Tell us about a typical day at the office?
People often ask me, “What’s a typical day like for you?” To be truly honest a blank canvas works best for me, out in nature. There is no such thing as a typical day as all of the creativity for my writing material is experience-driven and that’s what I love about it! The daily features involved in my work involve journaling and reading, as they help me acquire insight and knowledge in the area of food that I can then disseminate in my unique writing style.
What is your current role like?
Through my alias ‘The Culinary Celt’ my work involves amplifying the voice of Irish food producers and actively promoting the areas of wellbeing and sustainability through my published work in the areas of wellbeing, sustainability, mental health and connectedness. I love the outstanding level of collaboration in my role. Whilst writing my debut book it was great to surround myself with a brilliant team that worked harmoniously to support me in fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams of publishing a book. One of the most important things for me is to enjoy a good work-life balance as this helps me retain the energy and passion, I need to perform my writing and educational role to a high standard. Having the ability to choose between a diverse range of projects is one of the best features, of working closely with a variety of voluntary societies and communities. Each project provides different challenges, which I thrived upon. As well as introducing me to a wide range of learning skills they also help give me a fresh mindset, which in turn increases my levels of creativity.
What about it makes you want to get up in the morning?
I enjoy researching, educating and writing about food. Every day presents me with the opportunity to communicate practical knowledge and practices that I’ve learnt over the years and gradually refined through sustained research and natural awareness in terms of my personal heightened experiences with food. I enjoy helping others explore and shift their relationship with food mindfully and healthily.
What is the best career decision you ever made?
Going back to college as a part-time mature student has been one of the best career decisions that I’ve made because it’s opened the door for me to pursue my passion for food education, learning and development. After completing my Masters in Business Studies Marketing (MBus) I created my alias ‘The Culinary Celt’. Although I had a marketing degree, the research and academic writing aspects of the course took me on a new path in terms of enabling me to re-discover my love for writing and the confidence to work on developing my writing style.
How has the industry changed since you started?
Having worked in the media industry for the past three decades I’ve been able to witness firsthand the power of both words and marketing. The landscape of the industry, like many, has massively changed over the past 20 years with digital platforms now being further learning and educational avenues. The ability to be able to source inspiration everywhere gives me great scope to channel my creativity from these online avenues.
What has been your biggest success factor?
My biggest success factor to date would have to be publishing my debut book ‘Eat With The Seasons’ and designing The CELT Mindful Eating Model and Culinary Compass Tool principles (four-pillar mindful eating frameworks). The book has enabled me to shine a light on the role that mindful eating and gratitude play in terms of enhancing our daily interactions with the natural environment, whilst at the same time improving our overall wellbeing.
Do you feel like you’re making a difference in your job?
I regularly get feedback from my work, from people having positively learnt new things about different types of food, their food choice and how these choices impact the environment. In some cases having engaged with me has resulted in them transforming their eating patterns and behaviours and increased their overall wellbeing.
What is the best bit of advice you have for someone looking to move into this area?
You can do it! Choose your writing subject goal and deadline. Prepare before you write, scheduling your time and mind mapping out the core development ideas is extremely helpful from the outset. These can then be fleshed out and amended along the way. Like everything in life, it is all about enjoying the journey and with this comes a sense of achievement, which brings the destination within reach. Just stay focused and true to yourself in the writing process and connect with others, as they can offer great guidance and help to act as a sounding board for your suggested ideas.
Where do you see the industry going in the future?
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world, and its effects will last in the industry. This year thankfully seems to be a year of reset and transition. We can finally start to look forward to shaping our futures in terms of food security and global warming rather than just grinding through the present. The next normal will hopefully be different. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck and we were all displaced from the lifestyle routines that we had built up over years and food took its rightful place, at the heart of our homes helping us through the difficult times we found ourselves facing within our daily lives. During this time we also had a lot of time to positively re-access our food patterns and choices. With this in mind I would love to get more of my writing published, both academic research papers and non-academic work, to help shape food education for future generations to come.
What professional associations are you a member of?
I’m a member of Network Cork, a not-for-profit national organisation for women in business, the professions and the arts. It’s a fantastic supportive environment for members where we can develop and pool our individual skills through interaction with other women in business.
Is there a quote that motivates you?
“We must become the change we want to see” – Mahatma Gandhi
Who inspires you?
Sir David Attenborough – being a champion of humanity and Earth, his concern for the natural world comes from a deep knowledge and understanding, and his energy, advocacy and ability to reach people globally is a true inspiration.