Taste for suc­cess


The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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