“Tell me a little about yourself,” is one of the very worst questions to be asked in an interview.
Instead of turning into a deer in headlights like I usually do, I’ll give you the very honest answer that I so wish I could state in any interview:
Here are my strengths: Communication. Multitasking. Managing humans (and sometimes cats). Quick wit. (Unless I’m tired.) A good sense of urgency. Passion for the f&b industry. Adaptable. Social media managing.
Here are my accomplishments: Assisted in launch of F&W’s #FOODWINEWOMEN campaign, have several published pieces on f&b in both print and web (see them here), managed social media platforms and used them to increase web traffic, produced presentations for large-scale conferences, experience in producing large-scale events in off-site locations.
I fell into the world of publishing—and loved it. After a brief stint in North Carolina as a banquet manager/events coordinator for a couple of local restaurants, a bout of depression, and an increasingly bad relationship, I flew back to New York City to find a job. Any job. I interviewed with the editor-in-chief and executive editor of Food Arts magazine, a (now defunct) trade publication solely focused on the ins and outs of the f&b industry. I was hired as an intern, my late EIC became my mentor, and I quickly fell in love with the publishing world, reporting on something so near and dear to my heart. We were writing news. Plain and simple. And we were a family. After nearly five years and (then) an associate editor, FA closed. Unfortunately, there is no other publication that writes specifically what we did, and it’s become a bit of a struggle for me to come to terms with.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. Yes, my job was a welcome surprise to me, but it was also a great one. I met so many amazing writers and editors in the field—many of whom I’m happy to call my dear friends.
I work really, really hard. Sometimes too hard. But I’m okay with it.
Running got me healthy. And I love it. After my EIC passed away, I was in a very dark place. I had already been through a move, a break-up, I cut a lot of negative people out of my life, and was finally figuring out my new career, and was suddenly in limbo. I gained a ton of weight. I could easily knock back a fifth of Maker’s Mark. I was smoking upwards of a pack a day. When I started having trouble sleeping from the weight gain, I knew something had to give. So, with the help of a dear friend, I signed up for my first half marathon. The training alone helped me drop weight, quit smoking, and eat properly. I grew to love running long distances. I signed up for my first marathon. And they just keep coming.
I’m married. I met His Lordship through our running group. (Shocking!) And that’s the name of that tune. Cut to National Taco Day in 2014 when our great Irish families collided at the Lewis-Baker wedding extravaganza. Holy booze, Batman.
I love cheese. Anyone who knows me well know that’s a serious, serious understatement. At some point in my life, I will own a home with a cheese cave. #goals
My cat has his own Instagram account. So follow him.
I have severe anxiety. And it’s something I’ve struggled with for many, many moons. And I’m not alone. (Have anxiety? I’m here to talk to you about it! We can get through it together.)
I’m pretty modest. His Lordship told me to “write a detailed list of accomplishments in my bio.” That list of accomplishments above? Really, really modest. (Related: I still have a spreadsheet of attendees to my EIC’s memorial service held at The Pierre Hotel, here in NY. Also an accomplishment.)
I can quote a f*&#ton of movies. So much so, that my MOH quoted Buzz McCallister in her wedding speech.
I have a culinary degree, but don’t call me ‘chef.’ I attended the very awesome International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute) and got a degree in Classic Culinary Arts. It was life-changing. But if anyone calls me ‘chef,’ I will correct them immediately, as I’m not working behind the line 80 hours a week for minimum wage. They are true chefs. I just write about them.