Chef, food stylist, columnist and Sassy Mama contributor; what Fiona doesn’t know about food is probably not worth knowing! Don’t be fooled by her tiny physique – this mama is a formidable force (she once ran the Ferrari F1 hospitality suite) with a huge personality and a passion for everything food related. Mama to beautiful 6 year old twins, Cliffy and Margot, you’re just as likely to find Fiona leading kiddie adventures on the beach or bouncing on her children’s trampoline as you are at a very sensible grown-up event. Fiona, we love you!
Name: Fiona Archibold
Occupation: Mum, Wife, Food Stylist, Columnist, Chef
Children: Margot 6 & Cliffy 6 – twins
How long have you lived in Dubai? 7 years
What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
In my personal life: the opportunity to love and nurture two happy children against all odds. Being married to the man I love – I’m so glad I waited. Living happily, honestly and simply. As far as my career goes: being able to do what I love and have others love it too!
As a child what did you dream of being when you grew up?
Running my own stall at the local Farmers Market when I was 5. I worked out the entire business plan in bed one night at that age!
If you had three wishes, what would they be?
I have two of them! The opportunity to educate, encourage and inspire children of all ages to take responsibility for their food choices, in turn empowering them to cook for themselves, their families and their friends imbuing a true sense of nurture and healthy food relationships.
What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
Thinking out of the box. Approaching life with a gutsy attitude. Being myself. Adventures maxi and mini. (Just ask Sassy Mama Dubai editor Kaya about our trip to Kerala Kitchen with five children under 6 years old!)
What’s a typical day in your life like?
Family breakfast, 6.30 – chaotic mayhem involving oats, fruit, lunchboxes, uniforms, P.E. Kit, husbands paleo salad, music, books, guitar.
7.30 – remaining chaos and pride in being able to restore order in 10 minutes having been through 5 home helps over the last 18 months.
Music, Coffee, shower, coffee and power-chat with favourite Sassy Neighbour 30 mins max. NylaMethod 3-4 days in the weeks I do not have back to back shoots.
If working, writing, shopping prepping to 1.30.
Kids pick-up, Home, Food (my daughters baseline!), More home or ECA’s 2 x days per weeks Rainbows on Sundays where I am doing my leadership qualification.
Community park for a run around with ball, bikes, skateboards, hula hoops.
Home, bath, supper, Bedtime, Lunchboxes …. (this makes me sound so boring – can we do the weekend????)
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Besides the obvious, Walkers Highlander Shortbread biscuits and a cup of Early Grey (at any time of day or night).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
Always have your ‘Get Out Quick’ money ready, so you can move on if necessary!
What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Spending our weekends at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.
What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?
Dubai Offshore Sailing Club!
Which three words best describe your personality?
Loving, Passionate, Eccentric.
What advice would you have for a new mama?
Do what I still have not yet done – TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Accept all help that is offered
What advice would you give to a mama who wants to go back to work or start her own business, but is worried about juggling family and career?
Be clear and realistic on your expectations of yourself in relation to your work and family balance. Better to have 3 intensive full time days with 2 days ‘off’ than 5 ½ days where you end up working the full day anyway!!!!
If you were on an island and could bring only three things (family not included) what would they be?
A knife, a pencil and a guitar.
Top 3 books?
Apricots on the Nile, I Capture the Castle and Mr Galliano’s Circus.
Describe your style.
Ever evolving, boho resort and sometimes a dash of circus!
If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why? Meryl Streep: she’s not afraid to get stuck in and be a real woman!
Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
My kids call meringues ‘boomeringues’ and chocolate eclairs ‘chocolate o’clares’!