The notoriously media-shy Dozer opens up! In this exclusive interview, Dozer tells-all about what it’s like to be crowned Australia’s best-loved taste tester and denies accusations of being a prima donna during the cookbook tour.
Dozer, the last time you gave an interview was back in 2020. I feel privileged that you agreed to talk to me. It’s been quite a year for you! Photo shoots. In the newspaper. Book signings! TV! Did you ever imagine all this would happen to you?
What’s a newspaper? Is that the stuff your fish and chips comes wrapped in? And wait – I was on TV? I didn’t know that!
Well, yes Dozer. You were on TV a number of times. Like Studio 10, in the photo below.
Oh wow! I really was on TV. I’m famous!! And that chef hat- it’s so pro!
Errr, yes Dozer. It’s a chef hat I had made especially for you. (It’s not made of paper. 😂)
So, 2022 was the year of the cookbook. A great opportunity for you to showcase your taste-testing skills. I heard you gave everything a 10! True?
False. Evidence below.
Though – I’m not gonna lie. Once the kale had dressing on it, I scoffed it down, and it was a 10/10. 😇 (It was Devour – Maple Sweet Potato Kale Salad. Big
thumbs up paws up from me – and I don’t even like kale!)
I also heard you also helped your mum choose the cover page. What an honour!
Yes! My paws are too chunky to hold a pen so I just trod on the covers I didn’t approve of. She got the message.
So you approved of the final cover design?
Well, of course. Do you have any idea how much chicken I got to capture that photo of me that ended up on the cover? I mean, you don’t think I understood exactly what was required of me? Of course I did. But why give it to them in the first shot? The more shots required, the more chicken I got! 🙌🏻
What the…!!! You cheeky dog!!! I suppose that’s the game you played with ALL the shots of you in the cookbook!!
I can’t believe it’s taken you THIS long to figure it out.😈 I mean, how many prawns did you give me before you got the prawn shot (below) of me in the book?? I only stopped mucking up when I got full.
You really will do anything for a treat, won’t you?? I’m pretty impressed though, Dozer. Didn’t know you were that cunning.
Who me? Cunning? Is this the face of a cunning dog, I ask you?
No. That is the face that gets anything your heart desires.
Well, we’ve all got our strengths I suppose…..
Were you disappointed you weren’t able to go to the interstate cookbook publicity events?
Well yes, of course. There was clearly great demand for me. Did you know there were people who turned up at Sydney book signing events just to see me? They didn’t care about you. They didn’t even want a photo with you or your autograph in the book! They just wanted a selfie with ME!!
Ha ha yes, I did hear about that! I also heard there was such demand for your appearance at the Gold Coast Libraries cooking demo event that the organisers made life-size cardboard cut outs of you…. and someone tried to steal it!!
I didn’t hear that someone tried to steal me, but I’m not surprised. I mean, look at me. I look sooo cute. Though I would’ve liked a little more volume on my chest fur. Next time, I need a blow-dry.
With everything that’s happened to you this year, is there something that stands out as the most memorable moment of 2022?
*Chest puffs out* Yes! Seeing that poster of myself at the dog park. Out there on public display for everyone to see. Never thought I’d be a model like that!!!
Wait – are you talking about THIS poster of you??
Well yes, that’s the photo. What’s your point?
Errr…. OK sure Dozer. Something to be proud of. You on a spider-web covered filthy over-flowing dog-poo bin. I mean, there was also THIS photo of you – many of them, all throughout a giant shopping centre:
*Still huffily* Well sure. But I’m sharing the limelight, aren’t I? You’re taking up half the space. And it’s in a shopping centre. None of my doggie friends saw it. So what’s the point?
OK….. well, let’s move on. This is clearly something we’re not going to agree on.
Many people have asked, do you have a special someone in your life?
Yes! Her name is Jarrah and we’ve known each other since we were puppies. She belongs to one of my mum’s close friends. She’s svelte and smart, and loves my mum. We have a blast whenever we’re together!
What do you think your mum is most proud of you achieving in 2022?
Not doing a pee at any of the indoor cookbook events. She was really worried I’d go to the toilet on a stack of books or something, and she’d have to buy them all.
Oh look, here’s a photo of her begging me not to pee inside, just before we went out on stage. 😂
There’s rumours that you started to get some attitude towards the end of the cookbook publicity tour. You’d fall asleep on live TV and at signings, and demand to be lifted up and down off podiums. True?
*Defensively* It was a long day! It was a slippery floor! I am not a spring chicken anymore. I’m 10 – that makes me a senior citizen! Gimme a break. 🙄
That’s true. You’ve done very well. There were some long days and the schedule was pretty tight. Did you get tired of all the attention and photo requests by the end?
I’m not going to lie, it was tough, I’m not used to being the centre of attention. But I dug deep to do my mum proud and did my best to look great in every photo.
*Incredulous* That photo is an example of you “doing your best” and “doing your mum proud”??? 🤔
*Defensively* People have told me they love my bushy tail! Thought I’d try something different!
Fair enough. Your bushy tail is adorable, I’ll give you that.
Well, thank you very much for your time Dozer! It’s been
wonderful insightful hearing about Life of Dozer 2022 firsthand from you. Thank you for another year of entertainment, cute photos, laughs, and using your incredibly refined palette to ensure only the very best recipes made the cut for the cookbook and on this website.
Any last words?
Dozer: Yes. When’s dinner?
A letter to you
2022 was all about the making of the cookbook. For me personally, it has been a year of unprecedented highs and challenges. Making what turned out to be a best-seller cookbook does not come without sacrifices, that’s for sure. A great many lessons learned, many mistakes made, working harder and longer hours than I thought I was capable of doing that came at a cost of my well-being.
Experiences I never imagined – like meeting so many readers in person, in actual real life (!!), rather than just likes on an Instagram post and messages on this website. That was so special and will always remain as one of the most rewarding things about making a cookbook.
And yes, amazing media opportunities like being on TV and in the paper (as Dozer’s sidekick, of course).
I’m grateful and know how fortunate I am for everything that has happened.
But I’m also fully aware that none of this would have happened without you. Did you know that? You are the reason my website is what it is, the reason I am able to making a living from it, that I can employee a team of 9 people who pay their mortgages and rent from the revenue from this website.
You are the reason I am able to run RecipeTin Meals, my food bank where we make homemade meals daily which we donate to those in need.
Thank you for putting your trust in my recipes, for the laughter, and most especially, all the messages of support when I was struggling with the making of the cookbook. You make me want to do the very best I can do, in all that I do, even if it’s something as silly as a “Interview with Dozer” post!
And you make me love what I do.
Happy New Year!!
You think 2022 was delicious?? Just wait until you see what’s coming in 2023!!!
Lots of love and big hugs,
Nagi & Dozer xx