Desert Island Dishes is one of those ideas that you wish that you’d thought of. So simple, and yet so smart. And Margie Broadhead – the brains (and voice) behind the podcast – is one super smart cookie too, so it’s very little surprise that Desert Island Dishes is going from strength to strength. An Oxbridge grad with law training, she’s also cooked in some of London’s best restaurants – before going solo and setting up her own catering company. The podcast is her latest venture – with guests including chefs such as Mark Hix and Nadine Levy Redzepi, as well as journalists (Rosie Birkett, Pip McCormac) and numerous names you’ll know – Tess Ward, a Hemsley, plus various GBB and Masterchef champs.

Why did you launch your own business?

I had always wanted to work for myself and loved the idea of having my own business. Originally, I went down the traditional route and studied at Oxford and went on to do a Masters in Law, as it seemed like the natural next step. But really didn’t enjoy it, and I had a nagging feeling that there must be more to life. So I packed my things up and headed to Scotland for a break to clear my head and I had a bit of an epiphany – I realised that cooking was my true passion and that I would be much happier doing that, the thing I loved, as a job!

So I started again. I went and trained at Ballymaloe in Ireland and then in various restaurants in London before launching my own catering company, Made By Margie. My blog quickly followed and due to the popularity of that, I launched my podcast, Desert Island Dishes. It’s all been very organic and I love that my job is so multi-faceted now. I look back and realise I would have made a terrible lawyer, so I guess everything happens for a reason!

Who helped you out?

So many people! I definitely wouldn’t have been brave enough to walk away from a career in law if my family weren’t so incredibly encouraging and supportive. When I started cooking, all my parent’s friends and all my friends’ parents hired me as a chef for their parties which was a huge help when I was starting out. I’ve met amazing people along the way who have helped and inspired me, and I feel like I’m always learning new things which is great!

Best business advice you’ve been given along the way – and by whom?

I absolutely love an inspirational quote and my insta (@madebymargie) is full of them. I think the best business advice would be ‘done is better than perfect’. Obviously you always want to be proud of your work but at the same time striving for perfection can mean you’re too overwhelmed to even start. So just start somewhere and you can always work on improving it.

What problems have you faced along the way?

Running your own business isn’t easy and there are many ups and downs. It’s a bit like a rollercoaster but you just have to learn to go with the flow, keep working hard and not give up. I think it’s really easy to get demoralised if you start comparing your progress to other people, but you have to remember nothing is as it seems and everyone has to start somewhere.

How do you feel about women in business today?

I’m a huge believer in Shine Theory – the idea that women can lift each other up and that one woman’s success does not limit your own. We must celebrate each other’s successes and it’s so inspiring to see how many women are thriving in business today. It definitely feels like this is just the beginning and that’s a very exciting feeling.

Favourite startups?

Through interviewing guests on the Desert Island Dishes podcast I’ve met some truly inspiring people doing some absolutely incredible things. Rubies in the Rubble is a company that I’m just in awe of. They take surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into delicious relishes, sauces and chutneys that they sell in shops all over the country. It’s such a genius business idea and tackles such an important issue.

Women in business who truly inspire you?

There are so many. I interviewed Lily Simpson, the founder of the Detox Kitchen on Desert Island Dishes and she’s just amazing. She’s built an incredible business whilst also juggling being a mum and she’s constantly coming up with new ideas and ventures and she just gets things done. I also think Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is hugely inspiring – if you haven’t listened to her episode of Desert Island Discs, you must, although it had me in floods of tears. My sister has her own company (Willa and the Bear) and I’m always inspired by what she has achieved.

Tell us about your work life balance?

Working for yourself can be hard because it’s very tempting to work all evening and not to take time off. I love what I do, so it’s difficult to switch off but learning the value of separating work and life is really important. You can’t produce your best work when you’re tired so it’s important to regroup when you can. I’m getting married in April which is really exciting and I’m really enjoying organising all the elements that go into a wedding – although it does feel like a full time job in itself!

What do you do to relax?

I have a sausage dog so I love breaking my day up with walks in the park with him, when I put my phone on silent and just enjoy the fresh air. I’m a big believer that a problem shared is a problem halved so I never bottle things up, although I’m sure my mum and my fiancé would rather I did sometimes! I also love a relaxing bath with a good book.

What are you proudest of and why?

I find it hard to celebrate the little successes as they come as it’s so easy to already be looking ahead to the next thing. But I’m so excited about the podcast and it’s just incredible how many people are listening each week. It’s quite overwhelming just how many people take the time to download something you’ve created and then listen to you chatting away. That’s the amazing thing about podcasts, they are such an intimate thing; people choose to download your show and then they listen to you as they go about their day. Desert Island Dishes is a passion project that’s taken on a life of it’s own and that’s very exciting.

Can you run in heels?

I am terrible at walking in heels so I can only imagine what I would be like running! I always try to channel my inner SJP but it never quite works. Maybe I should add it to the list of goals for 2018!

You can check out Margie’s podcast at or follow her on Insta @madebymargie.