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Marina de Massiac, Food & Lifestyle Journalist


Marina de Massiac
Marina de Massiac was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. After growing up in a small residential area in the Netherlands she decided to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Although her parents did not take her to fancy restaurants, being expats in the Netherlands, her parents put a lot of effort into clean  eating and using top-notch ingredients. Marina now works as a food and lifestyle journalist based in the Netherlands. She often travels abroad for work, and visits France on a regular basis in order to keep up with its evolving food and  hotel scene.

When did you realise you wanted to become a food and lifestyle journalist?

I once visited the chocolate shop of Patrick Roger on Place de la Madeleine back in 2012. At that time, I was still a student at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. My Mexican friend, also a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus, encouraged me to talk to Patrick Roger. The chocolatier kindly invited me to his impressive atelier and production area in Sceaux. I wrote a small story about this unexpected visit and fell in love with the idea of portraying more passionate people. Looking back, I think that was a very important moment in life that would determine a big part of my future. So, Cristian, if you are reading this: thank you very much!

What’s the best thing about being a food and lifestyle journalist?

Being able to meet all kinds of people with different characters and influences, and travelling to lovely destinations.

What are your main responsibilities? Talk us through your average working day…

My responsibility is to pitch ideas for new articles to various magazines. When they are interested, I contact chefs, restaurants and hotels in order to find out if they would like to collaborate. If so, I do some research online and call acquaintances who know the person or place to get to know the ins and outs. When that’s all set, I visit a person or place for a few hours or days, and later when I'm back at home I write the article and collate images.

Is there anything that surprised you when starting the role?

When I started to write for print magazines and actually featured world renowned chefs, I was surprised to see how male dominant the gastronomic scene is. I obviously had experienced this during my short internship, however visiting many different countries with many different kitchens and many types of hierarchy made me conclude that it was almost the same everywhere. I am very happy to see and experience a change nowadays.

Why did you choose Le Cordon Bleu Paris? What does Le Cordon Bleu represent for you in one word/sentence?

Prior to enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, I had visited the London campus. In the end I chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris because I think French gastronomy should be taught in its country of origin. Choosing Paris seemed logical and felt natural to me. I still get butterflies in my tummy when thinking of Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and I would even say that it gives me an instant shot of happiness!

How did studying the Diplôme de Cuisine help you to achieve your current role?

Studying at Le Cordon Bleu opened many doors because of its world-renowned reputation. Le Cordon Bleu lays the foundation of traditional French cooking. I do think it’s very important to not solely rely on an open door that has been opened by a private school. If you want to become something or someone in this very competitive industry you need to work hard and have determination in order to succeed, even if it’s just a little bit.

Do you still meet with Le Cordon Bleu graduates?

Yes, I do. I have visited my friends in their home countries, including India, Costa Rica, Australia and Japan. One of my good friends from Le Cordon Bleu lives in Paris and even if we do not see each other every month or so, we do call each other often.

What has been the best moment in your career so far, and what have been some challenges you’ve overcome in your role?

Once one of my beloved editor-in-chiefs told me that interviewing chefs is like throwing yourself to the lions. I must admit that years ago I had to overcome some personal fears. It took me years, but I can now proudly say that I have mastered the art of observing and handling chefs as a journalist in various situations. The best part of my career was probably the day Michelin accepted my request to interview CEO Gwendal Poullennec along with a photoshoot somewhere outside Paris.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

For anyone looking to follow my footsteps I would advise you to contact all kinds of media and pitch your ideas. Many will probably not reply, but that's okay and very common. Keep on contacting them with good ideas they can’t refuse until they get the point. Keep your eyes and senses open and inspire yourself just about everywhere.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I could say that I admire cool chefs who create good-looking pastries or refined dishes. For me - whether it’s professionally or personally - it’s very much about how you treat others. Are you a good person? Do you encourage a healthy and safe working environment? Do you create opportunities for employees in order to help them? I also look up to journalists who dare to write the untold story of what is happening in the kitchen. I follow them on a weekly basis with great interest in order to find out what's truly going on behind the glamorous scenes.

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