‘I started as a food blogger and went on to writing my own cookbooks’

Obsessed with food and writing about it online? Then listen up, we’ve got the lowdown from blogger turned celebrity foodie and cookbook writer, Anna Barnett, on how to make it big.

Barnett, 30, published her first cookery book Eat The Week, and regularly contributes to the Independent and Miss Vogueas well as running her own website.

She can also be found working her culinary magic as a pop-up chef at various events around London, but it all started with her blog ‘Get in my Gob’. Here’s how she shot to success in record time.

 1. How did you know you wanted to work in food?

I’ve always loved food, I’m as passionate about eating it as I am cooking it. I guess I didn’t know I wanted to work in food until I started doing the pop-up restaurants and until I started getting a positive feedback from the blog.

2. How did you get started?

I started taking photos of the food I was cooking and put them up on my blog ‘Get in My Gob’ I had always cooked for a lot of people, having grown up in a large family (I had five siblings). On moving to London, I would host big dinner parties, especially for birthdays, cooking home-made pasta for up to 40 people!

I then began to host pop-up restaurants, catering for up to 65 people a night, and started writing ‘The Reluctant Vegetarian‘ blog for the Independent. My boyfriend’s vegetarian so I found myself cooking a lot of vegetarian meals.

Next I got the book deal off the back of an interview I did for Sunday Times Style magazine about the pop-ups and blog. I now write monthly recipes for Miss Vogue and run my own website AnnaBarnettCooks.com

Lentil salad

Image credit: annabarnettcooks.com

3. What’s been the most important moment in your career so far?

Having the book published was a huge deal. I feel super lucky to have had the opportunity to compile recipes for a book. It was definitely quite a tricky process, I was working full time, travelling a lot with work and writing the book in the evenings.

4. Talk us through your day…

My days are quite varied, there’s always a dog walk in there somewhere, plus coffee. Then either writing up recipes or cooking and shooting them, plus keeping on top of all the social media, updating my website, writing up reviews. I also have an assistant that comes and works with me two days a week.If I have a private event I’m catering then I’ll be working across that too.

5. What are the best things about doing what you do?

It’s really varied and I get to do something I’m passionate about, plus be my own boss.

6. What are the worst?

You put way more pressure on yourself because you’re doing it for yourself.

7. What do you think people don’t realise about your job?

As great as it is working from home, it can be quite lonely, you have to be really self motivated.

Caponata dish

Image credit: annabarnettcooks.com

8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Be confident and positive, it always works out in the end.

9. What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the food industry?

Get out there and do it, I wish I had taken a chance and done it sooner.

10. Have you ever had a moment of self-doubt?

Always, I’m the worst. In fact, it’s probably the thing that holds me back the most. I really try and think whatever it is through and weigh up all the positives against the negatives. Nothings is ever as bad as it seems.

11. What would you say to your 15-year-old self?

Be more confident and less of a worrier, take more chances.

12. What are your career goals?

I’d love to write another book, travel more, grow the website and maybe do a stint over in New York and LA. So much of what you cook comes from being inspired by what’s around you, so I’d love to mix it up a bit.

Check out Anna’s website here.

Now what?