I’m excited to introduce Bossing It: a new series featuring inspiring individuals and entrepreneurs who are doing exciting things and leading their industry by example. First up, Alissa Timoshkina – author, cook, podcast host, food writer… the list goes on! I’ve followed Alissa’s journey from KinoVino to the launch of her new podcast MotherFood and was excited to catch up, virtually, about her new project and life after lockdown…
For anyone that doesn’t know, tell me a bit about you. What do you do? Why do you do it?
For some reason I find this simplest of questions quite hard to answer: there are a few things I do, and some come to the fore others hide away at different times in my life (or even in the day). I am a founder of an events company and a cinema-supper club called KinoVino, an author of a Russian cookbook called ‘Salt and Time’, a host of a new podcast called MotherFood, and a mom to an 18-months old girl, called Bobbi-Rose (aka Rosie).
Can you tell us more about your podcast, what inspired you and the advice you’d give to anyone else wanting to start a podcast?
Motherhood has really been the most mind-blowing experience which I am trying to make sense of using means that are most familiar to me – food and community of women that I cherish in my life. So the premise is quite simple: food is life (a bit cheesy perhaps, I know) but it is during motherhood that this idea became most poignant to me. When I was pregnant I was marvelling at how my body is growing a life and I took so much joy, interest and care in feeding myself well during that time. And I just couldn’t wait to feed myself and my baby when she’d be born. But when that happened I found myself so shellshocked and disconnected from food and cooking, that I wish I had some guidance, reassurance and help in the kitchen. So this podcast was created with that memory in mind – I wanted to learn how other women, for whom food is a profession, amongst all other things, have navigated their way through motherhood and continue to do so.
As for the technicalities of starting a podcast, there is so much information out there, it really is amazing how many free resources are there to help us learn and develop new skills. So I just googled various questions, listened to many podcast called ‘how to start a podcast’ and spoke to a few people who are running their own podcast. So do some research but most importantly ask yourself why you want to do it and what you’d like to share – what is the most meaningful, honest story you’d like to share.
Name your 4 ultimate dinners party guests (dead or alive) and tell me why they deserve a seat at your table…
Michael Pollan – I have been a big fan of his work on food for ages and I have just finished his most recent book on Psychedelics and it completely blew my mind! So it would be a dream to talk to him about it all over a dinner.
Audrey Hepburn – I love her films, but she is so much more than just an actress. I am particularly drawn to her story as a mother and she was a great party host and loved cooking for her family.
Samin Nosrat – I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with Samin twice last year, when she was visiting UK, and she is such a warm person, and has the best laugh! Plus she is the most amazing chef so I will make sure her invite would include a ‘bring a dish’ note.
This one doesn’t really fall into the categories but could I chose myself in 20 years as my 4th guest? I have a feeling that this woman would be a really cool guest to have at a dinner party.
Can you recommend some books, podcasts for readers that you’ve been inspired by? (Please include hyperlinks)
As mentioned earlier – absolutely loved ‘How to change your mind’ by Michael Pollan. A completely surprising angle to get some answers for the questions that’s been on my mind.
Another transformative book, very different to Pollan’s, but close in its message and the impact it had on me is Elkhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth’.
I loved ‘Body’ by Bill Bryson – amazing how much we don’t know about this amazing thing that we are!
As for the podcasts, I am very late to the party but I have finally tuned into The Oprah Show, which is now available as a podcast, and have been a devoted listener, albeit a selective one, since then. Her Super Soul Sunday podcast is the one I queue up often.
I love a few mom podcasts, that have kept me company through motionless hours of breastfeeding in the early days – like Mom Brain, and I am guilty of listening to the Goop podcast too (it’s actually a lot more sane than critics make it out to be). And for any mompreneurs our there, I would recommend Wealth in Wellness.
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is lifted?
A huge all-day-long picnic with friends, with lots of kids running around, and plenty of hugs and cuddles!
And where is the first place you’ll eat out?
We usually have a weekend ritual with my family to have lunch at the Duke of Cambridge in Angel and then walk down the canal to Haggerston and have coffee and cake from the Towpath Cafe. So I am pretty sure that’s what we will do asap.
Finally, what is the biggest challenge you’ve faced since lockdown and how have you overcome it?
Managing anxiety about not knowing what’s going to happen next and if my career as I know it will still be there on the other side of the this. I haven’t overcome it completely but I am managing my anxious thoughts through meditation and trying to embrace the thought that there is positivity in the unknown and change is at the heart of our lives.