Valentine's Day: Tanah Jane Dowdle and Sarah-Jane Attias, City Fringe Soulmates

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Tanah and Sarah-Jane share their love story


Sarah-Jane Attias and Tanah Jane Dowdle. Picture / Babiche Martens

Tanah Jane and Sarah-Jane lived three streets away from one another and had mutual friends but their paths didn’t cross until nine years ago when they both signed up to The Pink Sofa dating site. Despite them leading separate careers — Tanah in the culinary world, running food workshops and culinary tours through her business Gourmet Joy, and Sarah-Jane as an osteopath who runs Living Osteopathy (she is also president of the Osteopathic Society), they’ve found ways to work together, whether it’s renovating their Ponsonby home or collaborating on articles.

Sarah-Jane writes as a health expert for Ponsonby News and Oh Baby magazines, a role Tanah helps her with by injecting her conversational style. But it was food that they initially bonded over, a passion they still share.

Sarah-Jane: The clincher was when we had to reveal something unusual about each other online. Mine was, ‘‘I cooked for the Queen’’. Tanah’s was that she cooked for the Dalai Lama. The Auckland Writers Festival was on so I set up a chaperone, Hilary, a good mutual friend to keep us honest.

After our first lunch date I announced I was very busy — perhaps we could catch up in a couple of weeks. Well, Tanah was having none of that. She kept phoning me every evening at 5pm and saying, “Chablis and oysters?” You could say I was easily won over, but really she has such a beautiful large heart, a real gem. Tanah is loved by everyone, she is fun and warm. She brings colour into my life and personifies the word ‘‘ebullient’’.

READ: Valentine's Day: Matt Shephard and Esther Jeong, Burger Babes

Tanah: SJ is fabulous, with energy that turns every head in the room. I thought, ‘‘right this is it — finally!”. There was much courting just to check all was as it seemed. Then she and my chocolate poodle Zsa Zsa fell deeply in love, so I decided I better join the party. She has enough drive, commitment and focus to light up downtown Manhattan. I’m more tactical, arty, laid-back and bohemian. I love this combination. It’s a great recipe for a dynamic partnership.

Sarah-Jane: Tanah recreates the memories of people and places through cooking. We enjoy amazing exotic feasts — fusions of cultures and tastes through food.

Tanah: We both love to travel. Not resort-style but real adventures. We love immersing ourselves with the locals. SJ often relives the memories, getting out photos and videos. What do we fight about? Driving. Personally I prefer not to fight at all — it’s exhausting. I’m a negotiator, a talker.

Sarah-Jane: I am less tolerant and also don’t like to fight, so I will move into silence and “burn off” by walking, gardening or taking a yoga class to resolve an issue or put in some safety mechanisms to ensure loving support.

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New Zealand Herald

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