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Julie Lin

Cook and Co-Director at Ga Ga Kitchen & Bar, Media Presenter.

  • What was your favourite subject at school?

I love to write even if my grammar isn’t that great, so English was always my favourite subject. I’ve found that there is a great difference between what you’re good at and what you enjoy and I tended to be better at subjects where I admired the teacher. For me school was my first experience of realising what a mentor was.

  • What was your first job?

My first job was in a £2 shop. It was called Fun for £2, and I used to absolutely love it. I earned £3.53 per hour!

  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?

The restaurant I go to the most in my own city is Chinatown Restaurant in Glasgow. Their cheung fun (steamed rice paper rolls with various fillings) are absolutely silky and luscious. The chef in there is an unsung magician.

  • How do you inspire your team

I will try and inspire my team by trusting them and believing in them. They’re some of the most talented people in our industry. And to be quite honest they also inspire me – I learn from them constantly.

  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?

Laurie McMillan of Café Strange Brew. She was the first ever person to hire me in a kitchen and she is the hardest working person I know and still to this day I take her lead on so many situations. She was formally in charge of running the kitchen at Balbirnie House Hotel in Fife and then went on to be the Head Chef at The Scullery (now closed) before opening her own venture Café Strange Brew. She demonstrated to me how to run a kitchen efficiently but also with kindness, and she can tell a good joke which always keeps everyone happy during service!

  • How do you manage your stress levels?

By giving myself enough time off and allowing myself to relax. There’s constantly a feeling of guilt when you take time off as a business owner. But I’ve learned that in order to lead a team well, you have to be in a good place yourself and that involves also caring for yourself.

  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?

Instagram! I enjoy seeing people’s photos and stories.

  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you
    think you would be now?

I adore furniture and design so I’d love to have my own business selling various vintage furniture. (Maybe in retirement!)

  • What did you do on your last days off?

On my last day off I went to go and see Paolo Nutini’s gig in Edinburgh and visited Ka Pao in St James’ Quarter.

  • What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?

I go wild swimming as much as possible. Where I am in Glasgow I’m only about thirty minutes drive away from places to go for a dip. The thrill of the cold water makes me feel incredible and there’s science behind the exhilaration you get from it. And where better to do it in the countryside in Scotland. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world.