Interview with Jane de Graaff, Food and Lifestyle Writer, TV Presenter & Content Creator at 9Honey
Jane de Graaff is a TV presenter, journalist, podcaster and recipe developer specialising in food stories, making good food accessible to everyone and putting the fun back into cooking and eating. Jane graduated with a degree in Media and Communications and has always loved both storytelling and food, combining the two into the art of telling food stories. Her work has been featured in leading food publications and she appears regularly on Channel 9’s TODAY, TODAY Extra and 9News. She Tweets at @JanedeGraaff.
When did you discover your passion for food journalism and why?
I come from a family that loves good food (don’t we all) and I always spent a lot of time in the kitchen when I was growing up. My mum and I would often tackle the problems of the world while we cooked together, but I knew I didn’t want to be a chef or food scientist. I studied food technology in high school and media at university and have always been a writer. I adore words and language and sharing ideas and stories that intrigue me. So, when I discovered I could put food and words together, I knew I had found my calling.
How do you juggle your various roles as TV presenter, Food & Lifestyle writer, and content creator?
They all work beautifully hand-in-hand and often lead into one another in ways that mean each role isn’t really distinct from another. When I’m presenting on TV I’m talking about food and cooking and all the things I write about, that in turn might become an article or a recipe. It’s hard to separate them out, but that means I can create a wide variety of content that works across different platforms and I’m lucky that I work with a supportive team.
What is the target demographic for 9Honey’s Food & Lifestyle?
Our content is created specifically for parents with busy lives who are interested in delicious and good food, but who don’t have a lot of time. We’re helping people who want to know how to make good food at home and are looking to be inspired by the latest trends, but who need to be able to do that in between all the bustle of work, family and busy social lives.
Describe your typical work day.
My routine doesn’t really look like a routine to anyone but me. It varies from day to day, which is one of the reasons I love it. If I’m not prepping for TV segments and shoots, then in the mornings I look over food news, emails and press releases as well as scan through social media to see what’s trending, what’s new and what’s breaking food news. We decide where each planned story for the day fits. We also plan ahead for days that we know are food-specific, like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
If I’m on set, I’m usually setting up food and either prepping or filming for the first half of the day. Then the afternoon is pack down and clean up. But those days are often my favourite because I get to see people eating my food once we’re all finished. And honestly, I love seeing people smile because of joyful food.
How do press releases help you in your line of work?
I love a good press release that gets straight to the heart of a new idea, product or event, and then gives extra details. Press releases often help us get a feel for what’s in the zeitgeist. You can see mainstream trends coming and get a feel for when they’re really at saturation point. They also help us identify unusual stories or angles that might work for our audience. They’re a key part of keeping us across all the different aspects of the huge food industry.