Cook’s Cook – The cook who cooked for Captain Cook

Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, August 11, 2019 - Millennium Public Art Gallery, Blenheim


Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop and published by Gecko Press (October 2018), follows the 1768 journey of James Cook’s HMS Endeavour with his ship’s cook, the one-handed John Thompson, as storyteller.  


Through real recipes from the ship’s mess, events on board and the places the ship travelled on its way to the Pacific, the book tells multiple stories.


Stories of social class, hierarchy and race; stories of explorers and the people of the land; the story of one of the world’s most famous explorers told through a fresh new lens.


Author and Illustrator Gavin Bishop – background


Gavin Bishop (ONZM) is a celebrated New Zealand children’s writer and illustrator, based in Christchurch of Ngati Awa and Tainui descent.  He has produced more than 70 highly acclaimed New Zealand children’s books, has been nominated for more received numerous fellowships and national books prizes including Book of the Year several times - most recently for his book Aotearoa, in 2018.  He has an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Canterbury and is dedicated to supporting future generations of children’s book writers and illustrators through Penguin’s Gavin Bishop Award.


Gavin is a founding Trustee of the Painted Stories New Zealand Children’s Literature Trust that have partnered with the Millennium Public Art Gallery on several projects, including exhibitions such as the major survey show, Painted Stories, which has toured and is now featuring as an electronic exhibition at the new Christchurch Central Library, Tūranga.


This exhibition will be developed with the support of Gecko Press, Wellington, the Painted Stories Trust Christchurch and programmes will be run with local education groups and Marlborough District Libraries.


In 2019, New Zealand will mark 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Pākehā during James Cook and the Endeavour’s 1769 voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand. Tuia – Encounters 250 will acknowledge this pivotal moment in our nation’s history as well as the extraordinary feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier.

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