Author(s): Kelda Hains and Paul Schrader
Nikau has a special place in people's hearts. Run by Kelda Hains and Paul Schrader, the café has been open for almost two decades, serving only breakfast and lunch.
This decision has forged a unique point of view. Both Kelda and Paul are dedicated to the notion of simple things done well. Meticulous, unpretentious service is matched by reliably delicious food, a philosophy that has seen Nikau gain a following far beyond Wellington.
Nikau the cookbook documents many of the Café's classic dishes.
Kelda's food is informed by her love of gardening and produce – seasonal cooking is at the heart of every dish. Each chapter is named for a dish served at Nikau, with variations and accompanying recipes that allow the home cook to build their own menus.
“I wanted to show how I think about ingredients and how I decide what to cook. Essentially, I am produce led... and once you have that freshness, it's about not fiddling with your produce, just standing back and letting it shine.”
Douglas Johns' superb photography offers a glimpse of the moods and daily rhythms of a busy cafe. This is a beautiful book that shares the wisdom and work developed over twenty years in an innovative and much-loved Wellington kitchen.