Hi, my name is Stephen. I’m part of the Bounce Australia team and chief food lover. Anyone who knows me will know that writing about myself is kind of like pulling teeth. However, as a contributor to the Bounce Effect Blog, I feel it’s important that you know at least something about whom you’re dealing with (just kidding).
I’m actually a really private person, but the topic of food seems to bring me out of my shell. Here’s a bit about me – my adventures with food and how eating good has become a way of life for me. I hope that by sharing my stories with you, you will enjoy yourself and discover what ‘eat good’ means to you.
For as long as I can remember, food has played a big role in my life. Growing up in Ireland, I can recall at the age of 13 when our town got its first Chinese take away restaurant… I thought all my birthdays had come at once (after all it was something other than the local fish and chips shop!). Clearly my tastes were already starting to diversify.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel extensively and experience many different cuisines from around the world. I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to have lived in many cities and I’ve had some of my best dining experiences – from the $2 blackened calamari taco at Taco Mesa in California to the food hawker stalls in Singapore and the tasting menu at Eleven Maddison Park in New York. These experiences have enriched my absolute passion and love for food and everything that goes with it.
One of my greatest pleasures in life is preparing a meal and sharing it with family and friends. I am a self-confessed foodie who has an addiction to collecting cookbooks and an obsession with trying new recipes (I’ve been known to buy an extra suitcase on return trips from overseas just to carry my cookbooks).
I love the diverse restaurant and food culture of Sydney and Melbourne and ‘eating good’ for me is not just about the meal itself; it’s about the overall experience, the environment, the company and conversation.
The idea of working as a chef in a restaurant had always appealed to me (and this was way before the rock star status given to the celebrity chefs of today). However, my career took me on a different path until my father passed away suddenly in 2010. Major life events have a way of getting you to reassess your life, don’t they?
Following dad’s death, I found myself back in Ireland for a few months, feeling lost and confused about what I wanted out of life. I guess it kind of triggered a midlife crisis of sorts. However, looking back now I can see it was actually a major turning point for me – I decided to do something I’d been procrastinating about for years. I bit the bullet and went to cooking school.
I attended Le Cordon Blue Culinary Institute in Sydney. There I was, at the tender age of 44, on my first day (almost twice the age of my fellow class mates), dressed in my crisp white chef gear with my designer Calvin Klein tea towels. Never before had I been more terrified and excited at the same time. Although the experience was amazing and I loved every minute of it, I soon realised that a career as a restaurant chef wasn’t for me. To this day, I have huge amount of respect for chefs, the long hours and the pressure it takes to do a good job.
After graduating from cooking school (and overdosing on butter and cream used in French cooking) I became much more interested in healthy cooking. And after a long friendship with Andy and Paula, I joined the Bounce Australia team assisting with new product development – and so my journey with good food continues.
I’ve tried all of kinds of diets – raw, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, wholefood and gluten-free… I’ll give anything a go. Some of these diets are more challenging than others in terms of planning, time, preparation and the availability of ingredients. However, they all have their benefits. I look forward to sharing these experiences and recipes with you in the months ahead and any new discoveries I make along the way.
I’ll sign off now but I want to leave you with a little recipe of mine: an energising morning smoothie which is a little piece of goodness to kick-start your day.
GREEN GODDESS (500 ml serve)
50 grams spinach
1 medium pear
20 grams coconut oil
10 grams chia seeds
10 grams super greens formula (I use Bounce Greens but any good quality greens will do)
Juice of 1 lemon
250 mLs coconut water
Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 30 seconds on high, pour and enjoy!