Julie is fun to be around. She chuckles often, is mischievous and loves making jokes. “Life’s too short, they say… you’ve got to chill out, laugh.”
Julie’s bubbly personality served her well in the hospitality industry, combining her positive outlook with a love of food. Now, Julie and her partner Richard are living in a Ryman village, and while she no longer works in restaurants, food is still a huge part of her life.
Her love of food started when she was just a child in Malaysia. She was taught how to cook by her mother with real ingredients, no artificial seasonings, and no shortcuts. She remembers being only seven when she learnt how to shop for groceries and buy fresh produce for the family.
Julie cooks food that’s good for the soul. Tasty food, wholesome food – food that she loves to eat.
At Ryman, Julie shares her passion for cooking whenever she can. She recalls a curry night during their first month at the village. The casual get-together was held at the village centre. “I brought my beef Sri Lankan curry. There was nothing left, so I was very happy. That means people enjoy my food.”
When asked if this sort of social gathering happens often at her village, Julie instantly jumps to more food stories. She explains that almost every month they have a BBQ at the village, which she loves. “This is where everyone comes around and gets to know each other, especially the new residents.”
“And we had Chinese New Year - potluck again, but this time everyone brings their favourite Asian dish. And if you don’t know how, you can just bring a fruit platter, we don’t care. We want everyone to come and share. It was a fantastic night.”
For Julie, these village occasions are about food, of course, but they’re also about people. “Everyone gets to know each other, everyone cares for each other. That’s the main thing. If you need help, people are there for you. That’s why I like it here.”