I want to take just a few minutes to introduce you to Katie Quinn, the host and producer of one of my favorite podcast shows, the “Keep it Quirky” podcast. A podcast that explores some of my favorite topics: food, travel, and of course entrepreneurship.
Over the past few years, Katie has traveled the world exploring different cultures & foods, and connecting with entrepreneurs and chefs from all walks of life. I love everything about what she’s doing. Honestly, what’s not to love?! She creates personal connections with people worldwide over the joy of food, cooking and creating. Plus, there are so many amazing stories and life lessons to be gained from all of her guests. (Note: you can subscribe to you can subscribe to the Keep it Quirky podcast on iTunes, stitcher, or Spotify.)
Anyway, I reached out to Katie a few days ago to see if she might be willing to share a bit more about the work she’s doing, random facts people don’t know about her, changes she’s seen in the food industry over the years in regards to sustainability, etc. And, here’s what she has to share.
Q & A with Katie Quinn
1. Place of Birth: Athens, Ohio, USA
2. Current city of residence: London, UK
3. What inspired you to pursue storytelling around the culture/topic of food? A deep-down curiosity to learn about those things, myself. I figured, “If I’m dying to know these things and talk to these people…surely others are, too?!”
4. You mention that you believe food connects people — how have you experienced this throughout your career? I have experienced this countless time throughout all stages of life, in all different kinds of places. One snapshot that comes to mind is our family dinners while I was growing up in the Midwest, when mom’s homemade bread and dad’s spaghetti and meatballs were not only comforts to my soul but also provided the platform to discuss everything from school studies to peer pressure. A more recent, adventurous example is during a trip to Peru a few years ago, about an hour outside of Lima. I was in a small village and a local man assembled his “pachamanca,” which is Quechua for “earth oven.” In a hole dug in the ground, he put meat and potatoes over coals, covered it and let it work its magic for an hour. What was revealed was lunch! Eating that meal was heaven…my horrible Spanish couldn’t possibly express my admiration and appreciation for the joy this man’s simple, ingenious, contraption provided me. We may not have had language, but we had smiles and pleasurable eye rolls and shared food at the table that did all the talking that needed to be done.
5. What is the best part about the work you’re doing? Why? The best part is the excuse to meet incredible people all around the world I probably otherwise wouldn’t have known existed (or perhaps I’d see them in someone else’s article or YouTube channel). Having the opportunity to connect with talented and driven creators/cooks/changemakers face-to-face is consistently inspiring and uplifting; passion begets passion. Oh, and eating a lot of incredible food all the time…that’s the other best part of this work 🙂
6. As someone who works in the food industry, what has been the biggest change you’ve seen over the past few years in regards to the industry/farmers creating a more sustainable food system, or have you? Sustainability is definitely a growth aspect in the food industry. People care, so the industry has no choice but to respond. The more people care and the more people express those values, the more change will come. There’s still SO MUCH more than needs to be done, but I find hope in the growing attention and incremental changes.
7. What sustainable/eco-friendly lifestyle behaviors practiced overseas has shocked/inspired you the most, if any? I was shocked (and impressed) when London’s mayor banned plastic straws. In all of London! No plastic straws!! It was/is amazing and there were really successful social media campaigns that got all the London foodie influencers on board and the messaging was executed so effectively. It was like, “This is great! Get excited and get on board!”
8. Quote you (try to) live by? So many! I keep a document of favorites and am constantly adding to it. But I’ll give you my all-time favorite. It’s kinda long…but worth it, I promise: Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. –Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”
9. What is one random fact that most people don’t know about you? I can juggle! And often attempt to do so at house parties after a few drinks…not always a great idea…
Katie Quinn is an Ohioan turned Brooklynite who lived in NYC for about 9 years before relocating to London England, she’s been there since 2017. Before launching QKatie, Katie worked as an NBC Page, then a video producer for TODAY Show’s website. Most recently, she was a video host for the video news company NowThis.
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