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In conversation with... Pip McCormac

Who are you and what do you do?

Pip McCormac, author of The Herb and Flower Cookbook and Lifestyle Director of Red Magazine.


Did you know you always wanted to work in magazines?

Yes – I thought it would be a fun way to get to go to celebrity parties! Then I realised pretty quickly that writing recipes and thinking of ways to style your home were far more me – I love being able to explore new trends and ideas and turn them into concepts that are actually relevant to the lives of real people.


How do you relax/switch off?

Pottering around on my balcony. I’ve got around 30 pots of herbs and edible flowers, and mostly they don’t take more work than keeping them watered. But looking after them is so rewarding and relaxing, and so deeply satisfying. I read somewhere that there are chemicals released from soil that are proven to make you feel happier. I don’t know how true that is, but there is a real joy in snipping off some chervil grown from seed to use in a pasta sauce.


Favourite book?

Gone With the Wind. I love the romanticism, and Scarlett’s fighting spirit.


Favourite film?

I adore the cinematography and lingering looks Scarlett Johannson gives in Lost in Translation. But realistically I’d have to say Mean Girls.


Favourite blog/website?

Pinterest. It’s where I find most of my visual inspiration.


What’s your guilty pleasure?

Recording reality shows on my Sky+ box. I love the ones where people shout at the each other the most.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

At journalism college, my tutor Lorna V told me that when writing for a publication, you have to really devour that title first, to write with the magazine open in front of you to get the tone and format exactly right. That has helped me so much over the years.


What are you listening to at the moment?

I’m obsessed with the Hospital Records podcasts – drum and bass by DJs such as Logistics and Fred V & Graffik. They remind me of a time when I was young and went out a lot, and make me think there’s life in me yet.