We have been fans of Carter Were’s humble and holistic approach to cooking since she made waves with Were Bros, an Auckland cafe that gained an international reputation for its organic sprouted bread (homemade by Carter herself).
The cafe has since closed, but Carter has kept cooking, now from the cosy kitchen she shares with her musician partner Jack and their young daughter Patience. From her home in Federal, a tiny town out the back of Byron Bay, Carter shares photos of her culinary creations to followers around the world: frittatas made with eggs from her chickens; salads with homegrown lettuce and herbs; and sweet treats like banana bread and polenta cake.
Some of her favourite recipes have been collated into her first-ever cookbook, Carter’s Cookbook. A collaborative project with her twin sister Harriet, a photographer who frequently shoots for Lonely lingerie, the book is now available for pre-order. We asked Carter some quick questions about the publication.
Has food and cooking always been a part of your life?
As kids, my three siblings and I loved food and had big appetites. But my parents both hated cooking, so as a result we were very adventurous eaters. Cooking is something I discovered on my own after I left home and moved to Sydney.
How would you describe your approach to cooking?
What do you love about it?
Eating the finished meal with other people.
Can you tell us a bit about the cookbook: what was the inspiration, how long has it been in the making for?
Harry and I had been wanting to work on something together. It’s been in the making for a while because I’ve had a baby in between, we’ve self funded it, and we live in different countries. So we have worked on it together when we have been in the same place at the same time!
What kind of recipes will we find in the cookbook?
My favourite easy-to-make recipes that can be made with basic cooking equipment.
What are your favourite things to grow in your garden?
What are your pantry staples to always have on hand?
Olive oil, salt, and lemon. With them, you can make anything taste good.