Carter Were

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In Conversation with Carter Were

Carter Were, Founder of Were Bros, epitomises the meaning of living a quiet and humble life. In anticipation of her first cookbook - made in collaboration with her twin sister Harry Were - we caught up to learn a little more about this quiet soul and her innate love for cooking simple, wholesome and nourishing food.

Avocado, sauerkraut, sprouts, peas, sheeps feta and herbs on Carters seeded sourdough bread.

Avocado, sauerkraut, sprouts, peas, sheeps feta and herbs on Carters seeded sourdough bread.

Where were you born and where do you live now? 

I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but I’m now living in Federal, Australia, half an hour inland from Byron Bay.

Describe your personality in three words?

Shy. Kind. Direct.

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Who is in your immediate world right now?

Jack, Patience and an owl that has been living outside our window for the past few months.

How do you like to spend your time? 

Cooking and eating, when I'm not cleaning and feeding. On a sunny day, I also love to get to the sea. I love the beach and Patience loves to swim now.

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What kick started your love for food and cooking? 

Getting a job at Bourke Street Bakery when I was 19 and travelling to Greece for the first time that year too.

Can you tell us about Were Bros and how it began? 

The name Were Bros came from my great, great, great Grandfathers soft drink company in the late 1890s.

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How did the idea for your first cookbook come about? 

My twin Harry and I have been talking about it for a while. We wanted to work together and get something printed so that we could have it forever. We don't often get the chance to work together so it’s really exciting.

What's the inspiration behind it?

Well, I'm writing the recipes and Harry is photographing it. It’s different to most cookbooks. We hope this one isn’t intimidating, very useable, and a book which can be used in most kitchens without fancy equipment.

Garden sourdough crispbreads.

Garden sourdough crispbreads.

Can you tell us what we can expect to find within its pages? 

Our favourite recipes to make in a few different kitchens that we’ve been in. We’ve been working on the cookbook whenever we are in the same place at the same time. It's been a little tricky since we live in different countries and I have a baby now. You'll also see my baby in the book too.

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What's the significance of food in your life and the rituals around preparing and eating with your loved ones?

I think its pretty significant. I always seem to be in the kitchen cleaning up something we've eaten. Patience started showing interest in food when she was four months old. I think it’s because Jack and I are always eating. I hope she grows up enjoying all types of food. I used to only like chicken nuggets and chips when I was little, but my mum also hates cooking so maybe thats why. I like to sit down for at least one meal a day with Jack and Patience. It’s a nice end to the day and a good way to slow down and talk about the day.

Lemon curd and mulberry crostata.

Lemon curd and mulberry crostata.

Where do you source your produce from?

Our garden, the market, the organic shop in town or just down the road at the local shop.

What can we find in your garden? 

At the moment limes, starfruit, mint, parsley, sorrel, chard, kale, okinawa spinach and pumpkins.

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What's your favourite thing to cook at home for yourself?

I don't enjoy cooking for myself. I just eat a tub of ice cream. I love to cook and eat with friends.

What's the one item you can't live without in the kitchen?

Salt.

Purple carrot and fennel seed sourdough.

Purple carrot and fennel seed sourdough.

What’s next for Carter?

Im travelling a bit with my partner and his band this year and I'm also looking forward to taking Patience to Greece. She'll be eating more by then too.

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