Food Connection

Food connects our lives, our loves, our family, our community and our work at the Cancer Society. Food is an integral part of our lives, and not in the least here at the Cancer Society, where preparing, sharing, enjoying, gifting, sustaining and loving food is part of healing and coping with cancer.

The recipes featured in The Food Connection have been chosen from an amazing selection offered by Cancer Society friends, volunteers, family, patients and supporters from throughout our Canterbury and West Coast region. The love and passion for the work and services delivered by the Cancer Society is reflected in the tempting selection of food treats showcased in this beautiful recipe book.

Our volunteers throughout the region are the face of the Cancer Society in their community, and many of the recipes contributed in this book are from our Cancer Society Volunteer Groups. We are also thrilled to be able to include some recipes from well-known New Zealand chefs who were delighted to support this project.

The Cancer Society’s work covers health promotion, the funding of cancer research and our supportive care programmes. Having cancer can be hard, but finding help shouldn’t be. By purchasing this recipe book you are helping to ensure that our services are available to people when they need them.

Thank you for purchasing The Food Connection, we hope you enjoy it.

Happy Cooking

Kate and Liz

Kate Reid (Chair) and Elizabeth Chesterman (Chief Executive) Cancer Society of New Zealand Canterbury West Coast Division.


The Food Connection will be available for purchase from select Paper Plus stores as of late September and selected stores around the Canterbury-West Coast region. However, if you are as excited about the book as we are you can pre-order your book here and we can get it sent to you as soon as it arrives in the building!

Get Involved

For more news about what else is happening at the Cancer Society please go to our website or follow us on facebook.

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Deborah Aspray

Deborah runs a successful commercial photography business from her studio, and specialises in product & lifestyle photography, with a particular passion (& taste!) for food photography.

Deborah is a multi-award winning photographer both in NZ & Australia, & in 2006 won the title of NZ Advertising Photographer of the Year.

To complement her photographic assignments, Deborah also provides styling services for her own clients, as well as other photographers and TV production companies.

In her spare time Deborah also maintains a food blog called ‘The Food Union’, for which she cooks, styles and photographs all the recipes.

Deborah has kindly donated her time, expertise and amazing talent to this project. Without her the Cancer Society’s recipe book ‘The Food Connection’ would not have come to fruition and been of the quality that has been produced.


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Tony Smith

Tony is a very experienced executive chef and author of his own recipe book ‘A River Rules My Kitchen’. He is a keen outdoorsman and enjoys his twin passions for food and the South Island wilderness.

At the time of preparation for this book, Tony was Head Chef at the Christchurch Club, the oldest club in New Zealand and one of the first of Christchurch’s Heritage buildings to be beautifully restored in 2016. He was also executive chef of the Crowne Plaza Christchurch at the time of the quakes in 2011. Tony is now based in Singapore for a time, as Corporate Chef overseeing four restaurants, but intends to return to Canterbury where he can enjoy the beauty of the outside and the wonderful produce of New Zealand.

Tony also generously donated his time, knowledge and skills to make this recipe book come to life. Like Deborah, Tony has made this recipe book become an achievable project for the Cancer Society and without him we would not be able to produce the book we have.