Seven Sharp star Hilary Barry has revealed on a new The Hits podcast that she has enjoyed the opportunities to show off her lighter side in recent years, and that it is "quite liberating" being an "oldie on the block".
Raj's high energy and passion for food results in-depth and hilarious conversations with his guests, but also at the end of each episode, the restaurateur creates a meal in honour of them, a dish which feeds four, for under $20.
In the debut episode, Barry talks about the fond memories from her childhood thanks to her mother.
"I have such incredibly fond memories of my relationship with food through her.
"I would come home from school on a cold Wellington day and there would be vegetable soup on the stove," Barry told Raj.
As she reflected on her childhood, Barry discussed the influence this had on her love for cooking and cooking for others.
"I'm going to get a bit deep, but I like to show people I love, how much I love them by cooking for them".
Despite being a self-proclaimed "control freak in the kitchen" who "struggles to let go of the reins sometimes," she said it all comes from a place of love.
Barry also talks about her experiences working fulltime, while still making time to prepare healthy home-cooked meals for her family.
"I had a work regime where I worked early mornings and late evenings, I wasn't there for mealtimes. So I would lovingly create them a meal in the middle of the day.
"Mike would get home from work with the kids and heat it up, but they wouldn't see me preparing it because I wasn't there for that time of their lives."
Now her children understand the basics of cooking and the shared importance of healthy and sustainable eating.
"The older one will often text me in the afternoon and want me to confirm the cooking time for a fresh chicken. And then he'll send me a photo of what he's made and it fills me with joy."
Barry said she wants her social media platform to reflect the everyday life and the feelings we're all going through.
"It's really simple, I don't want anybody who's watching me on TV, or cooking with Stacey, or social media not to feel like they can't be part of it."
The duo talked about Barry's latest career endeavour, hosting Give Us A Clue, and how this opportunity had been both liberating and a true reflection of her goofy self.
"At this stage in my career, I have nothing to lose. It's quite liberating actually. Being 51, and being one of the oldies on the block."
And as one of the oldies on the block, Barry said she has always used her platform to make light of topics not often talked about, such as menopause.
"I'm kind of open about these things. I like to use my platform to normalise stuff.
"I've always been a glass half full, the silver lining in every cloud kind of gal," she said.
"Even though some days I get up and think I could just go back to bed I think, no, come on! And I like to take people with me".
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.