Jesse Mulligan

Foodie, comedian, radio host

Jesse has been on Kiwi screens and radio waves for a few years now. Maybe you’ve seen him on 7 Days or Seven Sharp? Perhaps you read his Auckland Food Blog, or listened to him on Radio New Zealand's Afternoons show? A real nice guy who made time in his massive media schedule for a quick goss about the world in which he lives and his love for Garden to Table Trust.


As someone with respective success of your own within the media and performing arts, how can those who have ‘made it’ better contribute to those trying to start up?

Availability, empathy and patience. People should be open to give help, give advice and give feedback… also remembering what it feels like to be not quite there yet, and understanding that talent in youth is rarely fully formed. I was awkward and not a little obnoxious when I was still trying to work out who I was and what I could do – I try to remember that when I see up-and-comers who come in a little ‘hot’. 


How do you keep the fires of inspiration burning on an ‘off night’? How do you break through a creative block.

What exactly happens when I am up there on stage is still a mystery to me. But the more I do it, the better I get and the more times it goes well, the less I fear that the next gig will be a disaster. I think creativity is as much muscle memory as anything, so I believe (and hope) that the thousands of hours I’ve put into joke writing and broadcasting over the years are a good safety net for any time I fall off the tight rope of inspiration.


What are your favourite ways to show generosity in your world? 

I email back anybody who asks me for advice or help, and I make my contact details very available. I try to treat every interview guest as the star of the conversation, and I feel very responsible for anybody I interact with across media or entertainment.


A lot of Kiwi’s are lucky enough to have experienced some of the restaurants you review, whilst some Kiwi’s struggle to feed their families. Do you see possibilities within the hospitality sector to bridge the gaps between these two worlds? 

I don’t know that the hospitality sector is particularly well off either, though I’m always happy to throw a couple of extra bucks in on a meal price when it’s for a good cause. I like the charities that encourage you to do that. I agree most people reading my reviews will probably never go to the restaurants I write about – so I try to make my writing entertaining enough that you’ll enjoy reading it regardless of whether you’ll eat there yourself.

I’ve visited two Garden to Table schools and I can’t say enough about how much the kids (and their families) get out of learning basic growing, harvesting and cooking skills at school. It’s one of my favourite charities – the far reaching benefits they create for a relatively low cost is an inspiration and a great reason to contribute to their cause.

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