Taste for success
CHANNEL 10 IS HUNGRY FOR A WIN WITH ITS NEW COOKING SHOW RECIPES TO RICHES
CARMAN’S Fine Foods queen Carolyn Creswell may have spent 20 years building an international food supply empire, but that didn’t stop the successful entrepreneur bursting into tears on the way to her first day of filming for Ten’s new reality competition Recipe To Riches.
‘‘We’re half-way there and I’m crying so heavily in the backseat of the car, this poor driver is saying to me, ‘What’s wrong?’," Creswell says.
‘‘I said, ‘Why am I doing this? I’ve got four kids under eight, I’ve got a full-time job in Melbourne, I don’t live in this state – what was I thinking getting involved in a TV show based out of Sydney?’’’
The driver – a wise and philosophical chap turned and told her: ‘‘Everything in life happens for a reason and I reckon by the end of this you’ll think this is one of the best things you’ve ever done’’. ‘‘I don’t think so!’’ bawled Creswell. Such was Creswell’s early experience being involved in Ten’s latest foray into food-based reality television, in which home cooks offer up a dish with the aim of getting it commercialised and turned into a real product on supermarket shelves across Australia.
As one of the three experts on the show – alongside advertising guru David ‘‘Nobby’’ Nobay and chef Darren Robertson – Creswell has the runs on the board to help turn cook-at-home hopefuls into commercial successes.
Anyone who’s bought a pack of Carman’s muesli will know Creswell’s story, as the basic yarn is written on the back of each pack.
In 1992, as an 18-year-old, she got a part-time gig making muesli at her local bakery, and offered the owner $1000 to take it over when she decided to pull out. Flat broke for the first five years – she used to siphon petrol out of her mum’s car just to be able to make deliveries – she’s since turned Carmen’s into a muesli empire, expanding to 22 product lines sold around the world and amassing a personal fortune of $55 million.
Now, 39, she was the youngest entrant on BRW’s inaugural women’s rich list this year and was named the 2012 Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 2012. None of which helped on day one of Recipe To Riches. After the cab meltdown, ‘‘I had to eat oyster pasta, which had been reheated twice, followed by milkfish – boiled in milk – and then piece de resistance was the prawn ice cream’’, laughs the bubbly Creswell.
‘‘At the end of the day I was still going, ‘Why am I doing this?’’’
But talk to Creswell today and her driver turned out to be on the money.
‘‘It is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m bloody proud of it,’’ she says.
While the title suggests it’s just another cut-price reality cooking show, Recipe To Riches is actually one of the more innovative and interactive programs you’ll see this year.
TASTE TEST: Darren Robertson, Carolyn Creswell, David Nobay.