About Olive

About Olive

The early years

Photo Credit: Martin J Murphy

I was born in Dublin, Ireland into a large family where my mother and grandmother were fantastic at home baking.

My nanna loved baking homemade brown bread every week and there was always a lovely aroma of freshly baked bread in the house.

My mum loved baking cakes and during the summer months enjoyed making jams using produce from the various fruit bushes that she grew in the garden.

Growing up I wasn’t one for enjoying the rules of school life, I felt very confined as I’m more of a free spirit.

As a Chef I enjoy working with food and tweaking recipes, creating something from scratch and producing a masterpiece.  Food, after all, is a work of art!

As a mother of a teenage girl who is both gorgeous and talented, it is my responsibility that she eats well and is nourished during these important growing years.

As a trained chef I can combine my two loves, parenting and food 😉

My Professional Career

When I finished school I first started working as a front of house assistant in a French Pâtisserie.  I quickly picked up some French pastry experience and when the chance arose I embraced the opportunity to work in the pastry bakery.

5 years later I changed direction and moved to a wholesale Irish bakery where I learnt about packaging and the time management end of a bakery business.

Shortly after that I headed across the water to the UK and attended a catering college where I qualified in Culinary Arts all the while working in the hospitality industry.

Upon my return to Ireland, I climbed the culinary ladder to Head Chef and over the years I have worked in all areas of catering.

I currently work part-time for a catering company and spend my free time writing recipes, along with catering for small family occasions (i.e. Communions and Confirmations) and baking for seasonal events such as Easter and Christmas.

Helping others makes me happy

During my 30 years of working with food, I have come across many people who appear to be in awe of me because of the skill that I have learnt.

Often people will tell me their stories of how they tried to “cook rice” badly or how “pastry making” just does not work for them or how they “spoilt” a dish they tried to cook!

This always amazes me as I believe with a little bit of understanding ANYONE can learn how to cook ANYTHING.

Yes, there are plenty of cookery books both online or offline but if you can’t follow a recipe or understand the cooking language that is being used it can be like learning a foreign language.

So for me, I want to make it simple for people to understand how to cook at home.

I want people to enjoy the experience of creating a dish, from gathering and preparing the ingredients, to cooking and enjoying the finished dish.

Believe me there is nothing more satisfying in life than enjoying a home-cooked meal that you have created.

The end goal

I hope to reach out to as many people as I can and help them to overcome their fears around cooking.

To help those who have no confidence in themselves to produce a home-cooked meal. To arm them with the knowledge they need to succeed.

Everyone can learn how to cook.  Once you have the basics and the know-how and a  step by step guide it can be done.

And when you are comfortable around working with food it can be so much fun to get creative and let your imagination go wild, the skies the limit

I hope you enjoy this food blog and enjoy making simple and easy recipes in your home.

I would love to hear your feedback or if you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Olive O’Brien


4 thoughts on “About Olive”

  • Nice website, clear presentation, really lovely cooking ideas and recipes.
    Hope this is successful for you, best of luck.
    You’ve tempted me….I’ll give it a go.
    Thank you.

  • Totally delighted for you Olive and may you have every success with your cooking and business.

    The site is top class, very professional. Beautifully laid out and well presented.

    Great choice of recipes..No doubt I will be back here to try them out.

    • Hi Marty, thank you so much for visiting my website and dropping a comment here, greatly appreciated.

      Please do check back again, more recipes to follow. Let me know what you think when you get to try them out, I would love to get your feedback.

      All the best, Olive

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