness, and then make a tomato-based sauce like a lamb mince Bolognese. Add some spiraled zucchini on top and there you have one awesome meal!

Do you predict any major health food trends for 2018?
I think we will see a big movement celebrating cheaper, fattier cuts of meat that require wonderful slow cooking or pressure-cooking techniques. Think lamb shanks, pork belly, beef cheeks and lamb shoulder. They are more affordable than the prime cuts, utilize the whole animal, minimising wastage, and taste incredible!

What’s something you would like to see changed in the food industry?
The treatment and feed of animals on a larger scale. I will only eat animal protein from farms that allow their animals to live a natural life, in their natural habitat, eating a diet they were designed to eat.
Another reason why I love NZ is because the produce is top notch.

What’s the biggest health food myth?
That all fats are bad for you! We were conditioned to be scared of foods with good fat due to the whole ‘fat free’ phenomenon. What happens when you take fat out of food is you have to add sugar for it to taste any good, which has lead to the obesity crisis we are now faced with. Relax knowing that fat from well-sourced proteins, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts and coconut oil are great sources of energy for us. Ditch the refined sugars and carbs, and get into good healthy fats and sustainable proteins.

Some people would say they are suffering from information over load when it comes to healthy eating, what advice should we be listing to?
Always keep it simple! Often the most delicious food is the simplest to put together. And as a general rule, we put so much pressure on ourselves and get confused. But we should be listening to our body. If certain foods or behaviors don’t make you feel good, then make a change. And equally, if you start to make healthier choices, listen to your body, and if it feels good, KEEP GOING!

See Luke Hines live at The Food Show Christchurch (6 – 8 April, Horncastle Arena), The Food Show Wellington (11 – 13 May, Westpac Stadium) and The Food Show Auckland (26 – 29 July, ASB Showgrounds). More info and tickets from www.foodshow.co.nz

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