It’s now been one year since the Career Conversations podcast series made its debut.
Originally launched to help tackle recruitment shortages and attract new talent, each 20-minute episode explores the high and lows of a career in the food and beverage industry. Featured guests come from across the board including chefs, restaurant entrepreneurs and nutritionists to food tech founders, bio-scientists and flavour developers.
Delving into the most exciting careers, featuring renowned industry names and experts, the series raises awareness on the myriad of opportunities available to anybody looking to work in the food and drink sector, no matter their background, ability or starting point.
Notable names include Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, Bake Off Alumni Benjamina Ebuehi, Virgin Atlantic’s Global Food & Beverage Lead Hari Ghotra, and winner of Channel 4’s The Great Cookbook Challenge and cookbook author Dominique Woolf.
The podcast series received a prestigious FDF 2022 Awards nomination within the first six months of its launch for its efforts in Education and inspiring young people into the food and drinks industry.
With so many options to choose from, here’s a roundup of our top episodes from the past year.
Leading the taste test team at the Good Housekeeping Institute
When the inevitable conversation was raised on what you wanted to be when you grew up, most kids probably had one of several traditional answers at the ready. Vet, astronaut, doctor, or fireman were all viable pursuits sure to make your enquirer brim with joy over your career aspirations. If you were born a foodie, however, perhaps you had a different and less traditional career in mind: taste tester.
Testing everything from high-street sausages to high-end champagne, Angela Trofymova has one of those jobs which sounds too good to be true. With over 13 years of food industry experience, helping companies such as Pret, Sainsbury’s, Nando’s and Leon achieve sustainable growth through innovative product development – Angela shares some key info on getting into this enviable world and how she found herself in the role of Group Testing Manager at the Good House Keeping Institute.
How a Coca-Cola internship launched my career
From its symbolic Coca-Cola font to the unmistakable contour bottle, Coca-Cola has worked for more than 130 years to create its iconic brand with innovations and marketing campaigns across the globe. But what is it actually like working at one of the world’s most recognisable brands? And how do you get a job there?
In this inspiring episode, Taïeb Mestiri shares what a Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager does, how much you can expect to earn in a similar role, and how his journey to a career with the giant Cola-Cola was entirely pivotal in his choices as a student by swapping his degree in engineering mid-way to study food science and nutrition instead.
What it’s like going through the Mondelez graduate scheme
While last year’s podcast guests were typically seasoned (no pun intended) veterans in their chosen sectors, Ella Jonas joined this Career Conversations episode to share her refreshing perspective having just completed a three-year graduate scheme with the multinational confectionery food and beverage company Mondelez.
Any student or recent graduate tackling apprehensions on what direction their career should be heading could certainly be inspired by Ella’s somewhat unconventional approach of making vocation decisions based on your passion – in her case, chocolate.
How I launched a drinks brand
We’re seeing it more and more – the beverages and bottles we’re reaching for aren’t the types our parents used to throw back at football matches and the weekends, and we can thank Ellie Webb for bringing us the sophisticated and delicious range of tropical non-alcoholic spirits that is Caleño.
Ellie was working alone from her home kitchen and had around 20 bottles of her homemade non-alcoholic mixer on hand when she received the call from Sainsbury’s offering to stock her product in each of their 500 stores across the UK.
The young entrepreneur shares her journey (including a 5000-mile trip across Columbia) that started with her dismay for soft drinks on sober nights out.
The architect turned food illustrator
Plates brim with sandwiches hazardously loaded, martinis adorned with olives, table-sized platters of Asian cuisine and groceries in abundance, Rocío Egío’s illustrations are every foodie’s creative dream.
With a style that is instantly identifiable, Rocío has worked with world brands including McDonald’s, Adobe, The New York Times and CNN. The illustrator gives insight into how her architecture studies have informed her work, and why her dyslexia diagnosis is a ‘superpower‘.
Creating new products for ASDA
Have you ever been hungover and horizontal with that burning (and slightly dusty) craving to consume a foot-long sausage wrapped in bacon? April Dear is one of the incredible ‘nutty professors’ working behind the scenes to turn these bizarre and brilliant food concepts into a reality (including the giant pig in a blanket).
As Senior Product and Packaging Development Manager for Asda, April is responsible for a large team of product development managers who spend their days researching, creating and marketing new recipes and meals that we might buy in the supermarket. She details her journey from KP to the Meat Business Women’s One to Watch and gives an insight into the fast-paced industry that currently has a huge demand for bright young graduates passionate about sustainability.
Meeting cookbook writer Dominique Woolf
Whether you’ve been struck by culinary genius or simply have an idea for a cookbook simmering away: preheat your oven, rally your ingredients, grab a pen and press play on this seriously inspiring episode of Career Conversations.
Host Elisa Roche is joined by Dominique Wolf who triumphed in The Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver. With the renowned British chef as her guide and mentor, Dominique perfected her recipe for success and released her first cookbook “Dominique’s Kitchen” in June of 2022. If a career in writing and sharing recipes has ever crossed your mind, this episode is for you.
The baker turning young people’s lives around
If you’re a London local and love the baked goods section, you may have found yourself lined up behind 20+ other hungry individuals for your morning fix of freshly baked pastries at a Dusty Knuckle.
Max Tobias is the co-founder and Managing Director of the hugely popular bakery. After working for 10 years in the field of youth intervention, he now extends his social enterprise – this incredible bakery – to help people out of prison and difficult backgrounds get back on their feet through a career in food.
For anyone out there looking for young people to invest in or wondering where the next wave of food talent is, you just found it. Max and his team have worked so hard to set up their amazing bakery, which started in a shipping container and now has two locations in Central London.