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Monday 15 October 2018 10:59am

The Food of Love

Joanne Drayton

Winner of the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction at the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

The book

drayton cover for web

Hudson & Halls: The food of love is more than just a love story. It is a tale of two television chefs who helped change the bad attitudes of a nation in the 1970s and 80s to that unspoken thing – homosexuality.

Peter Hudson and David Halls became reluctant role models for a 'don't ask, don't tell' generation of gay men and women who lived by omission. They were also captains of a culinary revolution that saw the overthrow of Aunty Daisy and and the beginnings of Pacific-rich, Asian- styled international cuisine.

Their drinking, bitching and bickering on screen, their spontaneous unchoreographed movements across the stage broke taboos and melted formalities. They captivated an unlikely bunch of viewers, from middle-aged matrons to bush-shirted blokes. Hudson and Halls were pioneers of celebrity television who rocketed to stardom on untrained talent and a dream.

In this fast-paced and meticulously researched book, New York Times-bestselling author Joanne Drayton celebrates the legacy of this unforgettable duo.

The author

JOANNE DRAYTON is author of New York Times bestseller The Search for Anne Perry (2014), which was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards, the subject of a 60 Minutes documentary, and a cover story in the New Zealand Listener. Her critically acclaimed Ngaio Marsh: Her life in crime (2008) was a Christmas pick in the UK's Independent newspaper in 2009. Joanne has written three other groundbreaking biographies. In 2007 she was awarded a National Library Fellowship, and in 2017 she received a prestigious Logan Nonfiction Fellowship at the Carey Institute in Upstate New York. She lives in Auckland with her partner and three cats.


'I was 13 when I first saw David and Peter cooking on TV. Their cooking was miles from my family's style, so much more glamorous and aspirational, and there was something 'other' about them. I was enthralled. They helped improve the culinary scene in NZ, while subtly lifting the taboo on same-sex relationships. There is so much in this terrific book I knew little about.'
– Peter Gordon, chef, restaurateur, writer:

'This engaging, fast-paced and moving account of the lives of Peter Hudson and David Halls is a valuable and very welcome addition to New Zealand's cultural history and gay history.'
– Chris Brickell, award-winning author of Mates and Lovers: A history of gay New Zealand (Random House, 2008)

'Hudson and Halls were such a strong influence in my personal culinary journey ... They were in our living rooms, making us laugh at their pure showmanship but also teaching us about the joy of food and its preparation. I am delighted to endorse this engrossing book.'
– Jo Seagar, cookery writer:

Publication details

Paperback with flaps, full colour, 240 x 170 mm, 292 pp, ISBN 978-1-98-853126-7, $49.95
Published 2018

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