At Home With… Michael Van de Elzen

April 23, 2020
At Home With… Michael Van de Elzen

The chef and host of new TV show Eat Well For Less NZ on his kids’ backyard schoolroom, and how aubergines have proved an invaluable currency.

Who’s in your isolation bubble?

In our bubble out at the farm is myself, my wife Bee, our two daughters, my mother-in-law Jane and our German short-haired pointer, Hector.

Have you had any ongoing projects during lockdown?

Yes – we just opened our Good From Scratch Cookery School in January so Bee and I are using this time to work on recipes to use in the classes when normality resumes, while our girls are helping us trial the dishes in the kitchen. Hector’s role is to clean up any food scraps, something he is particularly good at!

What’s been on your reading/podcast/movie list?

I've just smashed out all my books! Luckily, I managed to borrow some books for a trade of some aubergines with a neighbour, so I'm back into reading. I’ve also been going back through some old TVNZ shows on demand, which has been great in the evenings.

What's something you have learned from lockdown?

Just how fast-paced our lives were pre-lockdown. We had so many jobs on the go, so it has been good just to have the time to get those done! Also how lucky we are living in this country. Sometimes being so isolated at the bottom of the world is not such a bad thing. Lastly, how much I miss spending time with friends and family.

How’s your food situation? Are you pretty sorted or have you had to keep topping up?

We have a huge vege garden that we’ve been growing to provide the cookery school with fresh veges, so we’ve been able to harvest fresh produce daily to cook with, as well as make some preserves. 

Who’s been doing the cooking?

We’ve been doing our best to get the girls involved with the cooking. It’s such an important skill and if kids learn in a fun way, it doesn’t become a chore. We’re enjoying spending time with them in the vege garden talking about what each of the plants are and how we can turn them into something delicious in the kitchen.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when isolation ends (apart from catching up with friends of course)?

Resume running our classes at the cookery school! Plus we are really looking forward to getting back to some of our favourite restaurants out in west Auckland and supporting our local hospitality scene.

See Good From Scratch here

Eat Well For Less NZ premieres on April 28 at 7.30pm on TVNZ 1.