When ICE President Rick Smilow and Anne E. McBride wrote Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food they discovered a plethora of food jobs they had never heard of before. Since the book’s release, they have been discovering even more interesting career paths in the food world. DICED shares some of them with you in a reoccurring feature, “Unique Culinary Careers.”
Moira Campbell works with ICE student volunteers in her role as an event producer for various Food Network festivals including the famed New York City Wine & Food Festival and events for the Food Bank for New York City and the James Beard Foundation. But her day job (if you can call it that) is President of Rum & Blackbird Tasting Tours, giving culinary tours of Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. Her journey to becoming a culinary tour guide and entrepreneur has taken her all over the food world. Campbell often jokes that she “will work for food.” After culinary school, she worked in restaurants, private catering and as a personal chef before working as a publicist for StarChefs, restaurants and chefs. Now, in addition to her work as an event producer, she gives tours of the restaurants and eateries that make Hell’s Kitchen one of the city’s best neighborhoods for eating. The company has found great success and is planning an expansion to other boroughs and has a growing staff. We sat down to talk to her about her career path and what it is like running your own food business.
How would you describe your position?
My position as founder and president of Rum & Blackbird Tasting Tours involves many different roles like creative director, accountant, official taste taster, publicist and director of business partnerships. Since the business is very young, we’re very small and each person has to take on many different positions that would normally be covered by a whole team of people. I think that that is the beauty of a small business, especially your own. One can be quite well versed in many different roles, since you have to do it all yourself in order to get the business off the ground. It’s like being in the kitchen, one can be a sous-chef but jump on the saucier station if needed because you’ve done it all before. More…