Monday, 9 February 2015

Interview with TV Cook and business woman Sophie Morris

Sophie Morris is one of the country's most loved TV chefs, with her regular slots on TV3's Late Lunch Live, her own book, a mentoring business and the ambassador for Kerry Gold butter, she's without a doubt an inspiration to women everywhere and I couldn't wait to chat to Sophie about her TV appearances, her cooking and of course everything else she has up her sleeves. Trust me, Sophie Morris is a force to reckon with, and a pleasure to chat too, I've never felt so inspired....
 I've personally always loved baking, from a young age my nanny had it beat into me and without sounding too cocky I was a natural!! Unreal I was, I could bake anything and everything it was one of my biggest passions in life. I even wrote my own cookbook, as a matter of fact I wrote two cookbooks, a Christmas one and an everyday one, I was going far with my baking, but then, one day I lost it all. 
Everything I baked tasted like soap, or turned green. I'm not joking ask the friends who would pretend they ate my cupcakes before feeding them to my dog, I was crap!! Even a packet mix of scones was too difficult for me but Sophie tells me there's still hope out there for me ''It's definitely a skill you can learn, a lot of people maybe have a flare for it but yeah it's definitely a skill you can pick up'' -What about someone who had the flare, lost the flare and is now trying to get the flare back... *sigh
But starting off Sophie thinks just start basic and work up, ''Youtube is so good these days, you can go on and watch the basics like 'how to chop an onion' the very basics. Get a very simple cookbook and keep practising and you'll begin to learn it is very easy''

Sophie grew up surrounded by a great cooking family,being related to the Deny family in Waterford but as much as she loved cooking, she didn't always know it was something she wanted a career in. She studied economics in college, actually in Trinity would you mind...but from there she incorporated her business mind and her cooking mind and so Sophie Morris Kooks came alive,
''My parents are both great cooks and I came from a family of great cooks so it was in my routes a bit. I was always surrounded by great food and cooking and I got into it from a young age, but I didn't think I'd ever end up working in it until later on''
Like I mentioned before Sophie studied economics and really enjoyed the business subjects growing up,
''I wouldn't say I was a nerd but but I always loved the business side of things and I really enjoyed it'' As much as she enjoyed business and cooking, Sophie didn't know what she wanted to do until years later,
''In college I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do, especially in the final year of college I didn't have an absolute clue. I had gotten a scholarship in Trinity which allowed me to stay on and do my masters for free so I stayed there for an extra year and and did my masters in economics. It was really tough so when it was done I allowed myself to take some time of, go travelling and think about what I wanted to do.
I was when I was travelling I decided I really wanted to take some time and go on a cookery course in Ballymaloe, that's what I really wanted to do and it was down there when I realised this is what I want to do. I wanted to combine my love of business and food and there's where I had the idea of starting my own food business''

Growing up I always watched cookery programmes on the tele. My nanny was an amazing cook so it was in my blood from a very young age. So young in fact one of my idol chiefs was Fanny Craddock. Growing up Sophie always admired Jamie Oliver (I did myself) but it was his style that went onto inspire Sophie,
''My favourite was always Jamie when he was really unknown and doing the naked chef, I loved him and of course all the other big names, like Darina Allen I always had her cookbooks'' 
It's one of my biggest dreams to walk into a shop and see my own cookbook, even though it would probably be recipes like 'how to follow the instructions on a packet of brownies' recipes but Sophie got the chance to live out one of her dreams and publish her very own cookbook, something she still pinches herself about, '' It was a huge dream of mine, I remember back in the days of Ballymaloe when I'd say to my mam 'I want to have my own cookbook' and she'd say 'you will' and low and behold I do, it's a huge dream come true and I'm really proud of it''
The minute the book idea came about Sophie jumped at it and is now a strong believer of never letting anything slip through your fingers '' I had the opportunity of meeting a publisher and at that stage I had gotten a bit of publicity and PR from 'kookie dough' and they had seen me on dragons den and she said would you ever consider doing a cookbook. So I came away from the meeting with the idea of doing a draft of the cookbook and sending it to her and I was then given a contract.
It showed me that with even a potential glimpse of opportunity just go for it, you never know what will happen'' 
Could a second book ever come about????
'' I'd love to write another one, it's just finding the time and when you're working in a business as well but hopefully in the future I'll get the chance to write another one''
Sophie on Late Lunch Live

Sophie is regularly making an appearance on TV, between cooking on Late Lunch live or sharing her baking tips but she's adjusted to it now and isn't as shocked when she sees herself on the tele, '' I think I've gotten used to it now, I don't think of it like people turn their tele on and there I am, I think I'm immune to it now but it is funny when the odd person comes up to you and says 'oh I saw you on tele' that's a bit odd.

I could go on and on about my cooking disasters I really could write a book on them *idea instead of a cookbook a, things I cooked wrong book but I was secretly heartbroken when Sophie said her biggest kitchen disaster was when she dropped a cake straight from the oven, ''I actually wish I did it would be a funny story, I had the typical taking the cake out of an oven but no nothing drastic''  Sophie represents young women so well, and especially young women in business, she's inspiring so inspiring in fact she won 'Image Magazines, young business woman of they year in 2011' a huge honour for any woman but for Sophie winning this award at 29, she couldn't believe it ''That was one of the biggest highlights of my business career, I couldn't believe it . I never expected and I loved Image, I think they're really great at promoting women in business so it was a huge honour''
Sophie does everything from running her own business, to mentoring other business, to cooking, to writing she does it all but admits her favourite part is working with new business and advising them as to where to go, '' I absolutely love working with new food industries, I was no naive when I started Kookie dough and when I see other food industries starting out I see what mistakes they can make and try help them around their problems''
With brains to burn if Sophie wasn't in the cooking industry she would still love to be in the business but has a hidden love for the tech industry ''sometimes I wish I did do something in that industry, it's so interesting. I was really into maths and science stuff in school, and I think all young people should know about it now''

Down to the serious stuff, if you could have anyone in the world for dinner who would you choose???For me, I'm still stuck I think I might bring kings of Leon, all of them because Caleb can cook plus he's good looking, Jared is fantastic looking and then they could sing me to sleep but Sophie thinks of it much more logically and chooses someone she could enjoy a conversation with ''Steve Jobs!! I think he's an absolute genius.I've read his books and I think he's absolutely inspiring, and a very interesting character and I'd make him a big vegan feast''

With student's across the country facing up to pre exams in the upcoming weeks, Sophie told me she also doesn't think the points system is fair at all and to really not panic, take Sophie for example: A masters in economics yet she is in the food industry you don't have to stay in the sector you studied in at all, 
''I really don't think the points system is fair at all and it really annoyed me how getting courses depended on the demand as opposed to the skill so I would say don't get overly stressed, it's not the end of the world it's just the very very beginning!! If you're not sure what you want to do just choose something you would enjoy. Work hard and study but don't overly stress. Whatever you enjoy doing you should do that in college'' 
And for anyone out there who wants to follow in the footsteps of Sophie her advice would be to:
''Go after what you love. I always had a vision that I wanted to own my own business and if you have a vision you need to follow it because that's your passion and if you have a passion that's what will get you up in the mornings and ultimately what you will succeed in.
Don't think about what other people think or say you should be doing, just follow your gut and what you think you should be doing, work hard and you'll get there''

A huge thanks to Sophie for taking her time out to speak to me, it was a pleasure!!
Wishing Sophie all the best with everything else that comes her way,
Lynda xx
Don't forget you can follow Sophie on twitter - sophmorris
And you can check out her website here-

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