Bia Sásta’s logo says ‘We know Food’ and that is true. And it is great to see other people recognising this simple fact as well (hope that doesn’t sound over confident now) – I am getting lots of emails and private messages on Facebook asking questions on food and food business and I am always delighted to be able to help and support homecooks and food business people alike. But I have to admit that I am standing a lot taller when a radio station like 96fm is calling me to get an expert opinion on a food subject. Just yesterday I was called by 96fm to talk about cheese – no better woman as I love cheese and have made it at home for years. I was working in the garden on Sunday when I got a text from Fergal, one of the researchers for the Opinion Line if I would be available to receive a call on the subject of cheese from PJ Coogan and of course, I said yes.
Then I got very nervous. Would I know everything? Are there gaps in my expertise? Would I out myself as an imposter? Don’t get me wrong, I know I am a food expert – after so many years working in the food industry and having tried my hand on almost anything, I can truly say I am an expert. But nevertheless, being officially recognised as an expert is a different story and being on air saying as much can be daunting. But it is also a fantastic boost to my own self confidence that an established station like 96fm considers me expert enough to ask me on a Sunday if I would come on air the following day. A caller came on air to ask me a question and I was able to answer without hesitation as I knew I would – did I mentioned that I love cheese. I really hope my advice was helpful to the caller and that he is starting to make his own cheese at home now.
So how does one become an expert – I discovered my love for food in Turkey where I lived with the family of my best and oldest friend Gulgun (a crazy girl if there ever was one). Supermarkets were almost unknown back then in Turkey and the corner shop had everything we needed on a daily basis while the markets gave us fresh produce of vegetables, meat and fish. We cooked everyday from scratch and I learned so much about the dynamic of food and what goes together and what doesn’t. The natural relationship between the cook and the food was phenomenal without ever having to be discussed. I am still very grateful to the parents of my friend who have taught me so much. When I returned, I went to college and studied business & economy – and this was the perfect combination – love for food and knowledge for business. And years and years of watching people, reading and trying foods of different nations and countries. I made my own cheese, sweets, chocolates, preserves and sugarcraft long before it become a fashion. I have made mistakes and learned from them. And that’s how I became a food expert. And thank you for 96fm for recognising it.