The founder of G’Nosh on The Specials, the creativity of start-ups and Yotam Ottolenghi

What was your first-ever job? I started waitressing aged 14, in some of New Zealand’s top restaurants. That’s where my love and appreciation for food really started.

What’s been your worst job interview? With a global IT company. I knew nothing about networks, but a lot about online marketing. I was given the laptop and told to go figure. I spent 11 years there - it’s good to rise to a challenge!

What was the first music single you bought? ‘A Message to you, Rudy’ - The Specials. I still love to pull that single out at the best of times.

How do you describe your job to your mates? I’m building a food brand with big ambitions, giving a southern hemisphere lilt to a rather staid dips category.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The creativity of a start-up is incredibly rewarding, as is seeing the product on the retailer’s shelf, and customers loving it.

What’s the least rewarding part? Waiting to reach milestones: I’m impatient with a lot of desire to succeed. There’s never enough time or money to catch all the opportunities out there.

What’s your motto in life? Give it a good crack.

If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? A weekly crate of NZ 2008 Felton Road pinot noir.

What’s your favourite movie? Why? The Big Blue. The soundtrack is incredibly moving, the scenery in Sicily is exquisite and it teaches a lot about loving life.

What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? Wearing a one-piece ski suit in the 1990s. I still get mocked for that today.

If you could pick a celebrity to join your staff who would it be and why? Yotam Ottolenghi. I am inspired by his talent and diverse culinary cultures.

If you could change one thing in grocery what would it be? To give buyers the freedom to follow their instincts and embrace innovative smaller brands.

What luxury would you have on your desert island? A group of great friends and a ski boat on the jetty!

What animal best reflects your personality and why? I am a Taurean, so that would say I am a bull. But I prefer to think I’m more like a dolphin: friendly, wild, social, always on the move, exploring the world.