A true foodie, Bernadette Hogg is living the dream on her five acre lifestyle property on the Glen Eden River with her husband, two dogs, sheep, vegetable garden and orchard. Bernadette has become very popular through her delicious recipes in both NZ House & Garden and Food Magazine. “I became involved in food writing when NZ House and Garden Magazine first launched. Food writer and friend Annabelle White needed an assistant, so I’d help her out,” says Bernadette.
Bernadette and her family moved up to the beautiful Matakana region in the year 2000. She wanted a non-city life where her three children could grow up fishing, hunting, surfing, swimming and go to school all very close to home. “One of my favourite things about the Matakana area is the space. The availability of fresh produce, interesting food producers and talented cooks all add to my love of living in Matakana,” says Bernadette.
Food is more than just a job, it’s in Bernadette’s genes. Her father was a baker, mother a pastry chef and food an expression of their family identity. “My food writing started with just the odd recipe and styling job for the magazines, then progressed to photographers asking me to style advertising shoots,” says Bernadette. She also had a five year stint as Food Editor of Your Home & Garden Magazine and many years as a contributing writer to Food Magazine.
Bernadette never switches off when it comes to food, she writes notes on her phone that are full of ideas she has seen or tasted, ready for the next recipe creation.
Bernadette has a background in advertising, which when combined with her foodie nature might just be the explanation behind her unique ability to trigger your taste buds and draw you in with visual appeal. As it turned out, Bernadette had quite the flair for styling and an eye for the unique and quirky. “The photographers I work with are always blown away by my props department. I see things like the back of an old discarded sign as the perfect backing for a food shoot,” says Bernadette.
When Bernadette had her third child, it was time to leave the advertising and the nine-to-five life behind. The pace and opportunities in the Matakana region allowed Bernadette to focus on her family, writing and styling. “Helping on my friend’s food shoots worked well with young children, and when my recipe writing took off, the magazine and public liked my recipe style. it was the perfect job to do with a young family; I would write all night and test during the day,” she says.
With food and fresh produce a central theme of the Matakana and surrounding areas, food not only connects family around here, it also connects and creates great friendships. Bernadette, through her constant quest for hard to find produce and garnishes, met Marie, close friend and owner of Quail Farm, because of her ever reliable fruit and veg stall. Then a few years ago they teamed up to create ‘Quail Farm Collectables’, combining their different styles but keen eyes and nous for finding all things quirky and cool.
Visiting Quail Farm Collectables is a must when visiting the area! As Bernadette says, “neither of us can leave things the same for long. We meet up once a week and change the shop adding any new goodies we have found, as it turns out people love it! Some only popping in for a look but very few leave empty handed.” Open Friday-Sunday, 11am-3pm.
279 Omaha Flats Road, Omaha