My MUSE | Meet Polly Markus
Olivia here, to introduce you to this week’s MyMUSE: the vivacious, impressive and totally irresistible Polly Markus.
A long-time friend of MUSE (she was one of our original MyMUSEs, many moons ago!) Polly is taking the food-world by delicious storm, through her wildly successful Instagram account and cookbook – Miss Polly’s Kitchen. When she’s not creating and sharing her mouth-watering meals, you’ll find Polly being an absolute boss as one of Auckland’s savviest commercial real estate agents. There really is nothing she can’t do.
A lover of timeless classics, Polly epitomises effortless-meets-elegance style. She’s ambitious and motivated, but also delightfully laid-back. Bubbly and positive, humble and real. A culinary queen, an infectious smile and as hilarious as they come. A true friend, a guaranteed good time, and a muse through and through.
I sat down with Polly to talk about cooking on superyachts, learning to switch off, and the people who’ve inspired her along the way.
Where did you find your love for food, and how did you turn it into a career?
My love of food (but especially eating) started from a very young age. I was forever jazzing up my sandwiches for school lunches, and was far more interested in what the adults were eating rather than the traditional plain kids food. I learnt so much from my late dad who was an absolute whizz in the kitchen and introduced us to bold flavours from a very young age. My career in food started at age 21 when I moved to Spain and somehow landed a job on a super yacht as a crew chef, with no formal chef training at all – just a passion for cooking.
Miss Polly's Kitchen began in lockdown and has grown considerably in a short space of time. Social media has given me a platform to share my love and passion for all things food.
What have been some challenges you have faced so far when creating your most recent cookbook? And how did you overcome them?
For the most part, my biggest challenge was time. Juggling my fulltime commercial real estate career, as well as my cooking/writing/recipe creating, was at times pretty overwhelming. Neither of the two jobs are salary-based, so I’ve always found switching off to be incredibly difficult. I feel like I should be doing something, no matter what the time of the day or night it is. I would say I am still overcoming this, but I have recently been working with an incredible life/business coach called Frances who has truly changed the way I operate in all facets of my life. Learning to create boundaries, say no and prioritise time to myself has been a huge help.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is a blend of polished sophistication and relaxed comfort. It exudes an effortless "I woke up like this" vibe, without actually looking like I rolled out of bed in pyjamas. I gravitate towards classic pieces like baggy denim and timeless outerwear, often mixing trench coats with oversized shirts. My style embraces clean lines and minimal aesthetics. Unfortunately I can’t help accessorising my outfits with red wine or tomato-based sauce stains! It’s inevitable being in the kitchen 24/7.
Who are some of your style Muses?
Currently, I draw style inspiration from a number of creative individuals. Sophia Roe, a New York-based recipe and content creator, stands out to me. Rosie Huntington's fashion sense is captivating. Jaime Ridge exudes effortless chic style, and Tahnee Atkinson also influences my fashion choices.