As a well known coffee-writer and global food industry consultant, I have published best-selling coffee books in the USA, Finland, Sweden, China, Korea, Thailand and the UK; written culinary articles for a range of print magazines and newspapers; set-up and managed London’s largest bean-to-bar chocolate factory; headed up a cooking school run entirely with ‘food waste’; worked as one of Chef Dan Barber’s senior managers at his World 50 Best Restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Upstate New York; judged food and coffee for the UK’s prestigious annual Great Taste Awards; set up food brands and retail stores in Singapore; and traveled and researched food production and preparation all around the world.
After over a decade of experience in every corner of the industry (and every corner of the world), I saw first hand where food businesses were most in need of support. In response, I started my global f&b support agency, Four Seasons of Food, offering on-call, highly experienced and affordable staff for the movers and shakers of the food world.
What I love most about my work is that I don’t ever need to stop exploring and learning. Throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough to bake pies in English bakeries, learn about hunting reindeer from Fäviken’s gunsmith, tap maple trees in Wisconsin, mill flour in an 1800’s Lincolnshire windmill, cook Peranakan cakes with Singaporean grandmothers, eat rattlesnake in the Arizona desert, forage for wild food at River Cottage, spend Swedish Midsummer on a potato farm, venture deep under the streets of London to harvest herbs from disused Air Raid bunkers, harvest cacao with local farmers in the hills of Kerala, India – and much more!
WORK & CONSULTING
FOUNDER, Four Seasons of Food F&B Support Agency, WORLDWIDE, 2019 – present.
My varied experience across all facets of the food industry gives me an excellent vantage point from which to provide any type of advice or assistance to growing SME’s. I have consulted and advised on brand identity and culture, business development, facility and retail set-up, product development, trends, operations, marketing, hiring and staff management; I’ve project managed and created written and media content for global brands; I’ve worked on location designing and implementing new projects and much more.
As a generalist (with a wide array of general level knowledge) I’ve spent my career cultivating a rich professional network of specialists. As such, I have helped many f&b businesses managing all sorts of projects – I’ve been hired to set up teams, consult on product and facility development, and much more. Whatever needs doing, if I can’t do it personally, someone on my freelance team can.
My process starts with a discussion with the client to determine their areas of desired growth and/or need, then I provide support in various capacities to achieve those goals. I provide remote ongoing support to a number of clients, and also take on fixed-term contracts on location anywhere in the world.
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, Group MMM, SINGAPORE, 2018 – 2019.
Group MMM is a F&B brand development and investment company with a key focus on affordable luxury. They hold a varied and highly respected portfolio including celebrated Singaporean food brands Violet Oon Restaurants and Janice Wong, through to global brands such as TWG Tea and BELLOCQ Tea.
As Director of Business Development, I worked directly with the CEO and Founder on product and brand development for new ventures; with our craft food partners on development of their products, identity, distribution, logistics and culture; and managed product and brand development for new concepts. I also led concept development and managed our in-house coffee and bean-to-bar chocolate companies. This included designing the coffee program for the relaunch of Singapore’s famous Raffles Hotel, and helping to develop concept and product for the new retail brand and cafe, Singapore Coffee.
GUEST RELATIONS MANAGER, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, NEW YORK, 2017 – 2018.
Chef Dan Barber’s pioneering farm-to-table fine dining restaurant Blue Hill is ranked number 11 in the World’s 50 Best, and is located on the site of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in upstate New York. As Guest Relations Manager, I oversaw the guest experience pre, during, and after their visit to our picturesque location on an 80-acre organic farm.
GREAT TASTE AWARDS JUDGE, Guild of Fine Food, LONDON, 2017.
The Great Taste Awards, organised by the British Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. It has been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world and the ‘epicurean equivalent of the Booker prize’. Industry leaders across the UK food world are selected to judge the annual awards. Along with judging for the general food awards in 2017, I was selected to be one of the 12 specialist judges for the coffee awards.
GENERAL MANAGER UK, MAST Chocolate, LONDON, 2014 – 2017.
As sole-UK based senior manager, I helped set up and ran the internationally renowned bean-to-bar chocolate company, MAST Chocolate, within the UK and EU. I built and oversaw all aspects of the business: hiring, training, sales, operations, production, product development, design, marketing, e-commerce, fulfilment, events, pop-ups, collaborations, partnerships and developed a respected on-site education facility. I spearheaded a range of unique and industry-leading professional level programs, drawing students from around the world. The programs were some of the first in the world to offer such comprehensive and in depth bean-to-bar chocolate training to the general public, and drew students from Italy to Thailand.
CONTRIBUTOR, Blue Hill – wastED, LONDON, 2016 – 2017.
wastED is a pop-up restaurant concept conceived by acclaimed Chef Dan Barber and the Blue Hill team. It has appeared in New York and London. I co-developed and produced a dessert dish for the London pop-up in Spring 2017. wastED is a community of chefs, farmers, fishermen, distributors, processors, designers and retailers, working together to reconceive “waste” that occurs at every link in the food chain. The goal was to celebrate what chefs do every day on their menus (and peasant cooking has done for thousands of years): creating something delicious out of the ignored or un-coveted and inspiring new applications in our food system.
PASTRY CHEF, The Deli Downstairs, LONDON, 2014 – 2015.
Worked in a much-loved, award-winning British Deli as a pastry chef, focusing on local, seasonal and organic ingredients.
FOOD EDUCATION PROJECT MANAGER, Australian Government, MELBOURNE, 2011 – 2013.
Ran a highly successful cooking school using ‘rescued food’, ‘recycled’ by Australian food waste company Second Bite. I set-up, planned, budgeted, ran and taught all food education courses, and developed all recipes for use in the program.
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR, Chocolate Liberation Front, MELBOURNE, 2010 – 2011.
As Production Coordinator at Chocolate Liberation Front, a multimedia entertainment company based out of Canada and Australia, I worked as writer and key researcher on award-winning documentaries. I worked in the small social media team to utilise Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to deliver a 7 day a week/24 hour a day online media experiences for clients. One Facebook page made it to be the largest fan site for any Australian TV channel program, as well as receiving over 1 million visits to the social network extensions in 2010.
Masters of Food Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia, 2015. Majoring in Sustainability, Food Ethics, Culinary Anthropology and Food Writing.
Masters of Teaching, Deakin University, Australia, 2015.
Graduate Certificate of Food Writing, University of Adelaide, Australia, 2013.
Certificate III in Patisserie, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, 2013. Australian qualification, official government recognized course equivalent to Le Cordon Bleu’s Diplôme de Pâtisserie.
Bachelor of Film and Television, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, 2009.
SCAE Introduction to Coffee, Prufrock Coffee, London, 2017.
Barista Training, Climpson & Sons Coffee Roasters, London, 2014.