Old recipes prove big success at town cafe

By Amber Callanan

An antique cookbook has been given new significance thanks to a Kerikeri cafe.

The cookbook, belonging to Bessie Kemp of the historic Kemp family, contains recipes dating back to 1909. It's on display at the Kerikeri Mission House (Kemp House), which is New Zealand's oldest building.

Honey House Cafe, located behind Kemp House, has revived a number of Bessie's recipes as chef Neil Brazier has incorporated them into the menu.

"The results are delicious," says Kemp House manager Liz Bigwood.

The cafe has been offering coffee and treats made from recipes that have been sourced from historic archives since it opened late last year.

The cookbook itself is a fascinating insight into the Kemp family and how people lived then.

"Cookbooks are like a living family archive, incorporating much more than just methods of making dishes," says Ms Bigwood.

Bessie's cookbook is no exception. Its worn pages are a testimony to the fact that it was referred to often.

"It's still a wonderful resource even today. It's also an important part of the story of the Kemp family."

The Kerikeri Mission Station is open for guided tours every day except Christmas Day at 246 Kerikeri Rd. Honey House Cafe is open from 10am-4pm.

- Northern Advocate

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