Editor's desk: Christine Hayes, Olive

Olive is a monthly magazine for food lovers. Each issue contains more than 100 recipes, all triple-tested so they work first time, great value restaurants, travel ideas and easy recipes from around the world, cooking tips and techniques from leading chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, and food issues.

Christine Hayes
Christine Hayes

Who reads olive?

People who live to eat!  olive's three main reader groups are: professionals in their thirties and forties who enjoy gastropubs and relaxed entertaining; affluent empty-nesters who have the time and money to eat out and travel; and food anoraks who likely to have their own blog, are food literate and knowledgeable, and food is their main passion.

How does the magazine stand out in a competitive market?

Readers buy olive for the unique mix of recipes, restaurants and food-focused travel.  A sense of humour is also very important to us!  What other food mag has Fun Lovin' Criminals Huey Morgan as a restaurant reviewer, links two completely different heroes on our back page each month with a fiendish six degrees of separation, and bashes or bigs up food icons such as trifle and black pudding in The Jury's Out each month?

What makes an ideal feature for olive?

In terms of main features, they are either informative and have a practical element so that readers feel they are more in the know, or utterly frivolous and fun such as ten foodie things that always go wrong.  

Of which feature are you most proud?

Pro vs punter is uniquely olive.  Each month, a reader and a professional restaurant critic review the same restaurant. The idea is that most restaurant critics give an expert opinion, but are often recognised, which can affect their experience. The punter explains how it is for the average diner.

To what do you attribute the rise in popularity of food magazines and TV programmes?
A mixture of necessity - people trying to save money by cooking from scratch are looking for guidance and inspiration - and the nation's thirst for real people competitions.

What is your relationship with PR professionals like?

There are a handful of food, travel and restaurant PROs I meet up with regularly. I'm sure I can't teach you guys anything you don't already know, but my personal bugbear is PROs trying to get hold of me when they should be targeting olive's department heads. I am not keen on being asked ‘what are you working on at the moment', or being chased about press releases - if it's relevant and useful, we'll follow it up. Email approaches are better than phone most of the time.

Who would attend your ideal dinner party and what would you eat?

Gabriel Byrne, Matt Dillon and Dylan Moran. We would have oysters, roast chicken, and Vacherin.

What are your media must-haves?

Food mags, newspaper food sections, food TV, blogs and websites, Two of my favourites are wine writer Victoria Moore in Guardian Weekend and Nigel Slater in The Observer. I'm a Twitter addict. On radio I like Adam and Joe on BBC6Music, Huey Morgan on BBC 6 Music, Eddy Temple Morris on Xfm.
I read Living, Red, The Week and on TV, I like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Madmen; Flight of the Conchords, In Treatment, The Thick of It, Hung, Lie To Me.  I might be the only person in the world who can't face Strictly or XFactor.

Contact christine.hayes@bbc.com

Circulation 86,117

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