Erin Ireland is a food reporter and lover of cuisine who aspires to spend the rest of her life eating all that’s to die for. She is a regular guest on Shaw TV’s The Rush, a Vancouver entertainment talk show. Erin and hosts Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford discuss to die for food and Vancouver restaurants each month. Aside from running To Die For Fine Foods, her most current project is a video series for The Vancouver Sun featuring local food carts. To Die For Banana Bread is the first product in her line of baked goods under the To Die For Fine Foods brand. You can find it at these 38 locations in Vancouver.
I first met Erin back in 2010 during a charity event for “Run for the Cure“. We both participated in the event and I also had the pleasure to be interviewed by her. It was also that very day that she introduced myself to the fabulous and one of my all time faves Yves Saint Laurent, their Rouge Pur Couture #49. From the moment I met Erin I was instantly drawn to her energy, ambition, drive, elegance and grace. She is a savvy business woman with a solid head on her shoulders. Erin knows what she wants and she is determined to keep moving in high gear with her eyes set on the prize.
(The above image was taken by Karolina Turek, who also shot the photos of Erin holding her banana bread).
During the course of the past few years, I have had the opportunity to talk with Erin about life, business and what matters most. I have been inspired by our conversations and she has shown me key important tools in keeping on track with it comes to your business. I can’t tell you how much it meant for her to take the time to in a way help mentor me on a few occasions. Sometimes in this big old world things can seem complicated and overwhelming, she showed me how to keep it simple and always stay true to what you believe in. It is for these reasons and so many others that I felt Erin would be a great fit for a Beauty Q&A.
So go grab your favourite “to die for” snack (Erin’s BB recommended) and get cozy as Erin opens up about the 3 B’s~ Beauty, Business and Banana Bread.
BB411~ When did you know you wanted to become a host and be in front of the camera?
EI~ It was less about wanting to be in front of the camera and more about wanting to tell stores or share information. I’ve always loved to pass along the good word, share recommendations, and tell stories.
BB411~ What was your earliest memory?
EI~ My parents teaching me how to cook my own scrambled eggs. I had to use a step stool because I couldn’t reach the stove.
BB411~ You’re a food reporter and look for things that are “To Die For”, how did this all come about?
EI~ I’ve always been obsessed with food…and one day I realized I could make my passion my career. So I started my site, started writing columns, and really started to focus. I cut out all other topics of content that I tweeted about, attended events, etc.
BB411~ Why are you so passionate about food?
EI~ Oh I cannot explain this! I was born with it. But maybe it has a little something to do with almond croissants, white chocolate, red wine, wagyu steak….
BB411~ Chef’s that inspire you?
EI~ Thomas Haas – he is a perfectionist and keeps an amazing sense of humour while doing. Walk into his shop – the displays of pastries, macarons and chocolate are immaculate. I swear his employees feel like the luckiest people on earth to be working under his roof.
BB411~ If you weren’t a host and you could be anything in the world what would it be?
EI~ News Anchor. I used to work at CTV news but veered off that path towards entertainment and then food. Host actually isn’t my main position at the moment – but I can’t wait to focus on it once I’ve gotten banana bread off the ground.
BB411~Tell us about the best banana bread in the world (yours!) What inspired you to create this line?
EI~ It all started really naturally. I never ‘worked on the recipe’ or strategized about how to turn this into a business. It was simply a gift I gave to friends and colleagues, and word seemed to spread. Before I knew it I was getting daily requests for the bread. I realized there was a major opportunity knocking at my door. Never in a million years could I have guessed this would become my career path – but I couldn’t be happier now that I’m running my fine foods company.
( Pumpkin Banana Bread ~ Photographer Joann Pai)
BB411~ The one food you could not live without (ok top 3)?
EI~ Oatmeal, Avocado, Olive Oil
BB411~ Where do you see your business going in the next 1, 5 & 10 years?
EI~ One year – distribution to all fine food retailers in Vancouver (choices, whole foods, urban fares, etc), initial research in the TO market being done, the launch of several new to die for products.
Five years – full ‘to die for’ product line launched. I’ll be less involved in operations at this point and more focused on high level operations, will be entrenched in broadcasting career at this stage (to die for show).
Ten years – fine foods company running smoothly, national distribution, network tv show in full swing.
BB411~ There is no doubt in my mind that someone who is as strong and determined as yourself will accomplish all this and more. I can’t wait to see this all unfold!
BB411~ Greatest accomplishment to date?
EI~ Obtaining a ‘real life’ business degree over the past 15 months working on my fine foods company. My real degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication (focus Broadcasting), but I have learned so much from my experiences with my fine foods company – much of which I can credit to my partner, who holds a business degree. He is one of my greatest supports.
BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?
EI~ I wouldn’t say that I am. I have no patience for shopping (unfortunately! wish I had it in me) but of course it must be done – and it’s so important because if you look good, you feel good and more confident. Feeling and looking great is empowering and helpful in business. As humans we gravitate towards things that are attractive to us.
BB411~ What is your skin care regime?
EI~ Pretty simply – I use Riversol face wash, serum, moisturizer and eye cream. I’ll always trust a respected dermo above pharmacy lines/beauty lines.
BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?
EI~ I am a ‘no purse’ kinda girl – so it’s all about what I can fit into my pockets. I don’t often leave the house without my MAC concealer pot (for the light lip look).
BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?
EI~ MAC shimmer – I’ve recently discovered what a little highlighting can do to the face. I love dusting a little above my brows and on my nose. I am super picky with my makeup and have always done it myself until I met Jackie Brown of Envy Me Studio. She is so great!
BB411~ Favorite lip color?
BB411~ I still remember you introducing myself to this lipstick, I am still in love with it (see post Here)
BB411~ Favorite fragrance?
EI~ Gucci Rush
BB411~ One of my favourites as well
BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?
EI~ My Mom’s perfume – Lancome “Tresor”
BB411~ You have great hair, what do you use as your go to products?
EI~ Thanks! My hairstylist Isolde Semple is full of great tips and she encourages me to spend the money on good quality hair products because I’ll notice the difference. She’s right. I use Redken shampoo and conditioner, Sebastian hair spray. My trick is to not over-wash my hair. It’s always better three days after a wash.
BB411~ How do you stay fit with eating all this fab food?
EI~ I run outdoors or go to the gym 4-5 times a week. This has always been my lifestyle since I grew up playing sports.
BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?
EI~ Beauty is nothing without confidence and class.
BB411~ What inspires you and keeps you balanced?
EI~ My vision of the future – a nice home on the North Shore, two kids, a dog or two and a beautiful kitchen filled with beautiful things from The Cross Design
BB411~ Do you have a best kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you (say from your Mother or Grandmother)?
EI~ Don’t pluck your eyebrows thin – My Mom has always preached this. She is so right – eyebrows do so much for the face. Sometimes I add brown eye shadow to make them more bold.
BB411~ You speak about your Grandma and her love in the kitchen (I remember the note she left before going in the ambulance to the hospital to take care of the bread) how has she influenced you? Tell us a little about her?
EI~ She is 91 and bakes almost daily. She doesn’t waste a single bite of food, she will bake anything for anyone and is always ready to share a recipe. She is just such a good person and I’m lucky to have gotten so close with her. Here’s a post of us baking together . She insisted on using the flowers in the food photos – she’s so artistic.
BB411~ Are you involved in any charities, are any close to your heart?
EI~ I’ve worked with the Canadian Cancer Society on their ‘Tanning is Out Campaign‘ and have contributed to Breast Cancer Research Campaigns, but the cause closest to my heart lies in the realm of eating disorders and specifically, extreme dieting. Soon I’ll be touring high schools in Vancouver to speak to young girls and boys about the dangers of extreme dieting. There are so many young girls out there with eating disorders – and I believe there are even more out there who are just on the brink, but ‘not skinny enough’ to attract the attention and help that they need. I’ll share the story of my five-year stint extreme dieting and hope to connect with young girls and offer the support they need.
BB411~ What does it mean to give back?
EI~ Paying it forward. We’ve all been grateful for the actions of someone else at some point in our lives and it’s our duty to pay that forward and do something significant for someone else.
BB411~ Greatest wish still to check off on your bucket list?
EI~ More traveling. My favorite destination is Italy but I really want to get to Japan (sushi and ramen) and Argentina (steak and malbec).
BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?
EI~ Save your money and always reference check.
BB411~ What would you tell someone following their dreams and pursuing their passion (entrepreneurs)?
EI~ Trust your gut and always be yourself – we know deep down when we’re not being ourselves. It doesn’t feel right and there’s a reason for that.
BB411~ Fun facts that your fans may not know about you?
EI~ My favourite way to spend a friday night is watching dateline while eating chocolate and drinking red wine. Also in university my fellow student athletes knew me only as ‘Jeter’ – it was a nickname from my freshman year that stuck
BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?
EI~ trustworthy, confident, fun-loving
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Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411