The stop start nature of lockdowns has been a really big challenge for me. I have noticed through several work meetings and conversations, that for many of us, motivation is low and fatigue is still high.

Many… many….many… times over the past 20 months we, the kitchen team, have had to plan and order produce only to lose the opportunity to prepare and serve the food due to going back into lockdown and facing new and differing restrictions almost each time. Add having to work from home with two young children and it has been a real challenge.

I’ve really had to work through these challenges organically and be kind to myself when given the chance.  That usually involves lots of coffee, binging TV series late at night when the kids are asleep, preparing healthy family meals and getting lots of fresh air playing outside with my two children.

The pandemic and having to work from home has given me space to reflect on the times throughout my career where I have lacked energy, felt uninspired and on the verge of burnout. I was working crazy hours, under enormous pressure, under resourced and I felt a bit lost. I have had this same feeling over the past 20 months during this pandemic. I have tried to always remain positive and focused on the end game, but I am sure we have all had those days where we just didn’t feel right.

Throughout this difficult time I encouraged myself and my team to take the opportunity to work on professional development and to provide another perspective on our collective skills, as well as taking on projects around the home to get that feeling of purpose and fun back into the day.

It is great to now be back onsite working on menu research and development of our spring and summer menu. Being at Waurn Ponds Estate together as a team has really lifted my spirits; having meaningful conversations and taking the time to sit down together to eat lunch, which in hospitality NEVER happens, has been a real breath of fresh air.

Bring on the longer sun filled summer days and please take the time to create memories and moments to share delicious and nutritious food with your family, friends and work colleagues.