Updated: May 25, 2020
Once upon a time.....
someone asked you 'what do you want to be when you grow up'...…. They say that when you were a child you had a better idea of what you really wanted than you do now!!!
Soooooooo if I asked you today- as a child who did you want to be as a grownup?
For some people they bravely followed that dream and are happier as a result. Then somewhere along the mix some of us, well we got side tracked, and influenced by others, friends, family, peers....
If you are at a crossroads then I ask you to answer that question, that was asked of you way back then. Delve back into that frame of mind that allowed you to have endless blue sky thinking, because it is that mindset that creates possibilities, creates real energy, allows for a positive mindset to take hold and lead.....
When I was in 6th year in secondary school, I went to my career guidance teacher, it was part of the curriculum for each student to sit and develop a plan for their bright futures ahead!
Soooooo I sat and I told her what I wanted to be when I grew up- ' I want to study Chefing' and I said it with a great big smile on my face. It's a big deal at 16/17 to think that far ahead and commit to one thing for what seems like an eternity. Unfortunately that smile didn't last long on my face as it was cleaned right off my face with this brutal response 'Don't be so stupid, chefing is for fools'. Well that certainly had a lingering and long lasting negative impact. I was young and impressionable and then frightened and scared. Christ, what a response from someone in power. who was hired to assist but who instead destroyed.
It had an impact.
I was brought up in a house where good food was the norm. We never had processed food in the house. Everything was made from scratch. It was fantastic. Family meals were stunning with all of the trimmings. Every scrap was used and more fabulous dishes were created with the leftovers. Our birthday parties were the talk of the class as we had at least 6 birthday cakes because my mam always went above and beyond. Her novelty cakes were so beautiful. Her baking skills were insane and her party and entertaining skills were so fantastic. So with 7 children we had the most elaborate parties 7 times a year. For me to become a chef made sense. I was let loose in my mams kitchen at such a young age . She would hand me a cookbook and say 'make anything you want' and off she would go and let me be. My sundays were spent trialing and loving the freedom to create whatever i chose.
So when that teacher was so horrid with her advice I was completely stopped in my tracks.
I went to DIT Cathal Brugha Street for four years to study Hotel And Catering Management.
The night before my final exam in fourth year, I met a girl from Kilkenny on the stairway in the library. Little did I realise she was about to change my life!
Trish was studying a Certificate in Chefing in DIT so I asked her what was she up to next after college?
She said she was going down to Ballymaloe Cookery School to do an intensive three month certificate in chefing. I was confused..... Trish had just spent two years studying just that, so I needed more intel. I quizzed her through whispers on that staircase. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. That course was made for me too.
During my final year in College we were not in the kitchens at all and at that moment, meeting Trish I realised how much I missed being around food and being in the kitchen.
After our chat, we both went our separate ways in the library. I found a free computer, went online and applied there and then for the three month intensive certificate in chefing course at the world renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School. I returned to Kilkenny and waited patiently to hear back from Ballymaloe. I received a letter to say I was being called for an interview at the school. So off I went to the school to be interviewed and to have a look around and tour. It is a 100 acre organic farm with stunning gardens and quaint and cute cottages. I then had to wait for what felt like an eternity to find out if I was accepted. In the meantime I worked in my family business 7 days a week for 8 months in order to pay for what was going to be my biggest self-investment and the best decision I ever made.
I always knew food was in my DNA, I may have gone the long road but that road was necessary in order for me to be where I am today.
The moral of the story is: don't give up, the goal remains the same but allow the plan and the steps to change in order for the end result to transpire. And always enjoy the process as you never know what conversation where can change your life.
Thank you Trish Hennessy for that chat, on that day, in 2002 on the library stairwell.
Myself and Trish ended up as roommates in the Coach House in January 2003. We shared those three months together and loved every minute. Thankfully we have both gone on to do great things and we reamin the best of friends still.
Love what you do or what's the point.....
If you don't ask yourself:
What did I really want to be when I was a child.
What is it about this job I don't like.
What is it about this job I do like.
What can i do to make it better.
If i can't make it better am i willing to make a huge change in order to get what i want.
What is the job I really want. (write a detailed description, think BIG)
What do I need from my job to feed my brain and soul.
Where do I want to be in 5 years.
What must I do to get there.
Hire a Business Coach.
Food for thought develops plans, have fun remembering who you wanted to be when you were a child...