Women Of The Irish Food Industry – Caitriona Redmond, Food Writer
Caitriona Redmond is known for being the lovely face being Wholesome Ireland but there are so many more strings to her bow.
Who is Caitriona Redmond and what does she do? Well she is a food writer, a food blogger, a photographer, an editor, a videographer, a content creator, a Lidl ambassador, a pig farmer, a veggie grower, a shoulder to cry on and a great ear when you’re in trouble. Caitriona Redmond is also a marathon runner, an organiser, a walking memory stick and a great cook. She wrote and photographed her own cook book, she gives cookery demonstrations and she is an active member of her community. She supports other women and is inclusive in her approach to life. I am lucky to call her my friend.
I’m talking to women in the food industry, what brought you into this category and what do you do?
I never intended to have a career in food. In fact when I left school I really wanted to be a teacher. Persistence led me to where I am today as continuing to blog 10 years after I first started has been the single-most reason for me to have a career in food.
Are you fulfilled in your career?
I love what I do so yes I am fulfilled. I love speaking to producers, making connections, seeing how food influences a community both online and in real life. I never drag myself to the desk in the morning!
What do you think can be done to help raise the profile and visibility of women in the food industry in Ireland?
I think that change has to come from the top down. PR professionals have to see women as a viable alternative when it comes to creating content and becoming brand ambassadors. It is all too easy to decide to run with a male chef or food writer. There are many other viable options that need to be embraced by big brands, and by smaller ones.
Tell us of one woman in the Irish food industry who consistently inspires you.
Mary Clarke of Clarke’s Fresh Fruit. She was a teacher in a local school for many years. Since she retired she has used that sense of community and connection with her local area to source female entrepreneurs to become key providers to the Clarke’s ‘family’. She champions local businesses and producers, but in particular female ones. She carries a small notebook with her at all times and it’s her bible to jot down telephone numbers, make connections, and she is a force to be reckoned with. I am in awe of her.
What is your favourite cooking accessory?
Everytime somebody asks me about this I think about the “knifey Spoony” joke.
Have you had a wow moment to date in your career? If so which one was it and why?
I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment where I thought ‘oh my God I’ve made it’. I suffer dreadfully from imposter syndrome so instead everyday I have to remind myself that I’m really lucky to do what I do.
What have been your down moments in your career and how did you deal with them?
Taking on too much all at once and trying to emulate what others have done. Stay your own course and be your own person.
What advice would you give your younger self?
No matter how bad it is now, it’ll pass. You have to have bad times, bad days, even bad weeks, to appreciate the good ones. Also eat a little less chocolate.
What are the top skills required to do your job (s) and why?
Patience, a very good typing speed (that saves me so much time), and an ability to remember details and information.
Tea or coffee?
Always tea, never coffee. I actually don’t drink coffee. At the moment it’s more water, water, or water. One cup of tea a day is my vice.
If you had to leave the world behind and swim to a desert island which cookery book would you take with you?
My Nana’s (maternal grandmother) own cookbook which has all her recipe clippings in it. Compared to every other recipe book it’s priceless and true food heritage.
You’ve had the day from hell and you need comfort food. What’s your go to dish?
Toast with real butter melted on top. Nothing else will do. There’s no need to complicate great food, only to eat it.