Peta Mathias, MNZM, has combined her love of travel and cuisine in a run of books and TV programmes. The former counsellor and singer won television's attention while promoting a book about being a chef in Paris. A regular food segment on 90s show Town and Country kick-started a series of programmes hosted or co-hosted by Mathias - including long stayer Taste New Zealand, and Qantas award-winner A Taste of Ireland.  

There is a lot of theatre in what I do. It's not just about the food. There has to be an entertainer in you, to get people to want to eat that recipe. Peta Mathias, in a 2008 NZ Herald blog

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New Zealand Stories - The Womad Wrangler

2011, Subject, Subject - Television

As the Operations Manager for Womad (World Of Music, Arts and Dance) in New Plymouth, Chris Herlihy performs the essential but often mundane jobs that make this large-scale outdoor event an annual success story. This half-hour documentary follows Herlihy and his crew as he oversees the pop-up city that is Womad 2011 — from looking after VIPs and fixing ticket problems, to mopping up the loos. New Plymouth has fully embraced Womad. Herlihy's love for the festival and his colleagues shines through as he power walks around the beautiful Brooklands Park site.

A Taste of Home

2007, Presenter - Television

In this series Chef Peta Mathias (Taste New Zealand) sets off on a culinary journey around the globe - without even having to leave New Zealand. In A Taste of Home Peta meets up with fellow foodies who have settled in Godzone from overseas, and asks them to share their favourite tastes of home. Viewers get to choose from Moroccan stuffed dates, Russian cabaret, bean-filled Brazilian feijoada and 'Pokarekare Ana', sung in Korean. The series devotes one episode each to food from France, India, Russia, Korea, Brazil, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Here to Stay - The Irish

2007, Presenter

A Taste of Home - Brazil

2007, Presenter - Television

In this series chef Peta Mathias sets off on a culinary journey around the globe - without having to leave New Zealand. In A Taste of Home Peta meets up with fellow foodies who have settled in Godzone from overseas, and asks them to share their favourite tastes of home. In this excerpt, Brazilian émigré Jacqueline cooks Peta a bean-filled feijoada - a Brazilian favourite.

New Zealand House and Garden

2006, Presenter

A Taste of Tea

2005, Presenter - Television

Taste Takes Off - Beijing

2005, Presenter - Television

In her second series of culinary globetrotting, chef and author Peta Mathias visits Beijing to explore the food of Northern China. She finds a cuisine shaped by harsh winters and scorching summers — and influenced by Mongol invaders and centuries of imperial dynasties (but Mao’s heyday is only glimpsed in a theme restaurant run by an American). A night market offers delicacies including locusts, scorpions, cockroaches and silkworms, and Peta investigates Peking Duck, the ubiquitous dumplings and just a few of the ways that duck eggs can be preserved.

Taste Takes Off

2004, Presenter - Television

Author, chef, bon vivant and redhead, Peta Mathias has explored food and cooking on New Zealand television screens for more than 10 years — many of them spent presenting the various titles of the Taste series. Over two seasons of Taste Takes Off, Peta visited 16 destinations — chosen for their culinary diversity and cultural interest — in Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas to get an insight into the origins of their cuisines, meet some of the locals, discover the stories behind the flavours and try her hand at cooking some signature dishes.

Toast New Zealand

2003, Presenter

A Taste of Christmas

2003, Presenter - Television

Taste New Zealand presenter Peta Mathias hosts this 2003 Christmas special, featuring festive food and music. Musical guests Hinewehi Mohi, bass-baritone Conal Coad, Brooke Fraser (who sings 'Joy to the World') and King Kapisi perform, share Christmas memories, and cook their favourite seasonal dishes. Mathias herself sings 'O Come All Ye Faithful', backed by students of her old school, St Mary's College in Ponsonby. Other highlights include Mathias making music with King Kapisi, and Mohi's bilingual version of 'Silent Night' with choir Musica Sacra.

Intrepid Journeys - Bolivia (Peta Mathias)

2003, Presenter - Television

Peta Mathias gets off the plane at La Paz, Bolivia — and the world's — highest airport. She steps straight into poverty, altitude sickness, stunning scenery and likable people. Her Bolivian experience includes sub-zero temperatures, uninspiring food and the infamous mining town of Potosi. But as she writes in her diary, adventure travel means, "no skidding over the surfaces, no observing through Prada sunglasses, no shirking from the reality of the culture. In that sense the journey is unforgettable because it's so intense and puts you right up against the wall."

How's Life?

2001 - 2003, Panelist - Television

Hosted by Charlotte Dawson, How's Life? was an advice show whose panel of presenters included Jude Dobson, Suzanne Paul, Paul Henry, Marcus Lush and Christine Rankin (ex head of the Department of Work and Income). Responding to viewer enquiries, the panel offered help on relationships, family and more, from the serious (abuse, disease) to the light-hearted (the best way to sneeze in a restaurant). Almost 20 panelists featured over the Greenstone show's three seasons and 100+ episodes. The production crew received as many as 60 letters and emails a day.    

Strassman

2000, Guest - Television

Ventriloquist David Strassman has appeared on talk shows and TV specials in Aotearoa, Australia, the United Kingdom and his native United States. Strassman's first TV series debuted in Australia in 1998; the next year Strassman played on British network ITV. The basic formula of a chat show hosted by a man and a shameless puppet was then carried over to New Zealand. Strassman's alter egos include the irascible Chuck Wood and the cuddly Ted E Bare. Among his local guests were Kiwi TV personalities (Mike King, Robyn Malcolm) and the occasional musician and politician. 

Taste New Zealand

1999 - 2005, Presenter - Television

Home Front

1999 - 2003, Presenter - Television

New Zealand Living

1997, Presenter

Town and Country/NZ Living

1995 - 1996, Presenter - Television

World of Wearable Art Awards

2001 - 2003, Presenter - Television