Donna O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Roots Kitchen

Cork Profile: Name and position: Donna O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Roots Kitchen

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

An artist.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I started working in kitchens from age 14, then went full-time in cheffing from 18 – eventually I opened my own catering business at 33.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

I love making people happy through food.

What motivates you?

My children. Everything I do is for them so they can have the best life.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Don’t start smoking! And school/college isn’t for everyone, so don’t put yourself down about not being academic.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

I love fashion and art, so maybe something along those lines.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

My children and starting my own business.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

My husband. He has the most calming influence on me. He’s horizontal and very rational and I’m a quite an anxious person, so it’s a good balance.

What is the life dream now?

At the moment, I want to be able to take a few weeks off a year to bring my kids on holiday. It hasn’t been easy with setting up the business etc. so achieving this is the most important goal for me at the moment.

How do you switch off?

I watch trashy television and exercise – mostly cardio classes and running.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Christmas in my nan’s house. She had all the old shiny decorations and tinsel hanging from the ceiling and always had huge selection boxes for us, Elvis playing on her CD player, and she would wear a Santa hat dancing around the kitchen.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

The English Market.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

“Stop telling yourself you’re not qualified, good enough or worthy. Growth happens when you start doing the things you’re not qualified to do.” – Steven Bartlett.

When are you at your happiest?

When I'm at home with my family.

What is your hidden talent?

I’m very good at Lego and putting together flat pack furniture.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I’m terrified of wasps.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Follow my instagram page ChopChop_ie for salad inspo and recipes.