Kitchen of the Week: A Cookbook Author’s Deconstructed Australian Shed

As a new mother living in Australia, Carter Were wanted to feel more connected to her sister Harriet in New Zealand. So she proposed that they embark upon a joint project that would allow them to collaborate creatively, both during their visits and remotely. And since Carter is a cook and Harriet is a photographer (see her Instagram), a cookbook seemed like the ideal endeavor. “We just wanted to create something tangible that people could have forever and that we could look back on when we’re older,” Carter explains.

Carter’s Cookbook, a collection of simple, approachable recipes, was such a hit when it first debuted in 2019 that it’s been printed three times. The second volume, which the sisters worked on during COVID lockdowns and as the world reopened, was published earlier this year. “People that aren’t cooks or don’t have a lot of confidence in the kitchen find the recipes very easy to follow,” Carter says of their success.

And while Carter has sworn that she and Harriet won’t put out another book, she still does lots of cooking in the rustic shed she calls home. The former horse stable already had a basic kitchen with a worn wood counter and a single lower cabinet, but Carter added lots of clever storage and a much-needed island so that she can easily whip up dishes like Greek salad and kale pasta made with the vegetables she grows in her garden.

Let’s take a tour:

Photography by Carter Were.

first, carter painted the concrete floors and lower cabinet doors dusty blue. s 14
Above: First, Carter painted the concrete floors and lower cabinet doors dusty blue. She then purchased an industrial stainless steel island for extra prep space. She keeps cookware on the bottom shelf and stores fresh produce in the vintage Japanese market basket that dangles overhead.

the island doubles as a dining table for carter’s family. 15
Above: The island doubles as a dining table for Carter’s family.