Nici Wickes hosts World Kitchen on TV3 and writes restaurant reviews for Viva.
The one ingredient I can't live without is ... lemons, they're so great at adding flavour to any dish. A squeeze in a risotto, over some pasta or thrown in with the roast chicken and you've added a zing to the dish, add the zest to plain icecream for a fresh flavour.
I have $20 and four people to feed, I'm making ... big, thin-based homemade pizzas. Making your own pizza dough really makes the difference and it's so cheap. As for toppings, people make the mistake of using too many instead of focusing on fewer, more fabulous ingredients. One of my favourites is potato and rosemary - thinly sliced potato, lots of fresh rosemary, a decent drizzle of olive oil and ground black pepper. Fabulous. Or the traditional margherita with freshly blended tomatoes, a small amount of cheese and shredded basil leaves. Making and eating pizza is a great social occasion to me and the house always smells so wonderful while they cook.
I'm tired and hungry, I am ordering takeaways from ... Otto Woo because even after five years of eating it, I'm still not tired of their spicy squid salad. They don't scrimp on the squid or the amount of chilli it comes with.
The person I'd most like to cook for is ... my nana Jessie. A bit hard, as she's long left this world, but it was her imaginative cooking that I most admired growing up. Every Sunday we'd trek out west to my grandparents' place where she'd have a full afternoon tea ready, complete with butterfly cupcakes and caramel slice, followed by a smorgasbord of all our favourite dishes for dinner - roast meats, sweet and sour pork, battered oysters, trifle. She was always calm. She taught me that preparation is key.
The best meal I have ever eaten was ... there are too many to choose from but earlier this year I was in Jamaica, looking for the origins of jerk chicken. There I was, three-hours drive into the remote lush hills of the Blue Mountains, standing around a smoky pit oven, surrounded by local villagers, eating jerk chicken with the people who'd invented it, smothered in spicy home-made jerk sauce. I was in heaven.
Oh dear, it's my last meal, I'm eating ... A perfectly roasted chicken, stuffed with fresh lemons and thyme, served with a gravy laced with white wine and more herbs and crispy, roasted vegetables. Followed by a tiramisu - rich, creamy, with a kick of espresso and liquor.
WIN: Nici Wickes will also be presenting live cooking demonstrations at The Food Show at Auckland showgrounds, Greenlane July 29 to August 1. We have three double passes to the Food Show to give away. To enter email your name address and phone number to email@example.com by 5pm Thursday July 22.
* World Kitchen returns to TV3, tonight at 5.30pm.