Hospitality finds out what industry professionals have been doing to stay motivated and upbeat during an otherwise trying time. Even as restrictions begin to lift, things will remain different for many hospitality workers; maintaining connections with peers and skills is important, but so is cutting yourself some slack.

What have you been doing to stay motivated during shutdown?

It hasn’t been easy! Like everyone, there are good days and bad days. Doing the Instagram posts was a way to occupy myself and engage with my followers and our customers. I’ve been trying to keep up my yoga practice (I get distracted very easily at home) and have been going for walks to the Botanic Gardens when the weather has been nice.

How have you navigated productivity with timeout?

I honestly think it’s an individual thing. Not everyone can be productive in these circumstances. I have days or even weeks where I do really well, and then days where I really can’t get out of bed. I think it’s important to do what’s best for you and not beat yourself up about it too much. I do really think that being active and making that effort helps so much, even if it’s something small.

What made you want to do the Instagram recipes?

I wanted to do something to occupy myself and engage with people. We all know that everyone went and panic bought dry pasta and tinned tomatoes. I figured some simple pastas with items everyone has in their pantry would be a good place to start. I wanted to show that these dishes are classics for a reason and they’re also simple to do really well. The thought of the sh*t half-an-hour Bolognese everyone would be making was honestly depressing. Everyone had time and nothing better to do! Let’s make it properly. Time and care are often the secret ingredients.

How have you stayed connected to other chefs, suppliers and diners?

I’m really lucky that people like Josh [Niland] reached out to see if there was a way to utilise my skills and passion during the lockdown. It helped keep a voice in the public eye and hopefully showed a new market a bit of what we do at CicciaBella. I’ve been in constant conversation with a lot of my peers like Pasi Petanen, Clayton Wells, Dan Puskas and Hongy [Dan Hong]. Phil Wood also organised a weekly Zoom trivia for a few of us (Kylie Javier Ashton, Mikey Clift, Luke Powell to name a few). It’s been hilarious and something we wouldn’t usually do. It gives us a few hours a week to connect, catch up, give each other advice and support, and most importantly, a lot of laughs.

Read what other hospitality professionals have been up to in Hospitality’s June/July issue.


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