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What would you be doing if you weren’t in the food industry?
I’d be a writer. I love to write poetry and prose, matters of the heart and observational things. I’m in the process of writing a book about my son’s early arrival into the world, he was born at 24 weeks gestation, as a help to those in the same situation, an uplifting account of his first few months and how he developed out of my body – his eyes were fused closed; his skin was permeable and he had no cartilage in his ears… he was just 1lb 9oz!
What was your first job?
My very first job was working in a newsagents when I was 16. I worked with a couple of school friends on weekends. We’d have such a laugh and would get to know the regulars so time passed quickly.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the want to be good at something, and on the journey that I’m on to achieve bigger and better things. People working to achieve a particular kind of lifestyle inspire me as they are not shy of hard work and know that you get out of life what you put in.
What’s the worst job you’ve done?
When I was young, I worked for a company that made shaker pots for a well-known brand of diet milkshakes. I’d check thousands of the shaker pots for defects. It was a Saturday job, so thankfully just for one day a week, but it was mind-numbing.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
It has to be sending out invoices and reconciling accounts paid… but I love getting the orders in too. I enjoy talking to prospective clients and moving forward with getting new retailers on board. Growth – I love the growth of my business, it’s rewarding.
And your least favourite?
I have to increase my prices within the next couple of weeks and I’m not relishing the thought of potentially difficult conversations.
How about the food industry?
The food industry is bonkers… I hate all of the fast food that has next to no nutritional content but people go mad for it. There’s a lot of competition out there and everyone wants to make their margin so the bottom-of-the-line margin is squeezed and squeezed.
What would be your last supper?
I’d want to go back to Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas and have the beef wellington. Or back to a pub in Holland Park, London and have a steak.
What’s your motto?
There’s three: ’stop blaming everyone else’ and ‘you get out what you put in’ and ‘look after yourself and you’ll be the best for others that you can be’.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I don’t think I’ve had anything really weird but probably some food when we were in Crete. Kieron (the now husband, but not at the time) and I were walking in a village and saw a village get together. We were sitting on a wall looking in and they noticed us, they beckoned us to join them, so we did. The food was plentiful and one thing they shared with us was like the fattiest meaty soupy stew that almost turned my tummy, but they were insistent that we ate with them so I just got on with it. I’d not have that again by choice.
What’s your favourite book?
A friend of mine, Philip Trotter, wrote a book called Into the Fire – a really exhilarating and original take on the Vietnam theme, exploring less familiar aspects of the country’s painful history through the generation-defining image of the Burning Monk. I don’t have a favourite, but I like a bit of romance and a thriller at the same time.
Sweet or savoury?
Savoury, all day long!