Patricia van Bergen learnt her baking skills from her grandmother.
Patricia van Bergen learnt her baking skills from her grandmother. MIKE RICHARDS

In My Kitchen: Keen baker loves to mix it up

THIS week we talk about cooking with QCWA volunteer Patricia van Bergen. 

Name: Patricia van Bergen.

Occupation: I have been retired for seven years - I now volunteer at the QCWA and cook for all the functions they hold.

Who is your biggest inspiration in the kitchen? My grandmother - I lived and grew up with her and she cooked everything from scratch - she was a wonderful baker.

She would bake everything from scones to pies.

What was your first successful meal you ever cooked? After I was married, at a dinner party I made Osso Bucco; an Italian tomato stew - I used ox tail for the meat.

What is your favourite thing to cook? I love to bake cupcakes with my Stand Mixer, it's amazing.

I now cook cupcakes for The Old Station Fly-in show in Raglan, held every year.

Would you pursue a career in cooking? No, not professionally. I used to cook for a restaurant called Busy Bee.

It's not around anymore, but you would send all your cooking to them and they would sell it.

I love it as a hobby too much to pursue it, too much pressure as a career.

Why do you enjoy cooking? I just love doing it - it must be in my genes.

My grandkids love helping as well. I'm hoping it's something that can be carried as a family tradition.

Your least favourite food and why? Mushrooms - they taste like dirt to me.

Although I did volunteer for Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food program when it was in town and they did a really nice mushroom sauce.

One ingredient you love cooking with and why... Butter, it is very versatile. You can use it in sweet and savoury dishes.

I don't like to use margarine or anything like that.



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