A Word with Restauratuer Rebecca Smidt

I’d name my autobiography…
Smidtfaced.

To me success means…
Making my living from an intellectually and creatively stimulating job, while balancing family and work life. Easy peasy.

The most rewarding part of my job…
The relationships I’ve made with interesting, exciting people. Hospitality is the intersection of so many different people from all sorts of different backgrounds. It’s a wonderfully diverse and welcoming industry.

Life motto:
Life is short. Have a long dinner.

Favourite book:
Just one? Impossible. I love reading Nicholas Lander’s The Art of the Restaurateur, and Victoria Finlay’s Colour, Travels Through the Paintbox. But what about Arundhati Roy… and Gombrich? I can not answer this question.

My goals for 2019 are…
To establish and maintain a balance between work and family life, while growing my business. Oh, and to learn about divestment.

The women who inspire me:
My mother and mother in law. Both practical, accomplished, generous and loving women.

The gender stereotype I can’t stand:
There are so many! But in relation to me specifically, it’s utterly tedious being referred to as the Chef’s wife, as if that is my job.

The main challenge for women in business is…
I guess we’re agreed that pay parity and representation of women in business is necessary, but making the transition from ambition to reality necessitates a new order, dare I say, a revolution? Let’s do this.

We need pay equality because…
It benefits our economy. Never mind the altruistic stuff, let the numbers speak.

Gender diversity in the workplace is…
So close, yet so far.

I advocate for change by…
Asserting my values in all my business decisions. Sometimes that means short term pain, but I’m here for the long game.

The change I want to see in 2019 is…
A government level policy change on single-use plastics. It’s ridiculous to pretend that everyday consumers can compensate for the industrial scale manufacturing of petrochemical plastics. We need urgent, definitive action.