Ina Paarman | Writer, Television personality & Chef

Ina Paarman is one of South Africa’s most well-known and loved food writers and television personalities. She is the author of many successful cookery books, including The Good Food Cookbook, Ina Paarman’s All-Colour Cookbook and Cooking with Ina Paarman and is cookery writer for Die Burger. She is involved in the family business, Paarman Foods, which supplies local and international supermarkets with a range of gourmet food products.

My Greatest Achievement | I Perceive my greatest achievement to be the fact that my family has not suffered in any way while pursuing a career. It seems pointless to make a success of ones career to the detriment of the people you love the most.

The Difference between good and Great | In one sentence: Hard work and not giving up easily. ‘Uithou, aanhou, moedhou en bekhou!’ Natural talent will only take one so far.

Ina-PaarmanReasons for My Success | There have been many factors that helped me along the way – not forgetting that we all need a lucky break every now and again and I was fortunate that my mother, who was a widow for most of the time when I grew up, was an outstanding role model. She simply did not tolerate second best and proved that women, if they are prepared to bring their side, are very welcome in a ‘mans’ world.

  • When my career choice was Home Economics teacher, I was given 100% support.
  • After my marriage, my husband gave me the freedom to pursue a career and supported me every step of the way.
  • These two people taught me a valuable lesson; surround yourself with good people who have sound values and aspire to the same ideals as you do.
  • My ability to focus, to work hard and to think out of the box has been a great help. Reading, reading and reading is a wonderful way to broaden one’s mind and your view of the world.

A Lesson in Decision Making | I believe in the power of one’s subconscious. I think about the problem away from work, especially at night before going to sleep. Often you wake up and the best plan of action pops up!. It is also very important not to do things too quickly and impulsively. Your gut feeling is not always right. Give decisions time to stew and simmer – before you jump in, mistakes always cost money.

Lessons I have Learnt | Vanity and arrogance are two indulgences that nobody can afford. Never believe the publicity – stay humble, be careful with your money and don’t trust anybody who has not earned your trust and respect.

The Results that I Enjoy | There is an enormous amount of satisfaction in creating meaningful work for many other people. In fact, that is one of the most rewarding things one can do.

Ina PaarmenBuilding Wealth | The old fashioned way of running a business is the only way. I only have experience of the food business. We are passionate about quality. There is a gap in the market for honest, home-style products because most people are “time poor” but still want to eat healthy, delicious food prepared with less fuss at home. Therefore we only use the best ingredients, and train our staff well. It takes time, a long time, to build a business and this responsibility will erode your private time. One cannot have a demanding and roaring social life and at the same time build a strong business.

The Best Advice I’ve Received | “Nothing is easy! If it was, everybody would be doing it!”

Our Most Valuable Possession | I am passionate about food that not only looks and tastes good, but is also good to put into your body. I believe good health is the most valuable possession anyone can have.