From first job to worst ever interview, most embarrassing gaffes to desert island must-haves: My Alternative CV lifts the lid on what really makes people in the food & drink industry tick. Want to get involved? Contact features editor Megan Tatum

My Alternative CV

Vanessa Fairfax-Woods

Vanessa Fairfax-Woods, Shropshire Trading, on yoga and bed

‘My first job? Clearing tables in a riverside café in Taunton’

David Entwistle northwood-32_0001

David Entwistle, Northwood & WEPA, on getting rattled

‘I was so nervous at my first interview the bone china cup & saucer I was holding sounded like a one-man fire alarm’

Martin Murray Dunner Bay Rock Rose

Martin Murray, Dunnet Bay Distillers, on being early

‘I was asked in but then thrown out of the interview without being able to offer my excuse’

Sarsons Graham Houghton head shot_0001

Graham Houghton, Sarson's, on plastic and paper rounds

As a teenager, I started off with three different paper rounds, but soon progressed to working in my parents’ social club

Harry Mayhew, Ember

Harry Mayhew, Ember Snacks, on celery, terriers and Green Day

‘My first job? Selling Fenland Celery off the back of a van in Ely’

Hangry Louisa Wilkinson

Louisa Wilkinson, Hangry, on puns, parking and plastic bags

‘In my school holidays I would help out at my mother’s nursery school’s holiday clubs’

Ryan Black

Ryan Black, Sambazon, on Oprah Winfrey and 'purple love'

My first job was as a busboy at a busy Mexican restaurant, which was very intense…

Charlie Hoare

Charlie Hoare, Tapped Birch Water, on manhole covers and sap

‘My first job? Cleaning cars – I would cycle around the local villages with a bucket and sponge’

Martin Myerscough

Martin Myerscough, Frugalpac, on packaging and sailing

‘My first job? A yacht captain in the Med’

Colum O'Sullivan Cully and Sully

Colum O'Sullivan, Cully & Sully, on manatees and Navy Seals

‘My first job? Picking potatoes for a farmer in East Cork’

GATO Charlotte Dauzat_0001

Charlotte Dauzat, Gato & Co, on good puds and 1930s films

My first job was intern in Japan for a brand of Japanese cakes and puddings

Valerio Simonetti

Valerio Simonetti, Mr Organic, on tomatoes and Paul Young

I worked as part of my family tomato factory at the age of 14

Peter Cusick

Peter Cusick, Roythornes Solicitors, on helicopters & heights

My first job was a clerical job at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Brian Woodward

Brian Woodward, HMY Group, on bogofs and Chicken Run

No two days are the same. One could involve global logistics, the next our college-positive action group

Samuel Dennigan copy

Samuel Dennigan, Strong Roots, on hippos & Heston Blumenthal

I started as a framer in a print gallery, which stirred my interest in creative design thinking as a business tool

Colette Twomey

Colette Twomey, Clonakilty Food Co, on David Essex & airports

‘I’ve witnessed a lot of bad interviews. It’s important to do your homework – it pays off!’

Kathy Caton MD Brighton Gin-web

Kathy Caton, Brighton Gin, on brutal hours and Nigella Lawson

‘The first job I applied for was seasonal gift-wrapper for John Lewis’

Wendy Shot

Wendy Wilson-Bett, Peter's Yard, on gravadlax & Daniel Craig

‘I worked as a volunteer at the Ffestiniog Station gift shop when I was about 12 years old’

Louise Coulbeck JCS Fish

Louise Coulbeck, JCS Fish, on Brownies, Britannia & Churchill

‘My only interview was for the Saturday job on the market. My boss, the owner, was incredibly shy’…

kevin mcmanus UMI foods

Kevin McManus, UMI Foods, on Thin Lizzy and complexity Subscription

Phil Lynott always captured me with his music and lyrics

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