Take 10: Tim Read

Take 10: Tim Read

You’re not really told when you’re growing up that you’re going to fail. Especially nowadays, people shy away from anything that they might fail at, but I’ve learned that you don’t need to be afraid of failure. In fact, failing can actually be a good thing – you learn a lot from it.

1. What’s one thing about yourself that people would be surprised to know?

TIM: I have only one kidney. One of my kidneys was taken out when I was three months old – it was polycystic. I wasn’t allowed to play rugby growing up because of it, but aside from that I’ve had no problems since then.

 2. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

TIM: Friends of mine owned a farm and we used to make a hut out of the hay bales in the middle of their hayshed. We rigged it up with lights and we’d sleep overnight out there. Thinking about it now, it was actually quite dangerous, but I have really good memories of hanging out in the hayshed and shooting birds and rabbits on the farm.

3. Do you have an all-time favourite photo?

TIM: My Dad and I went to Niue – just the two of us – in 2012. We fished and spear-fished for a week as a graduation present to both of ourselves. There’s this one photo of Dad and me on the back of the boat after hauling in five or six massive fish, and we’ve got great big grins on our faces.

4. What are the three most important things in your life?

TIM: People, creating memories, and generosity or giving. There’s something amazing about living beyond just yourself, when you look to benefit others. That’s not limited to being generous with money; it’s about being a source of help.

5. Do you have a joke that guarantees a laugh?

TIM: That’s a tough one – my source of humour is usually myself; just follow me around for a day and I’ll usually do something stupid that’ll make you laugh! But I do have one joke (though I warn you it’s not a good one!):

Why did Adele cross the road?
Why?
To say ‘Hello’ from the other side!

6. Tell us about a New Year’s resolution you’ve made in the past – and did you succeed or fail?

TIM: I usually make one, and it’s often something like, “I want to shoot a stag this year,” or, “I want to get a kingie over 30 kilos…” And I have yet to fail one of those, although I came close a few years’ back when I really wanted to catch a crayfish and I got it on December 31st!

7. Where would you like to be 10 years from now?

TIM: I’ve always been a bit of a romantic – I’ve really always believed that you can do what you love. A lot of people hope for that, but some feel like work is work and it’s ridiculous to expect to love it. But I genuinely hope that I’m still doing what I love.

8. What’s your favourite meal?

TIM: Anything that I’ve shot or caught myself and then been able to share with friends. You could eat the most amazing food in the world, but if you’re not sharing it with anybody, it’s not a satisfying experience. The most memorable meals for me have been the ones I’ve shared with people after I’ve been outdoors and got whatever we’re eating.

9. What are you reading right now?

TIM: I’m reading ‘Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine,’ by René Redzepi. Noma is quite consistently named as the world’s best restaurant, and this book is a recipe book but also a bit of a journal about the head chef’s cooking and thinking processes. I’m learning a lot from that at the moment.

10. What life lessons do you feel you gleaned from being in the kitchen and competing in MasterChef NZ?

TIM: You’re not really told when you’re growing up that you’re going to fail. Especially nowadays, people shy away from anything that they might fail at, but I’ve learned that you don’t need to be afraid of failure. In fact, failing can actually be a good thing – you learn a lot from it. That might sound a bit funny, having won MasterChef – but there were times during the competition that I had an atrocious day in the kitchen. You have to practice resilience and develop the ability to get back up and perform again the next day – or try to. And I think that ability was part of the reason why I did well. So the life lesson I’ve learned is, ‘Don’t be afraid of failure.’