#BeYourOwnIcon: Jen Royle
While some of us are born with a silver spoon in our mouths, others have to struggle from the bottom up. The struggle to be at the top comes with a plethora of obstacles. It is not for the fainthearted. Jen Royle has gone through her own fair of struggles to become successful in a male dominated field. Today, she is an inspiration to many women and men whose dreams are bigger than their current situations.
Jen is a former Emmy Winning sports reporter turned Chef who currently resides in Boston Massachusetts. She was a longtime reporter for the New York Yankees and a national MLB reporter based in New York City. Her time in New York earned her an Emmy in 2008 for her candid interviews with MLB players arriving in New York.
Here in Boston, she’s co-hosted Dennis & Callahan’ and was the host of her own talk show, “The Jen Royle Show” on WEEI in the summer of 2013. She left WEEI for The Boston Herald to help launch “Herald Radio” and eventually hosted an online video series, “Talk of the Town,” highlighting some of Boston’s most notable current and former athletes.
She then hung up her microphone for a chef jacket attending The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 2014 before landing a job in Mario Batali’s newest kitchen, “Babbo Enoteca” in the Seaport.
As if that isn’t enough, she now owns her own private chef company and is actively pursuing opening a private dining space/restaurant in Boston.
JEN’S EARLY LIFE AND CHALLENGES
Jen grew up in Mansfield, Massachusetts. She however spent most of her time in Boston because both her parents had grown up there and they wanted her to be in touch with her roots. Jen’s childhood was a boring and tormenting one. She had very few friends and was bullied constantly by other kids. They did everything within their power to make her life was miserable. She says, “In first grade, other kids in my class would move my jacket from the coat rack in the hallway to a different peg so I couldn’t find it”. She always hoped the bullying would go away with time but it only got worse as she grew older. In high school, the popular girls would tell her how ugly she was and the boys would call her names when she was playing sports.
Despite her misery, Jen chose to focus on one thing she was good at: field hockey. She proceeded to play the game in college and through it; she got to hang out with popular people, albeit maintaining a low profile.
DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS
Growing up, Jen had dreamt of one day becoming a chef or a sports anchor, two dreams that she has lived up to. Her dream to become a chef was powered by her love for cooking shows. She equally loved sports and was privileged to have a father who was an avid Boston sports fan. In her own words, she claims, “I had both cooking and sports in my blood”.
Jen’s pursuit to become a successful sports reporter was not a walk in the park. At the time, she began to pursue her career as a sports reporter; there were less than a dozen female reporters in the field. Having little exposure and few connections, she had to write for every free website and find her way into sports parties to try and meet people who were influential in the sports field.
Through it all, Jen never lost vision of what she wanted for herself. She claims, “I think personality and persistence has a lot to do with getting jobs these days”. She attributes her success as a sports Reporter to her persistence and her forthright personality, but will never deny it was exhausting.
JOURNEY TO SUCCESS
Jen believes that to be successful in any field, you have to ask for help. Adopting the ‘I know it all’ mentality, she says, is a recipe for failure. When Jen set off to Baltimore in 2009 after the Yankees won the World Series, she had little knowledge about the Ravens or the game of football in general. She however says, “Luckily, I had the best encyclopedia in the world, the locker room”. Her locker room interaction with coaches and players such as Donte Stallworth and Ray Rice exposed her to immense knowledge about sports. These players were attracted to her humility and her passion for learning. They were more than willing to help her learn. Besides asking for help, Jen had to study day and night to gain more knowledge and become competent in a field dominated by males. When Jen Left Baltimore in 2012, the Ravens took the time to make her a Going Away video, wishing her well in Boston.
Jen was a finalist on ABC’s hit reality cooking series “The Taste” and was recently a contestant on The Food Newtork’s “Beat Bobby Flay.”
She considers persistence to be the greatest attribute toward her success. “I never gave up,” she says. Jen is not the type that settles for average. She is always looking for the next big thing to embark on.
Her advice to millennials is to “Go for it and never take no for an answer”.
Jen is today, the proud owner of “Dare to Taste’, a private chef company located in Boston. Dare to taste emphasizes on presentation, professionalism and outstanding service.
Check out Jen’s Dare to Taste Company on http://daretotaste.com/
Today, Jen is looking forward to owning a restaurant, a dream she has held on to since her childhood.
Jen has worked hard to be where she is and American Sunglasses is proud to call her an Icon.