Alison Holst

Dame Alison Margaret Holst DNZM CBE QSM (née Payne, born 1938) is a best-selling New Zealand food writer and television chef.

Dame Alison Holst

Alison Holst (cropped).jpg
Holst in 2011
Alison Margaret Payne

1938 (age 81–82)
Known forFood writing
Television chef
RelativesPatricia Payne (sister)


Holst graduated from the University of Otago, then a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, with a Bachelor of Home Science and subsequently spent a year at Teachers' College. She then began lecturing in the Foods Department at the School of Home Science before starting her television career.[citation needed] Her first television programme premiered in 1965. The following year she published her first cookbook. Since then (as of 2010) her cookbooks have collectively sold more than four and a half million copies of 100 titles,[1] and she has appeared on numerous other television and radio shows as well as writing newspaper columns and magazine articles.

Since 1990 she has co-written several cookbooks with her son, Simon Holst.[citation needed] In November 2010 Holst appeared on Radio New Zealand's afternoon programme to deny rumours that she had been asked to be the next governor-general.[2]

Holst has described the style of food in most of her books as 'everyday food' and the recipes are generally written for home cooks and intended to be easy and reasonably cheap to make, as well as nutritious. Since 1994 she has marketed a brand of bulk wholefoods under the name Alison's Choice through the Foodstuffs supermarket company.[citation needed]


In the 1983 Queen's Birthday Honours, Holst was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for public services.[3] In the 1987 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to home science.[4] In 1997, the University of Otago conferred Holst with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.[5]

In the 2011 New Year Honours, Holst was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the food industry.[6][7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Interview with Jim Mora on Afternoons with Jim Mora show, Radio New Zealand National, on 6 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Alison Holst profile", The Republican Blog, 25 November 2010, archived from the original on 13 February 2013, retrieved 24 April 2016
  3. ^ "No. 49376". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 11 June 1983. p. 35.
  4. ^ "No. 50766". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 31 December 1986. p. 34.
  5. ^ "Honorary graduates". University of Otago Calendar (PDF). University of Otago. 2019. p. 119. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  6. ^ "New Year honours list 2011". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  7. ^ Dickison, Michael (31 December 2010). "NZ's honourable master chef". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 December 2010.

External linksEdit