Monday
Oct062014

q&a with Stephen Jeffers from Belfast Cookery School

Belfast Restaurant Week 2014 is currently taking place across the city, and today for q&a I am delighted to bring an interview with one of the cities most talented chefs Stephen Jeffers.  A talented chef, teacher, food stylist Stephen runs one of our favourite places in the city, the Belfast Cookery School.  We have a brilliant timewhenever we visit the school.  Stephen you are very welcome.

1. Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

Stephen Jeffers, it’s great being me, life's full of surprises

2. Where are you from, where are you based ...

I live in Donaghadee on the Co Down coast, but am originally a Belfast boy.


3. Talk about your work ...

I do a variety of work from teaching students at Belfast Cookery School, to food styling for magazines as well as some TV add work. Plus private cooking for high profile clients.

4. What are your future plans ... 

I have no plans but have learnt over the years that you have to take each day as it comes. My plans will come my way when I not expecting them and that’s the best way.

5. How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

I find inspiration from reading cook books, surfing Pinterest; I have always found the visual medium seems to inspire me.  I’m not inspired by one person but many hard working talented people over years.

6. Describe your space ... 

Bright, open, airy and modern but still warm and inviting. It’s a unique balance but it’s perfect.


7. How are you feeling today ... 

Like most days, I’m fully charged and ready to give people the knowledge I've learned over the years.

 8. A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Always look forward not backwards...

9. Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

Always give people a second chance, you never know when you'll need one.

10. Your work life philosophy is ...

Doing jobs by half is no no.

11. What is your favourite smell ...  

Clean cotton bed sheets

12. Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

Van Morrison and UB40

13. Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Lobster Hollandaise - shallot,garlic & butter


14. Three things or products that have changed your life ...

Being with my wife & kids at home

15. How do you relax ...

Play music jazz/gospel

16. What makes you happy, where is your happy place

So many things have changed my life over years..

17. What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

The journey home along the coast home or maybe New Orleans


18. What do you most value in your friends ...  

They are there when you need them without question or hesitation.

19. What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

Anything from the psalms, they comfort, inspire, uplift and nurture your soul. I enjoy reading the bible, there’s always a lesson when you need it.

20. Share some words of wisdom ...

Treat everyone you meet in life equally, everyone deserves a chance.

 

Thank you for joining us.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Sep152014

q&a with Geoff Talbot founder of 7 Sentences

 


Who are you, what’s it like being you...

Being me is like being nobody else… I am learning to be me more, to care less about assimilating to the world around me. Being me is wonderful, but I don’t think you should try being me, I think you should be you because that is wonderful too.

Where are you from, where are you based...

I am a free thinking kiwi, married to an American, living the dream in a city full of angels (LA) and whole crap-load of ordinary people just like me.

Talk about your work ...

I am a digital strategist, a storyteller and an ex-Veterinary surgeon. We work with people all around the world helping them to use the Internet to build relationships with others in a way that grows their business and builds their brand.

What are your future plans ...

I would like to have more children; I would like to learn how to be a more patient father, a kinder friend, a better partner and lover to my wife. I want to give more to the world… the mechanism (jobs, dreams etc) as to how these things happen is not as important to me as is used to be. There are loads of options… other than the more children part lol

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

Inspiration is everywhere; life is teaming with inspiration I just have to open the window of my soul to see it. If I don’t take care of myself through exercising, resting and eating well then I simply cannot tap into the river of inspiration flowing over me.

Describe your space ... 

I work primarily from coffee shops in our area… I love being able to chat to people. I like having life around me.

How are you feeling today ... 

I feel rich today, fortunate and grateful

A non-negotiable in your life is...

Great question. That my immediate family unit is more important than anything else…. That no matter how dark circumstances around us become, there is always hope. That compassion will always prevail over judgment.

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

“You’re a great man Geoff” Words from my mother that affirmed me during a dark hour and gave much dignity to some tough choices.

Your work life philosophy is...

Design your ideal life and work towards it.

What is your favourite smell ...  

It is a tie between Jelly Beans and Roast Lamb; both smells are rich with nostalgia. We grew up with a ceramic jar that had jellybeans in it from time to time… I spent many hours sniffing that empty jar and imagining. 

Coming from New Zealand where lamb is to a kiwi what a French fry is to an American I would often arrive home from school to the smell of roast lamb permeating through our house… mmm

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

Mumford and Sons. Gospel. Love Pharrell’s Happiness Song. Crowded House to remind me of a kiwi summer.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

Easy question. Roast Lamb --- My favourite 3 ingredients are mint, sauce and lamb LOL

Three things or products that have changed your life...

Faith. A book on meditation written in the 16 century by Madame Guyon and my Mac Book Pro.

How do you relax ...

I like to zone out by myself in the cinema or I like to have a meal with close friends usually in our home.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

A million places in my imagination,  I go there wherever I choose. It’s mine and nobody else’s.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I love London, specifically sitting on the trains with the rest of Europe, watching people interact or avoid interaction… I love this.

What do you most value in your friends ...  

A lack of guile and pretence…

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

Well I have a 2.5 year old son who can say the words gorgeous, fantastic and gravitas so they would be my favourites.  I am totally digging Thomas the Tank Engine, The Man With The Yellow Hat and Giraffes Can’t Dance (Highly recommended) right now.

Share some words of wisdom ...

Write as much as you read, explore as much as you absorb. We need to listen to others but equally we need to be unafraid of the voices that we have been given and the actions that our hands were created to make. Avoid passivity.

It was a pleasure to talk to you Geoff.

Salt and Sparkle highly recommend you go visit Seven Sentences, and get their daily email sent to your inbox or you can catch up with Geoff on Twitter.

 

That's it for now, until next time ...

 

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Oct222012

q&a with Marie Lacey Director of Belfast Community Gospel Choir

 

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I’m Marie Lacey, daughter of Alex and Margaret Leebody (sadly both gone now) sister of older brother John, wife of Lynas and Mum of Jonathan.  I’m the Director of the Belfast Community Gospel Choir who are just AWESOME! I can honestly say I love being me. I know that could come across conceited and I don’t want it to, but I really do love who God created me to be.

I love the family and friends He has put in my life and I love the experiences, challenges, highs and lows that life has brought as in every situation I’ve proved God to be faithful. Now do I like everything ABOUT me, well that's another matter. I would love to be slimmer, have thick hair and perfect skin, no arthritis, no back ache, blah blah blah - but I am what I am and I’m contented.

Where are you from, where are you based ...

Born and bred in East Belfast, just off the Newtownards Road. I still live in East Belfast. My mum once said “when you cross the bridge you’re in another city” and that seems to have stuck. I cannot imagine myself living anywhere but in the East!

 

Talk about your work ...

I spent most of my working life as an office administrator and enjoyed singing, performing and leading the worship in my church in my free time. That all changed in 2009 when I formed the Belfast Community Gospel Choir and that is now my full time job … rather my vocation for it is 24/7 and I love every minute of it.

What are your future plans ...

Home life – Lynas and I hope to sell our house and downsize to a little bungalow (in the EAST lol!) I very much hope that my 28yr old son will settle down and make me a granny! I want to tour more with BCGC as our recent tour to New York was absolutely tremendous and changed us as a choir, both in our relationships with one another and our performance skill.

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

In great music artists are write amazing, truthful songs. I absolutely love KIRK FRANKLIN and all the great black gospel performers. They take music to another level!

Describe your space ... 

Warm and welcoming, not always tidy – in fact seldom tidy, but I live in an atmosphere of PEACE and that’s what’s most important.

How are you feeling today ... 

JOYFUL!

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

MY FAITH! 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ!

Your work life philosophy is ...

Do everything to the glory of God.

What is your favourite smell ...

Cinnamon  

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

At the minute TASHA COBBS her voice is incredible

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

Medium cooked rib eye steak with buttery mash, sautéed mushrooms and onions.  CHOCOLATE. CHOCOLATE and CHOCOLATE!

Three things or products that have changed your life ...

" title="" class="">Macbook Pro.  " title="" class="">Dulop Latex Pillow.  Bible.

How do you relax ...

TV and Movies. Bit of an addict actually – when I find the time.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

Phone calls from my son. Saturday or Sunday road trips with Lynas. Great scenery! Great food!  Great music!  Having said all that, I know this is shallow but you’ll never find me more happy than when I’m strolling around an AMERICAN SHOPPING MALL – they’re the best.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I absolutely love visiting the USA and have visited quite a few states. Would like to visit Colorado and more of the southern states like Alabama and Louisiana.

What do you most value in your friends ...

Honesty!  

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

I’m not a reader – never have been. I’m too impatient to get to the end of the story. My favourite words are LOVE. PLEASE. JOY. PEACE. HOPE.

Share some words of wisdom ...

NEVER give up on a dream. Do not waste your time in the company of negative and cynical people. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging and honest friends. 

 

It was a pleasure to talk to you Marie.

Until next time.

That's it for now ...

 

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

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