Fast Five with Nic Brockelbank

  • Why did you want to be a writer?

To fundraise for charities.  My first hand-written cookbook I sold to raise money for the Christchurch Earthquake Relief Fund, and then I hand-wrote two books to raise money for the True Colours Charitable Trust in Hamilton.  “Nic’s Cookbook”, which has been published by Scholastic is raising money for the NZ Muscular Dystrophy Association.

  • What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The great experiences I have had, like meeting Simon Gault and Brett McGregor and going on “What Now” to do a cooking demonstration.

  • What’s your favourite New Zealand book?

Taste of a Traveller, by Brett McGregor.

  • What do you love most about New Zealand?

The great people that live here.  And luging in Rotorua.

  • What do you love most about libraries?

They are quiet and full of books.

Nic wrote Nic’s Cookbook, which was published last year by Scholastic, when Nic was ten years old.  You can check out and for details about Nic and his cookbook.

Nic’s Cookbook by Nicholas Brockelbank

Is there a kid in your life who loves cooking or would love to learn how to cook?  You have to get them Nic’s Cookbook, by an inspirational young New Zealander called Nicholas Brockelbank.

Nic lives with muscular dystrophy and was the 2012 ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). He started cooking when one of his teachers suggested it might help with his schoolwork, and has since shown significant improvements in reading, spelling and maths. He put together his first ‘cookbook’ when he was eight years old, as a Christmas present for family and friends. This photocopied booklet of recipes was so popular he wrote another one and set up a website ( to sell the recipe books and artwork to raise money for the MDA, the Christchurch Earthquake Relief Fund and the True Colours Charitable Trust. The website also describes aspects of Nic’s life with muscular dystrophy from his point of view, like having a wheelchair and undertaking lots of hospital appointments and tests.

Nic, with the help of his mum and the wonderful people at Scholastic New Zealand, has produced his own cookbook, that contains some very yummy, easy-to-make recipes.  They’re perfect for kids who want to learn how to cook and it’s all food that kids will love, from savouries and rice paper rolls to chocolate slice and lamingtons.  There are heaps of photos to show you the delicious food and to help kids with the trickier parts of the recipes.  The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and Nic gives you lots of handy hints throughout the book.  There’s a very handy page at the start of the book which helps kids to understand the different terms used in the recipes and what each of the measurement abbreviations mean.  The things I really like about the book are that Nic lists the equipment needed for each recipe and he tells you how many people each recipe should serve.

Not only is Nic’s Cookbook full of great recipes, it’s also great value.  It’s only $10 and 50% of the royalties from the book are going to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  At that price you can grab one for every kid you know!