FROM NEW ZEALAND TO THE WORLD
Kelli Brett leads Cuisine into 2024 and beyond.
Instagram @kellibrett Facebook @Kellibrettcuisine Twitter @kellibrett Linkedin @Kellibrett
IN THAT VERY FIRST ISSUE JULIE INTRODUCED CUISINE,“FOR ALL OF US WHOSE GREATEST DELIGHT IS A TABLE FULL OF FRIENDS OR FAMILY, ENTICING FOOD, LUSCIOUS WINE AND GOOD CONVERSATION”.
There have been a lot of joyful highs and some massive lows since Vanessa Stranan and I signed on the dotted line on 22 December 2017 to purchase our beloved Cuisine from Fairfax. As a small independent publisher in an industry that has faced many challenges, we are proud to have remained in the game and still be considered Aotearoa’s pre-eminent voice within the fabulous world of food and drink – a world that we care very much about.
Having been the keepers of Cuisine for almost six years, it is an excellent time to take stock and think about the next steps for both of us. Vanessa has decided to resign for personal reasons and although it is hard to imagine not having her by my side, I am extremely grateful to have had her as a business partner through thick and thin, and I wish her well in her new adventures.
Meanwhile, I’m super-excited to be stepping up to take the reins to continue with the business. Cuisine is my absolute pride and joy and, despite the challenges that have put all of us through the wringer these past few years, I know that we continue to make an important contribution towards the building of a proud food nation.
The thrill that I get when looking back through all of the 220 painstakingly produced issues of this iconic magazine never gets old. It is a great privilege to be able to continue the telling of the New Zealand food-and-drink story first tackled so brilliantly by editor Julie Dalzell and her team back in January 1987. In that very first issue Julie introduced Cuisine, “for all of us whose greatest delight is a table full of friends or family, enticing food, luscious wine and good conversation”. Our two most important ingredients have been – and will always be – people and place.
This past year, in addition to producing our beautiful and impactful content across a multitude of platforms, we have also introduced Women In Food & Drink Aotearoa New Zealand to recognise women who work within all the diverse industries that drive the evolution of our food-and-drink culture. I’m excited to now officially launch this national group in this issue (see page 32) to connect all women in food and drink across the country – ranging from farming to tourism, science to manufacturing, technology to hospitality – a group that will help us to network, educate and support each other as we share ideas and knowledge.
In support of our much-loved hospitality industry we’ve also reintroduced our Cuisine Good Food Awards event presented by American Express, showcasing the new digital
Cuisine Good Food Guide that celebrates those restaurants that have received our coveted hat ratings and the category winners and introducing our new Cuisine Destinations category. With more than 260 fantastic dining experiences showcased this year, I think we deserve a round of applause for that.
Our tiny team has worked fiercely to deliver all of this and I’m extremely proud of us. I believe that our brand has tremendous potential for growth and that our core strength is the depth of our relationship with our talented contributors and with you, our loyal Cuisine family, as we adapt and evolve to reach new audiences.
So, as we step into the next era of
Cuisine, I thank you for your support in helping us to get this far. I hope I can count on you to continue that support as I transition team Cuisine and reimagine what we might become. Plans are underway for a brand refresh in 2024 that will open up a whole new world of opportunities and we’ve welcomed Digital Strategy Manager Andrew Johnson to our
Cuisine table, who brings with him a new menu packed with irresistible and important ingredients.
I won’t lie to you; I’m excited and petrified in equal measure. But I promise you that Cuisine will stay firmly in the driver’s seat for the telling of a New Zealand food-and-drink story that we can all be proud of. We are – and forever will be – the keepers of our nation’s culinary history and evolution.
Let’s go get ‘em. xx, KEL
Slick & Sassy Media Ltd