A broken back is partly to thank for cookbook queen Annabel Langbein's latest offering - a collaboration with her daughter Rose.

A Free Range Life: Together will soon arrive on book stands around the country and shows off the combined talents of Langbein and her 24-year-old daughter.

Rose, who works in marketing and events in New York wasn't available to be interviewed, but Langbein told the Weekend Herald the book was her "very clever" daughter's idea and was built on the pair's good relationship in the kitchen.

"We've been cooking together for a while. She's a great little cook."


The seed was sown last year when the family were holidaying in Greece and she realised what a confident, creative cook Rose had become during her years of studying and flatting, Langbein said.

"Rose has been a cash-strapped student for the past seven years. Like me, she has a deep love of cooking but, like many of her millennial generation, her approach is vested in the wellbeing of our planet and tempered by a commitment to ethical food production, sustainability and health."

It was a dramatic incident in January that gave the pair even more time to work together on the recipes.

Rose broke her back waterskiing in Wanaka. Her spinal cord was not affected, but pain meant she had to lie flat on her back for long periods.

"I'd sit in bed with her and I decided to show her how to write a recipe. She started writing and I was her little slave testing them for her. It was a really bad start to the year, but out of it came this beautiful thing."

Rose had told her working on the book with her mum was the best thing she had ever done, the garden-to-table guru said.

Celebrity cook and author Annabel Langbein's new book 'Together' is co-written with her daughter Rose Langbein. Photo / Supplied
Celebrity cook and author Annabel Langbein's new book 'Together' is co-written with her daughter Rose Langbein. Photo / Supplied

The recipes were mostly vegetarian, as Rose doesn't eat meat, but included some of Langbein's favourite meat dishes.

Her daughter made her thoughts clear when she didn't agree with her mum on what should and shouldn't be included.

"She said [at one point] 'Mum, we can't have anymore baking. There's enough baking stuff, stop'. Her generation - they are really clear about what they want and don't want."

Modern vegetarian recipes are accompanied by those for burgers, ideas for cooking with sustainable fish species, meals for one, fruit-based desserts, picnic baking, on-trend recipes for fermented and pickled foods, and more, Langbein said.

A four-week meal planner was also included.

Despite the generational differences, they had ended up "in the same place" with their cooking values, Langbein said.

"How can we tread more lightly [on the planet], how can we eat more healthily, and how can we do it inexpensively."

There was also a gratitude that Rose had escaped permanently life-changing harm.

"It's a gift, this thing called life. As long as you are healthy, you can build a life around the table, and it doesn't have to be about money."

• The Weekend Herald and Annabel Langbein Media have three copies of Together by Annabel and Rose Langbein to give away.

To enter, visit: nzherald.co.nz/win

The competition closes at 5pm on October 17. Full terms and conditions are on our website.