For many years now, Natalie Oldfield has been telling the story of her gran, Dulcie May Booker, a remarkable but humble woman who blessed an entire community of people, as well as generations of family members, in the way she showed love and grace in the preparation and sharing of food. She was the inspiration behind Natalie’s former foodstore, Dulcie May Kitchen, as well as the many cookbooks she has published over the past six years.
Natalie grew up around her grandmothers, Dulcie May and Nana Rita, and learnt from them both that food made with love was the best kind of all. Not only that, she learnt how to bake cakes and how to make jams, how to prepare flowers, tend a garden, use fresh produce, and touch other people's lives with amazing food.
Little did Natalie know at the time, but by the age of 18 all that she had learnt about being a mother, a wife, and a cook, would provide all she needed to transition into a whole new chapter of life. She and her high school sweetheart Adam had a daughter, Gabby, and soon after they were married. To this day Natalie continues to be the wife and mother she became 19 years ago … and is still caring for her family with delicious and nutritious food made with love.
The practical "wisdom" about life that Natalie learnt from Dulcie, especially how to live with humour and grace in all situations, and the importance of that special ingredient "love" in each and every circumstance, has set Natalie's work apart since she decided to honour her Gran when she opened her former foodstore in her Gran's name and self - publishing her first cookbook, Gran's Kitchen, in 2009. That wisdom continues to inform and shape all that she does.
Today, Natalie is the author of four best-selling international cookbooks; the winner of three Gourmand book awards; a former MasterChef guest judge; a MasterChef Masterclass host; a guest chef on TVNZ Good Morning; and TVNZ Breakfast; a competition judge at food events nationally; a contributor to The Great NZ Cookbook; and a speaker at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.
More books are planned for the future, with her latest book Love & Food at Gran’s Table due to be released in March, 2015. Natalie has a series of special events planned at which some of the great recipes in the book, and their accompanying stories, will be shared — because all great acts of love are meant to be shared around, just like great food.
Look out for Natalie as she shares more of these stories throughout the year, on television, in print, at special events, and even at cooking classes. It’s a story Natalie continues to be passionate about, and is eager to tell … because, as she herself discovered, there’s nothing that brings people together better than food made with love.