19 Mar Interview with Denise Hung pastry chef and yoga instructor
Denise Hung – Chef/Baker, Yoga teacher and Chinese Medicine student
It’s March 2021 and the world has been griped by the Covid -19 Pandemic.
The team at White Jacket Effect have the pleasure of talking to Denise. We wanted to get her take on the industry and the mindset approaches we all should be taking.
Denise is a third year Chinese medicine student at Southern School of Natural Therapies. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Australia in 2011 and working in hospitality for more than a decade she returned to academic life to improve the understanding of food as medicine.
Before the Pandemic Denise taught meditation to hospitality staff. She hopes to bring mindfulness from the mat to the kitchen and share the therapeutic benefits of food to the table.
1. What are your favourite mindset tool(s)?
My Zafu (meditation cushion) and blanket.
2. This may get very deep…What’s the most profound thing you’ve learned?(in terms of mindset)
There is no mystery or secret. The work is in consistent practice of diligently showing up everyday on the mat. To put it in a culinary or patisserie perspective, it is much like owning your craft. It is impossible to speed up the process of grasping knowledge as experiences require time. Make time your best friend: understand it, learn how to work with it, listen to its needs, be patient and gentle. When you make it an enemy or go “I don’t have enough time”, you have essentially disabled yourself from gaining everything life has to offer.
So make time to sit and just witness the essence of it all.
3. Why did you choose to learn more about mindfulness?
I quickly understood that the hospitality industry is a demanding one. It was physically/mentally/emotionally challenging. It was 2008, I was young, determined and passionate. But I had also just lost a 41 year old cousin from heart attack, my grandmother and another 21 year old cousin from a car accident. I missed my last chance to say goodbye to my 41 year old cousin because I chose to work a dinner shift over Lunar New Year Reunion Dinner. I was facing burn out and knew I needed to find a balance if I was going to dive deep into the industry. 13 years later, looking back, I believe it was kismet (destiny/fate).
4. What are the biggest/ hardest issues you’ve had to overcome?
Leaving the industry. Although, sometimes I question if I have truly left! I love hospitality but know my passion in feeding the community truly lies in healing. I love using food to heal or as medicine. So I hope learning about Chinese Medicine would lead me to dietary culinary workshops one day! Perhaps another cookbook!
5. What have you been able to achieve through having your mindset?
Acceptance, resilience, happiness and being at peace.