'Always aim to work in a job that you enjoy'
Grainne O'Keeffe is head chef at Clanbrassil House and culinary director of the BuJo burger joint. She'll be appearing at the Big Grill Festival, a barbecue and craft beer festival taking place from August 16 to 19 at Herbert Park in Dublin.
What's the most important lesson about money your career as a chef has taught you?
That you should always aim to work in a job that you enjoy. It can take years to be experienced enough to make enough money for you to do things outside of work that you enjoy, so why not enjoy both?
What's the most expensive place you ever visited?
I stayed in an all-inclusive five-star resort in Mexico a few years ago. Paying for it was the most expensive part, but once we got there it was relatively cheap to visit places and go to restaurants.
What's the best advice you ever got about money?
You can't take it with you in the end, so make sure to spend some of it on doing things that you will remember. If you work hard then you should make sure to have fun now and then.
Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
A meal that I had in a two-star Michelin restaurant in Amsterdam. I took someone as a birthday present. After a long tasting, paired with wines and champagne, the bill was very expensive.
What was your worst job?
I haven't worked in any jobs that I didn't really enjoy. I did help cook dinner for 850 people before, though, which was a nightmare and not something I'd want to do again.
What was your biggest financial mistake?
I'm quite careful with money. Although, while I was in my first year of college I had to work full-time to afford my rent and make money to live off, and found that it was a massive struggle. For a year I couldn't even afford to get the bus to work so would have to walk home through town late every night. After that year I swore that I would never be in that situation again.
What was your best financial killing?
I have some small investments which have seen a return but, apart from that, it's usually at Cheltenham. It's usually the only time that I bet, but I get good tips from friends a few months in advance.
If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?
I'd invest a lot of it and divide the rest up between my family. I'd probably buy a farm somewhere too and build a house on it.
If you could design your own euro note, what image would you put on it?
Something to symbolise how awful an idea Brexit was.
iTunes or Spotify?
What was the last thing you bought online?
A whetstone for sharpening my knife.
Have you ever made an insurance claim?
No, I've never had to thankfully.
Would you buy property now?
Definitely not. Aside from people claiming that renting is "dead money" or the hassle of finding a property, I wouldn't like to be tied down to one particular place, not just yet. Renting gives you freedom to move quickly. I'd only buy property if I had kids, which is a while away yet.
Do you ever haggle?
I did when I was in Marrakech, but more because it's a cultural thing there. Other than that I'd always pay what I think is fair and don't really question price.
What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?
Eating in good restaurants. New knives. Champagne.
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