Some celebrity chefs cause heat in the kitchen with their temperaments but star of TVNZ's Kiwi Living Michael Van de Elzen is most certainly not one of them.

This Mr Nice Guy is as easy to digest as his delicious food and he's headed our way this weekend for a special appearance at The Little Big Markets.

He's heard all about the great range of artisan food at the market and has invented some special recipes just for these products.

"I was blown away by the massive array of providers at the market and I'm really excited at showing people as many techniques, skills and recipes as possible so they can use the products in everyday food," he says.

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Michael made a name for himself cooking in some of the world's finest restaurants, including heading up a 140-chef team for the opening of the Tate Modern, as well as heading the kitchen of a luxury hotel which won Conde Nast Traveler's World Small Hotel of the Year.

He still owns a restaurant on Auckland's Ponsonby Road but says one of the highlights of his job on Kiwi Living is getting out and about to see the range of quality food being produced in the country.

"The best thing about markets is you can talk to the producers of your food, understand where it comes from and what you can do with it," he says.

"Artisans know their product inside out and they're always creating new ideas, so it's always exciting as a chef to see what's coming out."

Michael and his wife (also a chef) are busy parents, so when they're at home they stick with simple food.

"We don't cook fancy at home because we have it at work, so often we just want to cook something simple and nutritious or one-pot wonders, which are great."

His latest book, Fast: Good Home Cooking, has got some straightforward ideas for busy people who still want food that bursts with flavour and he's bringing a stack of them down to the market this weekend.

the fine print
What: Cook Like Mike
Where: The Little Big Markets
When: Saturday, October 3, 10.30am

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