SHE-POWER Women: Monika Mundell is the Writing Chef

by Kelly on September 1, 2008 · 20 comments

in Life. People. News


Freelance writers and SEO experts are a dime a dozen on the internet, but how many of them were also a world class chef for over 20 years, and cooked for Presidents and the British royal family? I think you’ll find that’s a list of one. The fabulous Monika Mundell.

These days Monika has traded her kitchen tools for a laptop and writes about pro-blogging, freelance writing, internet marketing and how to pursue the dream of financial freedom at The Writers Manifesto.

When she’s not writing and pursuing her passion for all things internet related, Monika is happiest roaming the corners of the globe. She credits travel with teaching her to be tolerant, content and happy with the little things.

Raised in Switzerland, Monika emigrated to Australia 10 years ago. She now lives and writes from paradise in North Queensland.

It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.

Today Monika joins us to talk about Dreams, Her Spiritual Home and Stinky Kitchen Smells

Love is…

Getting a cup of tea in bed first thing in the morning… giving without expecting something in return….cuddling my husband despite stinky kitchen smell (he is a chef)…staying together even when the butterflies disappear….respecting one another for what we are.

My biggest mistake was…

To still keep working as a chef for many years after I lost my passion for the job.

I am inspired by…

My husband, my birds,friendship, nature, love, people, passion, animals, books, travel (in no particular order).

I am embarrassed to admit…

I sometimes snore (according to my husband), Apparently it is in winter when my nose is stuffy and I’m sleeping on my back – go figure.

I think more people…

should follow their dreams and just go for it.


is a dream come true. It is my spiritual home, even though I grew up in Europe.

What are your best and worst qualities?


I’m caring, enthusiastic and passionate


I can be quite possessive and stubborn.

If you could do/be anything, what would be your dream job?

Right now, I’m living my dream job. But if money was no option I would be a retired New Rich, traveling the globe and helping animals and people in need, between spurts of some luxury and indulgence.

What’s your advice for someone who wants to grow their blog and maybe become a professional blogger?

Belief in yourself and never give up! You can do it.

Do you think it’s harder to be a woman than a man?

It is definitely harder to be a woman. We have to work double as hard to be recognized for our talents. Despite feminism, it’s still a man’s world out there.

Homer said, “All men have need of the Gods.” Agree or Disagree?

Mmm, that depends. If the gods is referred to as the church and The GOD, then no. But in a spiritual sense, I would say agree.

“Home is where the heart is.” Agree or Disagree?

Agree. I feel that as long as we are content within ourselves it doesn’t matter where we make our home. It could be in a luxury mansion, or else in the park. What matters more is how we treasure what’s most important, namely life itself.

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The World Is Still Turning! | The Writers Manifesto Blog
09.08.08 at 11:12 pm

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Evelyn Lim 09.02.08 at 1:21 am

What a life it must have been! I’d have thought that cooking gourmet meals for Presidents and the British royal family would be fun. Or isn’t it?

Enjoyed the interview!! It’s always useful to know an excellent cook who also dishes out great advice!

Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..25 Ways To Nurture Your Soul

2 Rita 09.02.08 at 1:32 am

Wow! What an amazing inteview you conducted (LOVE the questions!) with a person I thought I KNEW! I know that Monika is an exremely talented and passionate person who loves her current job, but I learned so much more than I can didn’t even think about. The definition of love, of the things that inspire Monika,phenomenal writing ability, cooking for Heads of State – I must say, those are quite diverse and impressive things to have on one’s “Life C.V.”

You’re a fascinating woman, and your abilitiy to bring out these sides of Monika -another fascinating woman – makes for great insight into both of you. Thank you so much for sharing this.


Rita’s last blog post..George Washington, the Cherry Tree and Learning “Frum” the Quiz – Part I

3 Chris 09.02.08 at 1:47 am

Imagine, from cooking for the Royal Family to being pro-blogger. I guess you’ll never really know where life will take you.

Chris’s last blog post..Bottom Falling Off, Part 5

4 Vered 09.02.08 at 4:47 am

It’s very nice to get to know Monika better.

“It is definitely harder to be a woman. We have to work double as hard to be recognized for our talents. Despite feminism, it’s still a man’s world out there.” Sadly, I have to agree with that.

Vered’s last blog post..Will You Tell Me A Little Bit About Yourself?

5 Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome 09.02.08 at 5:18 am

Ditto on getting to know Monika better and ditto on the rocking questions.

I’m amazed at the number of entrepreneurs who have changed countries (or are thinking about doing so).

Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome’s last blog post..Connecting Desires with Actions: James Chartrand Interview

6 Cath Lawson 09.02.08 at 5:39 am

Hi Kelly – what a brilliant interview with one of my favourite bloggers. Sorry you’re feeling ill Monika – and hope you’re all better soon.

Monika – I’m glad you’ve admitted online to snoring too. I bet there’s lots of other secret snorers out there.

I already knew a lot about you, apart from the snoring thing – but you never told me you’d cooked for royalty. That is mega impressive. I love cooking but I can understand why chefs get so stressed and swear all the time. Just cooking for six people is bad enough for me.

Your thing about Australia draws me there, as I know we like lots of the same things. I just wish it were a bit nearer for Stuart visiting his kids. Still not ruled it out though.

I know you will wind up travelling lots, once your husband has packed in being a chef. I really believe you have it in you to achieve your dreams. So does Kelly and lots of other people I know. That might sound impossible that all those people could do so well – but I’ve been thinking about why and I’ll blog about it – eventually.

Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Do You Ever Feel Like This?

7 mark 09.02.08 at 6:25 am

Hi Kelly & Monika! Outstanding job by both of you! Did I somehow miss it…? Which President did you cook for? And what did you make?

mark’s last blog post..What are your goals for this coming week? What would you like to accomplish?

8 Kelly 09.02.08 at 8:04 am

Monika is fascinating, isn’t she? I had no idea she’s led such an amazing life. And she is definitely proof that life can offer up so many opportunities if we just are open enough to see them and go for it. I find Monika very inspirational – not only does she bring great writing advice and positive energy to the blogasphere, but this woman is a huge success at everything she does!

I would have to agree with her sentiments too. My 22 year old sister doesn’t though, and while I think she’ll change her mind as life progresses, a part of me desperately hopes she’s right and equality really will be attainable in her lifetime.

I want to know the answers to those questions as well.


9 Roz Mitchell 09.02.08 at 9:17 am

Interesting interview with Monika Kelly.I would agree with Monika -woman do have to put alot more into getting ahead ,but what a great acheviement when we get there ,you can sit back and say I really earned this.What a beautiful bit of paradise Monika lives in ,we have a beautiful country .Good interview Kelly.

10 Lance 09.02.08 at 12:39 pm

It’s a pleasure to meet you Monika!

Great advice about following your dreams. They can be scary sometimes, but if we’re not living a life we love, then what kind of life is it, really…

Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

11 Steve Mills 09.02.08 at 2:42 pm

Nice interview, I really agree with the believe in yourself advice for probloggers. Give the world more of the true you and people will be intrigued!

Steve Mills’s last blog post..The Secret Key to the Spiritual Mystery

12 MizFit 09.02.08 at 8:01 pm

new to you
new to monika
and, alas,a freelance writer (wink)

MizFit’s last blog post..Tues Tip: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyhoo.

13 Monika Mundell 09.02.08 at 9:15 pm

@ Kelly: Thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity. I felt honored to be interviewed with these very inspirational questions. You certainly have the knack for drawing me out of a corner. LOL. As for the inspiring bit, all I can say, dito to you. I feel we are similar in many ways. As for a success in everything I do. Not sure about that. I’ve had my share of failures, but I see them as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. :-)
I also have to apologize for my late reply. I’m currently battling a nasty flu and don’t feel so red hot right now. Just jumping online to check comments and email and back to bed with something potent to kill those nasties.

@ Evelyn: It was great in my 20s. Exciting and lots of fun, despite the hard work. But then it became a drag because I wanted more from life than working my butt off for somebody else I guess. Thank you for saying hello.

@ Rita: There you go. I’m a woman of many mysteries. LOL. I’m glad though you liked the interview. It couldn’t have gone wrong with these great questions of Kelly. I was positively surprised to receive them as it reveals more than the usual interview I guess. I’m certainly happy about my life CV as you so nicely put it. Lots of dark moments, but in the end, it was all worth the effort.

@ Chris: You are right on. If someone would have told me only 3 years ago that I would be doing what I do now, I swear I would have laughed. No way did I ever think I would end up here. Knowing this though makes me even more excited about my future.

@ Vered: Thank you and I look forward to getting to know you more too over the next few months. I certainly learned that you are a treasured community member and your chocolate post was just “to die for”.

@ Alex: It is amazing how many of us play with those ideas. You and I did it. I’m a strong believer though that like attracts like and that is why we seem to see this “pull” amongst us even more. Thank you for the nice words too. I also look forward to getting to know even more.

@ Mark: Thank you. To answer your question, I cooked for Willem de Klerk (, all seven of the Swiss Presidents back when I was in Switzerland and Edward Heath, former British Prime Minister and since deceased. Naturally, these are merely a few of the many celebrities I cooked for over the years (not trying to brag). As for the type of foods, I can’t remember. It’s been a long while since then and some were menus, others were private catering. Hope this helps to satisfy your curiosity.

@ Roz: I gather you live in Australia too? I certainly agree, it is paradise for sure. And now with spring having started, woohoo.

@ Lance: It’s my pleasure to meet you too. What you said makes perfect sense to me. I always say, what is the point of living, if we can’t have fun?

@ Steve: Thank you. I’m sure you agree with me that success in any measure is all based in belief first.

@ MizFit: Hello there and welcome to the freelancing life.

@ all: Thanks guys for the lovely support. It will keep me smiling while I battle through this flu. :-)

Monika Mundell’s last blog post..What Do You Think Of Spotters Fees?

14 Monika Mundell 09.02.08 at 9:21 pm

@ Cath: Oops, I forgot your comment. I’m sorry about that. But I wanted to let you know that your feeling is mutual. Thanks for the well wishes too. I do feel lousy right now and as I type this I’m coughing away like a dog.

I know you and Stu will choose the right place for you guys to live when you are ready. Either way, it will be awesome for you. And thanks to the Internet, we can all stay in contact anyway. As for the snoring, hehehehe….I guess it could be that some of us share this trait. But I don’t do it often (luckily). Your comment about cooking for six people made me laugh too. Don’t worry, that is one of the first things we learn as a chef, so you can’t be blamed for being nervous. It takes practice to master this.

Monika Mundell’s last blog post..What Do You Think Of Spotters Fees?

15 Kelly 09.02.08 at 10:43 pm


Thanks for dragging your sorry butt out of bed to respond to the SHE-POWER community. If it makes you feel any better I’m sick too. Down with bloody migraines that just won’t quit. God we’re a sorry lot, aren’t we?

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

our commenters

16 Urban Panther 09.03.08 at 4:09 am

@Kelly – I take it you make up these questions? Not sure if I want to be interviewed by you *chuckle*
@Monika – and you handled these totally random questions brilliantly. I agree that home is where the heart is. The Lion and I were talking just last night about how many homes each of us have bought and sold in our adult lifetime. He has bought 1 and sold 0 (which is the den I now call home myself). I have bought and sold 7 in the same time period. It’s the energy in the house that makes it a home, not the physical building.

Urban Panther’s last blog post..I am a twit

17 Al at 7P 09.03.08 at 2:44 pm

Hi Kelly – something about Australia that either produces or attracts great bloggers! Great questions and great interview.

Hi Monika – I enjoyed reading the answers you gave. It’s great that you say you’re living your dream job, especially since you worked too long in one you didn’t enjoy, in spite of being world-class in it. It would have been interesting to find out how you wound up in Australia :) .

Al at 7P’s last blog post..The Criminally-Minded Approach for Achieving Goals

18 Wendi Kelly 09.04.08 at 3:06 am

Hooray for Monika! One of my favorite bloggers! I didn’t know about the cooking for kings and Presidents Monika, how fun to learn something new. How about a few recipes on your site just for the fun of it?
Thanks Kelly for the fun interview!

Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..Changing Colors

19 SpaceAgeSage 09.04.08 at 7:17 am

Great interview with someone embracing all life has to offer – very inspiring.

SpaceAgeSage’s last blog post..Be the change …

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