Mathias okays a freak fundraiser


A Queenstown school has managed to snaffle the talents of television personality and chef Peta Mathias for a one-off fundraiser. 

The colourful 62-year-old hosts a special Spanish tapas cooking and entertainment evening for a St Joseph’s School fundraiser next Wednesday. 

Fundraising events aren’t usually part of Mathias’s repertoire, she tells Mountain Scene. 

The colourful foodie is making an exception this time because St Joseph’s board of trustees chair Gigi Hollyer is the sister of a friend of hers in Auckland. 

“She asked me if I would come down and do it. It’s not the sort of thing I normally do. If it’s a school around the corner and if it’s my local school then sure, but I never do things like that.” 

Mathias is best-known for her prime-time travel/food shows Taste New Zealand, and Peta Unplugged and has written several books including Fete Accomplie, Can We Help it if We’re Fabulous? and Beat Till Stiff. 

She leads a busy life – but wouldn’t have it any other way. 

In May she leaves New Zealand for a culinary tour in Marrakech, followed by the south of France, then the Basque country in July and India in September. She’s taking a break from writing another book. 

Of her globetrotting lifestyle, she says: “It took a long time to set up and it’s not all fabulous but it’s how I like to live because you never get bored. 

“If you tried starting a life like this at this age it would be hard. But I have always been a gypsy and I’ve lived like this all my life so for me it would be unnatural to suddenly stay in one place for a long time and have a normal job.” 

Mathias is looking forward to spending time down south this month – including her live shows in Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru, Oamaru and Wanaka. 

“It’s always nice to come down to the deep south because it always puts you in touch with what New Zealanders are really like. 

“Auckland is just full of poofters. We think we’re fabulous and we’re the centre of the universe. We like it up here but we don’t hate South Islanders the way they hate us,” she laughs. 

Tickets for next Wednesday’s show, at Queenstown Resort College, are $80 and are available at St Joseph’s.