x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Executive chef Todd Hunter

The Australian Todd Hunter worked in two of London's most prestigious restaurants before moving to Dubai to join the kitchen at Grosvenor House. He is now executive chef at Abu Dhabi's Aloft hotel.

Lauren Lancaster / The National
Lauren Lancaster / The National

Originally from Australia, Todd Hunter worked in two of London's most prestigious restaurants, Smiths of Smithfield and Zuma, in Knightsbridge, before moving to Dubai to join the kitchen at Grosvenor House. He is now executive chef at Abu Dhabi's Aloft hotel Find your passion in life. If you choose a job simply because it pays well, you'll end up bitter, bored and unfulfilled. If you do what you love for a living, you'll never "work" another day in your life. Analyse the situation, look for solutions and take action. It's not up to your parents, your friends or your boss to make sure you're happy. It's up to you. Luck is preparation meeting opportunity. Make your own luck. Don't sit back and resent others for getting ahead. Consider what they've done to make opportunities come their way and realise that being "lucky" requires hard work and planning. If you lay the groundwork to achieve your goals, the "luck" that you envy in others will come your way eventually.

Life's no fun without taking calculated risks. I'm not talking about stunt driving or playing the stock market. I'm talking about taking on challenges that make you uncomfortable. Like standing up in front of hundreds of people to make a presentation or maybe opening your own business some day. If you flat line your way through life, you may avoid some bumpy patches, but you'll also miss the big payoff - the thrill of taking a chance and succeeding beyond your own expectations.

Think before you open your mouth. If you force your opinion on others all the time, your words have less weight. If you pick your battles carefully, people will be anxious to hear what you have to say when you do choose to speak. Love your family and nurture friendships. If you're lucky, you'll still be in touch with maybe two friends from high school 25 years later, but your family will always be there for you. It's not what you have in life, but whom you have in it that counts. As told to Helen McLaughlin