"Remember, never trust a skinny pie man!"
Some of you I see regularly in the café, others I see out and about in Windsor Terrace, where I’ve lived for twelve years. But I don’t often get the chance to share the story of how I came to be living in the Northern Hemisphere with a passion for spreading the gospel of the meat pie. Bear with me while I tell you my tale of odd jobs, soul-searching, and achieving success on the five-pie-a-day-diet.
After two weeks of working the AM shift as a taxi driver in NYC, September 11 happened. Before this, I had been living in California & Oregon, biding my time in the corporate world, dreaming of writing a book, and generally feeling pretty adrift. New York can make you feel more adrift than anywhere else on earth—especially after a tragedy—but it can also give you a sense of belonging you never knew you could feel. I immediately swapped the taxi gig to become a manager of the counselors working directly with survivors at one of the disaster assistance centers (I had received my Master’s in Psychology back in New Zealand).
But after a year I was completely drained—emotionally and mentally. I needed the comforts of home. Some people need to spend 40 days and 40 nights in the desert for answers, others need to sit under a tree and meditate all night long. I had to eat five meat pies a day for several months to attain enlightenment and discover that the answer to every question is “meat pies.” I knew my duty was to return to my adopted hometown and share the love that is the humble yet mighty meat pie.
After a crash course in pie-making with some of my favorite pie men in New Zealand, I came back to New York, opened DUB (Down Under Bakery) Pies in 2003, and have been bringing the ultimate comfort food to the masses ever since.
I don’t just want to make pies because they’re tasty and remind me of home. The beauty of a meat pie is that it can be eaten down the pub with your friends while you unwind over a match, keep you warm while you walk around the park with a loved one, or shared with your six-year-old who invariably ends up with crumbs all over his face. All the jobs I’ve had have been about bringing joy and comfort to peoples’ lives—from radio DJ to counselor—but this one has been the most meaningful. Food feeds the soul, even more so if it’s a delicious meat pie.