Restaurateur speaks of life as author
Fleur's Place owner had to be an optimistMARY-JO TOHILL IN ALEXANDRA
Fleur Sullivan says she is a "dying breed of entrepreneur" as people opening restaurants today almost need to be a celebrity chef or an accounting genius.
However, money and fame can't buy vision and enthusiasm.
Owner of Fleur's Place at Moeraki and past owner of Olivers Restaurant in Clyde, she said formal training could take away intuition.
Every restaurateur had to be an optimist because even when the money appeared to be rolling in, "it disappears out the door just as quickly", she said.
She spoke at a function near her old Clyde stomping round yesterday, along with Kiwi historical novelist Jenny Pattrick.
Sullivan said she might have never written a book about her life if publisher Random House had not made the approach.
Even with money up front, the tight deadline to get the book on the shelves by last Christmas was stressful, she said.
"Here I was pouring out my whole life and I didn't want to be rushed, so I was going to give the $8000 back."
But it proved to be no simple thing to back out of a book contract.
Sullivan found herself joining contemporary celebrity foodie ranks by writing a book, not just with recipes, but a personal anecdote about her life.
She said it made her focus on how much her North Otago upbringing had influenced her love and interest in food, which led to her opening one of Central Otago's landmark success stories, Olivers Restaurant in Clyde, more than 30 years ago.
Now not just a celebrity restaurateur but a well-known author with at least 8000 new friends - and counting - who loved her book, she was not sure if she wanted to do it again.
"Random have asked me to do another one. I haven't replied yet."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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