Jo Malone and Ken Hom talk to Paul Blezard
A Taste of Success
Friday 14 October 2016
Blenheim Palace, The OrangeryVenue
World-renowned Chinese chef, food writer and broadcaster Ken Hom and perfumier and inspirational businesswoman Jo Malone tell how they rose from modest beginnings to achieve international fame and discuss how smell, taste and food are essential to the enhancement of our lives.
Hom’s memoir, My Stir-Fried Life, was conceived two years ago at a dinner at the Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film and Music when the author was sat next to publisher Jeremy Robson. Hom tells of a tough childhood in Chicago, the death of his father when he was just eight months old and being raised by his mother in poverty. Hom now has his own range of cookware, and acts as a consultant for dozens of leading hotels and restaurants. His MEE restaurant in Rio de Janeiro recently became one of the first in South America to be awarded a Michelin star. He is author of dozens of books on Chinese and Asian cookery and has presented his own cookery shows on television. He was awarded the OBE for services to culinary arts in 2009.
In Jo Malone: My Story, Malone tells how she struggled at school with dyslexia, leaving with no qualifications before building her own brand on the back of her renowned sense of smell and her innovation and originality. The Jo Malone success was built on blends of fragrance such as ‘lime, basil and mandarin’. She recovered from breast cancer, having been given only nine months to live, sold the Jo Malone brand to Estee Lauder, and has since created a new brand, Jo Loves.
Hom also oversees a Chinese menu at the festival’s opening dinner on Thursday.