Executive chef for Mexico Peter Jackson is testing recipes for the restaurant’s summer menu on his very lucky family during lockdown.

Where are you on lockdown and who are you with?

 My partner Annelise, daughter Harper (4) and the weeny little man Charlie who will have his first birthday during our lockdown, so we won’t be able to have his birthday party.

How are you all doing? Do you need any help from the outside world? 

We are five days into the lockdown and doing fine, so far. It all seems very surreal. I feel like it is just a bad movie and I’m waiting for the director to yell “CUT!!!” We are trying to stay busy and play. This week we will set a plan for Harper to do daycare activities, play outside and limit her screen time. For us, much the same – write a list and stay busy.

Are you still working, and if so, how? 

Still working which is cool, it will help me stay sane! Working on some cool projects for the brand and some new recipes for the next menu.

What will this situation mean for your job, and how can the community support your industry when a little more normalcy returns?

I hope when this is all over that people go out and support us and their local hospitality venue. I really hope that this time being in isolation reminds people to stay connected in person! I want people to go out and enjoy margaritas and fried chicken or burgers and chips, socialise at their favourite Thai restaurant, visit their favourite café with their mates and support the hospitality industry in general.

What are the main things you’re doing to stay occupied/positive? 

Back to cooking at home again which is my happy place; made some strawberry jam over the weekend, cooked an awesome roast on Sunday night. Playing with the kids, cleaning the house, I have the yard on my to do list this week – so really just writing lists and staying busy is the key to staying positive.

What are you finding to be the biggest challenge and how are you handling it? 

I think working on Mexico Projects while having two kids wanting 100 percent attention ha ha … so I am juggling that in between emails and working. It’s all good. Charlie sleeps twice throughout the day, so I work in those windows.

Do you have a project or lifestyle change that you’re planning to get underway in this time? 

Working on Mexico Projects – I will grab some recipes from my folder full of Mexico food and do some videos/photos. I might even dust the gloves & bag hanging in the carport and get back to some boxing!

Your recommendations

A series or film to watch Ozark is very good, and the Ice Age series

An album to put on repeat At the moment it is Six60 – never thought I liked them as much but I think they stand for good old Kiwi music.

A book to read Don’t really read books, however, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***! by Mark Manson was a good read. Also, picking up all of my recipe books again, blowing the dust from them and reading them. I am going to start creating my new summer menu with food from my last visit to Mexico, past recipes from previous menus and new ideas from my Mexico cook books.

A site to visit mexico.net.nz