Dirt is an beautifully crafted cookbook that digs into the relationship between food and words. Twelve earthy recipes from chef Gemma Walsh are accompanied by a collection of stories, poems and conversations from some of New Zealand’s contemporary writers.
The collection is the result of a series of brunches, lunches and dinners held at Walsh’s Grey Lynn villa over the winter of 2018. On each occasion, a writer was invited to join the hosts for a meal—a plant-based recipe artfully concocted by Walsh. The writer was then asked to respond to the experience with a piece of writing. The resulting texts unearth a range of narratives on memory, culture and place.
Texts by Courtney Sina Meredith, Lana Lopesi, Amy Weng, Rosabel Tan, Dominic Huey, Vanessa Crofskey, Natasha Matila-Smith, Owen Connors, Liam Jacobson, Reem Musa, Gabi Lardies and Sam Walsh.
Gemma Walsh is a plant-based chef and food writer. Trained in commercial cookery in Melbourne, Gemma returned to New Zealand to open her first café, Big Sur, where hearty, seasonal vegetable dishes were the focus of her menu. She now runs Plant Magic—an outlet to share recipes, cook and celebrate the humble vegetable.
Katie Kerr is a editor and graphic designer based in Auckland. Previously Head of Design at Alain de Botton’s The School of Life in London, she now designs for international clients and the arts sector, while producing books via GLORIA, an arts-based publishing platform, and running artist-run space Strange Haven on Karangahape Road.