Who we are...
Tēnei te mihi atu ki a koutou, mai Maketū ki te ao, tēnā koutou katoa.
Nau mai haere mai
We are K
We are Kārena and Kasey Bird, sisters from the beautiful beach side community of Maketu. It is the landing ground of the Te Arawa waka and the place where our connection to kai/food started.
We were fortunate to be brought up in a community where everyone knows each other. Fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood were always shared between neighbours when they harvested a crop or came back in from diving and fishing. The provenance the kai we ate was local and fresh. It was an idyllic upbringing.
In 2014 we entered and won Masterchef New Zealand and it changed our lives. After our win, we self published our first cookbook For the Love of... which went straight to number on the Best sellers list and also won Best Television Cookbook at the Gourmand World Cookbook awards. Our second cookbook 'Hungry' won a prize at the same awards the following year for photography (ka tika me mihi atu ki a Deborah Aspray) we were also given a 'Lifetime achievement award' for the self publication of our two award winning books.
We have filmed two seasons of our cooking series Karena and Kasey's Kitchen Diplomacy which see's us travel to a different country each episode, totalling 20 different international destinations, where we learned about their culture and food. From epic streetfood to the fine dining restaurants at the top of their game. Since Masterchef we have been to over 50 destinations around the world whilst also being involved with lots of food events all over New Zealand.
Our experiential dining experience 'The Creation Dinner' which showcased our passion of storytelling through food. Each course was inspired by the Māori creation kōrero with visual and audio elements used to immerse the diners on this culinary journey.
Most recently we have taken time to become fluent in te reo Māori which has further deepened our love of storytelling through food. Intertwining our cultural knowledge with creating inventive dishes.
We are truly grateful to to be able top to do what we love and share it with you all.
Ngā mihi nui
Karena and Kasey