Red’s Hot Women internship: THE FOODIE EXPERIENCE

26-03-10 – Last Day

Posted in Uncategorized by Katie Bryson on March 26, 2010

Well it finally came around – the last day of my internship. I almost didn’t want to go in so it wouldn’t have to end – if that makes any sense at all?!

The office was full of talk about the Delia and Heston three minute ad that aired on TV last night.

By 1pm the rhubarb and pork figures were in! Delia’s rhubarb brulee recipe had inspired customers to buy a massive 42,000 units of rhubarb. Heston’s tip for cooking roast pork had sent people into stores for a whopping 19,000kg!

I imagine those figures will be increasing by the minute!

The main task today was helping out with a big event that Maria had organised for all the partners at Head Office promoting the Delia and Heston campaign.

Neil and his trusty food team cooked up hundreds of portions of roast pork which they served in bread rolls, and mini pots of rhubarb brulee (blowtorching the top to make the yummy crust).

Loads of partners turned up and there was a great atmosphere, so it was a lovely way to finish my internship. I manned the raffle so got the chance to talk to pretty much everyone there.

I was really overwhelmed when the Food Team whisked me off to an office to present me with a card and some thoughtful pressies – totally unexpected.

I’m going to really miss everyone and have felt so welcome and included. It’s only been four weeks but I feel like I’ve been working there for months. It’s going to be very weird not going back on Monday.

The team have gone out of their way to make my month varied and interesting.

I feel that as well as the valuable insight into the way Waitrose operates, I’ve gained so much from a personal perspective.

It was quite scary making the decision to take voluntary redundancy from my long standing job and career at the BBC. It was a comfortable pair of shoes that I could have kept on my entire working life.

However I took a deep breath and decided to make a change. The internship at Waitrose has given me a renewed confidence and self belief that I don’t think I could have got anywhere else.

I’ve made some great contacts, worked with some fantastic people, learnt a lot about the food industry and above all confirmed that I’m ready to get myself a new career!

Thanks again to everyone at Waitrose for making my month so amazing. You’ve not seen the last of me I hope! Thanks Red Magazine for the opportunity and a HUGE thank you to my friends and family for supporting me and reading my blog!


22-03-10 – Behind the scenes with Publications

Posted in Uncategorized by Katie Bryson on March 22, 2010

I decided to have a day on familiar ground in the world of Waitrose Publications. With my journalism background and passion for food it felt like a logical place to gather contacts and get a feel for how things work.

The department is buzzing with the Heston and Delia project and the imminent launches that surround it.

The first full length advert featuring the foodie twosome is due to broadcast on Thursday, so the Partners are fastidiously getting everything ready. It’s such a high profile campaign that the attention to detail is beyond crucial.

Alongside the ad, Waitrose’s high quality magazine Waitrose Food Illustrated will be relaunched as Waitrose Kitchen and a special Waitrose Weekend newspaper will be hitting stores for the first time.

I was lucky enough to get a sneaky peek at both today and got to meet both Editors. I’m an avid reader of WFI so was curious to see how it’s changed. I’ll not give too much away, but I’m looking forward muchly to chopping out loads of the recipes and giving them a try – I’m such a food magazine addict and have a never-ending thirst for new recipes to road test on my hungry boys!

It was also cool to see some of the people featured in the magazine from the team at Waitrose who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my internship.

The weekend newspaper is a great idea. I can imagine leafing through it with a nice a cup of coffee after doing the weekly shop. Waitrose customers are total foodies, so getting a weekly dose of food news will help them stay ahead of the game!

I also had a good rummage around the Waitrose web offering today. Waitrose Live is a really flashy site that’s as close to reading a glossy magazine as you’re going to get. It’s beautifully put together and full of great meal ideas, tips and videos.

My Waitrose is a cool part of the site that personalises the whole experience. I’ve signed up and started my own recipe scrap book and taken part in foodie debates and votes.

Courtney, who looks after the web side of things asked me to research and write some food news stories which I happily got stuck into. It was heaven browsing around to see what’s new in my favourite world.

Among the more mainstream events I found a great offbeat foodie gathering happening this weekend – London’s supper club scene are hosting an underground Farmers and Craft Market in someone’s house – how cool is that?!

They say it’s going to be “a mashup between an edgy cool entrepreneurial anti-establishment anarchist fair, Borough market and…a school fete!”

Some of the stuff on offer sounds intriguing including, knitted kitchenware, a talk on making cheese in Peckham airing cupboards and the current holder of the speciality trophy for the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships, will be showing how to make the perfect bowl of porridge and selling spurtles!

Sounds surreal and sublime all at the same time.

I’m off to the food hall at John Lewis Oxford Street tomorrow to help launch a new line of chocolates – fabulous!






03-03-10 – The word is out

Posted in Uncategorized by Katie Bryson on March 4, 2010

Well first thing’s first – the hush-hush exciting announcement is in the public domain – Waitrose is teaming up with Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal for a massive advertising campaign!

One mention of an ingredient by Delia gets home cooks stampeding into the supermarkets – this is going to be a powerful project me thinks.

Waitrose is the supermarket choice of foodies, so Heston’s alliance with the brand will sure to get the more experimental market covered off.

It’s not two names you’d ordinarily put together, but I’m really looking forward to watching the campaign unfold. What a great time to be here!

Back in intern land I started the day with ‘benchmark fruit tasting’. This involved sampling three plates of the same fruit and scoring it out of 10 on things like looks, texture and flavour. Really fascinating how they can differ and the guy holding the panel gave me some top tips of what to look out for.

Did you know that the spots on the skin of nectarines shows that they’ll taste sweeter coz they’ve got more sugar in? Brilliant!

Went along to a meeting with a supplier and their development chef. Watched as they cooked up their products for us to taste. It’s great being in on the discussions as the Waitrose Team chat about what works/doesn’t work with the type of products we’re sampling and where they see them sitting within their ranges.

I’m such a supermarket geek – I’m totally lapping it all up!

I fitted in my run today to attempt to burn off all this food tasting! Got slightly lost in a housing estate in Bracknell but found my way back to Waitrose HQ with the help of my trusty iPhone GPS!