Global Award Winning Nutritionist Top Choice!


On one regular, rather tedious afternoon, I heard Jikky yell from her seat across the office, ‘She wants my pasta!

‘She who?’ I asked, spinning around. Jikky had been in a slump and feeling unmotivated for quite sometime now after her Europe tour, and it had to be something big to garner that kind of reaction.


‘Which Barbara?’

That Barbara!’

Seeing that I looked unamused, Jikky decided to elaborate.

The lovely Barbara Cox I met at the International Food and Drinks Expo in London a few weeks ago.’

‘Ah, the Global Award Winning Nutritionist.’ I nodded, ‘She emailed you?’

‘Yes! She’s doing cooking demos at Christchurch Food Festival’, Jikky gushed enthusiastically ‘Asked if I was interested in her using our pasta at the show. Of course I’m interested, there’ll be hundreds of people there!’


Despite how excited Jikky was, her schedule was too full to make room for Christchurch, but it just so happened that the show was also a grand success. Thus, when Jikky and Barbara Cox spoke on the phone again a month later, Barbara wanted more of her Black Jasmine Rice Pasta to cook at ‘Taste of the South’, a new food festival that was to be hosted in Poole. Needless to say, Jikky was elated.



‘I’m sending her more macaroni’, she grinned ‘And this time I’m going down to Poole. I want to do a couple of videos of her talking about our pasta, and some reactions from the audience.’

I looked up from my own screen.

‘Do you know anything about video production?’

Jikky hesitated

‘Well, no… On a second thought–’

‘No, you’re doing it. Everybody does videos these days. You need them for Facebook and Twitter.’

‘But I have no idea how!’

‘Best get researching then.’ I grinned unhelpfully.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was where the fun began.


It started with Jikky scrambling to hire a video producer merely days before the show, who would film and edit the pieces together. From having zero knowledge about video-making, Jikky strapped herself in for a tonne of research in order to put her vision to words. Throughout the process, I would hear her mutter in confusion about words like ‘vox pops’ and ‘look-room’, and what in the world were they anyway? It was just in time for the show that she managed to draw up a storyboard with Rob, our video producer, who for his part, was ever patient and understanding with what we wanted to convey.


Then, the day of the show was upon us! Boxes upon boxes of Gusto Nero pasta piled up at the cooking station, ready to be given away to members of the audience.

black rice pasta Gusto Nero




Barbara engaged onlookers as she cooked, and was an absolute star; she made her signature Rainbow Macaroni Salad, which tasted utterly incredible!

Black Rice Pasta Gusto Nero


She asked if anybody was celiac, gluten intolerant, or have any kind of allergies, and gave them a taste of the macaroni and free boxes of our pasta at the end of the show, to which many commented that the taste of rice pasta was a welcome surprise. There were children at the show who helped Barbara time her cooking, and were more than pleased that they got to take home Gusto Nero Pasta as prizes.


Through hours of rain and lack of plates, and running around directing Rob with the filming while trying to remember how she envisioned the videos to look like, at the end of the day, Jikky was really excited and pleased about how it all came out. Lots of people went home smiling with her pasta that afternoon, and that was already a small victory. Besides, Jikky was also rather hyped that she managed to push her boundaries and successfully directed the making of two videos.


Watch our video on YouTube: Gusto Nero Pasta – Global Award Winning Nutritionist Top Choice!

Watch our video on YouTube: People Trying Black Jasmine Rice Pasta for the First Time!


‘I was an economic student, what the heck did I know about cameras and magical editing software?’ she said, ‘But hey, I surprised myself!’ It was a kickstart. Through a series of coordinating with Rob in post production, Jikky was really happy with the end result.


‘Aren’t you glad you got the bloody videos done and over with?’ I asked.

‘Well yes, but I’m actually starting to like it’, Jikky laughed at my horrified expression, ‘We should do more!’

‘The show was great, Barbara was amazing’, I agreed, ‘and I’m glad people were impressed with the macaroni.’

Jikky laughed, stress and slump from weeks ago seemingly having dissipated in a matter of seconds.

            ‘I’m ready to get back to work!’


Find Barbara Cox at :

Find Rob at:


5 Ways to Make Your Festive Meal Healthier And Tastier!

5 Ways to make your festive meal healthier and tastier!



  1. Peckish for some potatoes?

Switch to sweet potatoes for more vitamins and lower calories, and give your meal a flavourful kick! My good neighbour once imparted a bit of little knowledge that I’ve since lived by… Instead of deep frying or drowning your potatoes in fat before roasting, if you boil the (sweet)potatoes first, give the pieces a vigorous shake in the colander with a tiny bit of olive oil THEN roast them, you’ll get the fluffiest, crispiest roast potatoes with barely any extra calories!


  1. A pinch of herbs in your parsnips!


Cut your parsnips into small chunks and brush very thinly with extra virgin olive oil. Again, avoid goose fat or a copious amount of oil. Instead, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, then add 2 teaspoons of fresh sage and rosemary to enhance the taste and bring out the parsnip’s natural flavours. Now roast the healthiest and most delicious parsnips you’ll ever eat!


  1. Be picky with your turkey! 


If you’re having the big bird this December, chances are you might be a tad worried about where all that turkey’s going. Fear not! If you stay away from the skin, you’ll cut down on all that saturated fat. Also, a good thing to know is the leaner part of the turkey is the white meat, which is lower in calories and fat than dark meat but has roughly the same amount of protein!


  1. Spruce up those sprouts!


Nobody likes Brussels sprouts, they’re horrible. But if you’re celebrating Christmas, they’re so quintessential you just can’t leave them out, but you probably won’t have very many anyway. Well, believe it or not, if you steam those sprouts for a bit, quarter them then sauté with a bit of butter and some garlic; throw in some pine nuts and you’ll wipe the bowl clean in no time at all!


  1. Mmmm, mince pies!


Instead of spooning dollops of mincemeat into your pies, why not opt for some fresh fruits? Take just a bit of mincemeat and spread it in your pastry cups, then fill those with chopped up fresh apples, pears, and perhaps black grapes if you’re feeling adventurous! Also, instead of the usual shortcrust pastry, try baking your mince pies with something lighter like filo pastry. You’ll find it’s rather delicious!


Also, some countries (pshh, Italy!) have pasta as part of their festive meal around this time of the year. So if you’d like to give your celebrations a unique twist, visit Our Shop to view our selection of Black Jasmine Rice pasta!