I’m Chelsea Shine the creator of Shine Dining. I cook, I entertain, I create recipes and I dabble in food photography which you will see here on my website as well as on my social media channels. I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself and as a way to share my cooking, recipes and passion of food with my friends and family. It also has, and continues to be a huge learning process for me in which I am slowly improving my skills in everything to do with food and cooking. Although I haven’t been doing it long (just under a year) it’s funny to look back through my food photos. I cringe looking back on the first ones but it’s so great to actually see my progress and it only makes me more motivated to keep improving and developing.
Shine Dining is the food I cook at home. It is dining done my way, the Shine way. I like my food fresh and tasty and want my recipes to be easy for anyone to make at home. I don’t know if I really have a style of cooking yet so at this stage it’s just a bit of everything and whatever I feel like eating at the time. I tend to just get an idea and go with my instincts in the kitchen taking notes as I go.
My main man Jamie Oliver has always been my biggest inspiration and who really made me embrace my love for food, cooking and entertaining. He throws in a bit of this, drizzle of that and just goes with the flow of the flavours when he is cooking and has created his own thing. I can really relate to him and his laid back style and it made me realise you don’t have to be a fancy gourmet chef to take cooking further than your own kitchen.
I have been passionate about food for as long as I can remember. I started as young as a five years old whipping up my own concoctions in the kitchen that my parents were forced to eat, to cooking family meals growing up, cooking for my flatmates throughout university, to hosting dinner parties for my friends and family. One recipe I am sure my parents will remember better than me was one I was most proud of at the age of five. It consisted of Weet-Bix being mashed into a paste with milk then mixed with dried apricots and a number of other ingredients I found in the pantry which was then rolled into balls and baked. It was a massive hit with my younger sisters (aged 2-4) and so I thought at the time also a hit with my parents. Or my “famous” muffins I made so often I asked my Mum to write the recipe in her cookbook which she still has today. Needless say the truth has since come about those biscuits and muffins but I am now so glad my parents endured those questionable experiments and encouraged my love for being creative in the kitchen.
My Mum has always been a great cook teaching me and my sisters all of the family recipes as we grew up. As I got into my teenage years I started to get more into my cooking. Mum and I would buy new cook books and flick through the pages of magazines marking all of the new recipes we wanted to try and we both started to get more creative in the kitchen.
Being a passionate foodie the questions that I always get asked and always struggle to answer are “what is your specialty dish?” or “what is your favourite type of food?” How could I possibly pick just one! The best thing about food is that there is so much variety and never ending possibilities of new flavours and combinations. When cooking at home I constantly like to experiment and try new dishes. When I see an ingredient I haven’t cooked with before I grab it and immediately start to think of all the different things I could do with it. When I am eating out I like to try something new and usually choose the most different thing on the menu. I can at times be difficult to dine out with as like to strongly encourage everyone to order a different meal so that I can get a look at everything on the menu and sometimes even try a little piece of all of them. I love trying new places (you will see some of these on my Instagram) and it gives me a lot inspiration and ideas that I can incorporate into own dishes at home.
I find cooking really fun, creative and therapeutic. I love to pour myself a wine, turn the music up load and sing and dance my way around the kitchen. I find that it’s a great way to relax and I could happily spend all day doing it. Not only is it fun in the kitchen I love how cooking and sharing a meal really brings people together and seeing loved ones enjoying my food is an added bonus.
I grew up in New Zealand in a small town called Waiuku on the West Coast, 50 minutes out of Auckland and for the last three years have been living on the iconic Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. I am about to leave to Sydney to return home to New Zealand for a month before embarking on a year of travelling around Asia, Europe and South America. I couldn’t be more excited to taste as many foods and flavours around the world as I possibly can and learn everything I can about different cuisines and cultures. When I return I am hoping to combine all of my experience and turn food and cooking into my career. Watch this space!