"I’ve always been passionate about nature and the environment, and wanted to learn more about the future of food and what a sustainable food system might look like."

Tell us a little about yourself, and your journey to where you are now?

I’m Rose. I’m a cook. I also like to write, art direct, and take photographs. 

I’ve always loved food and known that this is how I want to spend my life. Throughout university in Melbourne I worked in the hospitality industry—cooking in kitchens, running a pop up, pouring wines, and working front-of-house. I love the chaos, romance, energy, and ephemeral nature of food. 

When I was home for Christmas in 2017 and working on a cookbook with my mum, Annabel, titled Together, I broke my back, and soon discovered that I wasn’t physically able to work in kitchens like I used to—so I needed to re-think how I was going to participate in the industry. I’ve always been passionate about nature and the environment, and wanted to learn more about the future of food and what a sustainable food system might look like. So, I moved to New York, where I worked in brand strategy and art direction for a big restaurant group, and then for a smaller startup. 

After three years, at the end of 2020, I decided to come home. I loved working on Together, and knew I wanted to do it again, I just needed to get some NYC hustle out of my system and get a little more experience from rest-of-world. Now that I’m home, I’m working on food projects, and making the most of all the incredible walks and nature NZ has to offer.

We imagine food was a big part of your family growing up, are there any rituals or special recipes you experienced in your childhood that you’ve carried throughout life?

For sure, It wasn’t until I left home that I realised how important our family rituals around eating were. At home, we set the table every night, with candles, music (often jazz), and sit down to eat together. I’ve done this living alone, with flatmates, and now with my boyfriend.

In saying that, there’s definitely a time and place for pizza in bed after a few too many wines. A family classic is eggy rice - steamed rice, wilted spinach, poached eggs, and parmesan. It’s so simple and comforting, I always make it when I’m homesick.

We love eating in season for freshness and abundance, but it also evokes memories or traditions around different stages of the year. What are some of your favourite spring ingredients, and why do you love them?

Absolutely! Spring is such a magical time of year that I’ve always loved. Spring vegetables are my idea of heaven - they are so sweet and full of chlorophyll, even their taste is green. Crisp, crunchy vegetables are so welcome after a winter of hearty rich foods.

I love peas, radishes, and broad beans. Little breakfast radishes with butter and salt - the dream! Broad beans are often regarded as a labor of love - they require so much work for such a tiny thing, but it’s well worth it.

They always remind me of being in the kitchen with my family, sitting around a big bowl, with peels everywhere and beans flying in all directions.

Travel is a little hard at the moment, so let’s live vicariously through you… can you take us through the best dish you’ve eaten whilst travelling? 

That’s a hard one. I think it’s too difficult to say best of all time, but a really visceral and delicious memory I do have is of some mushrooms I ate in Lisbon a few years ago. I’d been camping along the coast for a few weeks, living off the same salad - which involved an avocado, a tomato, some canned corn, canned beans, lime, and salt - all wrapped up in a lettuce cup to save on dishes.

When I got back to Lisbon I decided I wanted to take myself out for a nice dinner. I found a cute wine bar in a cobbled side street in Bairro Alto and remember drinking some really nice crisp white wine and these mushrooms. You wouldn’t think Lisbon would be a mushroom kinda-place, but hey. They had been cooked down in a lot of garlic and butter and they were sooo delicious. I’d had a few hiccups travelling alone and was finally getting into a really good groove. It felt great.

If you could enjoy one last meal, what would your entree, main and dessert be? And accompanying drink?

To start, I would have oysters and champagne. Then I would have a vongole, with an accompanying green salad and chablis. For dessert, pinot noir and cheese. I think three bottles of good wine would prepare me well.

2021 is flying by for us - what do you have planned for the rest of the year?

So quickly! Annabel and I have a cookbook coming out in October that we’re really excited about… Other than that, I’m hoping my brother Sean is going to make it home for Christmas. It’s been a couple of years since I last saw him so that would be really really lovely. Hopefully we can sneak in a few adventures.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Picnic Muffins


I love making these muffins when rhubarb and strawberries come into season in early spring. They are incredibly delicious, and are best enjoyed outside in the crisp spring sunshine.

Ready in 50 minutes
Makes 12 muffins

4 small stalks rhubarb, trimmed, thinly sliced (1 cup chopped rhubarb)
1 cup soft brown sugar, plus 1 tbsp
140g butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup natural yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 x 250g punnet strawberries, hulled and diced
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

Crumble Topping

2 tbsp slivered almonds
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
30g butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 170ºC fanbake and line 12 muffin tins with paper cases.

To make the Crumble Topping, combine dry ingredients in a bowl, add melted butter and mix to combine. Set aside.

Place chopped rhubarb and 1 tbsp soft brown sugar in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set this aside too.

Mix together the butter and remaining 1 cup sugar until creamy. Add eggs, yoghurt, and vanilla and mix well, then mix in the chopped strawberries. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and gently fold to combine. You will have quite a thick batter—this is to ensure the fruit does not sink.

Divide the mixture between prepared muffin tins (they will be very full). Top each with rhubarb mixture, and then the crumble topping.

Bake until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (25–30 minutes).

Allow to cool before turning out. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.