Meet Katie Quinn – a food video journalist, YouTuber and graduate from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, whose passion for avocados led her to write a book about them. Her biggest tip? “Prioritise physical movement (put it on your “to do” list), and the rest will take care of itself”. We couldn’t agree more. She took 5 minutes out of her crazy schedule to chat to DOSE…
You are a woman of main talents! Tell us a little about your career that led you to where you are today…
It’s kind of wild to think about the various elements that led to my career as it is right now. Each phase of life brought it’s own unique experiences that has led to what I do, which is a videographer, a YouTuber, a business woman, a creative entrepreneur, a cookbook author, a podcast host and nuts-and-bolts production company.
At university I studied Mass Communications, with a focus on production, and Theatre. After university I worked for 5 years at the television network NBC, in New York City, and then transitioned to an on-camera role when I accepted a job with the video news startup, NowThis (also in NYC). Meanwhile, throughout many of those years, I was also freelancing for food blogs, most frequently Serious Eats and Food52.
I’ve always known I want to work for myself/start my own company, so it was just a matter of time before I made the leap. Once I did, I didn’t know that my YouTube channel (the thing I did for fun, to keep my production skills sharp) would take off and offer me the platform with which to launch my career ambitions.
What are your favourite places to work out, eat and drink in London?
As you might guess from my newbie status, I’m totally smitten with all the new places to discover here in London, and my favourite thing is to explore the incredible parks this city has to offer. I love going for runs, or just long walks on the weekend, through the gorgeous parks here. But I’m a big yogi, too, and my favourite studio hands-down is Triyoga. I’m a big fan of their teachers, variety of classes and facilities.
We share your love of Avocados. Where can we get our hands on your cookbook?
You can get my “Avocados” cookbook — which is 23 innovative recipes featuring avocados here! Who doesn’t love avocados? (Actually, I have a friend who doesn’t love avocados. Yes, I’m still friends with her…)
Who is the most interesting person you have met through the world of food?
This is nearly an impossible question because the personalities that are attracted to the food world tend to be really strong, extreme, boisterous, hilarious humans. I met Ina Garten, who has many cookbooks and a television show in America “Barefoot Contessa,” and I was fascinated by her story of re-inventing herself and her career mid-life. She used to work at the White House (in the office of Management and Budget!) before pivoting to food. She dreamt of starting her own little bricks-and-mortar spot, and it all snowballed from there. But honestly, there are so many interesting people I’ve crossed paths with, I could talk your ear off for the next month! The amazing people in this industry are its real strength.
What exciting projects can we expect to see you from you in the near future?
I just launched my podcast! Check it out, it’s called “Keep It Quirky,” (available on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud) and I interview incredible creative entrepreneurs in the food and travel arena who are making their dreams a reality.
I’m also hosting a Travel Channel digital series all around Texas, eating the best bites that the state has to offer (think: unbelievable barbecue), and of course my weekly YouTube videos, posted every Friday, consistently offer fun new content, often with the talented people around us right here in London! I’m shooting with Melissa Hemsley tomorrow, and just published a collab with Jordan Bourke.
You recently cut sugar from your diet. What did you learn from the experience?
Yeah. What was I thinking? Kidding, it was actually a really worthwhile experience to cut out all sugar (including many fruits!) for 10 days. I’d never even attempted to that before and I learned that my body operates in a much less “up and down” fashion when sugar is not a factor in my energy. A part of that detox was also cutting out alcohol and caffeine. The first few days were hard; I had headaches and cravings. But after the first couple of days, I felt great and slept incredibly well. Of course I eat plenty of sweets and drink caffeine and alcohol again…but I learned about my body and definitely incorporate those lessons into my life on a day-to-day basis.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle balance when working for yourself, especially when working with food, can be hard. Can you share any tips?
Spoken like a true self-employed person! It can be really tough, but I’m exponentially happier creating my own schedule than I was working a 9-5 gig. I’m actually much more inclined to take care of myself now because, rather than feeling chained to my desk and therefore reaching for a cookie, I try to take cues of being antsy and I go for a walk or jog or a yoga class instead of relying on those aforementioned indulgences. And it’s a cycle – the more I take care of myself, the less inclined I am to “cave” or succumb to laziness. It’s not always easy, but my biggest tip is to prioritise physical movement (put it on your “to do” list), and the rest will take care of itself.
Keep it quirky. (i.e. the name of my podcast!). I think we’re all prone to taking ourselves a little too seriously. By remembering to laugh at yourself, go for a walk – whatever gives you a break and opens your eyes, you’ll not only be more productive in the long run, but also a happier human while you’re kicking butt.