After four years of dreaming, brainstorming and some hard work thrown in, local photographer Joanna Piatek has created a Kāpiti infused cook book with the help of publisher Michelle Lovi.
Telling the stories of 25 foodies throughout the Kāpiti district, Jo has captured and infused the taste of Kāpiti in a book full of recipes and photos called Kāpiti — A Portrait Through Food.
"This was a brainchild of mine four years ago," Jo said.
"When I met Michelle Lovi in January this year she was my missing link and had the skills I lacked to make the book happen.
"So we decided to work together on the project."
Working with 25 foodies, cafes, restaurants and eateries, the foodies provided their recipes with Jo doing the photography and Michelle editing and putting together the book.
"It's a book for visitors, or people new to the area, or for people moving out of area, as it touches on Kāpiti's history, but mainly tells a story of Kāpiti through the short stories from the foodies."
Originally from Sweden, as a foreigner, Jo would get a lot of visitors who wanted to take something representing Kāpiti home with them.
"I would get a lot of visitors and I used to do all this Kāpiti Island stuff, like putting photos of the island on canvases.
"But there is so little in the way of souvenirs and gifts from the area about Kāpiti apart from pictures of the island.
"So I wanted to do something that involved my photography, something people could take away and I thought of a book.
"I didn't want to have a book full of Kāpiti Island or the waterfalls or the forest.
"So I thought we have all this amazing food, and it didn't need to be limited to just restaurants."
Featuring the stories of cafés, restaurants and eateries, the book also includes the stories of food producers such as KoaKoa Limoncello and Dark Horse Café and providers such as Mike King's Finders Eaters and Kāpiti Island Nature Tours.
Sharing the stories of foodies from Paekākāriki to Ōtaki, Michelle's background is in publishing, having run Odyssey Books for over 10 years.
"I mostly publish fiction and memoir so this project appealed to me because its telling peoples stories.
"I love the ideal of telling the story of Kāpiti through all these locals with a food focus. The recipes are part of who they are."
Creating the book in a few short months, Jo and Michelle brought different skillsets to the project and have completed the book in time for the Christmas stockings. It can be purchased from Paper Plus, Odyssey Books or from your local foodies.