Restaurateur

Inspirational Women: Josephine Perry

Each week SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.

RELATED: Inspirational Women: Maggie Beer​

Name and role

Josephine Perry, owner of Missy French restaurant.

What is your average day like?  

I’ve just opened a brand new restaurant called Missy French in Potts Point. We’ve been open for three weeks, so at the moment I’m completely overwhelmed and exhausted but I have one of the best jobs in the world!

I host at the restaurant and I think welcoming people into this wonderful space that’s mine is such an incredible feeling! An average day for me is coming into the restaurant, replying to emails, answering the phones, taking reservations, helping the guys set up the restaurant, making all the menu changes for the day, briefing the staff and then service!

An unusual day for me could be dealing with difficult customers, dealing with very unglamorous issues in the restaurant or a day off is pretty unusual for me at the moment too.

Inspirational Women, Restauranter, Career Development, Career Advice, Mentor, Life Advice, Food

When did you know this is what you wanted to do as a career?

I started working with my dad, Neil at Spice Temple when I was 14 and a half. I started out just very innocently wanting to help a couple of nights a week and fell in love with it! I enjoyed every aspect of the restaurant.

I loved chatting to people and meeting new people, I loved my relationship I had with regular customers, who now come and dine at my restaurant. I loved working in a team environment, I loved the training and the knowledge we were given on food, wine, spirits! Since then I’ve never thought about anything else.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration in all different places and people. I’ve had a lot of incredible dining experiences around the world which have inspired me greatly. My staff inspire me, my customers inspire me! I’m very lucky that I get to work with a whole bunch of extremely talented and creative people.

Do you have a mentor? 

My dad has been a huge influence in my career.

What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path? 

I was so young when I started working with Dad. I found working with people a lot older than me my biggest challenge. Trying to prove yourself at 15 is pretty tough!

When I decided to undertake the responsibility of my own restaurant at 20 years old, I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into. It’s been a huge learning curve for me and I’m working seven nights a week while my 21-year-old friends are out, so it can be tough sometimes, but so rewarding.

Inspirational Women, Restauranter, Career Development, Career Advice, Mentor, Life Advice, Food

What are your goals for the future?

I want to be the best possible restaurateur I can be. I’m still learning every day and that’s what I love about what I do. I would love to do some travelling as well. My dad’s proved to me that hard work pays off so I want to work as hard as I possibly can now to give myself a head start to the best possible future.

What is your favourite ingredient at the moment and why?

We’re using a lot of juniper berry at the moment at Missy French. Blood oranges are coming into season as well which are so versatile! I think we’ll have a killer blood orange cocktail on the menu for spring!

Who are you enjoying on Instagram at the moment and why?

I love Dan Pepperell’s food shots – he’s the head chef at 10 William St and he takes these amazing shots on a black table with natural light coming in, they’re really nice! I love Margaret Zhang too, she takes incredible pictures.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?

If you have the passion for it, give it all you’ve got! It’s not an easy industry to succeed in, it’s hard work but it’s worth it!

Inspirational Women, Restauranter, Career Development, Career Advice, Mentor, Life Advice, Food

To find out more about Missy French head to the website: missyfrench.com

 

Inspirational Women: Renata Roberts

Each week SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.

RELATED: Inspirational Women: Michelle Doherty

Name and role:

Renata Roberts, restaurateur – Sichuan Bang Bang and Pizzeria Violetta – and yoga teacher

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I try to start the day with yoga, running or training, to ensure a clear head for the morning which is when I am at my most productive. I usually have some social interaction at lunch time to hang out with friends and other small business people, eat out as much as possible and exchange ideas.

After a little siesta, I head to the restaurants around 5pm and occasionally drink a caffe corretto with grappa to give me a boost before the night of service ahead of me.

How/when did you know this is what you wanted to do as a career?

During my seven years of university education, I worked in hospitality for some wonderful entrepreneurs and was excited by their energy. When I realised that I could travel internationally with a job in hospitality I got even more excited. Six months into a corporate job, working 9am-5pm, was the nail in the coffin in dedicating my energies full time to hospitality industry.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My desire to share authentic and provincial food based upon my experiences in living all over the world. Melbourne and Sydney are so spoilt for cultural food choices and I want to bring to Brisbane that luxury.

Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?

I was lucky enough to land jobs in Australia, UK, USA, Canada, France, HK and China with inspiring, off beat, out-of the-box thinkers who allowed me an enormous amount of freedom in my role, as well as allowing me to learn their own individual styles. Paul Mathis (Melbourne) and Michelle Garnaut (China) were my greatest influences.

What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path and since then?

The greatest obstacles for me were conforming to mainstream ideas in business. Finding the ‘right’ people to work for, whose visions were unconventional, had a huge impact on my confidence in avoiding mediocrity and maintaining confidence in my decisions.

Now my greatest opportunity is to increase my customer’s awareness and appreciation of the authentic origins of food from other countries

How did you overcome them?

Self-confidence based on experience. Of course I have the tendency to crack up when customers argue with me that honey chicken is real Chinese food, or that pineapple does belong on a pizza.

A couple of shots of Stolichnaya usually assists.

What are your goals for the future?

To increase awareness on food. Although Australia is sometimes referred to as a melting pot of cultures, I disagree and would love to share true and traditional foods from all over this big planet with

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?

Hands on work, focus on the job and the work, being available and curious.

Win a holiday to Bali
Win a brand new Hyundai