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Last modified: 11 Oct 2021 5:01pm

A close up view of a woman with purple hair and lipstick, glasses and an orange top standing in a park

Rita Yosef enters the recording studio in purple glasses, purple tinted hair and smiling from ear to ear in her lilac lipstick.

When asked if her favourite colour is purple, she laughs and says yes, before revealing that purple isn’t the only thing she is passionate about.

Born in Latvia and raised in Israel, Rita says she has always enjoyed art and cooking, especially a range of international dishes from Middle Eastern, to Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.

One of her favourite dishes to cook is Kubbeh, a Middle Eastern dish made of semolina meat dumplings in a vegetable soup or broth.

Rita joined the army at the age of 18 and met her husband 30 years ago. They moved to Christchurch 18 years ago, with their two children, for a change in lifestyle. There Rita established her cooking business My Home Chef, catering and running cooking classes. This included programmes for older population and young adults with special needs.

“I extremely enjoy that because those young adults don’t really have a lot of future in a way. They’re not independent to cook their own meal – to give them those skills is extremely important. I felt like it gives a lot of help and change even in their own family life and hopefully for the future they will be able to get some employment.”

In March 2020, Rita and her husband decided they wanted to build a house in Rolleston, moving into their new home in November last year.

Since moving, Rita says she loves living in Selwyn and engaging with the Rolleston community. She hopes to continue her community education in the area with her cooking and painting classes.

“We have lovely neighbours from all around the world and all around New Zealand, so it really changes the feel. I think we’ve really settled well and we love our new home and community in Rolleston.”

Tune into PlainsFM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week at 5pm to listen live and hear Anya Cole, Rita Yosef and Maria Mendoza’s stories – or visit to find the Faces of Selwyn podcast episodes.