Meet our creative, intelligent and simply brilliant friends who inspire KITRI in every single way.
Meet Margie Nomura, talented chef, cookery writer and founder of Desert Island Dishes, the hugely popular podcast that interviews special guests from the world of food and beyond (think The Hairy Bikers, Ruth Rogers and #KITRIgirl, Jasmine Helmsley) about their impressive careers and favourite dishes. Intelligent and ambitious, Margie originally studied law at Oxford University, before taking a step into the unknown, retraining as a chef and starting her own catering company 6 years ago. We sat down with her to talk about her career, the importance of taking risks and her desert island dishes.
We’d love to know more about your career journey so far…
I studied Law after going to Oxford and always thought I would end up as a lawyer, but I soon found myself dreaming of starting a food business and knew it was something I had to pursue. I went to Ballymaloe in Ireland to brush up on my cooking skills, and then worked at various restaurants in London before launching my own catering business. From that I’ve been able to do food styling, recipe writing and working with brands for events which has been great!
We’re big fans of your podcast at KITRI HQ! What inspired you to start it?
Firstly, thank you! I had been wanting to start a podcast for years but it seemed daunting so I put it off for ages, before eventually taking the plunge last year. I love food – and these are the questions I tend to ask anyone I meet anyway, being a.) very greedy and b.) incredibly nosey. You never know if people are going to listen but soon lots of people were listening and it’s growing week by week which is just so exciting.
If you were being cast off to a desert island, what would your last dish be?
For me, my answer changes every day! That’s the beauty of the podcast, I get to ask the questions and don’t have to commit to just one answer. I do know for sure it would be at least 5 courses.
What’s your top tip for starting your own business?
Starting is the hardest part, but you just have to take a deep breath and give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen?
What does your typical day look like?
It’s so varied, which I really love. I tend to have 3 days a week in the kitchen, either cooking for events or planning recipes for my website www.desertislanddishes.co. Then the rest of the week is divided up by working on writing interviews, recording and editing the podcast and working on different projects. No day is the same which I really enjoy!
Who inspires you?
So many people. I’ve been really lucky to meet some amazing people doing Desert Island Dishes – all of whom are incredibly successful in their chosen fields and I find their stories of how they got to where they are today really inspiring. I recently interviewed Ruth Rogers of the River Café who is an amazing inspiration.
You’ve had an incredible career so far. Can you pinpoint a moment you are most proud of?
I think probably when I made the decision to step away from the law. It was scary at the time, and I was stepping into the unknown but I think you’ve got to take risks and I never want to look back and think “what if”.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My dad’s saying is “seize the day” and he says it to me a lot! And he’s right, there’s no time like the present so that’s a good one to remember. “Done is better than perfect” is my new motto for 2018 and I like it because I think we are all too worried about everything being perfect that it can paralyse you into never starting something. Obviously you always want to try your best and that’s all you can do as striving for perfection is unattainable.
You have an important meeting. What’s your go-to outfit?
My daily uniform tends to be midi dresses with supergas and either a shirt or chunky knit on the top. For a meeting I might swap into some ankle boots and pop a blazer on the top.
We love seeing you wear KITRI! Why did you choose these pieces?
I love everything by KITRI. I chose the dresses as they are just so easy to wear and can be dressed up with a pair of wedged espadrilles or dressed down with trainers which I really love. The slip dress is such a staple in my wardrobe as they look gorgeous with a t-shirt underneath or with a chunky knit on the top. The blazer is brilliant for smartening up an outfit in an instant and makes me feel pulled together and business like even if I’ve been cooking all day. And I couldn’t resist the gorgeous green jumper which I will wear with everything from a leather mini skirt to tailored cropped trousers.
Finally, what’s next?!
I’m working on some really exciting projects at the moment which I can’t wait to talk about. We are also doing some live recordings of the podcast which will be very cool, and it’s just so amazing to have so many people listening to Desert Island Dishes each week and for the number to be growing in the way it is. All very surreal but exciting!