"The whole process of Pipi, looking back from where I am now, has been about grief, family, friends and food. About creating a fairy story.

"After my second marriage broke down, I fled to Sydney. I am not sure what I was thinking but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Looking back, I do not think I was present when I made that decision. A year before my second husband and I had lost a son, Zeus, when he was three-months-old."

This is Alexandra Tylee's story - the woman behind the popular Pipi restaurant.

Despite "float[ing] off to be with Zeus," Tylee managed to feed her passion for food at a small Sydney cafe, a place where she began her healing. It was here that the first Pipi came to life. It has since moved back across the Tasman, and now sits in the stunning Hawkes Bay.


Tylee has had no formal training, but lots of practise. She follows her heart and instinct to come up with seasonal recipes and shares them in the recently released book, Pipi: The Cookbook.

Here are a couple of her favourites:
* Cabbage, bacon and mascarpone penne
* Rice Pudding
Pipi: The Cookbook, by Alexandra Tylee, published by Random House, is available now. RRP $65.
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