Jo Seagar - dubbed 'cook of the nation' by Next magazine - is the hugely successful bestselling cookbook author and TV cook, famed for her catch-cries of 'Easy peasy' and 'Maximum effect for minimum effort'. Trained as a cordon bleu chef in Paris and London, for many years Seagar was a columnist for North and South magazine, while running popular Hartley's restaurant in Auckland. She also wrote for the New Zealand Woman's Weekly. Real Food for Real People saw her move into television, and this series was a followed by Jo Seagar Cooks, bringing the chef known for her pearls and her 'easy-peasy' catch-cry to a wider audience. She was 'ahead of the curve in the whole seasonal/local/simple food-done-well philosophy' (Weekend Herald). Her promotion of fresh local ingredients with cooking that should be 'a doddle', combined with her humorous down-to-earth approach, has endeared her to the nation, with the first edition of her classic You Shouldn't Have Gone to So Much Trouble, Darling selling over 70,000 copies. A real sense of joy and passion infuses her approach to cooking: 'There's a lot more to food than getting nutrients.' As well as her trademark books on stress-free entertaining, she has written cookbooks for novice cooks and for children. She adores entertaining and cooking for friends, and always has a houseful of people staying. Enjoying country life, polo, pet lambs, old recipe books, trashy novels, good jokes and gardening, she runs the very successful Seagars at Oxford - cook school, caf , kitchen shop and bed-and-breakfast. North and South wrote of Jo Seagar Cooks: 'Wholesome, hearty, delicious, do-able a Jo Seagar's culinary style is instantly recognisable, and all I can say is, thank goodness for that. a all tremendous authentically Kiwi stuff. a [a] kitchen must-have.' The Dominion Post concluded that the 'hallmark of Jo Segar's recipes is their extreme reliability'. The New Zealand Woman's Weekly called the style of Jo Seagar Cooks 'classic with a twist' while the Waikato Times described the recipes as 'modern takes on traditional dishes, lightened, simplified and updated to fit with our busy lives'. Lise Ineson, writing about Italia in the Sunday Star Times, praised Seagar's 'typical low-fuss way' and concluded: 'There are tips and tricks, but most of all there is true love for la cucina Italia on every page. Quite simply, it's inspiring and inspired.' Her Magazine said that Seagar shows you 'that authentic doesn't have to mean difficult'.