With a busy household and multiple careers, Celebrity Chef and Musician Roger Mooking says that his money goes out the door almost as quickly as it comes in.
The TV chef, cookbook author, and Juno Award-winning musician talks to Kim about his philosophy around success and money.
We know your relationship to music, but tell me about your relationship to money.
You know, I have four kids. I have a bunch of dogs. I live in a multigenerational household. My out-- in-laws-- I was gonna say outlaws, which, hey, may be the same thing. [LAUGHS] So you know, it's a busy household and there's a lot of demands, you know? The house gets beat up because there's a lot of people using it. There's a lot of repairs and maintenance. So I have an intimate knowledge of how quickly money can leave the building, you know?
Tell me a bit more about what your philosophy is around money.
I just like to make things. So my relationship with money is a result of my desire and passion for making things. And the more and more I work, the more I realize that people like to be around people who like to be passionate about what they do. And sometimes those people have the power to cut a check and sometimes they don't. And so I've been fortunate with that, you know?
Let's think back a bit. So if you think back to when you were a kid and with your family, what was your first memory of money?
I remember my dad telling us, do you know how hard it is to buy money for that piece of bread? And you don't really understand it. And then he would make us do summer jobs, right? So before I could actually work legally in a kitchen or something, he'd make me go paint the fence for, like, $0.25 an hour. And we lived on a corner lot and the whole property was fenced, right? I mean, it's not like an acreage or nothing. You know, we were in a suburb in Edmonton, Alberta, but it was the corner lot. So it was a lot of fence.
So not necessarily when you first made money with your family jobs, those types of things, but what about your first real, paying job, what was that?
I worked in a family restaurant off of the highway in Edmonton, Alberta. I was the line cook, and after a while, the manager-- it was me and the manager were supposed to open the restaurant every day-- but after a while, the manager realized that I could just do it myself. I was living at home, so it was all disposable income, but it's not a lot. At $3.75 an hour, there's not a lot of money coming on those checks after taxes, right?
So my first paycheck, I remember, I bought a pair of really good shoes because I would come home from work so exhausted I would just sleep until the next shift. And I realized part of it, I just didn't have good shoes to stand and run around all day at the job. So that was one of the first things I did.
Now, we have some pork butts that have been smoking for a while now. Can we crack this open? Sure can.
Yeah? Woo-hoo-hoo! Wow. So that's been going all night, huh?
Those have been going about 10 hours.
Look at that. It's like super moist and juicy. Now, I notice you've got a little spray bottle down here. What's that all about?
Apple juice and bourbon.
Let's check this out.
Mm, that's good. That's gonna be good on those butts. Spice some of that up, man.
Let's fast forward to today. What is the smartest thing you've ever done with your money?
The best thing I've ever done with money is hire trainers for my physical well-being, that's the best. And I buy good quality ingredients at the grocery store. You know, you are what you eat, literally, they say. And I have a history of heart disease in my family, so I need to make sure that I can continue to feed my family, right?
What's the dumbest thing you've ever done with your money?
Hired lawyers without actually reading the contracts. You know, for a long time, I'd just hire the lawyer. Oh, they know. They're a lawyer. Let them do the deal. Duh, duh, duh, duh. And then you get a bill for like $15,000. Now, when we do legals, it's like, what cost me $15,000 back then will cost me like $500. [LAUGHS] You know?
Who manages the money in your family? I mean, not your businesses, per se, but your own personal income and those types of things.
Managing money, well, we manage to make it come in the door and my wife and kids manage to spend it. [LAUGHS] So I guess it manages itself in some ways. [LAUGHS]
So you're making money and you obviously have lots of businesses and you have lots of things going on but what would you say is your money for?
You know, I don't look for gratification from money, but I am keenly aware of the notion that I need a certain amount of money to house, clothe, feed, shelter my family. So as long as the basic necessities of my family are taken care of on a year to year basis and I can sleep comfortably at night, I'm good. Everything else, just figure it out.
For people who are watching, what's your best money tip for them?
I believe in if you have spare income, try and control your growth. But I'll put it in a business venture that I can affect the outcome of, right? So if I lose on that, I go to sleep knowing that I lost that. If I gain on that, I go to sleep knowing we put in the work and it grew because of that, but I can control it. I just have confidence in my ability, if I put my energy in something that it's gonna turn out fruitful.
And last question for you, tell me, what can we look forward to? What's coming up for?
OK, so Cooking Channel is launching, in Canada, my show Man, Fire, Food, which is now six seasons. It's kind of gone all over the world. It's finally coming to Canada. I'm opening a project in Western Canada, a food and beverage outlet. So look out for that. And of course Twist at Pearson Airport is awesome. It's going really great and I just continue to make things, you know?
Force of nature, that guy. Celebrity chef and musician Roger Mooking, joining us for The Money Talk. Thank you for joining us tonight.