In just over a decade, Marion Grasby has built a fun and unassuming lifestyle media empire. With eight food and lifestyle channels across multiple different online platforms, Marion reaches 32 million people every month. That’s a big deal! She has studios in Bangkok and Noosa, 25 staff members, and her sauces, marinades, meal kits and salad dressings are available in three different continents.
Despite these big numbers, Marion is just as bright and cheery in real life as her face appears on the front of every product! When asked how she copes being in the public eye, she says she doesn’t; she actually appreciates it.
‘I’m very lucky to have so many supportive followers rather than trolls or negative types,’ she says of her prolific online presence. ‘Maybe it’s because I’m in the food world rather than the celebrity world. When people come and say hello it always makes my day, because it means they’ve loved something of mine they’ve watched or cooked!’
And her fans aren’t just local. ‘I just did a subscriber meet-and-greet where most of the participants were German!’ she laughs. ‘But I mainly have followers in the USA, Australia and parts of Asia.’
Another element of the Marion’s Kitchen world is her soon-to-released cookbook, Always Delicious, which comes out next year – where she imparts all the everyday wisdom and tips and tricks she uses to make home cooking ‘more sticky, glossy, crunchy, luscious and amazing’!
Marion’s immense success may seem surprising, but it hasn’t happened by accident. In fact, Marion’s world today is the very manifestation of a crystal clear vision she had right from the start.
‘Marion’s Kitchen was born from the idea that I wanted everyone to be able to access amazing Asian ingredients like the traditional curry pastes and sauces that my mother made when I was growing up,’ says Marion. ‘And that’s how it started! Now we’re a global food product company, media publishing house and soon to be lifestyle homewares brand.’
A day in her life involves early starts, wearing many hats – and, of course, lots of food!
I wake up at 5am. I’ve always been an early riser! The first thing I do is check my diary and then my emails so I’ve got my head sorted for what the day entails. And then I get myself some caffeine as soon as I can! I do my best work in the mornings.
I’ve usually done a little work on my phone before I arrive at work for the day, so when I get there at 8am I actually take an hour to go for a run or exercise.
The first tasks of the day are checking our filming schedule for the recipes we’re going to cook that day and brief our food assistant. Then I chat with our videographer and stylist about the order of the day.
Whether or not I take a lunch break depends on how hectic our filming schedule is! I’m not really a sit still and eat lunch kinda girl, so I’ll usually eat and work at the same time. Typically we’re eating whatever we cooked for a video or photoshoot that morning; that could be anything from a Thai curry, fried chicken or spicy noodles. There’s no shortage of food around the studio!
I like to have filming wrapped up by about 3pm so I’ve got time in the afternoon to finish off any other work tasks or plans for the next day.
I definitely need caffeine and a healthy-ish sweet treat in the afternoon to keep me going. I try to reach for something nourishing like a bircher muesli or a chia seed and yoghurt mix.
I finish work between 5-6pm and believe it or not, after a day of cooking, I do still like to come home and cook something nice for dinner, usually while sipping on a glass of red wine. I keep it simple though. I love a good traybake or roast, where everything is chopped and cooked in the one tray in the oven. Or a one pot dish like a Thai green curry or pad Thai noodles.
To unwind, I read cookbooks, head to the beach (very lucky to live in Noosa) and grill meats on my charcoal barbecue (I’m obsessed). I love a good Hallmark-type movie or series to ‘switch off’… Something really cheesy and very light on!
I like to be in bed by 8pm if I can, I need a lot of sleep. I’m such a Nanna!