To be doing what I am today is a dream come true. It all started when I was 12 years old. Inspired by ‘The Naked Chef’, aka Jamie Oliver, I made my mind up that one day (“when I grew up”), I would write cookbooks and have a cooking show called ‘Food in the Nude’ (don’t ask me how I came up with that name!)
Throughout my school years it became clear I was a born to cook. As a young teen, I loved holding dinner parties for friends and started writing my recipes in a little note book. I think the first original recipe I created was a chilli and lavender milkshake – it’s fair to say it was a disaster, so I’ve come a looooong way since then!
I studied nutrition and dietetics for five years at Otago university, where I learnt the science behind food and nutrition, as well as met my husband Carlos. I worked as a diabetes dietitian for a few years before the opportunity to enter MasterChef came up. With the dream of writing a cookbook in mind (which was one of the prizes), I entered the reality TV cooking show and, after A LOT of sweat and tears, managed to cook my way to the top winning the competition! What an amazing feeling that was.
To cut a long story short, it’s been one hell of a ride since that day and I’ve stayed true to my ‘Nude Food‘ values, championing delicious, (naturally) nutritious, real food. My big labour of love has been My Food Bag (launched in 2013). Every night My Food Bag helps to solve the “What’s for dinner?” dilemma for thousands of families across New Zealand, putting simple, healthy, delicious dinners on their tables every week. It still gives me the warm fuzzies when I get a message from someone saying how much it’s changed their lives – kids eating more vegetables and trying new foods, families eating together around the table more often.
in 2016 we launched NADIA magazine, a bi-monthly magazine where I share what’s inspiring me when it comes to food, family and life.
I’ve also dabbled a bit in food writing with a weekly column for The Sunday Star Times and NZ Herald, and have featured on TV as a guest judge on My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef New Zealand and my own cooking show (New Zealand with Nadia Lim) on the Asian Food Channel.
In 2019 I swapped my apron for dance shoes and shimmied my way to the semi-finals of Dancing with the Stars NZ – what a fun (and equally terrifying) experience that was. You only live once, right?!
I’m super lucky to live in beautiful rural New Zealand, with my husband Carlos and our two sons amazing Bodhi and River.
Sending you good vibes in the kitchen…
Happy cooking and eating!