Food Editor & Private Chef
London, United Kingdom
Leiths Three Term Diploma in Food and Wine
Lisa Markwell is currently editor of The Telegraph Magazine, having joined the title as food editor from The Sunday Times. She occasionally writes about food for the newspaper and website. She was previously food editor at The Sunday Times and editor at CODE Hospitality. Lisa’s work has also included private cheffing, freelance writing for well-known publications such as The Guardian, Elle, Red, Christies, and content creation for a number of international food companies.
Life before Leiths
“It’s hard to imagine segueing from editing a newspaper to training as a chef but that’s what I did.” Before enrolling on the Leiths diploma, Lisa had been editor at The Independent on Sunday and had been its restaurant critic for eight years.
From editor to chef – what sparked your career change?
At age 51 when Lisa’s paper ceased publication, she had, for the first time in her long career, the opportunity to reflect and consider what she really loved which, it turns out, had always been food. “Journalism is precarious, but I figured that whatever else goes on in the world, people will always need food. And my restaurant reviewing experience allowed me to meet so many dynamic, creative and wonderful people in that business – I felt I could be at home in the industry.”
What are the top things you learnt during your time at Leiths?
“The three Ps! 1. Punctuality is everything in food; no deadline surfing allowed. 2. Preparation is key to success; MEP is everything. 3. Partnerships are worth cultivating; you won’t be able to do it all alone.”
Any advice for recent/future grads starting out amidst the pandemic?
There’s no doubt that hospitality and the food industry have been hugely disrupted during the pandemic, and it will take time to recover. Having said that, Lisa reminds us that “people will always want to eat out, to have people prepare dishes for them and to buy all manner of food-related products so there are still opportunities there, but it’s important for graduates to really study the market and figure out what’s in demand and fill it.”