Pushing Boundaries with Ceri from Natural Kitchen Adventures at #FBC14

Anyone attending FBC12 and FBC5 will have great memories of our sunny and cheerful moderator, Ceri! 

Ceri has been a key part of the FBC team and will be leading the Knowledge Hub talks once more with industry greats, including Yotam Ottolenghi, Greg Malouf, Bee Wilson, Donal Skehan and handfuls of other wonderful speakers this June.We couldn’t do this without Ceri’s gracefulness and on point directions with the speakers and it’s with our greatest pleasure to introduce you to Ceri – a blogger who has encompassed what it means to push your boundaries, the theme of this FBC14! We’ve caught up with her to share what she’s been up to!

Tell us about you and your blog.

Ceri-fbc3I’m a natural chef in the making blogging at Natural Kitchen Adventures (@cerikitchen) – I focus on whole foods, paleo and gluten-free foods – a new recipe and ingredient explored one healthy adventure at a time.

How long have you been involved in the food industry?

I started my blog in April 2011, and in August 2013 left my unrelated job to train as a Natural Chef at Bauman College in Berkeley (nr San Francisco) California.  I returned to the UK in March and am now eagerly setting myself up as a professional in the food industry.  I’m currently working part-time as a prep chef for a healthy cafe, and have plans to set up some cooking lessons or do more healthy pop-up ventures when I get the chance. I’m also continuing to work on pursuing my recipe development and food writing passions.

Natural Kitchen Adventures Cake Decorating

What did you do for a living beforehand?

I was the Projects Director of a London-based International Orchestra.  This basically meant I helped organise bunch of classical musicians to perform all over the world (sounds a lot simpler than it was!)

Did you enjoy it Ceri Jones Moderating FBC5 with Speaker Eat Like A Girl

Yes, for many years I did.  I trained as a musician and at the time it was the ideal career for me.  However I found after a number of years working in the same industry and for the same orchestra I had began to loose my spark and motivation for what I was doing – this happened at the same time as my interested in food, cooking and nutrition was growing beyond my expectations!

What triggered you to be a full-time blogger?

Very sadly in the summer of 2012 I lost my mother to cancer.  This made me realise I had just had to be fulfilled and sparked by my career.  Throughout her illness (and also in the months afterwards) cooking and writing about food was a welcome distraction – it was also something I received praise and thanks for from my readers, and that was such an affirming thing for me. 

I’m not actually full-time blogging just yet (since I don’t really earn money from my blog), but as I start my new career with my new Natural Chef qualification, the blog will be my portfolio and launch board for any projects I work on… More to follow!

What do you love most about what you currently do?

I love that food and nutrition is now my life.  I love that I can legitimately with proper learned brain cells talk about all this stuff I am fascinated in – on my blog and in real life!  I love that I am on the brink of something new, fresh and exciting for me!

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Any foreseeable career moves?

Let me start this new one first before I think of any new ones!  In reality I hope to use my new qualification to combine a career of cooking professionally, whilst writing and teaching about healthy foods.

Natural Kitchen Adventures Budget Brownies

Any thoughts on the future of blogging?

Will everyone have a blog or some description? In the same way that everyone has a Facebook profile or an Instagram feed.  I can’t see anyway of this momentum halting!  Although sometimes I think that the short blogging platforms of instagram etc may take over and people will blog less and less.  I sometimes get frustrated that some people manage to create such a hype and following without the hours of work that goes behind a blog post.

Any tips or advice to others who would like to do the same?

I realise I was in quite a unique situation when I finally made the leap from my 9-5 to move into the food world, but honestly my advice would be to take courage and if it means that much to you – you will find a way to make it happen.  At first I reduced my 5 day a week job to 4 days, to test the waters and find time to work on foodie projects while I made my longer term plans.  It took me over a year to leave my job after I decided I needed to. Maybe there is a way to make half or baby steps in the meantime?

How has FBC influenced you?

FBC has no doubt been a key influence on my life as a blogger, and ultimately my career change – both due to the things I’ve learnt at FBC and also the people I’ve met along the way. Prior to my first FBC, I had been blogging for 18 months, but in solitude.  I wanted to be better at what I was doing, but didn’t know how.

FBC came along at just the right time.  FBC has taught me so much about how to be a better blogger through the educational seminars at the conferences.  BUT, more importantly over the last 2 years FBC has enabled me to grow my blogging network, make so many new friends, share nerdy conversations over the technical sides of blogging, and be inspired by so many wonderful entrepreneurial individuals who have made their passion for food an integral part of their life (either being the best they can be at their hobby blog, or making it their career – both equally no mean feat.).  In short, I’m not sure I’d be where I am today if FBC hadn’t walked into my life.

 

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We get pretty emotional when we read this, for a number of reasons and really appreciate everything Ceri has worked towards and her zeal for pushing those boundaries! Catch her at #FBC14 this June, she’ll be moderating all the lovely sessions and panels we’ve stewed up for you!

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