Lisa Middleton, founder of the Curvy Cook, is West Auckland native. A dancer from a young age, she also loves sewing, baking, and basket weaving. Her love of food, however, started in the home kitchen with her dad taking a creative approach to salads. When she had children, she gained an all-new love of baking, starting with birthday cakes and simpler treats. Her grandmother taught her a host of new recipes including some highly sought-after meringues.
The name “The Curvy Cook” came to Lisa from embracing a body positive outlook, owing in part to her time as a model in the 80's and developing a dislike for society’s obsession with being skinny. She is also a survivor of domestic violence and stumbled upon TKP through a support programme that was co-sponsored by NZ Nutritional Foundation; meeting with Connie Clarkson directly, who challenged her to trial her meringues in the market. A few weeks later Lisa found the courage to do this and immediately had multiple orders come through, her customers loved the meringues.
The mentoring and support has been invaluable and inspired Lisa to take a real crack at catering and unique, made-for-market products like her Naked Meringues. The Curvy Cook operates primarily through Facebook and Instagram, via word of mouth, and also sells at the Kumeu markets.