Bionic People: Mikey Bell

 Mikey Bell - cooking up his next real life recipe.

Mikey Bell - cooking up his next real life recipe.

Bionic People

Because we’re passionate about interesting people each week we are featuring one person who does interesting things. 
There are some really interesting people lined-up, and we’re always looking for more so if you have any suggestions just let us know and we’ll see if they want to take part.

Mikey Bell.

Now for our very first Bionic People Interview, we’ve chosen Mikey Bell. By day a marketing professional in South Wales looking after one of the biggest shopping centres in the country, in his spare time he gets creative in the kitchen. Mikey's food writing is refreshingly real and his culinary passion can be enjoyed through his blog, on instagram and as food columnist for Buzz Magazine. 

So not only do you get to read about a truly interesting instigator in the kitchen, with Mikey you’ll never have to worry about what to cook as he’s got recipes you’re sure to enjoy. We truly admire his determination in creating his own unique presence in the world of food writing, and we hope you enjoy reading about this inspirational blogger.  

What drew you to your passion/interest? 
Writing has been my passion for a lot longer than cooking has, it’s just that I could never really apply my thoughts to any piece of fiction I wrote in a way that felt natural. For some reason I found a space for myself within food writing that allowed me to express myself in a creative way that wasn’t forced. 

Was there a particular moment in your life that you ‘discovered’ or fell in love with your passion/interest?
I read Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Bites book from cover to cover like it was a novel and realised that food writing has the capacity to be more than just recipes. There was soul behind the stories. Lawson’s writing connected a lot of creative dots for me.

What is the most interesting moment in your life?
Lying on my kitchen floor and crying when I thought my dog had hurt his leg. I have a tendency to be quite a selfish person and I had come to terms with it, but having a dog suddenly aligns you to selflessness. It was interesting because it taught me that being selfish was no longer an option. It was the best thing to ever happen to me.

What do you think makes a person interesting?
I find a confidence in authentic self-expression an extremely interesting quality in someone. When somebody is comfortable with themselves and does not seek others to behave or act in a certain way shows a peacefulness. It’s liberating. It’s a quality I find interesting but also attractive because I actively seek it in others.

Who are some of the people that fascinate you?
I remember being 22 and working closely with the chief executive of a global events company and it was my first experience of meeting an openly gay person who owned their own company. She was extremely charismatic, highly intelligent, had a fantastic sense of humour and allowed her ethic to navigate her. I was fascinated because I was just starting my career in marketing and to see somebody so established and be within the same minority as myself was both interesting and motivating.

If you could meet anyone (past or present) who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Chuck Palahniuk. I went through a phase where I read every single one of his books back to back, one after the other and I somehow found relatability in all of his protagonists. His writing is so smart. I think the fact his characters are always so disenfranchised yet he manages to write a sense of broad relatability to them is fascinating to me. I’d love to have a conversation with him and get to the bones of his creative process. 

What is the most interesting possession you own?
My leather jacket. It was the first thing I ever bought with my first paycheque at 16. I worked in a salon as a receptionist and manicurist and was paid £30 a week. I saved up over 3 weeks to buy a leather jacket which I still wear to this day and will give it to my children someday as a lesson in work and money values. Plus it’s interesting that it stills fits me 11 years later.

If you could make one change to your life to make it more interesting, what would it be?
I wish I had more of a desire to embrace change. I’m a Capricorn, I am very set in my ways and I am very comfortable within the confines of a routine. I enjoy repetition. And while this creates a sense of safety, it’s also potentially scary when the routines are broken. I would love to proactively seek change as opposed to deal with it retrospectively.

Which brand do you find most interesting, and why is that?
I love the LEON fast food brand. From their ethos to their execution. The primary colours create a sense of longing, almost a yearning for simplicity whereas there’s enough progression in their content and narrative delivery to signify change and aspirational drive. It’s also why I’m obsessed with the Wonder Woman brand. Primary colours delivering a strong message. It’s that dialogue of progress through the prism of basic visuals. I like simple fusions in branding. Plus LEON’s cookware collaboration line with John Lewis was incredible.

Care to share something interesting you’ve never shared before?
I practice mindful meditation every single day. I suffer with anxiety and on doctor’s recommendation, I introduced mindfulness into my life and have seen significant results. The unfortunate thing about anxiety sufferers is that they have a habit of operating on only one plane, and that’s panic driven pessimism. Mindful meditation has taught me to divorce who I am from what I’m thinking. It’s a control mechanism. I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m getting there.

What is your all-time favourite piece of art, design or fashion?
Unfortunately I don’t resonate with design art or fashion. While I can appreciate artistic labour and acknowledge when something is pleasing on the eye, I never find myself particularly moved by either form. I’m moved more by words, and the message structure in a piece of writing. Nothing has connected with me more than the lyrics to ‘Underneath’ by Alanis Morissette. The lyrics look at inner dialogue and the dismantling of it, the importance of changing internal thought to make a difference to your external reaction. It resonates with me on so many levels. I have the word ‘Underneath’ tattooed on my wrist to keep me in this practice as often as possible.

Thank you Mikey. 

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