04 Nov 2021

Maxine Cartz is a Dietitian for Medirest, the Healthcare division of Compass Group UK & Ireland who was awarded a BDA Fellowship in 2021.

We asked Maxine what it means to have won the award.

What does it mean to you to have been awarded with the Fellowship honour?  

I'm absolutely thrilled to be receiving a BDA Fellowship. This is beyond my wildest dreams. It's such an honour to even be considered and to be recognised by one’s own profession. I am incredibly humbled and grateful to the people who nominated me. I am part of a fabulous team from the Food Services Specialist Group; there are many food service dietitians who do good work. I am pleased to have been able to contribute to various professional dietetic strategies and the development of professional resources to promote food service dietetics. 

What drove you to become a dietitian in the first place and be where you are today?

As a child, I was always interested in science, medicine and its relationship with food. I had a fantastic careers teacher at school and she suggested dietetics. I didn't even know what a dietitian was back then but after investigating it, I knew it was for me. I came into food service by a quirk of fate and I love it. Being able to influence what tens of thousands of people eat every day is very satisfying and I love my job in hospital catering. 

Who would you say inspires you both dietetically but also non-dietetically?

There are several excellent renowned food service dietitians, (Rick Wilson and Anne Donelan to name but two), but my first dietetic manager inspired me so that I chose food service dietetics when it was a little known speciality. They inspired me to think positively about hospital food being considered as part of patient care and of course it should also be eaten and enjoyed. My colleagues also inspire me and we work well together. 

Non dietetically, I get support and inspiration from my family.

What advice would you give to future dietitians? 

Every one of us can make a difference. It is important to keep an open mind and to have a positive attitude. Teamwork is also vital as it inspires collaboration.

What has been the highlight of your dietetic career to date?

In 2012, I led the working group for the first BDA Nutrition and Hydration Digest from which I really learned a lot. That led to some TV work with chef James Martin which was surreal!