It is has been an extraordinary month for me, culminating in being a guest Chef at the Kenwood Stand at the Auckland Food Show and meeting non other than Annabelle White, author of 11 cookbooks, former food editor of two NZ magazines and a lover of good honest food. To go from watching Annabelle in action, to standing beside her is a huge honour and I explained to the crowd how nervous I was along with incredulity that I was actually there.It seems such a long way from arriving in Auckland 3 years ago, with little knowledge of the food personalities, to cooking beside them, appearing on Good Morning and being a guest at the very show I remember visiting for the first time and wondering whether it would be possible to ever be there demonstrating myself. As I listen to the new contestants on MasterChef NZ claim that they are following their dream and are amazed to have made it to the top 24, I hear you. If you are passionate about food, then take your chances and don’t that dream die.
I have been told by some that I am an inspiration. I find this embarrassing because it is not at all how I view myself, although if I do inspire others to follow their hearts then I am thrilled. However, it seems like a huge compliment and a little too far fetched. I still jump onto my website and view that statistics and wonder, who are the people who visit my site? Are these figures real?
This week a woman came up to me and asked over a cup of tea for my tips when I make a marble cake. ‘Your recipes are delicious’, she quipped, ‘but I didn’t think my presentation was too good’. She had obviously missed the episode on MasterChef when Ray McVinnie said my Saigon Sponge tasted amazing but looked like a train wreck!! Presentation is not necessarily my strong point, but it seemed my couple of tips were new for her and she left the conversation determined to try again.
I LOVE that people enjoy my food. I LOVE that crowds who watch me demonstrate come and chat with me about my experiences later. These are my favourite moments, being able to share with others what I am so so passionate about.
It was with great mortification and I guess an enormous sense of pride also, that I found myself on my old school website as an inspirational woman/ex student of the school. (inspiring-women) I mean, amongst those featured are impressive leaders in the field of medicine and law, opera singers, former headmistresses and olympic medalists. I feel totally inadequate really in this line up. However, if I inspire other girls to realise that food doesn’t have to be a lesser or poor choice of career, then I am glad to be inspirational (and without a doubt terribly honoured).
This photo is essential in this blog to honour the inspirational women in my own life with whom I couldn’t be doing what I am doing. Whilst we don’t live in the same city or even country, it is their strength, their tenacious approach to life, their desire to do only the best at whatever they do, that keeps me doing what I am doing – both as a mother and as a cook!
So if you are reading this today, be inspired to go out there and do something today that you genuinely LOVE to do. Take a little of my crazy, a little of my passion and make it yours!