Stephanie Malouf: Conscious Cooking Queen
After hitting what felt like career rock bottom, Stephanie took the brave decision to step down from the business and go back to study. She enrolled in a Health Science Degree and followed a path that made her happy – food and nutrition. The Conscious Cook was born and the rest is history.
Stephanie runs fantastic interactive food cooking classes and workshops which are in high demand and almost always booked out. So jump online and make sure you book early – this Food Femme’s classes are not to be missed!
WHAT DO YOU DO AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?
I run hands-on nutritional cooking classes where I teach the basics of cooking and nutrition whilst we make easy and delicious everyday healthy recipes.
I love the fact that I am teaching people things that will improve their health. Even more so, I love even seeing how excited and inspired they get when they realise how easy it is to make healthy meals that are delish.
WHAT HAS YOUR CAREER JOURNEY BEEN TO DATE?
It has certainly been quite the journey. After school I studied business with a Major in Marketing, so naturally the next step was to get a job in marketing. I started off in a boutique marketing agency and eventually craved something more fast paced. From there I moved to a big advertising agency called Publicis Mojo. Whilst working for them I was approved an American Visa, so packed my bags and swapped Mojo for Manhattan.
Moving to NY was the perfect opportunity to try something new so I explored other areas such as TV production and PR where I worked for Kelly Cutrone for 3 months. Unfortunately…this was 3 months too long. It wasn’t long before I reverted back to what I knew best and started working for Puff Daddy managing the marketing for a few of this brands. When I moved back home, I launched an online marketing platform for the hair & beauty industry called The Beauty Book. I ran this for a year, which for the most part I didn’t enjoy. Eventually, I found the courage the leave that behind and go back to study something that really interested me – Nutritional Medicine.
HAVE YOU HAD MOMENTS OF CAREER UNCERTAINTY?
Absolutely! When I was running The Beauty Book, I was a year in and had put a fair bit of money into developing the site. It was fully functioning with 60+ paying business partners featuring on it, but I had one big problem, I hated getting up every day to work on it.
I didn’t know how I was going to get out of this one. I felt stuck and my ego was telling me if you quit this job, you’ve failed. I was more concerned about what people would think more than anything, which in hindsight was ridiculous.
The good thing about hitting rock bottom is you can only go up from there. I realised life is too short to waste time doing something you hate. So I did what I knew I needed to do and closed that book and enrolled myself in my current course; Bachelor of Health Science.
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION BACKGROUND?
My entire schooling years was spent at Kincoppal Rose Bay. I then went on to complete a Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology, Sydney. In my final year of study, I was awarded the International Student Scheme Scholarship and spent a semester abroad studying at Pace University in Manhattan NYC. I’ve just completed my second year of my Health Science Degree at Endeavour College of Natural Health and in one more year I will be a qualified Nutritionist.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO GET INTO YOUR INDUSTRY?
Currently professional nutritional practice isn’t regulated by the Australian Government which means people with various levels of qualifications are calling themselves ‘Nutritionist’ or a ‘Dietitian’, with no legal protection against these terms.
To protect both practicing professionals and people seeking a natural health provider, certain organisations have been set up such as The Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA), Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA). These organisations have developed a credentialing system, so if you wish to study in one of these areas, it’s important that you choose a course that will qualify you to apply for accreditation or registration with one of these organisations.
WHATS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
My goal, when I moved to New York, was to get a great job and be sponsored on an E3 visa I can stay beyond one year. When I finally got sponsored, to do my what I thought was my dream job at the time; it was a very proud moment. Especially given the fact that New York is filled with millions of talented go-getters and I had the help of no one.
WHAT PART OF YOUR JOB DON’T WE SEE ON INSTAGRAM?
The massive pigsty that’s left after each class that can take hours to clean up. Certainly not my favourite part.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNT FROM A MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE?
Don’t let money be the prime motivator behind making a career choice. You’ll be more successful and richer in happiness doing something you enjoy. The money will follow.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
Sadly, I used to measure success solely on the monetary value of a job but success to me is being able to support your desired lifestyle doing something that makes you smile.
REFLECTING ON YOUR CAREER TO DATE, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF IN THE BEGINNING?
For some reason us Gen Y kids are given a hard time for job-hopping and fluid work style. Call me bias but I think it’s great. You don’t know what you like until you know what you don’t like and the only way to find this out is to give lots of things a go.
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY COURSES/SEMINARS YOU’D HIGHLY RECOMMEND?
My new years resolution last year was to learn how to meditate. My mind would go at a hundred miles per hour and I’d break things down so much that I’d forget what it was I was analysing to begin with. I knew meditation would do wonders in helping to slow my racy mind down. So I enrolled into a private 4-week meditation course with three other girlfriends and it was the best $260 I’ve ever spent. It has completely changed the way I think about things or should I say, don’t think about things.
I highly recommend Judith Lissing, Your Mind Coach located in Double Bay for anyone interested in meditation. http://yourmindcoach.com.au
HOW DO YOU MANAGE STRESS AND WORK LIFE BALANCE?
I STOP doing whatever it is that’s making me stressed. Take some time out and come back to it when I am more relaxed. Everything seems like a much bigger problem when you don’t have a clear mind. My friends, family and food are my biggest de-stressors. A little hang time with them over a delicious meal and I’m a happy chappy. I am big on work life balance and I always have lunch and dinner dates locked in which keeps me sane.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
I am starting to work with some gyms in providing recipes and dietary advice to their clients as well conducting cooking demonstrations out of the gyms, which I’m really looking forward to.
WHAT THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?
Driven, Confident, Loyal
Pursue More Passions
Accoutrement Vegetable Wonderland Class
SYDNEY: Nutritional Asian Inspired Cooking Class - The Conscious Cook
The Conscious Cook also offers other classes including Healthy Lunchbox Treats and Kids Cooking, to name a few. Spaces fill up quickly, so be sure to book in early and check out additional classes and schedules at www.theconsciouscook.com.au
SYDNEY: The Nutty Baker Mud Cake Making Class