The country's favorite food magazine turns 25 years old this month, but Cuisine editor Sarah Nicholson isn't resting on any laurels, in fact she's set her sights even higher.
"Cuisine has been New Zealand's top-selling food magazine for 25 years. It's the leader in the market, with the most recognised brand. But we aim to be the world's best food magazine. With our independent wine tastings, Cuisine Restaurant of the Year Awards, Cuisine Artisan Awards and many other properties, Cuisine has become a super-brand," says Nicholson.
"Since becoming editor, our team has put even more focus than ever on listening to our readers and delivering them food they want to cook. That's the most important thing for me. I really feel it's a homegrown success story all New Zealanders can be proud of!"
The magazine was founded by Julie Dalzell (wife of Sir Michael Fay's brother John, for those of you who love trivia) back in 1987 when she bought the magazine from the publisher. Dalzell's vision was to support and champion New Zealand's boutique producers, something the magazine still continues to do.
Masterchef judge Ray McVinnie joined the magazine back in 1992 and remains its food editor, and many of New Zealand's top food writers and chefs saw their careers launched in Cuisine, including Annabel Langbein, and Julie Biuso.
Editor Sarah Nicholson has been at Cuisine's helm for two years. The opportunity to do so drew her back to New Zealand after 14 years away, working on titles like Vogue Entertaining in Sydney. Nicholson puts the magazine's success down to the fact that New Zealanders really love their food.
"Cuisine is close to people's hearts because food is so important to us. We are a nation of foodies, and our readers are a very loyal bunch. In fact 68 percent of our readers are subscribers, which is amazing. But we don't take it for granted. Yes, Cuisine has great food and great recipes. But, more importantly, it's also a really good, interesting read, and that's the difference. The magazine is far more than just a cook book, or collection of recipes and meal ideas. We have an amazing team of writers, lead by Ray McVinnie.
"As well as keeping readers up to date with foodie news, and international trends, over the last 25 years Cuisine has chartered the culinary journey of our country," says Nicholson.
And what a culinary journey it was... the eighties saw plaited fish served up with passionfruit sauce, pesto and polenta were exotic Italian imports back then, and sushi virtually unheard of. That gave way to 'fusion cooking' in the nineties, followed by food miles, ethical choices, and fair trade in the noughties. So, where to from here?
"We will continue to lead the way, showcasing the very best of food produced and cooked here in New Zealand," says Nicholson, who hopes to keep Cuisine ahead of the crowd for the next 25 years, by doing much the same thing... keeping an eye out for what people want to cook at home.
Cuisine has won:
- MPA Magazine of the Year in the Home, Food and Garden category 2011
- Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards Best Food Magazine 2007
Cuisine has a circulation of 53,394 and a readership of 408,000.
(Circulation: NZ Audited Bureau of Circulation; Average Net Circulation; Dec 2011
Readership: Nielsen CMI Q4 2010 - Q4 2011)